Linda Cantu Jesus Story

Comment

Linda Cantu Jesus Story

About 6 months ago, I started noticing pain in my left hip and in the joints of my hands. A few of my fingers would swell and my joints would hurt. Of course, you start thinking the worse. The doctor informed me that it could be arthritis. Immediately I told myself, “NO.” I wouldn't accept that diagnosis. Unfortunately, as the months went on, my pain would come and go. 

I joined LifeShare Church about a year ago and started attending the monthly ladies meetings. During these meetings, when the ladies would pray for prayer requests, I would see God do and answer in mighty ways. One night I decided to ask this great group of prayer warrior's to pray and intercede that my joint pain would leave. And they did! 

About a week or so later, I noticed my hip and joints weren’t hurting, and my fingers weren't swelling! 
God had healed me and used these ladies, to be part of His miracle! 

Recently, I started feeling shoulder and neck pain due to stress. I had been under some stress due to my mom and her illness. 

A few weeks ago at LifeShare, I decided to go up to the alter and ask for prayer for my mom, even though my shoulder was in pain. I remember just taking a deep breath and releasing it, then telling God, “my mom and her sickness are yours.” I felt a release and a warm feeling covering from my neck to my shoulder. As the day progressed, the pain was less and less. By the next morning I had no more pain! I’m still pain free! HALLELUJAH! 

I do believe in prayer and miracles. I’m so thankful to be a part of a church that focuses on prayer and allows God to move in miraculous ways! LifeShare Church came into my life when I was in a difficult place. 
I’m so thankful to Jesus for always watching out for me and directing me to a church where I belong. He placed me in a group of people who love and support me unconditionally! Pastor Ted and Anna have a big heart for God and His people. You can feel and see it every time we come together as a church family. 

All honor and Glory go to our Heavenly Father! - Linda Cantu

Comment

Cindy Ochoa Jesus Story

Comment

Cindy Ochoa Jesus Story

I was going through the most difficult part of my life when I moved to San Antonio and found LifeShare Church. I moved and knew I needed to rekindle my relationship with Christ. I hopped from church to church looking for the right one. I wanted a mid-size intimate church that I could call home. A church that I could grow genuine friendships in. 

I came across LifeShare through a google search and immediately fell in love. I was brought to tears my first service here. The rawness in how Pastor Ted did the service shook me to my core. We worshiped, he preached, and instead of ending the service with a typical closing prayer like most churches I'd been to, he asked for anyone needing prayer, healing, or just love to raise their hands and encouraged the members to pray for these people. The church immediately laid hands on them, prayed over them, cried with them, and just loved on them. A few women had their hands on one lady and were fervently praying over her. The men were praying over each other as well. 

Pastor Ted walked off stage, put his hand on a woman and started commanding healing over her and blessings over the church. I could tell this wasn't scripted or planned. I remember being in tears when I looked around and saw so much love in the room. 

Pastor Ted did what he felt the Spirit was telling him to do. That's when I knew this was now my church. This church has been my biggest blessing! - Cindy Ochoa

Comment

Bringing The Presence of God

Comment

Bringing The Presence of God

What if God created a tool for you to be able to bring his presence to wherever you are? I’ve got great news for you. He has and it’s called ”singing.”

Believers in Christ and unbelievers alike have already discovered the many surprising health benefits of singing. Did you know that singing is a natural antidepressant. Time Magazine reported that singing releases endorphins that give one feelings of pleasure as well as a release of oxytocin, a hormone that is found to alleviate anxiety and stress.

Research conducted at the University of Frankfurt found that higher levels of cytokines and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol were present in those who sung for an hour in a choir.

If those health benefits didn’t get your attention, maybe a snoring solution will. A 2008 study by the journal Sleep Breath found that singing strengthens muscles in the airway that can reduce snoring. Maybe it’s time to encourage your snoring spouse to join the church choir.

The list of health benefits from singing goes on from reducing dementia, Alzheimer’s, and loneliness while at the same time boosting confidence, improving memory, helping immune function, and providing cardiovascular exercise.

The general grace of God, in everything he’s created, is extremely vast and still being discovered. Unbelievers and believers alike enjoy this gift of singing from God, the greatest singer/songwriter of all time and eternity. As good as the natural gift of singing is, there’s something supernatural that can happen when your singing transcends the temporal. The Psalmist, David, points us in an upward direction when he says,

“But You are holy, enthroned in the praises (tehillah) of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)

Imagine the reality that God, through the Holy Spirit, has given something special to the born again child of God. That special gift is called specific grace that comes in various forms from salvation to singing. Singing for the non-believer has a glass ceiling called earth, but singing for the child of God can reach the God of the heavens. And what’s even more captivating is that the God of the heavens will come to where you are as you praise him with a song.

Tehillah is the Hebrew word for praise that means a hymn, a song of praise, or a new, spontaneous song. Has God touched your heart and transformed your life? Well then tell him that, with a spontaneous song of praise, in the moment, from the depths of your own heart. If you’ll take that step of faith, the Word of God promises that the holy God that you worship will be enthroned in your praises. That means he will inhabit or live wherever you praise him. If you praise him in the closet, he’s there. If you praise him in the car, he’s there. If you praise him on a quiet trail, he’s there. Wherever you lift tehillah praises to God, he will be there in a hurry.

Growing up and working in my grandfathers McDonald’s franchise, I would sing spontaneous songs of praise to God while flipping hamburgers. Believe it or not, many of those spontaneous songs turned into congregational praise songs that blessed God and many others. And let me tell you, the presence of God came into that hot McDonald’s kitchen making my happy meals even happier.

Singing the presence and power of God into the room is not something that started recently. In fact, it can be traced all the way back thousands of years to a singing shepherd. In 1 Samuel 16, we’re introduced to the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons, David. The scripture makes it clear that God was more impressed with his heart than his outward appearance, however scripture describes David this way,

“He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.” (1 Samuel 16:12)

Above and beyond the physical features that made David appealing, his heart to please God and his burning desire to spend time singing spontaneous songs to God set the spotlight on him to replace Saul, as the new king of Israel. Listen to the word of the Lord to the prophet Samuel,

“Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” (1 Samuel 16:12-13)

What I find interesting is that as important as family and friendship was to David, it was the Spirit of the Lord coming powerfully upon him that made all the difference in the world. David put the Spirit of God first in his life and in doing so, God chose to be with him and use him mightily. Let me assure you, the presence of God is greater than the presence of your family and friends. In fact, his daily presence will enhance every other relationship you have if you simply put him first.

For example, take a look at how the newly anointed and empowered David added value to King Saul.

“Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him…Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” (1 Samuel 16:14 & 23)

David knew how to bring the presence of God to wherever he was. In this instance, he brought the presence of God through music and song to a troubled, fearful and even tormented King Saul. Scripture says,

“In Your presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Imagine the joy and pleasure that the God of the universe wants to bring into your life through singing his Tehillah praises. The more you sing and make music in your heart and out loud to the Lord, the better you will get at it. Before long you could be like David, the psalmist, skillfully setting yourself and others free from trouble.

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)

My friend, let me encourage you to reflect on the goodness of God in your life and then sing a spontaneous song of praise to your Heavenly Father, even today. Bring his presence to wherever you are and watch what he will do. I believe, good things are going to happen to you!

Comment

Talking Like A Champion

1 Comment

Talking Like A Champion

Someone asked me an insightful question recently. Can we create our own reality?

They had been listening to a teaching that was advocating that notion and wanted me, their pastor, to listen to five minutes of this teaching and let them know what I thought. My assumption was that, this teaching seemed akin to new age philosophy, positive thinking, and humanism. However, instead of simply bashing the teaching I wanted to give a biblical, better alternative to the answers my friends were looking for. You see they were facing some financial setbacks and they were hoping to improve their situation. And let me tell you, there’s nothing wrong with that. The only question is — “What’s the right way to go about getting the results we need and that God wants to provide.”

With that story as the backdrop, the biblical account of David and Goliath kept coming to mind. I had a general memory that young courageous David had some very powerful words for his enemy, Goliath. Sure enough as I turned to 1 Samuel 17, in my Bible, I started underlining and circling with excitement.

David did affect his own reality by what he said and did. But what’s fascinating is that his priorities were so different than most. He was told, “Whoever defeats Goliath and helps us win the battle against the Philistines will receive three rewards from Saul, the king of Israel 1) great wealth 2) marriage to the kings daughter and 3) exemption from paying taxes.” This promise of reward for victory would have been enough for the average warrior, but this wasn’t David’s top priority.

David’s top priorities were 1) defending God’s reputation and 2) defending God’s people, Israel. David knew it was the Lord that would give him the victory over Goliath and he was laser focused to do his part and let Almighty God do his greater part. David’s part was one of preparation, planning, faith, and courage. God’s part was to be pleased with David’s courageous faith and favor him with a mighty victory.

David knew if he could kill a lion and a bear protecting his father’s sheep, he could kill Goliath. David knew if God always came through for him in the past, he’d come through for him in the future. David knew if God honored his faith before, he’d honor his faith again. David knew if he sent that first of five smooth stones sailing toward Goliath’s forehead, then God would ensure it hit the mark of victory.

Let me ask you — are you planning, preparing, and believing God for the victory over your enemies? Secondly and equally importantly, are you talking like a champion? Listen to the way David talked and acted on the way to his God-given victory.

1 Samuel 17 - Talking Like A Champion

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.

33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

Let me remind you that, you have the God-given ability and the God-given favor to cause the enemy to turn and run. Start talking and acting like the champion Almighty God has created you to be. Whether it’s finances, health, or relationships that are staring you down like “Goliath” —turn to them and declare like mighty David of old, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands…for the battle is the Lord’s.

1 Comment