Telling Our Stories Week 21

December 12, 2013

Nettie Cribb, Lakewood, Jacksonville
Peace.  Faith.  Life.  Love.  Pastor Jerry Sweat, Beach UMC, sent a devotional which centered on the fact that at times in our lives WE have walked away from GOD.  I walked!  I always believed, but I walked.  At some times when I needed Him desperately, I walked.  BUT, He never did.  Through one of the fruits of the spirit - patience - He watched and led my life and loved me.  I had some lessons to learn.  He led me to my husband, my present church, the pastors, and the Sunday school class.  He taught me I was worthwhile, and it didn’t matter what others thought of me, and brought me to my true peace and faith.  He taught me I had gifts, too!  I am God’s child!  And I found the meaning of having love for others as He does.  I thought I was okay, but I wasn’t.  Through an experience at my church when my heart went out to another in His love, I was rewarded with a glimpse of Heaven.  No other description is sufficient.  I had a feeling of such complete weightlessness, a total peace, an absence of the world’s concerns, a worshipful attitude, that tears fell from my eyes for about eight hours - not crying - just total JOY!  I am 73 years young, and my goal is to lead others to this same joy, and to help others who are struggling with life, with their faith and their trust.  I believe I was led to send email daily “thoughts” all over the U.S. which might encourage the receivers.  These are quoted from different sources and sometimes from me.  I also became a Stephen Ministry leader and have taught my first class. I teach a ladies’ Sunday school class, coordinate the Prayer Room, visit nursing homes, and have taught a basic Bible class, among others. I am blessed through these ministries.  Me - who walked away!  I was lost and now am found.  God has blessed me, and many people have blessed me.  I don’t do everything right.  I still don’t feel worthy sometimes.  But, I pray that for whatever life is granted me, I will be able to encourage others to receive the joy that is ours in Christ Jesus, and each day to make someone smile and let them know that someone cares and that He cares.

Up Next Week on Christmas Day…

Rachael Sumner, First UMC Titusville

“I feel like God has put this call on my life to build relationships with young adults and talk about the issues they are facing in their churches.  I have gone to Him many days, not knowing what next step to take.  God has shown me clearly that this isn’t about saving The United Methodist Church; it isn’t about self-preservation.  We need to be about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ because every person matters to Him and every single soul is worth pursuing.”

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