Time for Testimonies: Celebrating What God is Doing

Joshua Fellowship Logo

We all know what a crazy year this has been. Outpost’s summer program, Strive, was no exception. For the first time ever, a hybrid model of live and online teachings and times for worship was offered. Staff and leaders were not sure how the men would interact once they came to the in-person weekend Confront (some who had only been there virtually all summer). Yet, I (Jonathan M.) was amazed to see the camaraderie and how much God moved. His peace was there—not a peace of submission but a peace of victory—as you’ll read in these brief testimonies below.

“This summer course and this weekend Confront were two of the most challenging but rewarding events. I believe this program is one I will remember and cherish for the rest of my days. In Strive, I learned what true masculinity is, and I had opportunities to live that out in the curriculum and in daily living. The ministry and leadership at Joshua Fellowship, in particular the Strive program, has really helped and encouraged me. My biggest takeaway from this program is the fellowship and bond I’ve created with my brothers.”

“Through Strive, it has been amazing to see how I have grown from being in Joshua Fellowship and doing Strive last summer. I have seen how God has planted in me true strength and authority to walk as a man of God. I have also seen how He has been bringing true freedom from shame so that I may truly live as a good gift to God and to the Body of Christ. I am thankful for how God continues to use Joshua Fellowship to help me encounter Him and truly grow into the healing He has laid out before me.”

“Strive has helped me see that my body, soul, and spirit are far more connected that I ever imagined. I’ve gained a sense of belonging to the world of men, which I’ve long felt disconnected from. I’ve begun to see what it means to truly be a man of God, expressing both His masculine and feminine attributes. I’ve been equipped to better fight passivity. Most importantly, I’ve continued to realize my life is not about me.”

“Strive has impacted me greatly. I have never been pushed or challenged like this before. Through it was painful and difficult, the effect and impact was far and away worth it. I honestly feel a change inside. It’s unusual, I did not anticipate such a deep, real, and powerful internal shift. My mind, heart, soul, and spirit feel a sense of real change. The activities were such a huge part of my transformation. I know there is still much to work on and experience; however, the tools and impartations that I have received gives me great hope, strength, and courage. I don’t know how to fully explain it, but I feel a genuine change inside. I know that some of the wounds of my heart have been healed and ministered to. I feel peace and hope for what can happen.”

“I made real progress in confronting perfectionism, which has been an on/off struggle for me and members of my family for-freaking-ever. I also now know I can get [stuff] done. It’s also been a good start to weeding out lies that have crept back in.”

“Strive has been the one most challenging things I’ve ever willingly done. I used to think that masculinity was just being physically strong and just doing [things]. These many weeks of learning true masculinity, [I see how] passivity is a big destroyer of men today. Finding your true self is a challenge to that passivity.”

“This weekend was really challenging in a lot of ways for me. Friday tested me physically in a way I didn’t expect. As we were going through the exercises, I don’t think I understood the point of them at first. It wasn’t until afterwards that the camaraderie really struck me. The physical exertion helped break down my feelings of self-sufficiency and pride, opening me up to growth and truth the rest of the weekend. Saturday helped me confront unspoken anger and pain that I had pent up for years and buried so deep, I forgot I had buried it. Overall, I learned that I was not created to be weak and passive, bound by fear. God has created me to step forward in His strength as a fearless man of God. My chains are gone, I’ve been set free / My God, My Savior ransomed me. 10/10–Would recommend.”

Voices: Above the Noise

Above the Noise

The loudest voice always wins, right? At least that seems to be the reality of my three young children at home. Whomever talks the longest and the loudest, drowning out the others, engages the attention of Mom or Dad. It’s like a verbal game of dog pile. It makes for a chaotic scene at dinner time.

There is also a shouting match going on in culture, and it seems the loudest voices are winning. (We are not among them.) “If we can just declare our message loud enough and long enough—literally in a protest or figuratively through social media—we will capture people’s attention. They will begin to hear us and believe us because we are the only voice they hear.”

Our Silenced Voice

Our voice at Outpost Ministries, and other ministries like ours, may not be very loud in culture or in the public square. There are others who have more money, more power, and more opportunities to amplify their voice. Even when we do speak, many don’t even want to listen. (Sadly, in some cases, not even in the Church). Like a child closing his eyes, plugging his ears, and singing at the top of his lungs, they refuse to hear our stories. And they try to silence us, like with California’s Bill AB 2943. Or by suspending us from Facebook discussions. Or by removing our testimonies of transformation from YouTube.

Thankfully, we don’t need to win the shouting match. Don’t get me wrong, we still speak up. We share our stories. We continue to teach, train, and equip with the authority God has granted us. And we don’t stop offering encouragement and hope to those who are broken and hurting. But our voice doesn’t have to be the loudest to have an impact.

Above the Noise

After all, the voice of God is at times still and small, like a whisper, and yet it can be heard above the noise. It’s heard by those who are listening for Him, seeking Him. That same voice has the authority to speak light—and all of creation—into existence, just by His very Word. That voice has the power to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up broken hearts, to proclaim freedom to captives, to transform lives.

We are trying a new segment in the Outpost News (which will also be posted here), aptly named Voices. At times it may be a simple Q & A, a concise testimony, or a short reflection. It’s our way of using our voice to bring a clearer message to those who are sorting through the noise. We want to reach the ones intent on hearing the truth, listening for God’s wisdom, and looking for encouragement. Ultimately, we want our voice to proclaim the person of Jesus Christ to anyone willing to listen. After all, to whom shall we go? His voice alone has the words of eternal life.

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