Erin Olson had always known what it was like to be a Christian. She grew up in a Christian home and went through the motions throughout most of her childhood and young adult life.
But it wasn't until Olson, the founder of Sandalfeet Ministries, had what she called her "Damascus Moment," on Aug. 8, 2008, that Olson came to Christ with a radical desire for Him that she had never known before.
The number 8 represents the grace of God that gives us new life, and her radical encounter with Christ came on 08/08/08, which Olson considers a triple blessing for her and her family.
"After that, everything was different for me," Olson, the host of The Depot Podcast, told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "I got this hunger to know God's Word and to learn about Him. I started attending Bible studies and am even kind of embarrassed that I didn't know how to pronounce the word 'beatitude.'
"At the time," Olson continues, "I was that unknowledgeable after being in church for 27 years. I didn't know the Bible; I didn't know the books of the Bible. I didn't know anything. So I had some great people who walked with me, and then I enrolled in seminary so I could just learn more and be held accountable ...
"My husband and I were going through personal things," she says, "and we were battling as a family coming from darkness into the light. It was ugly. But when I look back, looking on the other side some 13 years into it, it's like God knew what he was doing. But for Christ, my husband and I wouldn't be where we are today. We wouldn't be married; we wouldn't have the life we live now."
Olson and her family reside in Birmingham, Alabama, where she runs Sandalfeet Ministries. In addition to her podcast on CPN, she hosts a Christian radio show called Just Ask Erin on graceandtruthradio.world.
She is the author of four published works, including a 10-week Bible study called Forgiveness-Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits and one titled Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis.
As one who once felt like a spiritual orphan herself, Olson knows, especially in today's church, that book is especially significant in the kingdom now more than when she wrote it in 2018.
"Clearly the state of the United States looks a lot different now than it did then, but some of the root issues are the same," Olson says. "I think Christians have a tendency to want to come to church and to say we want to reach people. But we already have preconceived notions or judgments. It's a part of this broken world and it's a part of sin. I have to repent of that often myself. But it's such a huge block for us to go and minister to them. We want them to change, but maybe that's not how God has called them to change. He wants them to change their heart and surrender.
"When I wrote that book back in 2018," says says, "it's like, 'Hey, church, let's really start recognizing that the people who aren't in Christ don't know how to act. You can't expect them to act like you because they don't know. They don't have Jesus, and they don't have the Holy Spirit. So if we recognize them as orphans, little babies, that are separated from the Father, then we should treat them differently. If we do that, then hopefully then can become adopted brothers and sisters into the family, and we need to come alongside them.'"
For more of Olson and her ministry, listen to the rest of this podcast episode of Greenelines, and tune into The Depot Podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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