i haven't been to a huge worship event in a long while, of jumping up and down, singing loudly, and hearing a great preacher (hats off to louie giglio... may we all be fruitcakes for jesus!). it was really clear that the Spirit was present. grant and i were talking about the challenge of slipping into emotional highs in those kinds of settings, but i also know that there is something refreshing in having those moments from time to time. no, my faith doesn't thrive on exciting, high paced, crazy moving, loud, lights, pizzazz, and such... but those events are a chance to be lost in worship, singing to the King of all, and celebrating with thousands of others around you. and then those moments provide refreshment for later. i think one difference between something like passion and church worship is that i don't have to think about anything when it's not at church :-) when i'm at my own church, i'm sometimes leading, always aware of the students i'm with, etc. when i'm at someone else's church, i'm looking at how they do things, noticing what's different, unique, cool, could be adapted for our church, etc... at a big event like passion, those distractions aren't present - we can't put that in our church, problem solved! :-)
the whole thing got done at 11:30 or later, and then getting home on a school night was pretty late. our sleep schedules are so messed up. when we got home, i was still on a bit of a rush from the concert - ears ringing, eyes tired, but wide awake inside. i said to grant, "concerts give me a better buzz than drinking does!"
for more photos and the "official" blog, visit this blog.
less than 24 hours later, i was at a youth camp in fanling (aka, almost china, in the new territories) for a youth retreat. we had just over 40 high school students from at least 4 different churches attend this retreat: love actually - aka, a relationships and purity retreat. praise Jesus that He can take care of logistical issues, nitty gritty details that we haven't planned for!!! saturday night was a prime-time example. we decided it would be a cool idea for the guys to surprise the girls with a "nice" dinner - dress up, flowers, escorts, etc. the camp said "no, you can't bring in nice food. you have to eat in the cafeteria. maybe you can decorate tables...." well, saturday night rolled around, and we were about a half hour behind schedule and found out that the cafeteria would be closed, and there was no chance of us eating in the cafeteria. the teens and adult guys hauled tables and chairs to our meeting room, set up candles and roses, and ordered pizza and soda while the girls primped. in other words, the whole thing happened exactly the way we'd wanted in the first place!! what was cool was that the girls were able to feel really treasured, valuable, and special - even though they were being served and treated by guys they may have only barely known. anyways, God really did work, and i heard enough kids comment on my talk saturday night that i can just pray God lets it stick, take hold of their hearts, and remind them to stay committed to purity and living in the light!
now, it's time to sleep a lot tonight on a SOFT bed (you thought camp beds in the US were bad? wait til you try hong kong...) and not do ANYTHING tomorrow!!