Special Guest Abigail (Beth) Erwin
•“This is our journey.
•I can’t help but share because our journey has refined us and strengthened us! But more than that…I have felt the Lord’s goodness, grace, and love through all of it. I think by God’s grace we were able to walk the latter. I will be a storyteller of how the Lord was with us on the mountains and with us when we fell in the valley. It is well…it is well!” Abigail Erwin
Special Guest Lynita Motes
This is an interview you will not want to miss!Lynita is one of the most enjoyable people you will ever meet. She is an artist. In 1986 she began to paint commissioned portraiture. Simultaneously, God placed within her a hunger for His Word. As He fed her directly and through mentors, she in turn taught others what she was learning in the Bible.She got the idea of combining art and teaching the Bible.She speaks to Women’s Ministry groups on “Mosaic of Grace” God’s Truth is illustrated through her art work.
Kim’s story of how her princess story went wrong and how she learned to turn her burdens to blessings.
Kim Crabill is the founder and director of Roses and Rainbows Ministries, Inc., and COFFEE (Conversations of Friends of Faith to Encourage and Equip). She is the author of seven books and booklets, including her signature work, Burdens to Blessings: Discover the Power of Your Story.
Kim serves on the Advisory Board of the Christian Women in Media Association (CWIMA). She was named “Outstanding Leader in Media” for 2017-2018 by the CWIMA and was featured in London’s Highly Fabulous magazine by Dr. Patricia Benjamin as a “2018 International Woman of Influence.”
LEARNING TO LIVE
IN THE LAND OF THE DYING
LynitaMotes and Shelia Erwin will be talking about how they survived the ups and downs of taking care of their aging parents.
When I was six years old, our small church had a revival. On a warm March Sunday night, I acted by faith in what I heard, and I became God’s child forever.
Although I don’t remember much about starting my new life in Christ, I know I was grateful for His dying for me. I also thought it was now up to me to pay Him back by being the best Christian I could be. Every time we had a revival, I rededicated my life to Christ. My purpose was to please God and to “be good.”
Through heartache and disappointment, I came to the end of myself and my own effort to live the Christian life. I was twenty years old when I understood I could not be what I wanted to be. I found my heart attitudes were still a problem, and I was helpless to do anything about them. In disappointment and frustration, I told the Lord that I could not live the Christian life and that if this was the abundant life, I didn’t want it. The Lord began to teach me that He never said I could live the Christian life. By studying His Word, I began to understand that He is the only one who can live the Christian life, and He will live it through me, if I only yield to His control.
This was the best news I had ever heard. I did yield! My life has never been the same. He has done more than I could ever have dreamed of or hoped for. His love is from everlasting to everlasting—what a Savior! Not only did He live a perfect life for me and then die on the cross for me; He continues to live His life through me. In return, I get to experience a truly abundant life, as John 10:10 says: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” Coming soon
"Hello, I am Kate Battistelli mom of Francesca Battistelli. My husband Mike and I were living in New York City in 1983, having met on the National Tour of The King and I where I had my first big role starring as Anna opposite movie star Yul Brynner. We toured the nation for almost 3 years and I performed the role more than 1,000 times, certain a life on Broadway and a Tony award were in my future. Mike was the assistant conductor on the show.
Soon after we were married, we started a side business and met a gal named June, a born-again Jewish lady, who kept inviting us to go to church. I was 29 by this time and Mike was 32. We kept politely turning her down but she kept asking us to go and after awhile it’s just plain rude to say “no” one more time. So, we agreed to join her on a Friday night because, she told us, “you will love the music”,(and we did) and we went with her to her church in Jamaica, Queens.
We had no idea what to expect or what kind of church we were going to as we rode the train to the last stop in Jamaica, Queens, that Friday, March 31, 1984.
It turned out we were heading to a church in an old converted movie theater. When we arrived, the men sat on one side and the women sat on the other. And all the women wore modest skirts or dresses, wearing no makeup or flashy jewelry. Old and worn crutches and braces and bedraggled wheelchairs covered the lobby, all from folks who’d apparently been healed.
You have to understand, being raised in an extremely liturgical church, I felt like I’d been dropped by parachute onto a foreign planet or at least entered a foreign country!
Our friend June walked us down to the front row of that old movie theatre. There must have been at least a thousand people attending the service that night. To say we stood out is an understatement.
I had no touchstone for the exuberant worship of a God I didn’t know and had never met that I experienced in that place. Singing the staid Doxology was about as exuberant as the church I grew up in ever got. But the Holy Spirit, who I began to discover was real and powerful, moved and breathed in this place and so, with deep joy, our hands shot up in the air the moment the pastor gave the invitation to be saved that night. And, honestly, we have never looked back!
The next year we had our only child, our daughter Francesca, and a year and a half later, after much prayer and good counsel, we moved out of New York City, leaving behind thriving theatre and music careers in obedience to the Lord. We don’t regret it for a moment.”
In growing up in Birmingham, Al, I had a wonderful family with both a father and a mother (and one older sister) who took me to church every time the doors were open. I had a very happy childhood. I had gone down the aisle, at my church, at 12 years old and was later baptized thinking I was going to be told how to be saved, but I had only made a "profession" of faith and did not have "possession" of faith for salvation.
From 12-18 years old I went through a crisis. I had been 100% outgoing, unafraid of speaking in groups to a sudden radical change. At 12, I stood and read a paragraph at school and my voice shook. I did not feel afraid, but in sitting down, the teacher made such a wild look at me that the whole class roared with laughter. In looking back, I felt I had experienced a big rejection for the first time in my life and I did not know how to handle it. From then on, in my heart, I determined not to speak in groups.
Of course this is almost impossible in life. The fear had gotten so bad that I decided in January of 1972, the middle of my Junior year, to quit high school. That fall two friends of mine took me to a little Bible study. They knew I was depressed, to say the least. I had them convince me I would not be called on to read or speak.
The teacher was, Mrs. Joyce Yancey. In looking back, the questions that have been asked me, I believe have been questions straight from God to help me think, and have been key in my understanding and growth in Christ. That cold, rainy, very dark November night, Mrs. Yancey left her warm Vestavia home to meet 3 young teens to share with them about Jesus. After the study, she asked me, question number one, "When did you find out all your sins were gone." I answered I had always known that. Of course I had not and I did not, except that I knew about Jesus's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension along with lots of other Bible stories from Sunday school and church. But, I had not been "born again" (John 3:3) and I did not know that I was not born again, because, after all, I had been raised in the church and baptized. She also asked me, upon finding my history of quitting high school and depression, etc., question number two, "Don't you know that the Lord Jesus Christ can set you free?" (John 8: 31-32). Well I didn't. So, I clung. I was desperate for help. I had been seeing a doctor and I had become worse. I had been to see the pastor twice and found no help. I was in Bible study twice a week after that, with Mrs. Yancey and a large group of kids and also had a lot of one-on-one discipleship with Shelia Erwin.
I was finally saved March 13,1973 when I asked Mrs. Yancey, "am I saved?" She talked with me about it and we settled it by faith and thanked the Lord for coming into my life and asking Him, "Please show me if there is anything I do not understand about salvation." And He did! In talking with Shelia Erwin on April 24,1973, I understood for the first time that Christ had paid for all my sins, past, present, and future. My past sins were future to Jesus when He died on the cross, so also were my present and any future sins. That turned my life upside down. (Heb. 10:17-18) I "Echoed" this to people I came in contact with who would listen. Evangelism was a big part of my Bible study training as well as training for street evangelism by the Wales Goebel Ministry. It is still part of my life in asking God for prepared hearts to be brought across my path.
I went to UAB nursing school, graduated, married Jay Jackson, a minister on staff with the Wales Goebel Ministry in Birmingham. He is still on that staff, but is also pastoring a small Bible Church in McCalla, Al. We have three grown and married "kids" and seven grandchildren. The "Echo" has been passed down for salvation, walking in the spirit, sanctification, etc. to my kids and their kids, and others who have been willing to listen.
Though set free from sin, there were still remnants of that destructive fear. I longed to be free from bondage to people. After all, I had that huge rejection, so I wanted to conform so there would not be the rejection even by Christians. This is bondage. So, in hearing a message in April 2011, by Dr. Ted Rendall on Bartimaeus from Luke 18: 35-42, the hearers were asked to answer the question posed by Jesus to Bartimaeus, "What do you want Me to do for you?" (NASB). He asked everyone that saw the need, to write out anonymously on a piece of paper, "What is it you would want Jesus to do for you?" This was the third main question that affected my life so drastically. I wrote out on a piece of paper, "I want to be free from what people think." It was more, for me, being "controlled" by people. So, yes, I cried out to the Lord for healing and deliverance from this bondage. There were many factors involved in freeing me from 50 years of being in this bondage, but praying through these things with Mrs. Hester Rendall, Dr. Rendall's wife, and with counsel from her, there was finally freedom. And like Lazarus, (Jn.11:43-44) I became free from those things which bound me. So, the verses from John 8:31-32 (NASB), Jesus was saying to Jewish believers, and to us as well, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." That's my "Echo", freedom in Christ. First, freedom from the bondage and power "of " sin, broken through salvation. Then freedom "from" daily sins, in progressive sanctification.
"What is it you would want Jesus to do for you?"
I remember so well the night that I walked down the aisle of my church during a revival service. The evangelist preached a sermon on hell and had invited anyone who was interested in getting saved to walk toward the front of the church. As the invitation hymn continued to be sung by the congregation, I was nervous and scared. I realized, as a 10-year-old girl, that I was a sinner and I did not want to go to hell so I walked to the front of the church. The pastor shook my hand and directed me to sit down and complete a card for church membership and baptism. Regrettably, no one explained to me the true gospel… “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The “all” included me. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” No one asked me if I understood I was a sinner, and that Christ died for me, and if I wanted to trust (believe) in Him. So, I did not know if I was saved and had eternal life with God.
I was blessed to have Christian parents who prayed that I would understand one day that I was a sinner and needed to trust Christ. They were excited that night and thought their prayers had been answered; but for me, that night began a 20-year journey of questioning, searching, doubting, and trying to have peace by doing all of the things that people do to please God. I went to church, I prayed, I gave my money, I played the piano for the church services, I helped with the children’s ministry, etc. I was considered a good girl. But the Bible says that all of our works are as filthy rags and there is none good, no not one. Jesus died on the cross because I could not be good enough. I could never do enough good works, keep the commandments, etc. I could not, but I tried.
I had a brother, who was six years younger than me. Even though Johnny was physically and mentally challenged, we had a wonderful relationship and loved each other very much. He taught me life lessons about ministering to others and loving people who have special needs. I remember that I was so thankful that I could learn and talk and so sad that he could not. I was an overachiever to say the least and pressured myself to do my very best at everything I did because he could not. My spiritual life was no exception and I wanted to do my very best to please Jesus.
After marriage, I realized my husband’s relationship with God was different than mine. He was at peace with God and did not seem anxious about death or eternal life with God. He had a desire to study the Bible, pray, and memorize scripture. Before our first daughter was born, I became very anxious and fearful about the possibility of dying in childbirth, so I met with a lady in our church and told her I was not sure I had trusted Jesus as my Savior. She told me I was going through a time of doubting, and she was sure I was a Christian because of all the things I was doing in the church. But even her reassurance did not help my anxious heart.
By the time our second daughter was 2 years old, I became more and more aware that something was wrong in my relationship with God. I became desperate to settle my doubts. One day after I talked to my husband again, he suggested we talk with our pastor. When we arrived at the church, the pastor met us in the foyer and kindly escorted us to his office. I told him what had happened when I was a child and how I had continued to try for many years to please God. Rather than try to console me or reassure me, he simply asked me, “Would you like to trust Christ today?” I understood for the first time that it was not me trying harder and harder. I could never take away my sins. God sent Jesus to die on the cross to take away my sins and to offer me the free gift of salvation. Did I believe that Jesus did that just for me? Yes I did. The peace and assurance I had longed for was mine! God gave my pastor special discernment regarding my doubts and the real issue in my life that I needed to trust Jesus because he had struggled with a similar situation in his own life when he was a young boy. I am so grateful. Thank you Lord for saving my soul.