Holly Furtick

Life Change Inbox… Darin’s story

Life Change Stories are back!!!

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

I love Darin’s story .  It is not only a testimony of how God can work in someone’s life, but also a testimony of the generous people of our church.  I am so proud.  Ok, check out Darin’s story…

My name is Darin. I went to Elevation for the first time on December 23, 2012. I had been walking past the Gaston campus for some time on my travels into town. You had set it up in the high school I went to – Forestview. I thought it would be interesting to see the inside of my old school again. So after walking by it every Sunday for some time I gave in and decided to go check it out. I figured it would be a chance to get warm at least. (I lived in a tent on a freinds property in the woods). As I approached the parking lot I spoke to a member of the parking crew and she told me that there were cookies inside. Considering this I increased my pace towards the doors. There I was met by my now good friend Dave. We spoke and he actually had seen me walking around town and was actually meaning to stop and invite me to church. It felt like I was suppose to be there. My mom had raised a very polite and happy son and to my enjoyment I realized that everyone around was just as nice as I was. Which was a relief because at the time I didn’t really talk to people. I just assumed they wouldn’t like me. That was exactly the opposite in this wonderful place. They treated me like an old friend and as I was ushered to my seat I felt like I was in a concert. All the lights and the sound of the drums really got me pumped. Especially since I was a musician myself.

When Pastor Steven was shown on the big projector screens I immediatly noticed that this was completely different from the churches my mom had taken me to when I was young. He really got my attention and it was really like he was speaking to me. It felt really personal.
As I left the experience I felt refreshed and unburdened. I went and talked to Dave and he told me he was going to give me a bike and a sleeping bag. He invited me to come eat dinner with the volunteers at the church and he would give me the bike then. He even took me to eat lunch with his family. Afterwards I went to a freinds house and took a shower and got ready to go back. Dave picked me up and when we got there he introduced me to alot of people. Not having many freinds this was new for me but it was nice to have someone truly happy to meet you. After dinner we turned the corner in front of the office and what I saw really blew me away. Sure there was a bike but along with it were piles of stuff….everything from underwear to a propane stove, sleeping bags, food, a new tent, tarps…I could go on and on. I was overcome with emotion, I couldn’t fit it all in one truck – I needed two. I didn’t know what to say. They were just happy to help me and thanks to Elevaion Church and the help of my freinds I’m out of that tent and have everything I could possibly need. I thank God every day for this amazing blessing He has laid out on my life. Shortly after on January 20th I went to boot camp for the volunteers and decided to become an usher. I love seeing all the people coming in and I couldn’t be happier to tell them hello and that I’m happy they are there. And I mean it too. Because maybe…. just maybe….God will change their lives like He changed mine. What a beautiful thing to see.

Sincerely,

Darin
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Danielle’s life change story

Life Change Stories are back!!!

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Here’s Danielle’s story…

Today’s message (week 5 of where’s your permission slip) really hit home for me!

Let me tell you my story. Around the time when I was in 10th grade, my mom began to have some health problems. She had 2 neck surgeries and has never really recovered. Over the last 12+ years she’s been dealing with chronic pain and has been diagnosed with other chronic health conditions as well as breast cancer and depression. Getting out of bed each day has become a struggle for her. Through this process she has lost her job, her home, her car, and her livelihood.

Since graduating from college about 5 years ago, I’ve been supporting her by paying rent and utilities for a small apartment for her and my little sister to live in. This totals about $700/month.

During this time I’ve stuggled with anger at my mom’s illness and with the financial responsibility that it’s added to my life. I’ve tried many times to fogive her and let go of this frustration. It’s been difficult as I’ve watched friends travel, buy houses and do other things I wish I could do.

Today changed my perspective! I realized that despite these challeges, God has blessed me abundantly and cared for all of my needs. I’ve been able to put myself through graduate school and obtain a higher paying job helping people and doing what I love. Every month I GET to tithe, and all my bills are paid and I’m slowly with discipline able to pay down debt. I also GET to be generous and do what God has called me to do by helping my mom each month.

From now on, I plan to look at writing that rent check with joy instead of dread and burden.

Thank you Pastor for preaching God’s word to help renew my mind and change my perspective on something I’ve been struggling with for years!

God bless you!
Danielle
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Ashley’s Life Change Story

Life Change Stories are back!!!

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Here’s Ashley’s story…

I am 24 years old and began attending Elevation about 3 years ago. I jumped right into volunteering and in an eGroup and loved it! During my time at Elevation, I’ve had the opportunity to help launch a new campus, as well as see my parents stand to receive Christ at one of our Christmas worship experiences.

As probably every girl does, I’ve always prayed for my prince charming to come one day and sweep me off my feet. Earlier this year, I thought mine had finally come. But it wasn’t long until I found myself being influenced by him and giving in to do the things I knew were wrong. I fell hard. I started missing church, not showing up for my volunteer responsibilities, and telling lies to others as to why I wasn’t coming. My team leader and team called me a dozen times but I never answered.

Long story made short, within a few months our relationship spiraled down to his unfaithfulness, broken promises, anger, control, and almost physical abuse toward me. I had no idea what to do, so I went back to the place where I had felt at home – Elevation. I was so nervous for the questions I might be asked.

But something very different happened. I pulled into the parking lot, the first volunteer waves at me, and I lost it. I began balling. It was just really nice to see a genuine smile. As I walked through the wall of greeters, I was hugged by so many. I listed to the Yes God message and knew exactly what God was telling me. I know I’m a hurting girl. Devastated, embarrassed and scarred, but believing that God still loves me. I realized I can’t be that girl who lets what happened define me negatively. I am more than a conqueror. So thank you Pastor Steven for bringing the truth. I may not be healed completely, but I know my God is the ultimate healer, and I know there is now no condemnation for those in Christ.

Ashley

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Life Change Stories

Life Change Stories are back!!!

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Here’s Kelly’s story…

First, let me say thank you. Thank you for your obedience to the Lord and letting Him use you to reach others. The Elevation channel on my Roku is my favorite channel. I just finished the “God’s Will is Whatever” series and I just can’t seem to express how liberated I am because of it. This is something that I have struggled with for so long. I have wasted too much time going through the motions. I was in fact willing it without feeling it. When I watched Part One the revelation of this hit me so hard it rocked my spirit to the core. The chains I had bound myself with are broken! This message has changed my approach to my relationship with Him, with others and with myself. I know He used this sermon to set me free! God is good! I remind myself of Col. 3:17 daily and now start my days encouraged, not confused. All the way from Indiana, thank you!
Kelly
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One of life’s greatest joys

One of my favorite things we do at Elevation is baptisms.  They are so special and meaningful.  They always encourage me to know that what we do really matters.  But the best kind of baptism to watch is the baptism of your friend.

Last night, to kick off our Raised to Life series, we whet everyone’s appetite with a few baptisms, and one of them was my friend, Melissa.  Here is a rough video of the night…

I cannot wait for this weekend!   Would you pray with me for all the people who will take the step of faith this weekend?  Also pray for all of our teams that will be setting up and preparing and carrying out the event.  All across our campuses, it is going to be awesome!

Melissa Hizel baptism from Elevation Media on Vimeo.

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Surprise but not surprising. I wanted to share a story about Banner Years. We first attended Elevation on Easter 2012 (we were invited by a friend of course) and the experience was great. Different than what we were accustomed to, but it just felt like home. Our VIP volunteer was super! Our family decided we wanted to be part of this movement of God- our kids asking if they could come back next weekend pretty much sealed the deal. We learned so much in the past few months and it was so helpful to have the Banner Years series and hear Pastor Morris talk about his relationship with God and giving. We wanted to learn more about tithing- what exactly does that mean, how much do we “have” to give, is it before tax or after tax.. etc. You know, what many others think before they truly let go and trust God to lead the way.

As we learned more and developed our relationship with God, we wanted to give faithfully and generously, but how much and what should we do? My husband and I prayed on it and talked about it and the closer we got to giving weekend, we just knew what was right. We should have participated in the Leadership giving event (my husband is an eGroup leader), but didn’t get the invitation- not because someone did it intentionally I’m sure. We know that we weren’t part of that because He knew we weren’t ready yet. We needed more time and prayer to give us the answer. Although it wasn’t easy to do and we really weren’t sure if it was the right thing, we made the final decision the morning of the church giving weekend.. While Pastor Steven encouraged folks to tithe first and give to Banner Years second we couldn’t come up with anything more important than seeing this movement go farther and reach more people. We wanted to do as much as we could. Even though we have kids and things to think about like college and weddings…. We committed to do both: tithe and make a donation to Banner Years. We have never given a church that much money. It felt really good to drop that envelope in the box, and it’s exciting to see all the things that are happening as a result of Banner Years! Now it is tax time (groan) and while we usually owe money back, isn’t it interesting that 1) we are actually getting money back this year and 2) that the amount of our refund is equal to our Banner Years donation? : )

Michelle 

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out Erin’s story….

When my husband and I joined Elevation it was after a period of time when we were watching it online and hearing the sermons through the app on our phones. We knew this was the church we were to be a part of. After I graduated from WCU my husband and I felt the peace to move back to Clover, SC. Something kept us from deciding to stay in the mountains as our first choice. I see now a glimpse of why we were to be down here.

When we moved down in May of 2012 neither of us had jobs. I immediately got a job at a children’s fitness center and my husband got a job at a local restaurant. Both jobs were more out of necessity rather than trusting that God would provide. Though I liked my job something was telling me this wasn’t it. I happened to run into a few guys that were members at Planet Fitness. We talked about their new location in Gastonia, NC. We went by, toured, and signed up for a membership. During the tour I saw resume signs up looking for personal trainers. I majored in Health and Physical Education at WCU. We went back on another day to work out and the manager was there; something prompted me to ask her about the job. It was only part-time and I figured if that was the case I would keep my other job. I went home and contemplated it a little more and felt like I had nothing to lose in putting in a resume. So I did that week. I heard back a few days later that I had an interview. I interviewed with all the managers. I had such a peace about it all and had such confidence in my answers. Within 30 minutes of leaving the interview I heard that I got the job!! I have felt so truly blessed with this job that it could only have been God that opened the doors.

The job I had prior to this had me working on Sundays and we couldn’t go to church. Elevation Gaston launched in September and I got the job at Planet Fitness October 8. Our first Sunday at Elevation Gaston was October 21. We knew the second we walked in we were supposed to be there and not just be there taking up a seat but be there involved and volunteering!! We both have had calls to ministry in different capacities. Mine came in 2005 and I was unsure of for a long time but I know whatever it is it’s starting with Next Level and preparing me for the next place He is taking me individually and us as a couple. We signed up to volunteer for the November 4th boot-camp. When we first shadowed neither my husband nor I had a peace about the place of serving. We prayed about it, talked and prayed with Pastor Ken. The next week we had the answer of where we were suppose to serve.

Since joining the team God had opened so many doors for us!!! I can’t even start to describe the power and joy I feel. I volunteer with Next Level and so many things have changed for me since coming to this church and serving. I have a sense of community and love. God is developing and building my prayer life. He is changing my love relationship for Him to a deeper more powerful one! He is teaching me the power of faith and trust! He has opened the doors for us to be part of an eGroup. So many things have begun to stir.

In November God told us that we needed to take a step of faith and have my husband quit his job at the restaurant for something bigger and better. We had no idea what but we took the step of faith. In that step of faith He has provided for us above and beyond. We have continued to tithe each pay period as well as stepping out in putting 10% into a saving account. I am seeing God in the small stuff and He is beginning to teach me contentment. For the first time I was able to see God’s true blessing in providing for us on something as simple as the grocery bill. I was able to get all we needed plus some and come under budget. Our fridge is full and we are covered till next pay day. I have calculated tithe and savings plus bills for the next couple of weeks and God’s math is awesome. I somehow have just the right amount after everything to cover gas and groceries. Just today I got the official word that I will be going to full time at Planet Fitness.

For the first time in my 28 years of life I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am smack-dab in the middle of God’s will!!! I know God is with me, guiding me, blessing me, showing me, strengthening me, preparing me for His plan and I am answering the invitation to His calling and meeting Him where He is working. Through Banner Year celebration at the end of 2012 I looked at my husband with tears of joy and said this 2013 will be our Banner Year and if it ended today it has been if we are blessed throughout this year with health, provision, and love it will continue to be a Banner Year. Thank you Elevation for answering the calling and being a part of bringing my husband and I back to our callings!!! And the story isn’t over!!! Tomorrow is yet to be seen!

Erin

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out Mark’s story….

Dear Pastor Steven,

I am a fairly reserved person so I’m not sure why I’m writing this other than I feel that God is calling me to do so. My family and I have been attending Elevation for about a year and a half now.  I can honestly say that I have never felt closer to God, a feeling shared by my family.

Your sermons have had such a tremendous impact on my life. I’m writing now to let you know how much Elevation Worship, and the other incredible musicians that you have had at Elevation, have impacted me. Given the recent success of the album Nothing Is Wasted, I wanted to share my gratitude with you.



Last September, the same week that you released your book Greater, my dad passed away. I have often times thought of you, and prayed for you and your family, knowing that your dad is also ill. Your book was such a comfort to me that last week that I was with my dad as it kept my focus on God and how great He is. At that time, I had also recently downloaded Israel Houghton’s album Jesus At the Center. Had it not been for you bringing Israel Houghton to Elevation on many occasions I would have probably never heard of him, and most certainly never ended up with some of his music on my iPod. The night that my dad passed away I repeatedly listened to his song Your Presence is Heaven. HIS Presence was definitely with me and I am certain that Jesus accompanied my dad to heaven that night. I could feel His comforting presence all around for me as I prayed for our Heavenly Father to ease my dad’ s pain. 



The power of music that comes from Elevation Church continues to comfort me and drive me to do Greater things in my life so that I may give glory to God. My running playlist is filled with music from Elevation Worship and Isreal Houghton. I always run further, stronger and with greater purpose when I listen to them while I run. I’m sure that there are more than a few people that drive by me that think I’m a little crazy as I have my hands stretched to the sky giving praise to The Lord. 

Please keep encouraging others to find strength in The Lord through the music in your church. The power of your music has greatly impacted my life and I’m hoping that it will have a similar impact on others.

Faithfully,

Mark

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out this story….

Addie joined the eGroup I led.  She was not like the rest of our group. Most of us were in our late 40-50′s, but Addie was a young 30-something nurse & Zumba instructor. She and her 2 year old son had just moved back into her parents house to get on her feet. She came to the first meeting clearly mad, hurt, and broken. I thought by her attitude that someone made her come. I later found out that she decided to return to church to help get her life back together.

She was forced into a rough lifestyle of drugs and abuse at the hands of her spouse. She had a front row seat to a life she would never chose for herself and especially not her son. When we met, her husband had just entered rehab. As the weeks passed, Addie began to open up and share her story. At first, she was rough, and honestly, as a leader, I thought the other members would shy away from her. I thought they would say, “we’ll pray for you, throw up a quick one, and do it again the following week”.  Never to put feet to their faith.

I was a new eGroup leader and clearly underestimated these Elevators. These “church ladies” embraced her. Some helped financially, some gave her son gifts, one member took her in, and Addie lived in her basement for a few weeks.  They all prayed for her! We watched this broken soul lean into God and us. First hand we witnessed His healing power over this family. We watched our Sun Stand Still prayers come alive.

Fast forward 2 years. Rehab worked. Her husband has FULLY RECOVERED and has a wonderful job. They moved to Tennessee and have made a great life! They have worked hard to restore a marriage that was a certain divorce, and now they are living happily ever after. Today their fairy tale got a little sweeter as they welcomed  baby Ellie into the family! God is Good! God is Good! 

Thanks Elevation for eGroups! It was such an honor to be a part of something God orchestrated so beautifully! Our group didn’t just change Addie’s life, but every member involved!

Tina

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out Steve and Lisa’s story….

Dear Pastor Steven and Elevation staff,

Why is it that sometimes giving to God can be filled with doubt and apprehension?  Intellectually, we know all our material possessions and money are blessings from the Lord, but sometimes it can still be hard to increase our giving.  In 2012, Lisa and I decided to take Pastor Steven’s challenge to give the full tithe to Elevation and increase our monthly giving to 15%.  During the Banner Years campaign, we were excited to give the largest single donation check we have ever written to the Banner Years campaign.

We also had an underwater mortgage that was keeping us from being able to sell our house.  Analyzing our income, it was going to take approximately 3 years to pay off the loan deficit.

We could not think of a better place to invest our money than Elevation where every week people far from God are being filled to Life in Christ.  We love Pastor Steven’s heart as he keeps the focus on the LOVE of Jesus and Holy Spirit as the true and powerful life changers.  My walk with the Lord is closer, marriage healthier, and less sin-entangled than ever before – thanks to Elevation.  Thank you Pastor Steven for “keeping it real” and preaching Truth in a way both church and nonchurch goers can relate to. The friends we bring to Elevation always enjoy their experience and many have started a relationship with Jesus.

If I stopped here, I think this would still be a good praise report.  BUT, here is the “rest of the story”…  Amazingly, due to unexpected revenue and gifts, a few days ago we paid off the significant mortgage deficit which will allow us to put our house on the market.  Upon writing this praise report, I realized that our loan deficit had been 8 times larger than our Banner Years offering.

The number 8 – where have we heard that that number before:):)?!?!

In humility and awe, we want to thank and praise the Lord because there is absolutely no way we could have paid the loan deficit by ourselves in 3 months.

We truly look forward to seeing what God is going to do in our new Elevation Church in 2013 - a new beginning in year 8 !!!

Sincerely,

Steve and Lisa

P.S.  A couple  weeks ago at the Uptown campus, I was sitting next to two very sweet ladies - VIP’s - that heard about Elevation at the woman’s homeless shelter.  I enjoyed our conversation and hope they felt loved and appreciated for joining the celebration.  It is so cool to go to a church where people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds can meld seamlessly in worship together.

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