Rosewood Park Alliance Church
"We recently hosted the Restored Conference here at Rosewood Park Alliance Church as a way of providing a great spiritual growth opportunity for our church and those in our community. One of the things we have recognized over the years is that as Christians we are regularly caught in bondage or negative sin patterns that seem to stall our spiritual growth and our walks with Jesus. The Restored Conference has been an amazing tool for our church as it provides a very simple, non-invasive opportunity for our congregants to deal with some of this bondage and sin patterns, in order for them to be free to continue pursuing all that Jesus desires of them.
Our hope for our church having gone through this is that more and more individuals would be able to freely move on the path of discipleship as they grow in their relationship with Jesus. We pray that these individuals would learn how to live out their faith well, here in our church and out in the world. We hope that the freedom that they have found in Christ is an amazing witness to those who don’t yet know Jesus!"
Associate Pastor Joel Cyr
Rosewood Park Alliance Church
Forgiveness Testimony – Clay Harmon
September 24, 2022
"One of my earliest childhood memories at four years of age was hearing my mother scream. I looked around the corner into the kitchen. My dad had thrown a knife at her, and it was stuck into the cupboard doors inches from her head. I recall him saying that if he wanted to kill her, she would be dead. Ensuing years involved living with relatives and finally a foster home for me and my four siblings.
At age ten, my dad visited me in the foster home and told me that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. I had no idea what he was talking about. I found out later that my mother had been living in the same house as my dad and his girlfriend and that my mother had hung herself. I grew up attending seventeen schools and living in seven foster homes and the homes of two uncles.
I married, and we had four children. The oldest, a son, was given up for adoption because we were not yet married, and the youngest one, another son, died from a crib death. Friends introduced me to the Holy Spirit, but I chose the spirit of Johnny Walker instead. A life of adultery, drunkenness, and the trigger of the death of our baby led to divorce. I then married a drunk, and we had two more children. I sobered up, and she kicked me out of the house when I poured her hidden bottle of vodka down the sink.
At the time my business was prospering with some retail stores, and with a partner, we owned an upscale billiard club in the Okanagan. I chose to teach the ladies’ pool lessons. I was attracted to one lady and invited her to spend a weekend with me for fun and frolic in Calgary. She looked me in the eye and told me that my time would be better spent reading the Bible. To her astonishment, I did just that and a few months later submitted my life to Christ. Within forty-eight hours I was broke, unemployed, living alone, and suicidal. God was teaching me about self-sufficiency.
This lady gave me a mimeographed sheet containing the Steps to Freedom, and over weeks I worked through the Steps on my own. When I got to forgiveness, it was easy for me to identify that I needed to forgive my dad. I forced myself to think of the few good times instead of the violence in our home and was able to forgive him. Sondra encouraged me to visit my mother’s grave, and while there, I had a strong impression from the Holy Spirit that I was to pray. I was astonished at the anger towards my mother that came out because she had abandoned me as a child. Through the power of prayer, I came to understand that the hidden hurt had brought much destruction on my life and the lives of those close to me. I came to see that the verbal and emotional abuse I had inflicted on my two wives was an expression of that anger. It had been hidden from me. Recognizing that it was there, I could now forgive her.
The lady that challenged me to read the Bible is now my wife of twenty-seven years. Because I had learned to love Jesus, I learned how to love her. I have a good relationship with all my children. God has restored everything far more than what I could have imagined. God is good."
The Northgate Baptist Church in Edmonton is one church of many that is using the Freedom In Christ course as part of its regular curriculum.
The Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course on Thursday evenings has been very fruitful so far. I love this course so much because I get to see people significantly grow in their faith and Christian practice in a relatively short time. And this teaching applies to every Christian, female or male, every culture, whether new or mature in the faith, young or old. In fact, in this particular class, we have a wide age range of participants—from 18 years old to a great, great-grandmother of 85! Even I myself learn and grow every time I run this course, despite having done it dozens of times already. And what a blessing to contribute to the increasing freedom of my brothers and sisters in the Lord!
Two people have done the Steps to Freedom and a few more are booked for November. Please pray for these individual Steps meetings, as they often have the most dramatic positive spiritual impact of all we do in the class. During the Steps, we do an in-depth, moral inventory of seven areas that can hinder our faith and walk with God, just as His Word instructs us to do in Psalm 139:22&23, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We renounce anything incompatible with our faith and affirm the truth of the Bible and our commitment to Jesus.