Don’t allow the world to silence your voice. Never allow anybody to rob you of your God-given potential. You were no accident; you are here on this earth with a purpose.
Have you ever felt the need to express your faith? Do you want to put God first in your life, and do what God called you to do? Yet, you shy away because you feel intimidated about how people would respond to what you say or do.
The good news I want to share with you today though, is that you don’t need to back-off and hide away. To prove this I’ve decided to do some research on people (from ordinary people to preachers; from little-known to well-known) who have the guts to put God first, no matter what other people say, and to see where they are in life today.
I would like to point out 6 people in this post. Some of these people not only had to face severe personal challenges in their personal lives, but no matter what they do, they still get accused of just about everything. Yet they have the guts to openly put God first, no matter what other people say, and just do what they do.
1.) Yvonne Wilson – Empowerment Moments Blog
Yvonne I. Wilson is a born again believer and a licensed Minister of the Gospel, residing in the Virgin Islands.
A certified RN, who nursed for 10 years (although she is no longer in direct practice of that profession), she is currently working as the Materials Manager for the BVI Health Services Authority.
Yvonne has had her fair share of set-backs and hardships, even facing physical abuses, child molestation, low self-esteem, depression and pain over the years to the point of almost losing her mind and becoming suicidal.
Yvonne recalls the many times that she has hit rock bottom in life, more times she can count or even care to mention. She said, “I’ve seen it all and the one tipping point for me was the shame that came with having to deal with two young daughters – ages 16 and 21 years pregnant at the same time in my home while in leadership position in church.”
But she came through victoriously and today she believes that all those trials have helped to groom her and prepare her for the ministry and the work of God. Her faith is unwavering and she is determined to serve God and put Him first in everything she does no matter what she is faced with in life.
In January 2012 Yvonne started blogging at Empowerment Moments Blog, which is her online ministry to share the Word of God to equip and empower believers all over the world. The aim of her online ministry is to empower believers to be transformed by God’s supernatural power for lasting change.
Although Yvonne is still working fulltime, it is not preventing her from actively spreading the Gospel through blogging. She is actively interacting with her readers and always willing to encourage and support.
If you like reading about how to deal with circumstances and conditions that life throws at you and how to empower your mind to deal with it in practical ways, I encourage you to follow the practical advice that can be found right here on her blog.
A post you’ll enjoy – 14 Verses on God’s Promises
2.) Sandra McCollom
It doesn’t matter who you are, you have to develop your own relationship with God. Just because you are related to someone else who has dedicated his / her life to God, doesn’t automatically put you in a relationship with God.
Sandra McCollom is a typical example of this. Daughter to the well-known Joyce Meyer, Sandra speaks out in her testimony about how even she became a victim to a life of legalism. Irrespective of the environment she grew up in, Sandra felt she had to deserve God’s love based on her works.
In her book I Tried until I Almost Died – From Anxiety & Frustration to Rest & Relaxation she shares her journey from always having to perform and please God to earn His love, to a place of total peace and relaxation. She tells how joyful life has become and how she practically applies her faith in everyday living.
With her joyful, bubbly personality, she makes a huge, but positive impact on many people’s lives through her writing.
If you feel bound by legalism and the need to keep lots of rules, visit Sandra McCollom’s site and see how you can be set free, living an uncomplicated lifestyle and experience peace and joy in your life.
A post you will enjoy: SKYPE interview with Pastor Clowers
3.) Ann Voskamp – A Holy Experience
Ann Voskamp describes herself as “a bit of a mess”, but she’s okay with it.
She had a full-tuition scholarship to university, but never finished. She preferred to come home to gravel roads and cornfields, where she married a Farmer instead.
Mother of six, her laundry basket is never empty, and most days she feels a bit overwhelmed and crazy.
Yet, when the kids and the washing machine sleep, she washes her real dirt down with words and The Word.
Ann Voskamp is the author of the New York Times Bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.
Ann Voskamp certainly has a way with words. She has been named one of Publishers Weekly’s Bestsellers for the year of 2011 and a USA Today Bestseller. Her debut memoir received an award of merit in Christianity Today’s Books of the Year in 2012. Ann Voskamp’s blog was also named in the Top 100 blogs of 2011 by Babble.
Voskamp is without pretense or pose, and when she gets criticized, she doesn’t back down, but she responds with kindness and a grateful spirit.
Every day she writes on her blog about her everyday-holy life. Ann Voskamp believes there is more than believing. There is living what you believe. If that sounds like you, if you want to know what it’s like to live your faith, you should visit her site and learn more about it.
A post you will enjoy: 6 Ways to Speed Clean to a Clean Enough House
4.) Nick Vujicic – Life Without Limbs
Nick Vujicic is a Christian evangelist and motivational speaker. What makes his story absolutely unique is the fact that he was born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs.
As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically. At the age of ten, Nick got so depressed that he decided to end his life by drowning himself in a bathtub. After a couple of attempts, he realized that he didn’t want to leave his loved ones behind with the burden and guilt that would result from his suicide.
According to Nick, he wasn’t depressed his entire childhood. At age thirteen he realized that he needs to be more thankful for his abilities and less focused on his disabilities. This happened as he hurt his foot which he uses for things like typing, writing and swimming. At age fifteen he sealed his faith in God and from there it has been “an amazing journey”, as he describes it.
At age seventeen he got inspired by a janitor at his school to start speaking about his faith and overcoming adversity. He started speaking at very small groups, but this eventually grew to larger groups.
Since his first official speaking engagement at age nineteen, Nick has travelled the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity. Nick has spoken to a range of diverse groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals and church congregations of all sizes.
Nick says the victory over his struggles, as well his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends and the many people he has encountered along the journey have inspired him to carry on as well.
Nick Vujicic started speaking on motivational topics after creating the company Attitude is Altitude, and he launched a non-profit ministry, Life without Limbs, to spread his message of faith and hope around the world.
Nick has also authored several books. Amongst these are Life without Limits; Unstoppable and Love without Limits.
5.) Creflo Dollar – Creflo Dollar Ministries
Creflo Dollar got born again and gave his life to the Lord in the summer after his freshman year in college. He never had the desire to become a minister. He planned on becoming a professional football player.
After he got injured he started witnessing to students on campus while he was recovering from his injury. This led to another student getting born again, who in turn brought back ten more people. Before he knew what was happening, Creflo Dollar and his roommate were running a Bible study group in their dorm room.
Dr. Creflo Dollar received the vision for World Changers Ministries in 1986 and he started working on developing the ministry in the same year. The first worship service was held in a cafeteria of Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School in College Park. Eight people were in attendance. Today Creflo Dollar is ministering to thousands of people in meetings all over the world.
Creflo Dollar doesn’t pull any punches and call things as they are. He is known for his practical approach to the Bible, and how he reads it in the Bible is how he teaches it.
He is a popular conference speaker and a bestselling author. Some of the books he has authored are Why I hate Religion: 10 Reasons to Break Free from the Bondage of Religious Tradition; Overcoming Fear; and 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want: The Anatomy of a Successful Life.
An article you’ll enjoy: Facing Fear Head On
6.) Kenneth & Gloria Copeland – Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland started right at the bottom. If you want to see living proof of how God can change your life when you decide to make His Word the final authority in your life, this couple is the perfect example.
They started out, struggling with continual lack, debt, sickness and discouragement. They jokingly say that Gloria actually married Kenneth Copeland with his notes.
But trusting God, they decided to make God’s Word Final authority in their lives. They literally took what they read in the Bible and applied it to their lives. If any situation in their lives didn’t line up with what they read in the Bible, they changed what they did.
This proved to have been the best decision they could have made. It wasn’t too long before they began to experience God’s blessing in every area of their lives. They started prospering in joy, peace, freedom, health and love. They have a very practical approach and apply the Word literally as it is written.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries was founded in 1967, and since then thousands of Partners have learned to apply the Word to their lives through the teachings of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.
Both in their late seventy’s and more than 45 years in ministry, they are still going strong, spreading the message all over the world.
Both Kenneth and Gloria are bestselling authors and I have personally read many of their books. Books that have stood out for me personally are: The Blessing of the Lord – by Kenneth Copeland, and God’s Master Plan for Your Life – by Gloria Copeland. These books (including many of their other books) had a great impact on my life (which is also why you are able to read this very article).
A post you’ll enjoy: (Question of the day – 16 November 2015) – How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?
I would like to encourage you to stop listening to what other people say about people. Find out for yourself what that person said. Then test that against the Word of God.
Yes, the Bible does warn us against false prophets, and preachers who would only say things that people want to hear. In Mark 12:38-40 Jesus describes them. But judge according to the Word, not according to what other people say.
We are not to judge people; judgment is not ours. Judge what the person says based on the Word of God, and look at the fruit in the life of that person. Does he practice what he preaches, or is it all talk? His or her earthly possessions (or lack thereof) have nothing to do with us. Does the message line up with the Word?
This will enable you to decide for yourself who you can believe. Secondly, I believe that you now have sufficient proof that you don’t need the world’s permission to do what you need to do.
Are you ready to trust God? Do you have the courage to do what you were born to do?
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