Monday, July 7, 2014

No Compromise - The Life Story Of Keith Green

       I read this book review on Into the Book Reviews about the book, No Compromise - The Life Story Of Keith Green. With a review like that, how could I not give this book a try? Go read that review, please. Then go find yourself a copy of this book.

     Mmm. I very rarely cry over a book, but I did reading this one. It's convicting. It's powerful. It's a testament to God's goodness and calling to sinners - God's ability to use us for Himself. God used Keith to speak much truth to his generation... Ah, and to speak conviction to Christians about their walk with the Lord.

     "The requirement for salvation is not just a prayer. The requirement is an open, totally empty heart that's ready to be full of Jesus Christ. After saying 'the sinner's prayer' - if in a few months your friends can't tell that you're born again, if your relatives can't see a change in you, if your teacher can't see you're a Christian, you're probably not!
       Because let me tell you something, when someone's born again, they get excited! It changes the way the live, what they do, how they speak, how they act, what they do with their money, their cars, their girlfriends - it's all different! Then how come it looks the same? How come Christians are trying to ride the line?
     I challenge everybody who calls himself a Christian, which means 'little Christ', to live as Jesus did. Or else sometime Somebody might say, 'I never knew you'.... I'm gonna get on my knees every day and say 'God, search my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me. I don't want to go astray. I want to be with you.'
       "You can't get to heaven by being a nice guy. You might end up to be the nicest guy in hell!" -Keith Green, 'No Compromise'. 

     "I just got back from the road," he told them. "I've heard  people say, 'It's worth it when only one person comes forward to receive the Lord.' I say, yeah, it is worth it. There were some real humbling concerts. Like twenty people. One person would come forward. I'd sit down at the end of the stage and when they'd come forward I'd say, 'You'r'e the whole reason I came to this town.'
       And then there were other really beautiful times. I played an Army base in For Leonardwood, Missouri, for about 500 young recruits. They felt a little bit out of place. They didn't have any hair, and they were all about eighteen. Under their breath they were saying, I want my mommy!' And they were all sitting there freaking out about being in the Army. And the Lord got to them in that state, because 350 go up and received Jesus!" ~Keith Green, 'No Compromise'. 

          This book is well worth reading - this is coming from a person who doesn't often read biographies. With journal entries, song lyrics, and told from the personal viewpoint of Keith's wife, Melody, this story is a well written picture of a life sold out for Christ - struggles, doubts, ups and downs, triumphs, joys, and all. It's the story of a broken sinner finding the Lord, and God's calling on his life to share the Gospel with others. It's a story of crazy obedience, powerful trust, and humbling conviction... It's the life story of Keith Green, and his wife, Melody, and how God used them to build His Kingdom. 

~Ophelia - Marie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fitting In - A Ramble...


    This is one of my 'not totally thought out' type of posts. ;) But all these thoughts are bopping in my head, so here I go.

     Do you ever get the feeling that you're meant to fit in, but you're not totally sure where? Do you know what it feels like when you go away from somewhere, and when you come back enough has changed that you're not sure where you belong exactly? ... Even if that feeling is kinda absurd overkill? And... you know it?

    I went to Grace Adventures Camp this weekend to volunteer in the kitchen and hang out with people. I've worked at Grace Adventures in the past (Summers 2011 and 2012, four months each time) and it was an important blessing in my life as I was growing up. When telling about life changing events in my life, Camp inevitably comes up. There I learned a lot of confidence, job experience, and how to be a better leader. I've been away for over a year, but not much time can ever pass without me thinking fondly of Camp.

      Going back was an odd feeling - I know several people on staff, but there were many more unknown people than there were known ones. Some things were the same as they'd always been, and still other things had changed - several of the people I knew, teased and saw every day have moved to other states and are no longer around... I know how to serve and help out, and yet I had to watch again to try and be in sync with the new kitchen team.

      Over this weekend I was again reminded of a few attitudes that I have to strive against. One in particular... the "I don't fit in, and I don't know how to try" attitude. I did "fit in" and yet I had to fight the voice inside that kept telling me I didn't. 'Not any more.'

         I'm a person who longs to know my place. (Who doesn't?) Seriously, there's a part of me that says I'm not wanted when I enter a new group... when I'm not sure where I connect. I don't want to feel like I'm invading. And that's truly at times what I feel I am - an outside invader, trying to fit where I used to, but no longer have the right connections. I'm on the outside of the inside jokes - I'm the tagger-along in an all ready close group - I'm the random extra person. It's looking in, and knowing where I should fit -where I want to fit - , and exactly what I wish to accomplish, and fighting that little voice in my head that says... This is unfamiliar. You're not certain what you're doing. These people don't want you around. You should stop breaking into the conversation and be quiet and let them be with their friends. You shouldn't invite yourself to go along. You should stick with the people you know, and if they're not around, then go wait and don't bother anyone else.

      Annoying little voice. I don't know why I never seem to shake it.

      Oh, you probably wouldn't know it looking at me, that it's dancing in my head. You wouldn't know that I feel kinda awkward asking to come hang out with you, when we just met. You wouldn't probably have guessed that there was a time in the last few days when I felt I was talking to much and told myself I wouldn't speak up again until I was addressed (ha, that took like, maybe a minute before I was being asked questions again and chattered to.) . You wouldn't know, that  several times right before I get lost in the freedom of teasing and goofiness and sarcasm, I'm wondering if I'm being a pest. Why don't you know?

    Because I've learned to disregard it, usually. I've learned to try and outright go against it. I've learned to step out of my comfort zone. I've learned that my feelings are often not rational reflections of reality. I've learned that if I want to be with people, I should let it be known, not expect others to read my mind. I've learned to seize the moment and take joy at being with other believers.

    Life is much too short to wait around for opportunities to come to me. I can either wait on the sidelines, or I can jump in feet first. I can either be quiet until I'm comfortable, or I can let me be myself. Yeah, sometimes it's hard. Sometimes I feel awkward.  But it's usually so worth it.

      This weekend was worth it.

      I spent so much time laughing and teasing. I went to the sand dunes and watched the fire works while listening to silly commentary of the other staff. I went along to the drive thru of McDonalds so I could talk to staff on the drive there, and then went on a "Kitchen Raid" back at camp at about midnight when the line for the McDonalds was too long. I went to Country Dairy and had ice cream, got licked by a cow, and got to spend time with some great people. I went to a camp fire out in the woods, sang songs, shared  a poem and discussed poetry/writing, talked about books, and got startled when someone jumped out of the dark woods while we were walking back with flashlights. I hung out in the staff lounge, joined conversations, exchanged writing with someone, and left a copy of a poem I wrote on the table for others to read.

     I know this weekend was good by especially how much it stung my heart to leave. Given time, I think I would've wanted to keep several of those people as new friends, (I'm not sure how well I'll be able to keep up with them now.) and while time was short, it was a joyful and enjoyable time. I had fun, made connections with people, and walked away feeling blessed.

     So to anyone who ever feels like me... Take a chance, strive to make connections and have fun, and... don't be afraid to be silly. ;) You may very well find that you had a much more encouraging time than you anticipated if you simply try.

    And to everyone on staff who hung out with me, thank you. Y'all were very welcoming, and I loved getting to know you, and appreciated that you took the time to ask questions and get to know me a bit better. I pray God blesses the rest of your time of ministry.

~Ophelia - Marie

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blog Tour: Meet My Main Character

          I've been tagged by Theodora Ashcraft to participate in this blog tour to share about a current Main Character. Theodora has published a book of short stories and poems entitled, Of Whispers and Wanderings, and has been published in the anthology, Heralds of Courage. Go check out those links!

         Now to answer questions about my main character... 

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person? 

My main character is named Elmirzah Tay. She is a fictional character, for the most part.

2) When and where is the story set? 

Hmm, that is a hard question, haha... The story is set in a fictional world that is mostly like modern America, but has a sense of Fantasy to it. 

3) What should we know about him/her?

Elmirzah is a empath. When she is barefoot, she can feel others emotions if she touches them and they in turn can feel hers. Not many people know about her ability, since she has been taught to be very careful with it. Throughout the story, she tries to both keep the ability under check, so others emotions don't overwhelm her, and to use it to help those who are hurting. As she meets others who are like her, it becomes difficult to always distinguish what emotions are hers and which emotions belong to those around her. 

   She is afraid. She is afraid, once she has made deep connections with people, that they will leave. She is willing to do almost whatever it takes to keep those she loves around her. She is afraid that her caring help of others is never good enough, and struggles with doubting herself. She is loyal to a fault, even when that means she gets hurt.

She talks to herself. A lot. Jesseren is almost like an imaginary friend to her - someone who can argue her out of bad moods, and who can give practical sense advice when Elmirzah knows she is being unreasonable/frustrated. While she is careful not to talk to Jesseren out loud when people are around, Jesseren still sometimes "shows up" uninvited and argues with Elmirzah mentally... Jesseren can have as much of a 'mood' as Elmirzah but for the most part she is the calmer reflection of Elmirzah.

She is a writer - a lot of her story centers around that fact.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

 Well... that's kinda complicated. (Haha.) I suppose I'd have to say that this story is one about journeys in friendship, and the lessons she learns about herself and others. How to deal with others pain, how to open up to others, how to deal with loss when friendships end. There isn't one 'main' conflict - it's more a stream of her learning to live with who she is, and accept that the world's weight isn't meant to rest on her shoulders.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
To be a good friend. To make a difference in others lives. 

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Of Darker Dreams is the current title. The story that started this idea is: Dark Mirror Souls.

I have several story blips written on my Pinterest board :

           She brushes a hand against my arm, but pulls it away as I jerk back. "I... have a sense something isn't right." 

"I'm fine," I whisper, wrapping my arms around my chest. 

She reaches for me again and pulls me close. "No... you're not."

7) When can we expect the book to be published? 

Umm, never? ;) Sorry. I may share parts of it on my blog, but other than that, this is a story mostly for my own private enjoyment, and need to write it. If I finish it, I might make a few proof copies for a few select people,  but as I'm only two chapters in, that's a long way off. 

Now to tag some people... 

I'd like to tag Jacob Zozzaro. Jake writes music and fantasy and shares it over on this blog:

One of my favorite songs he's written is entitled, Harmony's Fading Winter

The second person I'd like to tag is Trista Vaporblade. Trista has self published her first book, Quest for the Swords of Healing, and is hoping to publish her book, Ranger, within the next couple months.

You can find her blogging here: or follow her FB page :

That's all for now. :)

~Ophelia - Marie