When We Were On Fire

Some months ago, I stumbled upon a random blog because the blogger had a post go viral and I happened to read it.   The blogger’s name is Addie Zierman and I first clicked on her blog around the time I was feeling the stir to start a new blog of my own.  When I got there, I looked around and thought to myself, I really like this, I think I want my blog to be something like this.  So I started following her blog.  It has been an interesting read for me.  Addie has a book coming out called When We Were On Fire.  It describes the Christian subculture in the 1990’s.  She’s hosting a syncroblog on October 15, for everyone to read each other’s stories from the 1990’s.  So, I thought it would be fun to join in. As I think back to my own experiences of Christian sub-culture in the 1990’s, I have to start with the music.  Music makes up a good bit of my memories from the 1990’s.  I was actively involved in my youth group at First Baptist Church, Kilgore, TX.  Mercy Me regularly played at our Fifth Quarters and I had their original CD before “I Can Only Imagine” made its debut and they became so popular.


I attended D.C.Talk concerts at the Oil Palace in Tyler, TX, Rebecca St. James was the worship leader at my summer camp in the 9th grade and I never missed See You At The Pole.  I had the annual shirt that went with it.

My parents took me to see Point of Grace for my 16th birthday because they and Avalon were my absolute favorite.

I often look back at those days, days in middle and high school that were hard for me.  I really was on fire, but I felt alone.  I didn’t know what living a life for Jesus was supposed to looked like besides FCA meetings before school, Wednesday night youth group services and pizza after church at Mazzio’s.  I spent time alone with God, I was passionate about living for God. However, what that really looked like, I didn’t know.  I looked around my youth group and my school and didn’t see anyone else that lived it.

Maybe because I’m a first-born child, I’ve never really wanted to draw attention to myself for being different.  I have always sought to be accepted and approved of.    Middle School and High School certainly weren’t the place where I had the boldness to speak confidently about my faith.  I wasn’t confident in who I was in Christ.  I knew I was saved and that I had a real relationship with Jesus but I wasn’t sure that was okay with everyone else.

Sure, I didn’t party or drink or sleep around but I’m not sure who I really brought with me.  Who did I attract for the Kingdom?  Looking back, I’m afraid people saw me as good just because I was good not because I had experienced grace and forgiveness for my sins.

That’s in the past and I don’t live there anymore.  I am forgiven and I long for those that I come in contact with to see me as something different.  Not because they are looking at me but because they see Jesus in me.

Avalon has a song that I love.  I still listen to it often because it reminds me of that decade, when we were on fire.  The decade when I my relationship with God was more of a secret than the story God was writing for others to read.  I want to share the lyrics with you.

Everything to Me  

I grew up in Sunday school, I memorized the Golden Rule
And how Jesus came to set the sinner free
I know the story inside out, and I can tell you all about the path that led Him up to Calvary
But ask me why He loves me, and I don’t know what to say
But I’ll never be the same because He changed my life when He became…

Everything to me
He’s more than a story
More than words on a page of history
He is the air that I breathe (the air that I breathe), the water I thirst for (water I thirst for)
And the ground beneath my feet
Oh He’s everything, everything to me

We’re living in uncertain times
And more and more I find that I’m aware of just how fragile life can be
I wanna tell the world I’ve found, a love that turned my life around
They need to know that they can taste and see
Now everyday I’m prayin’ (everday praying) just to give my heart away (give my heart away)
I wanna live for Jesus, so that someone else might see that He is…

Everything to me
He’s more than a story 
More than words on a page of history
He’s the air that I breathe, the water I thirst for
And the ground beneath my feet
Oh He’s everything,

And lookin’ back over my life at the end, I’ll go to meet You, sayin You’ve been..

Everything to me
More than a story
More than words on a page of history

You’re everything to me
You’re more than a story
More than words on a page of history
You’re the air that I breathe , the water I thirst for 
And the ground beneath my feet
You’re everything
Lord You’re everything to me, Jesus

Everything, You’re the water I thirst for
You’re everything to me, Jesus, oh
Everything, You’re the water I thirst for
The air I breathe, the song I sing, oh
Everything to me, everything to me
You’re my life, my love, everything

Question: What do you remember from when you were on fire?  It may not have been the 1990’s for you, it may have been another time, what makes up your memories?  Leave a comment and tell me about when you were on fire.

6 comments found

  1. I like this post because it is honest. I have only been a Christian for 10 years and did not grow up in church or a youth group. My experience has been a little different than yours in the fact that I wasn’t seen as good in high school; I was seen as awkward. The purpose of pointing this is to give glory to what God can do with “not good” and “awkward”. He took a mess of a human being and is transforming who I am; and I get to be along for the ride. As I think about it, I feel I’m on fire now! Allow me to explain; the more I learn about the Lord, His word, His mercy and His grace my fire grows; my LOVE for Him grows. The desire to share what He has done for me grows; like a fire. The more wood (Word, Grace, and Mercy) that is added to the fire; the stronger the flames in me burn. My hope is to stay “on fire” and not forget all that He has done.

    1. Jamie, I’m actually with you. I feel much more ‘on fire’ now than I ever did back then. I was confused about what a real relationship looked like and the importance of sharing my Jesus with others. I couldn’t figure it all out. I’m grateful for a patient, loving God that teaches me and changes me over time.

      1. That’s a great point Bobi Ann and it reminds me of the importance of me extending Grace to my children as they grow in Christ; just as God has done for me.–Thanks

  2. I love this, Bobi Ann. First of all — thanks for the kind words about my blog. So glad that you found it! (Also yours is beautiful. What a gorgeous header!)

    I so related to this line: “I didn’t know what living a life for Jesus was supposed to looked like besides FCA meetings before school, Wednesday night youth group services and pizza after church at Mazzio’s.” Yes. Jesus and the trappings of the evangelical culture felt very inseparable to me too.

    Thanks for writing. Make sure you link this beautiful post up next Tuesday!

    1. Addie, Thanks so much! I have really enjoyed your blog so much and related so much to you. I’ll definitely be linking up next Tuesday. Congratulations on your book. Look forward to checking it out.

  3. Bobi Ann,

    When I saw that you participated in Addie’s synchroblog I thought I should invite you to participate in a monthly synchroblog that I am a part of.

    It’s made up of a home-grown group of bloggers who like to write on topics of post-modern faith & life. This group is open to anyone who is interested in participating. We value respectful conversation and dialogue while honoring our differences. We share links & try to learn from each other.

    Some of the people that originally participated in the synchroblog no longer blog and I am trying to reach out to people like you who are currently passionate about blogging in order to keep our monthly synchroblog relevant and vital.

    If you are interested in joining us you can join the facebook group and receive monthly invitations to the synchroblog. Here is that link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/114506961937378/

    And you can find our website (which you can subscribe to if you want to receive an email when we post the monthly theme announcement/invitation) here: http://synchroblog.wordpress.com/

    (You can see all of the themes that we have covered in the past on our website in order to get an idea of what we do)

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