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Friday, June 29, 2012

Cathy Payton's Gomer Testimony

I am sad to say, this is the last of The Gomer Testimonies. I hope you all have been as inspired as I’ve been. I love how God works in our lives, especially when music is a part of that. I want to thank my Gomer friends for taking part in this series and for stopping by to support each other. A great group of people who understand the awesome love of God and the need of a Savior!

Here’s Cathy:
(Third Day pics are hers)
I didn't grow up in church or with any real education or knowledge about God and Jesus. I attended vacation bible school one or two summers, we celebrated Christmas and Easter, but there was no relationship with Jesus in my childhood. In the late 90's I began a search for God -- I started listening to Christian music, attending church sporadically, going to women's faith conferences, and first discovered Third Day. I vividly remember hearing “I’ve Always Loved You” on the radio for the first time.

Music was and is my great passion, and so I filled up on the music of Third Day and other Christian artists like Jars of Clay and Switchfoot. But nothing clicked, my ears were closed, and I fell away from my search. For the next 12 years I knew I was missing “something,” and although I lived a good life with friends and family, I filled that emptiness with all the wrong things -- the things that you think are filling you up, but that actually leave you emptier than before.

Then in the fall of 2010 I heard that Third Day had a new CD, Move, and bought it along with the previous one, Revelation. As I listened, I remembered how much I loved them and what the music had meant to me, but I still didn't hear the message that was being shouted at me by God.

Then I heard that Third Day was going to be in concert near me and ordered tickets. Before I could see them, I reached the lowest point in my life. My marriage has been falling apart for the past year, I was more and more depressed, eating to suppress my feelings, drinking heavily (which is not like me at all) and listening to the kinds of music and talking about the kinds of things that just weren't the real me. I was empty, I didn't know who I was any longer.

As I sat on a beach at sunrise in March of 2011, at the lowest point of my life, I heard a terrible voice that told me that maybe everyone would be better off if I weren't around anymore. I was so lost. I wanted to drown out the ocean and the beauty around me on that beach, so I put in my earphones and Third Day’s “
What Have You Got to Lose” came on. I had a revelation that changed me forever. I realized what I had been missing. God spoke to me through that music, and I knew that I had to make a change in my life and that change was Jesus.

I went to see Third Day two weeks later, and again a month after that, and both times I experienced the Holy Spirit in those places-- surrounding me, holding me. I described going to the concerts to my friends as "it's like going to church." I found a local church that plays contemporary Christian music and is so welcoming and open--and haven't been able to get enough of it.

Does anyone else think church doesn't last long enough on Sunday morning?

Then, several weeks later, as friends prayed for me, I felt the Holy Spirit hold me, literally. I felt pressure on my back where the Holy Spirit was holding me -- and I am not one to imagine things or feel things not of this world. I was overwhelmed. I knew it was time to be baptized and profess my belief in Jesus as Savior. I had never been so sure of anything.

I was baptized Sunday, August 18, 2011.

I've seen many more Third Day shows since that first one, along with many other Christian bands. Every time I see them in concert, I feel the same overwhelming love of God surrounding me. Third Day's music has also introduced me to a community of beautiful, caring, God-loving people--the Gomers--whom I now proudly, and with great affection and love, call friends. In May of this year I was blessed to be part of a huge gathering of Gomers at Third Day’s show in Raleigh, NC, during which we gave the band special commemorative scrapbooks, full of letters and photographs from fans touched by their music and ministry, in celebration of their 20 years as a band.

I'm so thankful that Jesus used the music I love, the music of Third Day, to move me to Him. I can't believe how so much has changed in such a short time and yet it really was years of searching to come to this point. I'm so happy to be in this place and hope He will help me find the peace I need in my life.

In honor of the song that turned the switch for Cathy the music devotion this Tuesday will be inspired by “What Have You Got to Lose.” Come join us and see what it’s about.

Cathy (a.k.a “Grateful Gomer”) lives in Virginia. She is an editor and writer for a marketing and design agency. She has one son, who is 23. Her other favorite CCM artists include Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe, along with newcomers Mosteller and Rhett Walker Band.

See Cathy's blog and awesome concert pics. http://gracenote.me/

Other Gomer Testimonies:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Check out the music video link or the imbed below:

This may tell you a little something about me. My favorite verse in the Bible is Psalm 77:3a (NIV), “I remembered You, O God, and I groaned.”

I know, to others it’s not so inspiring, since it doesn’t describe God’s awesome power, His mercy or His love. But for me, it spoke of my human condition, in contrast to those things, and how those things are available to me in spite of that contrast. Because even though I sometimes forget Him …

He never forgets me.

What’s more is the context of the verse within the Psalm. Psalm 77 speaks of a man who is troubled, calling out to the Lord, yet hears no reply. That’s not to say a reply wasn’t given, just that he didn’t hear it.

Then, he remembers God—His Creator—who, though times have been rough in the past, has always been there, ready to guide, direct and shape events, and make them into something the man would one day look on, nod his head and say, “Oh, I get it now!”

But before the man saw the end product of this tribulation, there was only darkness.

So the psalmist tells us (as does the Third Day song above), there’s a light at the end of this tunnel … for you.

This Music Devotional was inspired by one of Greg Holt’s favorite Third Day songs. See Greg’s testimony.

Join us Friday for Cathy Payton’s Gomer Testimony!!!

Related Posts:

The Gomer Testimonies

Robyn C’s Journey to God

Rachel Rutledge—A Gomer Testimony

Other Music Devotionals:

For God So Loved the World—Inspired by “How He Loves” by David Crowder


Nothing Good Comes Easy … Easy--Inspired by Trevor Morgan’s “Easy”

Friday, June 22, 2012

Greg Holt—A Gomer Testimony

If you haven’t been following this series up to now, I am posting testimonies of my “GoIMG_1164mer” friends and how the music of Third Day played a role in their coming to Christ. A reminder that God gives us all special gifts to draw others to him. For the members of Third Day, he gave them music. Music that has helped many of us to know our Creator better and to encourage us through rough spots.

Greg’s testimony is one that shows how God uses our challenges for His Glory. Greg now shares his experience with those who travel a similar path to the one he did. (Third Day pics are his)

Greg Holt—Writing Gomer

I had known who Jesus was as a kid. I went to church, and attended Sunday school. Well … sometimes, I attended. I even went to Vacation Bible School and I liked it. The sermons, as I remember, were not bad. The relevant information was presented—most of it anyway. Thinking back though, I never heard an altar call, would not have known what it was!

I never really had a Dad. Oh, he was there all right—present and accounted for. Dad never spent time with me. Correction, the time he spent with me was to tell me what an idiot I was, and how I was never going to amount to anything. Constant negativity, never any positive affirmations and certainly not the words “I love you.” I never once heard my Dad say those words to me. Mom was a great mom…did her best to make up for Dad’s non-involvement, and I loved her for it. But Mom just can’t make up for Dad…that’s his job.

Enter in this surprise after school one day. My brother and I were sat down in the living room so our parents could talk to us. We figured we were in big trouble. Keep in mind that we (my brother and I) never had an inkling there were any problems between our parents.

Then the bombshell: “Boys we are getting a divorce.”


After that announcement, life really changed. First I walked away from God, because as we all know, a loving God would not allow a divorce to happen--right? This was, of course, wrong thinking, but I did not know any better at the time. I was done with God, and blamed Him for this upheaval in my life.

I was soon in trouble at school. Mouthing off to teacheryellings, threatening them, skipping school etc. I was failing most subjects as well, and did not care. My Dad handled that by one or two hours of yelling and finger pointing into my chest. That, of course, did not help at all. I continued to get into trouble, and soon was running with a bad crowd.

I started down the path of drugs, and was also drinking. I ended up in court and could have been sent to a juvenile facility, but received two years’ probation. I learned from that experience how to be more careful and not get caught.

Time passed and I married. Still drank a lot, but had stopped using any drugs. My marriage was a disaster and there was blame to go around on both sides. I moved out and filed for divorce. During the time we had been married we lost a child when she was six months pregnant, this was really hard on me.

Time moved once again and I had a girlfriend for a while who was nice but very jealous. I was, as usual, drinking a lot—Life was a party.

I met my second wife in a restaurant we worked in. We were together a total of around eleven years. Life was hard for us both, she did have some serious issues, and so did I. We had some very serious problems with our children, the kind of problems that you watched on your TV on shows like 20/20, or 48 Hours. We had Social Services in our home one or two times a week, every week. There was counseling for each child, and counseling for all of us. There were many different medications to buy, trouble in the schools. Life was very difficult. Through it all I just drank more.

My wife and I wound up filing for bankruptcy, I know many people don’t believe in this, but we had been spending so much on meds and doctors etc. that we couldn’t do it anymore. My wife, after a while, decided she wanted a new life minus the problems. I thought that her leaving was a good idea. The care of our youngest child wound up on me with little help.

During this period after my wife moved out, I was very depressed and had contemplated suicide many times. My son would come home from visiting Mom and would make life a living hell for me. I also lost my house, as I could not make the payments anymore.

school busAlong the way in this part of the story God stepped in. My wife was a school bus driver, and picked up a special needs child. She became friends with this child’s parents. They were not my friends. I really did not want to have anything to do with them. To make a long story short…I became friends with this couple. This is when things got really interesting.

This couple, well they were some of “those” people; you know those Christian people. Now I began to really like these guys, even though they were Christians. They would talk about God without shMac Powell and Jason Hoard of Third Dayoving it down my throat, always had Christian music on. There was just something different about them. They were so nice and always willing to help me out even with my son who was a handful. At this time I was living in a hotel—yes a hotel—it was all I could find. Try living in a hotel with a very angry, rebellious teenager.

I also had two other sons, one in a foster home, and one on his own—both in trouble.

One, after a while, straightened up for the most part. The other was in and out of homes and always in trouble, which continued on into adulthood.

Mark LeeI finally flipped on a Christian radio station and gave it a listen. Some of the music was actually pretty good! I heard Third Day and was hooked. God is so clever! The couple I was now friends with was inviting me to church, which I refused. At this point I was dealing with Social Services, the police, teachers, therapists, and doctors. Next, came the painful decision to place my son into a foster home, as I could not control him any longer. What came after that was more trouble than most people can imagine.

I did start going to church and reading The Word. Along the way,bible God (praise His name), took from me the desire to drink. I was reading the Bible one day with beer in hand, and had a revelation; I should not be reading the Word of God and drinking. I was done that moment with drinking. This was awesome, as I was an alcoholic. After that, God took my desire to smoke away—no patches, no gum—done with smoking, just like that. I did have to work at it a little bit, but I was done with smoking. Amazing! If these things were done for me, God must be real.

This couple was, of course, helping me to learn about God along with our Church. I learned about what a personal relationship with Jesus was all about. I started helping out with a youth group and really enjoyed it. Pretty soon I was into other ministries in the church as well. Then came the day that I was baptized again! (I had been as a child,Third Day on stage but that did not mean much as I did not even remember it) That was an awesome day. I was scared half to death in front of all (200?) of those people. The Holy Spirit was with me…I could feel Him. I spoke about some of what had happened and led to my decision to accept Christ into my life, but really did not remember what I said.

All this came about after so many bad things in my life. I remember thinking at times when I would go past a church that I should stop in and talk to the pastor. That was without a doubt God trying to get my attention, but I was not listening. I had to lose much, so that I could gain more—the gift of eternal life freely given by my Savior Jesus Christ.

God is still at work in my life and will do much more to the Glory of His Name. I was a troubled and in trouble young man. I am now involved in a ministry that targets young adults who are in trouble. I feel I am uniquely qualified to help these kids. I love this ministry and hope that the Lord will allow me to serve Him in this fashion for some time to come. God can and does use all things in our lives to His Glory if we will allow Him to!

End note: Two of the boys in this testimony have now received Jesus as Lord, and my current wife, of course, knows the Lord as well! God is so good!

How will God use YOUR Testimony?

100_0159Greg is married and has four kids. He is self-employed working with wireless internet, and home remodeling, etc. Greg is also a ministry partner with Central Wisconsin Youth For Christ, working with kids in the correctional system.

Join LBOC Tuesday for a music devotional based on one of Greg’s favorite 3D songs—Tunnel.

Check out Greg’s blogs:


Related Posts:

Rachel Rutledge—A Gomer Testimony

Robyn C’s Journey to God

The Gomer Testimonies

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rise Up

Try this link or the imbed below:

When reading Rachel Rutledge’s testimony last week and knowing Rise Up was one of her favorite Third Day songs, this was the image that came to me. Thanks, Rachel.

* * * * *
just a bikeYou’ve fallen off your bicycle, the smell of concrete in your face, and the neighbor kids snicker from their lawns. “He’s so lame,” they mock. “He can’t even ride a two-wheeler.”

The tears burn in your eyes, but somehow you hide them from your accusers. You try not to think of the raw flesh on your palsad boyms, your elbows or your knees. You brush the gravel from the wounds, but can’t do a thing about the scar on your pride.

“No one cares. I can’t do anything right,” you add to the words of the bullies next door.

A large, calloused hand stretches before your eyes. One that knows the work of hard labor. Maybe that of a carpenter. One that is sensitive to the decorative grooves carved deep into his creations.

A voice resonates within your soul.

“Rise up,” it says. “I will help you. I am with you.”

Though your palm still smarts from the scab yet to be formed, you place your child-sized hand in His. And though your knees still ache where they met the side walk in collision force, you stand, because now you know …Mountain Biker Jumping Cliff ca. 2002

You are not alone.

Do you know that?

You are not alone!

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Friday, Greg Holt shares his testimony of how God changed his life.

Related Posts:

Rachel Rutledge—A Gomer Testimony

Consuming Fire

Robyn C’s Journey to God

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rachel Rutledge–A Gomer Testimony


Time for another Gomer Testimony. Another life transformed by a Savior and encouraged by the music inspired by Him. (The pictures are Rachel’s)

This is Rachel’s story (Kickin Gomer): 

just the guysIt all started in the mid-90's, somewhere between Roanoke, Virginia and Alabama, around 2:00 am. I was traveling home to Virginia after some girlfriends and I had sung at an event. I stopped at a gas station, when I ran into this band named Third Day! I can't be positive which group member I spoke to (we were all so young then). It was either Mark or David. He wore a 3D t-shirt - upon which I struck up a conversation. I said how I loved the name and that I too was in a group. He then took the next several minutes to witness to me right there in the middle of nowhere at 2am. Even though I was already a Christian, I listened and was so impressed by his heart and willingness to share with a stranger in that situation. It would have been so easy to say hi, thank you, and to move on. From that moment on, I fell in love with Third Day... and more-so with their heart and love for the Lord.

Little did that band member know, but he gave me much hope that night. See, just days before I had been hit several times by my husband while in the car driving to Virginia. I had been in an abusive marriage for 5 years at that point—desperately trying to work things out. Over the next several years the music and lyrics of Third Day ministered to me as nothing else could do, outside of The Word.

In 2001 I divorced and spent the next 8 years as a single mom. I was3D_DBC--collage left with tons of anger, resentment, bitterness, and the feeling of being completely not good enough. I discovered myself during the single mom years, and I did not like what I found. Codependent thinking had become my best friend. My self-esteem and self-worth were null and void. There were days I felt like an elephant lived on my chest, and being able to breathe was a miracle. During these dark years Third Day songs became a life-line to me. If I had to guess how many times my kids heard Rise Up and Innocent, it would have to be in the thousands...easily.

I taught 5th grade, and on the ride to school every morning I'd play and replay Rise Up all the way there. I purposefully didn't apply eye make-up until I got to work because it would have been washed away anyway. Singing/crying the words out loud was a reminder to myself that God hadn't forgotten about me and that I would be ok—someday.

The years of abuse, oppression, and my own sins buried me. They turned me into a raging inferno; it was buried but would surface often, even when I didn't want it to. Listening to Rise Up I'd visualize myself clawing upward through the dirt as if I were buried alive and was trying to come back to life again. At night the only way I could get to sleep was with my portable CD player by my side, headphones on, listening over and over again to I Am Innocent, I Will Hold My Head High, St. Angelo, Tunnel, and others. The CDs moved from the player to my car everyday—A routine that lasted for 3 years.

with macMac's voice is incredible (as we all know) but more than that, the writing of the lyrics written so many times in 1st person is one reason why they are so powerful for me. I love the I's, you's, me's in the songs. It makes them personal, as if God Himself was singing to me. There was a time I found it very difficult to listen to anything besides Third Day. God truly sent the guys as a direct life-line to Himself for me.

In Aug 2007 while at home listening to music, Cry Out to Jesus came on the radio. That is literally what I did. For many reasons the song broke me: my brother-in-law died that year, my pain and on-going sufferings from my past, and my desperate desire to be married. Through the song, the Lord led me to a group at church called Celebrate Recovery. Facing my past, getting out of denial, and allowing God to break me down so that He could remake me was the most difficult thing I'd ever been through. I discovered my struggles of codependency, anger, control, and love-relationship addictions. I spent one year in a 12-step group and Third Day was with me the whole time!

It was a sweet gift from God when He brought Third Day to Decaturwith the cake Baptist in Alabama of March 2008. It had to be a miracle when I was selected out of several volunteers to be the tour runner for the band. Driving Mark, Mac, a very pregnant Stephanie, David, and others to and from the hotel was a privilege. I listened as Mark and Mac discussed the song set for the evening; I talked to Stephanie about baby names, and I suggested Big Bob Gibson's BBQ for lunch. I was able to make a real connection with the people who had been my life-line through my darkest days.

I wanted so bad to hear Love Song in person, but the band wanted Zaxby's and they wanted it waiting when they came off stage. So off I ran! A friend called me and I listened to Love Song over my phone while sitting in Zaxby's drive-thru with tears streaming down my face. Funny, it was March and it started to snow. Why tears? Sad because I missed the song, but mainly blessed because I had been allowed to serve the voices and the talents that had served me for so long. I was truly humbled.

Timeline moves on....if you need a stretch break, feel free.

I built a house and moved in the summer of 2008, just after the release of Revelation. The very first song played in my new house was This Is Who I Am, and I blasted it as loud as it could go. I wanted to properly anoint the house, and wanted the whole world to know that this is who I am—broken but rebuilt, struck down but not destroyed, pressed on all sides but determined to live on!

I can't adequately explain what that CD meant to me. Even though I had graduated from the Celebrate Recovery ministry and was serving as their worship leader, I still had a deep desire to be married, a sickening feeling of loneliness and of not being worth anything to anyone. While driving to a friend's house one night for a Bible study, the CD landed on track #7, Let Me Love You (there are those awesome pronouns again...) I have NO doubt God was courting me that night, to allow Him to "love me like no one else could." Through tears, and a completely broken heart, I gave in—I surrendered myself, all of me, to Him that night. It was my final step to completely dying to myself, and it was painful. Again, it was raining, and Third Day was ministering to me!

two with macFIVE days later I met the man who is now my husband! But I had to surrender myself first, I had to lay down my plan and let God have HIS way. Third Day's music showed me how to do that!

And what did John and I talk about the most? Third Day and Revelation. I told him how powerful the new CD was and that he had to buy it ASAP. I told him he had to listen to #5 and #9, those were my favorites.

Talking to him over the next several weeks, he revealed to me that as he listened to Born Again he cried (something he wasn't sure a song had ever brought him to.) He saw himself, his mistakes, and his future in that song. By the way, it quickly became our song, and still is. Just as important in the timeline was the song Revelation. John and I dated for only a few months when we both began to feel deeply for one another. I wore out Revelation on my CD! It came at the perfect time for me. I had messed up so much on my own, my whole life, I was determined to now do nothing outside of God's will for me—I so needed Him to Reveal His plan for me. I had always done things my way and on my time table. But this time I wanted His revelation so badly.

I would cry and sing out the words to that song, asking God to tell me what to do. We were contemplating marriage and for 2 divorced people, we wanted to be sure this was the Lord's will and not ours. That song, coupled with Born Again showed me beyond a doubt what God's will for me and my children was, and how He could turn my ashes into something beautiful.

On May 30, 2009 John and I walked down the aisle together to WeddingAll the Heavens. (I always knew that'd be the song if I ever got married again.) Our first dance was to our song, Born Again. It's now been 2 years since we married. God has blessed us by allowing us to start and lead a Celebrate Recovery ministry at our church in Huntsville, Alabama, where we also get to serve as worship leaders.

The timeline continues - we're currently working on Surrender and What Have You Got To Lose from Make Your Move CD.

Sitting in my car CD player at this moment is (in this order) Offerings, Offerings 2, Wire, Wherever You Are, Revelation, and Make Your Move. It's only a 6 disc player, what will I do when the next CD comes out? Those CDs hold the most important spots to me. I can turn to any song at any time for reassurance and guidance. They still bring tears to my eyes. And now God is allowing me to share my hurts with others so they can also find healing and hope. What an awesome God He is!! And what an awesome anointing He has placed on Third Day!!

Thank you for letting me share! (originally posted 10.5.2011)

Join LBOC on Tuesday, June 19th, for a music devotional inspired by one of Rachel’s favorite songs—Rise Up!

Rachel's pictureRachel and John Rutledge just celebrated their three year wedding anniversary by attending Third Day’s 20 year anniversary celebration—A Gomer Gathering Gala. Rachel has 2 children (a daughter, age 13 and a son, age 11) and two stepsons (21 and 19). She’s worked as agroup of gomers teacher for ten years, but has been able to stay home since her remarriage. She and her husband are Ministry Leaders for Celebrate Recovery in Huntsville, AL. Both musicians (her husband, an awesome guitarist, and Rachel, a singer) they lead in worship ministry. Music is their passion. They travel to see Third Day as well as other favorite bands such as Tenth Avenue North and Sidewalk Prophets. If you look on the credits of the new Tenth Ave. North CD (due out August 21st) you’ll see their names as members of the choir. Beyond music, they stay busy with the kids—sports, band, color guard, music lessons, etc. They love to travel.

Related Posts:

The Gomer Testimonies—An introduction to this series

Robyn C’s Journey to God

Consuming Fire—A Third Day music devotional

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Consuming Fire

Check out this link or the imbed below:

I sometimes quote lyrics to Third Day songs to impart important concepts to those who don’t yet understand God. I joke, “This is from the Gospel of Move, Chapter: Surrender.” I like to do this because their lyrics bring home the concepts of the Bible to our everyday lives. But what is really great about some of the lyrics is that they actually came from the Good Book—word for word. Like when they describe God as a “Consuming Fire.”

In context, the verse reads like this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29, NIV). This verse references the one in Deuteronomy 4:24 (NIV): “For the Lord, your God, is a consuming fire, a jealous god.”

These verses remind me of the line in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where the children ask Mr. Beaver if Aslan (the Jesus figure) is safe. Mr. Beaver answers something like this: Safe? Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Of course he isn't safe... but... he's GOOD.

That’s our God, the consuming fire. A fire that has the capacity to end our existence, reducing us to ash, and yet He prefers to consume us in His love, His grace. To fill us and surround us with His being, making us complete.

This fire can also refine us like a precious metal (Malachai 3:1-18), purifying and polishing us until we shine.

So why is this a favorite of Robyn C’s (see her Gomer Testimony on the previous post)? Because it speaks of the contrast of the two lives she’s lived: a yesterday when she felt alone, and a today when He consumes her life, fills it with love and grace and makes her whole.

That’s our God!

Related Posts:

Robyn C’s Journey to God—A Gomer Testimony

The Gomer Testimonies

Adopted Children of God

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Robyn C’s Journey to God—A Gomer Testimony

3D Grand Rapids --Robyn
As promised on Tuesday, I am posting testimonies of Third Day fans who like to call themselves “Gomers.” These are testimonies of lives lived in emptiness (as they always are without God) until they found a relationship with their Savior. One thing I love about these stories is how Christian music played a vital role in encouraging them in the faith. Read and see how God uses this artistry to fulfill lives. (The pictures are from Robyn)

Here is Robyn C’s (aka. OYBNRML Gomer)

My Journey to God

I was raised in a Lutheran home, attended church every Sunday (whether I wanted to or not) and went to parochial school for 4 years. By the time I graduated, I had attended 7 different schools having only moved once, but the great constant in my life was my neighborhood and my church.

We lived in a 60’s subdivision with a mix of lots of different faiths and colors and my best friend was not at all religious. I knew God, but did not have a personal relationship with Him. I mostly hoped that He wasn’t too displeased with me or that He wasn’t even aware of me. The fear being that I wasn’t good enough to gain His approval.

I lived a pretty typical life (I think), and went through a period of partying. I knew my mom would be disappointed if she knew some of the things I was doing, so certainly God would be disappointed.
By the time I was 23, I knew I needed to grow up. I quit partying, and went to Nursing School. I had a daughter not too long out of college, and eventually married my husband (her father) when she was 4, and started living a “normal” life. Even though I had changed, I still felt I was not good enough for God, and probably remained unforgiven for the life I had lived. No matter what people told me, I didn’t think God really loved me or would truly forget my past.
3D Grand Rapids 3 13 11 025
One morning, as I was singing a choir song in the shower, God came to me. He removed the veil from my eyes, pulled the stone from my heart and I experienced absolute pure peace and felt His Love. Some people call it being “slain in the Spirit.” My life began again on April 10, 2000.

Now, I could not listen to the same music I had listened to before this experience because not only did it seem hollow and unfulfilling, it sang of a life I had let wash down the drain that morning. But I LOVE music and the Christian Music I knew of was, dare I say, boring.

Was this what I was going to be confined to now?

THEN I discovered DCTalk. I remember bursting into the kitchen and telling my husband “I LOVE these guys." They fulfill my need for Rock-N-Roll but with lyrics and a lifestyle that doesn’t undo how I want to live!!” It was great.

I started discovering other Christian Artists that I enjoyed. Some friends invited us to Pulsefest because DCTalk was headlining. I was blown away by the music that day, even though DCT was thunderstormed out.

apr 11 Third Day and Chicago 050When we went back to our friends home Karla handed me a Third Day CD and told me she thought I might like them. I thanked her, but didn’t listen to it until I went home. The first song, King of Glory was my story. During the year after my shower experience, I had looked back on my life and felt God had ALWAYS been pursuing me. That He had always been there patiently waiting to show me His Love.

I fell in love with that CD, and then ordered “Come Together”. The song Show Me Your Glory described what I had been telling people about my shower experience. The “flash of lightening” that I saw right as I was gently lowered to my knees, how when I finally came out of the experience and exited the shower (climbed down the mountain to get back to my life), I KNEW my life was never going to be the same again. I had seen God’s love revealed. How did these boys from Georgia know of MY experience, and wrote a song about it. There was a longing for the home I now knew was waiting for me.
3D Grand Rapids --thai--robyn
I started buying more Third Day CD’s and discovered their lyrics AND their music is top notch. I LOVE listening to them, and they help me in my continued walk with God. When they sing of their struggles and their joys, I identify that we all struggle in this life. When they are singing their praises to God, I belt it out with them.

The musicans they introduce to us, and tour with, keep me loving Christian Music. When you listen to Mike from Tenth Avenue North witness, it is just amazing. I thank God every day for the people He’s put in my path, the bands He has anointed to proclaim His love, and the friends I’ve made along the way.

How has Christian music empowered your walk?

with mark--robynRobyn lives in Michigan and is a registered nurse with a background in ICU/CCU and disaster Response. She currently works in Addictions Treatment and wonders if she should check herself in for her addiction to Third Day ;o).macandme 110608

Her favorite Third Day song is Consuming Fire because the lyrics speak of the great difference in her life between the “yesterday” without God and the now with Him.

The Gomer Series will continue through the month of June. Music Devotionals on Tuesdays and Testimonies on Fridays. This coming Tuesday will feature a devotional inspired by Robyn’s favorite Third Day song, “Consuming Fire.”

Related Posts:

What Are You Worth to God?—Inspired by Tenth Avenue North’s “You Are More”

The Gomer Testimonies—The intro to the series

Sacrifice—No Greater Love—One woman’s experience helping Military

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Gomer Testimonies

I’ve always found it funny how some Christians hold up figures from the Bible, beating others over the head with these icons of faith, until the subject of that beating is uselessly crushed. I’ve met individuals who even do this to themselves.open bible

And yet, when I read of the “great ones” in the Good Book, I find many of them … flawed … sinful, and until Christ died for their sins, guilty. But in a strange way, this gives me hope.


Because I’m flawed, sinful and guilty. Still, I’m loved.

That’s the story of Gomer, the wife of Hosea. The harlot, who didn’t know how good she had it, so she left. Why focus on her? Because she is Israel when Israel turned from God to worship Baal. And in parallel, she is us, when we turn from God and choose our own path. Or sin.

Interestingly, this is the name a group of Third Day fans have given themselves. I just recently became one. The name was chosen because of a song on the Conspiracy No. 5 CD, released August 27, 1997, called Gomer’s Theme. A song of an unfaithful wife who is deeply loved.

A song about us.

This is why I am a Gomer. Because being a Christian is not about sitting atop a high-horse, looking down on the sinners before me. It’s about being broken and knowing there is only one way to be fixed—Christ!
Gomers know this.

Some of my new Gomer friends have recently blessed me with a rich and wonderful gift—their testimonies. Stories of brokenness, woundedness, chaos and loss, punctuated by healing, direction, redemption and wholeness through Christ. They’ve agreed to let me share these with you, so you too may be blessed.

I will be posting “The Gomer Testimonies” over the next few weeks, interspersed with Musical Devotionals of their favorite songs and other inspirations. Come and be inspired by what God can do for you!

If you’d like to hear the song Gomer’s Theme, click the link, or the imbed below:

Posts you might like:

Should You Strive to be Only Natural?


God Loves Broken People, by Sheila Walsh—A Review

Friday, June 1, 2012

God Loves Broken People, by Sheila Walsh—A Review

God Loves Broken PeopleI love this woman! And what a book!

God Loves Broken People, by Sheila Walsh is a book about what it means to need and be saved by a Savior. Though this is the primary message of the Gospels, it still somehow gets lost in the rigmarole of church members struggling to be good little Christians, while inside, they know they don’t measure up to a Good and holy God.

Sheila takes us through what it means to be broken, starting out with the notion that there are two kinds of shame: that which immobilizes us, and that which draws us nearer our Creator. She recommends the latter. I must agree. She recounts personal stories, her own and others, of how trial left the bearer of tragedy no other recourse but to call on the Lord, the One who would get them through. And in doing so, enrich their journey on this earth.

She gives the broken a new way to view their challenges while giving steps to heal from them. Not to become the same as before, but to become better, growing deeper in relationship with a Savior who also understands our brokenness because He entered into it with us. And loves us—as she puts it, fiercely—in spite of it.

I highly recommend this book for those who know what it means to be broken. And for those who don’t—I do not envy you.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.



Posts you might like:

He Enters Our Pain

Judging Someone Else's Servant

Writer As Creator