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Wednesday
May182011

A Pharisee Set Free

Charis Bible College graduate and business owner, Sandy Harmon. The Lord has prospered Sandy as she has followed His lead. (Click to enlarge)Sandy Harmon was navigating her way through the ravages of divorce when she was first introduced to Andrew's teaching. In the summer of 2001, Sandy's counselor, a Christian woman who had been helping her through her marital situation, asked if she could give Sandy some audio tapes that would further explain some of the topics the two had been discussing. The teaching Sandy's confidante gave her was Andrew's Spirit, Soul and Body, and her reception of this teaching brought the beginning of a huge change in Sandy's life.

Nearly a decade after Sandy had received the free gift of salvation, and after she had served her church as a deaconess and a Bible study leader, she began to realize that she had not established a true relationship with Jesus. In her own words she was a Pharisee.

When Sandy listened to Andrew's teaching, You've Already Got It, she was set free. She had been teaching Bible lessons and acting like a Christian, but she really didn't understand the truth of the Word. This message completely changed Sandy's approach to the Word and her relationship with God. Sandy Harmon's three children enjoying the favor of God and their first winter in Colorado Springs. (Click to enlarge)"I was always dragging my knuckles behind me into my time with the Lord and feeling like such a failure. I was always asking God to give me more love, more patience, more kindness; I did not know that I already had it inside me. I cannot tell you how much that changed me. Understanding that, I began to walk a little taller and with a peace (instead of striving) that I had never known," said Sandy.

As Sandy continued to listen to Andrew's teaching, she began to have a desire to attend Charis Bible College (CBC). Although she imagined attending CBC in the distant future, it became clear to her, as she gained deeper revelation of God's love for her, that the Lord was leading her to go to CBC much sooner than she envisioned. In early spring of 2002, Sandy contacted CBC and asked for information about the school. She then attended one of Andrew's camp meetings and that helped finalize her decision; Andrew and Sandy Harmon standing in what would become the headquarters for AWM and CBC Colorado. It was from this visit to the new building that Sandy returned to the Robinson location to overhear the phone conversation that led to her first job in Colorado Springs. (Click to enlarge)she moved her family to Colorado one month later.

Sandy and her three small children, twin five-year-old daughters and a two-and-a-half-year-old son, left the east coast and drove to Colorado Springs. No job, no contacts, no place to live—just a mom, her kids and a faithful knowing that she was to attend CBC. As Sandy stepped out, the Lord met her family's needs.

After getting situated in Colorado Springs, Sandy spent the next two years attending CBC; saturating herself in the Word of God and being equipped for a life of ministry in the marketplace. Her mornings were spent in classes and her afternoons were filled with business opportunities—all of which came supernaturally.

For example, Sandy walked in on a phone conversation the CBC receptionist was having with a local business owner; Sandy and her Discipleship Evangelism class, which was led by program co-author, Don Krow (center, red shirt). (Click to enlarge)the conversation was about Sandy. Sandy had previously called the business owner about a job opening, but was so quickly dismissed because of her limited availability, that she didn't even have a chance to leave her name. Somehow the business owner had tracked Sandy down to invite her to apply for the job. When Sandy arrived to apply, she noticed the owner wasn't feeling well and asked if she could pray for her. The owner allowed Sandy to pray. The woman was instantly healed and exclaimed, "You're hired!" Sandy went on to enjoy extraordinary favor within the company during her days as a CBC student, and she was able to minister to the company's staff on a regular basis.

Andrew and Sandy at her CBC graduation. (Click to enlarge)Sandy continued to work with the company after graduating from CBC until the Lord began to turn her attention to Real Estate. This surprised Sandy because although she had been successful in the field before moving to Colorado, she had been open with the Lord about not wanting to be involved with it again. "I was very much against it since Real Estate is a very performance driven industry and I was now living by grace. Grace and performance are polar opposites," said Sandy.

Sandy yielded to the stirring and gave her notice at work. Six months later, after hearing in her spirit "Call brokers," she began to call local Real Estate brokers and ask them if they needed help with their businesses. As she offered her expertise, not as an agent, but as a consultant, the Lord consistently brought her new experiences and a wide array of job opportunities—not all in Real Estate. Over the next several years Sandy held four different jobs, and much like Joseph's story in the book of Genesis, God's favor was evident in each position. She would work for a season, and then Sandy would be laid off. Though troubled by the disturbing trend of being let go, Sandy began to see that each new job had prepared her for the next—each was a promotion. Sandy and her children after graduation. (Click to enlarge)She could see that her work across the years since graduating from CBC had prospered her employers and her family, and each position had provided an opportunity to minister to her employers and clients.

After being released from a job in 2009, Sandy reflected on her experiences, and it became evident that the Lord had gifted her in the areas of business development, organization and administration. Sandy sought the Lord for her next step. Again she heard the words, "Call brokers"—something from which she had drifted, clinging instead to the security of a steady paycheck and benefits. Sandy heard the Lord say, “If it’s not by my grace, than it does not belong to you.” Again Sandy yielded and opened her own company. "By this point I knew that the Lord had gifted me to help people—specifically Realtors. The name of my company is Helping You Succeed and that is what I do. Sandy enjoying a moment outside last fall. (Click to enlarge)I assess a broker's business and spiritual needs, and then God uses me to be a blessing to them and to minister to them in their marketplace."

Looking back Sandy shared, "The Lord was so good in how He provided for me and my three when we got to Colorado." Through Andrew's teaching and her subsequent revelation of God's love for her, Sandy had developed a true relationship with the Lord. Through that relationship with Jesus and her dependence upon the Holy Spirit, He has guided her every step into His promises of prosperity and abundance.

Monday
May162011

Andrew Shared the Truth in Washington D.C. 

Andrew teaching at the Thursday evening service in Washingto D.C. (Click to enlarge)Andrew spent the third weekend of April ministering to large crowds in the nation's capital. He shared a series called, The True Gospel. He opened Thursday evening's meeting acknowledging that many in attendance would feel let down at the announcement of the topic, but Andrew pressed on and boldly insisted that most people, including the average Christian, do not understand the true Gospel. He jumped right into the word, where he read from the book of Romans:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth..." (Romans 1:16).

Getting ready in DC...Here Andrew's crew builds the platform.
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Andrew used this verse to make the point that most Christians do not understand the fullness of the word salvation, and that churches have limited it to mean only the forgiveness of sins. Andrew said, "It is true that sins have already been forgiven and you can reach out and just take it, but salvation isn't limited to the forgiveness of sins." He went on to explain that the Greek word translated salvation in this verse was used over three hundred times in the New Testament, and that it applies to more than the forgiveness of sins, but also to healing and deliverance.

As Andrew continued to share the power of God unto salvation, lives were touched and forever changed. Close to three-hundred people came forward throughout the weekend to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and more than a dozen received Christ for the first time. Andrew's GTS crew prepares the auditorium. (Click to enlarge)During each session Andrew revealed more of the true Gospel and the prayer team saw consistent manifestations of God's power flow as they ministered to those who came forward for prayer.

A woman suffering from macular degeneration in both eyes came forward and shared that the symptoms of her affliction made it impossible for her to read. After prayer, she thought she could see clearer. Later, she returned to the prayer minister crying. Her tears were those of joy, and her mouth was full of praise, as she held up a piece of paper—that she could now read.

Andrew ministered to large crowds each session while in the nation's capital. (Click to enlarge)A man in his early twenties approached a prayer minister and explained that he had been forced to leave college because he was suffering from the torment of his thoughts. He boldly stated that he had come to the conference to be delivered. Knowing her own authority, the minister put her hands on him and said emphatically, "Be Free!" As the young man received the power of God flowing through the minister to him, his whole countenance changed, and he was set free.

These are just two of the many manifestations of God's power that followed Andrew's ministry of The True Gospel in the nation's capital.

Watch the clip below as Andrew introduces the topic of his teaching for the 2011 Gospel Truth Seminar in Washington D.C.: The True Gospel.

 

Click here to view the entire five-part teaching series.

Thursday
May122011

Katherine O'Brien: Focused on God

21-year-old Charis Bible College graduate and missionary to the nations, Katherine O'Brien, loves Jesus, and travels the world sharing the Gospel.
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Katherine made the decision to follow Jesus when she was eleven years old. She understood that being a part of a "nice" southern family meant that she would be expected to attend and participate in the social aspects of church, to which she conceded. Beyond those obligations, Katherine was aware that Jesus had died for her, and she made a conscious effort to pray each night, but that was the extent of her relationship with Him.

While Katherine was a senior in high school, her dad attended Charis Bible College in Atlanta. Although she was aware that her dad was going to school, she didn’t know, nor did she care to know, anything more about it. The O'Brien family (L-R) Elizabeth, Tommy, Leslie and Katherine.
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In fact, she knew that her dad had had a powerful encounter with God that radically changed him, but she thought he was overreacting.

During high school, Katherine enjoyed attending parties. For several years she purposely avoided the alcohol and drugs, but during her junior year, she began to compromise. The lure of the uninhibited party scene, the seemingly carefree fun, became irresistible. Katherine began to drink, and she drank increasingly more to avoid coming to terms with the pull she felt on her heart to fully turn her life to the things of God. Katherine and friends at CBC-Colorado during her second year.
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Katherine knew God's love would change her—it was fear of that change that kept her drinking. “I knew I was on the fence. I would get wasted on Saturday night and then go to church hung over the next morning,” recalled Katherine.

Although she had a knowing that turning to God would change her life for the better, she kept making excuses. “I pictured fully surrendering to God like jumping off a cliff or a high dive; you really want to jump, but you are scared, and once you do jump, there is no looking back,” Katherine said.

During a Bible study meeting, which Katherine’s parents hosted and insisted she attend, the leader asked participants to write out Katherine in Mozambique, Africa for missions training at the Iris Harvest Shool of Missions. (Click to enlarge)prayer requests. She wrote, “I just want to be happy.” Months later, when she found the piece of paper on which she had written her prayer, she realized how empty and unfulfilled she had truly been. “I was so blind, being enticed by the things of the world that look so alluring and fun, but in the end just leave you empty,” Katherine explained.

It was during a New Year’s Eve party, ringing in 2008, that Katherine's dad became aware that she was drinking. “When my dad found out that I was drunk he got pretty upset and kicked everyone out. That night, after my dad calmed down, he fell on his knees sobbing, and I had a powerful encounter with the love of God. It was like a light came on and I could see and think clearly,” Katherine said.Katherine praying for a woman while on a mission trip to Nepal. (Click to enlarge)

The battle in Katherine's mind raged. She knew that if she made the decision to focus on God, all of her desires would change. She thought, “Do I even want to be a person who doesn’t want to party?” In that moment, Truth prevailed and Katherine made the decision to lay down her life for Jesus. “I just said, ‘forget it, I’m focusing on God and whatever happens, happens,’” she said.

Katherine immediately stopped drinking and partying. She deleted all of her secular rap music, and even decided to skip her senior prom, choosing to go to a Christian conference in Georgia instead. Katherine and her team in Thailand shortly before heading to Japan with Iris Relief. (Click to enlarge)Katherine's friends were baffled, and it was extremely painful for her to witness their lack of understanding. Although Katherine didn't fully understand God's love for her, she knew, in a tangible way that He loved each of them as well.

Katherine had planned to go to a big university in Tennessee and join a sorority, but her desires had changed. As she was driving one day, she prayed for direction, and she heard the Lord say, "Go to Charis Bible College in Colorado." "It wasn’t an audible voice, but it was so loud in my spirit. I burst into tears and had to pull over. I honestly don’t know if I was aware that there was a school in Colorado, Katherine's Iris Relief team began ministering in shelters in Sendai, Japan a short time after the first earthquake and tsunamis devastated the region. (Click to enlarge)but I knew, that I knew, I was supposed to go. I was so excited that I had gotten direction," said Katherine.

In the summer of 2008, Katherine, and her family moved to Colorado Springs to attend Charis Bible College (CBC). Her time at CBC provided her with a solid foundation in the Word and strengthened her relationship with Jesus. It was while serving with a CBC mission team in Mexico that Katherine realized she had a desire to minister to the nations. As her second year at CBC drew to a close, she prayed about her next steps. Katherine wanted to be a good steward with everything she had learned at CBC, and to share with people all over the world, the truths Ministry and relief look different in different situations–in some instances it can look like a circus. (Click to enlarge)that had brought her freedom.

After graduation, the Lord led Katherine to Iris' Harvest School of Missions in Mozambique, Africa, where she went to train for life on the mission field. Today she is serving in Japan on the administrative team for Iris Relief, which sends relief aid and international mission teams to hard hit disaster areas. When the teams arrive, administrative work becomes secondary and the focus becomes ministering relief aid and the Gospel to the suffering people.

Katherine praying for people in Japan. (Click to enlarge)When asked what she hopes to accomplish on the mission field, Katherine had this to say: “Every place looks different, but the need for Jesus is the same. You get to a place and you figure out what love looks like there. In Africa love looks like flip-flops because they are barefoot, and rice because they are hungry; in Japan it looks like wearing a gorilla suit because they need joy; in Thailand it looks like giving roses to a "working lady" and telling her that she is valuable. My desire is to love well. My desire is to stop for the one. I never want to limit God. I want to see nations transformed. I want to see orphans belonging to a family, drug addicts and hardened mafia guys melt in God’s love, un-reached people groups hearing the Good News, schools built, churches planted and people discipled and released into their destinies. How will that all happen? I have no idea. I'm really just a girl that loves Jesus and obeys God one step at a time, whatever that looks like and whoever it's with.”