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True Love

TRUE LOVE: That sums up what SoulFest is all about.

"It's the revolution that Jesus started!"

True love is when we take the attention off of ourselves and our own needs and shift it to others. And when we now see the poverty, cruelty and horrific injustice that others are experience every day........true love demands our response and action.

True Love is about using our gifts and talents to serve others....from our closest neighbors to impoverished countries across the globe. It is about displaying acts of kindness to our family and loved ones. It is about accepting responsibility of being a steward to this beautiful earth that God created for us. It is about leaving the world a better place than when we arrived.

OK, so let me back this up a bit.....it was no secret that I was psyched beyond words to return to The Soulfest this year. Not only was I looking forward to seeing all the great bands/artists such as Casting Crowns, Third Day, Newsboys and Skillet.....but I knew it would be a great time for me to relax, unplug and refuel. I looked forward to the prayer tents, the inspirational speakers and great t-shirts with something powerful written on them (yeah, I'm one of those Christians *wink). I also was looking forward to late nights...... sitting by the campfire, eating junk food and babbling with Josh. Point is....my intentions were pretty much all about me and my needs.

Now, not that refueling and taking it all in is a bad thing, in fact.....I believe that they are very needed at times. But God had something different planned for me on this trip.

First, He decided that bringing downpours throughout the week would mix things up a bit. Thankfully, we were in a camper, because I think I would have asked God for a raincheck (no pun intended) if we were staying in a tent. These tent camping people are hard core and stuck it out. I can do the no-shower, stay in the same clothes for a few days.....but something about being soggy and moldy and sleeping in those conditions.....I just cannot hang. My idea of camping/roughing it is no cable, no Internet and re-using towels all week that lose their Tide fresh scent.

And when I am talking rain....we are talking Noah's ark flooding. And even when the rain ceased....there was a ton of mud. I have always said that SoulFest was the Woodstock for Jesus (minus the nakedness and acid trips)....and from the photos I have seen about the original Woodstock, this was exactly the same with the mud factor. At one point.....during Family Force Five, what started out as just sprinkling turned torrential in a matter of minutes. H and I just looked at each other and laughed. We figured we were already wet, we were sinking a few inches in the ground so moving was gonna be just as inconvenient. Not to mention, the band was awesome......so we stayed along with 3,000 other head-banging worshipers who went to this show. We couldn't get any wetter, right?
(I am talking even-my-underwear-was-soaking-wet" wet)

So yeah....the rain def. put a damper on things, literally.

Secondly, I didn't get to venture out as much as I wanted......but when I did get to.....I quickly found myself overwhelmed with the many organizations that were represented. Each tent opened your eyes to such injustice, it was hard to comprehend. I didn't know what made me more sick.....hearing about the thousands of children sold into slavery, the massacres of entire villages in Africa or the nations succumbing to lack of water and sickness. My thoughts were now consumed with what can I do for these people rather than what can be done for me.

I made it to one conference, Global Benefit's I Will Scream for You campaign where they talked about what you can do when you know that something is wrong in your world but you feel that your voice is too small to speak out against it all. It's in the grassroots stage, but basically it's a platform to become unified with others and help for whatever cause you want to raise awareness for/support. I really am going to pray for guidance on what caused my heart to stir the most and get my small homeschooling group involved as well as encourage my older boys to take some action with our church youth group.

I just cannot fathom what is going on in other parts of this world.....it made me sob to learn about children, the same ages as my younger ones, who are living these lives of hell. I cannot comprehend my son, who is 11.....being thrown off a boat with rocks tied to his ankles so that he can untie fishing nets for the six fish that might be in them. Or my six year daughter being beaten while picking cocoa beans for a national chocolate company or worse.......sold into the sex slave industry. It just sickens me.

Here is a video from The Not for Sale campaign.....it's not easy to watch......but if watching it makes you cringe, how can we sit back and do nothing?



So sorry to be a little doom and gloom with this post (and I promise to share some of the SONshine we experienced as well soon enough).......but it's real. And it's happening right now. I encourage you to take a few minutes and check out some of the awesome organizations that are the voices for the ones who cannot be heard.

Because it is not all about us. It's about others.
And it's about taking action like Jesus did.
That is TRUE LOVE.

xox
*~Michelle~*



Here are just a few of the many wonderful people who are making a difference. You can too!

To Write Love on Her Arms

Child Voice International

Stand True

Crucified Ministries

The Love Alliance

10 comments:

Andrea said...

You are not bringing gloom and doom with this post. You are speaking reality that many need to hear. We need to be sensitive to what is happening in our world.
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Kim said...

So moving!

Sometimes, as one person, you feel so small. I think that it is obvious that you are helping to make a difference.

Thank you for this reminder.

christy rose said...

True love acts on behalf of the one loved! Great post Michelle! Thanks for sharing what is on your heart!

Anonymous said...

I love the new look of your blog. I love your witness most of all! God bless you and your family!~Joey http://joeydavis.typepad.com

chili pepper said...

Michelle,

To love as He has loved us and asked us to do, often means there will be some gloom. In order to have the empathy that our Savior had, we often must sob on behalf of those who don't know, can't know or must suffer at the hands or desire to never know.

Kat

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

Thank you for posting this here. I think so many people need to have the blinders removed and show what is really going on in the world today and we all need to be just a little more involved in making things better.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

christy rose said...

Hey girl! I tagged you! Come and see!

Brant Christopher said...

Thanks for posting the Not For Sale video! We appreciate your support.

Glad you squeezed some Sonshine out of Soulfest!

Peace&Courage,

Brant Christopher
www.brantchristophermusic.com
Artist-in-Residence
Not For Sale Campaign

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Wow.

What an incredible post. It moved me so much! It's easy for me to get overwhelmed by all the evil that we have to fight, but I know that Love always wins. We've got to keep on Loving with our eyes wide open and our hearts ready to do battle! This is definitely the way Jesus wants us to live.

momstheword said...

I love Casting Crowns and Third Day!

I think you have to write whatever the Lord puts on your heart to write.

Our kids fasted for 30 hours and camped out in a cardboard box in the rain. They also made sandwiches (that they weren't allowed to eat) and then handed them out to the homeless.

They did this with tons of other kids and this was an object lesson that they have never forgotten.

They knew that they could go home to dry clothes, food, and heat, but these others couldn't.

 

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