Each sermon that is a part of Life of Christ: Follow Me will include a concluding question. We encourage you to reflect on these questions and to share your own thoughts and experiences. What is your story? Please share how you are learning to follow Jesus!
To share your story, click on the button below. Your story will be shared on this page of our website and at a digital display in the commons on Sunday mornings. We will only use your first name, no last names will be used. We hope your story and others like it will inspire and encourage our church family. Thank you!
How have you followed Jesus?
Given the current animosity between the groups we have sorted ourselves into, I am taking greater and more deliberate steps to look for light in the those who align different from me socially and politically. I remind myself that all bear the image of our Creator and I seek to look for the positive motives in their positions and not to the reasons we differ.
Following Jesus for me begins in the morning. I like to have breakfast with Jesus spending personal quiet time with Him. Sometimes it’s just over coffee, but my day isn’t right without trying to praise Him for His attributes and who He is to me. And to acknowledge the things He is doing in my life. Often listening to worship songs on YouTube sets the tone for time with Him. With the sermon notes for the week or even listening to the word proclaimed on YouTube, I am more awake physically and spiritually. I journal my prayers and ask prayer requests. I find writing it down is a way to look back on requests from the past to see how He answered them. My goal to listen to Him reading His word more than I talk is an ongoing challenge, I confess. Then, I’m able to be full so I can love others or at least not be grumpy since I’m not a morning person. In John 21:12 Jesus said to them,”Come and have breakfast” and the passage goes on to say none of the disciples dared to ask Him who He was because they knew He was the Lord. Knowing Him more each day as Lord is how I try to follow Him.
I made a decision earlier this year to leave the marketplace where I have been for 28 years and serve our amazing church as a full-time staff member. I am also striving to reduce my societal commitments and personal pursuits consistent of what I read about Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Matthew during Bible Study Fellowship this spring.
I always believed in God but was never told about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ – until we attended a CCGF family retreat at Laurelville in September 1998. That’s when the Holy Spirit got a hold of me and changed my world forever. Now 24 years later and retired He still speaks to my heart constantly. I was answering the phones at church this past Monday when Diana, a Fed Ex delivery person, came to my reception desk. I’ve visited and chatted with Diana before but I sensed something was “going on with her”. The Holy Spirit told me to ask her a simple question – “So what is the Lord doing for you these days Diana”? I won’t go into the details of what Diana shared with me but suffice it to say that we laughed, cried a little, and celebrated the fact that we serve such an awesome God!!! Let your heart be in tune with the Holy Spirit and always be prepared to act on His behalf!!!
I was struggling for several years as an empty nester, not knowing what my purpose was now, having been a stay-at-home mom. But God had a plan, and he used my passion for children and animals. God led me to an after-school program and summer camp for immigrant, refugee, and disadvantaged children. How I love serving, teaching, playing, and loving on these children! I thank God for the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to “the least of these.” In addition, God led me to volunteer at an animal shelter, showing kindness, compassion, and love to the homeless, surrendered, and abandoned cats in my area.
Jeremiah 29:11 Proverbs 3:5-6
It’s a choice I make each day. I have to choose to seek Him. I begin with quiet prayer coming before Him. Then I take time to be still and listen. I must admit though, some days are better than others and don’t go as smoothly as it sounds. Reading scripture throughout the day, praying throughout the day, praising God and thanking Him for all He does throughout the day is difficult. Recently, in light of the appearance of spiritual warfare, it’s important to keep our eye’s on the finish line. Hebrews 12:1-2
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe, I spoke out in favor of the ruling, but it cost me. I lost a couple friends and a few Facebook groups deleted my comments and banned me. Jesus said His sheep hear his voice and follow him. Jesus loved the little children, abortion grieves Him and all Christians. Following Jesus is not always easy or popular, but it is always the right thing for our lives.
During a heated political discussion at work, I realized that that friendship was much more important than winning a debate. Sharing the Gospel and praying for my coworkers is how I’m learning to follow Jesus.
I recently followed Christ’s leading in my occupation. A woman hired me to perform masonry work to fix her foundation. She decided to only get a portion of the most serious work completed due to monetary constraints. I felt lead by God to bless her by going above and beyond what was quoted to fulfill the entirety of the project at no additional cost to her. Although this practice is not a decision I feel led to make often it was a choice to follow Him in this deliberate way that blessed me as well as her.
I grew up at Christ Church. I have been a follower of Jesus for as long as I can remember. When I went off to college a few hours from home was the first time I felt challenged in my faith. The modern college atmosphere is a slap in the face of worldly views, lifestyles, and philosophies that directly oppose the Christian walk. The enemy presents these world views like the most tempting platter of sweets you’ve ever seen. It is a hard time for many to stay faithful, but God looks after His sheep. I am grateful that He protected me through these temptations and led me to other faithful Christians who held me accountable to following Jesus. The conscious decision to follow Jesus in college was the best choice and I have been richly blessed because of it. Jesus asks us to pick up our cross daily and follow Him, not because He wants us to struggle or have hard go of it, but because He is protecting us from things that can appear good or fun, but can have major consequences. Following Jesus will always be the right and best choice.
How can you influence those around you as "salt & light"?
When our children were old enough to attend school, we made the decision to send them to public school rather than a Christian private school or to homeschool. Our decision was based upon them being the “salt and light” among their peers. We felt that based on the solid foundation that we were giving them and our trusting in the Lord … that they would be a light for others, that they would stand out as being different, and that they would share the Gospel truths with those around them and plant seeds when presented with opportunities.
How will you submit to the Word?
Submission is not something I do well! When David and I were doing some premarital counselling with our pastor the conversation turned to the subject of headship in the family. I struggled with the idea of yielding to David’s leadership. I think if you ask him today, 49 years later, he’d say that’s still an issue for me! There were a few notable times when submission required a lot of effort… like the day he came home and announced we were moving to Pittsburgh. Moving with no job prospects, no plan, little capital, just going. I could feel the war inside me as I remembered those counseling sessions. I knew what I should do, but I didn’t want to, not at all! But, with an arrow prayer to God for strength, I agreed. Some 42 years later, I can see that move was integral in God’s plan for us individually, as a couple and a family.