Words of My Life 7: Arsonist

In ongoing celebration of my Jubilee year of 50 years in ministry and 70 years of life, I am sharing some of the words of my life.


I suppose I could be called an arsonist.I’ve started a few fires—I know how to use kindling and lay up the logs for a blazing fire.  But as much as I love the beauty, intrigue and romance of a good fire, I haven’t started one in quite awhile.  I rarely use my fireplace in Florida.  And even more rarely have reason to build a campfire.

But that’s okay. I am much more interested in starting fires in minds and hearts.  To be kindling--to ignite, stir up, excite.

I had the privilege of being mentored by Bill Bright, a charter member of the Fellowship of the Burning Heart.  He often said, “My heart is aflame within me.”  That fiery spirit gave him a passion for reaching the lost, a faith to believe God for impossible tasks, a supernatural energy to keep going no matter what.I want such a fiery spirit.  I want to think beyond the obvious and ordinary.  I want to believe that God wants to do more in me and through me than I can ask or imagine.  I want to be filled with God’s passion and compassion for the lost, the hurting, the needy, the rebellious.  I want my life to make a difference for others—now and for eternity.

And I want God to use me as a fire starter—to be kindling to others.  I want them to grasp how much God loves and cherishes them.  But I also want to encourage and challenge them to allow God to set their hearts aflame.

I’ve been privileged to be kindling for some powerful fires.  One was launching Worldwide Challenge magazine—a publication designed to show some of what God is doing through our ministry, but also to open hearts and minds of readers to the more God would like to do in and through them.

Another was the Global Women’s Leadership Forum 10 years ago.  We brought 450 of our staff women from 95 nations together in Thailand for a week—and told them they were leaders and would help lead our ministry into the future.  We provided leadership concepts, skills and activities.  We helped them do self-evaluation and personal development plans.  We increased their competence and confidence.

And we sent them home with this assignment:  Be a fireseed.  Let the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit blow through you to start fires of spiritual multiplication,  spreading and igniting hope and action in the hearts and minds of our women everywhere.  And they did just that.We have been celebrating all the increased capacity and opportunity for our women worldwide. That is still what motivates me.  I believe God will continue to use me to start fires in hearts and minds of women and men around the globe—as long as He has me alive on this earth. May it be so for you!

What about you?  What passion burns in your heart?

C2014 Judy Douglass