Friday, April 29, 2011

How God is Working in our Lives

I am amazed looking over the past year in our lives and how God is working and growing in our lives and family.  Some of you reading this won't understand, but I see God's hand in each step that we have taken in faith-obeying and following Him.
About 2 years ago Sam started listening to a program on the radio called Walk in the Word with James MacDonald out of the Chicago area.  His teaching transformed our lives!  For the first time in a long time we heard teaching/preaching straight from the Bible, not someones opinion or rabbit trail about what they think the Bible says or twisting it for their belief, but what it says verse by verse.  So, we started being challenged about what he had been told our whole church life that preachers like this were "false teachers" not teaching what the Bible says, etc...I could fill in a lot of different things I have heard said over the years (not important).  So as we started learning and comparing his teaching with the Bible we were discovering that not everyone who isn't independent baptist is wrong.  Just because someones opinion or the way they do something is different, doesn't make them wrong.  However, I am not writing this post to argue with anyone, just to share my heart and where God is leading us at this point.  I have no harsh feelings about where God had us before and am thankful for how God worked used that in our lives.
We were introduced to Harvest Bible Fellowship which has a training center for church planters.  Our hearts have always been in church planting and our desire has been to plant a church here in the USA, but never felt adequately prepared to do so.  We began praying about this opportunity, however we knew that where we were serving at the time wouldn't agree with our decision and wouldn't provide a avenue to really apply for a spot in the training center.  We thought God was leading us to another church at the time, but that fell through, which was obviously the Lord!  We landed at Grace Church the first Sunday we had free and found a breath of fresh air.  We had heard of church like this, but for the first time were experiencing it ourselves.  In the meantime we were still just praying for God to provide a job for Sam and at that point had pretty much put the training center idea at the back of our minds.  About 2 months ago, my dad shared his heart with Sam and told him if his illness was holding Sam back that he really thought he should apply and see how God would lead.  So, after 2 years of praying and waiting to apply he sat down and started the process.  This application was not like a little job application where it asks you a few short questions and that's it.  It took Sam about 4-6 weeks to fill it out and to get through everything.  Not only did you have to fill out the application but you also had to have reference forms filled out that were very thorough and even I (as his wife) had to fill one out. This training center is very intensive and they only accept less than 10 men to train over a 9 month period.  So, he completed everything he needed to do, included a preaching/teaching CD of him and sent it off.  Honestly, the skeptic that I can be at times thought OK, you might hear back from them but I just don't know.  So, he gets a call the day they receive it in the mail!
Where are we today with the process?  After talking a bit back and forth over the last month they are flying Sam to Chicago next Saturday (the 7th)-Wednesday (the 11th) for him to participate in Harvest University which is Mon-Wed, but also for Sam to observe and become more familiar with the ministry there and for them to get to know him more.  This is just the beginning and we have no idea where this will go and how God will lead.  This is very exciting for us and Sam is stoked about getting to go to this conference!  Please continue to pray for our family and how God will use us.


  1. love you all. :) SO VERY excited of the journey you are on. and I know that the Lord is with you each step. --- Kari

  2. Wow, Erin! That's great!! I'm so excited for you and your family. As long as you are following the Lord's leading, you can't go wrong. We're still praying for your dad and your whole family.


  3. Erin...We love you guys!

  4. I do not understand how you and Sam have fallen by the wayside like you have...God is not the author of cunfusion and this is exactly what you have allowed to come into the lives of your children. The man that once was a KJV only man (out of his own mouth) is now gone astray. We are praying for you and all your precious children...Sarah

  5. Just a note. Sarah, I am glad you are concerned for my children. I am also glad you are praying for us. We need it. Just one thing. This is not the place to discuss the things you are concerned for. The are too many lost people who only see that God's people can't get along over certain issues.

    We have chosen not to argue online or discuss these types of things. I personally have not and will not throw blows against where I came from and where I was trained. I respect and love those men who have trained me and gave me opportunities. I also will not attack what they stand for or the way they do things. Though I have chosen to do things differently I respect and love them because they love God.

    It is true I a have had strong opinions in the past. Everyone has opinions. Many times I have to take mine and check them against Scripture. After taking a step back I find that I may have been wrong concerning a certain person or issue. I know many may disagree with me and I with them. I am not going to move an inch on core Doctrines, but I will on my opinions. I pray the Lord will give grace to move on though there are differences. One thing I will not do is argue

    If you would like to discuss your concerns with us, you can email us at and we would be happy to talk with you. Thanks again for being concerned....Sam Jones

  6. I do agree with Sarah...I think no I know stating that for the first time in a long time that you heard straight preaching from the Bible that wasnt twisted into their belief...Well I am sorry that is a hard blow to your former pastor...That is wrong! When statements are made like that in regards to my pastor, offends!...

  7. Nothing I said was directed at a certain person, it was a blanketed statement about what kind of preaching we had been used to hearing pretty much our whole lives. We haven't spent our whole lives at the same place and have heard lots of preaching in the last 30 years.
    I also stated, " I have no harsh feelings about where God had us before and am thankful for how God worked used that in our lives." This is a very true statement and I am in no way bitter or have any harsh feelings against anyone! God knows my heart.

  8. I am wondering this. If it offends, how do you think countless other believers in the world feel when they are broadly stroked with a brush color of being heretics. For example preaching a watered down Gospel or not preaching on sin. Or they are Southern Baptist, so they are ungodly. Women cannot be godly if they wear pants. The list could go on. My true feeling in that anonymous did not place a whole comment in context and the context show the opposite.

    I also think that some are turning this blog into what it seems it was not intended for. This blog is about grace right?

  9. We love you all and we're excited for what God is doing in and with your family. : )

    Simmer down. It'll be okay. I know you must be staying up nights worried about the sure destruction of the Jones family for choosing to "go astray" and live under grace. That must be a terrible feeling for you. On the other hand, have you yourself considered that there could be an alternative path to the very non-biblical emotional abuse that's encountered in the majority of IFB churches? It seems that the attitude that you are perpetuating on this forum is a direct offshoot of that teaching. Wield grace instead of arrows, sister, and remember that we must cast out beams from our own eyes before we so harshly judge the mote that we think we might see in our brethren's.

    Christy Morris

  10. May the Lord bless your family Erin! I'm so glad that you all have discovered that "soul liberty" to serve Christ with your whole hearts! If you are pleasing Him, there is no need to worry about displeasing others. May the Lord keep you all!

    Amanda Marsceau

  11. Not being from this region when I moved here 15 years ago I had a rude shock regarding "Christianity". I have been appalled at the judgement, criticism, denominational egocentrism, whipping of people with the word and legalism that is so rampant down here and it's all in the name of our precious savior. The many people here that have these attitudes make me ashamed to state that I am a Christian for fear that someone might think that I am like these abusers of the word. When asked about my beliefs I always feel I have to explain that I am a Christian that is not like most of the "Christians" around here. We must look past our own small lives and realize that God made a richly diverse world and peoples that will be led to Him in ways that are just as diverse and unique as His creations are. God is not solely present in KJV teachings, believe me He is much bigger and more powerful than that. God is able to speak and move as He pleases and I earnestly believe that He has a variety of formats whereby He draws His people to his heart. Just as we are not the same in other ares of life why can't this also apply? Bravo to you Erin and Sam. I am so excited that "the scales have fallen from your eyes" and that your children will indeed learn compassion as well as a more Christlike approach to Gods teachings and peoples which is sorely lacking here. The shame here is that I am writing this anonymously for fear of the judgement that readers may have. I commend your bravery and trust His reward, provision and leading will be in your lives. You are in my thoughts and prayers.