I thought to make one big Passion post, but I tried to write it and realized there’s just too much to write about. So I’ll take it in pieces. Sometimes I may post more than one part per day, but I don’t know that I’ll spam my FB friends with the links, so if you really wanna hear it, you may have to go looking for it :P
First, for all those wondering, Passion is a conference, but it’s also movement. It’s not an activity that Christian twenty-somethings check off their lists, it’s not an event that speakers and worship leaders use to get their teaching and service points racked up, all in one weekend. It’s just about being God’s, and understanding more of Him.
This year specifically, it was more of why and how we can live completely and only for Jesus.
Our Speakers were Louie Giglio, Francis Chan and John Piper. We were led into worship by singing with Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall and others. These are some of the most powerful and impacting ambassadors of Christ in our generation, in case you didn’t already know. :)
We sang several worship songs multiple times over the weekend, and every time, the messages that had proceeded them and the change that took place inside of my heart, added a whole new depth to the song i was lifting up.
I’ll post some of them at the bottom of blogposts occasionally.
So here’s the intro post...
Wow. Passion. Wow. It’s kind of scary writing my heart-thoughts out, to be posted for the world to see, because what I’ve realized this weekend is pretty basic, but radical, and I’m going to ask to be held accountable to what I’m saying. I absolutely don’t expect to be perfect at these things right off, and probably never, so please don’t beat me when i stumble, but I am aware of some things that need to change, for the glory of the name of Jesus Christ.
A lot of things cannot be described, because there are no human words fitting for the joy, peace, and overwhelming love that I felt, and KNEW I have in Christ.
As funny as this sounds, this weekend was all about us realizing it’s not all about us.
And now you’re like, “Oh, Bethany, how very elementary. I KNOW it’s not about us. It’s about Jesus, and the Bible, and serving others, treating them better than yourself, la dadadada.... Didn’t you know that?”
And my answer: of COURSE I KNEW THAT!! and I know you know that too.
But do you know, know that?
Do I know, know that? Does what I do project that fact to the whole world?
Does my life scream, “I’M ALL ABOUT JESUS, THE ONE WHO LOVES IN SUCH A CRAZY WAY, THAT HE HUMBLED HIMSELF INTO THE FORM OF A HUMAN BEING, AND GAVE HIS LIFE SO I COULD BE FREE. I BELIEVE THIS, AND HE’S THE BOTTOM LEVEL OF EVERYTHING I BUILD MY LIFE ON. THERE’S NOTHING BENEATH HIM. AND IF I LIVE ANOTHER DAY, BE ASSURED YOU’LL HEAR MORE ABOUT JESUS. BUT IF I DIE, THEN I WILL GAIN CHRIST IN MY OWN SIGHT.”
Well, through Christ, I’m moving in that direction. (here’s one of the things you’re gonna be allowed to hold me accountable for.)
That right there is Giglio, Chan, Piper and the Apostle Paul in a mixed up, mashed up, much less powerful paraphrase. I’m sorry. but you’d have to be there and hear God speaking through them to really be astounded. I’m just not them. Or, better yet, I’ve purchased the access pack, so I’ll be getting the messages on my computer shortly. So you can come over to my house, we’ll pop some popcorn, make a smoothie and gather around the screen to watch it together. And then we can talk about it.
‘Cause as my family leader said (I’ll get into what the “family” is all about in a sec), if we just took in all this meat and didn’t digest it, it would rot.
So. Family leader. if there’s a leader there’s gotta be a group to go with it, right? and there was. We had nine girls in our “family”, out of 2000 people in our “Community Group”. There were nine community groups all over the campus. Ours was the largest Community group, and our leaders and helpers and prayer warriors were from Breakaway Ministries at A&M campus.
Our families were randomly created, by a “go introduce yourself to a new person” game. I had never met any of the girls in my group, ever. And yet, i feel like I know them so well, because we spent so much time sharing, and encouraging, and opening up our lives to each other.
We met four times over the weekend, and just got to share our hearts, and what God was speaking to us, asking us to change or do throughout the day.
I seriously believe God put me in the best family group at the whole conference. And I’m so thankful.
So, Worship, Teaching, Family...
Well, that’s basically the gist of the weekend. I’ll go into specific things God revealed to me in the posts to come. but for now, just read a little of what we meditated on:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Waiting Here For You- Christy Nockels
Forever Reign- Kristian Stanfill