It’s Five Minute Friday time!
If you’re new to FMF, welcome! Learn more about how the link-up works here.
We’ve got some exciting things happening this week . . .
First of all, registration for our annual October writing challenge, 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, is NOW OPEN!
In conjunction with the 31-Day Challenge, we just launched a brand new paperback journal that includes the same prompts we’ll be using for 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes:
The journal is completely optional. You’re welcome to sign up for the writing challenge without it — or you could use The 31-Day Writing Prompt Journal on your own anytime, anywhere without signing up for the challenge.
Disclosure: Affiliate links used in this post
And now, on to this week’s post!
I’ve been waiting for a LONG time to tell you about this new book . . . I had the privilege of reading an early copy for an endorsement, and now it’s here!
You won’t be disappointed.
Here’s the endorsement I provided for the book:
“A rich collection of wise, talented voices, this biblical resource will elevate your view of the Word of God and increase your love for His perfect, life-giving law. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that so emphasized the sufficiency and relevancy of Scripture for today’s problems. My soul has been refreshed by this timely reminder of God’s kind and gracious provision for His people through His Word.”
In celebration of the release of this new collection, I’ve invited the delightful Kristie Anyabwile to guest post.
This week’s FMF writing prompt is: TESTIMONY
I love testimonies.
In the black church tradition where I grew up, testimony service was a regular part of the worship experience. A deacon or one of the “mothers” of the church would open the service in prayer and song, and ask if anyone had a word of testimony to share.
Usually, the pew would creak in the direction of an older saint. He would steady himself by placing one hand on that knee that gives him so much trouble, and the other hand on the back of the rickety brown pew. Slowly, he would unfurl himself and half stand, half hunch, just to the right of the pulpit and the “In Remembrance of Me” communion table.
He’d “raise a hymn,” as the old folk say, and every floorboard in the building would clap and shout, drowned out by the chorus of saints testifying in song to the goodness of the Lord. After the song, he’d say something like, “Giving honor to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I’m glad to be in the house of the Lord one more time. The Lord woke me up this morning and started me on my way. These old knees still troubling me, but I’m yet holding on.”
He’d share prayer requests about his health and his family, but those requests would be filled with reminders of the Lord’s faithfulness in bringing him through, in never leaving or forsaking him, in the word of Scripture that he’s holding onto in the midst of his trials.
At the end of his sharing, he’d say something like, “Those of you who know the words of prayer, pray for me and my family.” This would go on for 20 or 30 minutes before the start of the main portion of the sermon, and it was in many ways the sweetest part of the service for me.
Over and over in Scripture, we see the references to “the Lord’s testimonies.” These are the divine words of God that bear witness to His faithfulness.
The word tells us that His testimonies are to be kept (Ps 119:2), delighted in (Ps 119:14), known (Ps 119:79), loved (Ps 119:119), meditated on (Ps 119:99).
We’re told they are wonderful (Ps 119:129), righteous (Ps 119:144), and they are our heritage (Ps 119:111).
One of the reasons we hide God’s Word in our hearts is so that we can know God’s truth and then share the truth of His Word to others.
We become those who testify or bear witness to God’s faithfulness as He demonstrates it to us through His Word and through the world in which we live.
All of who God made us to be testifies of Him. Our identity as sons and daughters is a testimony of His sovereign goodness.
Our heritage and family background testify of His aim to reach every tribe, language, and nation with the good news of His Son. Our heritage should be a bridge that points people to His testimonies.
Kristie Anyabwile is a pastor’s wife, mom, Bible teacher, and author of His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, which will be released in September.
She currently serves as the Associate Director of Women’s Workshops for the Charles Simeon Trust, helping to equip women Bible teachers. She has written contributions to the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible; Word-Filled Women’s Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church; Women on Life: A Call to Love the Unborn, Unloved and Neglected; and Hospitality Matters: Reviving an Ancient Practice for Modern Missions.
She joyfully supports her husband of 27 years, Thabiti, as he pastors Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC. They have 3 children.
Want to hear more from Kristie?
I *so* enjoyed the conversation I had with Kristie earlier this year around topics from the book, Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me):
Don’t forget to sign up for the October 31-Day Writing Challenge before you go! Would love to have you join us!
Join us below with your own five-minute free write on the prompt, TESTIMONY . . . then visit your link-up neighbor to read their post and leave an encouraging comment!