Testimony

This is an open letter to my friends and those whom I associated with in the United Pentecostal Church, International (UPCI). I offer this testimony to all who would like to understand the changes that have occurred recently in my family’s life. I am writing and posting this publicly so that everyone can read it for themselves and see how God is working in our lives.

Since this is a public testimony I want to start with how God began working in my life in the summer of 1991. Many of you know the story so I will not be sharing every detail, only the most important ones.

It was the summer of 1991 when several personal events brought me back to my hometown of Dumas, Tx. My relationship with my high school sweetheart was broken, I had lost my job, dropped out of college, and felt like my life was a failure.

When I hit the bottom I realized that the mistakes I had made cost me to lose the best thing that I had in life at the time. That was my high school sweetheart. We knew from the moment we had met that we were meant to be together forever, but my foolishness had caused me to break her heart and lose her.

After coming close to killing myself I soon found myself in the hands of a loving God who washed away all my sin and filled me with His Spirit. Sunday July 21, 1991 was the beginning of a new journey in my life. Most of you know that through these events I ended up going to the same church as my high school sweetheart.

The work that God began doing in my life from the start was transforming. Gone was the feeling of hopelessness. It was now replaced with joy and peace. I fell in love with Jesus and this new love dominated my new life. I continually devoted myself to bible study, prayer, and fasting. This season of my life was when God began to show me how much he loved me.

For the next two years I dedicated my life to God and was not concerned with a physical relationship with my high school sweetheart. She was still attending this same church as was I, but she had moved on with her life as well as I had.

Many of you know that through a series of events, of which I could not see coming at the time, my relationship was eventually restored with my high school sweetheart and we were married. I was prepared to move on with my new life and trusted in God to take care of me along the way.

He always proves faithful and will step into any situation in the lives of those who trust in The Lord. Even though I was prepared to continue on and be married to someone else God’s hand reached down and changed the course.

Our God has always worked this way in the lives of the faithful. Just remember Abraham, who was willing to do something that none of us would ever be willing to do by offering up his very own son. He was totally committed to sacrifice his son, he did not have it hid away in his heart to stop the knife on his own before it struck his son. No, he was totally committed to make the sacrifice but God stepped in and stopped the knife.

So it is that God still works in the lives of those who trust in him even when the situation all around doesn’t make sense to anyone. It always makes sense to God.

A year or so ago God began working in my life in ways that I did not understand at the time. My faith in him was challenged and tested by fire during this time. I didn’t understand at the time, but I endured the testing of my faith only by the help of God. I now know that this season of testing was to strengthen me for the next season that was coming in my life.

During this time I began to gain a whole new respect for the act of faith and trust. I began to understand more than ever that the trying of my faith is more precious than gold that is tried by fire. God had tested my faith to it’s very end, and when I came out of the fire I had a greater trust in Him than I ever had.

During this time in my life God brought to the forefront of my life something that had interfered with my walk with God from the very beginning. Fear had always seemed to have been a major influence in my life. Hindering me from hearing clearly God’s voice and direction in my life.

This next new season began when I was in the process of interviewing for a new job. I learned that our pastor was going to be retiring. I was very close to getting the new job at this time but wanted God’s will ultimately in my life. We prayed and told God that if He wanted us to stay and help through the transition then He could take the new job possibility away. This happened the next week, and I ended up staying during the transition.

I had been studying the book of Galatians and the faith of Abraham when God began to speak to me about another issue in my walk with Him. Some of the Galatians had been listening to the teaching of others who were trying to convince them to receive the circumcision. This became such an issue that many were beginning to believe that they would not be saved unless they received the circumcision.

Paul’s letter to them is an open rebuke to them for listening to such teachings. If they were going to rely on the law or physical acts like circumcision to save them then Christ and the cross would be of no use for them. There faith and trust for salvation should lean only on Christ and His cross.

God convicted me because I had placed my faith in several physical acts in addition to Him in order for my salvation. He told me that He and He alone would be what saves me. Nothing I could do would ever be enough. In fact that if I tried to add anything to His sacrifice on the cross then the very cross would not even work for me anymore.

I fought with this for several months and ultimately yielded myself to the scriptures. I began to trust only in Him alone. I never realized this would take me where I am today. Never in my entire lifetime.

The events over the last few months have not made sense to anyone involved, or anyone standing on the sidelines watching. But regardless I refuse to walk by anything but faith in my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. He is the very author and finisher of my faith, He is worthy of all the praise and glory forever.

I have never been as sure as I am today that God is working a great miracle in, and through, my life. I refuse to listen to fear. I will only listen to the the Spirit of God that is within me. That Spirit reassures me that the road that I am walking on is the one that He wants me on during this season of my life.

We have received many letters and calls from our friends. All of them are concerned for our spiritual well-being. I want those friends to know that your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated. Several have not agreed with our decision to walk the new road that God has set before us. Saying rather to turn around and walk back. To them I want to assure you that the God I am serving today is the very same God who delivered me in 1991, and He is more active in my life today than ever.

I understand that there are situations and circumstances over the last few months that have brought us all to where we are today. Many do not understand our actions and fear we have left with bitterness in our hearts toward others. This is not the truth.

Any broken relationships that existed in the past have been restored and today we walk with the peace of God in our lives and in the lives of the others. God is an awesome peacemaker and can bring about healing and restoration in all situations to those that trust in Him. Sometimes we just do not want to walk through the fire to get there.

Many of you want to know what our future plans are concerning church attendance. Please know that this has been considered on our part in much prayer and fasting. While many will not accept our decision as the will of God for our lives, I want you to trust that our decision is the will of God for us during this season of our lives. God has assured me of this through the Holy Ghost.

For much of my life I had to understand what God was doing before I could accept it. I have given up on understanding God. I have not been called to understand Him rather I have been called to trust in Him with everything I have. That is exactly what I am doing and will continue to do.

All of that said, we have chosen to attend Grace Thru Faith Fellowship in Dumas. Many of our friends will not accept this choice and will consider us backsliden and away from God. I want them to know that I love them very much and my hope is that one day God will reveal His working in all of this to them.

I love my wife and children with all of my heart and would never put God’s precious gifts in harms way by steering them away from the truth of God. To some my actions will appear as if I am throwing them right into the pits of hell. Yet I am confirmed in the Holy Ghost that my steps are ordered of the Lord.

We wanted to write this letter in order for everyone to hear firsthand what God is doing in our life. We still love everyone of our friends in the UPCI and will continue to do so. When we see you on the streets we will not snub you or ignore you, if you see us first stop us and say hello.

Please continue to love us and pray for us, but also have faith and respect in our decision. You are our brothers and sisters in Christ and will always be.

In the Love of Christ,
The Brady’s

p.s. If you want to keep up with what God is doing in our lives feel free to visit Raymond’s blog at www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org He has had it on-line for a few years now and he will continue to post things onto it in the future.

Click here if you want to find out more about our beliefs 

2 responses

14 04 2009
Lori B.

This is a wonderful posting, and I hope that many will read it.
So glad to see that you are allowing God to lead you, and not be swayed by the opinions of others.
Keep the truth always, and don’t be ashamed of it. Share it with others, be a light to those who may be seeking the full plan of salvation.
God has taken you to where you are for such a time as this.
Much love to you and your precious family.
Thanks for being our true friends through all the ups and downs.
~Lori B.

27 04 2011
Gayle Ann Boren Stinnett

Raymond, I love you and Stacey with unconditional love. Your family is one of the finest I have ever met. Our walk with the Lord is an individual journey. I have read your post and understand that you have already traveled a long road. I also am aware that the end of your journey is yet ahead. I can only offer this advice, “continue to LISTEN and HEARKEN to HIS voice”. No man can truely lead you… just JESUS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: