After almost a year of prayer, refining, and growing, I am overjoyed to share BIG news today!

I am now booking speaking engagements for 2017! This is a huge step of faith, but God has affirmed that after almost a year, it is time. God has put a fire in my bones and a word in my heart to challenge and encourage believers to boldly tell the world what God has done for them. That it is through the words of our testimonies that darkness is defeated and the name of Jesus is lifted high. It is through our stories of God on the move, stories that communicate God is real, God is here, and He is good that others will gather to hear the Gospel and first hand experiences of the saving power of the cross.

There has been so much going on behind the scenes that I cannot wait to share with you all, but this is one of my biggest dreams for #IKnowHim right now. To get the message out about what it means to know God, and why it is so important to tell the world that “I Know Him.” 

#IKnowHim

To bring the message of #IKnowHim to your church or event, please email

iknowhimblog {at} hotmail {dot} com  and my team will be in contact with you shortly.

I ask that you be praying over the ministry of #IKnowHim, that God would open doors and prepare hearts to hear the message, and these same individuals would have the courage to partner with us in telling their story. Thank you so much for your support over this last year, I know that God is moving powerfully through this community. As our focus for the blog remains on being a platform for others to share their stories, I am praying that God continues to bring stories and that each of you are inspired by the things shared here, and that you see God in your midst as well throughout this Christmas season.

Are you ready to share your story and join the fight? Click here to submit! We can’t wait to hear from you! Also, be sure to subscribe to get stories straight to your inbox as soon as they are published!

Grace and Peace,

Rachel Sweatt

Rachel Sweatt

28
Nov

Our #IKnowHim story today was submitted by Kyle Joy, who recently had an incredible experience with God in the midst of a family tragedy. God’s tangible presence stood with them in the fire, and when his family emerged, they came out in strength, power, and with a God-given purpose. 

ThirdStrand from Third Strand on Vimeo.

We are so honored to share a brief message from Kyle to the #IKnowHim community. Below you will find links where you can partner with Third Strand in a variety of ways. Please feel free to leave him and his team some encouragement in the comment section as they faithfully take each step forward in obedience, to share the message that God has a plan. As a community of believers, we would love for you to join with us in prayer for their faith to be strengthened and their hearts to be encouraged while they strive to honor Kalee and her sweet baby Cru, with this organization. 

“Our mission is to advocate for Healthy, Nursing babies in need of donor human breast milk, with our primary focus being nursing babies who have tragically lost a mother and nursing mothers who are unable to breastfeed due to a life-threatening illness.

The babies that we serve do not qualify for charitable donor breast milk from NonProfit Milk Banks. 100% of the milk distributed from these Milk Banks goes to premature babies in NICUs and sick babies in outpatient care. This, despite the growing trend of loving and generous mothers rallying together to donate gallons upon gallons of breast milk to these healthy babies.

Until you are thrust into this situation, you do not realize or appreciate the need for this donated milk to be thoroughly screened and pasteurized to ensure the safety and health of the baby. The only safe way to feed any baby donated breast milk is for the milk to be properly screened and pasteurized. Currently, Milk Banks are the only avenue to receive this milk, and healthy babies do not qualify for the milk without a hefty price tag ($1,000 / week to feed a newborn baby).

Our mission is to organize, collect and manage the breast milk donations generated by these horrific events and deliver it to NonProfit Milk Banks in exchange for pasteurized donor milk to feed the healthy baby for up to 8 weeks. This also ensures that the milk that was donated is put to use by feeding babies being served by the Milk Banks. In essence, our model is a continuous model of ‘paying-it-forward.’

Third Strand is about much more than delivering milk and feeding babies, however. Third Strand is a story and a testimony of rising from the ashes and being able to see God’s great plan at work in all our lives. Our tragedy brought feelings of doubt, anger, despair and question in the initial days. However, those feelings quickly turned to a humbling sense of feeling blessed and loved by our friends, our family, our church, our community, and most importantly, God. Kalee’s death has grown our spiritual relationship with God and presented us with the opportunity to pay forward the lessons we learned and the power of God’s unending love.

I hope that you hear our story and can relate to our message. I also hope that our testimony is one of strength and encouragement in that God does have a plan for every single one of us, and even though, sometimes, that plan isn’t what we want, he knows what he’s doing.”

Kyle

For more information on Third Strand, click HERE.

To support them in their campaign to spread the message of Third Strand, click HERE.

Have you experienced God? Do you have a story that reflects God is real, He is here, and He is good? We’d love to hear how God is moving in your life and the things He has done. Click here for more information on how to submit your story! We can’t wait to hear from you!

This #IKnowHim story was submitted by Bailey Wesley, a young mom who shares a painful time in her life when she experienced God’s unfailing presence and grace despite her resentment. She honors her brother by sharing their story and wants to encourage others to find rest in the Lord. 

If you were encouraged by her testimony, please help us share her story and continue to pray for those that will be moved to consider beginning a new relationship with Jesus, as well as those that need to begin addressing deep, painful wounds and emotions with God face on. What an incredible reminder, that He is never surprised or taken aback by our emotions or resistance, but only loves us all the more and is only that much more motivated to restore us with His unfailing grace.

Do you have a story to share? Have you had a supernatural experience with God or felt His presence in your midst? We want to hear from you! Click here to submit your story.

You can follow Bailey’s journey over at her blog, The Life of a Wesley Wife.

31
Oct

Today’s #IKnowHim story was submitted by Stan Garrison, who shares how God revealed Himself while in the midst of a heartbreaking season. Even while Stan remains in the trenches of this difficult time in his family’s life, Stan was led to remind others that God is here, He is good, and He is always on the move. 

If you were inspired by Stan’s story be sure to leave him some encouragement and share his testimony! Have you experienced God in a powerful way? We want to hear your story as well! Click here for more information on how to share your #IKnowHim story. 

#IKnowHim from IKnowHim on Vimeo.

Written by Sydney Clark and produced by Blake Cartrite of Simple and Historic.

This video has been in the works for several months and we are so excited to finally launch it into the world. The ministry of this video has had a covering of prayer and every single person that will watch it has had someone intercede on their behalf.  We are believing that God will use this video to GATHER. That He would gather those that believe to those that have yet to know Him. We are praying that followers of Jesus are inspired to boldly share what God has done for them, and for hearts and minds everywhere to reflect on what a relationship with Him means. We would love for you to share this video to help us spread the message of the Gospel far and wide.

The #IKnowHim video is available as a resource for ministry, contact us for more information.

Let us know how this video inspired you! We are so encouraged by your support and are always excited to hear how God is moving through the #IKnowHim community!

 

10
Oct

Our featured #IKnowHim story today was submitted by Jessie Pope, a young mother of 3 sweet daughters. In the toughest season of her life, she shares the moment when God revealed the truth that He knew HER. Read her story and imagine a God that knows it all, yet loves all the more. 

 

We fully know God, when we realize that He already fully KNOWS us…

It’s kind of like that awful feeling you get in your stomach when you’re in the middle of your “it’s a summer morning and we have nothing to do routine” and you hear a knock on your door. What?  You know the feeling? You look around in sheer panic; your kids have you and your house in pieces…. Naked Barbies with clothes who knows where, blocks no where near their block containers, snack cups in literally every room in your home (only because your “super intense snacking almost two year old” followed you into every room every twenty minutes with said snack cups, AFTER you had fed her the most nutritious fulfilling breakfast you could think of, BEGGING you for the snack that goes inside and then dropping the snack cup in the room after she turns into the SNACK HULK when you deny her said snack ( not that that happens in my house often or anything)), you’re not sure if you have brushed your teeth- but your pretty sure your 8 year old has (and that makes you feel even worse about yourself; but you have had coffee so maybe it will cover up any ungodly morning breath smell that’s still lingering), your 8 year old is running to the door while your scrambling to change the Hulks diaper because its 9 am and you still haven’t, she’s yelling at you that its her CPS worker and your yelling back not to open because that’s all you need is the CPS worker documenting that you let your 8 year old open the front door of your home without you being right there to make sure she isn’t a burglar, rapist or some other AWFUL person or villain that you had previously spent way too much time in bed worrying about the night before! “NO,” your heart sinks a little into your stomach… “I just don’t want anyone to see us like this.”

That’s how I’ve felt in my life with Jesus for a while now. I don’t want him to come in; I don’t want him to see the mess. I don’t want him to see how hard it is for me to roll out of bed in the morning twenty minutes after my 8 year old has already been up waiting (somewhat like a new puppy) to see what her new mom has planned for her for the day. When in reality her new mom is struggling to feel like her mom at all and has NO idea how she is going to love all three of these baby girls the Lord has given her well.  I don’t want him to see that I literally made no effort to spend any time with him at all that morning or the three mornings before that and that instead of craving his word I am only craving the worlds largest cup of coffee and the Today show (which I can’t watch because I have an 8 year old now who hears and listens to EVERYTHING). I want to hide the fact that I have never known my own selfishness more than I do now that I’ve invited a sweet girl with no mom or dad to come into our home so we can be that for her. I want to hide from him that I loose my cool with my littlest because I feel like I have “no cool” left, that I can’t remember the last time I prayed over the sweet unborn little girl inside of me because I feel like I am drowning and by the time I put my babes down for bed all I want is to eat my secret ice cream in peace and watch something that I don’t have to think about, kiss my husband (who I am completely not deserving of) and roll over to sleep because I know I have to do this again tomorrow and I’m not sure I know if I can.

And then like a ton of bricks it hits me …

“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel- and God KNEW.” Exodus 2:23-25

“and God Knew!” He knew! He knew the state of His children. They were crying out and He heard. He HEARD and He ACTED on their behalf.

I’m pretty sure I burst into tears when I read this. God knows.

See, I had read this passage months before our sweet 8 year old came to make her home with us forever. It meant the world to me then because our journey to get her was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. In that moment it meant that I knew God knew my heart, He knew how much I wanted us to be able to intercede on her behalf, He knew my heart was full of love for this girl and was ready to take her in. He knew and He would act. And he DID!

But reading it this time brought more emotions, sobs, and ugly “I’m really pregnant” cries than the time before. The thing is, it’s an encouraging thought to think that God knows you when you’re in His word, seeking His face, going to bible study once a week, TALKING about how you are going to love your orphan girl and point her to Jesus and how it’s not going to be hard to love her as much as you love your own kids. The table turns when you read that God sees you and HE KNOWS you when you’re in one of the hardest and ugliest times of your life. Because it’s then that you have to make a choice. Am I going to realize that God knows me in this state and YET still LOVES me and is FOR me? Or, am I going to believe the Deceiver and believe that there’s no way the true God can truly love me after knowing everything about me?

He does know and He does love. He loves BIG. This summer has been the scariest roller coaster I have ever been on. I’ve never felt stranded in fear, anxiety, selfishness, self-loathing, exhaustion, and just pure defeat like I have in this time. But here’s what I’m learning. God knows and he sees. He sees the mess, he sees my impatience, he sees that learning how to love two kids with the same amount of love is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, He knows I fill up with fear and worry thinking about how I will possibly love the third one. He knows that because of my state of mind I’ve been unloving and impatient with the life partner he has given me, and He knows that my heart has acted out of anything but the Father’s love – and yet. And yet… He. Still. Loves. Me. He loves me not because of my good days or weeks or moments- he loves me because when He sees me, He sees Jesus’ blood and righteousness. God knows my sin- he knew it two thousand years ago as he laid surrendered on a beautiful wretched cross. He knew then and he knows now and he has never stopped loving and he never will.

Because of Jesus I know that I can be fully known by God and yet STILL fully loved. Because I realize he knows me fully I can know him fully. I know his love, his patience, his kindness, his steadfastness. It’s never changing and never ending.

So my challenge is this- when that knock on the door comes and all you want to do is keep Him out for fear of him seeing you and knowing you; OPEN it! Let him in. He already knows you, He sees you, and believe me -He LOVES you.

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26
Sep

Today we are featuring an #IKnowHim story submitted by full-time vocational missionaries Allie and Alvan Morales. They love Jesus more than anything, and in their short time of being married and full time missionaries they have seen the hand of God provide just what they needed at just the right time. If you are inspired by their story or would love to pray for them, leave them a comment of encouragement as they continue to fight the good fight all over the world in the name of Jesus.

You can read more about YWAM Sarasota here.

If you are interested in following their journey, you can read the latest here! There, you can also find ways to partner with them in prayer and support, as well as an opportunity to stay connected by subscribing to updates.

Please help us share their story by sharing this video on social media using #IKnowHim, and feel free to tag us so we know you watched it! If you have experienced God in a way that left you knowing God is real, He is here, and He is good we would love to hear it! You can submit your story HERE. We are so honored to lift the name of Jesus with you all! 

 

Today’s #IKnowHim story comes from someone that knew about Jesus his whole life. Read Dr. Wolfe’s story to see how his life changed when he realized that this was not the same as knowing Jesus, and how desiring to really know Him has influenced every area of his life. 

I grew up in church—my Dad was a pastor. I gave my life to Jesus and was baptized at a very early age. But it wasn’t until my third year of college that I really began to surrender myself to the all-encompassing truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If the gospel is true, it is radically true. It claims to touch every area of my life and to define my very existence: once lost and dead in sin, the gospel brought me to life through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5). The gospel took me from total ruin before God to total favor in Him.

For two years (yes, I was on the 5-year plan) I sat in the parking lot of Lamar University in Beaumont, TX every single morning, digging into God’s Word and prayerfully searching the heart of this God who had redeemed me. I figured that if I claimed to believe what was in this Book, I had better start familiarizing myself with its contents. The result: I grew in my faith more in those two years than I had my entire life. The words of the Psalmist became the daily cry of my heart: “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me. I cling to Your decrees; Lord, do not put me to shame. I pursue the way of Your commands, for You broaden my understanding,” (Psalm 119:30-32). God opened my eyes in those years to how He was working within me, through me, and around me.

It became increasingly apparent to me that if this gospel really was what it claimed to be, there was no part of my life it should not touch. If I had staked my claim on the reality of God’s mercy and grace found at the foot of Jesus’s cross, then I could stand on nothing other than the authority and sufficiency of His Word in every area of my life. I still struggled with obedience to God’s Word in many ways. My witness was far from perfect. At times I look back on those years with shame to know that my words and actions often defamed the name of Christ instead of faming it. But in those moments, at the lowest point of my humbled regret, God reminds me that there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1). True forgiveness and acceptance of a changed heart is not common from those who have witnessed our past failures. But for the Christian who humbles himself in confession of sin, “God is faithful and just to forgive, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9). Through testimonies of restoration (and through blogs such as this one), the God of our salvation redeems even our failures for His glory.

There have been many catalyst moments in my walk with Jesus over the years. But this sweet time of daily communion with God changed me in the deepest places of my heart. In those two years, my testimony in Christ changed from, “I know Him,” to, “I KNOW Him; and I long to know Him more.” Jesus defined eternal life as such: “that they might come to know You, the One who is from the beginning, and the Son whom You have sent,” (John 17:3). As it turns out, the more I come to know God, the more I long to know Him. “As a deer pants for streams of water,” so I long for my God; “I thirst for God, the living God,” (Psalm 42:1-2). During those college years when my faith really began to take root, I learned that knowing God intimately is both the present responsibility and the eternal reward of those who humbly seek Him.

Admittedly, I am so far from what I should be. But through the blood of Jesus Christ, my daily failures are scandalously overcome by the extravagant love of my Heavenly Father. Even as a pastor now, my daily pursuit is also my daily prize: to know Him more. And as I contemplate the wonders of His great love for me and the depths of His mercy and grace, I long for the day when I will “know [Him] fully, as I am fully known,” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

 

#IKnowHim. Do you?

 

 

Dr. Tony Wolfe, Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church Lovelady, TX

 

Dr. Wolfe

God has big things in store for this new season of #IKnowHim. We are excited to watch Him gather people and stories that reveal God is here, God is real, and He is good. Our goal is to overcome the darkness of the world with the light of the Gospel.

This is our next battle move.

We wait. God gathers. Darkness Flees.

We’d love for you to join us in the fight of overcoming darkness with #IKnowHim stories, in hopes that this will only be the beginning for you. My prayer is that sharing your story here gives you courage to share it everywhere, with normal people in ordinary conversations, daily. The enemy knows that if people were to really believe that God was in our midst, he would lose massive strongholds. I believe that the #IKnowHim movement could be the catapult for countless individuals meeting God for the first time and experiencing the true hope that the cross brings. Let’s tell the world who He is.

Grace and peace,

Rachel

Last week my son woke up crying in the middle of the night. It was the type of cry that my feet arrived at his bedside before my brain had processed what was happening. When I scooped him up his body was radiating heat and he was clearly running a fever. I laid him on our bed and gave him something to reduce his fever. Then I prayed that God would help him to feel better. Typically when I give my kids something to lower their temperature it works with in 30 minutes. This night after half an hour he was still in our bed clutching his head in pain from the headache. I started to feel fear and began to worry that it was something more than a typical childhood illness, something much more ominous. At that point I had prayed through many versions of “God help him feel better” all that I had left to say was one word, Jesus. I whispered the name of Jesus over my son because this is the name of God that I know best.

Jesus is the name that I speak many times in a day, sometimes in prayer and sometimes just to remind myself that He is sovereign over each moment. I have spoken His name aloud when I enter the hospital room of a child who is suffering with an illness. I have spoken His name when I am sitting in a funeral and witness the depth of grief loved ones are experiencing. I also speak His name in happier moments, like the first time I hold a newborn baby or when a critically ill patient is discharged from the hospital. The name of Jesus certainly has a powerful meaning, but I speak this name most often because this is the name by which I KNOW Him.

I have experienced Jesus as He healed the critically ill patient, just as He healed the blind man in scripture. I have seen a grieving family comforted by Jesus, just as Jesus comforted Mary and Martha after Lazarus’ death. I have witnessed the joy that Jesus brings when a new child is given to a family through adoption, just as His own birth surely brought joy to Mary and Joseph. Witnessing Jesus do these things helps me to KNOW Him. I am certain that many of you have experienced Jesus in your own life. #IKnowHim is a platform for you to tell your story so that His name can be glorified.

Each of the names of God that we have meditated on this summer not only have profound meanings, but they are also how we can experience God and know Him. Knowing about Jesus is nothing compared to experiencing Him, just as I experienced Him when I called out to Jesus while my son struggled with his fever. The next morning, my son’s fever was gone and he was completely healed of any symptoms. This is how I know Jesus is real, He is good, and He is moving in the world today!

There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.” Jeremiah 10:6

Amy

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