If you're wondering why I haven't blogged in awhile, don't worry, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet.
Or been in ICU with a serious lung infection.
Or been being a bum laying around watching TV.
No, I've been at the Passion 2013 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia with my church in Waco. We left Waco on a charter bus on December 31 at 9:00 PM and arrived home yesterday morning. I can honestly say this trip was the most exhausting, challenging, exhilarating, redeeming, incredible trip I have ever been on. God rocked my world. I will try to explain the last few days for you as best as I can, but words cannot begin to express how great our God is or how much He moved this past week.
Sixty thousand college students attended Passion in the Georgia Dome. That's right--60,000 18-25 year old students pumped about Jesus. One of my favorite aspects of Passion was getting to worship with all these people and sing praises to the Lord Most High. It was like getting a tiny glimpse of what Heaven is going to be like! Hearing the roar of voices and shouts from fellow believers was chilling, in an amazing, moving, inspiring way. Each session, a different speaker brought the Word of God to the Dome and challenged me in unique ways. Beth Moore talked about the Lord's Supper and how Jesus knew that it is not enough to live life without Him. Francis Chan talked about trusting God with everything, not just trusting Him like we trust mankind. God has our best interest in mind, and He will keep His promises. Judah Smith talked about the importance of community and how we cannot live life on our own. By ourselves, we are not a force for Jesus like we are when we are united. John Piper talked about our reward in Heaven. We must embrace suffering on Earth because what we have to look forward to is joyful eternity. Louie Giglio talked about how God can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. He breathes into us and makes us alive!
The Passion conference also focused on slavery in our world today. Did you know that there are 27 million slaves in the world? That's more than there were at any time during the slave trade. People are being forced to work against their will as labor force or as soldiers or as sex slaves. It's up to us to stop this horror from continuing. We can use our financial resources to fund organizations that are working every day to stop slavery. We can buy products from companies that do not use slave labor to make the goods. We can stop injustice when we see it.
Another one of my favorite parts of Passion was getting to break off into family groups to talk about certain passages in the Bible and process different ideas and questions. I didn't know anyone in my family group of nine people before January 1, but on January 4, I felt close to them and knew we had a connection only brought about because of God. I am grateful that God brought me into a family group with these people, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them and hearing about what God is doing in their lives.
God is doing incredible things in my generation. He is Powerful, Almighty, Sovereign God who knows all things and is in all things. I know He is working for justice in our society. I also know that He is speaking to me and changing me to become more like Him.
Lord, take my heart of stone and replace it with your heart, your desires, and your wishes.