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Posts Tagged ‘Young Adults’

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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If I had only known then what I know now…

Sometimes I ask myself this question. Sometimes I think if I could just go back in time and tell myself not to make a particular decision in my past, I would save myself years of heartache. The Love & Respect resources have been a huge part of my life in learning to understand relationships. It’s based off of the passage in Ephesians 5:33 that talks about the differences between a man and a woman and our roles when we are in relationship with one another. Joy Eggerichs has taken this ministy of her parents and has used it to help young adults 18-35 years of age to understand our roles before we make all the common pitfalls in dating and marriage. God has called me to be a resource to a young adult group at my church and the ministry of Love & Respect (Now) has been a valuable resource for me as a mentor others. I’m excited for their newest project – The Illumination Project. I think it will be a huge tool for small group discussion for my young adult Bible study.  It’s a 6 week DVD series filmed by Joy and her father Dr. Emerson Eggerichs meant to help young adults navigate through issues of faith, dating, marriage, and male/female relationships.

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I enjoyed PhoenixONE tonight. I got to worship with all my friends under the stars. I also got to catch up with some dear friends that I have made over the years while on mission in other countries. I met Pastor Joseph “Jojo” while in Kenya at an orphanage. He was brought to the orphanage at a young age and is now the Pastor there. I got to hang with him a couple of times this week and we had some great talks. I also chatted with Suresh Kumar from Harvest India for a little while. He gave a special prayer over us and I’ve always appreciated the role he has played in my life. I have had many great God moments with Suresh over the years. Jeff Gokee interviewed some friends of mine that recently got married – Johnny and Criselda Sweet. They have a great testimony and it’s awesome to see a couple that is sticking it out and doing marriage right. My good friend Ryan Axtell led worship and Jeff gave a pretty awesome message on relationships. After years of working under him in 5th/6th grade student ministries, I have never heard him speak on dating and was pretty impressed with his talk. He was pretty hard on both the guys and the girls, but I felt he did it in love and it was a sermon many of us here needed to hear. Ryan and Sara Senters gave their testimony of having foster kids afterwards and I enjoyed them sharing their heart. It was a beautiful night and a blessing to spend with good friends!

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Pastor Jojo

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Suresh praying for us

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Ryan Axtell leads worship

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Jeff Gokee interviews the Sweets

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Ryan and Sara Senters

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Photo by Vintage Blush Photography

Photo by Vintage Blush Photography

A few of my friends shared their testimony in this video. I’m excited to see how PhoenixONE helped them get connected in the church community. One of the things I am loving that PhoenixONE is doing is promoting some of the wonderful organizations out there. I have always felt this is the generation to make a difference in the world. Christian Family Care is an organization that provides adoption/foster care/counseling to kids in crisis. It’s a wonderful organization and lately there has been a growing movement within the local churches to abolish the number of kids in the foster care system (over 12,000).

Ladouceur

Ladouceur

Another awesome organization that has been doing great stuff for many years is Compassion International. Robbie Seay Band led worship tonight and Robbie talked about what they are all about. Compassion provides child sponsorships to the many orphans around the world. For as little as $38 a month, you can make a difference in the life of a child by sponsoring them monthly. It provides food and clothing for the an entire month. I started sponsoring my child Ladouceur from Haiti back in 2006 when he was about five. He is close to teenage years now and I love getting letters from him. Tonight close to 40 children were sponsored by the PhoenixONE community. It’s funny that Compassion was brought up tonight because I have been praying about going to Haiti to visit my sponsored child. Tonight was also special for me as Aaron McRae from Hillside Community church was the guest speaker. He was a Pastor from my previous church and it was great catching up with him and Brian Wurzell – who is now going to be leading worship there.

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One of the most incredible moments I had at my first Passion event was to spend time in the Kneel room. I was with my friend Shauna and her and I must have spent a couple of hours in prayer and taking time to journal our experiences. It was an incredible moment and to see all the young adults in silence praying to God was an awesome sight. Kneel is the Passion 2013 prayer journey room where you can spend some quiet time with the Lord. You can posture yourself in any way that suits you before the cross. There are eight stations with different scripture verses and suggestions of things to pray for this generation and for the Passion movement. I wrote pages and pages in my journal of how God was speaking to me. It was a fitting way for me to end my journey here at Passion 2013. I am so thankful to God for bringing me here to be a part of all this.

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I love nights like tonight at PhoenixONE. They had inspirational speakers come and talk about their organizations and how God is working around the world. I have always felt the college/ young adult age can make a huge difference in our world. David Wright from Youth for Christ International spoke about what God is doing with the youth. They work all around the world mobilizing these young people to be leaders and share the love of Christ. Below is a video of what they are doing in Rwanda and in the high schools in the U.S.

Youth for Christ reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement.

 

I’ve always been a fan of Venture Expeditions. I have friends that have served in Czechoslovakia through Venture. Paul Hurckman spoke about Venture and how they mobilize people through cycling and other humanitarian projects. They have partnered with all types of organizations like International Justice Missions and music artists to make Jesus’ name famous. This was an encouraging night and I hope to see more young adults make radical decisions to spread the love Jesus.

The Venture Expeditions community empowers people to benefit the world and discover their souls through adventure-driven humanitarian efforts.

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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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Carlos Whittaker brought a lot of energy to PhoenixONE tonight. I love corporate worship and singing in unison with the body of Christ. I’ve seen Carlos many times at Catalyst and he has an amazing heart for the Lord. Justin Anderson taught a great message from Mark 8 about how Peter rebukes Jesus for mentioning his own death on the cross. Peter says this for his own personal gain and Jesus in turn rebukes him with the famous “Get behind me Satan” quote. He then says to him and the crowd “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Basically, what path will we take?

Justin brought up a study from a book called Soul Searching by Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton that that surveys 3,000 teenagers. This landmark study on the faith lives of American teenagers reveals that while a majority identify with a religious congregation, many adolescents subscribe to a watered-down belief system that the authors call Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

  1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
  2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
  3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
  4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

Basically, people generally choose ‘the easy path’. We choose a path for our own personal happiness, not holiness. We invest ours lives in our own personal gain and our sense of entitlement. Jesus warns us of this life for ourselves and that there are consequences for not choosing this path for our righteousness. I thought Justin picked a great topic for this age group (and for this culture in general).

Afterwards they played this awesome video of a girl who found Christ on her own. In my Islam class, I have been studying about Muslims who have been finding Christ through their dreams. This makes me want to reach out more to people.

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It was cold! We waited for quite some time outside the Philips Arena as Passion was running late. Because of the amount of people, they are splitting the event between two arenas – the other one being the Georgia World Congress Center next door. They will simulcast between the two. I spent our time waiting getting to know some of the people in Camber I didn’t know very well. Of course the Brian Wurzell and the worship guys provided some goofy entertainment as we waited. But you could tell people were getting antsy as they were hyped up for the opening session. It was awesome to be among 20,000 Christians and we were ready to make God’s name famous.

The Cornerstone worship guys - Matt, Jason and Brian

The Cornerstone worship guys – Matt, Jason and Brian

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Myspace blog entry

I signed up for this trip to forest home because I haven’t been to a church camp since my high school days. Why after we become adults are there no camps for us anymore, I can’t explain. I was spiritually filled. Theme was ‘go into the world’. Ties in nicely because I’m going to Belize next month for a missions trip. There were many churches represented there. Brayline – the worship band from our church led the music. Heard some awesome speakers. But most of all, the fellowship I experienced was what made this trip so rewarding. I am blessed to go to a church with so many awesome people living their lives for Christ. I was touched by everyone, listening to stories and making new friends. Cornerstone and the Camber group has become my second home and family. I thank God so much for this experience.

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