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Day 12

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!?

Day 12 – Sharing Your Testimony

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Last year we heard the harrowing testimony of a woman who had nearly died while fleeing her war-torn African nation. Her story of adversity, her conviction that God has rescued her for a purpose and her boldness in sharing her new-found faith — are all truly humbling. Chris, who plays the drums on one of our worship teams has resisted giving his life completely to Christ for nearly 20 years. In that time he has heard hundreds of sermons. Yet, on March 15, of 2015; Chris was immersed into Christ by Faith, from Africa. You never know who the Lord will rescue through the power of the Holy Spirit as you share your testimony.

Day 12: Just get it on Paper!

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The challenge is going decent so far.  I have not done good at calling and praying for people.  So Today I called one of my friends who lost a daughter at 8 months.  They have modeled so wonderfully what it means to trust in God.  The funeral had so many people they had touched and impacted.  I had the privilege of praying for him and it was such a blessing.  He shared a tough situation that I could pray for him with some friends of his.  God is giving him and his wife such a platform through this hard time to share Jesus too so many.  The other challenge today was to write out your testimony.  So beings that this is also our challenge when we get together for discipleship group I would throw an initial one on paper.  So here it goes:

 

“I grew up in a good Christian home and went to Christian School.  This was a blessing in my life but I thought the blessing was for me.  I also thought the Christian life was more about the list of do’s and don’t’s than following after God.  I had Christ in my heart from a young age but I did not start truly following after Christ until about 8 years ago.  On our way back from a vacation with my family we had heard a story of a man hearing God’s voice and acting on it.  It was a crazy story but it got us asking “Why don’t we hear God’s voice?”  We realized one of our first steps should be making room by clearing out time.  We realized one of our biggest time suckers was TV so we got rid of Dish and put the TV away.  Those next  years we dove in the word like never before, I read 52 books in one year, we joined a house church and really grew like crazy.  We also heard God’s voice and he lead us on some crazy adventures that have gone through these last 8 years.  6 years ago we found ourselves helping lead a perspectives class on world missions and taking foster classes at the same time.  We wondered why we were taking both because for the foster license to be valid we would have to live in Iowa, and in taking the missions course we had thoughts of moving overseas.  But like always when God asks us to something we just do it without trying to look too far in the future.  After getting done with perspectives we had an opportunity to possibly move to Turkey and do business as missions but that fell through.  2 weeks later we got a call for our boys to live with us, we then had a baby 3 months later, and had a 17 year old foster son move in with us.  We went from 1 to 5 kids in 6 months.  God was really stretching us.  But through the combination of foster classes and perspectives God gave us a different perspective on foster care and life in general.  Through opening up our home to our kids along with other people through these last 5 years we have learned that nothing is our own and that we truly need God because we can’t do good on our own.  We have had many different people live with us including our boys mom, another gal who struggled with addiction, and 4 college guys.  God has taught me so much about myself and how I need him.  God also has challenged me the reason he has blessed me is so that I can bless others.  After I started following God he has written a story far better than any story I have written.  He transformed me from a self-centered, pious “Christian”: to a broken Jesus follower who is in need of him daily.”
This is the first draft.  I am going to try refine this more as the challenge moves on.  It isn’t great but you gotta start somewhere.

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 12

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Day 12: Practice Your Testimony.  Today was full of doctor appointments, feeding therapy, and work.  Then after work we headed north for 3 hours to get to where our foster son will see a specialist tomorrow morning.  Luckily, this challenge was very easy to do on the road.  I practiced giving my testimony with my husband…and I had plenty of time for feedback since we had 3 hours!

I have shared my story with many people; sometimes in parts, sometimes in whole.  However, I do think there is value in practicing.  I think that what you share with people will change depending on the situation and what that person needs to hear at the time.  So, I chose to practice as if someone asked me what God had done for me or how I came to follow Christ.  That doesn’t encompass all the details of my story, but it does allow me to sift through what is really important for someone to know, and what maybe isn’t as important.  I think the video for today offers a good outline of what to include in the testimony of how Christ has worked in your life.  I love the example they give because it somewhat mirrors my own.  I was in 5th grade when I accepted Christ as my Savior, but I feel that learning to follow Him and be obedient to Him has been something that I have continually had to learn throughout the years.  So, while my decision to follow Christ and be baptized is important for my story, so are other times when I really learned to trust God or be obedient to Him because those moments really changed something about my existence whether it was my purpose in life or what I was chasing trying to find contentment, for example.

Writing your Testimony

By | Day 07, Day 12 | No Comments

Need to see another example of what it sounds like to tell one’s story? Here’s another example:

Hi my name is__ , I’m from . I can still remember the pain in my heart when my wife and I learned that our baby girl due to be born in three weeks had died. It’s times like this when a person finds out if their faith has been placed in something real. I was born and raised by parents who loved Jesus and at a very young age I placed my life in His hands. As I grew up I never questioned my faith but I was often in situations when I found that Jesus did exactly what He promised. Rather than destroying my faith in Jesus the death of my daughter showed me the depth of God’s compassion and comfort. What I had learned in my Bible set me from depression, despair and bitterness. I knew that I could trust God with everything.

Throughout my life I have been blessed to help other people learn about Jesus. When someone decides to turn from believing in themselves and doing what they believe to be right to following Jesus, doing what He has commanded and trusting Jesus for their whole life I’ve seen the Kingdom of God come. I’ve seen families that were filled with anger transformed by Jesus to families filled with love. I’ve seen people who wanted to kill themselves transformed by Jesus into people who are filled with concern for others. I’ve seen people who only cared about getting rich for themselves changed by Jesus into people who find the greatest joy in loving others. Watching God heal people’s lives and filling them with joy and purpose is my greatest joy.

God continues to work in my life. I am continually amazed at God’s love, faithfulness, wisdom, power and care for me. I wonder if after hearing some of my story, you have any questions about God and your life.

What Kind of Character Does it Take?

By | Day 02, Day 12, Day 13 | No Comments

What kind of person does it take to disciple people who will want to make disciples? What kind of character does it take to stand beside them? Start with prayer. Add in care. Then pour on a thick layer of training. To help you imagine what kind of person you might need to become, and to help you imagine those you want standing beside you, watch this video by trainer, Richard Williams.

Richard Williams