On today’s episode of the #IKnowHim Podcast, our guest Randy Ray is sharing how his life has been impacted by the teachings of C.S. Lewis and how his admiration for this author led to a divine encounter with God while visiting Lewis’ house. Randy shares how this intimate moment taught him about God’s love for us and the love we are called to have for others.
On today’s episode of the #IKnowHim podcast our guest David O’Brien is sharing how his relationship with God continues to deepen as he navigates through hard conversations with God while being steadfast in his faith. He talks about learning how to claim the truth that God is worthy even when our hearts are heavy. David shares that in his experience, part of knowing God is the freedom to ask hard questions and the ability to be vulnerable, especially when walking through grief.
Today’s guest is Kyle Joy, a firefighter and co-founder of a nonprofit that partners with families in crisis in a unique way. He shares how seeing what God does in the aftermath of the flames took him from simply believing in God to knowing Him.
Our guest today is Homer Allison, founder and pastor at Battle Cry Ministries in Houston, Texas. One week after Hurricane Harvey devastated their community, Homer is sharing how they are seeing God move powerfully throughout the recovery and rebuilding process. His ministry team has developed a long term strategy to help the people of Houston not only rebuild their homes but find new life in Jesus, sharing the Gospel with every family they serve. To find out more information on their recovery efforts, their ministry, or how to support them financially click on the links below:
Our #IKnowHim story today was submitted by Kali Peddy, who one day found herself face to face with a truth that saved her life. Even in the trenches of depression, she knew that God was ever present, waiting to redeem, and longing to restore. Just as the sun continues to rise each day, she continues to experience God who is faithful to show up in the valleys, along the mountaintops, and every step of the way in between.
**Help us share her story and if you were inspired by her story be sure to leave her some encouragement in the comment section below!**
Chocolate milk saved my life! Well, not literally, but in the most important way, this is wholeheartedly true. Let’s back up…
I grew up in the good ol Texas Panhandle, splitting time between Canadian and Canyon in the all too familiar world of broken homes; my parents had divorced when I was 7 years old. I grew up with a preacher for a grandpa; I knew about Jesus. I went to church regularly until I was 11 years old. I was baptized in a pool in a New Mexico hotel during a youth ski trip with a church that I attended, mostly alone, during my entire high school existence. My mom and stepdad had long since quit attending, my brother had no interest, my younger half sister just did what my mom did, and so that left me, 15 year old Kali, to decide if going to church alone in a small town was worth the whispers and gossip and humiliation that I felt almost every time I stepped through those doors. I knew at 15 that I knew who Jesus was, wanted to be saved, was obedient through baptism, but nothing significant remains in my memory from that event in my life. I could point out dozens of moments in my life and claim that that was my “salvation moment.” I attended church camp every single summer for six years when I would visit my dad in the summer. I “knew” all the things to say and sing and believe but I had THE hardest time living it out. You could characterize my high school and early college years in the words of Johnny Lee: “Looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in all the wrong faces….” Yup. Guilty. Horribly so.
Until chocolate milk saved me. On a stateside mission trip to Branson, Missouri with Campus Crusade for Christ at Oklahoma State University, a chocolate milk demonstration finally revealed the all consuming, life giving, irrevocable love of Jesus. I was completely enraptured as chocolate syrup (representing Jesus and his Holy Spirit) was poured into a glass of milk (my life), and we were challenged to try to separate the syrup from the milk. It all made sense in that moment: when I proclaim to follow Jesus, declaring him my savior, surrendering my messy broken heart to his will, ain’t no amount of sin gonna separate that syrup from the milk. Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” LIBERATING! FREEDOM! RELIEF! I felt it all. That was such a monumental moment in my spiritual journey and what I consider my “salvation” moment. I knew it then, I had no doubts that I was saved; that I wanted to live for Jesus. It was amazing.
But we all know that life doesn’t always stay on the mountain top. There are moments and seasons in the valley. In a season of fear, and desperation, and loneliness shortly following my time on the mountain top, I hit absolute rock bottom.
I attempted suicide my junior year of college. My biggest secret; my darkest shame; my ultimate lack of trust.
My syrup was still there, but I was watering it down with all my might. For some reason, a full bottle of aspirin and alcohol seemed more attainable and fulfilling than my Jesus. Oh but his mercies are new every morning. Jesus crawled in my nasty, dark, broken life and pulled me back to the mountain top. Great is his faithfulness. He loved me through the shame, and heartache. His mercies never come to an end. My story didn’t end on the mountain top in Branson, Missouri. My story didn’t end in the darkest valley in Stillwater, Oklahoma in November of 2010. My story is new every morning.
Being a believer, a Christ follower does not guarantee a straight path from mountain top to mountain top; but it does guarantee a God who will walk with you, search you out, call you back, open doors, straighten winding paths, and wrap us up in love when we find ourselves in a valley. I will never stop loving my Jesus, I will never stop serving my great God, I will never stop being grateful for the steadfast love of the Lord.
Has God ever met you in a hard place? When did you come to understand that there is nothing that can hinder His love for you? We want to hear your thoughts! Tell us about your experiences in the comment section of the blog!
Want to tell YOUR story? Click HERE to submit your story to be featured on the blog!
We are pleased to invite Roxy Hall to the #IKnowHim podcast! Roxy is a mother to many as she is a passionate advocate for children in the foster care system. We are honored to partner with her in ministry as we dive in to how she has personally experienced God in her life. She is passionate about telling her story and our prayer is that this episode of the #IKnowHim podcast will be encouraging, inspiring, and maybe will shed some light on how we can be a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves. Sit back, enjoy the episode, and leave her some encouragement in the comment section! **Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get each new episode automatically as they become available!**
After several long months we are thrilled to share the very first episode of the #IKnowHim Podcast! We have worked for this so long and prayed about this next step for #IKnowHim even longer! We know that God will move mightily through the testimonies and conversations offered through this platform and are prayerful that you will be encouraged and inspired to see Him move mightily in your life as well.
Click HERE to see it on iTunes and subscribe to get the latest episodes! If you have a second, leave a review while you are there so we can hear what you think!
On this episode of the #IKnowHim podcast, we are talking with Julia Grief, a missionary who serves in Africa in addition to being a college educator in the states. In this conversation we cover topics such as what people really think missionary work is, how God met her in the middle of a jail cell, and how her life continues to be radically impacted daily by knowing God. Be sure to check out her blog to follow her journey back to Africa and support her ministry efforts by clicking the links below.
Help us spread the word about #IKnowHim by ordering your own graphic tee! These shirts are SUPER soft and are available in a V-Neck or a Crew for adults, and we are also offering youth shirts in the Crew Neck! This is a great way to get your whole family involved and 100% of your purchase will go towards helping us continue the ministry of sharing hope and the name of Jesus, as we further our reach to share the Gospel + what it means to know Him.
After you order, don’t forget to tag us on social media of where you are wearing your apparel so we can celebrate those spreading the message of #IKnowHim all over the world! Use #IKnowHimAmbassador to submit your photo! We can’t wait to see this message travel!
Today’s story was submitted by Mandy Pugh. Read her story below to see how God revealed He had a greater plan for her life.
As a teenager, I can remember so many times talking to God and asking him into my heart but never taking that next step to salvation. There was still something holding me back. I truly believe God places people in your life for a reason. My high school sweetheart’s family were devout Christians. They will never truly know the impact they had on my life. Even though it wasn’t exactly for the right reasons, I started attending church with them. I knew God was working in my life. On July 31, 1998, God gave me a second chance at life. I was in a horrible vehicle accident. For three days, I was in a medical induced coma due to the brain injury I sustained. I walked away from the accident with a major concussion and minor scraps and bruises. Many people would say I am lucky to be here today due to the fact I was wearing my seat belt that morning. I know in my heart it wasn’t by chance or luck that I was given another chance at life. God had other plans for me. After the accident, something inside of me changed. I wanted to savor every moment in my life but still I hesitated. I want to think that I had to completely hit my lowest for me to see how much I needed God in my life.
I remember sitting in the pew at Porter Springs Baptist Church and I knew in my heart it was time. I had waited too long and God had a purpose for my life even though I still wasn’t quiet sure what that was at the time. I was baptized in April 2002. Almost a year and a half later, I married my best friend. Life was great. I gave birth to our first daughter in April of 2006 and the second just sixteen months later. Family has always been important to me. My family was shaken in 2008 when circumstances sent my father away for almost a year. Being a “daddy’s girl”, I couldn’t wrap my mind around it all. I was crushed and questioned why. As we communicated, he would tell me that he was reading his Bible daily and knew God would get us through it. Here I was questioning God and turning my back on Him when He was the one person I needed to be turning to. I had to get down on my knees and beg God for forgiveness.
Proverbs 3:4-5 “Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” This verse has such a powerful meaning. We can’t lose sight of God in our times of trouble but, instead, we must turn to Him. Give praise to Him and trust in the plan He has for your life. I am blessed to say that I am a born again Christian. A year ago, God laid it on my heart to take the role as Team Leader for Children’s Ministry at my church. What a blessing it is watching children come to know and trust in Jesus Christ. God is working in my life daily and can’t wait to see what else he has planned for me. What a blessing it is to know Him!… and an even greater blessing every day to know Him more.
Has God revealed a different plan to you, other than your own? How does trusting in God’s plan for your life rather than leaning on your own understanding influence your daily decisions? How have you experienced this in your life? We’d love to hear your thoughts, leave your comment in the section below! You can also SHARE YOUR STORY here!
#IKnowHim story submitted by Mandy Pugh
Our #IKnowHim story today comes from Natalie who shares about a time in her life when God revealed Himself to her as her strength and comfort during a difficult summer. She is sharing her story today with hopes to encourage others going through difficult seasons with five characteristics of God that remain true no matter the circumstances.
As I pulled away from the coffee shop after saying goodbye that Sunday afternoon, I began weeping. With tears clouding my eyes, I managed to navigate onto the freeway for the long drive home. Alone. I thought of all the people around me driving to their various destinations and wondered if any felt as sad as me, or were they all happy on this sunny summer Sunday?
My husband and I had been living four hours apart for several months because of his job. His help was necessary at another facility, and while I was proud of his skillset, it broke my heart for us to be apart. I hated saying goodbye on Sundays. I came to dread the end of every weekend because it meant a week of being alone, of worrying about my husband working incredibly long hours, and of dealing with all things happening back home.
Things were falling apart. My car was having mechanical issues, our shower in the master bedroom was leaking causing the wood to rot, and worst of all, our daughter was struggling terribly with anxiety. I decided the best thing to do on that car ride home was to turn on some worship music to lift my spirits; otherwise, I was going to unravel completely. As I began to worship and pray, I cried out to the Lord.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT
I desperately needed God’s mercy, His grace, and His comfort. My heart felt broken and the separation was very difficult, but I trusted that the Lord would carry us through this tough season. He is a gracious and compassionate Father, One whom I can come to at any time with my needs. I can approach His throne boldly knowing He hears the cries of my heart, and He is willing to offer me grace, mercy, and unending love.
That summer was particularly challenging; however, I continually approached the throne of God asking for fresh grace for the day, for His mercy, for strength, for healing for our daughter, for the work assignment to end quickly, for protection for my husband, and for the courage to manage our home alone.
When you walk through hard times, it is helpful to remember five things:
- God is on the throne, sovereign over all
- He will not allow you to be overcome
- He is faithful to carry out His promises in the Word
- He is ready to listen to all your heart’s cries
- He will never leave your side.
God knows all about our struggles, our pain, our worries, our fears, our trials, and our weaknesses, but we have hope because of who God is. He is trustworthy, He is mighty, He is holy, and He is loving. We can cast our cares on the Lord and believe that He will help us get through the rough patches. He loves us beyond measure. He is our Comforter, our Protector, our good, good Father.
Natalie is a Bible teacher, speaker, and writer who blogs about everyday things using anecdotes of faith, marriage, food, and friendship. She loves the sunshine, fine chocolate, reading, and traveling.