Friday, August 24, 2007

Testimony of the Year!!!

As a songwriter, you live to hear the stories of God using your music to bless the lives of his people. I was forwarded this e-mail this morning. It was sent to Steven Furtick, senior pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte. Steven and I wrote a song called Ready To Be Restored and the song intersected with a woman’s story and helped point her to Jesus…I could not stop crying the first time I read this. I now have an answer for the question "does what I do matter"...thank you Jesus!

(The Testimony of Teri Miller)
I will try to make this short and sweet, but I'll probably only be able to
follow through with latter the of the two. I am Teri Miller. I am 33 years
old and I have never gone to church. Never known Jesus. Never known God.
Definitely don't know the Bible.

I have a friend, Kirsten Bynum. Kirsten and I have been friends for almost
20 years. Kirsten has always gone to church. Known Jesus. Known God.
Kirsten has always, always asked me to come to church with her. I've always
put her off, coming up with different excuses each time. Who needs church?
It messes up my Sundays.

Several months ago, I noticed a wedge developing between me and my friend of
20 years. Concerned about this, I asked her if she noticed what I was
noticing. Not only did she notice it, she said it was intentional. Scared
to death of what was going to come out of her mouth, I asked her why. Her
response? "Teri, I have been waiting for the right time and the right way
approach you with this. I love you and that's why I
need you to know Jesus. I
need to know that you are saved and I need to know that I don't have to
worry about your salvation. I am not doing my job if I don't help you."
There was a different tone to her voice than
in the past, so I knew she meant business. This was more than just "come to
church with me." I
thought to myself "wow, she
really cares about me - that's pretty cool". Let me just tell her I'm going
to church with her to appease her. That will get her off my back about
going. Because who needs church? I've been just fine without God.

Then, I realize that we have to haul ourselves all the way to Porter Ridge
High School in Union County. At a high school? Really? You want me to
come all the way over there for church? I'm in the University area in
Charlotte and you want me to come all the way over there? To watch a
preacher on a screen? Really? I definitely don't need this church.

I used to laugh at Kirsten because she would say that she didn't want her
son to be born on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday morning because she
didn't want to miss church. Miss church? What's the big deal? Church is
boring. If you need some churching - turn on the tv and find a preacher -
open your bible and
read a couple of pages - but who cares if you miss church one
Sunday morning? Who needs church?

So.....on Sunday, June 10th me, my husband and our two children packed up
for our long haul to Union County for church. A parking crew? Smiling
at church? "Hi! Welcome to Elevation" screamed at us from every direction.
What? People want to be
here? They've got to be drinking the kool-aid.

Sunday, June 10th changed my life forever.

The sermon we heard was week 4 of Deep. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed
the worship and sermon, I was still skeptical. I've never needed church,
why do I need it now? So I came back the next week to see last week was a
fluke. I felt the same way this week. So I came back the next week. And
the next. And I haven't missed one since.

This Sunday morning, August 19, 2007 I accepted Jesus Christ into my life as
my personal Lord and Savior. There was no pomp and circumstance - so I hope
it's official! I was alone in my car on the way for my first day of
for the first time guests. I was playing "The Sound" cd and a song began.
It was a song that I've heard over and over again, "Restored" - but just
like page 23 for you - this song touched me in a way that I did not expect.
Tears were streaming down my face before I knew what was happening.
"Healer, come and make me whole. Make me over. Here in this moment.
Abandon my will. I am broken and poor...ready to be restored" It was
at that moment, sobbing, that I said a prayer out loud in my car asking
to enter my life and my heart and help me to be more like Him. At our small
tonight, I asked Kirsten to pray out loud with me about my decision - so as
to make
it a little more "official"! I also wanted her to know that she didn't need
to worry about my salvation any more.


brent said...

We can't possibly have any idea of the impact we have and the lives we touch through our obedience to the Lord. He knows how to milk every experience to fullest for everyone involved. Our only job is to love Him and He will use us. This gives us significance - purpose - fulfillment.

This morning I read Mark 4:26-29 from the Message Bible. It a story about the Kingdom where a man throws seed on a field and forgets about it. He's surprised by his harvest. I think Father enjoys surprising us.



allybelle said...

i just wanted to say that i LOVE the song honestly!!! i personnally didnt get to go to camp but some people from my youth ministry went!! but ilove your music!! thank you!!


DeaconTim said...

Hey, Carl
Just wanted to leave a note.
Haven't run into you lately.
From reading your Blog, it sounds like you're heart and goals are still on track with the Lord. Keep on rollin' on. You'll never know the full impact of your ministry this side of Heaven, but I'm firmly convinced that a life well lived for Christ is worth swimming against the currents we find in this world.

Stacie said...

I am an ELEVATOR and have The Sound CD as well. That song is one of my top 3 favorites! It tears me up every time I hear it too. I sing at the top of my lungs in the car (not very well) to GOD when this song comes on. Thank you so much for your help on this cd.