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The new blog is up and running! Yippeeeeee!! Make sure to subscribe to the new blog because I will no longer be posting on this one! I’m so excited for you to join me in this new adventure.

http://joypedrow.com/

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5 Ways to Make Jesus the Center of Your Story – Engage24

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On day. One mission. To tell others about Jesus. I am engaging on 10.14.14, will you? `

The Bible tells us that God wants us to engage with Him and then to engage the world with the gospel of Jesus. There is a movement happening across the world, and I am so excited to be a part of it! Engage24 is a specific time set apart for engaging the world with the good news of Christ.  While Engage24 is intensely focused on a single day of evangelism (10.14.14), the mission is to promote a 24/7 lifestyle of evangelism and engagement with the gospel.

Engage24 is a 24 hour period when college students purposefully engage their campuses with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The goal is to see every believing college student share the Gospel with at least one person that day.

On my campus, the University of South Florida, my campus ministry Cru is taking part in Engage24. We are wearing shirts that say ‘Tell Me Your Story”. The girls below are some of the girls in our ministry who rocked the shirts!

Tell Me Your Story CollageOur hope is that students at USF will see hundreds of students wearing the shirt and then will ask one of us what it is about. Here is our reply, “Today is Engage24, and we want to engage with the students by listening to their story. We would love to listen to your story and hear if God plays any part in it.” Continue reading

Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?

Jesus,

I walk out of class in a daze. So much sadness. So much pain. Jesus, will these people ever come to know you? Will they ever experience your life change? When will they experience your healing, forgiveness, redemption, grace and love?

This is my last semester of undergrad at the University of South Florida. I’m taking a class called Storytelling, and each week we share personal stories from our lives. During class last week, students shared one sad story after the next. Topics included: abortion, death, getting kicked out of the church, loss of friends, moving, getting arrested, abuse, and more. I was left questioning, God, when will you change their hearts?

In class, I looked around at my classmates and thought how beautiful each person was because God created them in his image. God, shouldn’t that mean you care about them? Yet, they don’t know you at all. Do they want to know you? Do they even have the information that you exist to be able to make this decision?

So many thoughts. So many questions.

Then, I think about how God saved me. What makes me different? Why did God choose me? I’m just like them. I have similar stories of pain and brokenness. I have screwed up just like them. What makes me different than them? Continue reading

Nervous about leading a Bible study?

Nervous about

Hello new friend! This blog has a new domain. Click here to go to the NEW JOYPEDROW.COM and click here to read the post: Nervous about leading a Bible study.

With the start of a new school year comes the start of new small groups/Bible studies! Small groups are the heart of every college ministry. Maybe it is your first time leading and you’re feeling a little nervous? I completely understand. I’ve been there!

The second semester of my freshman year I co-led a Bible study with 3 other leaders. I was the youngest leader and had never led a study before. Right before our first study, I sat with one of the other leaders outside the dorm where our study would meet. I said to her, “I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it.” Fear crippled my mind and almost stopped me from even walking into that building. My biggest fear was what people would think of me.

What if I messed up? What if they couldn’t relate with my story? What if I didn’t know an answer to their questions? Continue reading

The Power of Your Story (Part 3)

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I love talking about how powerful our stories are, because when I realized this my life changed. I began to understand why I needed to share my story with other women. Through this, I experienced so much growth in my walk with God!

In the past two weeks I’ve blogged about how powerful our stories are. Here is why:

  1. Our stories have as much power as Jesus’ death on the cross, and are extensions of God’s power! (Click here to read the post.)
  2. God has an eternal perspective and knows how each event in our lives will be used to impact eternity! (Click here to read the post.)
  3. Finally, the third reason why our stories are powerful is because vulnerability leads to growth.

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

When we admit our weaknesses to others, God has an opportunity to be glorified. We are powerless. God is powerful.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Have you ever gone through a difficult time, reached the other end, and thought, “How in the world did I get through this?”

God.

My freshman year of college I was in a ditch of loneliness, sadness, and anger. At that time, I never thought I could be where I am now. Now, every time I am vulnerable and I share my story with someone of how God healed me, I let my weaknesses show God’s strength. I get to give God all the glory.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.”  2 Tim 1: 8

When Jesus was dying on the cross, everyone thought he was a complete failure, except God. They believed that all he had done was a lie and was now dying a useless death. They didn’t know God’s plan or look at the bigger picture because they focused on the now.

Three days later they saw things differently. God’s plan became clear.

Friends, we are just like this! In the midst of pain and struggling we question God. Then when we see the other side, we see how God used that situation to glorify himself. We begin to think differently.

I love journaling. When I go back and re-read old journals I can truly see that God has used my story to bring him glory. Here is one prayer I wrote in November of my freshman year of college, “God, I know someday I will see how you’ve made a beautiful thing out of this.”

God has answered my prayers. He has fixed my broken heart. And he can fix yours too. He can and will make a beautiful thing out of all your pain and suffering.

Ladies, be vulnerable with the other women in your life. You don’t know what they are going through. Maybe you have similar stories, and God wants to use you both to help each other.

Allow God to use your story to bring him glory.

 

Check out: The Power of Your Story (Part 1) and The Power of Your Story (Part 2)

 

I hope this post has been encouraging! Check out my other posts about the power of our stories by clicking the photo below!

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When Prince Charming Isn’t Enough

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Friends, I am so excited! Today I get to share my story on a wonderful blog called Revolutionaries! I hope you check it out!

Click here to read my story of how prince charming wasn’t enough for me.

If you are a Christian, Bonnie @ Revolutionaries would love to post your story! Just contact her on her blog. Let her know that you have a story you want to share. Remember, that your story is powerful and can impact someone’s eternity!

 

 

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

The Power of Your Story (Part 2)

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Last week, I blogged about how powerful our stories are. (Click here to see it!)

Our stories have as much power as Jesus’ death on the cross. If you are a believer in Christ and have a personal relationship with him, God can and will use your story to bring him glory. Your story is an extension of God’s power!

The second reason why your story is powerful is because our God has an eternal perspective. God knows how each event in our lives will be used to impact eternity!

Isaiah 55:8-11: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
 neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
 so are my ways higher than your ways
 and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
 and do not return there but water the earth, 
making it bring forth and sprout,
 giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
 it shall not return to me empty,
 but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
 and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

We have to understand that God is SO much bigger than our tiny little brains.

Our thoughts are smaller than his thoughts. Our plans are smaller than his plans. Think of eternity as a line. It is a line that goes on and on and on forever. We are just one dot on that line, so we only see our dot and a little before and after. But God, the Creator of the line, sees the whole line! He knows how one dot will impact the next.

Last summer, I had the pleasure of going to Miami for 10 weeks on Miami Summer Project with a ministry called Cru.

Before going on project, I prayed that God would bring one other women who had been sexually abused. I desired to use my story to help someone else heal. One day in Miami, I went on a walk with one of my friends. She was upset and said that she didn’t know why she was telling me this, but wanted to tell me her story. She had been raped her freshman year of college. I was the first person she had told.

God planned that both her and I would be in Miami that summer. She felt weird inside because the Holy Spirit was telling her to share her deepest pain with me. We cried and talked together, and I began to understand that God would use my story to glorify himself. That summer I got to help my friend begin a journey of healing, and I continued healing by viewing my life through God’s eternal perspective.

Later that week, I found out that 5 other girls on project had been sexually abused.

I prayed for 1 girl, God gave me 6. Before project, we each focused on our dot and our hurt, but God was focused on how our hurt could help others.

Here is my favorite part of the story! After project, one of the women felt called to share her story with other ladies, specifically the Greek women on her campus. She went to each chapter meeting and shared her story. She shared what she had gone through, how God redeemed her, saved her, and how now is experiencing real love in a relationship with God.

Later that semester, Cru at her college hosted an event called Girls’ Night Out by Marian Jordan. At the event, they witnessed 98 girls pray to give their life to Christ, most of them were women from sororities that my friend shared her story to.

Dear reader, my friend realized that God could take her story and use it to change women’s eternities! He can do the same with yours! Your story is powerful! I challenge you to stop focusing on your dot and focus on the line. Let God use your story to impact others eternities! Love, Joy

Check out: The Power of Your Story (Part 1) and The Power of Your Story (Part 3)

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!