PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF CRYSTAL TAYLOR
When I was 11 years old I attended an Evangelistic Meeting held at the elementary school I attended, with my friend and neighbour at the time. Following the service an altar call was given and my friend & I went forward. Our pastor at the time shared with us John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." I can remember sitting there with my Bible on my lap thinking, there is a God! If I believe in him I will go to Heaven some day! It was at this time I asked Jesus Christ to come in to my heart and forgive my sins and be Lord of my life. I went home felling HAPPY! Shortly afterwards I sat on my bed and prayed, Lord how can I be a witness for you? I want to be a witness, MAKE me a witness! For many years that has been my frequent prayer.
My testimony is unlike most testimonies I have heard over the past 29 years. Many people have lived a life of sin before they turn to Jesus. I decided at age 11 that one way I could be a witness for God would be by the way I life my life. I have come to find out however, in the last few years especially, that living a good Christian life does not mean we will be free from major trials. I have to admit there was a time I believed the better the life we live, the less trials we will have. I have had my share of trials, but I have learned to trust in God, to praise him and in all things give thanks! I know God has a plan for my life and every other believer and that all things work together for good if we love God and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) This verse has been an incredible encouragement to me throughout my Christian life.
I came across a verse a few years ago, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalms 37:4). I am DELIGHTED in the Lord! God is giving me my heart's desire. God has blessed me in so many ways and I know it is because I am delighted in him.
I have had some major trials in my life. One of them has been homesickness. I left home at 18 and was married when I was 19. My husband and I lived out west for 7 years before we finally moved back home. After living in the east (next door to my parents for 2 years) my husband felt that because of the job situation at that time we should move back out west. This was not an easy time for me. I was so depressed it was like I was paralyzed. I tried to compare the feeling to something, the loss of a loved one, parents, children, my husband. For me nothing could have felt any worse at the time. It was at this time I had my first talk to God out loud. I prayed, "God I have lived my life for you. I have prayed and seen prayer answered. I realize that my husband is head of our home, so Lord I will take it as your will if he does not change his mind about moving west or Lord if it is your will for us to stay, let him make the decision to stay in the East. Whatever his decision is, I will believe it is your will." Then I prayed, "God if you can pick me up from this paralyzed state I will never doubt you again." That day I had a miracle take place in my life! I should mention here that when my children were young ( I have 2 boys - 18 months apart - Herb Jr. & Zach) this was a difficult time for me. It seemed all I did was feed and change baby's and clean house. It was at this time in my life that I let my daily devotions slide, the first time and the last time I might add. I stayed up late just to have some time to myself. I still attended church and even a weekly Bible study but almost, if not everyday I doubted my faith. Back to my depressed condition. God did pick me up from the pit I was in and I actually felt like I was sitting on the Lord's shoulder for 2 years! Like a girl sitting on her Daddy's shoulder. In my spirit I quite often heard the Lord saying, " Just trust me, everything is easy when you trust me." I made the decision that day that I would never doubt my faith again.
I asked the Lord for three things if we were to move west:
- A house I would be happy in and affordable
- That the house would be close to a school because my oldest boy was starting ECS and I didn?t want him going on a bus
- A Christian friend - I did not give these things another though. I knew God would provide and He DID!
Another trial I experienced happened a few years later. I was very unhappy in my marriage. I suffered again with depression. I reached out for help for the first time in my life to someone other than God, although a couple of friends knew I was struggling. However, I did not get the support I needed. I was having thoughts of suicide. This was awful! I believe the Lord allowed that time in my life so that I could relate to others feeling the same way (Romans 8:28). My family and a few friends were praying for me and God answered their prayers. I felt like no one loved me enough, no one cared enough until God spoke to my heart one day and said in a sweet voice, " Jesus Cares". I am a singer and the Lord gave me a second song. I knew at that moment that one day my first tape would be called " Jesus Cares."
In 1990 I was at a Church and the message that morning was on depression. I have often thought to myself because I seek God's will in my life, Satan will probably try to stop me from serving God. I got that right! The Lord healed me instantly that day from a depression. I felt a tingling from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I realized a few days later I was not homesick anymore and even to this day I've never been homesick again! My depression was really due to homesickness.
The next trial I would like to share with you did not last very long I am happy to say. We were living in Calgary at the time when my husband needed to enter College in Red Deer, Alberta. This was in the spring of 1991. He had to be retrained after a back injury. That meant he was unable to get into the college in Calgary and would have to move or commute. I was sure none of this was God's will. Things were going really well with my music ministry and I did not want to move. My husband was excited about his new career change and was disappointed that I did not share his enthusiasm. A day or so passed and in the wee hours of the morning I just happened ho open my Bible to Ephesians 5:22, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." I thought, Oh! OK. If you put it that way Lord. No problem. That is just what I needed to hear. At the moment, because of my heart attitude, I knew that God was going to bless me BIG TIME. Seven years later he is still blessing me BIG TIME!
I could go on and on about things concerning God. I will end my testimony by saying something I heard once and believe it. A Christian's motive for service is thanksgiving to God. AMEN!
PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF HERB TAYLOR
I was brought up in a family with two younger sisters. My mom and dad were from hard working families. We were not a Church going family. I cannot remember going to church once before the age of 14. No one ever told us about Jesus or how God loved us. For us or for me it was something never considered. My father was in the military and we moved every 3 years.
It was in Fredericton, NB that I had a spiritual desire and I could not figure out where it was coming from or where I was to go. My mom could not give me any direction because at this time she was not doing so well and all 3 kids were putting her through the mill! I remember getting up one morning, dressing up and telling my mom, " I'm off to the Church!" She just looked at me and no comment was made. I remember attending one Church Service as a teen but finding no peace or contentment. I decided not to stop there. A friend of mine asked me if I would like to meet some girls. I said yes right away, as any teenage boy would. He did not tell me it was in a Youth Group. No matter, I had no preconceived notions and I had no fears. In that Youth Group some important seeds were planted in my like but I was still not ready to commit to anything.
My dad was in Cyprus doing a UN Peace Keeping Duty. mom was home looking after my two younger sisters, not having an easy time. With dad gone for 6 months it was just too much for her. At 14, I was at the wonderful age of , "I know everything and don't tell me to do anything!" With dad gone I was really free and I could work over mom pretty good!
A little girl across the street invited my youngest sister Terri to Sunday school and she went. Terri brought back a Bible and some Sunday school papers. My mom picked up the Bible and devoured it in 2 days. The following Sunday she and Terri went to Church and received Jesus as their Savior. After my mothers conversion, I was amazed to see her change that fast. Right away my mom was delivered from smoking (a 30 year habit), drinking, and swearing. The peaceful look on her face was incredible. I was thinking, was this my mom or a stranger? I would put her to the test to find out! I tested every chance I got.
Dad could see the change in mom's letters. He knew something had happened but mom was afraid to tell dad that she had received Christ as Savior and Lord. Without my father knowing what was taking place, he wrote and told my mom that when he got home he wanted to start going to Church. From Cyprus he visited the Holy Land and I am sure the Spirit of God touched his heart as well.
Every Sunday Mom asked me to go to Church with her and I always said, "No!" I really wanted to go but I could not give in that easy! She thought being a Christian was being soft and passive until the Pastor shared with her that she is responsible to her family. The next Sunday I was in Church.
Two weeks after my father came home; he and my older sister Debbie accepted Jesus as their Savior - 4 out of 5! I could not believe it. My whole family was saved except me and I knew about Christ before any of them. Soon after, I accepted Christ. One thing that influenced my decision the most was seeing the change in my mother. If Christ could make that much of a difference in her life and to see the peace and love she had, that was what I wanted. All 5 of us were baptized at the same time. I will never forget that as long as I shall live. Thank God that a little girl across the street invited my sister to Sunday school.
Accepting Christ at age 14 gave me a good start on life. I look at my children now and I feel so blessed because they are being brought up in a Christian home. Soon after I accepted the Lord, my girl friend accepted Christ, before I knew it all the people I was hanging around were Christians. The Godly influence on my life would have a great impact in years ahead. From Fredericton we moved to Bear River, Nova Scotia. We were in a good church and I loved the youth group. We just moved in the house; Dad and mom were painting their bedroom so they stayed in the girls' room. I was downstairs. 2:00 A.M. my dad said, the Lord woke him up from a dead sleep and he could hear the roar of fire. He went to the rear stairs and opened the door. The heat and pressure threw him back against the wall. Flames were shooting up the rear staircase. He woke mom, Debbie and Terri and they made their way down the front staircase. Mom woke me up. We all got out of the house alive - Praise God! Just the night before I looked at all my collections, my stuff and made a stupid comment - " What else do I need?" Well at 2:30 A.M. we were knocking on our neighbours door in the country. What a sight it must have been for Mrs. Harris, looking out the door and seeing the new neighbours in their underwear! In 45 minutes all that we had was lost. Almost everything! The most important thing we saved was our faith in God. That disaster brought us closer to God and closer to each other. Our new Church family was incredible. Our Pastor shared with us Romans 8:28, "And we knew that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose". This has been my favorite verse to this day. I had a good sleep that night because I knew God would continue to take care of us!
On the Cornwallis Army base I was the only young Christian boy that I knew of. Most of my friends drank and took drugs. I remember many times when someone would be sniffing glue just behind the bus stop. Praise God he spared me from all of that mess, I got bolder as a young Christian and would share my faith as the Holy Spirit allowed me. When we are willing and able he will open the doors for us and allow us to do things we at one time thought impossible. I would take my Bible to high school and share as much as I could. They used to call me preacher - "The Preacher Man" - I loved it. The more they called me that the more I shared. In the meantime we moved off the base in Cornwallis and went back to Bear River. We lived in the small town for 3 more years.
I met my wife Crystal through Youth Group. In the country, for entertainment and fellowship, the Youth Groups would mix. For us, there were no denominational barriers. I went out with Crystal 1 year before I moved out west to go to Prairie Bible Institute. My plans were to go into ministry.
I was sidetracked and was a cabinetmaker for about 18 years. I was always involved in Church work; Youth work etc. and frequently thought of going into the ministry. Praise God, he never forgets us and he does give us the desires of the heart! (Psalm 37:4) On October 5th, 1994 we went into full time ministry. God has blessed my wife Crystal with a voice from heaven and a message from Him. Our ministry is Crystal singing and sharing Jesus. There is a strong message of salvation and victory in Crystal's songs, which the Lord has given her.
My role in our ministry is to oversee the scheduling and administrative details when we are on the road. However, I am prepared to participate by presenting a devotional or a message when requested. We both want to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and walk in obedience to our Lord and Savior. We minister wherever God leads us and we are not bound to tradition or denominations, We are bound to Christ and cling to the cross. The message is simple. Nicodemus asked Christ, "What must I do to enter the Kingdom of God?" Christ answered, "Ye must be born again." Fulfilling the Great Commission is the duty of every Christian. Praise God we are of His family.