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Struggles, Can You Overcome Them?

Guest Blog by MJ Elliot


Do you ever wonder what struggles figures in the early church actually faced? Have you ever asked yourself how they overcame those struggles? Sure, we know all about the persecution they faced, but what about who they were as people? How did their faith develop along the way, and can their journey of faith bring hope and encouragement to us today?

 

Most of us do not question these things about the people mentioned in Scripture. The reality, though, is that they were just like us. Each one of them struggled to overcome trials at some point. All of them felt what we feel today through the chaos of life. Just like us, they had to discover who they were and what their purpose in life truly was. The World of Kedoshim is a fictional world of stories based on their historical journeys and the possible struggles they faced.


The Cyprus Journal takes readers to the island of Cyprus and the philosophical war that occurred while John Mark, the author of Mark’s gospel, and Barnabas ministered to God’s people there for several years. While Paul, Luke, and others are ministering on their own missionary journeys, the adventure in Cyrpus is one of recovery. 


John Mark is known for his arrogant failures, but his victories lie in overcoming those failures. As he wrestles with his past mistakes, Barnabas, Peter, Simon Cyrene, and others mentor him through those struggles; John Mark begins to embrace his true purpose, to bring hope to others amid those failures.

 

In preparing to be on the Beacon of Light podcast, I discovered a few things about who my intended audience is, and I believe the stories told through ‘The World of Kedoshim’ will speak to those who have served in a ministry of some kind in the past but do not feel they succeeded while doing so. Many of the people I have received feedback from have stories of their own to share about their experiences in ministry. Since the primary characters are biblical figures who served in the early church ministry, the stories will resonate with them on a deeper level. That does not mean that others cannot be encouraged by these stories. In truth, my intended audience has always been everyone who has struggled to find their place in this world.

 

As someone who has spent several years serving in the ministry world as a family and children’s director and even a local missions specialist, I believe I understand the realities of those who struggle to understand who they are and what they are meant to do. 


My calling, as the writer I am today, is to bring to life the realities of those struggles and to offer encouragement to them through stories that share what could have taken place in the lives of those who were the founders of the early church.  The heart of what these stories are all about illustrates that we are not alone in our struggles and that we do not need to face the trials of life on our own. My goal is to bring awareness to these struggles and to shine light upon the essence of our mental and emotional battles through our struggles.

 

With everything that has taken place over the last five years or so, people are more aware of these realities, but I’ve often found that people still need to understand this in their own lives. I believe that through the examples of others, we can learn a great deal about overcoming our struggles. Using the bible as the foundation to share those stories helps us connect with our biblical heritage. It offers insight into understanding the struggles we face today, but in a way that can open our hearts to something bigger than ourselves. 


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Thanks for sharing this, I'm looking forward to being there...

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