Friday, May 13, 2011

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with CARRIE BETH STOELTING

My guest today is, Carrie Beth Stoelting. I am so excited to have her join us. What a precious young woman she is. It is so wonderful knowing there are people like, Carrie, in our world making a difference for Jesus. It is my hope that through our chat you will learn a few things about, Carrie, that are new to you. I hope through her words we can find ourselves seeking Christ on a deeper level.

If you were to go to Carrie Beth's Facebook page today this is what you would see set as her status. "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:5-6 I love this about her. She is all about Jesus and sharing Him with everyone she comes in contact with. I have asked, Carrie, many questions. Some deep and some simply fun, but the amazing thing is, all of her answers point straight to our Savior. It is so wonderful to chat with others and have every converstation point back to the One who has brought us all together for His good. Do you have a question for her as well? If you do, please leave her your comments. I know she would love to hear from you.



(Robin) Carrie, it is wonderful to have you join us. Tell us about yourself.

(Carrie) Thank you, Robin! I appreciate it that you invited me to share. As a Christian from Iowa, I love my God and country. I am busy promoting positive patriotism through my web site: http://www.unitetheusa.org/. I also sing with my sister, Stacie Ruth, and we share about Jesus through word and song. Stacie Ruth and I recorded our first album, Heavenly, with Grammy and Dove Award winning musicians. It is our prayer that Heavenly will bring you into the presence of our Heavenly Father.


(Robin) As you begin today, what is a day in the life of Carrie Beth Stoelting like?
(Carrie) My day begins early with devotions. I think that it is important to start your day spending time with the Lord. After that, I am busy working:)


(Robin) I enjoy hearing how my brothers and sisters have come to know Christ. Carrie, what is your testimony?
(Carrie) I believe that Romans 10:9-11 is true: For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.When I was five years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I clearly remember praying the salvation prayer one night when I was in bed. When my mother came in my room to tell me good night, I told her about my decision. We shared the excitement of my decision and prayed together, too!Since that time, I have grown closer to the Lord as I seek and learn about Him. I thank God for giving me a loving Christian family and a wonderful church to guide me as I continue my walk with the Lord.


(Robin) Having patience is not always easy. It is hard waiting. Waiting for answers. Carrie, in those times of waiting, how is it that you get through and simply trust the Lord?
(Carrie) You are right that waiting is tough. I am a person who likes to take action and make things happen to help others. So, waiting is difficult for me. However, over the years God has helped me trust Him and wait. The Lord knows what is best. He is in control and we can trust Him. On a side note, reading books by Sheila Walsh on this subject has helped me. I especially liked Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God.


(Robin) In our journey with the Lord, He teaches us daily. What is it the Lord is teaching you at this time in your life?
(Carrie) Robin, lately the Lord has placed 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 on my heart which says, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."This passage reminds me that yes, life is hard but God is faithful. When tough times bite us, we can be assured that Jesus is with us and He will help us. He will bring justice it may be not be immediate but it will be ultimate!


(Robin) So many young women struggle today with their self image. They look to magazines for what beauty is. Carrie, have you ever struggled? What would you share with a young girl today searching through magazines looking for the latest trend to make her beautiful?
(Carrie) You know, the media promotes lies about women's image. I think that Barbie and skinny models confuse young girls. However, all of that is fake! It is not real life. Plus, being that skinny is not even medically healthy for most people. Girls and ladies need to remember that they are beautifully created by God just the way they are. Psalm 139:14 "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."


(Robin) Doreen Hanna wrote a wonderful book entitled, "Raising A Modern Day Princess." What advice would you give to a young woman wanting to remain pure in world where purity doesn't carry much value?
(Carrie) You are right: the world promotes anything but purity. We are bombarded with immodesty to say the least. Fashion trends, group clicks, and a lot of other junk come and go. Life is like a vapor, it is most important to keep your eyes on Jesus and on the promises of heaven. We serve Jesus, not the world. So, what really matters is serving and loving Him.


(Robin) Carrie, I know you have witnessed heartache first hand. What encouraging words would you share with someone today facing a trying time?
(Carrie) Yes, it was a very trying time. In fact, I still experience flashbacks from time to time. Whenever that happens, my hearts cries out to Jesus. He helps me through those hard moments. So, I would tell someone facing a tragedy to pray and lean into the arms of Jesus. Without Him, life would be hopeless. Jesus is our hope. He is our stronghold.


(Robin) How do you define success?
(Carrie) The Lord measures success very differently than people. In life, what is really important is serving Jesus Christ no matter how small that may be. Some of the greatest times of hope, comfort, and encouragement in my life have been from small acts of love and kindness from friends and family  and sometimes even strangers. When the Lord works through you to help others in His name, that is the best example of success.


(Robin) For 2011, my one word is, "surrender." Carrie, what is your one word for 2011?
(Carrie) I think that my word for 2011 is strength. The Lord firmly placed that word on my heart this year when I heard a missionary from Southeast Asia speak. He shared about persecuted Christians in oppressive countries like China. The missionary made it clear that those Christians pray for strength to keep going and serving Jesus. It awakened me. For years, whenever life hit me hard, I would pray for protection. But, I rarely prayed for strength. (Note: Praying for protection is very good. I still pray for it.) I learned from the missionary about the importance of praying for strength. After all, how can Christians serve boldly without being strong in Him? We need to put on God?s armor and fight with His strength:

Ephesians 6: 10-20 says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."


(Robin) We often think of just the here and now. In your legacy, what is it that you hope to leave behind imprinted on the hearts of everyone you have touched?
(Carrie) I hope to be remembered as someone who loved Jesus, her family, and country. I want to be remembered as an honest and hard worker.


(Robin) I would love for you to share about your ministry, Bright Light. What is your mission statement? How did it begin? What has been the greatest blessings and the most challenges aspects of being a young woman in the ministry?
(Carrie) Our mission statement is: While using word, song, and accompanying action, Bright Light Ministries seek to beam Jesus? light, to proclaim the Gospel, to love the LORD, and to love people without compromise. I think that the greatest struggle of being in ministry is facing persecution. It is hard, but reading John 15:20 helps. Jesus said, "Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." We must stay strong in Christ and He will help us through anything.


(Robin) I love driving our country roads with the radio turned up and my hand raised in praise. Carrie, when your all alone in the car what is it that you have playing on the radio?
(Carrie) I like a wide variety of music styles ranging from the Oak Ridge Boys to Phillips, Craig, and Dean. I also really like the Getty's, Sheila Walsh, and Nicole C. Mullen. Aside from Christian music, I enjoy listening to big band music of the 1940s:)


(Robin) I interviewed your sister, Stacie. I know you are close and family is so important to you. What is the best thing about having, Stacie, as a sister? Have you always gotten along wonderful?
(Carrie) Yes, we are a really close family and that is one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have faced some really hard situations in my life and God has used my family to help me through. I praise the Lord for my family! It is really special to have Stacie as my big sister. We are like twins, maybe even closer than twins. I treasure our close bond and I am thankful that we have always been close.


(Robin) What has been the most empowering advice you have ever received?
(Carrie) Never give up. No matter what, keep moving forward ? keep fighting. I don?t need a goal to be easy, it just needs to be possible. Nothing is impossible with God!


(Robin) I know you love singing. What other hobbies do you love? Would we catch you reading a Christian romance novel or deep in thought on a hike?
(Carrie) If I have time to read, I usually pick up a book about American history or Christian non-fiction (i.e. books by Dr. David Jeremiah or Sheila Walsh). If I do read fiction, it is usually by Kathi Macias. Hiking is great! I also love spending time outside. Visiting parks, especially National Parks are special and moving. So, in answer to your question, I am more of a hiker than a reader. As for hobbies, I am a major classic movie fan! That's my hobby. Movies like High Noon, Swing Time (with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are three of my favorite films.


(Robin) Do you have a life verse? One that has simply blessed you more than any other?
(Carrie) Isaiah 41:10 has helped keep me going many times through life's challenges. It says, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."


(Robin) My pastor says, "If the Lord has done anything for you, the least we can do is say so." I love that! I love when we share what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Carrie, how have you been blessed by the Lord today?
(Carrie) He blesses me so much every day. Each day is a gift, even when life is tough. Today, a very special friend of the family called us. Her name is Violet and she is almost 93. Her beautiful heart and faith in Jesus inspires me deeply. The Lord used her to encourage me today. It is a blessing to have such a precious and loving friend.


(Robin) If you were to have a dinner party and you could invite three people from any time throughout history who would you invite and why?
(Carrie) This is a fun question! I think that I would invite President Reagan, Corrie ten Boom, and William Wilberforce. All three people have touched my life via their writings and life examples. They remind me to persevere and stay strong in Jesus. For Jesus, if it worth is all.


(Robin) Carrie, do you have a prayer request you would like to share with us today so we can join you in prayer?
(Carrie) Please pray for opportunities to share about Jesus to the lost. I need prayer for strength to keep fighting and sharing about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you want to know Jesus as your personal Savior, please click here. It is a decision that you will never regret.


Carrie Beth, thank you for being with us today. Thank you for sharing so much of your heart that we get a small glimpse of just who you are and a huge glance at all Jesus is through you. Blessings to you sweet lady. I hope you return to the Nest to share more of all Christ is doing in your life. You are such a joy and a breath of fresh air. Jesus looks good on you my friend. 
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