Monday, January 10, 2011

Passion 2011: ATL

All-but-required listening (or Songs that express my heart):
"With Everything" by Hillsong United 
"Our God" by Chris Tomlin

Guys!  I was given such a great blessing last weekend!  I got to go to two nights of Passion for free!  I got to go last year to the Hillsong United concert only, and my soul burst apart.  I was nearly overwhelmed by the truths and the beauty that was flung every where from every person.  The entire Phillips Arena was full of hearts jumping and dancing for Jesus.  The surging stimulation of my mind and my senses was much more than I had anticipated.  More than once I had to sit in my seat and just be still.  Now let me tell you.  Sitting there, listening to thousands of young humans singing and shouting to their Love, it was incredible.  As if the words of the songs weren't moving enough...  I couldn't help but cry.
from "Hosanna"
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours

Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to
And I got to go again this year!  I got to hear John Piper speak on Jesus being at the bottom of your joy.  He began with this question: Do you love God because He makes much of you or because He makes much of you to make much of Himself?  The facts are that, yes, God does make so much of you.  Piper told us of just seven remarkable ways God loves us and treats us with grace and esteem.  Did you ever realize that He does these things so that we will glorify Him, though?  I don't think I did, or at least I didn't until I heard this.

I took copious notes, but the gist is either Jesus Christ is the foundation, the very bottom, of your joy, or you are.  Another theme of the entire Passion experience is refocusing our generation to bringing Jesus fame. I have been faced with how focused I am on myself.  I want to look cool.  I want to look smart.  Hip, pretty, put together, deep.  Those things are fine, but that's what I'm focused on.  Myself.  My efforts are rarely focused on making Jesus look cool, smart, awesome, beautiful, etc.

I think I'm glad to know that God's not finished changing my heart and refining my soul yet, because this has got to be different.

Louie Giglio spoke on carrying names.  He said Passion would never hold a session on how to carry a name; we already know how to do that.  Think Apple, North Face, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Chacos, Toms, Lady Gaga, Mumford and Sons, Nike, Louis Vuitton.  I'll talk on and on about my favorite artists' music, but how often does Jesus come up in my conversation?

Seriously, this is pathetic.

Blogging about it won't fix anything.  Be sure, though, that prayer and action will be happening in regards to my life not reflecting God's glory as it should.  God is merciful, more than we could ever imagine, and I'm so thankful.  He's not through with me yet.  No need to despair.  I'm broken, but redeemable.  So very redeemable.


The music and the speaking at Passion were excellent in all respects.  I had no trouble melding with the songs and the messages they raised up.  When Louie talked of the "Do Something Now" facet of Passion and he said that we could donate money to so many people who need it, when he said we could donate money to fund rescue missions in the Philippines to rescue sex trafficking victims, I was absolutely and completely in sync.  When we got to the Do Something Now area and I finally got to the IJM booth, I was so pumped.  The display we were funneled through did much to sober me, but I was so very, very excited to get in the donating line afterward.  Friend Hope said, "the line moves fast.  It's not bad."  Well the line had gotten much longer since she'd gone through 15 minutes before.  Much, much longer.  Guys.  This was a Disney World worthy line of university students waiting to give their textbook money to rescue precious lives from disgrace and injustice!  I've never been happier to stand in a long line!!  I stepped out of line a couple times to take pictures. I saw many others do the same.
It was so wild.  There were so many dudes and chicas, all waiting for the same thing, all with the same love and purpose, all caught in the energy of what they were doing and the excitement of being a part of something so beautiful.  So many!  When it was my turn, I literally skipped up to the register and handed over my credit card, smiling so big the whole time.

Other ministries students could donate to included giving food to children in South Africa, loans to business owners in Afghanistan, towels and socks to homeless folks in Atlanta (the line of bundled towels was just as long as the IJM line!), building homes for families in Haiti, building wells in India, and sending Bibles to I believe a South American country.  I wish I could remember better because I'm sure I'm leaving out a few, but I do remember this: we raised more than a million dollars!  Let me rephrase.  God's people gave more than a million dollars to further His kingdom all over the world!!  How amazing and lovely and exciting is that?!

My photography professor says the best camera is the one you have with you.  I had my camera phone.
1.3 Mega pixels all the way!

That left-most table shows how much feeds the average American family of four.  The next table shows how much feeds the typical family of five in South Africa.  Wow.
Bottom right shows some of the donated towels.
The top left and bottom right pictures show some of the IJM line.  They were taken at different times, and people were being turned away when the stations had to close for the night.  When people donated, they would get a Polaroid taken of them and they'd put it on the wall.  It was a great sight.  I loved it.
Our God rocks.  To put it lightly.


  1. I love your enthusiasm, dear friend!

  2. I love this post. All of it =) IJM rocks, love Chris Tomlin, love Hillsong, God rocks =)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! If there is something you want me to respond to specifically, feel free to send me an email; I'd love to chat.