Monthly Archives: August 2008

The Bravehearted Gospel and Set Apart Femininity

 I am coming at you with two of the best books that have been released this year (maybe even better then Do Hard Things). They are amazing books that will totally challenge you and totally change your life. The one is The Bravehearted Gospel by Eric Ludy. I have started reading this and it is amazing! So biblical and just all together great. It has, and will push many buttons for some people. It is talking about putting the “manly” stuff back in Christianity. How we need to get in touch with our masculine side. This is the synopsis:

“Eric Ludy calls believers to put a stop to an alarming trend in today’s church. Contemporary culture has accused Christians of being politically incorrect, unloving, and narrow–minded in their devotion to God and His Word. And the church has unwittingly played right along:

  • It has grown to have more in common with the world than with Christ
  • It seems more concerned about pleasing men than God
  • It sets aside the pursuit of eternal truth for the pursuit of temporal pleasures

How serious is the problem, and what are the solutions? What does a bravehearted kind of Christianity look like?

Eric presents the Christianity of the Bible as the most explosive, most vibrant, most extraordinary force on Earth—a force meant to bring glory to the Most High God and turn people’s hearts in His direction. After reading The Bravehearted Gospel, no Christian will ever want to go back to “Christianity as usual”!”

 The next book is written by Eric’s wonderful wife Leslie, one of my heroes. Set Apart Femininity has the same message of the audio series she has that was totally mind and life changing for me. It made me see beauty in a whole new way. Before that I had been buying into the “you are beautiful just the way you are. Don’t try to change a thing” lie. The truth is that we are dirty filthy sinners in and of ourselves, ugly. The only thing that can make us beautiful is Christ in us and living out a life of radical devotion to him. 

“Leslie Ludy, author of Authentic Beauty and the bestselling When God Writes Your Love Story, reveals how a young woman’s pursuit of acceptance and sameness directly counters her true purpose—to be set apart by her love for God and God’s love for her.

This empowering message filled with inspiring stories, personal illustrations, and a foundation of God’s Word to awaken young women to sacred femininity and a life infused with meaning. Each chapter encourages readers to release worldly standards and set their sights on a more worthy pursuit as they:

  • surrender to God’s love and wholeness
  • embrace the real blueprint for beauty
  • enjoy spectacular purpose
  • captivate the masculine heart
  • cultivate spiritual strength

This journey will spark a desire in every woman to leave the fairy tale of the masses behind and walk toward the unique beauty, love, and dreams God has for her.”

I hope you buy and read these books. I am just about to dive into Set Apart Femininity once I get done with this post. And I am already 50 pages into The Bravehearted Gospel. These are amazing books that need to be read.

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Are Your Feet Beautiful?

  Some of you might just be reading this because of the interesting title. If so, great! But this was the thought that crossed my mind while reading Romans 10 yesterday. This is the part that really stuck out to me:

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15 (ESV)

 It just jumped out at me asking, “Olivia, are your feet beautiful? Do your feet run to share the gospel, or do they run to do your own pleasure? Do your feet go to do evil, or to rescue the oppressed?” Those are important questions. We are called to share the gospel. (Matt. 28:19-20) It was the last thing Jesus told his followers before he ascended to heaven. It is important to God.

 If we have the holy spirit inside of us we should be running to tell others about the gospel. We should go to whatever lengths to serve God and to have him glorified. We should be “crawling over broken glass” to tell others. Yet today in America we see that less and less. It is sad. Not only sad, but wrong. It tears my heart apart that people that claim to have the holy spirit dwelling in them don’t notice the call to share the gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation. They ignore it saying, “that is better left to the more experienced people.” or “That is just for the missionaries and pastors.” NO. Every Christian is called to share the gospel. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how young you are. (Except I do have a very funny story about how two of my friends cornered this guy they knew in 5th grade and interrogated him about what he believed.)

 Many Christians in America are more concerned about what they put on their feet instead of where their feet take them. We need to be running to do what God has for us. We need to be running to bring justice. We need to be running to bring healing and help, and with that, the gospel. We need to share the gospel, and we also need to provide basic needs. (James 2:14-18)

 So ask everyday if your feet are beautiful. Seek out times to share Jesus with the unbelievers in your life. Be quick to pray for people. Be quick to help others, and have good attitudes, for that can be sharing the gospel in it’s self. And be ready to give an answer to any man that may ask. I am praying that you will all have beautiful feet.

Your sister in Christ,

Olivia <><

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Why Me?

 That question is one that I ask frequently and it should be asked frequently by all Christians. I am not talking about questioning that God is sovereign or in control of a situation. God has his plans and he has them for a reason. What I am talking about is giving thanks to God for his blessings.

 No matter how hard your life is, you don’t deserve your life. The only think that any of us deserve is death. We are sinful, bad people, that deserve death in hell. But if you are a Christian God has chosen you to receive his mercy and grace, and his atoning sacrifice on the cross. He has give you life, freedom, peace that passes understanding, love, joy, hope for tomorrow, he removes our guilt. He has given us more then we could ever of dared to dream of.

 A holy God chose ME. A holy God loves ME. A holy God gave his only son for ME. ME. A dirty, filthy, sinner, without the ability to do right. It doesn’t seem possible. I don’t deserve him. You don’t deserve. No one that has ever lived has deserved God except Jesus. Because we are all born into sin.

 Why would he save us? Because he loves us. I don’t quite know why. I don’t understand that he could love us, even while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8) I don’t understand how he could let his perfect son die a painful death for me. I don’t understand how he could chose a wretch like me. I don’t think I will ever understand. Ever. Because it is just one of those things far beyond the reach of our small finite minds. It is something so mind blowing that I don’t think we can ever truly take hold of it.

 But in our messed up culture people, even those who claim to be Christians, don’t understand this. They don’t understand that they don’t deserve heaven. They don’t understand that the only thing they deserve is death and eternity in hell. I breaks my heart that in our churches religion is so strong. The belief that we can somehow reach up to God or that we can attain heaven by ourselves. Religion is man trying to reach up to God. I am not a religious person. I know I can never reach up to God. I can’t even try. But God reached down to me. He came down and lifted me up when I was dirty and filthy and depraved.

 Using Ezekiel 16 as an example, I was bloody and unwanted, cast out to die. Then he found me and had compassion on me. He took me in his arms and washed be and clothed me. He looked on me with love. Though I didn’t deserve it. Though no one wanted me. Though I was not worthy of the love of anyone. He rescued me.

 Why me? There is no logical answer that God chose me instead of the person next door. But I thank God every day that he chose me. He didn’t have to, but before I was born he predestined me to receive his grace. It is something that we are not even supposed to know. It is a mystery of God. I encourage you all to thank him for it everyday. If you have been saved by him, it is wrong not to thank him. At the risk of repeating myself, God is holy and we could never deserve him. We need to bow our knees and thank the God of earth and sky for rescuing us. We should constantly be amazed. We need to bask in the wonder of the cross. And let everyday reflect that he has saved us.

Love in Christ,

Olivia <><

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Changing The World

 Before I start I want to say I am sorry for my lack of posting. I have been busy, and lazy. I have many ideas I am just poor at saying them the way I want. Without further ado.

 This post came out of a conversation with Josh. He had asked when I started school and when he heard I didn’t start until September he asked me what I was going to change the world before school started. I wasn’t quite sure. There are so many things that are little things. Or don’t make a huge impact in one month (he said this over a week ago). Like my LC2LC campaign (we have gotten over $250 so far) that wont be done til December. Or even the really little things like keeping good attitudes, being helpful and respectful to my parents, being kind to those around me, blogging. All the things that don’t seem to make a difference, but are things that are important to molding who you are going to be. So I was praying last Monday and I asked God for his help on this matter. So I made a list of things to remember while trying to “Change the World”. I think this post will be very helpful for many of you because I know a lot of people that read this that are amazing people with passion to reach the world for Jesus in some way, shape or forum.

  • Pray, ask God how HE wants to use you to change the world, for him
  • Be careful that the focus does not become on yourself, but use it to bring glory to God. It will be hard not wanting to be admired. It is hard to be humble. You will have to be careful not to seek worldly recognition. (Matt. 6:1-4)
  • Do something that you are passionate about.
  • Don’t be afraid to do all the little things that might actually change the world. Don’t underestimate the effect kindness can have on people’s lives. Befriend the friendless. Live a life of devotion to God (including practical out pour), shining his light through you. (Matt. 5:16) Reach out to the outcast. Keep a hopeful and peaceful attitude. Love unconditionally and nonselectivly(I don’t think that is a word, but I can’t think of better wording).
  • Be ready to share Christ with everybody and anybody. (Remember that salvation is the most important thing. Offer living water along with physical water. Offer spiritual freedom with physical freedom.)
    Don’t say any job is too low, but take on Jesus’ attitude to lowly tasks. (John 13:1-17)
  • While trying to “change the world” keep your own spiritual life in high priority. Make sure your own relationship with Christ doesn’t suffer. Keep meeting with God and gaining your strength from him. You will need it.
  • Be quick to give any and all glory back to God.
  • Seek Godly counsel to pray for you and encourage you. To help you sort out what God’s will is for you, and to keep you grounded in humility.

 The humility part is one that I struggle with. I like people to say, “Wow. That is so great!” I want people to pay attention to me and I like to be honored. I need to remember that I can either get rewarded here on earth, or in heaven. The heavenly rewards will be far greater.

 I often see people who want to go out and change the world, yet they don’t want to go out and change their town. Or change their home. They don’t want to do the little things that nobody sees. Those little things might be the most important. The things like being in prayer and Bible reading set the foundation for your entire life. Being kind to a misfit may make all the difference in their life, it could even save their life.

I hope this was a blessing to you.

In Christ,

Olivia

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Interview (Isaac)

 A few weeks ago I was reading the “Get To Know You” thread on the rebelution forums. I saw that this one guy named Isaac had put mono-skiing and hand-cycling as hobbies. I was wondering what he was talking about. Then I read down and he said that what grieved him was people looking down on him because he was in a wheelchair. So I decide to ask him for his story and he gladly gave it to me. I was blown away by the story I am sharing with you. He also tells it really well. So I hope you enjoy reading his story and some questions I had for him.

A little bit about myself: I was born a healthy strong baby. I was happy and I would always run around the house throwing my ball, it was my first word(ball) and it was the only thing I played with all day. My mom was sure I was going to be a ball player when I grew up and that made my Dad really happy. Then around my first birthday i got an ear infection. The doctor gave me some antibiotics and it went away. About a month later the ear infection came back.At thirteen months old my mom put me down for a nap after lunch. I woke up screaming my lungs out. My mom couldn’t figure out what was wrong but I wouldn’t stand up. She picked me up and I just flopped around. She went and put me in my highchair and I couldn’t sit up. By then my mom is absolutely scared out of her wits and crying. We lived in a small mountain town way up in northern Colorado so we went to the Larimy, Wyoming hospital. There the doctors had no idea what was wrong with me they just knew I was paralyzed from the neck down so they suspected child abuse and asked my mom a lot of questions. They finally got a hold of Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado and flew me down there on flight for life. There it took till two o’ clock in the morning to know what was wrong. I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. Transverse Myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation to the spinal cord. The inflammation causes damage to the nerves which causes paralyzation. The inflammation comes from an immune deficiency or not enough blood to the spinal cord. Through therapy and Gods power I can walk with crutches and I am a happy person. I have gotten into mono-skiing ( like a sled suspended on one ski and then I have outriggers, little crutches with skis on the bottom) since the rest of my family are really good skiers. But through this whole experience my parents have not let me count myself out because i have a wheelchair and don’t make up excuses for me. I have found in this that God shatters our dreams so that we may see his bigger and better ones. But we can only see that when we get past ourselves.

What is the worse part about being in a wheelchair?
The worst part of being in a wheelchair is that so many people tell me how sorry they feel for me and that my life sucks. It is so annoying that some people think that my life is not worth anything and that I am unable to do anything. Yes i have limitations, but who doesn’t? and even though I have limitations i find ways that I can do those limitations, just in a different way than the “norm”.
Do people ever treat you like you are a little kid?
Funny you ask this, people treat me like a little kid all the time. They talk to me slowly and in a little bit of that baby tone. It is always funny when I tell them the answer to the question or just say something and their face is just like wow how are you talking. And then also when I drop something or go and get something I am only like two feet away and they’re like ” Ohh I can get that” and I am like “So can I”. it always makes me laugh though and it doesn’t really make me mad.
What is the most important thing God has taught you through this experience? God has taught me two very important things through out my life. One is that people will be people. They will always be curious and intruding. Like when random people come up to me and say, “Ohh my are you okay, what happened?” If you are rude about it, what is it going to do in your life and in the life of others? So I always, no matter how the person asks the question remember that we are here to proclaim the love of God and His grace always.
I have also learned that no matter what we see God has a PERFECT plan for our lives. We are his children and his creation, made to do his will. Why would he try to hurt us or make us defects, he wouldn’t! We are the only things that separate us from God, so we can try and stay close to him and follow his perfect plan or we can separate ourselves in anger from God and be self rejects who are sorry mad people that will let the Devil use self pity to blind God’s plan.
Have you (or your parents) even been mad at God because of this?
I have never really been mad at God for making me who I am. Because that is exactly what I am , created as I am supposed to be. People ask are you mad God made it hard for you to walk and what i tell them is I was not made to walk normally right now. This is how God created me and he has no regrets. My parents haven’t really been mad at God either, but pray all the time that I will walk without crutches or any support, which I know God WILL do all in time.


I was so encouraged by this story! It is amazing his faith in God. It is when people go through the storms and still praise God, when he is glorified. The kind of peace that passes all understanding is the kind Jesus promises to give us. Not just the joy that comes from having perfect lives. Remember that God is perfect and he makes no mistakes. I hope this interview will help encourage and strengthen you. Also, I pray that it will give you a better perspective on people in wheelchairs. And the coolest thing about this story is that someday Isaac WILL be able to walk. When he gets to heaven someday he will have a perfect body. I am sure that gives him such hope and strength to face everyday.

In Christ alone,

Olivia/Nobody <><

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Bella Movie Review

Yesterday, August 7th, me and my brother sat down early afternoon to watch a movie I had been highly anticipating. The movie was one I had heard from Alex and Brett Harris, had the power not to only change lives but to save them as well. I had also heard that it was good by other sources and really wanted to see it.So what did I think? It was a great movie. I loved it. The story line was original. The acting was amazing. The cinematography was brilliant. It was one of the best movies I have probably seen this year. We are going to buy it soon hopefully since my parents didn’t get to see it and we both loved it. So what is this movie about?

It is a hard movie to explain without giving it away so I will just use the synopsis from the website.

“An international soccer star is on his way to sign a multi million dollar contract when a series of events unfold that bring his career to a abrupt end. A beautiful waitress, struggling to make it in New York City, discovers something about herself that she in unprepared for. In one irreversible moment, their lives are turned upside down… until a simple gesture of kindness brings them both together, turning an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience.”

This movie is sort of pro life. It is in favor of adoption. It shows the joys of it. The blessed rewards, also it shows the pain of abortion. I have heard that it has convinced quite a few people to give their unborn babies up for adoption instead of aborting them. This movie also promotes the value of friendship. And not the feel good, shallow friendship, but the dedicated, Christ like, loving-in-every-circumstance friendship. It also shows a true gentleman.

This movie is rated PG13 but it is cleaner than most PG movies (it is PG for a half second clip of a dead, bloody body). There is no swearing, and really no negative stuff at all. They dealt with pregnancy in a very clean way, making no inappropriate references, nothing. I was very pleased with it. It is really a family film.

So go check out

 

 

 

www.bellamoviesite.com. You can see the trailer and check it out more. If you have watched it already tell me what you think. God bless.

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Don’t Waste Your Life

DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE

This is not a challenge for the timid, the cowards, the lazy, the bums. This is a challenge for the brave, the strong, the noble, the hard workers, the radical fanatics. So which will you be? I can’t make that choice for you. Only you can choose whether you want to give God your all and live a life with a meaning to it. Or you can live a life that has no meaning, a life without purpose. Which sounds more exciting? More profitable? More enjoyable, yet harder at the same time? For me to not waste my life is my choice. Will it be yours? I hope and pray that it will be. I don’t want you to look back on your life and say, “I’ve wasted it”. That would be worse than just a pity.

So, will you take the road less traveled, one that has bumps on it? A rough road but a road that leads to true fulfillment? Or a road that is often used? A road that is smooth, but in the end leads to pain and death? A road that when you come to the end realize that you did it all for nothing? As my brother would say, “I don’t want to live if there is nothing to die for”. I agree.

There is something worth dying for. That is the gospel. The unwasted life is one focused on the gospel and sharing it and doing God’s will. No matter if you do good things, without God with you they will all fade away. They are vain and fleeting. They come and go and no one will ever care. But when we do things to glorify God and do things for him, or life is full. It is not wasted. It has purpose, we can go back to the original purpose of man, to glorify God. The original purpose of man is beyond our comprehension because it was perfect. An unwasted life is one that seeks to go back to that purpose.

So to repeat my challenge here it is in different wording: “Live everyday like it is your last. With meaning, with purpose, and with joy.” Let me know if you take me up on this challenge. I will pray for you. I know some of you have already taken this challenge upon your shoulders. Please share a comment on how this has changed you and the results of this in your life. I am praying for all of you.

In Christ alone,

Nobody <><

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