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Summary: Esther became an extraordinary woman of faith because she responded to the call on her life to become an intermediary for the people of Israel. She is a Bible faith hero because she was teachable, she knew when to call on God for His help, she became cou

Opening thoughts to the series: “Extraordinary women of faith”

Thesis of Series: Extraordinary is defined as very unusual or remarkable – not ordinary or normal! Yes, the opposite of extraordinary is normal! We were created by God to live and do extraordinary things in our lives with His power and presence.

Scripture Verse for series: 1 Cor. 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Introduction:

John Bevere states this from his book Extraordinary, “These words paint a picture of an unimaginable and extraordinary existence, one far beyond what any mere mortal has known or experienced. You may have heard these words before and related them only to heaven’s glory. But in actuality, they are penned for the here and now! For the writer, the apostle Paul, continues, “But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit” (verse 10).

We will be looking at the power of a person’s extraordinary story! A person’s life can make a difference in the eternal realm of God as they live their life story in tandem with the Lord’s will for their life. We all need to choose to live extraordinary lives for the Kingdom of Heaven!

Bevere adds, “There’s One person above all others who desires an extraordinary life for you. He is the Father who delights, like any good father, in the achievement and happiness of His children. His name is God! And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest potential. God’s extraordinary plan is revealed when we live extraordinary. Together let’s give the angels something to talk about! (Page 1).

The thought: Do you want Heaven, history talking about you – do want angels conversing about your extraordinary life of faith – then open your hearts – ask God to make your life extraordinary! The truth is God not only desires you to live and extraordinary life but He has equipped and designed you to live an extraordinary life.

Story illustration: Share about visiting West Point last week and all the famous stories you heard from the tour guide: these stories stirred my soul – these stories of famous people spoke to me that I too could live an extraordinary life for God and make a difference!

http://www.whatsyourstoryonline.com/: Quote: Stories are powerful. Stories give meaning to who we are and how we became who we are. Stories help us understand how life happens, and they give value to our experiences. Some of the most powerful testimonies to Christian faith come not from lists of accepted doctrinal beliefs (though they’re important) nor from recitations of biblical principles (also important), but from the enlivened re-telling of how God has acted, overtly or covertly, in each of our lives.

The Bible teaches us that God can use us to make a difference for eternity in an extraordinary way if we let Him.

Today we are going to look at a couple of women, one you may have heard about from the Bible her name is Esther. We will learn more of Esther’s story in moment. But there is another extraordinary woman whose name is Bethany Hamilton (a soul surfer) who I would like to introduce or reintroduce you to today. She is a current day extraordinary woman of the faith.

Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton. Bethany lost her left arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, through her sheer determination and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.

Bethany was born to surf. A natural talent who took to the waves at a young age, she was leading an idyllic life on Kauai, participating in national surf competitions with her best friend Alana, when everything changed. On Halloween morning 2003, a 14-foot tiger shark came out of nowhere and seemed to shatter all her dreams.

Soul Surfer reveals Bethany's fight to recover from her ordeal and how she grappled with the question of her future. Strengthened by the love of her parents, Tom and Cheri, and supported by her church youth group leader Sara, Bethany refuses to give in or give up, and begins a bold return to the water.

Her story will inspire you and challenge you in your own faith in God. This year Bethany Hamilton was inducted into the surfers Hall of Fame.

Today we may know Bethany and her husband Adam Dirks who is a youth minister from Amazing Race. They were married in 2013. They also have a young toddler boy named Tobias but their testimony on this show was amazing to watch and be proud of.

There is also a book out about her life called “Soul Surfer” and also her own movie documentary called “The Heart of a Soul Surfer.” See http://bethanyhamilton.com/

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