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Hannah Sheppeck

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 30

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Well this is it, the last day of the challenge. Although, It’s not really as much of ending as it has been a beginning. I have been so so dearly blessed by the past 30 days. I am excited about the new spiritual disciplines that I’ve learned and want to carry out into my daily life such as the prayer calendar. I am also excited about how easy sharing my story and God’s story has become. I’ve became way more comfortable with being open about my faith and learned about the intentionality of looking for others to disciple.

It’s been so neat to watch multiplication happen before my very eyes. I’ve seen God use this challenge in so many ways that I can’t even count. And I’m going to be honest some days it was a battle. I didn’t always feel like doing the challenge and struggled, but with prayer from my prayer partner and blessings of focus and diligence from my Father I was able to push on with the challenge. The victories and wonderful works that I’ve seen occur from this challenge have completely outweighed and blown away any doubts or setbacks that I had. Never before have I felt so connected with my other brothers in sisters in Christ as I now feel as though I am apart of a prayer network with many all praying for each other.

Tomorrow my mother starts the challenge and I cannot wait to encourage her and watch God move through her!

Here’s to the end of the 30 days but the beginning of a life that seeks to start disciple making movements! It’s been real, Cheers!

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 28

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I’m blogging today on behalf of yesterday, I just fell asleep before I had written my blog article for the evening…

Today I really liked learning about raising up other disciples who multiply through MAWL.

M – Model ( They watch you)

A – Assist ( You do things together)

W – Watch ( You watch them )

L – Launch ( They begin making their own disciples and groups)
It’s important that as we see people come to Jesus we train them how to be disciples as well. I know for me some of the times that I grew the most was when my youth leaders would turn around and have me share or lead a discussion. At first it was scary, I mean at one point I was afraid to pray out loud in front of other people, but those who were discipling me continued to give me opportunities and challenge me to pray. They would challenge me to answer questions. Then they began to give me leadership opportunities such as giving us students the opportunity to lead a DBS or encouraging us to start bible studies in our schools. It was through challenges like these that I grew and am now able to communicate and help disciple others.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 29

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Eyes to see where the kingdom isn’t. I first learned about unreached people groups a few years ago when I took the Kairos Course through my church. Before then I had no idea that there were so many people groups out there with no chance, no way for them to hear the gospel. It breaks my heart to know everyday people die without ever hearing the name of Jesus. I think it’s important for all believers to learn about the UPG’s and just gain a picture of what the world looks like in terms of lost vs. reached. The good news is we don’t have to sit here helpless. We can help the expansion of the gospel and take part in the Great Commission no matter where we live. We can Pray for unreached people groups. My favorite resources to pray for the unreached are www.joshuaproject.net and the book Operation World. You can also pray for the missionaries you know or that your church supports, for the work they are doing, and for the people groups they will be reaching out to. You can also pray for your friends and family and that they will catch a vision of the world and gain hearts for the unreached as well. We can help educate others about the unreached and ask them to join us in prayer.

We can also support the missionaries that are going to the unreached. We can support them through giving but we can also support them emotionally by doing things like sending them cards or Christmas packages. One of my favorite things to do is make art so I like to paint little pieces of art to send to the missionaries my church supports whenever they are putting together packages. Ask your church about the missionaries you support and how you can encourage them and pray for them specifically.

We can also share the Good News with those around us. Something I’m guilty of is assuming that people already know about Christ but instead we should assume that people don’t. If you share the gospel and they’ve already heard then either A. They are open to the gospel and you can open up spiritual conversations or B. They tell you they’ve already heard and don’t want to hear again and you respectfully know that you tried. But if just assume they know and don’t share then either A. you were right or B. you were wrong and they could die without ever having encountered the gospel. The stakes are too high for us to just assume that people already know.

Also, we can be welcomers wherever we are at. With travel being so easily accessed people are moving and dispersing like crazy. Sometimes the UPG’s come to us. Look for international students to invite into your home for dinner, refugees, new immigrants, or foreign exchange students to connect with. The world becomes so much bigger than our small circles whenever we open up our eyes and doors to those around us.
Today I spent my prayer time praying for some missionaries that my church supports and the people groups that they are working with. These missionaries have an e-mail list that gives me daily prayer requests for them so I went through some of them from the past week and just spent time praying over that community.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 27

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Today’s challenge was to make a list of 5 people who you could call and ask to start a 3/3rds group with. I made my list of a few girls who I want to continue to meet with even after I go off to college so I think starting a 3/3rds group with them would be a good way to hold ourselves accountable to our meetings. I’m going to meet with the girls I have in mind once I get back from vacation in person and talk to them about it. Hopefully we will be able to start a 3/3rds group together!

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 26

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I’m blogging on behalf of yesterday… I just ran out of time to write about it while it was still yesterday.

My morning started with me texting my friend Morgan who was on my prayer calendar for today.  I’ve been talking with and praying for Morgan a lot lately, but I texted her to see if there was anything new that she needed prayer for. She replied with, “Wow you’re timing is perfect. There actually is and it just popped up…I’m pretty amazed because I was just talking to my Mom about it then you texted me.” I’ve continually been in awe of how God has been working through the prayer calendar in this challenge. I know it can be one of those things that’s easy to forget, but set a reminder in your phone because I’ve just seen God move through it so much and I’d hate for anyone to miss it!

After texting Morgan, I was sitting reading my challenge for the day when my mom walked out and struck up a conversation about the challenge. I have really been encouraging her to do it because my mom is already a disciplemaker and I think the challenge would really just give her new inspiration that she would LOVE. But, she has been going back and forth wondering if she really has time to do it and if she does do it when she should start and when she starts who is God leading to be her prayer partner? I really think that Satan has been trying to distract her with the logistics because we are always at battle, but through our conversation we were able to overcome these doubts and answer her questions. I talked about how the challenges really are doable, the thing that takes me the longest is blogging about them and she isn’t going to blog. Also I love that you can pour as much or as little time into the challenges as you want so if you have more time one day you can use it but if you’re in a crunch then you can still be intentional and do the challenges in a shorter amount of time. Also, after talking with my mom I was able to help her sort through and think about the woman that she will ask to be her prayer partner. I’m excited that my mom has now decided to start the challenge on Monday once we are back from vacation! 😀 I can’t wait to see her grow her disciple making skills and watch God move through her doing the challenge!

Also today’s challenge was to move from one conversation point to the next with someone. We’ve been on vacation with my grandpa and step grandma all week. My conversation with my step grandma has been pretty casual, but this afternoon as everyone else was out at the pool I offered to make her a cup of tea and we began talking about a relative of ours who is getting ready to begin going through chemo therapy. It honestly happened without me even realizing it but then we began talking about her parents who both passed away due to cancer and some of her other close relatives that are going through Chemo now too. We definitely moved into the meaningful conversation category today and it was a sweet time with her.
For my SOAP time today, I looked up Romans Road and began reading through it to work on improving how I tell God’s Story.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 25

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I really liked the video for today and how Curtis talked about discussing persecution with new believers before they are baptized. Often times I feel like persecution gets swept under the rug and no one really wants to talk about it as a reality. We like to think of persecution as something that may happen if we follow Christ, but we may also be able to avoid if we’re lucky. But if you’re living a life that follows Christ you are among spiritual warfare and it’s not a maybe, you will be persecuted. How we as Christians handle this persecution is a chance for us to display Christ. When someone faces persecutions and trials with grace and joy people begin to notice.

My church did a series over persecution a few months ago and it talked about the various types of persecution from societal marginalization all the way to life threatening persecution. Fortunately here in the U.S. we have freedom to worship Christ and rarely is someone’s life threatened for their beliefs, but we should be passionately lifting up in prayer our brothers and sisters in Christ who are putting their lives on the line in high persecution countries. We are called to carry one another’s burdens together. And although as an American my life may not be threatened, I get left out, avoided, not asked for my opinion because people don’t want to know what I think or believe, I’m viewed as weak or closed minded and I have to be okay with that. Persecution hurts, it’s hard. But, I know that Christ is with me and will give me the strength to come out on the other side. I have to choose to trust him and face the persecution with grace and know that my faith in Christ will only grow stronger through the trials. One of the verses that always comes to mind when I think about persecution is…

“Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
James 1:2

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 24

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Today’s challenge was to read over the scriptures that talk about the body of Christ and how we should treat each other and reflect how you can live that out in your own life. It was a neat day for this to be the challenge on today because we are vacationing in Branson, MO where my dear friend and sister in Christ, Bailey, recently moved to attend College of the Ozarks and today I was able to meet up with her! It was just a fun time of fellowship to catch up and see how she was doing. She is super close with her family so her first week of living at college has been kind of hard. I enjoyed just listening to her and loving on her as she talked about her recent transition.

Today my SOAP was over 1 Timothy 5 and also talked about how we should treat people other people. It talks about treating older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with all purity. Also, it discusses how we should care for others in our households and in the church.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 23

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Today’s challenge was to begin developing an hour of prayer. My family is on vacation this week and so this morning I went out on the porch of our condo to spend some time with Jesus through my SOAP study and then reading over, meditating, and thinking about what an hour of prayer would look like integrated into my life.

Honestly, when I first saw the challenge I was like, what!? An hour of just sitting and praying that’s so long! But the more I began to look over the prayer wheel and I began to see how I could fit it into my life it became more and more doable. First of all I really like how the prayer wheel breaks up the hour into so many sections especially with sections of scripture reading and singing praise because I think that will help me hold my attention span much better. I also think that I may divide the hour up throughout my day with doing 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening. If you have a really crazy schedule you could even divide up the 5 min sections into different parts of your day. Something that I recently learned about at church camp was prayer postures so I think it would be neat to add these into different parts of the prayer wheel along with prayer journaling.

Today my SOAP study was over 1 Timothy 4. A favorite verse of mine from today was…

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

1 Timothy 4:10

I just like how it talks about Jesus coming to be the savior for all peoples. Jesus came to save all and he’s given us the choice to accept him as our savior or not.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 22

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So I’m a day late… yesterday my schedule was kind of spontaneous and crazy complete with packing to leave for a family vacation and spontaneous company (which I love) deciding to come over the day of. I wouldn’t have had  it any other way though, because I got to spend lots of time with friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I was also having trouble with my wifi so when I tried to watch the Day 22 video (and pack at the same time) it didn’t work. I just decided that instead of rushing through the day 22 challenge to check mark it off I would delay my challenge a day and give it better attention today.

After reading over the 3/3rds Group Format and watching the video I really think that often times in the American Church we miss the key component of keeping one another accountable to our actions. Having someone to hold you accountable can be deep and awkward so we decide we will “hold ourselves accountable” and keep our callings inside. I don’t know about you, but I am not very good at holding myself accountable. I am really good at coming up with excuses or reasons of why I don’t have to. I’m really good at coming up with justifications for staying in my comfort zone.

Through the challenge Annie has been my prayer partner, but we’ve really became almost more like accountability partners for one another as we want to continue meeting once a week with one another even after the challenge is over. I would really love to make our relationship even more intentional though as I want her to hold me accountable to the things I feel God calling me to do but I may come up with excuses for. I think it’s important for accountability partners to call excuses out and push for their friends to follow through with their commitments to God, even if it gets awkward. Using the 3/3rds Format I’m hoping to implement some of the things mentioned into our weekly meetings so that we may become better at holding one another accountable.

I also think that the 3/3rds Format has some techniques that would be good to implement into the life group I will be leading in the fall because it will begin to train my life group girls up knowing the importance of accountability and action.

Today I did my SOAP over 1 Timothy 3. My favorite part of my SOAP today was reading about the mystery of godliness because I feel like it simply explains Christ and all he has done in 1 verse…

He was manifested in the flesh, justified by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16

P.S. A cool thing happened today! I got two texts from different girls that I’ve shared the challenge with asking me how they could be praying for me today. It was just neat to see these other girls doing their challenges because I know that they are both reaching out to their unique circles in places I couldn’t have reached. Each day they are praying for the people on their own prayer calendars so now instead of just me praying for my 30, I’m praying for my 30 while they are each praying for their 30 so now 90 people will have been reached out to and prayed for by the 3 of us. Pretty neat to see multiplication in action!

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 21

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Today I did my SOAP over 1 Timothy 2. This chapter really kind of sums up the discipleship challenge for me in 1 chapter of the bible because it focuses so heavily on praying in every way for everyone and if there is one thing that the 30 day challenge has done for me it’s been to challenge my prayer life and make it flourish. Never before have I prayed for my friends and family like I have during this challenge. It’s been the neatest thing to see God move after abundant prayer for and with friends and family.

It was also just a really good reminder of what my life as a girl after God’s own heart should look like…

Here are my favorite parts of today’s scripture… (Sorry I know it’s long, but it’s all so good!! (: )

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (MSG)

Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it. I don’t let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else.

1 Timothy 2:8-11 (MSG)

I shared these passages with my sisters and my mom today because I just really felt like they spoke beautifully to the role that us as daughters of the king are called to play.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 20

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This morning I did my SOAP study over 1 Timothy 1. My week at camp was spent studying 1 Timothy so I thought it would be a nice recap to go over it all with the SOAP method for the rest of the 30 day challenge. I had a free morning so I was really able to dig deeper into the word than I have been able to lately. It was awesome(: Coming out of my SOAP time I really feel like God might be calling me to talk with my grandmother about salvation before I leave for college. I know that my parents have tried in the past, but I really feel like this is something that I need to do. I can’t just live on knowing that she isn’t a follower of Christ and do nothing about it. I love her to much to not try. Once I share my heart with her I’ll know that I’ve done all I can. So prayers for my grandmother’s heart would be greatly appreciated in the days to come.

I also got to catch up with different people that I’ve been praying for throughout the challenge and see how they are doing. In addition, I nailed down the 2nd and 3rd meetings for my 5 people to share my story with from the Day 18 challenge and figured out my 5th person! She wasn’t originally on my list of 25, but she easily could be and through texting her today I really feel like she is the 5th person God would like me to share my testimony with.

I’ll leave you with the verse that resonated with me the most today from 1 Timothy 1:

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

– 1 Timothy 1:5 –

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 19

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It’s kind of interesting that today’s challenge was what it was because Annie and I were just discussing yesterday how to share salvation with others. She had Romans Road written down in her notebook and gave it to me to read through and I had planned to go back and look it up to write it down later and then I pulled up the challenge for today!

I watched Curtis Sergeant’s video from his blog titled “Getting God’s Story Right” and then I practiced drawing the pictures and writing the points in my notebook this morning. I really like the idea of having visuals to move through as you tell people about salvation. I think I might go back through and try and tie some scriptures from Romans Road in with the the visual method.

I really liked getting to do this challenge today because it forced me to think about what I would tell someone about salvation through Jesus. It’s something I have never thought of practicing, but I like the idea of being ready to share it when an opportunity arises.

Today I also got to go hammocking with Morgan, a friend who I recruited to do the challenge on Day 2, and just see how everything was going for her and encourage her. We also just had a lot of discussion about being discipled and discipling others. She was one that I felt lead to share my story with from Day 18 so I shared with her my “mini story” of becoming part of a life group. This was a mini story that  I hadn’t practiced yet, but Morgan was open to listening as I explained the importance of meeting with other believers in discipleship on a weekly basis and how life groups had got me through some tough years of High School. There is something healing about meeting with other believers in a small group setting and I encourage all followers of Christ to get involved with a small group of some kind. My hardest years were the ones when I didn’t have the support and love from my life group to keep going through the week. I’m so blessed to have them now and I really encouraged Morgan to join one too!

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 18

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Today I got the privilege to meet with my prayer partner Annie! I love our meetings together(: She has been praying for me all week at camp and was excited to hear all about it once I returned. I was able to tell her all the ways that God had moved over the past week and she shared in my praise and excitement. She has been encouraging me to become a life group leader since we began meeting at the end of May and now that I have decided to do it she has been the most helpful and offered me all kinds of resources and advice. We talked about the challenge and how we have been seeing God move through it. It’s neat to be able to share this time of praise together!

Today was also the day that I scheduled for my prayer walk, so I went outside and began walking and talking to God. I spent most of the time praying for my life group girls, the people who I have encouraged to join the challenge, and for the person on my prayer calendar for today. I also prayed that God would open my eyes to the persons of peace around me and lead me to the 5 people he would like me to share my testimony with.

After praying throughout my day I nailed down 4 of the 5 and began making plans with them, I’m continuing to pray that God would reveal the 5th to me over the next few days.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 17

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Well my last few days of camp were beautifully chaotic so I didn’t have time to do the rest of my challenges. I’m picking back up today with day 17. I was, however, given lots of opportunities to have really meaningful conversations. It was wonderful.

God really moved this past week of camp. I fell in love with my life group girls and cannot wait to begin life groups this fall! Our missionary at the camp really took the time to pour into me as she offered one afternoon to go on a walk and talk with me. And I was able to share numerous parts of my story with different students.

I was able to baptize one of my girls who is using her musical talents for Christ in the 7th grade! She also kept asking me questions about this 30 day challenge and my prayer calendar. After getting home she texted me and asked me to be her prayer partner. She said that she had went to the website I gave her and really wanted to do the challenge so that she would be better at sharing her faith as she goes back to school this year. Join me in praying for this young life group girl of mine who had inspired me with her urgency to share the gospel.

I also got to witness two of my girls being baptized at church this morning and two others are being baptized two weeks from now. It’s just been so exciting to see God move in the hearts of these Jr. Highers over the past week. I pray that I can continue to disciple them as their life group leader throughout the coming year and encourage them to be disciples who make disciples.

Watching this video today has really encouraged me to be bold in sharing my faith. The quote that was along the lines of, “How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about Jesus?” really struck me with its simple honesty. If I believe that Jesus is the savior of this world then I need to be letting people know. Social awkwardness can be put on the side because eternity is what’s on the line. I’m praying that God will send me someone to share the ideas from this video with in the next 72 hours.
Also, This is just a reminder to stay up to date with your prayer calendar. I’ve set an alarm in my phone that reminds me to look at my prayer calendar every morning. Today I loved getting to pray for my best friend. The prayer calendar has continued to be one of my favorite parts of this challenge and I will continue to use this prayer method long after the challenge is over.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 16

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I was able to read the Luke 10 and Matthew 10 scriptures while my campers were doing their own studies at this time. I had never read and seen the parallels in these scriptures before so I found the video really helpful! It was a nice time to just sit and be with God among all the craziness at camp.

I’ve planned my prayer walk for Monday when I get back home. I didn’t have time to dive into the optional homework scriptures but I do want to spend time learning about persons of peace as I pray for God to send one my way.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 15

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Today I was able to explain the idea of discipleship to some students in my camp group. We talked about our call to be disciples and share our faith. We had some really good conversations about baptism and surrendering our lives to Christ. I also explained to my group that there is a difference between making converts and making disciples that multiply. I told them that I want to be a disciple that multiplies so that the message of Jesus will spread way beyond just the people I tell.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 14

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The idea of investing a few and slow and steady discipleship really comforts me because sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of people that I feel need to be discipled. But today I learned that by investing in a few and making disciples that multiply the kingdom will grow with speed and it’s really encouraging.

I have fallen in love with this group of 7th grade girls that I sponsored at camp this past week and cannot wait to meet with them once a week starting this fall. My prayer is that I will be able to love them and disciple them well so that the kingdom may grow with rapid multiplication.

Also on Day 14 I was given the opportunity to share my story with all of the campers during a main session. I was really nervous at first, but I knew this was something God was really wanting me to do. I had the opportunity to put obedience into practice and share. I’m so thankful I did because through sharing my story the kids really began to open up and connect with me. It has been such a blessing to share about how God has helped me through my anxiety with my friend on Sunday and then with the campers on Monday. God connects us through our stories and a deep fellowship happens when we allow ourselves to open up and share with one another. It’s been so neat to see this up close.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 13

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I’m leaving to sponsor a week long junior high church camp in the next hour and I am soooooo pumped to see what God has in store for this week! I will continue doing the 30 day challenge while I am there so I am excited to see God move through the challenge at camp! But, I will not have the computer access to blog about the challenge while I am there. I will write in my journal about how God is using the challenges and come back and post blogs about them after I return home next week. Prayers for the hearts of the students I will be discipling and see you all in a week!

*******UPDATE********************************************************

I just got back from camp this past weekend and have seen God move in so many ways! My spirit is full after coming back from this week! Here is a recap of what happened this past week on Day 13…

So before I left for camp I urgently felt like I needed to go see my friend who was struggling with her anxiety and depression (see Day 11 & 12 for more details). The morning before I left it just so happened (I’m starting to realize God has this knack for coincidences) that in both of our busy schedules we were both free from 11:30 til 1:00 so I drove over to her house to give her My Name is Hope By John Mark Comer, love on her and pray for her. It was such a neat time for me because I was able to empathize with her in a time when she is feeling so alone. I was able to encourage her to stay grounded in Truth and continue getting in the scripture and tell her about how through his word God rescued me from my anxiety. I prayed for her and it was so neat to see how God could take my story of anxiety and use it for his Kingdom. I love that our God allows broken people like me to reach out and help other broken people.

Also the verses and video for today just really got me thinking about obedience and inspired me to have immediate and complete obedience in the things I feel God is laying on my heart. No more excuses. If my heart is truly after God’s then I’ll be obedient to him even when it’s difficult or doesn’t make sense. Obedience requires me to lay down my ideas and trust.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 11 & 12

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My Days have kinda ran together here and I didn’t have time to blog yesterday, but I feel that these challenges kind of ran together for me anyway. So here’s what’s been happening lately…

I didn’t intentionally go to a place to encounter people and listen to their struggles for Day 11 yesterday, but I have been preparing to do this for the next week as I am leaving tomorrow to sponsor a Junior High church camp. God has really just placed this excitement in my heart to just pour into the lives of these middle schoolers for the next week and I CANNOT WAIT TO START CAMP TOMORROW!!!! I’ve been praying and praising God about this upcoming week since I felt him leading to sponsor a few months ago. It’s finally here!!! I really feel that God is asking me to lead a 7th grade girls life group in the fall so I’m excited to meet some of the girls who will be in my group over the next week. My friend, Annie, has also been a huge encouragement in me becoming a life group leader because she herself is a leader for a group of freshman. She has been praying for me and encouraging me throughout this time.

As far as Day 12 goes… I did practice telling my mom one of my “mini testimonies” that I wrote on Day 7 and it was really good to practice saying the words out loud because I was able to see where I may need to make changes. I really liked the video attached with Day 12 and think it would be good for me to try and write my testimony out in this way to refine it a bit.

I intentionally practiced my mini testimony about anxiety and depression with my mom because tomorrow I am visiting my friend (before I leave for camp) who is battling depression to give her a book that really helped me overcome my depression and anxiety that captured me two years ago. I wanted to have this mini testimony fresh on my mind as I comfort and pray for her tomorrow. I’m hoping that this piece of my testimony will give her a beacon of hope as she fights to escape the drowning darkness of depression. She’s in a dark place, but I’ve been there and Christ has pulled me out. My prayer is that she will cling to Him so that he may rescue her as well.

Also some cool things that have happened over the past few days…

….today my prayer calendar was my boss and I had work this morning so I was able to ask how I could pray for her in person.

…. And my prayer partner, Annie, sent me this really awesome text today that made me soooo happy. I couldn’t help rejoicing! It said, “Hey Hannah! I just wanted to let you know that I am LOVING the challenge and I got to see it spread like wildfire yesterday when I told my friend, Jessie, about it, who told our friend, Shan, about it, who told others at a sleepover that we were all at. It was awesome. Jessie has started the challenge and asked me to be her prayer partner and ah, its just awesome to see God at work, ya know?”

How could that not just make your day!?!?! It definitely gave me a boost in the challenge that  I was needing. It’s just so cool to see God working through this isn’t it!?

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 10

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WOW! I’m a third of the way through the challenge and it’s been so inspiring so far! I’m excited to see what God has in store for the rest of the challenge!

First of all I would just like to share a cool thing that happened this morning… I texted my friend that was on my prayer calendar for today and asked her how I could be praying for her throughout the day and she said that she has really been struggling with her depression lately but that it was kind of crazy that I had texted her this morning because she had had a really rough night last night and I was the second person to text her today and ask how I could pray for her. I then got to have a really good conversation with her and pray for her.

Moving on to the topic of today’s challenge… I’ve decided to really encourage my parents, sister, and my best friend to look into doing the challenge. I just think it would be cool for those I love the most to go through this challenge and build these disciple making skills. The challenge has been such a blessing for me and I want it to bless them as well.  I’m especially going to try and get my sister to do it because I think this would be a great thing for her to do going into High School.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 9

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I really needed this reminder of Urgency today. Urgency has always been something that’s kind of came and gone in spells for me and if I’m being honest, I haven’t been very urgent about spreading the gospel lately. These videos gave me a wake up call that I needed.

Often times I feel that God is calling me to do something, but I put it off until the next day or next week and approach with an “I’ll do it when I have time” mentality. But I’ve began to learn that there never is enough time and that you have to choose what you’re going to give your time to. If there is one thing that gets a portion of my time it should be the mission that God has called me to. It’s more important than any homework assignment, class grade, hobby, sport, job, or club that fights for my time.

A quote from the video that really stuck with me today is, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”

It reminded me that when I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to do something it’s because the hearts of those around me have been being prepared as well. The Holy Spirit’s prompting is so much more than just the prompting of my heart, it’s the prompting of my heart at the same time that the Spirit’s been prompting and preparing the hearts of those around me and to delay my response to the Spirit could mean missing the “lifetime of the opportunity” given to me.

I’ll leave you with these verses from Esther that kind of go along with this idea for me…

Esther was contemplating whether she was going to risk her life and go to the king on behalf of the Jews, or not, and Mordecai challenged her with these words of urgency…

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise from the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

God’s will is God’s will. He gives us the opportunities to be apart of it. When opportunities arise I don’t want to pass them on. I want to be apart of his kingdom purpose, now I need to live like it.

P.S. Good News! I met with my prayer partner, Annie, this morning and she began the challenge today!

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 8

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Today’s challenge is to talk to your prayer partner and tell them about your first week of the 30 day challenge. My prayer partner, Annie, and I had already scheduled a “Breakfast and Jesus Talk” tomorrow, so  I decided to wait and catch up with her in person tomorrow.

But I’ve loved the way that this challenge has made me reach out to those around me so far. I have all these friends and family but I hardly ever take the time to catch up with them on the spiritual level. Through the challenges ( especially the prayer calendar ) I’ve been encouraged to get in touch and pray for those I love. I’m hoping to carry out these habits with me long after the challenge is over.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 7

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My parents became followers of Christ when I was very young so for as long as I can remember I’ve grown up with Christian influence around me. I felt God calling me to follow him when I was 7 and I became a baptized believer. I don’t really have a big turn around point from what I was like before Christ to how I changed after Christ (because I honestly don’t remember much of my life before Christ). But, I do have several instances or circumstances in my life where I’ve seen God move. So for my testimony writing time today I thought of different times in my life where I may have doubted or thought a situation was hopeless in the beginning to but through seeing perseverance with Christ or the power of God my faith has been strengthened. I’ve decided to call these my “Mini Stories”. I’ve shared different ones at different times over the past few years but today I wrote down and outlined them all on the same document and created questions to ask after each of them.  This way I can be more familiar with and ready to share my different “Mini Stories” when their times come.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 6

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As I created my list of 25 people today, I became aware of the lostness of my family and was burdened. My parents are first generation Christians and none of my grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins attend church or have a growing relationship with Christ. If you asked them most of them would say they believe in Christ, but none of their actions show pursuit towards him or effort in building a relationship with him. I’ve been praying for various family members for years now. But tonight the realization hit me that none of my family (except my parents and sisters) are disciples pursuing Christ. My heart is so hurt. I love my family so much and I just want them to experience fulfillment in Christ. My parents have tried to talk to my relatives numerous times but they always come back rejected. I’ve watched my family members try and fill the Christ sized holes in their hearts with the various fallacies of this world but yet, they never find fulfillment. It’s like watching a sick person die through a hospital window when you have their cure on the other side, but they won’t unlock the door and let you in to give it to them. Only Christ and his Holy Spirit can change my family’s hearts. I pray that He moves in them and awakens them. My hope is that a yearning for the presence of God will bloom within them.

Also this morning my preacher taught on one of the Beatitudes, so I thought it was fitting to make that my verse to meditate on today…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”

– Matt 5:3-

It’s also fitting for me today as I am burdened by the lost hearts of my family because it reminds me that we are blessed when we are poor in spirit, at the end of our ropes, and have nothing left because that’s when we fully rely on Christ. That’s kind of where I’m at with my family, I’ve realized nothing I can do will save them. I’m powerless and fresh out of ideas, but in my weakness Christ has full power and authority to move.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 5

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I’m going to be honest, prayer walking didn’t happen for me yesterday. I had a packed full Saturday that began at 5:30am when I woke up to go waitress at a breakfast cafe and ended at 11:00pm when my family got home from a trip to the lake. It just didn’t happen. But this evening I did finally find some time to take my prayer walk. It’s a day late but better late than never, right!?

This evening I spent sometime walking and praying through out my own neighborhood because by the time I got home today it was almost dark and I knew my parents wouldn’t be up for me taking a nighttime stroll in a random neighborhood. I really enjoyed praying for my own neighborhood, though. I’m not sure why I’ve never done this before, but I for sure want to do it again. I know a lot of my neighbors so it made it more personal to pray for them and my community.

As I was praying and walking none of my neighbors were out and about for me to approach and ask for prayer requests from. But I did specifically focus quite a bit of prayer time into a certain neighbor of mine. He and his family have been close friends of my family’s for a long time now. Sadly, he and his wife are in the middle of getting a divorce. They have two sons that are friends with my sisters and my heart just aches for their entire family. I spent a large amount of my time praying over each individual in their family and for healing through out the situation.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 4

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I made my list of 30 and the person on my calendar for today is my friend Carrie. It’s interesting to me because Carrie is the one who began to get me thinking about discipleship 6 months ago. She was the one who challenged me with the questions, “Are you being poured into by someone?” and “Are you pouring into someone else?” Currently, Carrie is in Mississippi being a church camp counselor for the summer. So with her crazy schedule I thought I’d have a better chance of getting a hold of her through text.

I’ve haven’t heard back from her, but when I do I’ll text her my prayer for her. I’ve never had a prayer calendar before, but I really like the idea of having one and praying for my friends who are believers.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:16

 

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 3

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The Wesley’s Self-Examination Quiz created a healthy moment of reflection this evening. Through honestly answering the questions, I was challenged to really look at how I live my life day in and day out. One of the questions that really challenged me was “Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?” For the first time tonight I saw self consciousness in an exposed light. As I read the word self-conscious I truly understood what it meant.

I tend to be pretty self conscious because it’s in my nature to be a people pleasure. I strive to keep everyone happy. But I’ve never really looked at this as a bad thing. I’ve always thought, “I’m self-critical and self-conscious because I want to do things right and please others,” but when you get to the root of things self-consciousness has nothing to do with other people at all.

I just realized tonight that self consciousness in its purest form is selfishness. As I read the question I thought about the word “conscious” and what it meant. I also looked up the dictionary definition…

Conscious – aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc. (Dictionary.com)

To be self-conscious is to be self-aware, self-focused. Self-consciousness leads to my thoughts being so focused on myself and how I am being perceived that I think of myself wayyyyy more than I spend time thinking about others. It’s selfish to be so worried about what I look like, act like, or am perceived like because I’m thinking of myself before I’m thinking of others.

I found this question so uncomfortable because if it had simply asked “Are you selfish?” I would have thought “No I’m good at sharing and stuff” not giving it a second thought. But instead the question asks, “Are you self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?” And I can’t blow by it so easily. I’ve realized to be any of these three things is to be selfish.

If I am going to be a disciple worth multiplying I must get rid of this selfishness that has been hiding in my heart as self-consciousness. And I don’t think the the answer to getting rid of my self-consciousness is to gain self-confidence, or confidence in myself, but to gain Christ-confidence, or confidence in Christ.

My prayer is that as I switch my focus from being self-conscious to Christ-confident I will become a selfless disciple who is ready to be multiplied.

 

 

– The verse that I meditated on today was Matt 5:16 –

“In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

 

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 2

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So I read the challenge to recruit another yesterday and immediately felt God lay my friend Morgan on my heart. Morgan is two years younger than I so she is getting ready to be a Junior in High School. She loves the Lord and genuinely loves people.

God’s timing again has played out perfectly as Morgan and I had already made plans to hang out last night. She came over to my house to spend the night.

Morgan is an avid reader and so as we were sitting on my bed talking she began telling me about the book she has been reading lately called “Multiply” by Francis Chan. I am again in awe of how God is moving behind the scenes of this 30 day challenge and I’ve only been through Day 2. After she told me about Multiply we started talking about discipleship and I ran and got my laptop so I could pull up the 30 day challenge and show it to her. She thought it was pretty interesting and she turned to me and asked “So what day are you on?” I pulled up the Day 2 page and she read at the top “Recruit Another” and just started laughing. We were both in awe of God and his timing and just started laughing.

As we talked more about discipleship Morgan mentioned how she wants to be a disciple but feels like she still needs to work on her faith with God before she can be. I showed her the Day 1 video that explained how the first disciples were just regular people who obeyed Jesus. I also told her about the discipleship questions (that I mentioned in my Day 1 post) that have stuck with me the past 6 months… “Is someone pouring into you?” (Discipling You) and inreturn “Are you pouring into someone else?” (Discipling Others). I told her how I felt that God was challenging me with these questions but I wasn’t really sure what to do about it. I felt that through life groups I was being discipled but that I was slacking on my part and not discipling others. Morgan told me, “Don’t think you haven’t had an impact, because you’ve encouraged me in my faith.” She then asked me if we could start meeting on a weekly basis to talk about our faiths and disciple one another. I praise God for his sovereignty! He has heard my questions and answered me. “Is someone pouring into you?” – With my high school life groups now being over I now feel that my friend Annie has stepped into this role for the summer as we continue to encourage and stretch one another. In return, “Are you pouring into someone else?” – I feel that God has answered this question through my meeting with Morgan last night and I look forwards to continuing to meet with her and talk about how God is moving in her life. But I’ve also learned that these questions aren’t one-sided because as I talk with Annie I’ve realized it’s not just her pouring into me, I’m pouring into her as well. Talking with Morgan last night not only was I able to encourage and pour into her, but she poured into me as well and I believe she will continue to do so. Discipleship works both ways.

Join me and Morgan in prayer as she asks God if the 30 day discipleship challenge is something He wants her to do.

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 1

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My Life Group Leader and her husband challenged me to begin this 30 Day Challenge and even though it has just begun I already see God moving in His mysterious and magnificent ways.

Discipleship has been on my heart for the past 6 months now. My interest was sparked after listening to an older friend speak about  the importance of discipleship. She challenged me with the questions “Is someone spiritually pouring into you?” and in return “Are you spiritually pouring into someone else?” After listening to her I felt challenged to take some form of action but I wasn’t sure what. I now feel that God has been preparing me to begin this Disciple making journey and I’m so excited to begin. Partnering with me in prayer through this journey is my friend Annie.

Annie and I went to high school together but our friendship has really just began to bloom following our graduation (May 22, 2016). Since graduating a few weeks ago we’ve met twice to “Get breakfast and Jesus Talk” as we like to call it. Through our meetings we’ve unearthed a friendship that has been divinely orchestrated. We both feel that God has brought us together during this time to disciple and pray for one another. We met this morning, actually, and as I asked what God had been teaching her over the past few weeks she told me about this Bible study she was going through called the Anatomy of a Disciple and how God has been showing her what it looks like to truly be a Disciple. To which I responded.. “Dude, I’m starting this 30-Day Discipleship Challenge Today!!! Will you be my prayer partner through it!?” Wow, God’s so cool and ironic, sometimes.  Annie cheerfully agreed and is super interested in doing the challenge herself and I’m just so thankful for this new and growing friendship that God has placed in my life. Annie and I have decided to make our “Breakfast and Jesus Talks” a weekly occurrence so that we can continue to disciple one another throughout the summer.