Finding the Treasure
A Testimony from Oregon, U.S.A.
A couple of years ago, Jesus touched my heart, and I began to seek Him. I had a longing to know Him, but did not understand what I was feeling or exactly what I was looking for.
At this specific time in my life, I spent a lot of my free time at garage sales. I enjoyed the solitude and simplicity of “treasure hunting.” I began finding these wonderful Bibles, tapes and other religious items. I would buy them and give them to family or friends. However, the desire to seek Jesus became stronger, so I began to seek out churches to attend.
I first visited a Baptist church by my home. One afternoon I had an overwhelming desire to go to the church—in the middle of the day! I got up and walked across the street to the church—all the way thinking, “I am nuts!” I boldly knocked on the pastor’s office door; and instead of being received with open arms, I was met with skepticism and coldness. I apologized for imposing, and I shared the story of the strong desire I had to seek Jesus. I shared what knowledge I had of Jesus from Sunday school as a child, from family and friends and from TV movies.
He then extended me a few minutes as he told me he was very busy. He invited me to sit down, and I quickly explained what I was experiencing. He explained that he had been hesitant to speak with me because he thought I was going to ask for money! He got up and went to a bookshelf and returned, handing me two books to read. He thanked me for coming, said a short prayer and sent me on my way. I knew when I left his office this was not where God wanted me to be. I kept searching.
My sister-in-law belongs to the Catholic church and is very active within the church. I went to her and explained the feelings I was having, and she excitedly invited me to attend a class offered by her church. It was several weeks long and explained their faith in detail. She said she would go with me, so I agreed to go.
About the third week, I noticed I had not heard one thing about Jesus in this class and became confused and anxious as to why I was there. It was not satisfying, and I asked the priest why we had not talked about Jesus during this time. He explained that it was important to understand the traditions of the church, but that Jesus was everywhere. I did not understand, and I did not continue in the classes either. I did not believe this was where God wanted me.
I have to admit, I was frustrated. I still did not know what I was looking for. Then, shortly afterwards, I received a postcard in the mail about a prophecy seminar. It sparked an interest immediately, and I decided I would go.
As I attended the nightly presentations, I learned that what I thought I knew was false. As the evenings went by, I had a tremendous amount of fear and anger building up in me. I would go home angry and repeat what I had heard to my husband.
Each time the nightly seminar was over I swore I would not return. I would leave so angry! I would call people in my family who I had thought were very religious and knowledgeable. I repeated to them what I had heard. To my surprise, they agreed that it was true! Oh, how surprised I was then! I asked them, “Why has no one told me?” They responded that they thought I knew.
I was drawn back to the meetings, and with more curiosity, but very guarded. It was not until the evening the Sabbath truth was given that the anger began to subside. As Pastor Mike used the Bible to show me the truth about the Sabbath, I realized how blind I was.
My husband was as surprised as I about what I was learning. He shared what I was telling him with some friends at his Harley club. They said it sounded like a cult. Then my husband talked with a pastor that attends his Harley club and shared this story with him. And the pastor said it did not sound like a cult, but to just keep his eye on me. This pastor invited my husband to his church, and they prayed for me that I would not be led into a cult and that I would make the right decision.
Pastor Mike began Bible studies with me after the seminar had completed. I was a smoker and had smoked for many years. During one of the Bible studies he told me I needed to stop smoking, for it was a sin. He said that my body was a temple for God and that I needed to take care of it in order for God to dwell there. He told me of the power of prayer, and told me to pray to God. At first, I have to admit, I did not give this prayer thing much confidence!
It took me a couple of weeks to get the courage up to attempt to stop smoking. But I found myself thinking about it all of the time. I did not want to continue to sin. But I also knew how hard it would be because I had tried many times before. I decided I would buy some nicotine patches to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Then some days later I found the courage to try, and I knelt down and prayed. I asked God to take the desire to smoke from me, to give me the strength to stop smoking. Then I promptly put on a patch.
Not long afterwards I found the patch on the floor. It had fallen off. I picked it up and put it back on. But it would not stick. At first I was upset because the patches are expensive and I thought maybe I had gotten an expired batch. They should last 24 hours. I opened another patch and put it on. Soon it, too, fell off! Then I began to think, “Okay, God, if you want me to quit, you’ll have to do it.”
I do not recall any desire to smoke for the first few days; but as time continued, there were cigarette cravings, but they were always manageable with prayer. It has now been over a year and a half since I last smoked. I no longer have any craving for cigarettes. Praise the Lord!
I continued in weekly Bible studies with Pastor Mike and began attending church on the Sabbath. I began to find strength from the Sabbath meetings with fellow believers. I found myself looking forward to Sabbath and was filled with a desire learn and to share my testimony with whoever would listen.
Soon I began to feel a division in my home between me and my loved ones. My home became a battleground. Tempers flared between each of us often. My family refused to come to church with me. They wanted me to stop going. They said that I was not the same anymore. They said, “The church is taking you away from us. You spend too much time with your church. You are not at home anymore.”
But through it all I continue to strive to keep the Sabbath. I do continue to feel isolated at home; however, the desire to learn has never left me. I surrounded myself with studies and readings. On July 24, 2010, I was baptized into a Sabbath-keeping church! All of my family members were there to share this wonderful day! Praise the Lord!
My family members now say they are happy that I have found a church; however, they continue to refuse to hear the truth. Please pray for me and my family.
By Teri Day. Teri is a member of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. For more information on their prophecy seminars, email Pastor Mike Bauler: email@example.com.