What is SOMS?
Before you purchase a product or service, you read the reviews. If the reviews are positive, you move forward. If they're negative or there are no reviews, you give your purchase a second thought.
While we cannot compare Jesus Christ and His salvation to a product or service, the above principle can be applied. There are many people who come to Christ after hearing about another person's experience with the love of God.
Steward of My Story (SOMS) is an opportunity for you to tell the world what Jesus has been doing in your life. By sharing your story, you give an individual a closer glimpse of what life in Christ is like.
Someone's story helped shape your life. Now your story can shape someone else's.
Tell what great things God has done for you.
Share Your Story
In a few sentences, you can share something that Jesus has done for you.
How has He answered a prayer?
How has the Bible changed your life?
Was there a situation He saved you from?
Did He provide for you in an unexpected way?
Did He miraculously heal you or a loved one?
The Highlander's Story
Healing for the Doctor
As a physician, I am somewhat of a controlling person, especially in acute, highly charged cases in the Emergency Department. I’ve come to grips recently, that because of the physical limitations from my recent spine surgery, I will not be returning to the ED to practice the type of medicine I have loved for almost 40 years.
This was causing quite a few problems for me including my relationship with my wonderful wife. Ever since I started praying for God’s will to be done in my professional life, several alternate opportunities have presented. And although the right fit hasn’t occurred yet, I have the peace that comes with surrendering self to Jesus.
Obviously, patience and faith are lessons that still need to fill my life.
Story by Dr. Lynn Gray
Air Condition, Basketball, and Highland
Why did I start attending the Highland Avenue SDA Church? Well, the answer to this question is a bit embarrassing.
A number of years ago, I completed my education at Andrews University and began working at a local high school in the area. I felt the need to transfer my SDA church membership from out of state to a local church, but which church should I select? There were many in the vicinity, and I had friends at most of them. What criteria should be used to make this selection?
Then, I discovered that Highland Avenue's new church was air-conditioned, and, on top of this, they also had a softball team and a basketball team! So, in my 26-year-old athletic mind, the verdict was determined, and the case was solved.
Even though my decision-making process was faulty and immature, I believe the Lord may have smiled at my foolish rationale because he realized Highland Avenue was exactly where I needed to be.
This place is filled with the Spirit of the Living God, and the members of the congregation are not just friends; they are also my family in Christ.
Story by Alvin Davis
Finding God in the Woods
God has done much for me over the years but I wanted to share how I first knew God was real.
I was not raised in a Christian home. My dad was agnostic. My mom mentally ill. I had to beg to go to the Methodist church with Aunt Dee who was the church organist. I loved the singing in church. One day when I was 8 years old, I was facing a situation, and I fled to the nearby woods for safety.
As I was crying and trying to remember prayers and hymns I heard in church, I felt a presence around me almost like being in an embrace. It filled me with peace. I didn't hear or see anything, but somehow I knew it was God.
This started me on my search for God and truth which eventually led me to the Adventist church. That same presence I felt when I was 8 years old, I sense at Highland Avenue.
Story by Sally McCallister
Beauty for Ashes
"I was raped at 17 and life began to spiral downward for me..."
My story is one that many in my community have experienced. But so many have not gotten out and at times may feel like the life they have is all there will be.
I was born in the Adventist Church. Raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois but moved to the Benton Harbor area when I was 15. I was raped at the age of 17 and life began to spiral downward for me. I then quickly became a literal statistic. I began to party to forget about the worthless I felt.
I became a single mother and then an alcoholic like many others around me. (Alcoholism runs deep on both sides of my family.) In December 2008, I was at my lowest when I was pulled over for drunk driving.
I was still grieving the murder of my best friend and in my family, we drank instead of dealing with the issue. In the backseat of a cop car, I understood that the Holy Spirit was working hard on my behalf.
One of the officers had compassion on me and decided to drive me home instead of taking me to jail. It was then when I thought about making a change. During the next 2 years, I limited my drinking and God sent people to minister to me. Three members from Highland Avenue church "stalked" me or so I thought for 2 years... lol. They were friendly, non-judgemental, and gave me smiles of encouragement. This gave me great comfort, but the devil kept laying a guilt trip on me.
Guilt said that I was too sinful to come back to God. At the end of the 2 years, I was invited to a revival at Highland but I resisted for three weeks. Then Sally Carr, one of the three who always encouraged me, made me promise to come on the last night of the revival. I kept my promise and that ended up being the first day of the rest of my life.
I heard God call my name during the appeal, which frightened and excited me. I was scared I wouldn't be good enough but excited to close to Jesus again! That day, I decided to give my life back to Christ. I especially considered my children, who knew nothing about God. The youngest, who was 6 years old, had never been to church before.
I was baptized in May 2010. I later found out I had been on a prayer list at Highland since 2008! To know that people had been praying for me helped me understand that God answers prayers and that He was making moves to get me out! God sent three angels in the form of Highland members with a message of love especially for me! And I will say that the rest is history. God took the taste of alcohol from my mouth! He changed my whole life!
My kids were baptized soon after. My son Jeffery preached his first sermon at 15 or 16 years old. And my youngest, Richie, preached his first sermonette at 13! So nobody can tell me that God isn't good! I'm not perfect. But I am very open, truthful and willing to do what God wants me to do. I learned about my spiritual gifts are and I try my best to use them for His will.
I urge anyone who is going through a hard time to try God. If you fall, get back up and don't let anyone make you feel bad because of your sins. Although sin is never ok, we are all sinners and we all fall short and need God's grace. If you confess to Him, God will forgive you. PLEASE, don't ever stop trying!
If He can do it for me He can definitely do it for you! Give your life to Jesus and claim Eternal life!
Story by: Kibra Van Horn
By Faith, Not Sight
Publishing my autobiography, The Blind Dream-Chaser is a story of miracles in and of itself. After receiving the Jacob Bolotin award in 2016, I was impressed to complete my story so others could learn what it is like being blind and find inspiration on their journeys. However, literary agents and mainstream publishing companies were not interested.
A few months ago, I was looking to accept the only offer I could find; publishing through a company that wanted several hundred dollars to get the book going. I posted on Facebook that I was looking for donors to help with the cost, praying that there would be some people who believed enough in what God was doing through me.
While I was beginning to raise pledges (no donations came yet) I got a reply from Manfred Lemke of Flanko Press in Iceland. Right away he offered me a deal to proof and publish my book. My only sacrifice was that I would not get the royalty on the first 150 copies he sold. I was fine with that and so I signed the contract.
This is not the end though. I needed someone to manage the illustrating aspect. God provided in this aspect as well. A lady with whom I bartered was willing and able to produce and/or edit photographs to be used as illustrations.
Near the end of June, I began seeking someone to endorse the book. Ron Du Preez’s name came up. He was my pastor a few years ago and is an author himself. He not only wrote a glowing endorsement, but he found a few mistakes the proofing missed, then even set me up with a friend who could help me sell books. By God’s power, my book is now selling copies at Amazon and a few here at my massage business. I haven’t a clue where this journey will go next.
Story by: Ray McAllister