Monday, January 18, 2010

THE Passion Post

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your truth, we wait eagerly for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our souls." Isaiah 26:8

Hard to believe that 2 whole weeks have passed since our time in Atlanta and I am thankful for the continued blessing that those jammed packed, 8 am to 1 am for 4 straight days were. Remiss towards sleep and ready for the adventure, something happened in my heart the morning that we prepared to depart. As I stood in the shower, I was convicted and made aware of the unique place in their lives that the students we were going away with are at. I remembered the things that were part of my spiritual journey @ TU and realized the value that I would gain from participating in their growth.

I'm so thankful that happened because the switch in my thinking forced me to introduce myself, to ask questions and prepare for long answers to those questions. There is something to be said about truly engaging in that you get what you give. I was prepared for a few desirable days of retreat, for my heart to be challenged by some awesome teaching and music, which it was. What I was not prepared for was the hard and fast falling in love with students that took place.

Together we sat under some great teaching by Francis Chan (Crazy Love), Beth Moore, Andy Stanley, John Piper, not to mention some powerful worship led by Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Charlie Hall, Chris Tomlin...and I was inundated and processing at high speeds but had specifically prayed that there might be something small to retain as to avoid a spiritual high in turn for a continuum of the themes God seems to be bringing into my life. Like how temporal our life here is and how big He is. God totally answered that prayer through John Piper's teaching on whether or not Jesus is "ego-maniac". How dare He command the world and all in it to worship Him?

I do not profess or if I am honest, desire, to be an intellectual but my heart was yearning to understand the answer to this question and the deeper question of why God created us and it all for His glory. Something in my view of God changed through the teaching and God gave me a picture later that night. He gave me a giraffe.

And now you are wondering how an African savanna animal ties into my picture of God. Let me explain. It is as if I have been seeing up close pieces(spots) of God in a really tangible way and have felt the spots of His grace, mercy, love for me and seen pieces of Him. But all of a sudden the lens zoomed out and there He was, towering above me in His Majesty, overwhelming me with the vastness of Him. It humbled me and gave me an awe that could only result in my joy and giving Him glory. If you would like to hear John Piper's teaching on this topic from an earlier sermon you can find it here.

Here is Ry & I hanging out at one of the sessions.

One more thing I wanted to mention was the opportunity that students had to participate in justice around the world by checking out the "DO SOMETHING NOW" center, where 12 organizations around the globe set up villages, faces, experiences to bring to the forefront how to put your worship into action. Over 4 days, through the pocket books of students giving up lattes, money for the semester and even fasting, over $600,000 was given to these 12 organizations resulting in life change around the world. Check out the link above to learn about the missions represented, I know you will be encouraged too.

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