Oxygen Magazine 2011 | Awakened!
Oxygen Women's Conference
awake Be up and to see what is going on around you! ROMANS 13:12 2 | Be up and awake! Welcome A quick message from Sheila Oxygen Moments Gather your girlfriends Secret Of The Stones by Oxygen speaker Priscilla Shirer CONTENTS I Was, Now I Am Oxygen Survival Guide Heatherâ€™s story The fun has just begun Not For Sale Champions Foundation helping to defeat Human Trafficking Season Of Growth by Oxygen speaker Lisa Young Conference details Schedule, register, more! 04 06 08 14 18 20 22 23 Welcome! Follow us on twitter @CCoxygen Have you ever awakened from sleep with a thought for a slight second, “Where am I?” In life, sometimes we wonder, “Where am I? How did I get here?” I believe God has put a purpose inside of each of us. He has a plan and a vision in mind for you. As a matter of fact, it’s like this: You were on His mind to fulfill some things on planet earth. He knew that this was this time He would need you here to make a difference. Right where you are and you are the person He already thought of for your world. Now, knowing this, I hope that something will ignite in you like never before this year... being fully awakened to the world around you. Let’s not sleep through this alarm clock, let’s wake up to the things that break God’s heart. Oftentimes, I get awakened to the purpose God has put in my heart by simply becoming aware of what is going on in the world around me. I don’t take it for granted the people I come in contact with each day. I never want to miss an opportunity, I want to be aware of my world and what I am suppose to say or what I am suppose to do. Having in mind I’m here for a reason ignites me. It gives me passion to do life for the day! This year, OXYGEN 2011 is all about being ‘AWAKENED.’ I feel the urgency for us to gather all women, girls of all ages, girlfriends, daughters, moms, coworkers – lets gather together for such a time as this… to be awakened to the world around us. Jodi and I realize when we are awakened to purpose... energy, confidence, assurance, clear direction and passion for life becomes everyday OXYGEN. 4 | Be up and awake! - Sheila ! HOSTS Sheila Gerald & Jodi Gerald-Cameron I love Oxygen because there is nothing like women getting together with women. There are conversations (five at a time) that you can have, things that you can laugh about only with women and the synergy created when thousands of women gather together is life changing! Mary A. OXYGENM O M E N T S A look back at Oxygen 2010 memories and a glimpse ahead at the experiences you can expect this year at Awakened! ....A lady approached me after her red carpet debut. Tears welled in her eyes and as she hugged me, she whispered, “I can’t even tell you how much this means to me right now, it’s exactly what I needed”. Then, after a breif moment passed by, she posed, “Can I do it again”? We both laughed and of course I told her she could walk the carpet as many times as needed. 6 | Be up and awake! Venessa K. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @CCoxygen Renewing focus, refreshing passion, and having a whole lot of fun in the process! I left ready to rule the world! Nothing like Oxygen! Farah N. I flew from Virginia to attend my first Oxygen Conference... God changed the direction of my life and of my family forever that week. April B. championscentre.com/oxygen | 7 I wish I could have been there to see Jacob’s face. He must have been dismayed and disappointed at his surroundings. Here he was, one of the favored sons of Isaac, the blessed son of his grandfather Abraham, and yet he was in the middle of nowhere, all alone. He was on the run from his older brother Esau who was out to kill him for stealing his birthright. He’d left Beer-sheba with probably nothing more than the clothes on his back and a nod of approval from his beloved mother Rebekah. His only present glimmer of hope and excitement came when he considered the possibility of finding a wife when he arrived at his uncle Laban’s house in Haran. But now, he was simply on the journey—between the comforts of home and an uncertain yet hopeful future. I wish I could have been there to see him when “ he came to a certain place and lay down because the sun had set” (Gen 28:10). I can only imagine him looking around in dismay at his accommodations. The hot, eastern sun was leaving its last footprints on the sky, and the road for his travel was by Priscilla Shirer becoming blurry. Maybe he’ d made preparations for the journey. Whether or not he’ d packed blankets and sleeping attire is unclear. But, apparently he wasn’t totally prepared, because he looked around and “ took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head” (Gen. 28:11). He wasn’t used to these kinds of sleeping conditions. As his mother’ s favorite, he may have enjoyed not merely a comfortable living environment but a snug and cozy sleeping place. His pillow would have probably been made of goat’ s hair and other soft fabrics that would have allowed for a comfy, resting place. But now, he peered around him at the stones that lay tossed to and fro in the hills of Ephraim, and he must have been dismayed. For these stones were a picture of his current status in life: hard, difficult, bland, and so far removed from his past reality. He must have missed his father and longed for his mother. He’ d just been given a blessing that included more wealth than he could imagine, but that was a forecast for his future. For now, he was relegated to this “ certain place” on the run with no prosperity or affluence to enjoy. He probably was frustrated, overwhelmed and lonely. He must have just sighed and resigned himself to the circumstances when he selected a stone as a headrest that night. Yet, I’m intrigued. If I’d been Jacob, then I might have picked a stone too … but not to make my pillow. I might have hurled it in anger or kicked it in frustration, but not Jacob. He was a peculiar man, who in the midst of less than desirable circumstances was able to discover the secret of stones. Instead of seeing them as annoyances, stumbling blocks or discouraging reminders of his present circumstances, he gathered one into his arms and maximized it’s potential. He championscentre.com/oxygen | 9 used it to bolster his body up instead of allowing it to weigh his emotions down. He didn’t like where he was. He didn’t particularly care for what he had to work with. No, he wasn’t too tickled with this leg of the journey, and yet, he discovered that there is a secret. The secret of stones. For it was while his head lay on a stone that he saw a ladder extended from the earth to the heavens. He got a glimpse of angels descending and ascending upon it, and saw the Lord as if for the first time. That night on this uncomfortable stone, he heard the Lord’ s voice reminding him of His covenants, His presence and His infinite power. Thank God, he’d not missed the secret of maximizing stones. 10 | Be up and awake! not all that you bargained for. So, taking care of your aging parents is weighing on you; staying home with those small, little ones is a tougher job than you thought it’ d be; handling the demands of a fledgling ministry is overwhelming; struggling to make your money last as long as your month is exhausting –stones, stones and more stones. Friend, don’t disregard the stones of today. They are the resting place upon which you’ll receive the treasures of tomorrow. Are you in a frustrating place right now? In between where you once were and where you so desperately long to be? I’ m wondering if you are frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed or maybe even underwhelmed: bored to tears at the station of your life? As you look around at the tumbleweed blowing across the landscape of your life, you just see useless stones that seem to keep getting in your way. This season of life is And yet, there is a secret that Jacob teaches us about these stones. Each difficulty; each discouragement; each hardship; each frustration; each brick-hard, heavyto-carry, gray stone holds a vast supply of potential. Those stones are not there to get in your way; they are there to support you while you are on the way. This part of your journey, stones and all, is not happenstance. It has not taken your God by surprise. The stones aren’t there because he has forgotten you. They are around you, so plentifully because he has remembered you. I know that they’re a bit hard. I know they’re not as comfortable as you would prefer. This season of life might not be your favorite. But while you are there, peering down at that seemingly useless stone, don’t forget the secret. There is deep and profound revelation that He wishes to give you to enrich you, strengthen you and prepare you for where He is taking you. Friend, don’t Meet Priscilla Shirer Priscilla Shirer is a BIBLE teacher. Through the expository teaching of the Word of God to women, her desire is to see women not only know the uncompromising truths of Scripture intellectually but experience them practically by the power of the Holy Spirit. disregard the stones of today. They are the resting place upon which you’ ll receive the treasures of tomorrow. This. . . is the secret of stones. Isaiah 60:1 “Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight. God’s bright glory has risen for you. The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all people sunk in deep darkness, But God rises on you, his sunrise glory breaks over you. Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness.” Heather’s Story In this dark world, lines are blurred. Judgment is impaired and the darkest of ugly is quite ordinary. I was living on the streets as a teen runaway. I met all the wrong people, and danced in clubs as a way to survive and pay for my growing methamphetamine and heroin addictions. This new life took me to the places you only see in movies; places where 14 | Be up and awake! the buying and selling of people for financial gain (now called human trafficking) is so common I didn’t even realize I was a victim of it. Everyone said what came next was my “big break”; a jump start to a glamorous modeling career, where the possibilities were endless and money was an afterthought. My distorted sense of reality told me that modeling for a pornographic magazine was actually a step up from the wreckage I’d been in at one point, in the dark corner of a New York City club and in so much danger, my life in the hands of those around me, fearing if I didn’t comply I might never make it home. I had what it takes; it was my big break. They called it “art”. Art definitely sounds better than calling it what it really was: Pornography. The brutal truth, one that I never could fully accept or even wrap my mind around, was that my big break was in pornography, and I said yes. How did I end up here? WHO was I? I had no idea anymore. All I felt was a sinking sense of dread, a horrible pit in my stomach that stayed put as I woke up every morning, fully engaged in the lifestyle I had “chosen”, fighting for my life. I stumbled down this path for far too long, lost and broken. I had no way out. That is, until God intervened, and I abandoned the whole magazine project in search of a life lived for Christ. Literally, just like that. I faintly remembered being introduced to Jesus, about a year earlier. So much had happened in that past year; I didn’t championscentre.com/oxygen | 15 know if He was real or if He could possibly even save me, but I was at rock bottom. I took that first step, and wholeheartedly believed He was going to make my life better. I talked to Him fearfully for the first time; it was the only way I knew how. In one solitary day, I stopped using drugs completely, and disassociated myself altogether from every single person I knew, including those in the commercial sex industry. Walking away was the easy part, but I was haunted by flashbacks and the physical danger I was in for terminating our â€œagreementâ€? and eliminating my only source of income. But, I was determined to change. And so the process began. I did a life inventory and found, not surprisingly, that each answer brought pain. However, instead of running away from the hurt as I had done for so many years, I faced it head on, with a sort of surreal strength that I canâ€™t explain. To my amazement, I started to heal. So there I was, saved and happy, 16 | Be up and awake! but broken. I got a job, a home of my own, and it was then that I truly began to live. It was also then I met my husband, Jeff, at a local Starbucks, and he invited me to a service at Champions Centre that God really seemed to move on my behalf. At Champions Centre, I was shown what living a life for Christ looked like, as a woman of God. I found that a happy, prosperous, fulfilling life was not only available to me but actually meant for me. I was surrounded by confident, strong, loving women, and it was their confidence and warmth that enveloped me, from the inside out. For the first time in my life, I saw the woman that God had designed me to be. It took some time and I still faced challenges, like severe anxiety attacks, but once I started volunteering and really immersing myself in church life, I noticed the change. The frequency of aftershocks of the life I once lived decreased, and the more I served, the better I felt. So, I was at the church as much as possible. If I ever begin to feel the weight or burden of my past again, like we so often do if we attempt to rely on our own strength, I know exactly what to do to break through and conquer it again: I serve someone else. When I sit and really think about my journey, from start to finish, it’s actually quite miraculous. Today, I’m married to an amazing man that loves God, our church and every part of me, good and bad. We have a super cool 7 year old daughter (and world changer) who is on fire for God. We are planted at Champions Centre and doing life with the most wonderful group of people I have ever known. I feel so blessed to be able to reach out to survivors of human trafficking and sexual brokenness through Champion Centre’s Shine Ministry and Celebrate Recovery, using what the enemy meant for harm for the glory of God. Your trial truly will become your testimony. What a miraculous, supernatural, extraordinary act of God! Today, I’m proud of the life I conquered, and am determined to make a difference in the lives of those around me. championscentre.com/oxygen | 17 Awake WAIT...You thought the FUN was over already? think again. yeah... there’s even a princess tea. It’s called “Dream”... THE CHECKLIST 1. Note Taking 101: don’t forget your Bible, pen & paper to jot down all the details. 2. Be the light. Stop by Champions Foundation booth for more information about how we’re doing our part to stop Human Trafficking! 3. As if we need a reminder to shop! We’ve got more goodness at this year’s Oxygen Store than you’ll know what to do with. 4. Use your resources: Books + Audio from our conference speakers are available for you, so grab copies for yourself and one to giveaway! Oxygen 5. Grab a bite with your new friends! Eat to Defeat Human trafficking dinner. Survival guide... 18 | Be up and awake! 6. Spread the love! Don’t forget to invite someone to conference with you. 7. Wake up, step out and meet someone new today! Take them shopping at the Oxygen store, or invite them to sit with you during one of our sessions... who’s life can you touch today? ened! check it... Official Oxygen Playlist ‘Press play’ This video’s what Oyxgen’s all about. GET YOUR GROOVE ON... * I’m walking on sunshine * Power of love * Respect * Dancing queen * Ladies night * I will survive * A Womans worth * Perfect day * This one’s for the girls * Hit me with your best shot * One girl revolution * I’m coming out * All i wanna do * Girl power * Survivor n Puttin’ the BLING in gift giving... Choose from some of the prettiest trinkets and fashionable handbags, clothing and jewelry. What’s better than a pre-paid credit card to your favorite store? We couldn’t think of anything either... pick one up anytime on the weekends at the Champions Centre bookstore (Tacoma and Bellevue). championscentre.com/oxygen | 19 M y jaw dropped as I sat there that night. How could this still be happening? I thought this only happened in movies or the history books... It was almost one year ago now, I was listening to Christine Caine (one of our guest speakers at Oxygen Conference). I heard stories of young girls being kidnapped or sold by family members. She told us that many of the victims were raped, beaten violently, humiliated and sometimes even murdered. Unfortunately, she also said that only a few of the victims were ever rescued. Its an industry that is more lucrative than drug trafficking, it is 1. An estimated 27 Million people (mostly women and children) are in modern day slavery across the world 2. There are approximately 100K-300K victims in the United human trafficking. The buying and selling of men, women, boys and girls. Feelings of disbelief, anger, helplessness and sadness overwhelmed me. In the midst of such a great conference my world was rocked by what I was hearing. I really felt a tug on my heart to do something... but I just kept thinking to myself, “what can I do?” Over the next few months I began to research and what I found was beyond anything I could ever imagine. Here’s just a snapshot: 4. The average age of a child who is forced into prostitution is 13 years old 5. Victims are forced to sleep with up to 40 buyers a day States alone 6. Human trafficking generates $32 Billion a year 3. Every year, 1 million children (girls and boys) are exploited by the 7. The Northwest (basically my back yard!) is one of the highest trafficking global sex trade areas in the United States. Shared Hope International Human Trafficking tip hotline: 1-888-373-7888 I was astonished! For many nights I went to bed sick to my stomach. The weight of this issue was so heavy on my heart. My husband was taking notice, and after a couple months of me feeling overwhelmed by this issue he said, “do something or stop researching”! So I decided to do something. I attended an awareness event where I met Former Congress Woman and President of Shared Hope International Linda Smith. From there I began to attend other events, talk to friends and family, and do my part to eradicate this injustice. This opened the door for Jake and I to become Ambassadors of Hope for Shared Hope International. We realize that through awareness many young people can avoid becoming victims. This crime grows in the dark and awareness brings light to this issue. Many of the teen girls who are trafficked from our area are scouted out by local pimps in malls or even schools. We hope to get the word out so that parents, teens and young adults know what to look for and what to do about suspicious circumstances. and men can be restored. Also, we see the importance of Safe Homes. A place where rescued trafficked victims can receive the desperately needed treatment after their traumatic exploitation, a place that is safe from the threat of their trafficker, and a place where these beautiful children, women We have a lot of ground to cover but together we can make an incredible difference. It’s time to be bold and courageous. It’s time to be the church! There are many ways in which we all can combat this issue. Here are just a few: (It’s where I started) » Pray » Become aware » Tell someone » Give financially D E R VE H T I W T he greatest seasons of growth are often experienced coming out of the greatest periods of drought. While that may sound like a contradiction, it’s something I’ve discovered in my own life. Several years ago, I experienced what many would call a spiritual drought. It was a time in my life when things weren’t going the way I expected them to in my Christian walk. I just didn’t…feel it. Yet, it was during that time that I came to realize something— God’s hand moves in my life even when I don’t feel it. And He can use me, despite the emotions I’m experiencing. The same is true in your life. As women, we all have a sphere of influence that God wants us to expand. He has placed people in our lives that He has called us to reach. And He has gifted and positioned us to do just that. The question is, in spite of how we feel, do we remain obedient to His call, directives, and purpose? When the feelings ebb and flow, do we continue to take steps in His direction? When we feel like we’re all alone, do we intentionally surround ourselves with others who want to help us cultivate our hearts for a season of growth? Through everything I experienced in my spiritual drought, God brought 22 | Be up and awake! me closer to Him and helped me realize that through seeking Him in prayer, by intentionally reading His Word daily and by surrounding myself with the right people, I could experience true growth on the other side. Lisa Young communicates God’s Word with warmth and grace, inspiring others to pursue a more intimate relationship with Him. Her passion is to see herself and others embrace the joys of walking with Christ in every day experiences. Just as we are not meant to take all the glory for a season of growth by ourselves, we are not meant to carry the burden of a drought alone. Whatever season you are in, stay tethered to God’s word. Rely on Him for your strength. Then, surround yourself with women who can speak life to you, who will build you up and empower you to use the gifts God has given to you to make a true difference. Because the difference between a continuing drought and a new season of growth is often just one conversation with a true friend or one step of obedience in the direction God has set before you. DESIGN YOUR DAY... THE NITTY GRITTY These inspirational sessions are always an Oxygen Conference favorite. There’s something for everyone and we’ve picked top-choice speakers including Alli Munsey, Nichole Moore, LaCinda Bloomfield and more. Go ahead, get your pretty little self caught up in the details Simply sign up for two Friday afternoon sessions at www.championscentre.com/oxygen. Encourage a man in your life to be an Oxygen HERO. Three ways to participate. Pray. Sponsor. Serve. SCHEDULE.. subject to change without notice Eat To Defeat dinner is $5 per night. Sign up at registration. Sessions sure to spark your interest Thursday, May 19 4:30 6:30 8:30 Doors open Happy Hour Oxygen Store We’re defeating human trafficking one plate at a time. eat to defeat dinner Main Session After Party TEZE Salon Oxygen Store Shop for a Cause VIP Lounge TEZE Salon. Hair extensions, brow waxing, and skin care consultation. Click Here Doors open Design Your Day session 1 Design Your Day session 2 Doors open Happy Hour Oxygen Store ‘Friend’ eat to defeat dinner Dream Princess Tea Main Session After Party TEZE Salon Oxygen Store Shop for a Cause VIP Lounge REGISTRATION... Childcare is $5 per child, each night. Use the Oxygen App throughout the conference for updates. Friday, May 20 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:30 5:00 6:30 8:30 VIP Lounge is for 18 and older, $5 cover. Hors d’oeuvres and mocktails. Sign up at registration or at the door. Champions Centre on Facebook for all the latest updates, photos & videos. This is a great way to share with friends. @ccoxygen Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates, photos and videos. Don’t forget the all important RT! Register! Everything is better in pairs Save $10 on your registration when you register for two. Regular price is $35 per person, $60 for two. Childcare ages 6 weeks - 11yrs available at registration. Available in CD or DVD, the conference pack is a great way to take it with you. Pre-order today for a special conference rate. championscentre.com/oxygen | 23 Awakened! awake womenâ€™s conference Be up and to see what is going on around you! ROMANS 13:12 www.championscentre.com/oxygen