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Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 26:8’

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Isaiah 26:8

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Passion 2017 got started as I spent my time at the resource booth selling shirts, CD’s, DVD’s and other merchandise. It was weird at first not being out in the seats listening to the worship music and sermon, but I knew God was using me so these college kids could be used by God. Ten years ago that was me out in those seats for the first time. Once things got underway, I was able to step out and listen during slow periods. I was blessed to have a great team of people to work with. The Passion Band got things started off with some new songs. Sean Curran introduced a new song called “Worthy of Your Name” which was powerful. Louie Giglio invited Dr. Charles Stanley to come up and open Passion with a prayer. Christine Caine spoke a powerful word on endurance. Crowder closed the session out and brought out special guest Carrie Underwood to sing with him on stage. It was an amazing night to kick off Passion 2017.

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Carrie Underwood and Crowder (Photo from Passion)

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DOOR HOLDER – One who takes great pleasure in opening the door for others to experience Jesus.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere: I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Psalms 84:10

Door Holders at Passion Conferences have been on the inside and have experienced God’s glory, and therefore consider it a privilege to stand on the outside and hold the doors for others to come and experience Jesus. In fact, they would rather hold the door than be anywhere else because their heartbeat has shifted away from themselves and is set on preparing the way for others to have a powerful experience with Jesus. 

I attended my first Passion conference ten years ago and it changed my life. I’ve been to quite a few since then and felt it was my time to give back to this movement that has shaped my life over the years. It was Passion’s twentieth anniversary and the last one in the Georgia Dome. I signed up to be a Door Holder (or volunteer) for my last conference.

I took a red eye flight to Atlanta and arrived on a cold and rainy morning. The good thing is that it will keep me awake for the day. We had an early morning Door Holder meeting in the Georgia World Congress Center. Atlanta has become a home away from home for me. I was assigned to the resource team and would be selling books, music and videos to the students here at Passion. My team lead was a pretty cool guy named Josh Sorensen. We set up and stocked our shelves in the Georgia Dome in preparation for the first session that evening. I enjoyed getting to know many of the people on my team who came from all over to help serve this big event.

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“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”   

Isaiah 26:8

Passion held its first conference in Austin, TX on January 1-4, 1997. That event drew around 2,000 students. Louie and Shelley Giglio are the founders of the Passion movement that seeks to see spiritual awakening on college campuses and to see many students to come to know Christ. Several national gatherings, OneDay events and tours would follow along with worship recordings and DVDs. I was introduced to Passion in 2007 (their 10 year anniversary) by the Pastor of my young adult group at that time. He flew over 30 of us to Atlanta, GA for their 4 day gathering at Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center (over 22,000 students in attendance). I was newly single and just went on my first mission trip to Belize. I was pondering God’s will and direction for my life after my 9 year marriage ended. After participating in the “Do Something Now” campaign which raised $1.5 million dollars for global ministries on six continents and listening to Louie Giglio’s message about a party for the nations, I started to see some clarity in God’s calling for me. Passion ’07 absolutely change my life forever.

Fast forward to 2017 and it is now the 20th anniversary of the Passion conferences. In that time I have attended gatherings in 2010, 2013, 2015, a regional gathering in 2008 and a concert on the Take it All tour. Each one of these events were special to me and contributed to me following God’s will for my life. Passion 2013 in the Georgia Dome (over 60,000 students!) was life changing because of the launch of End It Movement  X – an awareness campaign that seeks to abolish modern-day slavery and sex trafficking. I am so incredibly thankful to the faithfulness of the Giglio’s and their staff for pouring into me through these amazing gatherings. I prayed about it and made the decision to attend one more gathering in the soon-to-be demolished Georgia Dome. This time I felt I needed to give back by being a door holder. Door holders are the hundreds of volunteers that serve on different teams such as community groups, logistics and registration. They are the glue that holds these Passion gatherings together. I’m not only excited to being a part of serving these students but also being a part of this 20 anniversary gathering of Passion.

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” 

 Psalm 84:10

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Passion ’07

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Passion ’97

Above is a photo taken at the very first Passion gathering in 1997. It’s amazing to know that a gathering of 2,000 students would eventually grow to over 60,000 in a twenty year span. Below are some videos describing the heart behind the lyrics of the worship songs that will be sung at this year’s Passion gathering.

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Since 1997, the Passion movement has existed to challenge students and young adults to spread the fame of Jesus across the world. Birth from Isaiah 26:8, this passage of scripture has been imprinted on my heart from my many years of involvement with Passion. 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. Even today as I work with young adults I refer to this verse for spiritual direction in my walk. I have always been grateful for the Passion movement and how God has used it to change my life. I have attended several Passion events since 2007. After an attending last year’s incredible event in the Georgia Dome, Passion is now in two cities for 2014 – Atlanta and Houston. The movement and its core beliefs are still the same and I’m excited to see what God is going to do this year.

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I was chatting with my friends Mat and Lisa Weddle from my Missional Community and we were reminiscing on how exactly six years ago today (New Years Eve) we were boarding a plane with thirty other young adults to be a part of Passion in Atlanta. For them, it was where they first met and they are now married today. My friends Brian Wurzell and Promise and Steve Adame and Liz met on that trip and they too are married and doing amazing stuff for the Lord. For people like myself, Shauna and Amaris, it was the trip that God called us into cross-cultural missions. They both ended up serving on the field for some time. It was a pivotal trip for many of us from that amazing community that were led by Pastor Ron Merrell. I heard God speak through Francis Chan for the first time that year. Chris Tomlin’s version of “Fire Fall Down” reminded me of my broken life and how God was putting me back to together to do years of ministry following that trip. Ben Stuart’s message on singleness was the best message I have ever heard on how God can use us as single people. I used that message to start a group for newly divorced people and how God can use them at this time to do amazing things for Him. But the impactful part of that trip was Louie Giglio’s message on how heaven will be a party for the nations. That message blew me away and opened the door for me to engage with God’s heartbeat for the world.

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Passion ’07

I had an amazing conversation today with my friend Amber at 8th Day Coffee and Culture. We were talking about our creative gifts and how God uses them for His purposes. She has been getting a lot of pressure to sign with a major record label. Her heart is just to share her music with the world and how God healed her from a difficult time. For me, I hope never to have to make money off of anything creative I do. I am blessed to have a job that provides more than enough for me to do life. I personally want to use my creative talents for the Kingdom and to share with others. We were talking about how easy it is to make our gifts about ourselves and not about the Lord.

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It’s New Years Eve and I am so thankful for where I am at in life. It’s been an incredible year for me and I feel focused for the first time in a few years. My friend and mentor described my year like this: He said I’m like a plant and God put me into a pot to grow and heal me for a little while because there were some things He needed to work on. The soil represents the healing power of God working in my life. But now he sees God taking me out of that pot and putting me back into world to allow me to continue to serve Him. I do feel that. I feel God is ready for me to begin to go back to work and be a light for Him. And honestly, I don’t know what that is and I love that. This is where my faith and trust in God comes in and allows me to stay on His path.

IMG_1462I do know that God is about to reveal some of His plan for me. Through teaching from amazing influential people and reading His word, God is syncing my heart to His heart for injustice and mercy. I’ve gone about this all wrong for some time. I saw trafficking firsthand in Cambodia for the first time in 2008 and God opened the door for me to learn more about it. Failed opportunities to go to Fiji and other chances to engage were due to me following my own wants and desires and making life about me. I’m done needing approval from other people for my sense of self-worth and being a one-man show trying to save the world so I can feel better about myself. Now God has put me back into a position to be a part of His plan for justice and I want to be attentive to just following His will. It’s about the gospel and the message of God redeeming a fallen world. God is aligning me to Him and I look forward to learning more about topics like slavery so I can be an effective tool for Him.

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Cambodia ’08 – my first exposure to human trafficking

I also was convicted by a passage in Luke 5 this week in which Simon Peter falls to knees in worship when Christ invites him to drop what he is doing and follow Him. When was the last time I dropped to my knees in worship to the Lord? I honestly don’t have an answer to that. I want to be in worship everyday with my Lord and Savior. I want Him to be my first priority in all I do. God has done so much for and hasn’t given up on me. I want my life to reflect on His grace and for others to see Jesus when they meet me.

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