Category Archives: Passion

Lose Your Cool

Lose Your Cool by Zach Hunter When I first picked up Zach Hunter’s book Be the Change, I had no clue how it would start me on a journey that hopefully will be life long. I had no clue that simply starting a LC2LC (Loose Change 2 Loosen Chains) campaign at my church could turn into one of the biggest parts of my life. I had no clue that it could turn into something that my father has entitled “Olivia’s little crusade” or has made my friends get used to hearing me ramble on and on about human trafficking that they either just smile in amusement or sort of shake their heads.

Zach Hunter is releasing his third book, Lose Your Cool, today which is on the topic of finding what you are passionate about, finding those things that change not only the world, but yourself as well. Most of you know what I am passionate about, those two things that grip me and I am utterly in love with, the gospel and fighting sexual trafficking. Some of you know how it’s my dream to work as a counselor for victims of trafficking and prostitution, working to help transform them with the power of the gospel. I am so very thankful that God has used Zach to introduce me to this passion and burden for ending modern day slavery and bringing justice to the oppressed.

Lose Your Cool can be found here as well as head over to invertbooks.com to get some cool free stuff. You can follow Zach on Twitter and tweeting about the book enters you to win some really sweet prizes. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book and see what Zach has to say, and… I hear that the story of Amy Carmichael is included in the book, so it must be good. ;)

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Filed under Books, Faith, heroes, Justice, Passion, Slavery

Random Musings About Praise and Radiance

Today has been a long, long day following a very busy week. Last week I was gone at camp then this weekend was full with a funeral, grad parties, and what seems like a million other things. On top of that this week is VBS at our church and I’m helping with music and at the last minute helped fill in for the skit. Add to that not having caught up on sleep from camp and not getting much sleep these last few nights, you have a very sleep deprived, crabby, worn out, and stressed girly.

Just a few minutes ago I went to update my twitter status and was about to complain about all my pitiful woes when I was struck with reminder that we need to praise God in both good and bad. So as I looked up a Bible verse as my twitter update instead of my complaining, I was reminded about a verse from Psalms 34 which I have been trying to memorize and meditate on lately which served as a beautiful reminder. “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (v. 1)

Once again I am reminded that God tells us to stay strong when we are past our breaking point, that we are to praise Him when we are too tired to do so, that we are to find our strength in Him alone, and how He works through our inabilities.

Another verse from Psalms 34 that I really love is verse 5, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” When thinking of that now in context, they are radiant because they are praising the Lord, boasting in Him, seeking Him, crying out to Him, taking refuge in Him.

I have never seen a person that is truly praising God in corporate worship that didn’t look radiant. I personally love to see people worship the Lord with extreme joy and to see it in their faces or just seeing their hands lifted to the heavens in praise. It is amazingly encouraging to me and it draws me to praising God even more. It’s contagious! That’s the way our lives should be all the time, contagious.

When we are blessing, glorifying, seeking, experiencing, loving, praising, boasting, and serving God we will be radiant. It will be contagious. My dad always says that “passion is caught, not taught” and I couldn’t agree more! So go out there! Be contagious!

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Filed under Everyday Life, Faith, Passion, Psalms

A Lesson From Prejean

*Raises Hand* Excuse me, I have a confession to make.  Sit back and relax while I have a little rant about another sin I see in the western church, maybe even get some tea or coffee while reading! Just allow me to speak my mind on an issue that has bugged me for awhile. Now what is this issue you ask? Ahh, allow me to tell you with a story. 

 Carrie Prejean. Miss California. You all know her. For the past weeks she has filled the TV screens and the news headlines. She has also crept into the hearts of Christians across America and most conservatives for her strong views on same-sex marriage. She boldly proclaimed that she believed in traditional marriage and then later stated that she was a Christian and was soon after jumped on by the conservative/Christian world faster then a brownie in the midst of teenage girls. They loved her and praised her and though her answer might of made her lose the title of Miss America she won the approval of Evangelicals. 

 Then it happened. For me it wasn’t much of a surprise. Somehow some horribly racy pictures of her got out on the Internet. The liberal world jumped on that like teenage girls with brownies as well. And I don’t blame them. It’s sickening the hypocrisy that comes from many Christians in America that “homosexuals are the worst sinners in the world but I can be proud, immodest, and hateful and it doesn’t matter”. Now I am not saying that homosexuality is right, it’s obviously against what the Bible says. But so is pride and immodesty and judgemental attitudes. Yes, certain sins have worse consequences but they are all high treason against a holy God and all are deserving death. 

 What really frustrates me about the Miss California situation is how Christians dealt with it. It’s nothing new though. When someone who is popular, beautiful, successful in the world’s eyes, and has a huge hunk of change to their name and can still manage to tack on the name Christian and some good morals the church pounces. I’ve seen this in so many realms of the church. We often do not pick the poor, unattractive, and unpopular person who has a fire for God and the gospel to emulate and admire but the person who has it all in the worlds eyes. 

 In Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s article on Miss California she states it this way:

“Sadly, Carrie is the product of a Christian sub-culture that has lost a sense of what it means to be citizens of the kingdom of God and has embraced the values and thinking of this world.

By and large, young adults who have grown up in our evangelical homes, churches, and schools, are buying into a message that they have seen modeled by those around them who call themselves Christians—namely, that Christianity can be divorced from Christ-likeness, and that practical holiness in everyday life is out-dated, irrelevant, or optional.”

 Simply put, we like being comfortable with the world, to sit down and have some lemonade with it, but little do we know that the lemonade is seriously sour and wont quench our thirst. We look at those that are living a life abandoned to Christ as being a little over the top and freaky. We think that being Christians in name while still having our lemonade with the world wont hurt us. What many don’t know is that the sweetest lemonade, the one that can quench our thirst, is found in a relationship with Christ and laying down all that we are, picking up our crosses, and following Him. It might mean being hated and despised by this world, but it will satisfy. 

 While I don’t think that Prejean should be a role model, we can still learn from her. I know that she has taught me that I need to seek sweeter lemonade and to emulate those that are doing so themselves. 

 {Recommended reading: Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Prejean“Miss California, Meet Miss Beautiful Morals” by Hannah Farver, and “Women Who Fear the Lord” by Your’s truly. }

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Filed under Entertainment, Everyday Life, Faith, Passion

Death is Not Dying

Our life is fragile and easily blown away. But death is not dying.

Today I finally sat down to watch the video of Rachel Barkey speaking to a group of women about the terminal cancer that fills her body and the faith in God that fills her soul. It’s a beautiful address that everyone should hear. It’s just under an hour long but it’s well worth the time out of your day. She is a beautiful inspiration and I believe that through her upcoming death God will work wonders and be glorified. I can not wait to meet her in heaven some day and while it is so sad that she is only 37 and leaving behind a husband, two young children, and other family and friends, she will be in heaven and God will use her life and death for His good and glorious purposes. Now go and watch the video and let her words speak for themselves!

(Picture courtesy Keara Jaelyn.)

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Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, heroes, Passion, The Gospel

Hope in A Stranger’s Eyes

 

She smiles as she dances to and fro 
Around her do her dresses flow
Her Amma and Pitaa surrounded her with love
Yet in her future was pain undreamed of
In one instance it was all gone
Her parents from this world were withdrawn 
Alone and afraid 
There soon came a promise to be paid
Her grandfather consented
But little did he know the girl’s body would be rented
A promise of work 
Turned into years of hurt
More alone then before
Hope was left at the door
As she was abused time and time again 
She was bound in her mind by chains
Soon all her innocence was taken 
All of what she knew as right was shaken
The light left her once alive eyes
She was now a zombie with no left life inside
The years past in silence and abuse
There was nothing more to lose
No reason to go on 
No sign of a dawn 
Then one day she saw a glimpse of hope
In the eyes of a stranger she found strength to cope
There was something different and something magnificent
About the joy that was seen in the strangers’ existence 
Something about this stranger gave her hope to go on
A hope for a dawn
Soon was coming a way of escape 
In the long day that the brothel was raid 
In the midst of chaos she knew there was hope
Finally released from the surrounding darkness
Finally released from her chains
Yet something deep inside still remained. 
The hurt and guilt and pain
She thought they would never go away
The scars that she had on her young heart
She feared deeply would never part
She was soon brought away
To a place she knew would be safe
Again she saw the stranger and was surprise
And this time she had a chance to ask about that joy inside
In passionate tones the woman explained
About freedom in Christ and the sacrifice He made
About the blood He shed so she could have life
And how for her soul He paid the costliest price 
Wonder struck the girl as she realized the truth in those words
Eagerly she embraced
This God full of mercy
This God full of grace
She let go on her hate and her guilt that clung
To her soul and let it fall 
Unto the shoulders of her risen God 
She became a follower of her Savior body and soul
She finally found a way to be whole
Now many years later she’s back on the street
Sharing her Jesus will all that she meets
Because of one stranger that showed her God’s love
Now she’s become that stranger and is a servant of the Lord above
monthlymondaypoetrysmaller-1
She smiles as she dances to and fro 
Around her do her dresses flow
Her Amma and Pitaa surrounded her with love
Yet in her future was pain undreamed of
In one instance it was all gone
Her parents from this world were withdrawn 
Alone and afraid 
There soon came a promise to be paid
Her grandfather consented
But little did he know the girl’s body would be rented
A promise of work 
Turned into years of hurt
More alone then before
Hope was left at the door
As she was abused time and time again 
She was bound in her mind by chains
Soon all her innocence was taken 
All of what she knew as right was shaken
The light left her once alive eyes
She was now a zombie with no left life inside
The years past in silence and abuse
There was nothing more to lose
No reason to go on 
No sign of a dawn 
Then one day she saw a glimpse of hope
In the eyes of a stranger she found strength to cope
There was something different and something magnificent
About the joy that was seen in the strangers’ existence 
Something about this stranger gave her hope to go on
A hope for a dawn
Soon was coming a way of escape 
In the long day that the brothel was raid 
In the midst of chaos she knew there was hope
Finally released from the surrounding darkness
Finally released from her chains
Yet something deep inside still remained. 
The hurt and guilt and pain
She thought they would never go away
The scars that she had on her young heart
She feared deeply would never part
She was soon brought away
To a place she knew would be safe
Again she saw the stranger and was surprise
And this time she had a chance to ask about that joy inside
In passionate tones the woman explained
About freedom in Christ and the sacrifice He made
About the blood He shed so she could have life
And how for her soul He paid the costliest price 
Wonder struck the girl as she realized the truth in those words
Eagerly she embraced
This God full of mercy
This God full of grace
She let go on her hate and her guilt that clung
To her soul and let it fall 
Unto the shoulders of her risen God 
She became a follower of her Savior body and soul
She finally found a way to be whole
Now many years later she’s back on the street
Sharing her Jesus will all that she meets
Because of one stranger that showed her God’s love
Now she’s become that stranger and is a servant of the Lord above
(Note: there has been quite of WordPress buginess while writing this post so if something is screwed up I appologize. Currently I can not get the paragraphs to work right so again I appologize and I will try to get it working as soon as I can.) 

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Filed under Christianity, Justice, Missions, Monthly Monday Poetry, Passion, Slavery

Our Sins on His Shoulders

Surely he has borne our griefs

   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.”

 Isaiah 53 is one of my all time favorite chapter in the entire Bible. This vibrant phrophesy about the coming Massiah who will taken on the wrath of God and the sin of the world in order to reconsile men to Christ is beautiful. I could read this chapter a million times, over and over again. I especially love the verses I mentioned above, they show how Jesus took on our sins. To think that Jesus, who was perfect and holy, took on all our aweful wrong doings is so horendeous and it’s beyond our understanding. Yesterday I found a brilliant fiction article published by Next (formerly known as New Attitude) Webzine on Jesus’ death and His taking on of our sins. You can read the whole thing here but this is my favorite part: 

“The Father speaks: “Son of Man! Why have you sinned against me and heaped scorn on my great glory? You are self-sufficient and self-righteous—consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious. You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you. You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip. You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer. You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill you mind with vulgarity. You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your homosexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden. With all your heart you love perverse pleasure. You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart. You kill babies for your convenience. You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy. You persecute my people. You love money and prestige and honor. You put on a cloak of outward piety, but inside you are filled with dead men’s bones—you hypocrite! You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world. You covet and can’t have so you murder.  You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness. You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin. You are never slow to speak. And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment. Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is a fountain of condemnation and guilt and obscene talk. You are a false prophet leading people astray. You mock your parents. You have no self-control. You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions. You’re a drunkard and a thief. You’re an anxious coward. You do not trust me. You blaspheme against me. You are an unsubmissive wife. And you are a lazy, disengage husband. You file for divorce and crush the parable of my love for the church. You’re a pimp and a drug dealer. You practice divination and worship demons. The list of your sins goes on and on and on and on. And I hate these things inside of you. I’m filled with  disgust, and indignation for your sin consumes me. Now, drink my cup! “

 Isn’t it sobering that Jesus, who knew no sin, became our sin in order to make a sacrifice for our sins?! This is the Jesus that deserves our praise, honor, glory, love, devotion, servitude, and adoration forever!  So amazing this is! We all are guilty of many of those things listed, yet God no longer looks at us and sees these sins because Jesus came and took these sins from our shoulders and onto His. What wondrous news is that! We have such a great and wonderful God that would come down in flesh and bare our sins!

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Filed under Christianity, Easter Series, Faith, Holidays, Jesus, Passion, The Gospel

April Poetry: Untitled Musings

monthlymondaypoetrysmaller-1

 Here is my poetry for this month. I wrote this in early March after being inspired by this article by Leslie Ludy (Note: this article is very blunt about sexual sins in men so use discretion before reading.) May God bless you all and I have some posts that are formulating in my mind right now so come back soon! (Also, I’m horrible at naming poems and such so if you have any ideas let me know!)

Purity mocked,

Holiness scoffed,

They shout us lies

Telling us to compromise

 

 

“Freedom in Christ” they proclaim

And so trample His perfect name

Don’t they know we are to sin no more?

If they do the don’t care and after their gods they whore

 

 

They say that to Him they belong

But yet they worship their own gods

The flattery from pagan

Is joy in their hearts

Their selfish desires

Do not want to part

The horrible perversion

They bring to the holy place

The have totally forgotten

The true meaning of grace.

 

 

Yahweh has called us

We must obey

To live different than this fallen world

To live holy everyday.

 

 

God’s standards are high

For those whom with Him identify

If He has saved us from the pits of hell

Let us rise up and serve Him well

If we are set apart spirit and soul

Then He can begin to make us whole.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, Monthly Monday Poetry, Passion