What Faith Can Do: The Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame {Music Monday}

What Faith Can Do: The Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame {Music Monday}

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)


We talk about it all the time.  Faith is the basis of our religion.  But do we truly have faith?

A few Sundays ago, my husband filled in for our pastor.  He was asked to share his testimony about when he had his heart attack.  His story is incredible.  We experienced so many miracles that day, all because of my husband’s faith that God would get him through it.  As soon as he realized what was happening, he started praying!

Let me back up a minute and share that our daughter begins our service by leading a praise song.  She had no idea that her father would be preaching on faith.  The song she chose that week was “What Faith Can Do” by Kutless.  Is it not wonderful how God puts everything together?

Hebrews 11: The Faith Hall of Fame

This “testimony” led to a full-blown sermon on faith.  As my husband prepared his lesson, he felt God telling him that he was missing that point of his testimony.  He preached from Hebrews 11.  The first three verses state:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.  By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:1-3, NASB

Throughout Hebrews 11, Paul tells of the faith of people in the Old Testament: Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Noah, and many others.  These people had faith that God would get them through difficult times and/or give them promises.  They believed God would deliver them no matter how bleak things looked.


My husband ended his sermon with the fact that we should be sharing our faith, teaching others about what faith really is.  As Hebrews 11:6 says, “…Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  We must have faith!

Do you truly have faith?

Do you share/show that faith?

Please share a story of when God provided because of your faith.


What More Must I Do to be Saved? {Testimony Tuesday}

What More Must I Do to be Saved? {Testimony Tuesday}

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

I used to think I did not have much of a testimony. When I was growing up, I was a “good girl” who knew all the Bible stories and never got into any big trouble. I went to church all the time, so I thought that was all I needed. As far as I knew, I was saved.

If I believed in God, what more did I have to do to be saved?

Let me back up and add that I grew up going to church a lot.  My family were members of a denomination that attends on Saturdays.  I went with friends on many Sundays, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights.  I had heard many sermons but I guess I never “heard” what was being said.

When I was fifteen, I was at a friend’s house one Sunday afternoon.  We had been friends for years and were always at each others’ houses.  Somehow, she realized that I did not have a personal relationship with Christ.  We started talking about if I wanted to go to heaven when I died.  I was really confused.

A New Understanding

Her preacher lived about four blocks away so she took me down to talk to him.  He explained to me the plan of salvation.  He told me that going to church, doing good things, or being a good person was not enough.  I had to pray to ask Jesus into my heart so that I might have eternal life.  This sounded new to me, but God was speaking to me.  I understood more in that short amount of time than I had in my entire lifetime.  It was there in the pastor’s home that I prayed to accept Christ.  We went to church that night and I went forward to share with everyone what Christ had done for me.

My life has not been easy since that day.

I have not always done what God has wanted me to do.  Although I have strayed from God, He has never left me.  I have seen God work miracles in my life and in my family’s life.  Accepting Christ was the best decision I ever made.


If you have never done this, it is as easy as ABC.

You must Admit that you are a sinner and in need of salvation from sin.  Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins.  And, Confess that Jesus is Lord.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you would like to, you can pray this simple prayer:

Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner.  I know that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for my sins.  I believe you did this so that I may have eternal life in heaven with You.  Please come into my heart and save me.

If you just prayed this for the first time, please share with someone.  Even if you are ninety-nine years old and have attended church all your life, do not be embarrassed.  We will all rejoice with you.  There is plenty of room in heaven for more.

Did you just pray this prayer?

Were you raised in church and yet didn’t realize the need for a personal relationship with Christ?

Toni D.


A note from Kristi

This is the last post in the Testimony series.  We pray above all that no matter where you are, whether you have a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior or not, you will come to learn that He truly loves you. Above all he wants a personal relationship with you.  He sacrificed himself on the cross so that you can be forgiven of EVERY. SINGLE. THING. you have ever done wrong in your life.  No matter how big or small, we all have sinned.  Even the smallest of sins separates us from a Holy God who cannot encounter sin.  For this reason, Jesus sacrificed himself, so that our sins would be forgiven and we could come back into a relationship with the God of the Universe. This is why we need Christ.

Our other hope and prayer is that you see it’s not just about believing.

Yes, it all starts with believing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth, died for our sins, and three days later was raised from the grave. We must be willing to accept his gift of grace which is freely given.  He destroyed the hold death had over us.  So yes, it all starts with this belief. But even demons believe in Jesus and choose to not follow him. So in addition to the act of believing, we must accept his gift of grace which is freely given.  Then your choice lies in either choosing to follow Christ and learning how to love God first with all your heart, mind, and soul, or choosing instead to love yourself and the things of this world more.


This is why Jesus calls us to die to our sin and to be born again.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”

John 3:3-7

Being born of water and the Spirit was also something the apostles called believers to do:

Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Acts 10:47-48

Continue to nurture your faith

We all make the decision to either accept or reject the amazing gift of grace we are offered.  For it is grace that saves us and nothing that we could ever do! When we choose to follow Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will not automatically get everything right. We still aren’t perfect, but He is!  As we draw close to Him through his word, prayer, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, we become a changed person.  Our thoughts, actions, and even desires begin to change to more of what Jesus wants and less about what our selfish nature wants. It’s not just about our words, but our actions expressed through faith.


As James says:

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  

And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:14-26

Prayer over our Hearts

Lord, we come before your holy throne and humbly thank you for everything you have given us!  For forgiving us and giving us a choice to live eternally with you.  We pray that our lives will be a pleasing sacrifice to you and that we will choose to glorify you above ourselves.  In the One who humbled himself before his Father’s will to save us, Amen!





Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Surrender My Daily Walk with Christ Rekindle the Flame  My Faith Journey When Imperfection Keeps Us from Jesus

When Imperfection Keeps Us from Jesus

When Imperfection Keeps Us from Jesus

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Have you ever let your imperfection keep you from Jesus? I have.

And I’m here to say, no matter how imperfect you are, don’t believe the lie that Jesus needs you to be perfect for you to draw near to him! Never!

He came specifically because HE KNOWS we are not perfect. We can never be perfect without him.  And it is only through him that we can be perfected.

But what about the imperfection that keeps us away? This is my testimony of how long I believed that lie and how Christ finally freed me from it. Praise the Lord for his freedom!

I was sitting against the wall at basketball practice…

…with a few other teammates waiting for our turn for drills. Out of the blue, my friend turned to me and asked,

“If you died today where would you go, heaven or hell?”

Without hesitation, I said, “I would go to hell.”


Once asked, that was not a question I could shake off.

It literally haunted me for days, then months. I grew up in a Christian family and I understood that making a commitment to follow Jesus was a big deal and something I should do. But I just couldn’t do it. I might have only been in eighth grade, and I was a “good” person on the outside but on the inside I knew who I really was. I didn’t understand my value to Christ and Satan was using that for all it was worth.


Not long after that conversation, my grandfather, whom I adored, sat me down at his kitchen table to talk. We always talked, so that wasn’t anything new, but this time it was specifically about my salvation. Love exuded from him. Even though I don’t remember what I said, I do remember how I felt and what I believed. He explained many things, but I couldn’t shake the lie that I had to be better before I could be saved.

In my mind, until I got that one big sin under control, I wasn’t worthy of Christ.

In my desire to be clean for Jesus, I didn’t realize that He is the only one who can cleanse my heart. I remember the internal struggle. I sit here crying as I remember screwing up once again and thinking, “I’m never going to be worthy. This is never going to leave my life. Why me? Why am I stuck with this? Why can’t I get over it?”

My grandfather never got to see me give my life to Christ. Only a few months later, he passed away. His death made his point all the more real…one day we will leave this earth and we will spend eternity somewhere.

After my grandfather passed away, I was devastated. I remember waking up at a slumber party at 4:11 a.m. not knowing why, only to find out the next day that was the exact time he passed away. Although I didn’t see it then, God was working. He was using different people in my life to bring me to Him.

BUT I still couldn’t fathom why he would want me the way that I was. I believed I had to be better for a Savior who was perfect before I could follow him.

The Truth sets us FREE

Thankfully, others did not give up on telling me the truth even though I’d heard it before.  Some needed to plant, some needed to water, right? Well, that principle was definitely happening in my life in regards to rinsing this lie off my heart. I’ll never forget the day my Bible class teacher asked if he could study the Bible with me the following Saturday. I knew what he wanted to talk about and I agreed. That day, one by one, he walked me through Bible verses that showed the truth. Finally, I started to see the truth and see Satan’s lie for what it was…a lie!

From that moment on, I got so excited! I realized there was nothing I could do to make myself clean.  Truly, Jesus is the only One who can wash all our sins away. And better yet, He wants to wash us clean no matter how dirty we are! By following him, we no longer have to be slaves to sin!

This misunderstanding

is one of the reasons why when we read our Bible together as a family, we make it a point to show how God uses imperfect people. Only One who walked this earth was perfect. He died so that all of us imperfects would know true relief from our sins, our shame, and the chains Satan binds us with emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

See, Satan wants us to believe this lie. His goal is to keep us as far away from Christ and his redeeming love as possible. When we start to believe that Christ will meet us right where we are, Satan begins to lose his hold over us. He will try everything to tighten his “death grip” so that we will continue to doubt instead of running to Jesus and trusting him with our lives.

We do not need to be perfect to come to Christ. We do have to be willing to surrender ourselves and follow Christ.

Proof You Do NOT Need to Be Perfect to Come to Christ!

If you struggle with the idea that you have to be perfect to come to Jesus, read over these passages. Let that lie crumble! These verses (and many others) showed me I couldn’t get rid of my imperfections by myself.  Only by putting my faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior to take away all my sins, did I understand I could come to him in my imperfect state.

As always, it is good to dig into the context of these verses so you get the full picture.  


John 3:16-18 – We have to trust that Jesus died for our sins…all of them!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Hebrews 10:14 – Jesus’ sacrifice

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Romans 3:21-24 – All have sinned, everyone is imperfect

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Did you catch that?  “ALL have sinned” and “ALL are justified” by Christ’s grace! That means no one is perfect before they come to Christ, only after.

(Romans, by the way, is an amazing book on how Christ’s blood covers us.  A total must read!)

Ephesians 2:8-10 – Salvation is God’s gift to us

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 Romans 5:6-8 – Christ died for us sinners aka the imperfects!

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Acts 2:38 – We can repent of all the sinful things we’ve done

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Romans 6:3-7 – No longer slaves to sin and will be resurrected with Christ!

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—  because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

(The entire of Romans 6 is great for clearing up this lie!)

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Christ is the perfecter of our faith, not us

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Let God’s truths set you free!

Our Prayer

Lord, we praise you with all that we are! While we were still stuck in our sins, you sent Christ to die for us. To save us! You count us worthy and love us, even when we are ashamed of everything we’ve done. You hold your arms open to us and tell us to run straight into them. You’ve missed us and want an everlasting relationship with us. Help the lies that Satan uses to hold us from you to fall from our eyes. Help us believe your truth instead. Let us be in your word so we can fight the lies of Satan away from our hearts. Let him never enslave us again. In your One and Only Son who brought us true freedom – Amen!

Be encouraged by these testimonies too!

Surrender to Christ Daily Walk with Christ Rekindle the faith My Faith Journey

Learning to Trust and Obey in My Daily Walk {Testimony Tuesday}

Learning to Trust and Obey in My Daily Walk {Testimony Tuesday}

I grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University. Right after earning my degree in Music Education I moved to Germany to do mission work for 5 years. During those 5 years, I married my husband and we eventually became parents to our spunky daughter! We settled back in Oklahoma and added an energetic son to our family! I am now a stay-at-home mom who is still very passionate about mission work, Germany, singing, family, and most of all, my relationship with God.
April E
Latest posts by April E (see all)

I will admit, I don’t have a story that is such a drastic change in lifestyle. I wasn’t living wildly before my baptism. But we all have a journey in learning to trust and obey God, and there is change involved even if it doesn’t seem drastic on the surface. We know that we are all sinners. Thank God that He sent His son Jesus to forgive us!


Raised in a Christian Environment

I grew up in a Christian home with parents who took us to church every Sunday and every Wednesday. In this regard, I was so blessed to be brought up in such an environment. I will be forever grateful for the example my parents have been in my life. Along with my parents, I grew up surrounded by many wonderful Christian people. I remember some wonderful Bible class teachers whom I looked up to and learned so much from. Even my grandparents were Christians and we always attended church with them when we visited. My grandma was a Bible class teacher, and for as long as I can remember, she was always actively serving in her church.

At some point as I was growing and learning, I remember becoming conscious of the fact that I did believe in God. I did believe He sent his son Jesus to Earth to sacrifice himself in order to save us.

Coming to a Decision

When I decided to be baptized, I was ten years old. Although that is young, my parents studied with me and talked with me to make sure I understood what it meant. What I remember the most from those studies came down to understanding that Jesus is God’s Son and he died on a cross to take away my sins. I remember wanting to be obedient to God and live the rest of my life for Him.

Now that I’m older, I realize that I definitely didn’t know everything or understand it in its fullness. The important thing is that I understood what Christ did for me and I wanted to give my life to Him. I think no matter how old we are when we give our lives to Christ, there is no way to fully understand how much God loves us. In fact, those of us who have been living a life for Christ for many years still learn more every day what it means to trust and obey. Being a Christian is a daily walk we must take with God to grow closer to him.


To Walk with Christ Means to Trust and Obey

Since that day on October 14, 1990, when I was baptized, washing my sins away and promising to live my life for God, there have been many ups and downs. That’s part of walking this life, even with God. Even in my lowest of lows, I have felt God’s presence and even was brought closer to Him in those moments. I continue to walk on, knowing that no matter what may come in the future, He is there with me. I have learned on my walk, that every day is a new day and He is always there to walk with me. So I continue to trust in Him and obey Him to the best of my ability, to grow closer to Him and live out His love. I’m so glad that I made that decision twenty-six years ago.

Trust and Obey

by John H. Sammis

When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word,
What a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil he doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]

But we never can prove the delights of his love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor he shows, for the joy he bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at his feet,
Or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
What he says we will do, where he sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for giving your own Son so that I might be saved and live with you for eternity. My thanks will never be enough to repay you for that. I pray that every day I continue to walk with you and lean on you for everything. No matter what is going on around me, I pray that I will focus on you and your Son and all the love you have for me. I ask that you help me block out the world’s noise so that I can look to you alone as my strength. I love you and I praise you for all that you do for me.

It’s in Jesus’ holy name that I pray,


The day my music changed…{Music Monday}

The day my music changed…{Music Monday}

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Once upon a time, in my younger years, I had a very well defined misconception around Christian music.  I felt it wasn’t worthy to listen to and so I would never intentionally listen to it.

Ironically, I had never really listened to Christian music and was judging it in an unfair light.  Instead, I tuned into the popular radio station that played the Top 4o hits, along with playing my cassette tapes and CDs of my favorite Alternative Rock and Spanish music. (Yes, I had cassette tapes…I’m that old!  lol!)

Never in all my time tuning into the local favorite radio station did I think that my testimony as a Christian was coming into question.  All that changed one year in college when I was riding with a friend of mine and questioned what was on the radio.  It was KLove, a christian radio station.

My friend was a new Christian.  And he talked to me about how once he became a Christian, he found this was the best kind of music to keep him focused on God and to keep his thoughts where they should be.  Up until that point, I had never thought of the music on my radio being a type of testimony.

So then I started paying more attention to the music that I listened to and you know what I found…a bunch of lyrics I would never really want to say to Jesus himself, let alone sing to him!

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23

It’s amazing how for so many years, I didn’t acknowledge what I was putting into my heart and declaring through my radio. It definitely wasn’t my love for Christ.  (Now, I’m not saying that you have to switch your radio station and only listen to Christian music.) But what about giving Christian music a chance?  What about bringing a more positive message, a truly life giving message into your every day life?

If someone were to look at the music you listen to, would they know your heart belonged to God?…sadly, just by looking at my music, they would not have known that back then.

I love how God works, because even though I was intrigued by this idea of Christian music, I still didn’t know where to begin…would I be able to find any music similar to what I enjoyed in the Christian world.

Within days of asking myself that question and then forgetting about it, another friend gave me a CD.  It just happened to be a christian band in a genre I liked.  And because of that CD and the initial music conversation I had with my friend, I finally gave Christian music a try.

To this day, this song Basic Instructions  by Burlap to Cashmere is one of my favorites.  It can be found on their first album, Anybody Out There?


Here’s a live version too!  It’s super fun to watch how fast they play the guitars and drums!

Yes, the music that we listen to is a testimony to what we think because whether we like it or not, the ideas get planted into our hearts and will come out in thoughts or songs even when we aren’t expecting it!

Do you listen to Christian music?  What are some of your favorite songs?

If you don’t, I recommend giving it a try.  There is such a wide variety of Christian music out there that like me, you may be shocked and very pleased at what you hear!


When my (3)


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