Thursday, January 7, 2010

Passion 2010: Day 1&2

Days 1&2:
(Days 3&4 will come soon, I promise)

"Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your truth, we wait eagerly for you. For your name and renown are the desire of our souls." --Isaiah 26:8

Sorry for the delay. But I will certainly attempt to sum up my Passion experience as best as possible.


We arrived to crazy traffic, but can you expect anything less than crazy when 22,000 college students are converging on the Phillips Arena (PA) and Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) to praise and worship and bring fame to the name of God!

They broke us into 3 main worship groups: Red, Green, and Blue. We were green. And we were in the GWCC the first night. It was absolutely amazing. Being surrounded by thousands and thousands of other students (and then knowing that there were tons more right next door!).

Louie gave a great sermon about "trading in something small for something greater". It's about giving up our "I'm doing it" lives, in order to live for God. It's about being AWAKENED! To waking up in Christ. He spoke about raising Lazarus from the dead. And how we must be "awakened" in Him. He wants us to surrender everything that's keeping us from believing and trusting completely in God and wake up! He wants us to "take off the grave clothes" and be free!! We are called to glorify His name!

"…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." --John 12:24-25 (NIV)

In addition to our worship bracelets, we also had community group bracelets. There were like 18 community group colors. (I was lime green. "I'm a lime, I'm a lime, I'm a lime"). In our group, there were probably close to a thousand students. Our community group leader was Kyle Dunn (from Waco, TX). He told us to mill about for about thirty seconds, then we linked arms with one person. Then we milled about again and linked arms with another pair of people and then linked again with another group. So we ended up with a group of 8 and that was our "family group" for the weekend.

We introduced ourselves and went around and shared why we were at Passion. And at the end of the short conversations, each group was to designate a "family group leader". And, I guess because I talked too much, I was chosen. It's amazing because I'm not a leader, by any means, but to be chosen was such a blessing because I was forced to give the Holy Spirit the reigns and use me at this conference to lead.


We started the day off in community groups where we studied a passage in Colossians. Every community group was studying the same Scriptures: Colossians 1:15-20:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

There are just too many things I wrote down to share, but ultimately this passage describes the ultimate supremacy of Christ:

  • He created all things.

  • All things were created BY HIM and FOR HIM.

  • In Him, all things hold together.

  • All goodness dwells in Christ Jesus.

  • God initiated reconciliation through Jesus with mankind, because we are a flawed race.

Kyle gave one of the best quotes and description about this passage:

"Jesus does not drop a sock."

He told us that he and his wife have three children, so they go through 10 socks a day. And after a couple weeks, they have to do a load of socks. And he told us to imagine trying to grab every single sock out of the dryer. We, as humans, will leave socks behind and as we're walking with our giant load of socks, we'll drop some and we'll eventually leave a trail of socks behind. But God doesn't drop socks! He holds all things together. Life, itself, continues because He allows it. Everything is par t of a bigger picture, and in Him and through Him, all things work together for that ultimate plan, FOR His Glory!

Main session was next. I missed part of the worship, because Katie V, Heather, Katie S, and Leora were trying to find Brandon and most of the rest of the group with their FLOOR seats. (We kept being told that we had to go upstairs even though we had seats saved for us on the floor. But we eventually were reunited with our group…)

Beth Moore spoke. And BOY did she speak!
She spoke about how God equips us with everything good for doing His will.
The biggest thing I was reminded of at this time was that everything that we experience is used for His ultimate purpose, for His glory! We're constantly being prepared and repaired and adjusted to be used by Him and for Him.

In the breakout session, I heard Beth Moore speak again about "spiritual discernment": how to handle situations that aren't "black and white". She spoke about a situation where she had believed a huge, elaborate story of a woman who had survived the Holocaust and had a book written about it, but it had been entirely a lie. And Beth said she had this "gut feeling" that it had been all along and she was just overwhelmed and flabbergasted when she found out the truth.

But a lot of times, we'll have to make decisions based on information that is "gray". We'll question whether things are true or not or whether they're right or wrong. And sometimes, we need to gather information and pray about the course of action we need to take in order to handle our situation.

(One particular situation definitely was on my mind this entire breakout session, and after hearing her speak about the ways we can determine the path we should take, I know that I definitely made the right decision).

The biggest thing I took away from the breakout session was that sometimes the situations we encounter may leave us feeling hurt and upset and angry. But we shouldn't become cynical because of those situations. We must continue to love with a "smart heart". We should love people MORE, not less, so that we may gain knowledge an insight and be able to discern what is best for us (see Philippians 1:9-10)

Francis Chan spoke at the main evening session. I was very excited to hear him speak since I absolutely LOVEEE Crazy Love and Forgotten God! But his sermon was about how we should try and stay on track for God. We should "tremble at His Word" (see Isaiah 66:2) and "crave Spiritual milk" (see 1 Peter 2:2). But that the Holy Spirit is like a GPS…Even when we miss a turn or go the wrong way, He will always be there to tell us "Recalculating…" and He will get us to where we need to go.

He emphasized grace, too. How that when we confess our sins, we will be forgiven. It's our fault when we make mistakes, but we are not called to be slaves of our sin. Through His grace and kindness, when we repent, we will be forgiven. But we must first repent.

…which leads us to the evening community group.
Humbling. That's all I can say.
We discussed the importance of repentance and forgiveness. And within our family groups, we were encouraged to confess sins. We overcame Satan. God is the supreme Being of our universe and beyond. He is over Satan and when we confess and repent to God, we are overcoming Satan. So we opened up, truly probably for the first time, in order to share and support each other. We showed each other compassion and grace and really prayed and overcame Satan's need for control in our lives. It was amazing.

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