Life Change Inbox

April 20, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified.

Here is Crystal's story...

I was invited to Elevation by a friend, Kelly. She invited me to come see Bishop TD Jakes during the Code Orange Revival. I haven't been to church in years so I was very hesitant and afraid at first, but I decided I wanted to see Bishop Jakes. When I got to the Blakeney campus, I was amazed to see all the people standing in line, and even through the crowds and rush, the greeters were very cheerful and welcoming, so that was the first good sign.

That night was a life changing experience for me. See, I had been struggling with God for the past 15 years when my mother passed away and I said I was over it, but inside I was still angry with God for taking her away. That night, I let go and asked for God's forgiveness. I felt an overwhelming presence in my spirit, heart, mind, body that I knew immediately was God welcoming back. Even writing this I get overwhelmed!

I have been going to the Matthews campus since and I am beginning to get connected so I can be a strong Child of God. Kelly and I had lost touch for many years so I really believe that God placed her back into my life for me to have this chance and reunite with Him. I am grateful for this opportunity to share, I'm grateful for Kelly's obedience to God and Elevation's open spirited worshippers. Pastor Steven's vision and leadership is awesome. Every time I go to church, Pastor Steven's message is always for me. I have begun tithing as well so I can be a blessing to others. My oldest daughter is now attending with me loving it, bringing her children and they love eKidz. All in all we are being blessed at Elevation and I have been inviting all my family and friends.

God Bless,

Crystal

I am so excited for Crystal and the path that she has begun to following Christ.  And guess what?  This weekend Bishop Jakes will be back preaching at Elevation!  I hope you will make a point to join us!

PS.  Check back in few hours.  I will be announcing the winner of these great scripture cards!

 

April 13, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified.

Patricia has been on a very rough journey, but God in his mercy, brought her a loving family and lead her to Elevation.  I am so glad to know that as Patricia begins her journey of faith, she has group of girls to help her grow in Christ. 

Here is Paticia's story. I have a special request for you after you have read it...

Dear Pastor Steven ,
 

Hello my name is Paticia. I am a 14 year old girl.You're church has changed my life. When I was 9 years old me and my little brother were taken away from our parents and put into foster care. For 2 years we lived in very good homes. In August 2008 my brother moved in with my uncle and 5 months later (in January 2009) I went to live with my grandmother. I lived there for 6 months and during those 6 months my life went down hill drastically. I started sneaking out, fighting with my grandparents, doing drugs and drinking. I was only 11.

In May 2009 I got kicked out of school and put in an alternative school. The last day of school when people were celebrating I was in court being put back in to foster care. The next school year was horrible. I was getting into fights and I got so bad and depressed that I had to be put in a therapeutic school, but not even that worked. For the second time I attempted suicide so I was put into a therapeutic lock down facility. I was there for a year which helped, but I was still not doing very good.

Five days after I got out (March 13, 2011) I met 2 people who could change my life forever. Their names were Joe and Charo. I never knew love until I meet them. They were the first people I felt comfortable calling mom and dad after what my biological parents did to me. In May I started to have visits with them and in August I moved in with them. I still was going through a lot of stuff and when I moved back down to Charlotte I went to another therapeutic school.

Later that year me and my mom started to go to Elevation. The first day I signed up for an eGroup and it has helped me draw very close with God and so have the sermons. The sermon on March 4th really spoke to me and it reminded me to not regret my past, but know that that's what God intended to make my future what it is today. I just want to thank you for helping me grow closer to God he is my everything. Nothing is wasted. I AM GOD'S CHILD and always will be. Thank you for bringing the light to my heart.


God bless you and much love,
Paticia

I have never done this before in this Life Change series, but will you join me in praying for Paticia?  I am praying that the Lord would begin to heal her from the wounds of her past.  I am praying that she would move forward in her relationship with Christ and that God would use her to minister to other girls with a similar past.  Paticia, God has great plans for you.

 

March 30, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified.

Here is Bree's story about the power of being in a small group...

God has opened so many doors for me through Elevation. I grew up in a Christian home. I accepted Christ into my heart, but then lived off my parents relationship with God. About 3 yrs ago I acknowledged my powerlessnes over an addiction and my need for God. I went into Alcohol Anoynmous defeated and hopeless. As God lead my sponser and me through the 12 steps necessary for a daily reprive from alcoholism, I became to know God as my Savior and Papa.

About a year and a half into recovery God lead me to Elevation. My personal relationship with my Papa was evolving, but I felt as though something was missing. I went to Elevation for about a year before getting more involved. After I continued to hear from God through Pastor Furtick, God led me to search for an eGroup.

I was at an AA meeting one night talking to a friend about Elevation and a woman who attends Elevation heard me and came over. We started talking and got on the subject of eGroups. I told her about seeing Erika in the documentary. I really related to her and her struggles. The woman WAS IN ERIKA'S EGROUP and she invited me to join! I was so amazed and humbled that because of my addiction God used it to bring me closer to Him through Elevation and Erika.

I had been in Erika's eGroup for a couple of months when I need to find a new roommate. I had been living in a very negative and depressive environment. I had been going to Elevation every week and God used Pastor Furtick to confirm in my heart that he would provide for me. I told my eGroup my prayer request for a roommate. The NEXT WEEK, one of the girls came back with a card of a fellow Elevator woman who need a roommate!

I now live with her and I couldn't be happier and more blessed with my roommate. I am always lifted up by the worship experience and blessed by Pastor Furticks words from God. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a powerful way in my life.

March 16, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

Here is Lisa's story...

I closed the door on my foreclosed home and the act of closing the door was very symbolic to a chapter of my life that represented loss of a job and home. We were in the car with tears steaming down my face, Elevation Worship, For the Honor CD playing and Pastor Steven talking about how we each have a new beginning in Christ and by accepting His ways and His paths we are made new....and Pastor Steven begins to lead in the "sinners" prayer.....I glance back hearing Nathan talking...then realized his head was bowed and Nathan was repeating the sinner's prayer..word for word....and clearly (for Nathan this is uncommon due to speech delays) and when the prayer is finished, Nathan smiles and tells me that the best days of his life are ahead. God is always in the midst of every storm, creating peace where there should be havoc, providing for every need in only God size ways. In the midst of it all....my son is asking Jesus to be his L ord and Savior. How great & awesome is that? My son is very wise beyond his years.....the best days of our lives are ahead.

Lisa

March 09, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified.

Here is Ashley's story...

June 2010 was my absolute lowest point in life. I was 20 years old, 3 months away from being married and almost done with cosmetology school when everything changed; my fiancé called off our wedding. I've never been one to plan out a future or life with anyone; getting my hopes up was not something I ever did so as you could imagine, I was devastated.

The next day he went on a rant saying he was no longer in love with me, attracted to me, or cared for me and he wanted to call off the wedding and the relationship. He listed about 15 flaws that I have or bad habits I possess as reasons I'd never be good enough to be anyone's wife. Those words never left me.. I went into a deep depression, feeling like I would never be good enough so what's the point in even trying? I had disappointed so many people and lost so many friends because of my relationship with him and I felt it was all in vain. I started looking for love and acceptance anywhere I could find it. Hooking up with random guys, both good and bad boys, just to prove myself. The feeling of emptiness was still very much there. I hadn't been single in 5 years and to be honest, I didn't know how to be happy without a boyfriend.

I started going to Elevation Church about a month ago and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I felt important. I came by myself and was greeted as soon as I walked up by a guy named Caleb at the University location. He walked me all the way through and explained all about Code Orange Revival. Usually I'm the quiet one in church, sitting off to myself avoiding the part where the preacher says, "Now shake 5 people's hands!" But something inside of me was different. I wasn't afraid to talk to people. I wasn't afraid to cry. I wasn't afraid to lift my hands and sing as loud as I could. I was totally broken, totally empty.

After that first service something changed in me. I started looking forward to Sunday's. I wanted to get involved and meet people. I found the love I had been searching for...it was God's love. I found God's love at Elevation Church. For the first time since June 2010, I've been able to go to sleep without crying, because the most important love of my life will never leave me, never forsake me and never reject me. He loves me regardless of my past. He forgives me when he knows I'll sin again. The love of God is something incomparable to any worldly love, and quite frankly, I'm glad for it. My life is in the hands of Christ. Everything I've been through has brought me this much closer to Jesus Christ and even though it was probably the biggest form of rejection I'll ever have to face, I wouldn't change a thing. In the end, my heart is just where it should be...in the hands of God. ...and that's my better story.

Ashley

February 24, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for the Life Change Inbox to make a comeback!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

Today we have two stories, Jennifer and her son, James.  

Dear Elevation,
“I Have Decided” is the Sunday that changed the course of my family’s path for eternity. I have been a believer from many years, but wasn’t attending church on a regular basis, nor really looking to either. One day, my son James and I were in the car talking about his future. He is a senior in high school and is preparing for college. We talked about different schools and studying abroad, when I felt compelled to ask him where the Lord fit into his future? He turned and spoke in a tone that almost sounded of longing "I never said I didn’t want to go to church”. At that moment, I realized he wasn’t the one that was falling short, I was. I said to him, “You know, there is this church I’ve been thinking about visiting. I see stickers all over the place, and its pretty close. Want to check it out?” He agreed. So that Sunday we both went. At the close of the worship experience, my son grabbed me and was sobbing. The significance of this should not be lost. Truth is, I hadn’t seen my son cry since he was 5 yrs old and fell off his bike. He told me he wanted to be baptized. Then, I cried.  What a moment – one I will never forget. 

Fast-forward 2 weeks. My daughter has been talking with her brother and is now interested in coming. She lives with her daughter Izzy and boyfriend in the University area, and hasn’t attended church in years. Her boyfriend is a non-believer and has no interest in attending, but she decides to take Izzy and go with James and I. All it took was one Sunday, and she was ready to recommit her life to Christ. Every Sunday she would call me to go, and was purchasing teaching and worship CD’s…anything she could get her hands on.  Fast forward again, Lauren and Izzy are now living at home and she is no longer cohabitating with her boyfriend. Fast forward yet again, the Monday directly following the Sunday after Pastor Steven spoke about Bold Obedience, I was praying for God to demonstrate a miracle to my husband, so that he might believe. At that moment God called me into bold obedience to Him, and informed me that after 30 years of smoking, and countless failed attempts at quitting, I was going to lay them down…  and, well, I haven’t had one since. Over 4 months and no cigarettes – I have been delivered. 

Can you take more good news? James invited his father (we divorced 13 years ago), who now attends Elevation University, and is active in a Next Level Group, and has now signed up to lead one. My daughter is planning to attend the volunteer class at the Blakeney campus, and is looking to volunteer in eKidz.

God has done so many amazing things in my family in just 6 short months; the transformation of character in my son, the confidence in my daughter, my personal walk with God. I could go on and on…. 

God has radically changed my family, and I am so grateful that He used Elevation as the vehicle in which to bring us back to His grace and mercy. The teachings of Pastor Steven speak to my spirit and I am so grateful for his leadership. You know he is “really preaching it” when, as you are driving home from church your teenagers says, “man, church just flew by!” 

I do believe that God has a plan for my husband. Please keep him in your prayers, that he may be sensitive to God’s voice. And please pray that I may be patient and loving in all my ways, demonstrating the love of the Father in a way that can’t be denied.

In God’s hands,

Jennifer

 


Dear Elevation,
I am a senior at Mallard Creek High School and currently attend the University campus. I first started attending Elevation on the last week of the baptisms, in August. I hadn't been to church in over 5 years, but my mother heard about Elevation and asked me to try it with her. When we first got to the Matthew campus we were overwhelmed by all of the positive and friendly people, we haven't felt more welcomed in a church. During the worship experience they were showing all of the baptisms they had done and seeing how happy all of the people were I realized that I wanted to have that feeling in my life. So when the pastor mentioned doing baptisms after the worship experience I just felt this power that I had never felt before, I felt God was telling me to get baptized and start a relationship with him. So here I was attending my first worship experience at Elevation and I was getting baptized.  I never thought walking into the worship experience that it would end on such a positive note.

I continued to attend Elevation and when they opened the University campus I was pleased because it was much closer to home. One week they had an eGroup event after church, I signed up for the next level group to take my next steps with God. I’ve just recently started to apply for college and I asked God if he could bless me with the right college, I was hoping UNCC so I could continue to attend elevation. I didn't go to any Code Orange revivals but I have been watching the podcasts. During the night 3 worship experience I heard him mention fasting for the Lord.  I never thought of fasting before but I couldn't get it out of my mind, it felt like God put it on my heart to fast and he will bless me in ways I never thought imaginable. My mother was addicted to smoking, then one worship experience God told her to quit and he will remove all of the symptoms of withdraw, out of bold obedience she followed his will and she hasn't smoked since. I feel like this is the same and I want to be closer with God and show him that I am willing to give my life to him. 

I am truly blessed to have joined such a church as this. I thank all of you for what you have allowed God to do in my family, we are all now attending church and our lives have been forever changed.

Thanks for everything.

James

January 27, 2012

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for the Life Change Inbox to make a comeback!  I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

I hope you're inspired by Mike's story, it is another story of the amazing ways God draws us to Himself through an invite from a friend...

 

At this point last month, I was lonely and searching for "the one" to make my life complete. Little did I know that the going to bars,  doing drugs, and searching for "love" was only taking me deeper into sin and away from God.


Just before Christmas, I noticed a friend on Facebook who had posted something about Elevation Church and I had to ask what was so great about it. She replied, "Wow, that's a loaded question. Why don't you come with me sometime!" Before I tried out the Elevation Experience, my friend and I met for coffee to discuss her journey with Christ and where I stood with my faith. After a great conversation, I left with an Elevation Worship CD, "This Is How We Change The World" DVD, and her notes from multiple sermons.


I listened to the CD, watched the DVD, and read through the notes then attended the University Campus January 8th. Since then, my life has taken a complete 180 degree turn. I've given up drinking and doing drugs. The love I was searching for was found in the love of God. On Tuesday, January 10th I recommitted my life to Jesus Christ...in the shower. Everybody I talk to says they feel the burdens lifted off their shoulders, and so did I, but I felt like my sins were washed away in the shower that day.


I made it a point to attend and/or watch the Code Orange Revival every night and I held on to the commitment. I've met some absolutely amazing people over the past 2 weeks and my journey with Christ is just beginning. I now feel like I am walking in the FOG and my relationship with God is growing every day!

Mike

January 13, 2012

Bleeding Orange

Well we did it!  The vision the Lord gave my husband this summer has come to life.  Code Orange Revival has been a smashing success and the excitememnt is only building.   We have had overflowing crowds at both of our locations and the rooms are on fire!  No only that, but people all over the world are watching online.  So far, we have heard from Pastor Craig Groschel, and Pastor Jentezen Franklin.  And tonight we will hear from Pastor Matt Chandler.

Check out this letter that we got Marilena in Thailand.

I want to thank you for sharing the CODEORANGEREVIVAL worldwide. I live in Thailand as a missionary, I work with icarethailand, It is just a small group of us, international people and we love your videos and resources. By the grace of God we are able to follow all your 12 revival's meetings here at 7.00 AM local time, that is when we usually gather for prayer and reading the Word. Perfect timing! Now we are with you, praising, worshiping, listening to the inspiring sermons and praying that our lives will change and we will be use more for God's glory.

We love you
Marilena

You can join us each night at the Elevation network starting at 6:12pm.  The worship experiences will also be rebroadcasted at 10:12pm, 3:12am and 12:12 pm.  But of course, if live near Charlotte, you can join us at our Blakeney and our Matthews campuses.
 

Codeorangerevival






December 16, 2011

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for the Life Change Inbox where I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

I hope you will enjoy hearing Holly's story of restoration...

In 2002, at the age of 29, I married a Christian man who told me he loved me and wanted me to be his wife. I thought I was following the plan God had for me. I spent the next 6 years of my life wondering why I could not make my marriage work the way others could. We visited a Christian counselor but there was no change.  After 2 more rounds with different counselors, each a desperate attempt to save my marriage, I finally realized that it was over. He wanted a divorce, and I wanted some healing. I was shaken. I was alone.

It was at that moment that I found an old friend from high school. We were total opposites in every way, but he was the nicest person I had ever encountered. We had a whirlwind courtship, got married in Las Vegas and had a beautiful baby girl. I knew I had been given a gift, because he made me feel loved every day.

We only had one problem in our relationship. I wanted to attend church and he was vehemently opposed to organized religion. I wanted my daughter to be raised in a church who truly loved God, and I needed to find it. I looked and prayed, and one day, my friends who let me sleep on their couch during my divorce attended Elevation Blakeney.

 I prayed constantly that the Holy Spirit would prepare my husband's heart and make him receptive to attending Elevation. I didn’t realize how far I had travelled away from God until I asked him to go and he agreed without hesitation. I found myself shocked that he agreed, as if my faith in God’s power was no longer there. I was ashamed that I had allowed my mistaken first marriage to shake my faith so strongly that there was very little left. We attended Elevation Blakeney a week or 2 before the series on Hebrews started.
 
One of the coolest things about God is His PERFECT timing. My husband loves music, skateboarding and the bass guitar. When Pastor Steven started preaching, it would have taken a forklift to pick my jaw up off the ground. He started with a Nirvana CD cover, then mentioned skateboarding and finally the bass guitar. How perfect is God? So perfect, that He had the pastor preach on 3 things that would hook my husband in and keep him interested. I am not so sure my feet touched the ground as I left church that day. Not only did he love it, but my 13 month old daughter got into the car and started singing. And this was the first time she had ever been in a “daycare-like” setting.
 
We haven’t missed a Sunday since and we are both now volunteering. We sit down front, so my husband can enjoy the bands, and the words that God has given through Pastor Steven and Pastor Groechel have spoken directly to my heart. My dear friend, Father, Savior and redeemer and I are back together and my life had never felt so full. His love was filling the life of my family and it was bringing us closer together than ever before.

I’ve been a Christian since the age of 17, so I knew that the closer we got to God, the harder Satan would try to attack. So, I immediately found my armor, dusted it off and started covering my family with prayer. Elevation exists "so that people far from God will be filled with life in Christ." And I for one am so thankful that it does!

                                                                                                Holly

December 09, 2011

Life Change Inbox

It's Friday and time for the Life Change Inbox where I have been sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

I love Jim's story because it reminds me of how easy it can be to simply invite someone to church...

I am so thrilled to share a story with you this morning.  The new worship CD has been playing in my office for the past week and created several conversations.  I hired a new apprentice technician two weeks ago. and at 20 years old he has been living a life very far from God.  The music caught his attention and I was happy to loan out my CD - praying for a positive reaction on his 50 minute ride home. As I hoped, I got a text that he loved it.  The invitation to church followed and he accepted.  

Saturday afternoon came, work went long, his car has an issue, but there was no stopping this invitation. We waited, picked him up, brought him to our church home Saturday night and God starting working on him right away.  He took notes, started to sing along, and at the end of the Worship Experience - made his decision for Christ to be the leader in his life.  His first words to me were "I need to stop at both tents".  

I am so thankful today to have such a wonderful Pastor, worship team and church family to introduce people to.  I pray this worship CD can continue to bring life change for years to come.  

Have a wonderful day,

Jim