Some of the best testimonies I have heard are those that describe how some of us became SDAs. I know people from different backgrounds have had their own unique experiences with regards to the journey.
I forgot to remind you of the Amazing Facts online series. Another good series from which to establish oneself in the faith is the Kenneth Cox Ministry. They are both online. In fact I have found a wonderful set of sermons by Kenneth Cox on the you tube. Here is the link for both ministries.
I was not born into Adventist faith, I did not come to the church through evangelistic campaign, just my uncles' friend who used to sleep in our house one day told me about the second coming of Jesus , I believed it and went to church on 13th Sabbath with him and baptized later.
I belong to a very devoted Catholic family. I grew up with a regular prayer habit through rosary and mostly latin prayers which at that time I did not even understand what IT says in that prayer. But that habit taught me to say my own prayers. And God impressed me in a very special way that I learned to pray not what I have memorized from my parents. I learned to open up to GOD and one day I said to HIM "Lord there are so many beliefs, I know that YOU are real but I do not know which to believe, If you want I know that someday I will just wake up being in the faith YOU want me to be . . ." And soon , I just found out I am already going to the SDA church. The brethren there were surprised to see me attend to their service. It took me still, almost 2 years of regularly coming back to the church before I got baptized because I just relied how GOD would lead me without somebody forcing me to submit. After that time I just found myself walking to the front from an appeal in one of the many crusades I attended. Nobody coached me , even me, I did not plan to do it even during the series of the crusade . . . And GOD really answered my innocent prayers. GOD is really so wonderful. He answers always a sincere prayer and HE will lead us to where HE wants us to be, if we really find HIM. . . My being an SDA was full of challenges within the family, after that, but HE will always win the battle over us if we hold on to HIS promises. Praise HIS Holy Name....
Thanks for this powerful testimony Josefina. There are a lot of people from different walks of life who are searching for truth with all their heart, and God will not fail them. Are you trying to reach out to your catholic friends, and if yes, how are you doing it?
Hello, Yes, my entry to SDA was a long , long way back in 1991. I was the only SDA in the family before. After more than a year that time my sis and her daughter followed, Then an Aunt and children , then gradually by God's guidance, power and grace followed my nephew from another sis. A cousin and some of my students. God is so wonderful . He never fails every call from those souls who needed HIS deliverance. Now, in my little way I am engage in tracts giving, and as much as possible let my belief shine where I work who are all Catholics and some other denominations. For two Saturdays I have already accepted Bible studies with two members from Jehova's Witness. Yes, I need help . . . PRAYERS, more and more sincere prayers to help us carry on with the "ministry " we are into . . .
Being in faith, living faith is not that easy. A lot of hard efforts and struggles had to be faced and I always need prayers. Thanks for the concern ... May God bless you always in your own struggles too in faith.
This question is impossible to answer in 250 words or less. G I could write a book and the process is still ongoing. However, I'll assume that you are only intersted in the start. That should cut it down to about 500 pages. G
See, I was born into an Adventist home. My father had trained to be a minister, but never was called, so he became a lay minster. Several of my second cousins were ministers and one great uncle was the president of the China Mission, and another was president of the General Conference. So, as it can be seen, I was born into a very well rooted Adventist home.
Being a voracious reader, by the time I was in about the 7th grade, I had read virtually all of the books then available that were written by Ellen White. By the age of 9, when I was baptized, I had read the Bible through a couple of times on my own and had participated in reading it a few more times in family worship.
However, at the age of 16, the death of a beloved brother sent my spiritual life into a tailspin. I had some very strong words for God about that time. Fortunatly, He has very selective hearing. When the searing pain subsided, I felt like I was at sea without a paddle. So, I started to do some very serious thinking. Here were the conclusions I came to.
1. There is a God in heaven who loves us.
2. The Bible is one of His ways to attempt to communcate with us.
3. To be a Seventh-day Adventist becasue of my dad, mom and family was about the worst reason one could have.
So, I started a life long exploration of the Bible, later I added the Spirit of Prophecy writtings, to discover what the Bible says a Christian is like. Any who would like to follow that exploration can do so on my website, listed at the bottom of this post. Select the area of Resources and click on Basic Christianity. That chronicles what I found in that search, which is still ongoing..
Life became quite tumoltious and I was disfellowshipped for political reasons that I'll not go into. God lead me to a wonderful woman and Satan did everything he could to prevent, then destroy our marriage. However, the miracles that God worked to bring and hold us together would fill a book. (I was rebaptized before we married. It was because of her that I had been disfellowshipped.)
Some 10 years later, through her, God finally got me to accept a call to the ministry. Shortly before graduation from College, another class mate and I were the first two who were called by the Oregon Conference from our class. However, a few weeks before graduation, after I had accepted the call, I hurt my back on the job and was hospitalized. I had just purchased two little books. One was "The Sanctified Life" by Ellen White, and "Christ our Rigteousness" as I recall, by A.G. Daniels. IT is a compliation of Ellen Whites' comments. I had not had time to read them before I hurt my back, so I had my wife bring them up to read while I was convalescing. Little did I know the change they would bring into my life.
Ever since I started to seek to know what a Christian was, I had made every effort to be one. Oh, I failed many times, however, God never failed me. Also, I had worked in sales quite-a-bit, and one thing I would never do, was to sell something that I would not purchase and use myself. With that principle as my standard, I had to pass on some good money making projects, but I could not honestly represent them.
So, as I lay there in bed and read, suddenly a conviction came over me that I was about to take a position where I would be standing in the pulpit and telling other people how to be a Christian, when in fact, I was not even close to being one myself. As I saw the high standards presented in those two books, I was shocked into the realization that in fact, I was not even a Christian myself. Nor had all the efforts I had put out to become a Christian been successful.
The ensuing battle that waged back and forth in that hospital room that day was epic in proportion, at least in my life. I told God that there was no way I could become a pastor, for I could not tell others to try something that had not worked for me in over 25 years (I was about 34 at the time). In fact, I felt that I could not even continue to represent myself as a Christian, for in reality, I did not feel that I really was one. God and I were talking to each other just as clearly as any conversation I have ever been invovled in. Finally, I told God that I would make no effort at all to be a Christian any longer. I would just do whatever I felt like doing. The greatest happiness came over me and I felt at peace for the first time in my life. It was wonderful!!!
But, then, memories started coming to my mind about the many times God has preserved my life, how He had led me. How He had forgiven me and helped me when I did not deserve it in any way. See, I do not want God to be fair with me. That would be a disaster. I need all of the mercy and generosity that He can show me. For if He were "Fair" with me, I would be totally lost.
The euphoria came to and end and I realized that to even reject a human being who had done all of that for me, was not even nice, much less a Christian. Not even a non-christian should stoop that low. So, now I was back in the battle again. What to do? Finally, I told God: "I have tried to be a good person all of my life and that has been a colossal failure. So, my choice to no longer attempt to be good still stood. BUT,I told God, if you want me to be a Christian, you will have to make me one, for I can not, I have tried for too many years, and failed, to even think I can accomplish that feat."
Then as clear as any voice I have ever heard, came the words: "I was afraid you would never come to that conclusion." And that is how it is today. If there is any goodness in my life, it is becasue God has placed it there. I can not take any credit for it. On the other hand, all of the meanness, onriness and petulance that comes out so often, that is all me. However, God is not through working with me yet. Slowly, but surely, those bad things are becoming fewer and God is still in charge of making me good. Each morning and several times during the day I renew that vow to Him. Even though I fail to keep it all of the time, that is my heart desire and He is still patiently working on me to make that a reality.
Now, the study of God's word is where I find my greatest joy. Seeking to know Him as much as it is possible for a human beign to know Him is my desire. I realize that truth is not a destination, but a journey and each day, I seek to continue that journey. Have I arrived yet? The only correct answer is a huge NO! I still cry over my failures and sins. I wonder why God does not take them out of my life. But, He is, only much slower then I would like to see them go. When one of those bad features comes up, I ask Him once again to remove it.
When I was younger, I liked to garden. After I prepared the soil and planted the seeds, a whole lot of other plants came up that I had not knowingly planted. So, I spent many hours on my hands and kness in my garden. The parable of the weeds and the wheat came to me often. As I knelt there, pulling weeds, I would aske God to to pull the weeds of sin in my life and make it clean. That too is an ongoing prayer.
So, if any good is seen in me, that is to His credit. He has preserved my life in more ways then I can tell. So, I know that He has some reason for my being here. I just pray, and I solicit your pryayers that I will remain faithful until He comes.