Spiritual Sunday: An Interview with “Be An Acorn”

I am so excited for today’s edition of Spiritual Sunday. I did an interview Friday evening via Facebook chat with a friend of mine, the blogger behind Be An Acorn. The thoughts and stories that he shared with me are jaw-dropping, humbling, and inspirational. And he gives all the credit to God, whom he is truly walking closely with through his journey. You’ll see what I mean… Enjoy!

Interview with Courtney from “Be An Acorn:”

Laura @ Close Families: So what first inspired you to write your blog, “Be An Acorn?”

Courtney @ Be An Acorn: I suppose I’ve always been a writer and after my encounter with God, where the blog name came from, I almost couldn’t NOT do it. I’d been blogging for awhile at the time and it was really just a natural marriage of two desires: writing and teaching via life experiences.

Laura: Yes, that seems like a good fit! When you say, “my encounter with God,” when would you say that happened in your life?

Courtney: 

Wow. It feels so long ago. I think it was about 2007. I’d been a believer, sincerely, since about ’01, but while in the woods, alone, I’d been praying, really yelling in frustration, to God, when he verbally answered me. I heard as clear as if you had spoken to me “be an acorn.”

So by ‘encounter’ I really mean encounter, not simply ‘getting saved.’

Laura: Wow! That is amazing. Amazing doesn’t even scratch the surface of what that must have felt like to experience that. And how did you know what he meant by that phrase, “be an acorn?”

Courtney: I didn’t. Not initially. I was in a complete state of shock and disbelief. I spent days, maybe weeks, arguing with myself whether I’d really heard the voice of God or just made it up in my head. Eventually, after prayer and pondering, I realized it meant that great things start out small and to be the beginning of something great. Jesus uses seeds in so many of his parables.

Laura: And an acorn is a small seed compared to the great oak it will one day become. So since that moment, since you took those first steps toward something great, what have you learned through Be An Acorn… through the writing and teaching?

Courtney: That’s a great question.

Laura: Thanks. 🙂

Courtney: 

It seems like I’ve learned on every topic. I’ve learned about soil, that what I’m planted in, what I’m surrounded with is incredibly important. Translated that means what environments and people I surround myself with.

I’ve learned that on my own I can accomplish nothing, but only by working with God in the way he designed me will I grow and prosper. When a seed is planted, it must actually be broken, it must die, before life can spring forth. I had to learn to die.

Laura: That’s a powerful statement. And humbling?

Courtney: 

Very much so. Being broken hurts. Dying…I wouldn’t say it hurts, but I would say it can be quite terrifying at times.

It is the ultimate test of our faith, if what we have hoped for will be seen.

Laura: And if someone wants to hear God’s calling for their own life… how do you suggest they start?

Courtney: Well, God communicates in a number of ways, but we know that Jesus sent the Counselor to guide us. The Holy Spirit is a communicator for God. As it says in Acts, to be baptised in Holy Spirit, is that first step. Just like communicating with anyone, gotta open up the line first. So, just ask that he speak to you, welcome him. Ask for it. Ask God that he reveal the purpose he has for you and then be ready for change and challenges. 🙂

Laura: I’m sure being ready for it is key too! “Be careful what you wish for,” so to speak? No doubt, God has great things in store for us all, but I’m sure you’ve had challenges in this journey you’re on… Care to share a challenge you’ve had to face recently?

Courtney: lol. Which one?

Laura: Any old one you choose!!

Courtney: 

How about learning to totally rely on God for provision. For over 16 months I have not had a “safe and predictable” income, yet somehow EVERY, SINGLE, month I’ve paid my bills.

He will take away everything you lean on, that isn’t of Him, until He is the only possible solution left. And He does this to get us to realize that He’s the only thing we need in the first place.

Laura: When you’re in that kind of situation, I’m sure prayer is the main thing that gets you through… What are some of your favorite inspirational Bible verses to help as well?

Courtney: It’s more than prayer, it’s more than us talking TO God, it’s hearing Him back. What got me through, and continues to, is hearing from Him and fellowship, more than it’s simply me speaking to Him. I don’t always know the numbers, but in 2Tim, it says “For I do not have plans to harm you, but plans to grow you and prosper you.”

“And if God is for us, who could stand against us?”

Lastly, of course Luke 8:15 “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

Laura: And I love your insight on prayer as more of a two-way conversation. I think that’s what they mean when they talk about having a “relationship” with God.

Courtney: Absolutely! If any believer has not heard or sensed to a great degree, the voice of God, I beg you, I urge you to seek until you find. The encounters the prophets and apostles of scripture had weren’t only for them, they’re for us too!

Laura: Awesome. Before we wrap this up, I know that Hope Soap is another project that you are involved in and excited about. Tell me about Hope Soap, and how you got involved in it.

Courtney: I got into a conversation with a young woman by the name of Jennifer Preston at my local coffee shop. She told me about a non-profit she had started; Send Some Love. She builds baskets filled with toothbrushes, teddy bears, stuff like that and sends them to rescued victims of human trafficking.

She shared with me the financial challenges non-profits have. I wanted to help so I did some praying and brainstorming and came up/was given the idea of soap. I would sell soap and use part of the profits to put spa quality soap in her baskets and raise funds for her mission.

Now, we’ve grown beyond just the needs of her organization. We’re in several retail stores across our city and just received our first investment from an online retailer who’ll soon be selling our product to the entire world!

Laura: That’s awesome news!! Tell me a little bit about human trafficking and why it’s so important to support those victims. Does it happen here in the USA?

Courtney: 

Human trafficking is one of the largest global crimes right now. It has surpassed arms trading and if not curbed soon, it will surpass the global drug trade, becoming the number 1 crime in the entire world.

It’s an over 2 billion dollar industry. The average age of someone being abducted into human labor and/or sex trafficking is only 12 years old. It’s more prevalent in Europe, but it most definitely is happening here in US too. You can safely presume that every major city has human trafficking happening.

Laura: So how can we help?

Courtney: 

When you dig deeper you find it’s not just evil people doing evil things, but rather desperate people doing desperate things. Quite often it’s an effect from poverty.

Buy do-gooding soaps! And in addition, get involved with organizations like Endit! the A21 Campaign and/or local groups fighting it. Easily found by Googling.

But let me say one more. This comes down to the basic laws of economics; supply and demand. If we can decrease demand for this, it won’t matter if we can catch the criminals or not because they won’t want to do it if there’s no money in it. That translates to not going to strip clubs and no viewing pornography. I don’t know real numbers, but if church going people could stop those two things it would kill human trafficking. So, the solution is always the same: Love. Love God and love each other.

Laura: I think those are great thoughts to end on, Courtney. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with me. Any last words for the readers?

Courtney: Hmm. Everything changes when you realize that you are indeed here for a reason, that you have a destiny. With that in mind, I say Be An Acorn.

THANK YOU again, Courtney, for joining us at Close Families to share this awesome, inspiring, and humbling interview. To learn how you can help the victims of human trafficking, just click the button below to check out Hope Soap. I’m also going to leave the button on my sidebar so that you can have easy access to the project’s website anytime! I’ve used the soaps and they are AMAZING. Seriously, my home smelled good for days just from opening the box!! 🙂 If you have any questions for Courtney, contact him at Be An Acorn. Don’t forget to follow Be An Acorn to keep up with Courtney’s  journey, or like the Be An Acorn page on Facebook by clicking here!

Hope Soap Button

Thanks for reading today, friends!

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s