Passion..Passion..Passion I am passionate about many things. I have opinions that are passionate and I have convictions about passions. I am passionate about coffee and chocolate, children, music, politics and Jesus…not necessarily in that order but coffee and chocolate are high on the list.

While someone might read this and think at the end of this little ditty that I am indicting anyone else on their behaviors or how they handle life, I want to open with a statement letting you know right now - this is to no one else, but myself. These are the ideas that roll around in my head, and how I pour out my heart to God in my quiet time and some of the conclusions I am reaching in that process. I, in no way shape or form have things figured out..I am a work in progress. So please don’t read this and feel as if I am taking aim at anyone - I really am not…this is a very personal deal for me and I genuinely don’t judge if you post about chocolate, music, or politics. Because I do too! Please hear my heart…I am striving for balance and focus personally - not for everyone else in my timeline or twitter feed! OK?

I am highly task oriented and filled with the desire for things to be done right. I am so strong in my sense of justice that many times mercy is nowhere to be found. I find it incredible that my God balances both justice and mercy in such a delicate manner that it really kinda just blows my mind. I don’t like to enter in an exit…I don’t care if the bank is closed, you enter the entrance and you follow the arrows! Same thing at Zaxbys in Hernando, MS do not turn left after you enter…the arrow says to go right…so just do it the right way people!

I have many tasks that I do on a daily basis..some out of love and desire, some out of necessity. Some things I have an extreme opinion over and some I do not. Folding towels should be done precisely in the manner I want it to be done…I will refold! Same thing with the dishwasher. If I open that sucker up and it is not packed out to its ultimate potential I am reorganizing and adding more! And those are things that I do not have an extreme opinion on - but I do believe they need to be done right.

Extreme opinions on the matter of the constitution, the 3 branches of Government and the government stepping on states rights are much more passionate. I’m passionate about doing it right in the music studio and teaching kids to love music and be better than they were before they came to see me. I’m passionate about sports and love to watch them and participate in fantasy draft football and making out my college championship basketball brackets each season. I’m passionate about music - good and bad, lyrics and beats, auto tune, and harmonies. I have some really strong opinions on good and bad. I recently went to see the Jonah production in Branson MO - my friend who had previously seen it asked if I enjoyed it. I told her I did, and then proceeded to tell her which acts and why, the staging, sets, live sound, and elaborated on harmonies. I then realized, she really was just wanting a yes it was great kind of answer and not a breakdown on the why. It took me a minute…because I have an opinion!

I have an opinion on homeschooling, home based businesses and my rights as a citizen in the good ole US of A. I have opinions on how we should personally take responsibility as citizens in the land we live and vote and research candidates and issues to be fully responsible in that role. I think we have removed too much History and too much Bible from our children’s education and too many parents have detached completely from being the parents only they can be. I’m passionate about good nutrition systems, and being healthy. I’m passionate about products that work, or taste good, or are good for me and taste good or that skin cream that made my wrinkles disappear - for real - it really did. I get on Facebook and Twitter from time to time and the things I could post are too numerous. Do I talk about my kids, my studio events, my health and wellness company, my husband, our travels, sports, or Jesus? Do I mention the homeschool business my kids started, the drama my daughter is in or the fact that I hate cancer and those people who are killing policeman?

I’m absolutely serious..I could fill all of your timelines up with my opinions and passions and not skip a beat - or be done. That would be just one day or an afternoon or even an hour. I could go on about what is happening in the Dominican Republic and how I have seen first hand how much we could really help if we really, truly wanted to. I could talk about the decay of morality in America, and the collapse of the family. I could exhort the church to clean its own house and work on it’s marriages, and homes till the cows come home.

But at the end of the day I rarely say much..most of it stays locked up in my head and on my heart. Because mostly I feel like nobody really cares…I am passionate about so many things, how can they hear me above the noise of one relentless post after another. How do I keep the main thing the main thing because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is Jesus? I want to be passionate most of all about Jesus because that’s exactly what the world needs today. Jesus is the answer to the conflicts and wars around the world, Jesus is the answer to ISIS, Syria, and Obama. Jesus is the answer to school prayer, violence, and the evil that men do to each other. Jesus … only Jesus. So how do I make the most of the words that I do have? I don’t honestly know…I’m still navigating how to make the important things important. What good is it to be passionate about so many things, but for me to never let people know that Jesus is the most important person that they could ever meet. Knowing that Jesus is the answer to our sin problem - the Nations, the USA, the state of Mississippi, the county of Desoto, the congregation at Longview Point, the household of the Duerstocks, and me and my own depraved, wicked, sinful heart.

Jesus - pure and holy, righteous and just, gracious and merciful full of compassion who sacrificed everything…even His perfect relationship with His Father, took my sin and shame upon Himself, endured the rejection of the Father and the entire world to hang on a cross and die for me. He was beaten and mocked, disrespected and dishonored, rejected and alone and while completely powerful to remove himself from that awful scene- he accepted my punishment willingly and wholeheartedly so that I can have a secure future in a home He has prepared for me in Heaven one day. Without that sacrifice, I would be without hope, desperate and doomed for all of eternity. Without that sin debt being satisfied by His precious blood, I would be lost in my sins and muck forever without any redemption in my future. When I get passionate about everything else under the sun, I decide to get quiet for just a moment and consider these thoughts. Because frankly everything else pales in comparison to the understanding that I need to be passionate about sharing my faith and my story with a world who is dying to know Him and the Hope he brings each and every person. When I get really passionate about sharing Jesus, the other things just don’t matter quite as much to me anymore. The balance shifts, and the most important things stay front and center. At the end of the day, I don’t have to be less passionate about the other things - I believe it’s extremely important that American Christians have a voice in todays society - and we should definitely accept responsibility to be salt and light in our culture. But the balance shifts when we keep Jesus as the focal point for the conversation. Because of Jesus I am alive! Because of Jesus you can be too!