32 Years and Counting

Sunday, April 8th, 1990, 10 AM worship service is when Dennis officially became Pastor at 15th Street Church of God in Leesburg! It was also my 39th Birthday! I am reflecting today how that we have moved thru our 40 age, 50 age, and 60 age while pastoring here! We merged two congregations in 2001 and moved our church location to 706 Urick Street in Fruitland Park (Covenant Life Church of God).
A song that reflects the past 32 years for me is…. 🎶He’s been Faithful, Faithful to me, Looking back His Love and Mercy I see; In my heart I have questioned even dared to Believe, Yet He’s been Faithful, Faithful to me! 🎶
I asked Dennis what song reflects the past 32 years for him. His reply was…. 🎶Through it all! Through it all! I’ve learned to Trust in JESUS, I’ve learned to trust in God; Through it all! Through it all! I’ve learned to Depend upon HIS WORD !🎶
Dennis and I have grateful hearts for our Father’s Love and care upon us – His called pastoral servants to this congregation~ past and present!
We both realize and confess that
“we’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord, trusting in His holy Word…..
He’s never failed us!”
We sing:
🎶Your goodness is running after- running after me! Your goodness is running after- running after me! With my life laid down I surrender now, I give You everything… Your goodness is running after- running after me! 🎶

15th Street Church of God in Leesburg (also known as Abundant Life)

Covenant Life Church of God in Fruitland Park (the new name given after the two churches merged in 2001)

Testimony of God’s Faithfulness

God is faithful during every crisis of life

All of us go through crisis situations in our lifetime.  Some of them are short-lived and quickly dealt with while others are drawn out over weeks, months, and even years.  The year 2014 started a long one for me personally.  I had just spent over 3 years helping to take care of my beautiful mother who was failing slowly before our eyes.  After we lost her in 2013, my life became even more stressful trying to deal with her loss, all the legal details involved with settling an estate.  Her estate was not large by any means, but the legal paperwork is just as complicated.

I had been getting mammograms yearly for several years.  At that time women were told to do so as a routine preventative measure.  The routine is getting the mammogram, then wait for them to give you the okay to leave or get a sonogram for a closer exam.  This time, I was given a sonogram and the technician seemed to take a long time looking at one area.  I still was not really concerned as I had benign lumps for years.  She showed me this one area and told me it was a cancerous lump.  She left to go get the doctor for further discussion.

When she walked out of that darkened room, it suddenly was filled with fear.  Fear so tangible, I could feel it.  Thank God for the Holy Spirit and all these years of learning the Bible.  Out of my spirit into my mouth came Scripture after Scripture declaring God’s provision, refusing fear and terror.  When the doctor came in she confirmed what the technician has shared with me.  She laid out the next steps required to deal with the cancer growing in my breast.  Astonishingly, I had no fear or anxiety left.  The Holy Spirit and the Word of God had banished it from the room.  I was able to hold a rational conversation and gather the needed information to do the follow-up required.

What followed was 2 surgeries, 35 radiation treatments, and 3 years of anti-cancer medications.  The journey was long and painful.  Many days of weariness never known before. Reactions to medicine to the point of near-death from one of them.  All during these trials, God was near.  I felt His presence over and over.  There were days I could hardly move due to the overwhelming tiredness that comes from radiation treatments.  I would be sitting there, knowing I needed to get up and prepare food to eat, yet so tired I could barely walk across the room.  Suddenly, a burst of energy would fill me, and knew someone was praying for me.  I would have a bill come due, with no money to pay it and the doorbell would ring and someone would bring me a check that covered the cost of the bill.  Over and over, the Lord stayed faithful to me and through me.  I willingly shared my testimony of His faithfulness to encourage others even during the trials.

Today, I am 5 years cancer-free.  The oncologist is only seeing me once a year just as a follow-up.  The victory was not instantaneous but it did happen.  I am sharing this for you all to realize and even recognize the Lord’s hand in your lives during a crisis.  Sometimes we are so inner focused we don’t see Him at work in our lives. The Scriptures that have sustained me are:

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Philippians 4:19  (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 54:17  (KJV)

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV)

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

May you be blessed today.  May you see Jesus in every step of your life.  He is always near by the Holy Spirit.  He always loves and cares for you.  Let your faith arise in His ability to bring you through whatever crisis you are facing today.

Haitham Besmar – Guest Speaker, Sunday, May 28th

Brother Haitham Besmar has a passion for telling others about Jesus, especially Muslims, having grown up a Muslim from birth.  The first time I personally met him, he told me a story about leading an elderly worker in a supermarket to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Brother Besmar has something to say that we at Covenant Life need to hear.  He will be speaking in the Sunday morning worship service, this Sunday, May 28th, 10 AM, at Covenant Life Church of God.  Your are invited and encouraged to attend to hear his testimony and catch his passion for souls!

Brother Besmar was a successful international economist for over 20 years in countries such as the Czech Republic, Russia, the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Europe.

He states in his bio, “After 50 years in Islam I was saved by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth when I was told by 2 hospitals that I had no chance of living.”

The Personal Testimony of Haitham Bessmar:

I was saved on my death bed by our Lord Jesus Christ and 2 days later I left the hospital on my own feet. Since then I have been dedicated to serve Him without compromise. I have been travelling around the USA to teach our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ on how to understand Islam and evangelize to Muslims without fear and how to shake the foundation of Islam to the core and without compromise but still reflecting the love of our Lord. I have taken part in many conferences and awareness classes through the Church of God in Florida including but not limited to the Church of God Growth conference and the annual Campmeeting and in other denominations around the USA.

I have established the “All for God” Mission for Muslim outreach and have indeed started distributing my Book, From Deception to the Truth, from Allah to God, under the pen name, Sam Daniels, as a tool of exposing the deception of Islam and the trueness of Christ and His Deity.

I am now serving the Lord full time and for His Glory.