Deep Waters embodies a convergence of the loves of my life - Jesus, family, friends, great literature and my heart for children from hard places. Throw in a sprinkling of my thoughts on current events within this ever-changing culture, and Voila! Your feet have dipped into Deep Waters - this gift from my heart to yours.
Yesterday I defined the word Passion and gave a checklist for any of you wanting to discover your personal passion. I hope you found this step useful in determining your God-given purpose. There are a few more pieces to the purpose-puzzle that we'll examine in the days to come, so keep reading!
Today I wanted to put some flesh on this passion phenomenon. So let's examine some people -- some well-known and some not so well-known -- who embody the word passion. When I began creating this list, several names and faces flooded my mind. I could have included hundreds more people with great passion, but I've settled for a small sampling. Hopefully, these folks will give clarity to what passion looks like and inspire you to discover and pursue your own passions.
When I think of passionate people, I can't help but think of evangelist Billy Graham. Since 1948, Graham has conducted large evangelistic crusades, renting large venues such as stadiums and parks around the world. He has dedicated his passion for the Word of God and for those seeking faith in God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. It has been said that no one in history has preached the Gospel in person to more people than Billy Graham. About ten years ago, I had the privilege to attend a Billy Graham Crusade, and I was amazed at the droves of people that came forward to receive Christ after his invitation to salvation.
If you haven't heard this sister preach, you've missed out. Since 1994, Beth has exercised her passion to teach women the Word of God by writing several Bible studies and teaching at Christian conferences around the country and world. When I moved to Northern Virginia, I immediately found a Beth Moore study in the area. Even though Northern Virginia proved to be a pit stop for my family, Beth helped me feel at home.
Paul Hewson, a.k.a. Bono, the frontman of the legendary Irish rock band U2, has used his stardom to launch a secondary career in activism. His passion for assisting those living in extreme poverty and those infected with HIV/AIDS takes him around the world, and often to Africa. His humanitarianism is evident in his music lyrics, with many of his songs including political, social and religious themes. (A fun fact about Bono: he was dubbed "Bono Vox," which means good voice, when he joined the band in high school.)
For Soledad O'Brien, her position as an anchor and special correspondent for CNN isn't simply a job, but a mission. Her passion for uncovering moving stories, has led her to anchor notable documentaries, such as the award-winning Black in America, which revealed the state of African Americans forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In one of her most recent documentaries, Don't Fail Me: Education in America, she examined the crisis in the American public school system. (A notable fact that few know about O'Brien: this Harvard-educated, talented lady recently began a relationship with Jesus Christ.)
Thomas Dexter "T.D." Jakes pastors The Potter's House, a Dallas, Texas non-denominational megachurch with 30,000 members. A passion for the Word of God has led him to write over 30 books, many of which have been featured on the New York Times bestseller list. Jakes is world-renown for his powerful sermons and books, yet many may not be aware of his passion for great entertainment. This passion has led him to found a Christian record label and a theater and film production company. "To those who think Hollywood is a dark place, I say bring some light," says Jakes in Black Enterprise. "Let's not evacuate, let's infiltrate... If we really believe that we're the salt of the earth, let's be sprinkled in every arena and represented there." Amen to that, T.D.!
At the age of 21, Katie Davis has done more than most people do their whole lives. (Remember the old Army advertisement?) At the young age of 19, Katie, a native of affluent Brentwood, Tennessee, founded Amazina, a ministry that feeds, educates and encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and the poor in Uganda, Africa. Amazina, which began with Katie opening her Uganda home to orphaned children, feeding them and loving them like her own, has done much for the most vulnerable victims of poverty and disease. It currently sponsors 400 children to attend a Christian school, feeds lunch to over 1600 displaced children daily and hosts Bible studies and worship services for the community. Katie's passion for this community, and especially its precious children, is quite amazing.
I hope these passion-filled people inspire you like they inspire me. Will you join me in discovering and following your passions too?