I PUBLISHED MY VERY FIRST CHRISTIAN FICTION BOOK!!!

3D promoI started writing “Saving Vindicity” the summer of 2011.  And I finally published it!  This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle.  Click here to download it for yourself, read it, and leave a review!

I stopped after writing it, because I was waiting for the “right time.”  Well, who knew when that would be.  After I had a friend read it a few months ago, and she didn’t have much criticism, I decided to go through with it.  The marketing stuff scares me, but I thought I’d start out with this blog. 🙂

Buy the eBook for Kindle here!

This is my very first book of many.  Eventually, if it does well, I’ll release it in paperback.  But I have more writing to do, as it’s on with the next book!

Anna E. Meyer ❤

Five-Fold Ministry: Evangelist

Synonyms: gatherer, revivalist, etc.

Characteristics: Convicting communicator (which gives power to influence people), has a deep concern for the lost, and has a deep love of God and his people.

Responsibilities: Brings the gospel to nonbelievers and training the saints to effectively evangelize them.

Abilities: Influences people and are adaptable, able to thrive in any situation or culture.

Passion: Winning the lost to Jesus.

Examples: Jesus, Peter, Paul. Who else do you know in this role? Some people from my life in this role include Pastor Rich Holmes, Dusty Hoffman, and Luke Rhoorda.

Evangelists can come in many different forms of people. Dr. Coyote says that he sees our pastor as an evangelist because he passionately talks about being saved and being welcomed into the Lord’s family. Every week, there is a chance for salvation, and whenever somebody makes the decision to ask Christ into their heart, the entire church prays with them. This is not only and evangelist thing, but evangelists are indeed passionate like none other—this is where their heart breaks the most.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I were both involved in Cru, a campus ministry on our campuses. Cru is a ministry that is passionate about the lost. Not only did we learn how to share our faith while involved with Cru, but our own faiths grew a ton, as well. There are ministries such as this all over. They do not exist to condemn, just as Christ did not come to condemn. They simply want everyone to have the chance to hear this eternally-saving gospel. Maybe you are a Christian and aren’t being treated as such, but the other person isn’t sure. While involved with Cru, I met a ton of people who didn’t like God, or hadn’t heard the entire gospel plainly before. They never understood it. Or maybe they had grown up in church, but their hearts hadn’t been as involved in church as their heads. It is not our place to judge; that is for God alone to do. I met international students who had never even heard what this Christianity is all about, and I learned about the faiths they grew up with, as well. As I said: the goal of ministries such as Cru is to ensure that as many people that can have the opportunity to know Christ as their savior and Lord.

Anna E. Olson

Do you know of other ministries or people that display this evangelism? Where those without Christ in their lives cause heartbreak and a reason to do what they do?

My Summer, What I’ve Learned, Processed and Layed Out in Easy-to-Read Fashion

These last three days, I was at a leadership retreat called “Gear Up” with all the other Cru leaders in my region, the Sioux Empire.  God has really blessed our region with more staff than ever, and the whole region’s movement is growing, as we have begun movements on other campuses, which is super exciting.  We basically planned out the year in a vague way and planned the first few weeks of school specifically.  It was the wrap up of the summer before school starts up again.  God pretty much affirmed the things he’s been teaching me this summer.

For example, God has been giving me a heart for the world.  I may not ever be able to go overseas, but I have begun to pray for it.  Ethiopia seems to be brought up in many random ways.  Just when I forget about it for a moment, it comes back into my view.  It started this summer when a family from Ethiopia staffed Project.  They are International Campus Crusade staff.  Also, another family that was there had adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia years ago.  What?  Girma told us what God was doing in Ethiopia, and what the plan was for reaching the unreached people groups in the country.  It is really fascinating!  Ethiopia is a Christian nation, though Islam is attempting to come in and take over.  If Ethiopia becomes Islam (Islam reaching the unreached people groups first), Islam will have the upper hand in taking over the rest of Africa.  And then I read Isaiah 18, which speaks of Ethiopia, as well (I had to read a commentary, though, because it was a tough chapter to interpret!).  Oh, and then this weekend, I met a girl who has two brothers also adopted from Ethiopia.  World missions has been discussed in the book I’m currently reading, “Radical” by David Platt, and it was a seminar at the retreat.  When I think of world missions as of late, I think of Africa.  Specifically, Ethiopia.  I also feel led to intern on campus after I graduate.  Many of my friends are planning to STINT (short-term international) for a year after graduation, but I really like working with college students.  I think it would be awesome to pour into others who are still in school and encourage them to GO.

Another thing that God has been continually teaching me was that he uses the Multiple Sclerosis I have for his glory.  I was asked to share two minutes of my testimony in front of everyone there, so I spoke of my MS diagnosis.  I may not see how he uses it, but I have faith (aka TRUST) that he does.  MS encompasses a few of my biggest fears for the coming year and for the future in general.  It is so unpredictable, and at the most inopportune times it restricts me physically.  How can I climb four flights of stairs when I am having trouble walking?  What happens when my hands are too tired to function properly and I need to write or practice my instrument (and I play percussion!)?  How can I stay up late bonding with friends, when I would pay for it?  However, even these worries are opportunity to trust in the Lord. 

I am looking forward to the year.  As we were planning, I began realizing how far out of my comfort zone I would have to go this year.  But I will learn so much and be better because of it!  And my new favorite word will be the one I cling to even more than ever: TRUST.
TRUSTing and smiling, Anna =)^2

Depending and Trusting

So this weekend, I began to worry WAY TOO MUCH.  The Lord knows all things, like what I’ll have for lunch.  He knows all my troubles, and he’s already helping; he knows that when I lose my mind, that in my head, I’m yelping. Don’t worry, he assures me, because he already knows.  He sees where I’m going and that I’ll try to write prose. Just trust me, he tells me, because sometimes I don’t want to hear.  If I trust someone else, I become full of fear!  Anna, he says my name with comforting compassion.  God knows all of me; for it was me he hand-fashioned.

So I’ll trust my Father God, for he knows what’s best.  He’ll lead me and guide me and remind me how much I’m blessed.  It’s really silly that I try, for on my own I’d die.  I’m depending on Jesus with everything, for I know he can do anything.  I’m trusting that I’ll have a safe summer, that God will protect me, a drummer, who likes to rhyme.  (And you’ve seen it work out smoothly, some of the time.)  I trust that I, the one who likes to find smiles, will have a nice drive over hours and miles.  Though my MS feels worse than the past, I trust that God will give me strength to last.

I leave for 2012 Milwaukee Summer Project on Wednesday.  I am trusting and depending like never before, all the way!  You’re invited to be part of my prayer team, which would mean: pray that I might have a safe drive on Wednesday; pray that in the week of staff training we’ll hear God’s say.  Pray that as the Project begins, all involved will find in Christ kins.  =)  Pray that as staff, we’ll let Jesus speak through us, that all of the students will gain what Jesus has to offer and teach; plus, pray all the students will learn and grow like crazy, that the Lord will use them and call them for surely.

I am so excited for what this summer will bring.  Jesus Christ reigns, which is reason in itself to sing!  I smile for all the work God is doing; in the inner-city and down the street, he is actively pursuing!

Smiling always and filled with trust and praise, Anna =)^2

Saturday Smiley: Cru

So, I was trying to think of a smiley for this week and was having trouble.  Jesus has just been showing me some amazing stuff lately.  And then, when I thought a bit deeper, I realized that Cru has been the tool he has used a ton to speak into my life during the past few years.  At the end of last summer, I wrote this post about Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ (it was officially renamed this past year).  That post is pretty cool, so you should check it out.  But here and today, let me share a bit why Cru is my smiley this week.  (These are numbered, but they are in no particular order.  Just the order I thought of them, I guess.)

1. Friends.  Some of my best friends, I met in Cru or are also involved in it.  There is something more genuine and authentic when Christ is the center of a friendship.  Even if he is all you have in common, you have way more in common than if you root for the same NASCAR driver or share a major.  Also, Lifegroups (a Bible Study that does life together) have a pretty good atmosphere and authenticity because Christ is talked about most when we meet!  It’s great!

2. Speakers.  Some of the speakers I have heard at Cru or at conferences have spoken directly to my heart.  I think it is so awesome that the Lord speaks through other people, be it speakers (which could be anybody, but Cru has gotten mostly local pastors or staff, which are great.  Most of the speakers are adults who have way more knowledge than any of us), peers, or “disciplers” (mentors that meet with you one-on-one and talk about the Word or life or whatever).

3. Opportunities.  Cru gives many opportunities for growth.  There are three-ish life-altering conferences throughout a school year: Fall Getaway (which meets during October during a weekend), TCX (a Christmas Conference that meets over Christmas Break), and PCB’s “Big Break” (a spring break trip that goes to Panama City Beach).  During the summer, though, is when the biggest life-transforming opportunities are given through something called Summer Project.  Summer Projects are located all over the world, but my campus mostly sends students to North Myrtle Beach, SC; Ocean City, NJ; or overseas to East Asia, France, Australia, “4th Journey,” or Uruguay (that’s where our partnerships are).  Last summer, I went on a summer project to Inner-City Milwaukee, WI for 8 weeks with 16 other students.  God did some pretty amazing things in me, and the summer was only the take-off point for the way my faith has been growing since.

4. Resources.  Cru has some websites with awesome material to help you out if you are leading a Lifegroup, meeting for Discipleship (for the discipler), or just want to read some Christian topics on your own.  My two favorites are CruPress Green and EveryStudent.com.

5. Growth!  Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade  for Christ, was really on to something.  The idea is to get freshmen involved, so that the next year, they could become leaders and pursue freshmen.  “Win, build, send.”  No matter how long one is involved in Cru, be it one year or four, they become part of the “build.”  The Cru leaders are trained to be in charge of a Lifegroup or some other aspect.  Another part of the “build” for leaders and non-leaders alike can be achieved through conferences or summer projects.  One learns how to share their faith.  Then when a student graduates, he or she is ready and equipped to share their faith in the workforce, wherever it will be. (“Send”)

God has done so much through Cru in the lives of millions of college students, and not just in the US, either.  Cru is just a tool, but it is my smiley this week!  I praise God for all that he has done through it and all of the lives that have been changed from encountering God through it!

CRU: Anna’s Thoughts

So.  I encourage you all to read this, because I promise it’s good.  It is some of me with some of CRU and all of God.  (It’s pretty much awesome.)

Sioux Empire CRU’s vision statement: We are a group of students with an alive walk with Christ, who have authentic relationships, as we advance the gospel to every person.

Or something close to that.  Here are my experiences and thoughts about the whole thing:

Alive Walk with Christ

I guess this started when I HEARD about a relationship with Christ the first time when I got to college.  I had grown up in the church and had good faith, but this whole relationship thing?  Was new to me.  So I kept trying to find this relationship with God that he wanted with me so much.  It took awhile, but I began reading his word (the Bible) more and more until I was setting aside time each day to be with God.  And as I learned more about God and he continued to reveal himself to me, I learned more about me, as he revealed some of the sins I had to surrender to him, as well.  This was especially strong on Project this summer, but I have continued to drown myself in the word and seek God with everything I am!  I am in an ALIVE WALK WITH CHRIST—it is the most important thing in the world to me!

Authentic Relationships

I was thirsty for relationships.  Jesus is my BEST FRIEND, and was pretty much my only one for a very long time.  I had never been that great at finding friends, and had a lot of surfacey friendships.  I was scared to go deep, and I didn’t really.  The summer before I went to college, I found out what authentic relationships were like.  Where you could tell a friend all your crap and she could tell me all of hers, and we love each other the same!  I have been forming closer relationships with a few others that are authentic like this since then.  And on Project, I feel like all of my relationships were authentic ones.  So yes, I am in AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS and am not afraid!  Plus, we all have Christ as our backbone, so whom can I fear?  Exactly.  Nobody!

Advancing the Gospel to Every Person

I am so excited to see what God is going to do this year at my school!  I have been praying continually for a revival on my campus, as God can do amazing things!  I finally feel (a little more) comfortable sharing with someone or talking with them about spiritual things.  I am co-leading a lifegroup this year, and we have a goal.  I am so excited!  We have a total of 6 staff this year, as opposed to 2 last year, and if that is any indication of our growth (which I pray it is!), God will do awesome things this year!  I am so excited to see what God will do as we make it our intention to ADVANCE THE GOSPEL TO EVERY PERSON this year!

Now, I am in no way saying that CRU is the place to go for any of these things.  It is the group I have become involved with that has helped me grow in my relationship with God.  There are tons of other groups that have this same idea.  I just came back from Gear Up, a conference with the leaders of the Sioux Empire CRU Movement, so that is what I’m talking about and thinking about today.  However, I can promise that I will be talking about and thinking about God for much longer than this!  Long after I finish school and leave the CRU movement at Augie, I will be continuing my relationship with Christ, my authentic relationships, and advancing the gospel everywhere!  But I still have another few years, so I’ll slow down.  =)

I encourage all of you to get plugged into SOMETHING.  Something that will help you find the personal and intimate relationship with God that he longs for so badly, ‘cuz we all long for it to (even if we don’t always realize it at the moment).  Something that includes fellowship and God, ‘cuz that is an important aspect of growth (NOT being isolated).  It could be a Bible study with your church, or another activity that praises and gives glory to God.

I pray for all of you guys, that God will set you on FIRE, as he has with me!  IT’S SO AWESOME!

Smiling, always, Anna =)^2 (smiles squared)