I’m excited for you all to meet my sister-in-law, Denise Olsen.  If you missed my introduction, please read “The Great Adventure, Part 1.”  I know you will be blessed as you read from Denise today!

To say I was really disappointed in the election results would be an understatement.  It was an opportunity to remind myself that my hope is not in men, but in God.  In the days following the election, several Christians I spoke with seemed to have their hope in men and commented how the world was becoming so dark and not the country they once knew.  I felt strongly to pray and get direction for myself and my family, besides the obvious of getting deeper into the Word and listening and endeavoring to follow the Holy Spirit and the still small voice even more so.  As a children’s minister, one of the object lessons we taught our kids several months back came to mind. Darkness never overcomes the light, rather, darkness cannot remain in the presence of light.  They laughed at my husband’s question as he turned the classroom light off and lit a candle, asking if they thought the candle would go out because it was dark or if the room would become brighter because the candle was lit.  It was unanimous, it’s a no-brainer that the room becomes a brighter place if even one small candle is lit.  As I thought about it and the implications of the lesson sunk in, I fought a bit of anger.  As the salt and light of the earth, if darkness is getting stronger and it seems to be true, then the light, our light, my light, our reflection of Christ is not shining brightly enough. The quote from Edmund Burke came to mind “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  Although my heart’s cry from a young age is that I live a life of blessing and a life that brings glory to my Father, I had to examine myself.  Was I allowing evil to triumph?  Was I doing all I could to let my light shine?  I asked the Lord to forgive me for being “too busy” at times to be the light shining to those around me.  I asked for forgiveness and for opportunities.  Within an hour I had my first opportunity, a couple days later another opportunity.  Helping an elderly couple from our church navigate the world’s busiest airport, it would have been easy to dismiss the still small voice as an employee helping us get through security and to the correct terminal began to unload about her physical condition that doctors cannot cure.  She had lost weight and cannot keep any food down, she continued.  That explained her frail gaunt look, she couldn’t have weighed more than 90 lbs dripping wet.  I had a decision to make, be the light I should be or continue on saying and doing nothing.  Being a very private person, I had to overcome my discomfort with stepping out and asking a perfect stranger if I could pray for her…in the middle of the world’s busiest airport. But I wanted to be obedient to my Father and be His light shining in the darkness.  I simply asked if I could pray for her.  And she replied, “Sure, we all could use a little prayer.”  I placed my hand on her shoulder and began to boldly pray for and thank God for her healing.  Through prayer I introduced her to the Healer, who died on the cross for her healing as well and her forgiveness.  I felt such heat in my hand as it rested upon her shoulder.  What started out as a polite and quiet amen on her part turned into a loud “hallelujah, Glory” praise session from her.  I know in my heart, without a doubt that God touched her, that healing virtue went into her body and although I may never know what happened, God touched her and neither she nor I will be the same.  As I have stepped out, a boldness has come upon me, a feeling that I can make a difference, I can be a candle in a dark world.  Just stop and think for a moment, what if all of us who call ourselves “Christian” really endeavored to be Christ-like and a bold, true, reflection of Him.  Like the moon reflects the sun, we don’t shine our own light, we are just called to be a reflection of His light.  And as we reflect Him, I believe we will see the world become a brighter place, regardless of the darkness around us.
Denise Olsen is an ordained minister through RMAI.  She is currently the Children’s Pastor at New Creation Church in Longmont, Colorado.  I have to add that she has said that Steve, her husband (aka my brother), is her “most favorite volunteer.”
Here is more encouragement from a passage of Scripture that Denise shared with me:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  Lift up your eyes and look about you:  All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm.  Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come (Isaiah 60:1-5 NIV).