Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

I am very thankful for The Way International and the Word that it has taught. I took my first Foundational Class forty years ago, and I am currently celebrating my fortieth year standing with this ministry. God has worked in my life many times in that period, and He performed several miracles before that to get me to the place where I was witnessed to.

Thirty years ago I graduated into The Way Corps. Even to this day, I draw upon what I have learned in The Way Corps to benefit my life and the lives of others. What I learned in The Way Corps literally saved my life in a big way fifteen years ago.

I was working at a newspaper, first writing obituaries, then real estate ads. It was getting harder and harder to type. My pinky finger on my left hand kept hitting the Caps Lock key. I also noticed a tremor in my hand. I was laid off of that job and started living with my mother. She was eighty years old and needed the extra help. As my manner was, I would study the Word, recite retemory verses, and listen to the Sunday service teachings faithfully, as well as read The Way Magazine.

During this time, it was noticeable that my whole personality and demeanor was slowing down. I went to a Limb meeting at a state park. As I walked around taking pictures, the believers were asking each other if I had experienced a stroke. I was walking differently. I found it unusual that I couldn’t button up my jacket. One of the believers helped me with it. In the days following, this believer called my mother and exhorted her to take me to the doctor.

I would wake up every morning with tremors in both hands. I was starting to have trouble walking around. My mother would have to walk with me and hold on to me so I wouldn’t fall down. She eventually would have to dress me and put me to bed. I had many doctor visits. I kept three-by-five-inch cards in my purse to study while in the waiting room. I wanted to fill my mind with the Word because I was taught in The Way Corps that the brain was designed to hold the Word of God. It was also a way of keeping fear out of my life. I put my thoughts on the Word so that I wouldn’t dwell on my situation. I was scheduled for an MRI. I wanted them to see a brain the way God designed it, full of the Word, when they looked at the MRI results.

The MRI machine was intimidating, with the loud noise it made and with the feeling of being in a tube that it gave me. To keep my mind from reverting to fear, I would recite retemories and speak in tongues. I would not let my mind give in to fear. This was highly effective. When they took me out, the woman asked me, “How do you stay so calm?” There was no fear exhibited on the scan, and they wondered at that. The Word of God works!

After the MRI, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This is a brain tumor that sits on top of the brain. They told me it had been there for many years.

I wondered, “How could this be?” I had been in the Word for decades, and I was as faithful as I knew how to be. I had gone out as a Word Over the World (WOW) Ambassador, completed The Way Corps training, and was faithfully running a fellowship for what totaled seven years. Isn’t God good always? I talked to someone whose opinion I trusted. He had previously been my fellowship coordinator and was a Way Corps Alumnus. He said, “Satan strikes with a continual stroke.” This statement helped me and reassured me that Satan may have brought it, but God was going to deliver me out of this. God’s solution was what I sought for this problem.

I endeavored to put the Word on in my thinking more and more. The Sunday Night Services that summer featured a series on Job: From Victim to Victor. It was about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat! I made that my theme. I was going to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Satan thought he would defeat me, but God would deliver me.

The four steps to renewing the mind were what I worked and lived:

  1. Study the Word of God.
  2. Recognize our position in Christ as sons of God.
  3. Practice the presence of God.
  4. Live with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.

Once I was diagnosed, I was scheduled for brain surgery to remove the tumor. When surgery time came, there was a massive blackout that affected many states in my part of the country and part of Canada. This lasted for one to two days, and surgery was postponed a week.

I finally had the surgery. I was really scared going in there. I fought my fear by reciting I John 4:18 and II Timothy 1:7 nonstop, one after another, over and over again. I wanted power, love, and a sound mind. When they were prepping me for surgery, I was reciting the retemories out loud. The nurse looked at me quizzically, and I said, “It’s OK. This is how I meditate.”

The surgery took several hours, but it was effective. The tumor was on top of the brain, and it was plucked out like a piece of fruit. The actual size, I heard, was anywhere from the size of a plum to an orange. Pathology showed no cancer present.

Recovery time in the hospital helped me build my relationship with God. I knew God had me in the palm of His hand, and I practiced the presence of God. I spoke in tongues much because God knew what was going on behind the scenes and I didn’t. I wanted to recover fully. I got the Bible from the room and looked at it. I said, “Great, I can still read.” I strove to read the Word every day, and when I couldn’t read it, I recited my retemories. Mostly I talked to God. Job received his deliverance when he prayed for his friends. I prayed for every single person in our whole Branch. Job received double when his ordeal was all over. I told God, “I want double.” Little did I know that there was a man who would write a letter to me that would arrive two weeks after my hospital stay who would later become my husband! We have been faithful fellowship coordinators for the past ten years.

God completely delivered me from that brain tumor. I found out later that if I had waited much longer to have the surgery than I did, I would not have lived too much longer. I came through the surgery and was faithful to my physical therapy. I am stronger than I ever was physically, and my eyesight even got better! Looking at me today, people don’t believe it ever happened. I am a walking example of God’s grace and deliverance.

I continue to put God’s Word in my mind and teach people that the renewed mind is the key to power, that God is good always, and the value of putting God’s Word in their minds and hearts. I tell them that by doing and recognizing these things, they also can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!

Making My Own Freewill Decision to Believe

Romans 12:2:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have had the unique privilege of being born and raised in The Way Ministry. My parents have stood faithfully on the Word in this ministry for many years, and my siblings and I were blessed to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and to become standing disciples. I have always noticed that this ministry is set apart from the rest. The root of everything we teach and do is the Word, and we live this lifestyle too. But, even though I was raised living the lifestyle of a Christian believer of The Way, I still had to grow and make my own freewill decision to believe and live my life for God.

When I was young, I had a tough time understanding on my own how to trust God, and many of the promises I was taught, I had a hard time grasping. My most frequent prayer to God was “to understand.” Another aspect of my life that caused discouragement in my desire for understanding was that I struggled in my school classes and did not excel academically. I had talent in art and music, but in all the “important” subjects, not so much. I had a lack of self-esteem and confidence, as well as several sources outside myself that caused frustration in my heart. An “I can do” attitude and renewing my mind had not yet become strengths.

For a short period of time before I reached my twenties, I became withdrawn and disengaged in household fellowships and the ministry. I began seeking fulfillment in all the wrong places, and before long I noticed that the path I was walking down was leading me away from God. At this point in my life, I had reached a major crossroads—to stay dormant or to take believing action to blossom and grow. As I turned back around towards God, He opened up a door.

The Branch I grew up in didn’t have many young people my age, so I decided to move to a different city and got involved in a Branch full of young people who loved God and were moving the Word. These believers showered me with love, friendship, and patience. My freewill choice to surround myself with dynamic young believers changed my life dramatically, and I received incredible deliverance. And the best part is, I grew in my understanding and maturity! As I renewed my mind and continued following God’s direction for my life, God was able to show me many truths I wasn’t grasping before. The greatest truth that God revealed to me in that season of my life was that studying the Word allows us to know God, knowing God allows us to trust Him, and trusting God allows us to believe the Word greater.

Proverbs 16:9:
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Because of the Word I have learned in The Way Ministry, my understanding of God and the meaning of life continues to increase; I have developed confidence in my identity in Christ; I have recognized my long suits, and been able to utilize them to give; and there are many other ways my life has been enriched with blessings because of the Word taught. Joshua 24:15 says, “…choose you this day whom ye will serve….” I am very thankful that I chose to serve God and be a functioning disciple in the household of The Way.

Proverbs 4:18 [The Amplified Bible]:
But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared].

Transformed as I Trust and Believe God’s Word

Because of the Word I learned in this ministry, I am able to renew my mind and take action on the Word of God so I can find myself in a position to experience God’s blessings.

When I took our ministry’s Foundational Class in 1994, I was taught that the wisdom and knowledge I receive from the Word of God is always the stability I need ANYTIME (Isaiah 33:6).

Knowing this, whenever I am challenged with a situation I remind myself to be Word conditioned rather than circumstance oriented.

This ministry has taught me that Romans 12:1 and 2 shows me the two alternatives I have when forming my mental attitude about a situation:

  1. I can be conformed to the world, or
  2. I can be transformed by renewing my mind.

Once I decide to renew my mind, only then am I able to prove God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will for my life.

This became quite apparent when the company I worked for was bought by another company, and there were massive layoffs. Entire departments were being let go. My coworkers were filled with fear because unemployment was at an all-time high, and they did not know what they were going to do if they lost their jobs. One of my coworkers asked me, “Why are you so calm? Aren’t you afraid of losing your job?”

When faced with the looming fact that jobs were going to be lost and mine could be one of them, I could have conformed to the world and worried over what to do if I lost my job and was not able to pay my bills, or I could be transformed by renewing my mind to what the Word says about God taking care of me.

I honestly answered my coworker, “No, I am not afraid because God is my sufficiency (II Corinthians 9:8), and He knows I need to pay my bills. He also knew that I would be facing the possibility of being downsized and has provided a way for me to escape (I Corinthians 10:13) as long as I trust and believe His Word.”

Instead of sitting around wringing my hands, I took believing action and sent out my resume. I gathered glowing references and even had several high-level executives post references on my executive search Web-site page.

A few weeks later I received a letter from my company’s top-level executives stating that my position was critical to the transition of computer systems to the new company. Instead of losing my job, they were inviting me to stay at least one year with a significant monetary bonus given to me, once I accepted, and another monetary bonus at the end of the transition. I accepted with the understanding that at the end of the one-year period, I may be looking for another job.

Several months later the new company executives offered me a position in their organization. They still paid the monetary bonus I was supposed to receive after the year was up, and I received a 13 percent increase in pay.

Renewing my mind to the Word proves God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will for my life in ANY situation.

Change Your Mind and Live

As I was growing up, my mom and dad taught me the Word they knew. The principles I learned about unconditional love, tithing, and putting my trust in God carried me for thirty years, until I came to a more accurate knowledge of the Word taught by The Way. Then I got to share with them!

When my dad was seventy, he fell and broke his ankle. Due to a chronic respiratory condition, his pulmonary doctor said Dad’s lungs were so fragile that he would not survive general anesthesia. As a result, they did an epidural to surgically repair his leg. After a week in the hospital, he suffered a massive heart attack. When I went to visit, asking how he was, he said, “Not good. In your vocabulary, the ‘adversary’ has me in his clutches.” I said, “How so?” He said, “Well, they’ve told me they will try to do one bypass but that I probably won’t make it.”

I got out my Bible, read him I Peter 5:8, and said, “This isn’t MY vocabulary, Daddy. This is the vocabulary of the Word. And it doesn’t say ‘an adversary’ or ‘the adversary’ but ‘YOUR adversary’ because it’s personal! The Word also tells you who ‘your adversary’ is. It’s the Devil, and he is looking to devour you! You don’t have to let him take you out, but you are going to have to change your mind.”

I said, “Daddy, close your eyes and get a good mental picture of what I am going to say. I want you to see oatmeal in a bowl, cold, no sugar, no butter. Do you see that?” He nodded. “Keep your eyes closed and now see something different. Think about bacon, eggs, hash browns, cinnamon rolls, coffee, biscuits and gravy. You see that?” He nodded, smiled with his eyes closed, and said, “Yes ma’am, I do.”

“Now, open your eyes.” When he did, I told him, “THAT is how easy it is to change your mind. Daddy, you can think that cold oatmeal thought that you probably won’t make it, in which case you probably won’t. Or you can change your mind, go for the ‘big breakfast,’ and believe to get your need met, whatever that need is. You can only think one thought at a time, so make sure that you are thinking the Word! I know you are seventy, but you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. But if you want to stay, you are going to have to change your mind!”

I saw my dad the next day right before his surgery. He asked if it would be OK if he gave the little, yellow retemory book I’d given him to his nurse because he thought it would bless her to know the verses that built his believing. Of course I said yes!

That day my father had a quadruple bypass surgery under general anesthesia. He lived for several years after that! My dad was always respectful of the Word I shared with him, and on several occasions he saw God work mightily because he believed what I had shared with him. What a blessing to see God work in my dad’s life to keep him here all those years, all because he renewed his mind to the Word!

He Is Always There When We Need Him

I feel very blessed by what God has done in my life by means of the Word that I received and put into practice after graduating from the Foundational Class that The Way Ministry made available in July 2011. It was in that class where my life changed, for I received great knowledge about what God’s will is.

It was in this Foundational Class that I was born again and manifested the great power of God. Speaking in tongues was the proof. I learned how we can put on the mind of Christ by putting the Word of God in our minds, which helped me a lot in my recovery from a very painful car accident.

I was saved from a terrible car accident on March 11, 2016. I was driving from San Salvador when a bus hit our car, causing the car to fall from the highway and hit a big rock. That accident destroyed my face. I needed many surgeries, which ended with the placement of three titanium plates, twelve mini screws, and fiberglass in my face.

This was very hard for me because I am a musician by profession. The doctors said I would never be able to play music again because my muscles were destroyed. But this is where the wonderfulness of God comes. I had confidence in my heavenly Father because of everything He had already done for me, and I had confidence that there was nothing that could stop the great love of God for His children. Having this clear in my mind kept me focused, optimistic, positive, and trusting in the greatness of God.

I went to surgery many times. During my recovery, after a few months I felt the need to play music again. And the wonderful thing was that I managed to do it with some difficulty. By practicing day by day and with the help of God, everything returned to normal.

I am very grateful to God for saving my life from the clutches of the enemy. We are not alone out there. We have a great loving God Who is willing to help us when we go through difficulties. We must continue trusting in Him without fear, believing His Word. He is always there when we need Him.

When Things Look Cloudy, Focus on God

I was upset with my situation at my job. The place where I was once happy had become a very negative and stressful atmosphere. The new management had not been the best for about five years. My wonderful, sweet office manager retired early because she could no longer handle the stress, and a coworker who was a bully became the new office manager. The director was very hard on people. He always liked to talk bad about people and wanted you to join in and agree with him. I was angry and no longer happy at my job, and I wanted to leave.

I’ve been in the ministry for thirty-two years. I’m an Advanced Class graduate, and I’ve been out as a WOW Ambassador and a Way Disciple. So I asked myself, what have I learned over the years? One of the most important things I reminded myself of was to focus on God! When things look a little cloudy and the path is not so clear, God is always there, closer than our very breath.

I’ve enjoyed all of the classes I have taken over the years, but the one class that really helped me in this situation is The Renewed Mind: The Key to Power. (This short little class is a gem!) I had to get past my anger to get to my deliverance. Even being angry at someone or a situation can make our thoughts a little cloudy. I would dread going to work. As I started reading through the syllabus, it reminded me that our real motivation for renewing our mind is thankfulness to God. As we renew our mind, God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Anger is one of the most restrictive mental prisons that people fail to recognize, and bitterness is always destructive. I continued reviewing the syllabus and started changing my mind and reminding myself what God’s Word says (Romans 12:1,2).

Each day I would lift my situation in prayer and remind myself that I can cast my cares on God. Every time an opportunity at work would start getting negative, I would change my mind and remember what I had learned. As I stayed faithful and trusted God many great things started happening (This took 2 1/2 years):

  • A new director and assistant director were hired who are great guys to work with.
  • The work atmosphere started changing for the better.
  • They hired another administrative coordinator, and she is a Christian and great to work with.

Now I have been at my job for sixteen years! I did not quit and can leave when I am ready to retire. Thanks, God! I am so thankful for the great classes our ministry provides! I also love The Way Magazines!

Our Thoughts and Words Are Powerful

After months of being faced with physical challenges and not seeing deliverance, my mind and body were exhausted. I was tempted to give in. I was beginning to think, “I guess I’m just going to die young.” I told my husband what I was thinking, and he immediately reminded me of what we had been taught from the Word: we are to control our thinking to think on what the Word says, not on what we are feeling; God is powerful and limitless; we believe based on what we put into our mind; as we control our thinking and confess the truth of the Word, we will see the positive results of the Word and receive our deliverance. I immediately changed my thinking and my confession. I told him that from then on I was resolved to confess, “I am going to live to be one hundred years old!” I began to focus on what the Word said, and not on the pain I was in. Little by little, I saw my deliverance come to pass.

Today, I am a different person. I work a full time job, something I thought I would never do again. I no longer need a walker, not even a cane. I live a normal, active life. In fact, people tell me to slow down!

Our thoughts and words are powerful. As we keep confessing the Word and believing positively, we will see God’s deliverance.