Well the first of the year started off with a flurry. My alarm didn’t go off because of a software glitch. But my wife’s did and I hit the ground moving to get my shower and things in the van before leaving for Atlanta and Passion 2011. I’d been looking forward to it for a while. And I was again blown away. So good.
It was four days of deep teaching, powerful worship, meaningful conversations, relationship building, and lots of walking. It wasn’t much in the way of getting much sleep though. Our hotel rooms were pretty suite too (pun intended) but it was a hassle to check in and check out of them. I saw lots of people I knew from different times in my life. I even saw people that were in my youth group as middle schoolers now actually leading college groups. Maybe that should make me feel old, but it doesn’t!
It was a fantastic experience to hear teaching from Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, and John Piper. But it was almost too much to ingest in a short four day period. I plan to spend some time over the next week or so digesting it all. And in the mean time I’ll post some thoughts and reflections on them. But it seems that after I got back I got a little head cold that has zapped me of any/all energy. I’m almost over it now and on the upswing. So all is (almost) well.
Back in 1996 my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to go to a college conference with her campus ministry. It was over in Austin, TX and was called Passion. Some guy named Louie Giglio had put it together and Dave Busby was going to be speaking. So was John Piper. I had no idea who these guys were. But I did see that a band named Caedmon’s Call was going to be playing. So I said, “Sure, why not.” and signed up.
Those four days really shaped my life. I was just starting my first full time ministry job in January of 1997 and this trip was January 1-4. And I’ve been a huge respecter of Louie Giglio and his ministries ever since. Beverly and I went to the first three Passion conferences (97, 98, 99) and to OneDay 2000. While in Clinton I carried a group to Nashville for Passion 2006 and tomorrow we leave with a group of college students headed to Atlanta for Passion 2011.
If you’re not that familiar with Passion or Louie Giglio, then you should be. Louie is one of my favorite communicators of God’s truths. He does it in a casual way, but will sometimes punch you right in the gut (or face) with exactly what you needed to hear. His heart beats most for college aged people to see how much they mean to God and the ways He can move through them to make a difference in the world.
I plan to tweet and blog a little while in Atlanta about Passion and our time there. We’ll get to listen to Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, John Piper, Davie Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Redmon, Charlie Hall, Christie Nockles, and more. But I hope that our group really catches fire for seeing God’s glory made known back here in Oxford and beyond. Pray for us while we’re away.
So this week I got three free books. Looking forward to each of them.
The first one is Mad Church Disease. It was written by Anne Jackson. She grew up in the home of a pastor and has worked as a staff member of a church for quite a while. And she’s witnessed and experienced first hand the dangers of burnout related to ministry jobs. And in Mad Church Disease she explored those dangers and pitfalls closely. I was able to get this for free because I won the contest on the books Facebook page. I won it back in the fall of ’07. Seemed that it would take forever to get my prize. But it’s here now.
The next two were because of a gift card I’d received for my birthday. But I got Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll and Crazy Love by Frances Chan. Both came highly recommended.
Mark Driscoll is pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Interesting city. Interesting church. And it’s quite a conservative church when compared to the local culture of the Northwest. Mark Driscoll says somethings sometimes that really have rubbed some people the wrong way. But I usually appreciate the heart from which he communicates from. He can make you crack up now and then too. Vintage Church is his look at the Biblical model for church, how it is structured and effectively in action.
Crazy Love, by Francis Chan, is about what a life that is truly and passionately in love with Jesus would look like. How would that love affect the person and the way they lived their life. Francis is pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA. Great communicator with a heart for the scriptures. I’ve heard him speak a time or two and get his podcast sometimes too. Check him out.
So..those are my new free books. Hopefully I’ll spend some time reading them soon. When I do I’ll give a quick review!