On November 16, COTHA is hosting an amazing opportunity for women to fellowship and talk about their faith. The mornig begins with The Steel Magnolias performing A Garden Gathering Bloom Where You Are! After lunch several of the woman will lead a workshop on writing your faith story.
Here is another great story from COTHA member Cindy Beyer:
1. What was your early spiritual background, and how did it affect you as you grew up---your feelings, attitudes, actions, and relationships?
My family didn’t question that God exists or that Jesus is Lord, but my mother struggled with organized religion because of contradictory messages she heard growing up in the Assembly of God denomination and my father suffered a crisis of faith in his 30s (which I still don’t know much about), so we rarely attended church.
2. What caused you to begin to consider following Christ?
When I went to church with my grandparents at their tiny Methodist church in my dad’s hometown of Glencoe, OK (pop. 250), I felt completely safe and at home. I wanted to know the same kind of faith my Grandma had. She never preached and never, ever criticized anyone, but her lovingkindness was solid as a rock and irresistibly attractive to everyone around her.
3. What realization did you come to that finally motivated you to receive Christ?
I grew up understanding that Jesus died for me, but not until my mother was dying did I feel any specific call from Him on my own life. Then I had a dream. In the dream, I was climbing up a series of steeper and steeper obstacles--from a gentle slope to steps, from steps to narrower, steeper stairs, from stairs to ladders, from ladders to rocks, from rocks to a nearly sheer cliff. When I reached the top, I could see a living heart lying on an altar, beating strongly and regularly. I heard a voice say, “You will live this life.” I kew Who was speaking. His voice filled the space; it was everywhere in and around me. His peace and presence was overwhelming to me--I had to tell everyone I met about this dream.
4. Specifically, how did you receive Christ?
For a little while after my mom passed away, I searched for a way to live into the life God offered me in my dream. I visited churches, looking for a place to connect with the God who had revealed Himself to me. The very first time I attended a COTHA service at West Memorial Junior High, I felt the same utter sense of home that I had always felt with my Grandma at the tiny Glencoe church, and I have many, many times since that first Sunday recommitted my life and hopes to Christ.
5. How did your life begin to change after you trusted Christ?
The immediate change after I recommitted to Christ was that I no longer felt isolated and alone. As a young mother with an infant and a toddler, whose husband traveled most of the time and who was without social support or family in the Houston area, I had been feeling extremely sad and lonely after my mom died. Now I had a community and a Lord to belong to! I also found a place I could sing--and singing is almost as important to me as breathing!
6. What other benefits have you experienced since becoming a Christian?
Walking with God has given me purpose and ministry. I love doing theatre here at COTHA--it’s a way to plug in kids and adults who feel “different.” The biggest personal change I’ve experienced is freedom from nearly crippling fear and insecurity. The very first Scripture I memorized and prayed daily after my recommitment was Philippians 4:4-7, and I can truly say that God has changed my life through these prayers.