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Our Story

 

Our Story

 

David and I met at age 19 while attending a church in Chico, California in early 1974. We became good friends and married in late 1975. Both of us were called into ministry and began to prepare. David graduated from Capitol Bible Institute and I took coursework through Berean School of the Bible. We served as Sunday School teachers, college pastors, managers of a Christian coffee house outreach, and youth pastors, and then home missions pastors.
 
In 1987, when we could not find employment in ministry, we began to develop secular careers, David as a financial planner, and I as a school teacher. During those years, we raised three children who are now married and have given us ten adorable grandchildren.
 
In 1987-88, something unexpected happened to us. I’d been asking God about the distance I felt between myself and God and how I did not feel He loved me. While admitting it had to be my fault, I was still faced with this reality that God seemed far away, even though I knew better theologically. I simply asked God to help me find my way back to that first love of knowing His love for me and being aware of His presence. When switching to a secular career, I found myself unable to do my normal spiritual disciplines, and to my surprise, this is when my joy with God was restored. This was because I could no longer could base my relationship with God on my own efforts and had to totally rely on His grace and my faith in Him. It was a wonderful yet troubling discovery for I was forced to realize I had taken some wrong turns in my Christian beliefs. (For my detailed testimony, see “Twice Fallen from Grace”.)
 
About a year later, David experienced a similar awakening. Feeling himself to be a failure for not having been successful in ministry, he wanted to give up, and yet, not on Jesus, but just on “being a Christian”. Through the ministry of a Christian radio program and the book Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing by Bob George, he began to hear once again the message of the good news of God’s love for him, apart from works and the joy of his salvation returned. (For a more detailed account of David’s testimony, see “Reorientation”.)
 
At this time, we both let our ordinations lapse because we could not find employment as ministers. Life went on. We continued to raise our children while developing our careers and relearning just about everything we thought we knew about our relationship with God. It was as if God was delicately doing surgery and removing false teaching from our lives. Every time a false belief was removed, joy was restored in that area.
 
In 2007 the pastor of the church we were attending asked us to start a Bible school in the church, which we did. To our surprise, as we began to teach the truths God had shared with us over the years, many of the students had a similar awakening, a return to understanding how deeply they were loved and a renewed enthusiasm toward serving Him. In 2009, the Lord spoke to Cathy asking, “Are you willing to preach the gospel to the saved?” She instantly understood what He meant and said, “Yes.” David was in agreement with this calling on our lives. We resigned our positions with our church and sought the Lord as to what to do next.

                                                                                                       

For the last seven years, we have been teaching believers about God’s amazing grace in a series called “Studies in Grace and Faith”. Those who attend also have come to realize God’s love for them and are returning to the joy of their salvation. The teachings and study notes for these teachings are available on this website. We encourage you to gather with friends and family and view them. We pray that you will be blessed.

                                             

Grace and peace to you!

Cathy and David Hildebrand

 

5 Responses to Our Story

  • Eric Adams says:

    Hello friends , thank you so much for your ministry, you have met me, my wife and I are very
    good friends with Sherrie Michaels and friends of several other folks in your fellowship. I was
    a little rude when we visited because I did not understand grace really. In my spiritual journey
    after being raised in the new age, then 13 years a Mormon, after weeks of prayer and meditation
    I had a very profound road to Damascus experience the true Jesus spoke to me with the filling of the Holy Ghost the Lord told me audibly “Eric Satan has put many things on this earth to take you away from me” at the the time I believed he was just speaking about Mormonism. I was so happy because I met Jesus my lord the son of God my king. Even though I had easily read the New Testament 15 times before meeting Jesus I had still been lost up to that point.
    My wife and I than spent the next 15 years in charismatic\Pentecostal churches I am very
    grateful they taught us how to worship and minister to people but some thing was missing.
    Next we spent 3-4 years at the neighborhood church it was great for my youngest son Tim but
    Kelly and I really did not like it. Two reasons I could never shed the very sad feeling of
    dirtiness from bad destructive things that happen in my childhood.We also ran into the lethal
    wall of evangelical self righteousness. So tired of this and having very kind friends involved
    with eastern orthodoxy the oldest branch of Christs church the ethos of this group is holy but
    in a much different way than western Christians there church is filled with profound wisdom,
    a deep commitment to the ancient 7 great councils of the early church and they had truly and horribly suffered for the faith.I saw many pastors and theologians were leaving evangelical churches and becoming Orthodox, they were drawn by the writings of the early church fathers,
    and the weakness of american Christianity. But even though it was better but something was still missing , what was it. I want to tell you after 25 years of being a christian I finally found
    out what has been wrong they all lacked the profound and yet simple TRUE GOSPEL Abraham
    believed God and it counted for him as righteousness, one mans sin ruined us all( Adam) but
    one mans act of righteousness gave us life,peace, salvation, the gift of righteousness and
    a abundance of grace. I have been justified before my judge and God, I have the Holy spirit
    and all his benefits. I have the total imputed righteousness that gives me the power to be a Son
    of God and call God Father and Jesus Lord and brother and so my prayers will be answered.
    When I was baptised as a act of faith it demonstrated that my old man had died with Christ
    and my new man was raised into life. I do not have to sin anymore I now have the power and
    freedom to walk in Christs righteousness. I received all this by simple faith in Christs mighty
    and everlasting work. This salvation happen in me while in faith and reading the Holy Spirits
    words in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians the Spirit of God quickened my spirit unto life.
    I hope this encouraged you and you have my permission to use it in any way that is helpful
    to the spread of the gospel and praise God I do not feel dirty anymore because of the gift of
    righteousness and I know that I am forever his. Thank you for your ministry, God bless you.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for you testimony, Eric. We hope to see you again soon!

      • Eric Adams says:

        Hi Eric Adams again forgive me,but I was typing a important comment and lost power and left
        only 1/2 a comment, I will try again. I recently discovered that one very important reason the
        vast majority of us miss the very important truth of the gift of righteousness.
        Starting with the Roman Catholic apostate version of salvation, most of western Christians have a limited view of what Jesus Christ did for us, with this very legalistic Roman understanding of the cross. Most of us see only Jesus on the cross paying the ransom for our sins and this is true but incomplete. The early christian mostly in the east (eastern Europe,
        the Middle East, Africa, western Asia) those folks you do not know have a much different
        view what Christ did for us, this a complete Pauline understanding. Christ at his incarnation
        restored mans communion with God because Jesus who is God entered mankind and the
        word of life infused into man the lost potential for life and relationship with God, Secondly
        as Jesus the new Adam born of the new Eve Mary who said yes to God, Jesus the express image
        of God the Son of God restored the original purpose of mans creation. Jesus ‘s righteous
        life as a man restored to man the potential for the gift of righteousness ,the power to be a
        son of God. Thirdly Jesus redeemed mankind at the cross to the Father but he fooled legally Satan in to participating in Satan’s own defeat. Fourthly the resurrection is most important
        without the resurrection there is no salvation, we now our new creation’s in Christ who our
        able to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and even receive more and more of the Spirit, the freedom
        of the gift of righteousness for deification (become like Christ to have fellowship with the Father,the Son and the Holy ghost for ever.
        This is much different then the regular fair taught in almost any western denomination all
        like it or not children of Rome. This salvation I just shared with you from our eastern brothers
        is the heritage of all Christians every where and I see many of these ancient truths being restored in your ministry, you have a growing solidarity with the Holy Church Fathers.
        God bless Eric Adams

  • Hank tynkkynen says:

    Just recently came across your website and thought Iwould share about my grace journey. I am almost 68 yrs. old, got saved back in 81 . I experienced the wonderful love and grace at the beginning but nobody at church explained to continue in the same grace that saved me.
    Never heard the true gospel of grace. The other issue was that growing up with afather that to be accepted you had to measure up . So it was easy to transpose this mindset of measuring up to Father God.So I spent the next 25 yrs on the Christian religious treadmill trying to “measure up” to please God, in an unholy mixture of grace and law. We were warned to keep away from the word of faith folk,the name itand claim it crowd or hyperfaith ones. I askyou what does hyperfaith even mean? If it means that you have a lot of faith in God,isnt that good? Around 2009 and away from churches for about 6 yrs. and because of my spiritual desperation, the Lord started revealing Himself to me. I saw a scripture that said ” if you seek me early, you will find me ” So I started getting up at 5 am. to seek his face and for the next month or so He showed up and met With me every morning. Such a presence of His love that I was weeping tears of joy mixed Laughter. I could not wait to meet with Him every morning because in His presence is fullness of joy. I realized to my great shock that He delighted in me also! The thought that came to me was , Is He really, really this good or am I in some sort of deception? I Hadnt heard any grace messages, just what the Holy Spirit showed me, He started showing me scripture after scripture of His grace and love and who I was in Him. I started watching a Christian program where the guest speaker talked about 52 lies you’ve heard in church. Man did that program ever ring my bell! Started listeningto grace teachings and they also confirmed to me what the Holy Spirit was showing me; that I was a new creation in Christ; that I was righteous and holy in His sight because of what Christ had already done. Jesus is my righteousness,my love, my joy, my peace; In Him I live and breath and have my being! Pauls teaching s of who we are in Him was manna from heaven for me. Around this time I was attending a church that had a solemn assembly every January where everyone came to repent and confess their sins. The Lord showed me Israel did the same in the old covenant, a yearly covering of the sins of the nation. I remember one evening at this service I felt an unease and asked the Holy Spirit what is this?He only said two words ” mixed fire”. Our lives are to be a sweet aroma or incense unto God, not a mixture of law and grace. Shortly after this while shoveling snow one morning, the Holy Spirit asked me, how long will you cling to these beggarly elements? Beggarly elements? Had to look it up in the concordance if that phrase was even in the bible. Sure enough, galatians 4:9; You know beggarly is an apt name for us

    if we do not understand the new covenant. We will always be begging and pleading for God to dosomething for us ,not realizing that we are complete in Christ because of the finished work of the cross. I felt I had to leave this church because every time I heard law my hackles would rise and still if I catch a whiff of it. I spent most of my Christian life never hearing the message of the gospel of grace. I heard a lot about sinners going to hell. That is not the GOOD NEWS, the gospel of grace is the good news. My wife and I are in a new church now and there are a few who believe the true gospel and I take every opportunity to share and encourage in the grace of God.

    May we all grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the love of God and with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, amen.

    • Cathy says:

      Dear Hank,

      I have begun updating our website, and was surprised that I never saw your message here. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. God is so good to guide us back to Him when we get confused about law and grace. How have you been since your wrote this? I hope you are making good progress in your journey of grace.

      I hope you will keep in contact with us. Also, we have two Pages on Facebook where I am more likely to get your message. One is http://www.facebook.com/cdhildebrandgrace. The other is http://www.facebook.com/studiesingraceandfaith. If you “Like” these pages, you will be notified when we add content to our website or make posts, and I can respond quicker.

      Grace and Peace to You and Yours!
      Cathy Hildebrand

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