IMPARTING THE VISION TO DEVELOP A REAL LIFE STORIES TESTIMONY BOOK

Jesus Did It!

By: Jim & Carla Barbarossa, Evangelists

I want to share with you, with the help of God, a vision of another way to share your faith, and I believe it’s the simplest and most effective way that I have ever seen.  It’s based on Revelation 12:11, “And they all overcame him (Satan the devil) by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.  And they loved not their lives unto the death.”

I remember when I heard this teaching for the first time seventeen years ago.  Seventeen years ago I came to know Jesus as my Savior.  It was on a Sunday night; I’ll never forget it.  Three days after that, a young man of 78 years old, came to what was then my home church and he taught us how to take the story of what Jesus had done for each of us and simply to write it out on paper, and then take it and give it away to people.  What that man taught us, being a young Christian for only three days, I took it to heart. 

I went home that very night and I wrote out my testimony:  This is who I used to be.  I was lonely, depressed and weary.  I had a hole in my chest that was so big, you could drive a semi through it; I had this void and this emptiness.  

I shared how I came to know Jesus as my Savior, and I shared what my life was changing into.  I typed it out and made 25 copies of it.  Sadly to say, many people who heard the teaching did nothing with what they heard…nothing.  It seems like the more senior we get in the Lord sometimes, the less we’re willing to do what God wants us to do.  But being a young Christian for only three days, when I heard God’s voice, I jumped.  I did what God said to do.

So I printed 25 copies of that testimony and I was sitting at my desk, and the Holy Spirit said “Mail your testimony to David.”  I was only 3-4 days in the Lord, and the Holy Spirit is speaking to me.  We don’t have to sit and warm a pew for 30 years to hear from God.  God is speaking to us all the time; He’s talking; communicating.  It’s not real complex; it’s simple. You talk to God, and He speaks to you.

So I took my testimony and put it in an envelope along with Carla’s testimony and Ray Morris’ testimony, the man who taught us this.  I put it in the mail and sent it off to David.  A week or two goes by and I get a call from David’s wife, and she said, “David received those testimonies you sent, and I want to thank you for sending them to him.  He came to me and said ‘You know, if God could change Jim, there’s hope for me.’”  You see he knew Jim before I knew Jesus, and he knew the type of person I was, and it wasn’t the person he read about in that testimony because a transformation took place.  A change took place.

Well another month or so passed, and one day I’m looking out and I see a man coming down my driveway, and it was David.  But there was something about him; he had changed.  He looked differently, and when he got up to the front door he starts to tell me about what had happened.  He thanked me for sending that testimony to him. 

David was moved to the point that he went to church, and while he was at church, he bowed his knees to Jesus.  David got saved that day because somebody cared enough to write out his story to be used for the glory of the Almighty living God.  The neatest thing was that when David went to the altar, three other members of his family went to the altar with him, and they gave their lives to Jesus Christ.  You can shout over that; that’s good stuff!

Well I’ll tell you what, I’ve been a business man a whole lot longer than I’ve been a preacher, and one of the things I learned in business is that when you find something that works, you stay with it until it doesn’t work anymore.  So I went to the print shop and I ran 5,000 copies of my testimony.  My pastor at that time thought I had gone off the deep end, and I say I went off the deep end for Jesus!  I became a walking testimony.  Everywhere I went I was leaving in car windows a testimony.  If I saw a paper rolled up on somebody’s doorstep, I would slip in a testimony.  If I was paying a bill, made a car or house payment, I would put in a testimony.  Wherever I went and everything I did, I became a walking testimony.  Testimonies, testimonies, testimonies; everywhere I went, I gave away testimonies.

In Revelation 19:10, the Word of God says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  So when we testify of what the Lord has done for us, it’s more than just information.  It’s a living prophetic seed that causes life and faith to spring forth in others, drawing them to want to experience what we have experienced - a meaningful - lifegiving relationship with God.  Your testimony is a powerful seed waiting to be planted in the hearts' of other people.  When David read my testimony, it wasn’t just words; it was a seed – a powerful seed the Holy Spirit honored - honors.  It took root and it grew and he got saved.

In Psalm 107 it says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”  Has anybody been redeemed in the house today?  So that says let the redeemed, let you, and let me say so!  What does it mean to 'say so'?  It means to brag.  It means to declare.  This is what my God has done for me, and what He’s done for me He’ll do for you.  The Living Bible says it this way:  “Has the Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out. Tell others He has saved you from your enemies.”  One of the ways we can do this is through testimonies. 

One day I was in the bank right down the road from here. Up on the counter I found a wallet.  I took the wallet and gave it to the teller.  She opens it up and said, ‘The money’s here, the credit cards are here.’  She said, ‘Sir, this just doesn’t happen today.  Everything is here.’ 

She thanked me and I conducted my business, and I started to head for the car.  As I started to head for the car, the Holy Spirit said ‘Get your testimony and get back in there and give that lady a copy of it.’  This is what God said to me, ‘You were stealing my glory in there because you were allowing that lady to think highly of you when you should have been pointing her to Me.’ 

You see, I didn’t do that because of Jim; I did that because of Jesus.  It was a change that took place.  It was all about Jesus.  

So I went back to my car and grabbed a couple of testimonies and went back in.  I said, ‘This one is for you, and the other one is for the person who lost the wallet.’  Now God gets the glory!

About three weeks passes by, and Carla hadn’t known that I had been in that bank and what I had done, and she goes in and God worked it out that she got the same teller.  The teller says to Carla, “I want to thank you for those stories that your husband gives away.”  She said, “I read it and I have that void; I have that emptiness that he had.  Can I go to church with you?” 

We ended up going to her house and she prayed and got saved, and she received Jesus all because of a piece of paper with a testimony to the glory of the Almighty living God.  As she read that testimony, it was more than mere words; it was a prophetic seed that was planted in her.

In Mark chapter 5, in the first 14 verses, Jesus cast 2,000 demons out of a man and set him free.  I want to ask you something today.  Has Jesus set anybody here free today?  I know He set me free.  I know who I used to be!  And you know what?  We forget sometimes.  We get to walking with Jesus some 20, 30, 40 years and we forget where we came from.  We forget that we were bound like that demoniac, and Jesus set us free!  Amen?  I mean some of you had some big demonic bondages, and God shattered them. Alcoholic addictions were snapped like nothing.  Drug addictions broke like nothing.  Only the power of God can do that! 

But Jesus set that demoniac free and this is what He says to him in Mark 5:18, “And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him (asked Jesus) that He might be with him.” 

In other words, Jesus, I want to go with you.  I want to be with you Jesus!  You know what?  When Jesus saves us, He does not take us immediately to heaven.  We can ask Him to, but He doesn’t do that.  Do you know why?  It’s because He’s got a job for us and He’s telling us the same thing that He told this demoniac.  He’s basically saying you can’t go with Me now; I’ve got work for you to do. 

In verse 19, “Howbeit, Jesus suffered him not, but sayeth unto him, goeth home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee and had compassion on thee.”

When you got saved, and still today, Jesus is saying to you the same thing that He said to the demoniac, “Go tell.  Go tell where you work.  Go tell at home.  Go tell your neighbors.  Go tell.”  Go tell what?   Tell them what Jesus has done for you.  I want to tell you something about a testimony.  Nobody can argue with your testimony.  People can argue scripture or argue verses; this means that and that means this.  They can talk and argue all day long, but when you tell them I was once blind, but now I see, nobody can argue with you; nobody.  When I tell them I was lonely and I had a void that nothing could fill but Jesus, nobody could tell me different – nobody; because I know my God and I know what Jesus has done for me.  So what do you tell people?  Tell them what’s in your heart; tell them what Jesus has done for you.  Tell them how He’s delivered you.  Tell them how He set you free.

In Mark 5:20, listen to what the demoniac did:  “And he departed and he began to publish (that word publish means to declare, to announce, to reveal, to proclaim, to publicize) in Decapolis (that means the equivalent of 10 cities) how great things Jesus had done for him and all men did marvel.”

If a demon possessed man who was set free back then without computers, without televisions, without cell phones, without texting, without all the modern gadgets we have; if that man could go to the equivalent of ten cities and tell people in ten cities what Jesus had done for him, what can we do?  How much more can we do?  We’ve got the written and printed Word.  We’ve got so much more to work with, and Jesus is telling us to ‘go tell.’

The other day I was driving down the road; I was riding past a mini storage business.  I knew the owner, but I didn’t know him very well.  I knew he was never there, but the Holy Ghost said ‘go talk to him.’ 

And I said, “But God, he’s not there.”  How many of you do that – you argue with God?  You think you know it all.  “God, he’s not there!”  Well when I was done fussing, I pulled in and guess what?  He was there because God knows all; Jim knows just a little bit.

I started to tell him about Jesus, and I shared with him a little bit.  Then I handed him an envelope and in it were several copies of my testimony, Carla’s testimony, and Ray Moore’s testimony.  I left them with him; I did what God told me to do, and that’s all you need to do – is what He told you.  Don’t go beyond what God is telling you to do, but do what He’s telling you to do. 

Three months later, Carla and I are at a department store and this guy walks up to me and sticks out his hand.  He’s got a baseball cap on, and he shakes my hand and started talking to me.  I’m thinking…who are you?  This was Lonnie, the guy that owned the storage business. 

He said, “Man, I’ve got to tell you what happened to me.  Do you remember that time you came to my business and gave me that envelope with those stories in it?I sat it on my desk and it sat there for months, and here about a month ago I just had to pick it up.  I opened it up and shook it, and as I opened and shook it, these papers fell out.  In amongst those papers was this tiny little red bible; it’s a tract bible; a tiny little thing.” 

You’d have to imagine this – he’s a big guy with big hands.  He said, “I started to read through that tiny little bible, and something shot right through my hands.”  The power of God jolted him and shook him. 

You see, if we’ll do what we can do in the natural, God will take it to another level.  Literally, the power of God shot through his hands.  He went and told his wife, and she had gotten saved thirty days before.  She said, “Lonnie, the only place I’ve ever felt anything like that is at the house of God.”  So Lonnie goes to church.  They gave an altar call; Lonnie got saved and gave his heart to Jesus. 

They rolled out a tub of water.  They threw him in the water, baptized him, and he came up speaking in tongues.  Praise God – all in one day, because somebody cared enough to write out their story so that Jesus could use it for the glory of God! 

In the year of 2003, we taught a little church in the Hobart area to take their testimonies and write them out.  We put them on bright colored papers; every person’s testimony was on different colored paper.  By the end of 2003, we had 67 testimonies from the members of our congregation.  So we created what we call a library of testimonies, and in the corner of the church there was a rack that held all of these different testimonies.  I tell you what, I love it because now if I met somebody who had a problem that I did not experience, I could go to the library of testimonies and pull out a testimony to meet their need.  You see, some of those people have experienced some of the things that I never have, and together we had a whole library of testimonies. 

Carla is going to come and share with you how God instructed her to use these testimonies, but I want you to keep this in mind when she shares.  The first twenty five years of her Christian life she was afraid to tell people what Jesus did for her.  She refused to talk to anybody other than our children about Jesus.  This is how God used her.

(Carla speaking)

This was a few years ago that this experience happened to me. The Lord was dealing with me in helping me with my shyness, backwardness and my fear.  At this particular time, it was about two or three days before Christmas, and I had some shopping that I needed to finish.  I wanted to get out and get to the mall early to get my shopping done.  We had all these testimonies, and I just thought…I’m going to take a handful of these and have them with me.  I just relied on the Holy Spirit to help me throughout that day. 

Everybody knows around Christmas time how hectic it is.  You can’t find a parking place.  The lines are long.  The cashiers have had it; they don’t want to wait on one more person.  They’re tired and everybody just wants to get done and get out of there.  So I had these testimonies with me, and I felt like the Holy Spirit said to me, ‘whenever you approach the cashier, just fan them out and ask them to pick a color.’ 

It was really neat to watch their faces light up, because here they are; they’re giving and giving out, and they’re tired and don’t want to give out anymore. Before I would leave, I would say to each person, ‘I have something for you’ and I would fan them out telling them to pick a color.  They would pick one and it would be one that would minister to them.  It was like the Holy Spirit was leading them to pick the right one.  Throughout the whole day that’s what I would do, and it was so neat!

A couple of times I was standing in line and one of the cashiers would pick a color, and someone is looking over my shoulder saying, “Oh!  May I pick a color too?”  It was getting contagious, so I was just having fun as the Holy Spirit led me that day to minister to people with testimonies, giving them an opportunity to see Jesus as Savior.  So that’s the most important thing about your testimony; the Lord can use it with someone who can get saved.  All throughout that day the Lord was helping me.  The fear wasn’t getting me down; I wasn’t allowing fear to stop me. 

So it came time for me to get some lunch, and I went into the food court; I still had a few testimonies left in my purse.  There was a young man sitting across from me and I specifically heard the Holy Spirit speak to me.  He said ‘I want you to reach in your purse and get your daughter-in-law’s testimony out and give it to that young man sitting across from you there.’  Well all of a sudden, fear started to grip me, so I reached in my purse and pulled them out and instead of giving the one that the Holy Spirit said to give him, I fanned them out again. I just said, ‘Hey, pick a color!’  This is how specific the Holy Spirit is; that man picked my daughter-in-law’s testimony. 

Well after I did that, I needed to repent.  And you may be saying, ‘Why do you need to repent?’  I needed to repent because I didn’t do exactly what the Holy Spirit told me to do.  Even though he picked the right one, the Holy Spirit said that he needed to see that particular one.  I repented because I didn’t do exactly what I was supposed to do.  I was so thankful and I just rejoiced the whole rest of the day for different people that were touched, and prayed that they would come to know the Lord. 

Through the time that we were in church and were presenting those faith building moments, there were some times when I would think…Oh, are the people hearing us? Or are they getting it or are they paying attention? 

So one day, I went into a grocery store; I thought…you know what?  I’m just going to fan those testimonies out again, and I’m going to ask the cashier and see what happens.  So I fanned them out, and she picked one and said ‘Oh, I already have that one.’ 

I said, ‘Oh, ok.’  So I fanned them out again, and she said, ‘I have that one too.’ 

I thought…Wow!  I knew I had never given them out to anybody in this particular grocery store, so I fanned them out again and finally she picked one and said, ‘Oh, I don’t have that one!’  And she was excited.  

So then it got me to thinking…Wow!  They got it!  Someone is listening.  Someone is paying attention, and they’re going about witnessing to people in the community.  So I was excited about that!

That’s what we need to do.  We need to be excited about witnessing; excited about sharing your testimony.  Don’t look at it as being drudgery, but be excited about sharing the Good News with someone because someone can get saved, amen?

(Jim speaking)

We printed 67 testimonies in June, 2004, which evolved into our first Real Life Stories book.  We printed 60,000 copies, and from June 2004 to December 2006, we saturated the community with them. 

I remember when a young girl from a trailer park came to the church on a Wednesday night, and she said, ‘I was walking out the door of my mobile home, and I found this book on my doorstep.’  I remember when we went into that community and passed out books.  She said, ‘I was reading the book and nobody had ever told me about God before.’   That night she received Jesus as her Savior. Because somebody cared enough to write their testimony, and because the church cared enough to take all of the testimonies and compile them into a book that could be taken out into the community, that young girl got saved. 

On Saturday night, Carla and I were in a restaurant.  The young lady who served us so well was named Nicole.  When we got done, we opened the book up and wrote her name, ‘To Nicole:  Thank you for your great service.  You can read our stories on such and such pages.’   We gave her a generous tip.

On Sunday morning, Nicole shows up for church.  Nicole gave her heart to Jesus, because somebody cared and wrote out their testimony!

Then I got a letter one day from a head chaplain at Ft. McCoy.  That’s where they take the soldiers through who go to Afghanistan, Iraq, and all those places.  He said, ‘I ran across one of your books.  Can I have some to give to the soldiers who are going in harm’s way?’  So we sent him a couple of cases, and he used them.  Then he wrote again and said, ‘These are great tools; can we have some more?’  So we shipped him nine hundred copies. 

This was a small church that did this.  All of a sudden, we’re sending the Gospel message to soldiers in fox holes in the battlefield, because somebody cared enough to write their testimony and allow God to use it!

Then we developed a real simple little cardboard box that would hold 14 books and had a sticker on the front that said, ‘FREE – Take One’.  So I encouraged the members of the congregation, ‘Go to your local business owners.  Talk to people.  See what they’ll let you do with these.’  We ended up with one of those displays on a cigarette machine in a liquor store.  That’s a good place for it!

We had another one in a bar.  We had them in bowling alleys and theatres, police departments, restaurants, auto parts, and beauty shops.  We had them in a 100+ businesses all throughout the community.  We were sowing the Gospel; we were being the light.  We were planting prophetic seeds throughout the community to change peoples’ lives.

During this time, we talked to saints about carrying these books with them when they were on vacation.  Take a couple cases and throw them in the trunk.  There’s a little cutout card in the back of the book, and every one of these cards that I have in my hand represents a person who received the book, read the book, and gave their heart to Jesus!  We started getting cards back in the mail from places like Munster, Gary, Indianapolis, Lowell, Florida, Chicago, Wisconsin, Lake Station, and California.  This little church all of a sudden was impacting the United States!

As we found more people to write their stories, a new book was developed.  We ran 20,000 copies and gave them away in 2007.  About this time I heard from a doctor from London, England.  He said, ‘I want to buy a couple cases of your books, and I want you to ship them to me in England, because my patients need to read a book like this.’

So all of a sudden, the stories of a little church in Hobart, Indiana, are circulating through London, England.  More people came in and in 2008, we developed another book.  We printed another 20,000 copies, and over the course of a few years, we sowed 100,000 copies in the community.  That little book evolved into this book, and it’s now gone into 101 nations of the world.  Your church can be just like the little church in Hobart, Indiana!  Your church can develop a Real Stories Testimonies Book of your own!

The book (as of 2011) has now been translated into the national language in Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, and India.  And as I’m speaking to you, 10,000 copies are being printed in the Philippines.  Now everything I’ve shared with you today has been for a purpose, and it’s the hope and expectation that we will partner together, and we will do a book like this at YOUR church; a book containing your stories and a cover with your pictures on it that can be taken to this community first to impact lives, and then to circulate them all over this country and to other places in the world.

How many of you would like to see a book like this that says (YOUR Church) on it and has your faces and testimonies that you can pass out and share?  How many would like to see it? 

My friend, Ed, just told me today that three weeks ago he went into a local convenience store in town.  He gave the owners a copy of the Real Life Stories Testimony book.  They are saved today because of what he did three weeks ago! 

When writing out your testimony:  Your testimony should include ‘This was my life before I was saved.’  Then it should include ‘How I got saved.’  And then you should have in it ‘This is what my life is like now since I’ve been saved.’  In the book, Real Life Stories, you have 98 examples that you can read to give you some ideas of how you might write your testimony.  Every one is unique; every one is different. 

In the book, “Do You Know God’s Will for Your Life” starting on page 59, there are two chapters all about testimonies; you’ll want to read that and study those. After you’ve written your testimony, please make a copy of it and keep it for yourself.  Do not turn in the original.  I’ve seen them get lost, and it causes problems.  So keep a copy of your testimony for yourself. 

I’m excited about this!  I can see God doing some great things with this.  I hope you’re excited about it too, and I hope you become more excited after we get this book into print and you’re able to go to somebody you work with and say ‘here’ or to somebody in the grocery store and say ‘here’ and see lives change.

PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!

To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that’s all you are asked to do. God will reward you!  (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one or more of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!

JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!



JESUS DID IT!  - or -  JESUS DID IT!

(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)


Staff Note:  If you are interested in inquiring about publishing your own REAL LIFE STORIES testimony book, (especially if you represent a local church fellowship) Jim will be glad to send you a FREE copy of the Real Life Stories Testimonies book, a FREE DVD of him imparting the vision, and some sample testimonies in brochure form. 

Jim's contact information:

Step by Step Ministries
815 South Babcock Road   Porter, IN 46304
(219) 787-9933
E-mail: jim@step-by-step.org

Ministry Website:  www.step-by-step.org


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A Special Message:  http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.

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IMPARTING THE VISION TO DEVELOP
A REAL LIFE STORIES TESTIMONY BOOK