I’m Justen. And I’m glad you found this page. As I discover more of God, I’ll share it with you and we’ll grow in the joy of the Lord together! Get started by watching the video on FREEDOM that changed my life…
"If Christ Sets Us Free, Why Don't I FEEL Free?!", I wondered...
This was about 5 years ago after reading Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”. Since then God has taken me on a journey to discovering a freedom that was better than I hoped for. I want to share this journey with you.
My Story: The Really Short Version
I grew up Amish. No electricity. No cars. Lots of horses. I don’t really like horses. As a child I was taught the Bible. When I was 10 I asked Jesus into my heart.
Random: At age 14 I was the star football player. #nopads #afterchurchfootball
In a crazy accident, my dad passed away when I was 14. I blamed God. We left the Amish and went Mennonite. Pornography and rejection was my struggle.
Random: Played football in high school. #maybeifiwenttohighschool
Fell In Love With Jesus
September 2012 at a conference. People where healed. Prophecy was given. I was changed forever. Had Excitement butterflies for 2 weeks. Porn and rejection gone.
Random: Didn’t play football. #outofshape #hurtstomuch
Went To Ministry School
Moved to Harrisburg September 2013. Went to Global Celebration School Of Supernatural Ministry. Met cool people. Got freer. Now live from heaven to earth.
Random: Play Football with Holy Spirit. #spirituallyspeaking #colaboringandsuch
The Longer, More In-depth StoryThe REALLY, REALLY, REALLY long version...
My Life With God: A Story Of Love & Redemption
In December of 2013 I asked God what He wanted for Christmas. And what I got was that He wanted me to share our story. How He reached into my heart and stole it away and gave me a son ship that I didn’t deserve and yet it was paid for in FULL about 2000 years ago. So, here is my feeble attempt at sharing how He brought me through the hurts and pains of losing my earthly daddy at a young age to an intimate love relationship with HIM that ravishes my whole being. I’m overcome by His love and it is nothing that I had to do except sit back and receive it. And therefore it compels me to love and to live righteously in His presence. So, bear with me as I try to give you a glimpse into HIS greatness and how HE revealed some of it to me. My story is only starting and there is much more He’s showing me. As you read, think about how He’s done the same for you, because this story may be my personal story, but it really isn’t about me at all. It’s all about Him. HE IS EVERYTHING!
I was born Amish
On 1990, I was born into a loving Amish family. And no, we did not have electricity. And our way of transportation was horse and buggy. At the time I was born, my mom was going through some depression, so as a child whether I knew it or not, I let myself have some low self-esteem because her depression kept her from loving me in the fullest way possible. My dad had an excavating company. Now, since he was Amish, he couldn’t drive to and from work so he would hire people that weren’t Amish to do the job.
One day on September 15, 2004 when I was 14, my dad and his employees went to Subway for lunch, which was only about a mile from the job site. On the way back to the jobsite, my dad and another guy named Lyle put down the tailgate of the pick-up truck and sat on the tailgate. Probably not the smartest move. As they were going about 25 miles per hour down the road, the straps that hold up the tailgate to keep it from falling down unto the bumper, both snapped. And since they weren’t prepared for it, they both fell off. Now, when your feet hit the ground that is going 25 miles per hour faster then you, and then you’re going to snap backwards. My dad died instantly with head injuries and Lyle was in the hospital for 2 weeks with head injuries. To this day, he has a huge scar on the top of his head that reminds him of the day that God kept him from dying.
Devastated by tragic event
Needless to say, I was absolutely devastated after this event. I had been born again since age 10, but had kind of fallen away into lust and masturbation. Not good. So, at this point, because I didn’t exactly have an intimate relationship with God, I was at a point in my life where I had to make a decision. One, I could get angry at God and completely go berserk into rampant sin, or two, I could let this event lead me into HIS embrace. So, for the most part (thank God) I ended up running into His embrace. There was a little hiccup, however. Because I had an excellent relationship with my dad, and in my mind God had taken him away, for years I believed a lie that I wasn’t good enough to have a dad. Talk about taking a fragile self-esteem and hitting it with a wrecking ball. It wasn’t good. I thought God had ruined my life.
Before I go further, I do have to thank God for His goodness. How can I do that now? Well, because the evening before his death, I had a chance to help him put together a table saw he had bought at an auction. With my dad being fairly busy with his thriving business, he didn’t have as much time to spend with me as he had wanted to, so this remains the memory that I will hold onto forever. God takes care of the details, man. He’s just that good!
As you can imagine, the next couple days after his death, life was a complete blur. It didn’t seem real and I was excited to wake up from the nightmare. It wasn’t until the third evening that it really hit me. This is when the term “crying like a baby” came into play. My young heart burst and I couldn’t stop for a long time. It must have been hours.
If this would be the end of the story, it would really kind of suck. But God. Yup. HIM. The ONE who is great at taking potential disastrous events and turning them into something beautiful. Just look at what He did because Adam ate the fruit. He sent Jesus and put HIS OWN LIFE inside of every human being that believed in HIM. He made us His children. At this point of the story, however, I did NOT feel like His child, at all. Not even close. But, after a couple years, I started seeing it.
Anyway, back to the story.
Lyle, you know, the guy in the hospital. Well, he woke up and his boss was dead. As we can all suspect, it made him think. See, he had grown up Amish as well, but had left for a party lifestyle. At the time of the “accident” he had a live in girlfriend and was not even close to living for the Creator. But, about a month or so after, he became born again! He used to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, but at that moment, he stopped cold turkey. And he did it with no withdrawal. Totally God.
Starting a New Life… Of Depression
Soon after his born again experience, he started dating my mom. About exactly a year after my dad’s death they got married on September 17th 2005. In that year, a ton of life-altering things took place. First of all, in January, I rededicated my life back to God. I wanted to live in a way that was beyond the “average” Christian life. Secondly, we left the Amish and moved an hour south to a small conservative Mennonite church where Lyle’s brother attended. Talk about a slightly huge culture shock. Things like electricity, horses that were under the hood of a car, less stuff that we couldn’t do, and a new set of friends. It was all really exciting…until about a year later.
This was when I lost all of my new friends and went into some worthless depression. Remember, I had a low self-esteem. So, what would happen is I would feel rejection from the slightest thing. When my friends would go do something without me (even if it made no sense for me to go along), I would push myself onto them and just ended up driving them away. In the process of doing this, my best friend at the time, even tried to tell me and help me, but I was blind to it and couldn’t see it. This all stemmed out of the belief that I wasn’t good enough.
In case you’re wondering, depression sucks. Period. Plus, on top of that, a girl that I had a crush on (I think every guy did), also died in a car accident. That didn’t help my depression.
Now, you may be wondering where God was in all of this. I mean…I had no friends or anything! Well, ever faithful, He provided for me one friend. This guy was a single guy about 9 years older than me. He took me under his wing and was a friend when I most needed one. Again, what can I say? God cares about the little details. And honestly, just thinking about it, makes me love Him even more.
Getting Rid of the enemy’s Lies
Over the next couple of years, I had the privilege of going to the ‘Take Back Your Life’ Conference about 4 times. In every one of those conference’s God would peal back the layers of lies that I believed about myself. In case you haven’t guessed it yet, ‘Take Back Your Life’ Conference is exactly what it sounds like; it’s about taking back the ground the enemy has stolen from you and healing you from those inner hurts. So, slowly I got rid of believing the lie that I wasn’t good enough and my self-esteem was rebuilt. Through those years, I started getting a small glimpse of what it meant to be a child of God.
One of the problems that I gave into because of my low self-esteem was pornography. I hated it, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t stop. With ‘Take Back Your Life’ I’d go through seasons where it would pretty much disappear. But, it was like I was managing it, not getting completely rid of it because those seasons never lasted more then about 3 month. And even though I knew the Bible said that there was no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, every time I would fall into pornography, I would go through some major condemnation. It was a horrible cycle of seemingly getting past the condemnation and then falling again. And then doing it over and over again. I guess I should have realized that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was insanity.
Ever since I was young, I would strive to do the best that I could. Having good grades and exceling was my way of feeling self worth. I didn’t know that my worth wasn’t from what I did but rather by what HE (Jesus) paid for me. So, as am Amish child, I was the best Amish man you could make. I remember making the statement once, that I would NEVER drive a vehicle. In my mind, at that time, they were “worldly”. Then as I became a Mennonite, I also strove to be the best. This included starting an online ministry where I would put up a weekly devotional video and also reading through the Bible 5 consecutive times in a row. All good things, but it was out of a place of working toward Him instead of resting in what HE already did for me. And it was a way of me feeling self-worth.
The Conference That Changed Me Forever
After about a year of putting together these videos, in September of 2012, I was invited to a conference that changed everything. Our family owns a small store and one of our employees invited me to the conference. Since I did have a hunger for more of God, but didn’t really know what that more meant, I went.
The speaker of the conference was Scott Thompson of Bethel Atlanta. (He is also one of the main speakers of the Jesus Culture Conferences.) The big thing is that the Holy Spirit drives his ministry. So, for the first time in my life, I saw miracles happen right in front of my eyes. After one of his sermons, he had a word of knowledge that there were people in the room that had shoulder problems. And sure enough, 6 people had shoulder problems. He then had us lay hands on those people and pray for the problem to leave. All 6 of them got healed! One guy hadn’t been able to throw anything for many years, but afterwards he was throwing things across the room. Pretty incredible!
Throughout that weekend I learned about words of knowledge, prophecy and miracles. Needless to say, it blew my mind. Completely. Then to top it off, they had a fire tunnel where I experienced the tangible love of the Father in a greater form then I ever had before and I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. In case you’re wondering, a fire tunnel is when you make 2 lines of people that face each other and then have people walk through the middle as both lines pray a quick prayer over you.
In that moment of experiencing God so intensely, my identity changed from being an orphan trying to work toward getting to heaven to a son of God that is already seated in heavenly places because of Christ. (Ephesians 2:6)
A week before this conference, I had put up a devotional video about joy. I would wonder what the joy of the Lord was because I would read in the Bible where it talks about the fullness of joy and I knew that I’ve never really experienced it. So, my thought was that joy came from doing the works of Jesus. Which, in a sense, it can be, but true joy can only come from HIS presence. And that joy isn’t dictated by doing His work. It’s an inheritance we get as children. It’s a huge part of the Kingdom of God. Since we are seated in heavenly places, we are in that joy if we like it or not. But, we only really experience it by spending time being present in His presence. Then it becomes a part of your life just like breathing does.
Well, when God blew up the box that I had put Him in and let me know that I knew next to nothing about His goodness, I was ecstatic. So much so, that for 2 weeks following the conference, I would go to bed and wake up with “excitement butterflies” in my stomach. You know, the kind that you got as a little child right before going on a vacation. It was pretty intense. But can you blame me; I had just been revealed a part of God that I never really knew existed. Sure, I believed in miracles. But they rarely, if ever, happened. It was only by God’s choice and He was apparently stubborn. By the way, my devotional video the next week was called “Are you living in a box and don’t know it?” Kind of funny, I guess.
I AM FREE!
From that moment on, I didn’t live in condemnation anymore and my passion for God over took my desire for pornography. And it just kind of disappeared. It’s pretty awesome. Okay. Let me rephrase that. REALLY AWESOME! God is incredible. I guess you’re probably wondering if I was tempted after that. The truth is… I was. And once I almost gave in because my passion for God wasn’t as strong. But, why would I want to? He is so much better. And He died so that I could be set free from sin. Why would I choose to live in it any longer? Because He is in me, I am in Him and we are in the Father (John 14:20), I am a slave to righteousness (Romans 6:18). Everyone born of God does not sin (1 John 5:18). In a sense, it is impossible for someone that truly knows God to sin because as we see Him, we will be like Him because of His Spirit in us.
A couple of days after the conference I went to Walmart with the sole purpose that I was going to pray for people to get healed. In Walmart I asked God what problem I was supposed to look for. What I thought I got was that someone had a knee problem. (I wasn’t sure because I wasn’t used to this stuff.) So, I stumbled around Walmart trying to get enough courage riled up to actually ask people if they had knee problems. I asked like one person, finally, and they didn’t have a knee problem so I decided I had enough and told God He had to put the person in front of me as I walk out the door. And guess what… Sure enough, a guy stuck out to me as I walked toward the front of Walmart. So, I asked him if he had a knee problem and he did. He let me pray for it and then I asked if he felt anything happen. He said that he couldn’t tell right away if it got healed or not because it would only hurt every so often. But, he did say that my hand got really hot when I prayed for him, which is a positive sign…
This same experience happened about 2 more times in different stores where God would put the person in my way as I headed out the door.
In January 2013, I was up at my uncle Jerry’s house and he was all excited about things that were going on in his life. Earlier that day, he had talked to a friend of his, Jimmy Mast, because he was seeking God and knew that Jimmy seemed to be on fire. Jimmy had told him that he should fast for the next 3 days and he had shared some supernatural God stuff with him as well. Coincidentally, (or God doing HIS work), there was another conference that weekend at the same church where I had witnessed the miracles and such. I told Jerry he should be there. So, he showed up and became radically changed. One of the things that did it was when me, him and a couple other people prayed for this one guy that had a metal plate and screws in both knees. Both the screws and the plate shrunk. I actually felt it shrink under my hand as I prayed!
The awesome thing about this is the fact that my uncle hasn’t been the same since and we have been learning and growing together in the things of God. After that, I would travel the hour it takes for me to get there quite frequently. We had and still have some intensely deep conversations.
One of the best experiences we had was when we prayed for a friend of his who’s back hurt so much that he would crawl around his house. As we prayed, his back shifted and he was completely healed! YAY JESUS!
Another “best” experience was when we met a friend of his for lunch. This is an older gentleman who lived about 2 hours away but he wanted to have lunch with us. So, in our conversation, he told us that he had been diagnosed with cancer and wanted to meet with us because he knew we believed that God still does miracles today. After lunch, we went to Jimmy Mast’s house and prayed for the guy. While we were there, we also found out that Jimmy’s 6-month-old son Mason had a high fever, so we prayed for him as well. After we prayed, Jimmy’s wife took his temperature and it was down 2 degrees! The next morning, the son woke up completely healed. Also, a couple weeks later, the guy who had cancer called us and let us know that he was cancer free!
Sometime in the summer of 2013, as I was praying and spending time with God, He told me to stop reading through the Bible. I was like, “WHAT? Why would I do that?” He simply asked me, “Why did you start?” I knew right away what He was talking about. Once, when I was younger, I was at a dinner banquet where they recognized the person that had read through the Bible the most consecutive years in a row. And I was convinced that I was going to be one of those people sometime. It was all works and selfish based with no true relationship with the Writer of the Book. So, I was like, “OK”, and stopped reading through the Bible.
He also told me to stop making the devotional videos because I was learning to be able to teach instead of learning just to soak in HIM. So, I did that as well. It really was quite freeing. I’m glad I stopped. In the future, He may just have me continue the videos. And then I will because this story isn’t about me. It’s about HIM!
In the year of 2013, I had the privilege of co-laboring with Jesus and seeing Him heal people and save them. All in all, I was in the same room as thousands of miracles. The most notable ones probably being pace makers disappearing. I also was part of around 30 miracles that I helped pray for including metal disappearing and people’s legs growing out. Most important of all, were the people I saw God touching spiritually: people who were getting renewed in their spirit and some becoming born again because of a good God who loves unconditionally.
Global Celebration School Of Supernatural Ministry
As I write this, I’m living in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and going to Global Celebration School of Supernatural Ministry where I’m learning to live a supernatural lifestyle as a child of God naturally.
In the first week here, my housemates (also students) and I were out on the porch worshiping in the inner city of Harrisburg and a woman walks past that has a problem with her foot. We stopped her and started chatting, and then prayed for her foot and she was healed. The pain went away just like that! And this all happened in just the first week. A lot of incredible things have happened since then as well…
For me, the season that God has me in right now is a season of learning to completely rest in HIM every day: to sit back into His arms and live out of that place of victory and letting the Holy Spirit guide me and lead me into deeper communion with the FATHER. No more striving. No more letting my mind lead. This is freedom because it is for freedom that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1)!