Camp to Cambodia

‎”Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?”

– Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Today I leave for Camp Georgolina. I have been a camper or counselor at this camp since 2002. It is something I look forward to every summer. It is a chance to get away from the every day chaos that surrounds us and spend a week with campers and friends worshipping the Lord. I am looking forward to playing games, getting sweaty and dirty, deep conversations, praying with the campers, and showing love to some of these kids that come from homes where love is never shown to them. I have the opportunity this week to share on the topic of trafficking as well. We have chosen to take some time to focus on social justice issues and I was asked to speak. I am nervous, but looking forward to sharing an issue that has become such a burden on my heart. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would speak through me. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

I return home from camp on Saturday afternoon and I will be home Sunday. That will be time to do laundry, rest, and re-pack. On Monday morning, Taylor (my brother’s girlfriend) and I head up to Pennsylvania to meet with our team. We will be traveling to Cambodia on Tuesday morning. Our flight leaves JFK at 8 am, that means we are leaving for the airport around 1:30am! It is going to be a LONG journey, but I am looking forward to every second of it. We have a short-ish flight into London, we will be in London for a few hours, and then we catch our longer flight into Bangkok, Thailand. When we arrive in Bangkok, we will drive to Cambodia. Please keep our team in your prayers as we travel. Also, please pray that we would reflect Jesus everywhere we go. It is going to be an amazing trip, I know that God has placed it on my heart to do this for a reason and that I will be changed through this. My prayer is that my heart is open and ready to receive all He has for me! If you visit imaginegoods.com and click on their blog, you can follow our journey and receive updates as we travel. It will be great to be away from the internet for a while, but I look forward to telling stories and blogging about it when we return! The next few weeks will be all about God and all about the people He has made. What a privilege it is to serve and live what I love! Prayers are appreciated. Much love!

Let Me Feel You Shine

This past week I spent some time down in Mexico Beach, FL at my parents condo with my friend, Jenn. It was a relaxing trip, very worry free.

This week God was so evident in nature. Creator of it all. Looking out at the ocean, it is huge. I started to think about how mighty God is. The one who can calm the seas. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and really challenged. If he is in full control of something so large, why do I have such a hard time trusting him with things in my life that are so small in comparison? This is definitely a year of surrender for me, giving up control and letting God take care of ALL things. I can’t keep a little box for myself, I have to let go.

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Passion 2012 – Day 3 – Notes

Community Group – January 4, 2012  – Clay Scroggins

God saved us so our lives would be a testimony and we can tell others.

We were saved FOR something, for a PURPOSE!

– Which do you have a harder time grasping: that you’re “saved from” something or that you’re “saved for” something?

  • I have a harder time that I am “saved for” something. I think I struggle a lot with where God has me and if I am doing what is in His will. I know the road I was heading down and what I was saved from. Looking forward to what He has for me and not what I have in mind for myself, the unknown, is what is hard for me to grasp.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 The masterpiece ALWAYS points back to the Artist.

This made me think about how I act. I am the “masterpiece” and I should be reflecting my Creator.

God receives all of the glory and honor.

…but God –

He made us to DO SOMETHING for a reason and a purpose.

You have to put yourself in a position to have influence.

We were meant to be in community – there is little spiritual growth on a deserted island – we were meant to grow together.

–  What comes easier for you? Growing alone or growing together?

  • For me, growing together. I love community. I love people. I love learning from other people and the accountability that comes with growing together.

–   What does Friday, after Passion, look life? What happens after?

  • Serving
  • Raising awareness
  • Exposure

Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

TOGETHER! Look what God can do with our group. God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.

Ephesians 3:14-19

–  What is His power and how do I obtain it?

  • His power is LOVE
  • We obtain it through community – together with other believers – through the Holy Spirit we are granted that strength

–  The difference between HEAD knowledge and HEART knowledge.

Rest in God’s love for you! He will do more than you can ask or imagine. Be inflated with God’s love.

–  How does that inspire you that God wants to do immeasurably more through you?

  • It inspires me to not put limits on what I can do. If God wants to use me as a voice to help end human trafficking, He can. Just because I feel like I am so small in comparison to a HUGE problem, He can use me!

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Main Session 5 –  Lecrae, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Louie Giglio and John Piper

They took turns reading through Ephesians. After each chapter we took time to reflect and pray, “Jesus, speak to me!” So awesome that we were just singing and praying that in community group the night when our leader wrote the song after Francis Chan spoke! It was awesome just to read and reflect as a group of 45,000 on the WORD OF GOD.

Main Session 6 – Interviews with People who work with organizations working to end human trafficking

–  Call and Response – Connect music to movement. No movement has happened without music. Music being released into culture brings attention to the cause.

–  People remember stories, not statistics. We must tell stories and advocate for those people.

Isaiah 58:6 – “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”

Night Light – Grace Church Midtown – Works with Prevention, Intervention, Follow-Up, Education, etc.

–  Enthusiasm does not equal accomplishment

–  Just because we feel good about it doesn’t mean it’s better.

–  We need to connect action with awareness!

–  The power of prayer – we can all be a part of HOPE.

–  Slaveryfootpring.org – find out how many slaves are working for you. Work to lower! **SPREAD THE WORD**

– Free2Work app

*Remember to pray for the girl in Atlanta that Night Light helped rescue. She was stuck in trafficking from age 13-22. She now married; a believer (so is her husband) and they have 2 daughters. She is trying to go through college.*

– For once it seems like the church is ahead of the curve. We are leading a movement!

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Main Session 7 – John Piper

 

Do ALL for the glory of God.

–   Seeing and Savoring the supremacy of Jesus Christ frees you from the slavery of sin for the sacrifices of love.

–   Being Satisfied in all that God is for us in Jesus frees you from the bondage of sin for the sacrifices of love.

–   Believing in Jesus frees you from the bondage of sin for the sacrifices of love.

All three points are the SAME.

 

When it happens to you, you are outwardly set free from your sin – this is seen by others.

The ROOT of salvation – private – the soul is unseen

The FRUIT of salvation – public – change is evident

We then fulfill our reason for existence.

 

–       Why are those three equivalent realities?

  • Louie said two harsh realities on night 1
    • It’s not that we were un-churched, we were DEAD
    • The enemy is still on track to kill and destroy – your funeral is still in progress.
  • What IS saving faith?
    • Seeing and Savoring
    • Being Satisfied
    • Believing in Jesus
  • John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” A soul coming to Jesus and being satisfied in who He is – faith
  • John 1:12 – ” But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – Receive – See what He is – you want Him, you take Him, embrace Him! He is your treasure.
  • He is the Giver – He gets the glory
  • Faith is a child-like response to glory
  • Coming to faith requires resurrection from the dead.
  • Bored people do not become satisfied with what bores them.
  • Romans 6:17 – “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed” Freedom: Doing what you want to do and not regretting it in 1,000 years.
  • The more satisfied you are, the freer you are.
  • No struggles in heaven, we will be slaves of righteousness.

–  The supremacy of Jesus – Who He is

  • Jesus is a gift to our souls
  • His eternality – no beginning, always reality, never changing, constant existence.
  • Knowledge – nothing compares, WISDOM
  • Purity – will NEVER sin
  • Trustworthiness
  • Justice – NOTHING left unsettled
  • Patience – holding back final judgment
  • Sovereign servant obedience
  • Meekness
  • Lowliness
  • Tenderness
  • Wrath – FIERCE!
  • Grace – life to the dead
  • Love – willingly died for sinners
  • Gladness – the trinity – extraordinary and supreme
  • SUPREME in EVERY way over EVERY thing!

–  Seeing and Savoring the supremacy of Christ frees from sin

  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
  • You are changed.
  • When you see the magnitude of your treasure, your heart swells.

–  You will be freed for the sacrifices of love

  • Hebrews 10:34 – “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.”
  • Your supreme name is the desire, not decision.
  • What frees you???

“May God make the supremacy of the name of Jesus be your sight, savor, satisfaction, desire, and trust.”

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Community Group – Clay Scroggins

 

–  What’s the one thing you need in this moment for God to grant you?

  • Satisfaction in Him
  • Discernment
  • Clarity
  • Guidance

–   *Seeing leads to freeing which enables loving* – Clay Scroggins helping to better understand John Piper

Discussion Questions:

–   How does the supremacy of Jesus give you freedom from the slavery of sin?

–   How do I live in the valley like I feel on the mountain? What happens after Passion?

–   How do you regularly cultivate a love for Him? How do you fan the flame?

–   Why does this free you to sacrifice? Where do you need to sacrifice for His sake?

 

That’s all folks! Louie Giglio closed the conference on Thursday morning. I was unable to go, but his talk will be available with the All Access Pass on February 28th. I will post notes and reflections soon after that! 🙂

Keep on living what you love! Much love, my friends!

Passion 2012 – Day 3

I never thought I would look forward to waking up before the sun. For me this was the last day of Passion 2012. My new job at Loganville High School started bright and early Thursday morning.

We drove into Atlanta and once again started our day with Community Group. We continued working through the book of Ephesians. I was hit in the heart that morning. Clay said, “The masterpiece ALWAYS points back to the Artist.” It made the think about how I am reflecting my Creator. I am about to start a job where I will be under the microscope in a school. The students and teachers will be watching me more than I realize. I want to make sure that I am a reflection of Christ. I was so impacted that morning. Wow, thinking back and looking at my notes encourages me so much!

On the first day of Passion, we all got a paper with an assigned time and topic. We were to pray during this time for the topic assigned, that way there was prayer for Passion and the 27 million the entire conference. My assigned topic was for peace.

After prayer you put your sticker on one of the letters that were all around the Dome and World Congress Center.

In the end, the letters spelt “Together we are a force for good.” 

We did not know who was speaking in the morning session, we all filled the Dome, once again. David Crowder led worship that morning and then Lecrae, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, and John Piper came on stage. They each took turns reading through the entire book of Ephesians. After each chapter we took time to reflect and pray, “Jesus, speak to me.”

During one of the prayer times I could not get the “Freedom Hand” Art Installation out of my mind. It was going up quickly and I did not know what all of the materials were on it. All at once it hit me, they were items that were made by slave laborers, they had to be. I turned to Estelle and told her what I was thinking. I realized this is where I wanted to begin my stand for freedom. I wanted to become a conscious consumer, research products before I buy them to make sure they’re not made by slave or forced labor and that their workers receive fair wages. I have been successful so far, it is difficult, as some companies I cannot find information about, but I am trying!

After this session we went to lunch over in the World Congress Center. After lunch we decided to go to the Freedom Station and give to Do Something Now. Walking through the line was eye opening. Not only did they have facts about human trafficking, but they had some plywood cutouts of people. They put “bodies” with the numbers. They also had a part where the people were chained to a map and marked with the city they were from. There was one from Atlanta. It broke my heart, it still does. I cannot believe that this horrific trade is going on in my own back yard! It was amazing to see people lining up to give money, especially “broke college students”. For myself, I saved Christmas money. I knew that I wanted it to be a personal sacrifice, not just asking my parents for money. Since I did not have a job, that was my income! 🙂

After giving I got to meet up with Daniel. He decided to spend the rest of the day with us! It was so great to have another familiar face around! We headed back in for the afternoon session. During this session, Louie did interviews with four different people that work with different organizations centered around ending human trafficking. During this time we learned about Slaveryfootpring.org – find out how many slaves are working for you and then you can work to lower that number! We also learned about an app, Free2Work, you can scan items and check to see if they’re using slave or forced labor to make their goods. They told stories of people they have worked with and seen first hand freed some slavery. It was amazing! I know that I won’t be kicking down any doors or working with special police force units any time soon, but how awesome is it that God can use simple people to fight such a huge cause!

After the session, Louie brought out the lieutenant governor and  the mayor of Atlanta on stage. He announced that with the amount given so far, we will be giving a check for $100,000 to the city of Atlanta to train police officers to start a “Special Victims Unit” to identify and rescue those stuck in trafficking in Atlanta. Praise God! It was such an awesome moment. There will be a special unit to work specifically to end trafficking in Atlanta!

For the afternoon and into the evening we had free time. We took time to go over to the Freedom Art Installation. You find a slave made product to write a prayer on. There were clothes, shoes, Christmas ornaments, toys, brick, burlap, rubber, even soccer balls! I could not believe how many products were out on the plaza to sign, and they were all collected, Passion did not purchase them.

We decided it was about time for dinner, we tried to go into the CNN Center, but it was packed, literally. According to fire code they can only let in so many people and they were at capacity, so as groups left, they would let groups in. We decided to walk a few blocks to McDonald’s. On the way we encountered quite a few homeless people. We got to McDonald’s and it was full of homeless men and women. I don’t know the exact story, but I think one asked Daniel for money. Instead he bought the homeless man 10, TEN, double cheeseburgers and prayed with him. What a heart!

On our way back we saw another one of the homeless men we encountered on our walk. We gave him some money and took some time to talk to him and pray for him. It was a moment I will never forget. I literally have THE BEST friends (and brother) ever. We even all got a kiss from the man, on the cheek, or in Daniel’s case, the neck! Mark that off the bucket list – “Get kissed by a homeless man.” We also got the chance to share with a business man, who was headed home from work, what we were doing in the city and what Passion was all about.

The final session was John Piper. What an incredible speaker. I have listened to his messages many times, so I was very excited to see him speak at Passion and WHAT A MESSAGE! I struggled to keep up, I wanted to write down every single word! He spoke about being free from the slavery of sin. His prayer for us was  “May God make the supremacy of the name of Jesus be your sight, savor, satisfaction, desire, and trust.” I cannot wait to get the All Access pass to hear this message over and over again!

My last time with Community Group was sad. I grew to love them and had a great time sharing my heart and praying with them. We spent the evening just going through John Piper’s talk and doing discussion questions. One question that I had for myself that Clay asked that night was, ” How do I live in the valley like I feel on the mountain?” How do I go from how I feel at Passion (on the mountain) and live it out in the valley. It has been an awesome journey to see how God is using those three days to shape and change me in incredible ways!

The late night was a candle light prayer time. We were so sad to miss this, but the group from PA had to get on the road the next day and I had my first day of work, so unfortunately we headed home.

Life since Passion 2012 has been awesome. I have found ways to live out what I learned every single day. Matthew and I made the decision to start regularly attending Passion City Church. It is about a 45 minute drive every Sunday, but totally worth it. I actually love getting up for church. All week I look forward to Sunday, which I can honestly say was not the case since I moved back home. I found myself so stuck, stagnant. I love and appreciate Hope Community Fellowship so much, but there is nothing for my age group. It was so frustrating. I realized through Passion that I really miss that community. I definitely had not been growing like I should beFriends, if you ever have the chance, you MUST come to Atlanta to visit me and attend church with me. It’s not the building or the people that really matter (even though they are great!), but I get to be a part of a local expression of the Gospel of Jesus, it just happens to be PCC. The center of all they do is Jesus. I LOVE IT!! Here is a little glimpse of the amazingness!

 

 

Time to Do Something!

“27 Million – it’s not a number; it’s a person. How is that impacting your present life and your future?” was a question asked our second night of Passion in family group. I knew already at that time that God was tugging at my heart to do something more.

I had been considering multiple places to travel this summer, I considered Israel, even though I have been before, just to go back and take it all in, rather than an academic trip. I considered going to South Africa to visit friends. I’ll be honest, two trips really about me.

I thought about Cambodia the minute the question was asked, I wrote it down and immediately started praying about it and I have been since. When I got home from Passion I inquired some about the trip and found out that Taylor felt like Cambodia had really been laid on her heart at Passion, specifically CHO, an organization they have worked with!

We both applied to be part of the team and we both have officially been accepted. I will give more details as I know them, but we will be going to Cambodia in June! Please keep our team in your prayers!

Passion 2012 – Day 2 – Notes

Community Group – January 3, 2012 – Morning – Clay Scroggins

 Ephesians 2:1-9

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodyand the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. ButGod, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

The last time Paul was in Ephesus he was thrown out, he is writing the letter from prison. At the time only about 1% of the people in Ephesus were believers.

Verses 1-3 – Theory/Perspective – How to think…

Verses 4-6 – Practice – What to think about…

Our perspective drives our practice

What perspective should we have about Christ?

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Clay then told the story about the Auburn Toomer’s trees that were poisoned by the BAMA fan.  I had never heard about this, but apparently to Auburn it is a huge deal! http://ocm.auburn.edu/news/oaks.html

– The trees are DEAD – LIFELESS, NO HOPE, NO FUTURE – they keep saying there is a “slim chance” of survival, but they are DEAD!!

– Before Christ, that was our state – we were DEAD, with no hope, no future…

– We have to know where we’ve come from, who we were before Christ. Because when we know who we were before Christ, the cross is even more beautiful against the backdrop of our former lives.

(Sin = Every evil thought, deed, etc.)

– Our sin offends God – Punishment = Death

– When you offend someone of a higher power, the consequences/punishment are more harsh.

– If you were to hit Clay (the leader of our community group), you might get in a little trouble with him, but if you were to hit the president you would be in big trouble.

Discussion Question 1:

How does it feel to be called dead? How does that shape the way you think about what God has done in your life?

– Thinking about friends that are un-believers as “dead” is difficult. It makes me want to share the Gospel with them even more. The thought of them as dead literally makes me nauseous. It makes me thankful for what God has done in my life, saving me from death and giving me eternal life. It also makes me want to make His name known even more, set aside my fears and share my faith, I am not ashamed of the One who saved my soul.

– “Dead” makes the gospel more beautiful, because it goes on to say, “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not by works so NO ONE can boast.”

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– God helps those who cannot help themselves.

-We have perverted the desires God put in us. The current of our culture is to kick our feet up and go with the flow. This ends with living lives we never wanted to live.

– When we “kick back” we begin to live our lives for things other than Christ – How would you feel if you were God and that were happening to you? It’s like a back-stabbing friend or a cheating boyfriend or girlfriend.

Discussion Questions 2 and 3:

Verses 4 and 5 – What hits you in your heart?

– The word MERCY hits me. Not out of pity, but out of compassion, unconditional love that we are saved.

– God is RICH in MERCY – a never-ending supply!

– Also, while we were STILL SINNERS Christ died for us, while we were DEAD he loved us.

Why should this “exchange” be life changing?

– We don’t deserve it. You must realize all other things are worthless in comparison to Christ and we didn’t do anything to deserve it.

This reminds me of Hillsong’s “Beautiful Exchange” :

You were near
Though I was distant
Disillusioned, I was lost and insecure

Still mercy fought
For my attention
You were waiting at the door
Then I let You in

Trading your life
For my offenses
For my redemption, You carried all the blame

Breaking the curse
Of our condition
Perfection took our place

When only love could make a way
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange

My burden erased
My life forgiven
There is nothing that could take this love away

My only desire
And sole ambition
Is to love You just the same

When only love could make a way
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
When only love could break these chains
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange

Holy are You, God
Holy is Your name
With everything I’ve got
My heart will sing how I love You

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Main Session 2 –  Beth Moore

Luke 8:40-55 – * Emphasis on 43-48 *

“Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. *And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Petersaid, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” * While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.”  But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat.”

– Both women were sick – 12 years in the making.

– Jesus stopped long enough to help the need that was not the priority.

– No one would have looked at the woman with the discharge and called her need a priority, only her – she was seen as unclean.

– This passage makes us uncomfortable, but we are forced to enter into the awkwardness.

“We’re as sick as our secrets.” We have a tendency to hide what needs the most healing.

– We’re scared of how it would damage our reputation. How it will affect us socially. The bleeding woman would have never gone in public because anyone she was near would then become unclean.

Numbers 19:22

“And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.”

Isaiah 6:5-7

“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

– She was seen her as unclean and when she touched them they would have been unclean. Jesus did not look at her that way. When she touched him, she didn’t make Jesus unclean, He made her clean. We are not hidden from God.

Hebrews 10:19-23

“Therefore, brothers,since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

2 Peter 1:9

“For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”

– We need to accept forgiveness and cleansing.

– Jesus’ robe fills the temple – there is enough robe to go around.

“Don’t just sit back and wait for something to happen – reach out!”

“It was the FAITH that drove the TOUCH that brought the HEALING.”

– We all have areas in our lives where we need healing. “Grab onto the garment and be made whole”

– Jesus felt the power leaving, but still has enough power to continue to heal and raise from the dead.

“We cannot consume Jesus, but He can consume you.”

– When you receive healing and wholeness, He feels it too.

– To say you’ve been healed, you must say you’ve been unclean. One does not come without the other.

Our prayer: CLEAN US.

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Main Session 3 –  Christine Caine

– It’s easy to ignore human trafficking when you take away the name and face and they’re just a number.

– When it becomes personal, everything changes.

John 17:15-16

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

God tends to interrupt our everyday mundane moments to transform them. He speaks to us and transforms us.

– What WOULDN’T you do if it were your family/child?

– There are 27 MILLION slaves – more people are being trafficked now that ever before.

Luke 10:30-37

“Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him andbound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

– Compassion is not compassion until you actively get involved, until you cross the street and DO SOMETHING NOW.

– God wants to use rescued people, to rescue people. The rescued need to rescue lost and broken people.

– Jesus has us in a lost and broken world to bring hope and restoration.

– Those 27 million are NOT a number. How will they ever know if we don’t DO SOMETHING NOW?

– Christine found out at 33 years old that she was adopted – she doesn’t know any facts about her biological family, etc, but said she doesn’t need to know the facts.

– She knows that she is God’s creation and was created for a purpose, just like those 27 million enslaved worldwide. The line between them and us is very thin.

We are set free to set others free.

– We are saved by grace for a purpose – for the works God prepared for us in advance.

Christine told the story about how Australians LOVE Wal-Mart, “Where else can you buy underwear, breakfast cereal, and a gun at 3 am? We tweet “I’m at Wal-Mart” and Americans are like “big deal.” Aussie’s – “I’M SO JEALOUS!” She took her daughter to Wal-Mart and she wanted to buy a flashlight. After they purchased the flashlight she turned it on and you could barely see the light. She asked her mom if they could go find some darkness so they could see the flashlight work.

This is a PERFECT example of how we should be seeking out the dark places in the world because light works most effectively in darkness! We should be seeking out the darkness!

– Don’t fear the darkness – shine your light and dispel the darkness. 

________________________________________

Main Session 4 –  Francis Chan

– Humanity is Reserved – We can end this if we refuse to be reserved.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

1 Kings 13:11-24

Now an old prophet lived in Bethel. And his sons came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told to their father the words that he had spoken to the king. And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him the way that the man of God who came from Judah had gone. And he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted it. And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” And he said, “I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’” And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water.

 And as they sat at the table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back. And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD and have not kept the command that the LORD your God commanded you, but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’” And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body.”

– Do I know the Bible well enough to call a lie? Do I just trust and listen or do I KNOW the TRUTH?

You must read the TRUTH for yourself.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist,fulfill your ministry.”

– An answer can be found for every question when you are looking in the Bible. But don’t twist it to what it’s not saying.

-Don’t use the Bible to justify what we want.

-There will come a time when people won’t pay attention to sound doctrine, but will go to people who will tell them what they want to hear.

– We twist Scripture to make it match our desires.

– God is literal. He means what was wrote, it’s not a joke

Luke 14:12

“He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.”

– This is an example of literal. It doesn’t have any figurative meaning. Throw a banquet for the poor, not a “banquet of the heart, but a literal banquet”

– Do you take it literally? Just do it!

– Go and make disciples! This is a solution to trafficking.

1 Samuel 13 & 14

– We should not want to be in that last group – they follow after it’s safe and then jump in. We should want to be like Jonathan and his armor barer. Be the leader in a movement – be the one to jump in first.

– How can we just sit around when all of this trafficking is happening around the world?

– There are some Jonathans in the room the believe God CAN and WILL us them!

“Well done good and faithful servant.”

 ________________________________________

Community Group – Evening – Clay Scroggins  

What stuck out most to you? What did you learn?

– I cannot just sit here and know what is going on in the world, not only around the world, but in ATLANTA. AROUND THE CORNER!

– Focus. I need to focus more on being still and knowing that HE IS GOD.

Francis Chan’s Talk:

When are you ashamed of the Gospel?

– When I fear what others will think

– Rejection

What needs to change in your life to fall more in love with His word?

– Discipline

– Stop looking at the Bible as academic

– I don’t HAVE to spend time with God – I should WANT to and count it as a privilege.

Christine Caine’s Talk:

27 Million – it’s not a number; it’s a person. How is that impacting your present life and your future?

– Present: I want to be involved in some organization in the Atlanta area, maybe with WellSpring Living, through volunteering or supporting them financially to do what they do best!

– Present: Take a stand against companies that use slave labor/child labor. I need to start researching companies.

– Present: Be a voice for the 27 million. Tell others what I learn at Passion, get the word out that it is a REAL problem, not just around the world, but locally.

– Present: Look into the needs in Bolivia. I want to research the problems with trafficking they face – maybe in the future I can work with an organization there to help stop it, since I fell in love with the country and the people.

– Future: I want to learn more. I want to be exposed first hand to what is going on – possibly Cambodia with Michelle Kime? ( I APPLIED FOR THE TRIP THIS SUMMER YESTERDAY!!)

– Future: Continued involvement with organizations that raise awareness, or help with prevention, etc for trafficking.

Beth Moore’s Talk:

Where do you need healing?

– Forgiving others.

– Pride.

I added my answers to questions, feel free to answer them for yourself. The time with my family group was so awesome to process through all of the sessions. I feel like I got a lot out of that time and continuing to process as I type them up is beautiful!

That’s all for Day 2 – Day 3 might have to wait until the weekend, I’ve got a busy week at work! 🙂


Passion 2012 – Day 2

We were up bright and early! We got home around 2:30am and up around 5:30 to get ready and have breakfast before heading to the Dome by 6:45am. Needless to say, we were all really tired! But, we managed to beat the rush hour traffic into the city and get there with time to spare. I worked on some preparation stuff for work, because my first day was that Thursday, the rest of the group took some time to catch a few more minutes of sleep.

Around 8:45 we split up to head to Community Groups. Matthew and Jeremiah were in Building C, they were in green and glitter green groups. Me, Megan, and Estelle were in Building A in orange group. We walked to the room together, but then split to go to our family groups.

We opened our time with music led by Josh Bayne, he is the music director at Athens Church. Then we got into our study of Ephesians. We started with Ephesians 2:1-9. We talked more in-depth about Louie’s talk from Monday night and answered some questions. I will post it all in my notes! 🙂 What hit my heart most was that while we were still DEAD, Christ died for us. While we were still sinners. Gah, we are so un-deserving! It breaks my heart when people think they have to get it all together before coming to church. Jesus loves the sinner, He died for the sinner.

After community group, we headed over to the Dome. We sat in section 342 pretty much every time. It was right up the escalator when you walked in Gate D, it was high, but you could see one of the screens straight ahead of you, AND there were never lines in the bathroom (I know from experience how long the lines were downstairs. Terrible.) It was also great to have a spot to meet inside because it was too cold to wait for each other outside and find a place to sit.

The Dome looks so different during the day. The canopy lets a lot of light in! At night there are crazy lights and lasers and you can’t really tell how many people are actually in the Dome. During the day you can see all 45,000 and it was awesome! That morning Matt Redman opened the time with music and we heard from Beth Moore. She was great! She talked about how we tend to hide the places that need cleansing the most. We need to stop hiding those areas and reach out to Jesus for cleansing. She said, “You cannot consume Jesus, but He can consume you.” I don’t know that I’ll every forget that quote.

After the session we headed to lunch. Lunch was provided by Jason’s Deli for the entire group! We were released in sections and followed a LONG line over to the Georgia World Congress Center. We wound through the building and down to the lower level into one of their big rooms where they do conventions. We picked a box lunch and sat with our group. It was amazing how everything flowed so well. We were out of the Dome, had our food, and eating within 20 minutes max – it was great!

After lunch we went back to Section 342. The speaker for the second session of the day was Christine Caine. She is an awesome speaker from Australia and a huge advocate for ending human slavery. Her talk awed me. I hung on every word. She told a story of her daughter purchasing a flashlight and she turned it on in the bright store, she couldn’t really see the beam of light, she asked if they could go find some darkness. That is how we should be in this dark world! We should be seeking out dark places to shine our light. This blew me away. I should be seeking opportunities to find ways to share Christ with others, not just waiting for those opportunities to present themselves!

After the session we had a break for a couple of hours. This was a time that you could hang out, go to one of the Freedom Stations to give to Do Something Now, and take part in the Freedom Art Installation. We decided to take the time to hang out, get some coffee, and relax during this time. I also got to meet up with a great friend who was down from Virginia. It was great to be reunited with Daniel!

We had dinner and then headed back to the Dome for the evening session. Jeremiah wanted to try out sitting on the floor, so me, Mattress, Megan, and Estelle decided to check out seats in ‘the bowl’, which is the lower level 100 seating area. This is when we realized just how great the upper level really is – it was much warmer up there and there were no lines for the bathroom! We did make some new friends though. The people in front of us were LOVING us – I was so energized from the coffee I had during break and I definitely was in a funny mood. We had a blast with them, the only one I remember their name was Evan from Georgia Tech.

Our view sitting in the bowl:

Chris Tomlin opened the session again. He brought worship leaders from all over the world to sing “How Great is Our God” in their languages. They were from Mexico, Ukraine, Brazil, and a group from Uganda. It was literally a glimpse of heaven. All I could think about was Bolivia. At first I tried to hold back the tears, but by the end I was full out crying. It was one of the most beautiful moments of the week.

During the song Louie came out and asked that we pray for a people or a nation on our hearts. We had a chance to pray for a nation on our hearts, out loud, with the other 45,000 in the Dome. Through the tears I prayed for Bolivia. The people weigh heavy on my heart daily. God doesn’t speak English, Spanish, etc. He speaks THE WORLD. I will forever cherish that moment!

The evening session speaker was Francis Chan. I heard him speak back in October at Catalyst and I appreciate his passion so much! I was definitely looking forward to hearing him speak again. He talked about the importance of knowing God’s word for yourself. He asked, “Do you know the Bible well enough to call a lie? Or do you just trust and listen or do you KNOW the TRUTH?” He also talked about not just sitting back and waiting for others to act, but for you to be a leader in a movement. It was fantastic!

Day two was packed with so much truth, it was great to get together afterwards with our family group and ask questions, answer questions, and pray together. Again, Josh Bayne opened our time with a song. This time it was one he wrote while Francis Chan was speaking. I wrote down the lyrics:

Speak to me

Holy Spirit, speak to me

As I draw nearer

Jesus, Be clearer

Search my heart

Holy Spirit, search my heart

As I draw nearer

Jesus, Be clearer

Your word will shine

A light on my life

And I’ll see You, I’ll see You

Show Your face

Jesus, show Your face

As I draw nearer

Jesus, be clearer

After we opened with the song and prayer we began answering questions from all of the sessions, talking through things and processing what we learned. It was awesome to hear what others had to say because they had points about the sessions that I had not even thought about. It also was a chance to get to know the others better. We learned about them through their answers to the questions and grew closer as a group as a result. It’s funny, I wasn’t looking forward to this time. I tend to want to stick with the people I know, but God really used this time at Passion to stretch me and make me realize that it is okay to be open with strangers and grow in community with people I didn’t know before Monday.

I have to admit, I had been looking forward to the Tuesday late night option all day. Again, I heard HillsongUnited and Joel Houston speak at Catalyst. They’re beyond words. They called the late night options “concerts”, but they were not concerts at all. Instead we were worshipping our Creator. The clapping, the singing, the hands raised, none of it was for Hillsong – it was all for the Lord.

They closed the evening singing “With Everything” and we sang for a good 11 minutes:

So let hope rise,
And darkness tremble
In Your holy light,
And every eye will see
Jesus, our God,
Great and mighty to be praised.

God of all days,
Glorious in all of Your ways.
Your majesty, the wonder and grace,
In the light of Your name.

With everything,
With everything,
We will shout for your glory.

With everything,
With everything,
We will shout forth your praise.

Our hearts will cry
Be glorified,
Be lifted high,
Above all names.
For You our King,
With everything,
We will shout forth your praise.

Woah…

I think anyone at Passion 2012 could agree that we were shouting our praise to the Lord that night – I don’t know that you could not be completely consumed in that moment. Even as I listen to the recording from the night while I type this I get chills. WITH EVERYTHING we will shout for Your glory. I need to have this feeling daily – I should be shouting His praise daily, I want to be unashamed of the Gospel, seeking out the dark places to share His light.

Again, we left super late, definitely ready for sleep, but looking forward to another day!

I’ll post my notes tomorrow, it’s time for bed – Passion City Church in the AM!