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Posts Tagged ‘Phillips Arena’

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.

Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.

Psalms 86:8-13

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As we prepare our hearts to join together at Passion 2015, we acclimate ourselves to prepare for what God has in store for us these few days. We are all on different paths and yet God is calling all of us to join together as one body in community at Passion. May we be bold in making His name famous as we go out into the world.

“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 40:3-7

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Passion

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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The Georgia Dome is where the main sessions for Passion take place and where we gather together as one body. So where does 60,000 students go for community groups and break outs? The Georgia World Congress Center is a massive 3.9 million square foot building with several levels of exhibit halls and rooms. It is joined with the Phillips Arena, Centennial Park, the Georgia Dome and the CNN center. Despite its size, there were still large crowds of people everywhere as the students at Passion pretty much took over downtown Atlanta for the week.

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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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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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Tonight was David Crowder Band night. He really got the crowd fired up with “Here is our King” and “There is none like you”. Louie Giglio spoke from Acts 1 & 2 and from Psalms 86. He talked about how heaven is going to be a huge party consisting of people from all the nations. And it’s our job to make sure everyone gets invited to the party. I sat with Ron Merrell and Chris Simning – two guys that have really inspired me and have become an encouragement in my life. I was also with Ryan, Chad, Annette, Mat, Amaris, Liz and Alex. We ended up ditching our community groups that night and hanging out at Landmark. It was good to fellowship with people from my church. We rarely had time to see each other all week.

Two heroes of mine - Ron Merrell and Chris Simning

Two heroes of mine – Ron Merrell and Chris Simning

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Now you have Christ, walk in him   (Colossians 1:28, 2:6-7)

Charlie Hall led us in worship with “Marvelous Light”, then John Piper came out to speak. Wow, he was a hard one to follow. He talked about substitutionary atonement (Colossians 2:13-15, Romans 8:3) and “gutsy guilt” (Micah 7:8-9). God requires our sins to be punished and for us to be righteous. Faith fights our sins. After the main session, I went to a breakout on singleness. It was packed! Ben Stuart was the speaker for it and I was blown away by his approach to singleness. He called it an “Undistracted Devotion” to God and he spoke from 1 Corinthians 7.

He talked about how singleness is a gift from God and that sometimes marriage can be a distraction. We have more time to give to God and to serve. We are to set our minds on Christ. Is singleness more spiritual? (Matthew 19:11-12). It is a gift, but not for all of us. We shouldn’t be afraid to marry, but do it in the Lord. Do what fits – being single or married.

Afterwards, Ron got the whole Cornerstone group together to debrief how the whole week was going for each of us.

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I slept in this morning – I needed it. But I missed doing my devotions. Our room was crowed and we rotated sleeping on the floor. I was enjoying the guy time and the fellowship that comes with it. We went through Colossians 1:15-17 with our community groups. We discussed how we need to get back to the simplicity of God because we have created a westernized image of Christ. We forget he is the image of God. He is not detached from us and knows and understands what we are going through. After Matt Redman led worship during the morning session, Beth Moore spoke to us. She spoke from Philippians 2:1-11 on humility and how it is a unnatural quality that requires our pursuit. We are to model Christ’s humility and how he made himself nothing for us. Next was lunch. They had all 20,000 of us walk out the building and grab a box from Lenny’s sandwiches off a pallet. I was amazed how smooth it went. They must have an amazing partnership with this company for them to make this much food. Afterward, I went to a breakout session with Chris Hervertz from Word made Flesh. This organization raises awareness of the poor and helps gets people out on the field.

Feeding 20,000 students lunch

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We were able to get a big group of us together in a section as it was general seating. The lights went out and Charlie Hall opened with “Salvation is Here” and “Center”. The wait and anticipation was over and I was able to close my eyes and focus on Christ. They then switched to the screens to the Georgia World Congress Center where Chris Tomlin sang some songs. Louie Giglio came out and gave a message from Colossians 1:10-16. He focused on how Christ is the image of the invisible God and we are worthy to live a life for him because he rescued us.

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Afterwards, they had us go to community groups. Basically you are randomly placed in a large room with other Christians from other churches and small home groups are formed. These small groups are the people we are to do life with throughout the week after each main session. After group, a bunch of us walked around downtown Atlanta. We ended up back at the Landmark cafe where we stayed up till 5am.

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