What is a testimony? According to Webster, a testimony is “a public declaration regarding a religious experience; evidence in support of a fact or assertion; proof.”
So how does testimony show itself?
Is it words?
Is it in actions towards others?
Is it deeds?
Our testimony begins with words, follows with our actions towards others, and is cemented in our deeds. Jeremy Earnshaw exemplified this principle, as even today his testimony lives on in the words he spoke, the lives he touched, the deeds he carried out.
There have been numerous articles written about Jeremy Earnshaw’s life, numerous tributes shared and spoken about this incredible young man. His actions and deeds are becoming known around the world with the “1.21 movement.”
Many of you never met Jeremy and are learning about him for the first time. You’ve only gotten to know him through others. What you have missed and not known is Jeremy in his own words…Jeremy in the rawest sense: Cool. Quirky. Humorous. Faithful. Deep.
What follows is a tribute to Jeremy by Jeremy. In his own words, taken from journals and YWAM notebooks…words that advance who he was, how he lived, how he likely desired to be remembered. In meeting him, you’ll have a broader understanding of his actions and deeds, and you’ll come face to face with the Lord He adored, whom he now worships freely in heaven.
Jeremy Earnshaw Uncut…His Heart through His own Words, by Angie Hufford
~From Jeremy’s YWAM “Evangelism” Application and Workbooks…
“Help me Lord to gain understanding and wisdom so that I may be blessed and become more like you. Help me to be upright so that I may be a witness to others for you. Do not let me shy away from speaking your name and your good works. Let me be a humble servant and a steadfast and strong soldier on your frontlines. Let me risk everything for you Lord Jesus. Help me be a leader that I may lead in your name. Help me to magnify your name Jesus. Help me to focus on you and give you time in all my days.”
“Be ready for your Master. Be ready to serve your Master. Be prepared and ready always for the Lord to speak to you. ALWAYS…
not sometimes or only for this or that, but ALWAYS, to enter in to God and take everything he gives you.”
“Servant leadership is serving everybody by being a Godly leader. It’s lifting up the people you are leading. It’s not just being in front, but sometimes being last or being the dirty worker…doing things for God and others, not yourself. It’s listening to God to build up others and moving people forward by serving him.”
“One thing that gets me, that I have to work really hard on is giving up my rights to God…my reputation, my family, my future wife, MY LIFE, and everything else that entails. If I am only focusing on those things, how can I focus on God and his calling in my life? Unless God has called us to it, which he hasn’t called me to any of these…YET!”
“Just talk to God like you would any other friend. Praise him and love him with your words. When reading the bible, ask God to speak to you on what you want to learn.”
“I believe in Christ because every time I feel alone or in despair or like there is nothing left for me in life, He is there. When I call to Jesus and my hardest times look to destroy me, He is there instantly and takes it all away.”
“I know I have failed and messed up a lot, but those failures have only helped to bring me closer to God. I feel my present relationship with Jesus is the best that it’s been. He’s been showing me a lot of things to help me better myself and make me more like Him. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that. I don’t know the exact month and year of my “rebirth”, but I was never good at math anyway.”
“Since I let Jesus into my life, the noticeable changes all basically have to do with my conscience. I no longer think with my flesh, but with the words of Christ. I mean I do mess up and I know that, but I always pick myself up through the grace of God. I try to go and do the things I sense God leading me to. He always has a plan and a purpose for me in life. Even when I go a different route, He’s always got a plan for me and I like to think that I am following that plan.”
~Jeremy’s one-year diary from 2002…
(There are only two entries in the whole book, and both show Jeremy’s humor and quirky personality)
“Dear book made by slave labor… Today I went on a date with ******. She’s a great girl. Watched a horrible movie called “Abandon”, then went to Joel’s Place and saw Micah my “sister”. Made me so happy! Gonna have band practice tomorrow. That will be exciting… You are quite an old book. I hate diaries but I know this will slowly become an addiction. I use you for a lot of stuff. Why can’t I have what I want? I really want ****. She is sooooo KOOL! My parent’s don’t really like her yet. I wish we had a chance together…ya know??? I think I will retire now. Good night and God bless
Nov. 9th: “Dear Mad Max, Woke up today and had to go watch a man chainsaw the legs off meat, and then we had to cut meat for hours… I now understand why some people are veggitarians. I’ll eat it, but I won’t prepare it (meat). Went to church and then hung out with Micah, Barbie, and Rick. It was quite fun… Went to band practice before that though. It was so much fun. I am STILL quite hoarse from singing. Tomorrow I will hopefully get to go to church. I miss ****. I want to see her, if it’s God’s will. Good night. -Jeremy
~Jeremy’s one-year diary from around 7-8 yrs. old
(The diary only had one entry, and it’s about Jesus, written in his little boy handwriting with lots of spelling mistakes!)
“Jesus loves everone so come along with me and I’ll tell you about him. His parents were Josh and Mary hwo cared for him! He liked to make chairs and stuff. And the first merecel was to make water into wine. When he was thirty or so, he prayed in the garden then he got erested and they made a cross for him and when he was nailed to the cross he said he woud come back in three days and he did. And on the therd day he whent to heaven. The end.
~From a Collection of Childhood Poems Written by Jeremy
Stella is my dog.
She is sometimes a hog.
She eats plastic and anything
She can get her hands on.
She sometimes is disobedient,
Which makes my parents mad at me and her,
And it makes me want to make her obedient.
She is very hairy,
She sheds all day,
Or maybe she sheds to make my parents mad
Or maybe to give herself something to do.
I don’t know.
I want to be a scientist
And give people anesthesia with a fist
And hopefully I don’t miss
Or else, they will be mad
And I’ll be sad
And I won’t be paid
Then I’ll have to fire my maid
And I’ll have to make my own dinner
And will end up much thinner
~Jeremy’s 2002 journal of songs, poetry, drawings, and bible study notes
This acronym (with stars) was drawn throughout the journal:
JESUS CHRIST HARD CORE
A song Jeremy started (no title)…
This is my heart, bleeding for you
And all I want is to be with you
Yet all I do is hide this emptiness
And I don’t know why
I need faith like Job in the space that feels so hopeless
And nothing can compare to this…This feeling of missing
something so unconditionally filling.
Destroy these walls I keep on building
Strip me naked of these thoughts I keep holding
Break me…break me down to the righteous man you made me
Set me back in that direction I need to walk on
And bring me back to you.
We are All Running to that Unavoidable Goal…Death
Why am I afraid of something I am already entering in…every step,
every thought, every word I write just brings me closer to that unavoidable but so lovely goal…death.
There is no guarantees in life but one end, that is someday you will die. Watch me question myself as you’re sitting there…you see every thing, every movement, and every thought. Yet I see nothing except some blind hopelessness.
If I would just cry out to you, those blinds would fall and I could see
you sitting there crying out for me. Why cry out for this lost soul
when I should be crying out to you?
You are my only love. My only God. My only. Jesus.
Are Some Feelings Better Left to Self?
Are some feelings better left to self?
Just put them up on a shelf?
Or spill out to that friend
What’s the message it sends?
Eat yourself up
Watch as the floor meets the glass cup.
Destruction of thoughts seem so untouched
Where are we going in these cold woods of my thoughts?
I got holes in my pants
Holes in my shirt,
And even my shoes.
I got holes everywhere
But you’ll never find a hole in my heart
‘cause God is there.
Have you ever Felt…
Have you ever felt like love was something you put yourself up to?
Is this love something that will last my life
Or end in crying anguish?
When you leave, will this love fade from my heart?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but does love in your absence
always feel like murder, then end in something that seems so yesterday.
I love you…words that don’t feel so empty, but are they?
Is there always these times where it feels like true love…
But then feel the doubt I have in this love.
No. This love is good. It doesn’t feel wrong
And in this absence I shall grow strong in God and learn
To love you ever more.
And love forever more is such a beautiful thing…
It destroys this heartache and this sadness…
It supplies my soul with forever hopefulness.
And end the end…what shall be will be.
In our connection when we meet again,
We shall see what God has done to us…for us.
He is better than life
The great I AM
Jesus is my savior (my homeboy)
Jealous for me
You are enough
God you are my security
You give me joy
God you are my rock of my salvation
You share my tears
You hold my spirit in your hands
God you complete me
You are my burning passion
You are my safe place
All I want…
Jeremy Austin Earnshaw
Ultimately, in life and death, Jeremy’s testimony of love leads us to the cross. These verses in I John remind us that if we loved and believed in Jeremy, we should consider loving and believing in the God he served…Jeremy would have liked that. Amen.
“Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of His ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us. A triple testimony: the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement! If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as He does here, testifying concerning His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding His Son.” 1 John 5:6-10 (The Message)