I reflect on my heritage A LOT! I have no other word but “thankful” for the life that God has enriched me with. I am blessed beyond anything I deserve!
When I was asked to share about growing up/being reared in the House of the Lord, my first thought was, “Oh my! How in the world do I even put into words what 34 years of knowing and serving Jesus at Calvary Temple has meant to me? It’s impossible!!” But, I will give it my best shot.
I came to Calvary Temple in the summer of 1981 with my Dad and two sisters. The Lord brought us there through my Uncle and Aunt at a very vulnerable time in my Dad’s life. I don’t remember much about those days, but I do remember giving my heart to Jesus in Children’s Church shortly after we started attending when I was 4 years old.
I started preschool at Calvary Temple that fall and continued through the 5th grade. I loved it! I loved going to Sunday School. I loved going to Children’s Church. I loved going to school. I was devastated when we were taken out of school after my 5th grade year and put in public school. We were still attending church at Calvary Temple, for which I was always thankful, but my heart ached to go back to school there! I KNEW what I was missing.
From the 6th grade through 9th grade I attended public school. And even though I hated it, looking back, I can see so many areas where God was at work in my life. Those four years of life, I believe were used by God to show me so much. The Lord used those four years to show me that there is NOTHING in the world that satisfies but Him – not popularity or acceptance; not drinking, drugs or partying; not sex; not having a boyfriend, etc. I saw all these things taking place in the lives of so many and how empty it left them. I began to be labeled as a “goodie-goodie” and a “snob” because I wouldn’t go to parties or have a boyfriend or cuss…you get the picture. There were very few people who accepted me for who I was and what I believed. I lived for the re-charge I would get on Sunday and Wednesday services during those four years!
The summer after my eighth grade year was life-changing for me. It was a Wednesday night service, which back then we had Youth Group on Wednesday nights. This particular Wednesday night we stayed in the service to watch a Fire by Nite video that Pastor Forbe had on his heart to share with everyone. I don’t remember the name of the video or everything that was in it, but the message is what brought conviction to my heart. It talked about why good people go to hell. I recognized that night that my life had become about just being a “good” girl – trying to keep up an image rather than living all out for Jesus – no matter the environment! I had kept myself pure from the world on the outside (only by the grace of God), but my heart was being vexed and I didn’t even realize it. It scared me!! I made a once-for-all decision that night that I was going to live my life all out for Jesus. I re-dedicated my heart to Him that night. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but something new was birthed in my heart.
I spent a whole year after that still in public school. I still longed to be back in school at Calvary Temple, but instead of focusing on why it wasn’t happening, I began to commit it to prayer. In that year, the Lord worked such a thankfulness and appreciation in my heart for Calvary temple. I truly became real to me that the Lord knew the desires of my heart and that I needed to trust Him with those desires.
It was the summer after 9th grade where I remember Pastor Scott saying, and I don’t recall verbatim, but it was on his heart that all the kids that were faithfully coming to services be part of the school as well. My heart leaped!! I expressed my desire to my Dad and that fall I started my 10th grade year back to school at CalvaryTemple. It was a privilege to come back to school and be able to graduate there!
It was at Calvary Temple where the Lord ordered the steps of my husband in November of 1995, who at the time was headed down a devastating path in life. He walked into a Wednesday night service and encountered the presence of God and heard God’s Word taught with such beauty, purpose and clarity that he was never the same. We were married almost 4 years later.
It was at Calvary Temple where the Lord reunited my parents in marriage in 1997 after being divorced for 16 years. I stand in awe at the great work of Jesus that has been done in my Mom’s life and in their marriage.
It was at Calvary Temple where my children were born, dedicated to the Lord and are now being reared by the same people who dedicated their lives to minister and sow into my life. There is no greater joy in my heart to know that they will have the same Godly heritage that I have, should the tarry and they continue to serve Jesus. To know nothing else but Jesus!!
I have shared all these details (which was REALLY hard to condense!!) to boast on Jesus. I am thankful for Calvary Temple and the family of believers that I have their. It’s my home! In the 34 years that I’ve been attending, so much of the Word of God has been poured into me in and through so many avenues. I’m thankful for Pastor Scott, who truly cares about the flock that he’s been entrusted with and who continues to stand in obedience to God and His Word! I’m thankful for the other men of God (pastors and deacons) who have answered the call of God on their lives and given themselves in service to the Lord and the Body of Christ. I’m thankful for friends (ones that I’ve had for 34 years and ones that I’ve known a short time) that are faithful to speak the Word of God into my life – whether I need encouragement or a swift kick in the butt! I’m thankful for the Body of believers there who have ALWAYS been there for me – to offer a word of encouragement, prayers, fellowship, etc. It’s humbling to see men and women of God lay down their lives to serve each other on a daily basis. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35. I’m thankful for the Spirit of God that dwells there and is doing great and mighty things in our midst!
Because of all that I’ve been given so freely, I just want to be able, with my life, give back in a small way. Whether it is being able to serve in the Children’s Ministry, which I’ve been involved in since I graduated in 1995 or ministering once a month at a local Women’s Detention Center or volunteering at our annual Cheer and Soccer camps or as of this year, one that I immensely enjoy, volunteering twice a week to assist with the 1st and 2nd grade class at school. Wherever I have the privilege of ministering, my hearts desire is for others to see and come to know Jesus just as I have known Him my whole life.
Growing up in the house of the Lord didn’t mean that life was easy for me. Serving Jesus is a DAILY decision (Luke 9:23). It requires obedience to God and His Word (James 1:22). I haven’t always gotten it right and there have been times where things were so hard, it would have been easier to just give up. Regardless of what I’ve ever been through, God has always, always, always been faithful to see me through, help me make tough choices and by His grace continue to faithfully serve Him – His Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and He will finish the work He started in me (Phil. 1:6)!
I could go on and on and on…but I’ll stop here. I pray that everything I wrote makes sense and conveys what’s in my heart that is SO difficult to put into words. 34 years of knowing and faithfully serving Jesus – Lord Jesus, thank You! Help me Lord to never lose sight of all that You’ve done and continue to do in my life as a result of being a part of such an amazing ministry!!
So, so thankful… Erin
About Calvary Temple
Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.
Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.
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