Friday, January 14, 2011

"We welcome You with praise"

About 2 weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Passion 2011. Worshiping with 22,000 other college students for 4 straight days, not mentioning the hundreds of thousands linked in from around the world, was absolutely incredible. Although the Passion event was awesome, it was not the event that changed me or gave me freedom from my past. God did. Although worship was lead by some of the most renown christian artists and the teaching was done by some of the biggest names in the modern day Christian circle, it was not them that gave me joy and fulfillment in the end. God did.

Coming into Passion 2011, I was broken and in need of healing. I was in need of a savior. First semester of this school year, I went through a pretty tough break up. I won't go into all of the gory details, but lets just say it didn't end like I had hoped. I was left in a lot of pain and for months I tried to get myself out of it. I kept telling myself and those around me that I was getting better and I was getting over everything that had happened but in reality, as Beth Moore would say, I was stuck in a pit and it was a deep one. The whole time I thought I was making progress of getting myself out of it, I was actually doing the opposite. Every time I made the decision to take matters into my own hands, I was just picking up that shovel that Satan had provided me and just kept digging and digging and digging. I was stubborn too. I was not going to give that shovel up for anything. Even though God was sitting right in front of me the entire time saying, "Brittany, let go of the shovel and give me your hand. I will get you out of this pit.", I would answer with, "No. I can get out of here myself!" Moral of the story: when God says He will set you free if you just let go of your shovel and grab onto him, He will. It took me a long time to finally understand that and even today I struggle with giving God complete control over my life. Long story short, I was hurting and there was no way I was going to be able to take that pain away on my own. No one could for that matter. Not even the person who caused some of the pain. That is where God comes in.

Okay, back to Passion. You know those times you hear a song on the radio or you go to church and you hear a sermon and you think to yourself, "I am pretty sure that person was thinking of me when they wrote that." Well that is how the first night of Passion was for me. I had already had a somewhat tough morning, and all I could think about going into that first main session was, "I need freedom." And what did Louie Giglio talk about that night you ask? Yes, you guessed it. Freedom from the past. Right when he began his talk, I looked up to the heavens and actually chuckled a little bit because at that moment I realized God was about to change my life. And He lived up to his promise. All that pain and baggage that I had been trying to carry on my own for so long, God took from me. He showed me what it really meant to be set free and to be filled so much with His spirit, that I no longer worry about the useless things that don't matter in the end. He showed me how selfish I had been and how I had been living for someone that was not worth living for. He showed me what it meant to chain myself to Jesus, instead of chaining myself to my own desires. He showed me that in the end, the only thing that matters is Jesus. He showed me that through my suffering, I can still live fully in Him. In the end, He showed me Himself. He gave me exactly what I needed at the time, a savior. Through the course of the 4 days, I was broken down and then set free again. By the end, I was happy and ready to take on whatever challenge came my way. I had decided that no matter what life threw at me, I was going to somehow glorify the name of God. I wanted to stop living a life for myself and start living a life worthy for Christ. I really liked what Louie G. said one of the nights. "If you are constantly living for yourself, then in the end you will get yourself." Man if in the end, all I got was myself then I would be pretty miserable for eternity. I want God in the end, and so I realized I need to start living for Him. So in the spirit of new years resolutions, I will state mine. Living a life worthy of the only One worth living for.

Passion Notes:

Louie Giglio (Main session 1): Philippians 1:1-26
- Jesus needs to fill us so much that He drowns out all of the desire for things that don't matter in the end and the only thing that matters in the end is Jesus.
-Philippians 1:1-starts off with the word "Paul." It is a picture that shows all things can be made new.
-Circumstances don't have any power over our freedom and ability to live fully in Christ. Philippians 1:19
-God doesn't care about circumstances because they don't limit Him in the slightest.
-Freedom comes from choosing to be chained to Jesus

Beth Moore (Main Session 2): Renewing your Mind
-We cannot discern God's will for our lives without having a renewing of the mind.
-Whatever God has called me to do is more than I can do alone.
-We have to take captive those thoughts that are not Christ centered and make them obedient to Christ.
  2 Corinthians 10:5
-We have to be able to shut the door on all other distractions and zero in on God alone in or to renew our mind.
-Its not about not thinking about the past situation, but thinking new thoughts.
-If you give Him your mind, He will blow it for you.

Beth Moore (Breakout 1): Psalm 37
-We act out of what we believe. If we continue to believe the same thing, then we will continue to do the same thing.
-Nothing dictates our lives like our desires.
-Beneath the desire of our heart is the heart of our desire.
-Delighting in God makes our true desires inevitable.
-Nothing external can steal our right to delight.
-To make room for delight, we have to commit.
-Patiently waiting for desire to turn into delight is not passive.
-You can't beat life with Jesus with anything else.

Francis Chan (Main Session 3): Philippians 1:27-28
-Our lives and our actions should be worthy of the gospel of Christ.
-If I really believe the gospel then my life should be a reflection of that.

Andy Stanley (Main Session 4): Appetites
-You have no idea what God may want to do through you in this world.
-Your appetite will either be ruled by you or will rule you.
-Your response to your appetites will determine your path in life.
-Genesis 25:29-34-We are constantly trading eternal glory for something temporary. (Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of stew)
-What is your bowl of stew? What are you willing to trade God's will for?

David Platt (Breakout Session 2): Radical
-We have a master who demands radical sacrifice and a maker who guarantees radical reward.
-Luke 10:57-62
-Christ has asked us to give up everything but we twist him into the middle class, American Jesus.
-When we twist him into our image and worship him, we are actually worshiping ourselves.
-Jesus is not a means to end but He is the end.
-My dreams and plans should always start with "How can I better further the Kingdom of God?"

John Piper (Main Session 5):
-Do you feel loved by God when He makes much of you or when you make much of Him?
-God needs to be at the bottom of my joy.
-He should be the fountain which all other desires come from.
-Many people believe that new birth means just getting their old desires willed by a new source.
-"New birth is not enjoying the same meal but having a different butler."
-God makes much of us to make much of himself. (Ephesians 1:5)
-God's love for you in such a way that makes Him your supreme treasure is a greater love than if He made you your supreme treasure because "self" cannot satisfy a heart of God.

Louie Giglio (Main Session 6): Carry the name of Christ
-We all carry names. Kesha, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Katy Perry, Usher, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, North Face, Coach, Apple, Sony, Microsoft, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Gucci, etc.
-We should spend more time carrying the name of Christ.
-It doesn't matter when you go. It matters what you carry.

Carry His name.

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