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Simply Stories Podcast

Aug 26, 2021

Today on the podcast we have fiction and non-fiction author, speaker and just incredible woman of deep faith, Tessa Afshar. Tessa grew up in a nominally Muslim family in the Middle East, and after her family’s fracturing, she moved to England where she lost her culture, her language, everything she knew and experienced a total identity shift. Then, as a young adult, she found herself broken-hearted, divorced, and confused about what was next for her life. and Jesus met her in a dream and began to woo her to Him. During our conversation Tessa shares her incredible journey with us, as well as where God has led her in her calling, and how He makes Himself known to her even still.

Tessa also offers a beautiful and unique perspective on the fracturing in the Church in the west, and especially how it plays out on screens whether that’s live news or newsfeeds. No matter what we are seeing, and no matter how we feel, as followers of Jesus, we are not in control of others, but we can control our response to them and to the Savior. Tessa gives a powerful reminder that the measure of the Church is the person behind the scenes that never makes it on the news. Being genuine and honest, carrying out small acts of kindness and faithfulness in Jesus’ name will still change the world for the Gospel. These things matter to Him, and it matters to every person you encounter who is desperately looking for a place to be loved and to belong. 

Tessa is one of those people that her love of the Word and her love of the Lord can set a fire in your bones, and this conversation today, is a such a time as this moment. If you need a reminder about who Jesus really is, the power, the love, and the peace only He can give, this episode is for you. If you have had things happen, experienced loss or heartbreak  in your life or maybe you’re there right now and you need to be reminded of who God is, and how valuable you are to the One who made you, this is an episode for you. I hope this lands on you like a balm to wound because it most certainly did for me. Take heart, friends. You matter, and your story matters. 

Connecting with Tessa:

Her books






-The 5 tenets of Islam 

-Episode of the podcast where we discuss cultural paradigms 

-The Qur’an, written only in Arabic

-Leo Tolstoy 

-Her story based on the book of Ruth, Pearl in the Sand

-Jane Austen

-Charlotte Bronte 

-Kingdom of Kush // Modern day Sudan, south of Egypt

-Francine Rivers’ and the Lineage of Grace series

-Our reading of Ruth and discussion about it on the podcast to celebrate Pentecost

-Jesus is the son of David, He is the promised One. 

-Tessa’s Bible study The Way Home: God’s Invitation to New Beginnings // Here is a link to the video introduction to it as well

-A link to her YouVersion Bible study on Priscilla and Aquila “Cultivating a Forever Faith”

Scripture References:

Job 11:7-9, Psalm 147:5, Isaiah 40:28- God has no limit 

Luke 1:37- Nothing is impossible with God

Matthew 19:26- Everything will be possible with God 

Romans 8:1,Psalm 103:12- Shame is not of the Lord 

Hebrews 12:2-, 1 John 3:1, John 15:13-  Romantic love is not the love that saves you 

Isaiah 53:2- Jesus’ appearance was unremarkable

Matthew 16- Jesus is not who people thought He should be

Romans 4:21, Hebrews 10:23 more here - Whatever He promised He meant to keep

Matthew 4:19, John 12:26- Follow me

John 14:27- A peace only Jesus gives 

Romans 6:23, 1 Peter 2:24- We can’t pay the price for our sin

Psalm 119:11- Have the word hidden in your heart 

Acts 2:42-47- Being the Church: living open hearted, proclaiming who He is 

1 Peter 4:8-9- Hospitality from the Church

Ephesians 6:18, James 5:13-20, Philippians 1:3-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18-  Prayers from the saints 

Nehemiah 8:10- Let the joy of the Lord be your strength

Isaiah 14:27- Nothing can stop the Lord

Matthew 16:18- Nothing can stand against the Church

Matthew 5:16- Let your light shine before men

Romans 5:5-11- Your hope will not be put to shame

Psalm 71:14, Romans 8:31-39- There is a hope that brings life

Psalm 33:18-22- An act of obedience 

Joshua 2- Rahab living in the wall 

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24- He prepares you for your calling 

Philippians 4:11-13- Contentment in every circumstance 

Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 40:31- Wait on the Lord 

I am who God says I am

Colossians 2:6-23- The fullness of life in Christ

Revelation 21:4- Only in Heaven is there only love and no more tears 

John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12, Hebrews 10:23- You will have trouble and storms, but there is hope

Jeremiah 29:11- There is a tomorrow and a restoration

Matthew 1:1-16- Christ’s lineage

The book of Judges

The book of Ruth starts with a famine, but the last word is the name David. That person is an answer to the famine,

John 6:35- Jesus is the bread of life

Philippians 1:6- This is not how the story ends, God is not finished

Acts 18:2-11, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Timothy 4:19- Priscilla and Aquila

2 Chronicles 20:12- We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

Psalm 112:7- // AMP translation I used- He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast trusting the Lord 

Connecting with Emily and Simply Stories Podcast:
Instagram (Em life // Podcast Life)

*Intro and Outro music is from