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Posts Tagged ‘Passion ’07’

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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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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.

Passion '07

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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PhoenixONE had an amazing kick-off night that I won’t forget. It started off when I walked in I saw this amazing sunset outside Phoenix Historic Presbyterian First right before the event started. I felt God telling me to prepare my heart because tonight was going to be a big night. Downtown Devil captured the event in this article.

The guest speaker wasn’t announce for tonight’s kickoff beforehand. After worship was provided by Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell, Francis Chan of Cornerstone Simi Valley came out to our surprise as the guest speaker for the evening. Francis Chan is known for writing popular Christian book Crazy Love. I first heard him speak at a Passion conference back in 2007. Ironically I went with my friend Shauna who was also happened to be with me at Passion ’07. This was an awesome way to kickoff a new season of PhoenxONE. The audio of Francis’ talk can be heard here.

Here are my notes from tonight’s talk:

Take Courage

  • We are sons and daughters of God and we represent Him.
  • The world will believe when they see a fearless church.
  • Live in a manner worthy of the gospel.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

– 2 Timothy 1:7

  • The enemy gives us a spirit of fear.
  • God puts the Holy Spirit in us. God Almighty is with us.
  • We honor God’s word when we believe in it.
  • Do you believe he gives you not a spirit of fear, but of power?
  • Something in us changes when the Spirit enters us.
  • God gives us a spirit of power, love and self-control.
  • Some Christians will say they don’t sense Jesus with them.
  • Are you out sharing your faith with others?
  • In Matthew 28, Jesus says He will be with us when we go out and make disciples.

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

– Acts 1:8

  • We all long for the spirit of love. We need to practice it in our local church.
  • Imagine if the world saw that life of unity in our churches.
  • With the spirit of self-control, we have the power over sin. We can overcome it!
  • God promises He will never let you be tempted beyond what you can handle.
  • When we gather, we are supposed to enCOURAGE one another.
  • Even Paul asked for prayer.

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

– Acts 4:29-31

THE PHOTOS BELOW ARE BY SUREFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY

(Photos from Facebook event)

Shauna

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Chris Tomlin covered this Hillsong song at Passion and I wanted to share some of the lyrics…  really touched me because it’s what I’ve been through the past year.

’cause I know that you’re alive  

you came to fix my broken life 

and I sing to glorify 

your holy name Jesus Christ

These hands are yours  

teach them to serve as you please 

and I’ll reach out

desperate to see 

all the greatness of God 

may my soul rest assured in You

I’ll never be the same

…. now I walked in the light 

victorious sight of you

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I spent the beginning of my New Year’s in Atlanta for Passion ’07. This is a Christian conference for young adults lined up with speakers, music artist and seesions to help you grow in your Christianity. We spent New Year’s Eve on the plane. 40+ of us from Chandler went. It was an awesome event as over 22,000 young adults attended the event. We made new friends learned and grew in our walk. The music was very moving. For me, I originally looked to Passion as a springboard to get back on my walk after a crazy busy month of December. I experienced so much more. I learned alot about the gift of being single. Being single again is something I’ve had to wrestle with God alot because I thought my marriage was going to last forever. But I was able to reflect on my journey since then and just see all the amazing things God has done in my life. I’m a totally different person and I’m living my life for the Lord like I never had. God broke me down this week and I was able to get focused back on what he wants to do with my life. It was an awesome experience that I won’t forget.

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We had a long wait in the airport. While hanging out, I spotted a familiar face. Chris Tomlin was also waiting for his flight and I was able to grab a picture with him. What a great guy!

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It was the last session. Louie spent time going over how much money was raised for all the cause for the week. I was blown away by how much these broke college kids raised. Many of the students committed to going overseas and doing missions work. I wrestled with God during the songs with what he was going to do with me. I was ready to surrender my life to his will and the next phase of my life. Passion was over and it was amazing. I definitely grew closer to God during this time.

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New friends

I got up early and worked out. I was struggling in my morning devotions. The message from Ben Stuart about the gift of being single was hard for me to hear. I didn’t understand why I have to be single at this age. I know I have a gift to connect with people and God wants to use that. I know he wants to use the trials in my life to speak into and relate with people. But why does my life have to be so difficult? I trust God has a plan for me. I met with my community group one last time this morning. They have been great and have provided much insight for me. It was great to wrestle through the topics of the week with them. We exchanged emails to try and stay connected after Passion was over.

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They had us walk in silence to the Georgia dome. It was wierd seeing crowds of students walk and not say a word. They had us spread out all around a stage in front of the Georgia dome where we were each given a candle. As Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman and Charlie Hall led us in worship songs, we each lit our candles one by one. The candles were a representation of the shining lights we are to be to the world. It was an amazing sight to see as we lifted up our heavenly Father’s name in praise.

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