Saturday, December 31, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Seven

Saturday 12//31//05
27 Come

Passion is not for perfect people. While we boast in the fame of Jesus Christ, and want to live our lives for Him, it’s not always as easy as to pull off as the words are to say.

In a setting like Passion it’s easy to get swept into the current of emotion, feeling invincible in our pursuit of Jesus and His ways. But it’s not the swell of thousands that wins the day, rather one of us yearning for God with a broken heart. That’s where change is. That’s where life is. It’s where Jesus is always found.

So don’t worry about trying to impress. Come as you are. From wherever you find yourself, come to Jesus. He loves the least, the sinner, the broken, the needy. He will meet you here.

If you’ve stumbled in recent days…
If you’re thirsty…
If you’re lonely…
If you think you might give up on God…
If your needs are larger than words…
If you’re slipping…
If you’re questioning…

Father, I cannot hide from You. You know me inside and out, so I come to you as I am. I have such a long way to go…there’s so much to be done in my life. Thank you for mercy, and Your amazing patience which seems endless. I am not happy where I am. Heal me. Touch me. Restore me to You. I’m reaching for You, Jesus. Amen.

Through the day: You restore.

[Nashville is buzzing. Music City Bowl today...congrats Cavs. Brooks and Dunn, Big and Rich in the Gaylord for New Year's, NHL Hockey in the Arena on Sunday... then the Passion invasion.]

Friday, December 30, 2005

Updated Breakout Schedule For Passion 06

Check before you arrive!
Thanks to one of your comments, we now know that the Map/Brochure you will get when you arrive at Passion 06 has Breakouts that happen Tuesday and Wednesday listed as happening Monday and Tuesday. We have made the change online and you can see the new BO schedule under the Essential Stuff link on the Passion 06 site.

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Six

Friday 12//30//05
26 Eight

As in 26:8.

Well, the Passion House is getting emptier by the day, as most of our team is already in Nashville making plans for you to arrive. And as you make your way, carry with you today's simple prayer: "Yes."

That's it. The whole prayer. Everything.

Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and renown are the desire of our souls." Isaiah 26:8.

Since Passion's birth this has been our theme, and will always anchor everything we do. While we usually focus more on the last phrase of this confession, the most powerful part of the declaration may be that simple little three-letter word at the beginning. Yes means I trust You... trust You enough to say yes before I even know all You are going to say. Yes means I must say no to something else, or someone else, I've looked to to satisfy my soul. Yes is daring. All in. Anticipating. Calculated. Weighty. Waiting.

Yes without a blueprint, only You. Yes to whatever, as long as it's for Your fame. Yes alone or with others, as long as You are there. Yes to You, Jesus, the one who said yes to the Father and purchased me forever.

Father, Your cross beckons me to say nothing less than yes today.

Through the day: Trust.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Five

Thursday 12//29//05
25 Reverent Party

What? Can these two words go together? A reverent party? I think they can…and pray they will.

Reverence is recognition that we are not coming to an “event,” but coming as the people of God before the One who is radiant and pure. So holy, in fact, that if He did appear in visible form, His presence would send us crashing to the floor with blinded eyes.

The party happens when we glimpse the cross of Christ, truly seeing the price He paid to forever wash away our guilty stain, and cannot help but shout for joy.

At Passion 06 we want both. As we come into His presence we want eyes opened wide to His Majesty as we dance before Him as those set free.

Father, please help us. Help us live in the balance of Your Royalty and friendship-grace. May we, when we see You, “shout for joy and fall facedown.” Open our eyes. Free our feet. Move us with mercy to rejoice in You as we go to the world. Thank You Jesus, Amen.

But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down. Psalm 5:7

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28

But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:22-24

Through the day: Jesus is the party.

7 Essential Things To Know Before Arriving at Passion 06

Make Your Arrival Smooth. Key Things To Know Now:

1. There are a lot of people headed to Nashville. Plan extra time in your travel schedule for January 2. Arrive early and familiarize yourself with your hotel, the downtown event locations and registration.

2. Registration opens at 2:00 PM, January 2, in the Gaylord Arena (Rehearsal Hall). Please bring your Registration Confirmation. If you do not have your registration confirmation proceed to Registration and we will assist you there. Do not e-mail for another confirmation at this time. If you are registered, proceed to registration.

3. If you are staying in a downtown hotel, go first to your hotel and park, then walk to registration. All others proceed to the Gaylord Arena.

4. Doors open at the Gaylord Arena for the January 2 PM session at 6:00 PM. The session begins at 7:00 PM. There will be security screening at the Gaylord Arena. Travel light (no backpacks, etc.) to make entry faster for everyone.

5. Seating is General Admission and the Arena will be full. HELP US MAKE ENTRY TO THE MAIN SESSIONS AS SMOOTH AS POSSIBLE FOR ALL. Please help us fill every seat. No large blocks of seats may be saved by those arriving early. If you wish to sit together as a group, meet outside the Gaylord and enter together.

6. The GO CENTER is the hub of Passion 06 and will open at 2:00 PM January 2, located on the lower floor of the Nashville Convention Center (the NCC is adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel). The 268Store, The Mobilization Experience, Graffiti Art, Renown-A Visual History of the Passion Movement and the Information Center will all be open in the GO CENTER beginning at 2:00 PM.
AS WELL, tickets for LateNite events on January 2 will be available in the GO CENTER on a first come basis from 2:00-7:00 PM. Tickets for January 3 LateNites will NOT BE AVAILABLE until January 3.

7. Throughout Passion 06 attendees are encouraged to participate in Kneel-A 24-Hour Prayer Journey. Sign-up is available beginning at 2:00 PM at Registration, in the GO CENTER, as well as at Kneel locations in the Arena (GO CENTER Tunnel) and the Nashville Convention Center (First Floor). We would love to have everyone take the one-hour journey through Kneel, helping us cover the conference in prayer from beginning to end.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Passion 06 Registration Almost Full!

Updated 12//27//05 11:42 PM

[Welcome Sarah from Jacksonville State University, Caitlin from Grand Rapids CC, Trey from Auburn, Lisa from York College, PA, Jason from IU, Hannah from UGA and Kristin from Wheaton. They registered while I’ve been posting this Blog and are going to be at Passion06. But, I’m sad to say, we are over 99% capacity tonight and there’s a very good chance registration will close TOMORROW (Wednesday). When that happens, Passion06 will officially be full! If you know people who are waiting to register, let them know today is the day.]

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Four

Wednesday 12//28//05
24 Open

Praise opens the way for us as we come in the name of the Lord. Both literally and spiritually, our worship opens doors that may have been shut for ages, allowing us to walk in new places with God.

So, today, we want to pray for the city of Nashville, asking God to flood the whole city (not just Passion 06) with the redemptive tide of His Spirit. Like David and his men returning to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant (the symbol of God’s glory and presence in that day) we want to proclaim Him as we approach the city, saying,
Lift up your heads, O you gates, be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates, lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty—he is the King of glory. Selah Psalm 24:7-10

Many Believers are welcoming us to Nashville, rejoicing with us as we draw near. And many pastors prayed over us and gave us their blessing as we met together a few weeks ago. With them, we want to say to the city, “Open wide, God is in your midst, open your hearts and let Him in.”

Pray for the churches of Nashville who are proclaiming Jesus throughout the city. Pray for their leaders, asking God to awaken them with new purpose and vision, protecting them from everything that seeks to hinder them as they serve Him. Ask God to birth a spirit of oneness among them.

Pray for the colleges and universities of Nashville, that somehow our gathering in the city will spill over on them as well, igniting new life so that all hear of His fame. Pick one school and pray for that school through the day: Vanderbilt, Austin Peay State University, Fisk, Tennessee State, Belmont, Trevecca Nazarene, Middle Tennessee State University and others.

Pray for the people of Nashville, all the students who attend these schools and those coming to Passion 06. Lord, may we open our lives fully to You. You alone satisfy. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10

Through the day: Lord, You can change a city.

Monday, December 26, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Three

Tuesday 12//27//05
23 Up Front With Worship

[First, a quick thanks for all you guys who have been on the Journey with us so far AND hi to those of you who got a text, call or e-mail from a friend yesterday and have just arrived. Seven days to Nashville, and today we begin our final week of the Journey.]

Worship is powerful stuff. It’s not just something to prepare us for the "message" or feel-good music that moves the soul. Worship is a weapon against the foe. The shout of those headed to battle. The cry of the oppressed. The right thing to do all the time, anytime. Worship in faith leads us to praise God no matter what we see and understand, affirming that He is sovereign over all things, orchestrating everything for His glory and our good.

At Jericho a shout brought impenetrable walls crashing down. And, when three armies pressed in on the King Jehoshophat, he formed a choir to lead the people into the fight singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, His love endures forever.” Not exactly hardened fighting words, but an affirmation of faith, praising God for His heart of love and thanking Him in advance for what He was going to do. God delivered Judah that day without a battle, as their enemies mistakenly turned on each other until they all were destroyed.

Today we worship God for who He is and praise Him for all He is doing/and has done at Passion 06. No asking for anything today. Just praise going before us as we fix our eyes on Him.

Father, we exalt You today and lift You up as our banner of hope and victory. You have no rival and are greater than all gods. Thank You for Your faithfulness to every generation and Your unfailing love expressed in Jesus Christ. I praise You because Your power holds the Cosmos together, yet You know every single thing about each of us. We are happy that You are our God and we are Your people. Thank You for choosing us and placing us in Your family…in Your story. Thank You for Passion06…for doing more than we could ask, think or imagine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Through the day: Don't stop shouting His praise.

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Two

Monday 12//26//05
22 Join

Merry Christmas. Or as my English friend said on my voicemail today, "Happy Christmas!" Oh, I know it's past midnight EST (yes, these posts actually are written in real time and not generated by a computer that auto posts while I'm asleep) and it's not actually Christmas anymore. In fact, for the Brits, it's Boxing Day, I think. Yeah, a little strange, but it's not the day they like to fight, rather (I hope I get this right) the day they box up all the stuff they got they don't like and take it back to the store. Come to think about it, there may actually be some punching involved in that after all. Anyway, the point. It's not that important to me what day Jesus was born, but that He came. And to that, I wish you all a Happy Christmas today, because He is here now. Still Emmanuel. Very much the light of the world. Living in you and me.

Ours was split between two cities again, as we always try to hit both families on Christmas Day. So we awakened to sunny, mild Houston where we had been with Shelley's family, took Delta home (sounds odd, I know, but it's really a nice day to fly) and celebrated with my family here in Atl. Lot's of family, laughter and Honey Baked Ham. Which makes me wonder what we used to do before those people came into existence. If you had a Honey Baked Ham at any point during the Christmas season can I see your hand. Yep, that's pretty much all of us. But we are back at the house now, still mesmerized by my favorite gift so far, that little 20 Questions thing that somehow deduced "braces," "sand" and "cupcake" in the first three attempts to fool it. Well, actually it answered cake and not cupcake, but given that it costs less that $20 and fits in my hand, I gave it that one, too.

But most of the questions over family meals included the familiar, "So, are you guys ready for Passion?" Briefly my mind would race to the 9,000 things that have to be done between now and a week from tonight... so I would quickly try to refocus on the sweet potato souffle or the laughter coming from the other room. Yes, there are a million details that still have to fall into place, and no, we're not exactly ready yet and will have a full week of hard work to be able launch on January 2, but it's Sunday, January 25 (technically, not so much, but we're going with the fact that it's still very dark outside), and both Christmas and Sabbath all rolled into one. So we are resting from the details and savoring the Savior, trusting that He is making us all ready for what He has in store.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) will begin the last seven days of our journey to Passion06. Your mission: get everybody you can that's going to Passion (and anyone not going who wants to pray) to join the cause. There are a bunch of you out there, but we want as many of the 18000 people who are coming as possible to be in step when we hit the city. So, call, text, IM, shout, woo, e-mail... whatever it takes, reach all your peeps. Every single one of them. And say, 268Blog.com. Meet me there. Seven days till Passion. Join the movement. Pray!

Through the day: It's still Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty One

Sunday 12//25//05
21 Christmas

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light,
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy,
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:2-7

[Merry Christmas from all of us at Passion. Hope there's a trip to Nashville under the tree!]

Saturday, December 24, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Twenty

Saturday 12//24//05
20 The Day Before Jesus

Clinging to distant hope.
Are the promises true?
Looking heavenward.
Religion is not enough.
Weary of all the sacrifice.
Year after year.
We’ve heard about a coming Savior.
Can it be?
A God-sent one.
For us.

Darkness growing.
Joy fading.
Time wasting.

400 years without a word.
No prophet.
No message.
Not one syllable.
Are we finished?

Doing our best.
Life is bustling.
No vacancy.
We’re slammed.
No room for you tonight.

Heavy weight.

Little chance.
Darkness growing.
Bumping through the night.
Where are we going?
Is there something more?
Will He ever come?
What are we supposed to do?
Losing our grip.

This place is crazy-busy.
Even if it was true,
And He did come here,
We wouldn’t even know.

Through the day: Remembering.

Friday, December 23, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Nineteen

Friday 12/23//05
19 Pilgrimage

We are on a journey… and I mean more than a trip to Nashville. Much more. We are after our Creator, wrestless souls longing to be in the arms of a Father who has made us. A Father whose arms are home. We are happy here on earth, but not fully satisfied. In fact, as the days mount in this thing called life earth looks less and less promising, not more and more inviting. But that’s OK. We’re just here for a brief visit. We're on our way, headed home.

We’re not anti-earth. Rather, pro heaven. As long as we’re here we'll enjoy this place, while fighting on for the Name that sets us free. But we have a departure date just ahead. And, speaking for myself, when I am gone, shed no tears for me. My final destination blows this place away.

In the meantime, Lord willing, I'm headed to Nashville… and so are a ton of you. We’re coming on planes, on buses, in vans and in cars. In fact, some of you still aren’t exactly sure how you're going to get there. But you’re coming. You're determined. You're on a pilgrimage. We are all, and it won’t be easy.

In these last days many obstacles will come, trials from without and within that seek to impede our successful arrival at Passion06. In fact, for us death has been at our door all fall long. Cancer, has been our companion. The struggle, ever-present. But we’re still coming, no matter what.

Get ready for them. Job changes. Financial worries. Family crisis. Illness. Friends bailing. Schedules crashing. Stuff happening. Many things will try to stand in the way, but let’s pray today…

Lord, You are sovereign over all things, and over all of us. Lead us to Nashville under Your care. Thwart enemy plans that might stop us from being a part of all You have in store.
And even today open the way for others to come. Those who are hoping for a financial miracle or a change of heart from a parent. Please open the way.

Thank You for the provision You have made so far, and for all You have done to aim 17000 of us toward Nashville. We will continue to trust in You.
Passion06 is not our prize. You are what we want. And heaven is the end of the race we run. Today we are leaning that way, toward You, toward home. We love You and long for You, Jesus.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Through the day: Headed home.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Eighteen

Thursday 12//22//05
18 Love Canada

[First, thanks for your comments. Beautiful. Just wanted to know we’re not the only ones on the Journey.]

One month ago Passion was north of the border, hosting our first international gathering in the lovely city of Toronto. I fell in love with Toronto as a college student a long, long time ago. After a long absence I was back in the city a few years ago, this time with the realization that: 1) Toronto is a collegiate mega-city, with over 300,000 students within 60 miles of downtown, and 2) There are lots of university students with a passion to see God do something on the campuses where they live.

It was an amazing night (we’ll show you more about it at Passion06) with over 4000 students from not just Toronto, but all over Ontario and beyond.

Today, we want Toronto to know we haven’t forgotten you. I know a few of you (and other Canadians, too) will be with us in Nashville, but know that Toronto will be front and center during those days as we talk about what God is doing there and encourage students and leaders to think about making the jump north to walk along side you in the cause.

Today, we are praying for you…for fires of awakening to fan into flame all across your spacious land. From east to west, may the name of Jesus fill the streets until His renown is Canada’s song.

Today’s prayer:
There are over 60,000 students at The University of Toronto in the heart of the city. Let’s pray for U of T, asking God to strengthen and unify the ministries and churches that are serving students there. Pray that God will open the eyes of students and faculty to His grace and mercy. Ask Him to expose the darkness for what it is and rescue captives from the doom of sin and death. Ask for favor on those who are seeking to exalt Jesus.

[For more Canada faces to pray for, click the November archives link and scroll down to Toronto Blogs.]

Lord, we lift up Your church in Toronto, specifically at U of T, but all throughout the city and the nation. And we call out to You for every campus and every student in Canada. LORD, we have heard of your fame and stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2 Father, we know when Toronto is reached the world will be touched. Glorify Your name. Make Your fame known. You are worthy of all the worship in Toronto. Be glorified for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

Through the day: May Canada’s light be You.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Seventeen

Wednesday 12//21//02
17 Connected

[OK, the Christmas crunch is here and the comments are dwindling...are you guys with us??]

Now that we've gotten that out of the way....Today's question: What do these people have in common?
Emily from Wartburg College in Iowa (Go Knights!)
Douglas from Rhodes University in South Africa
Amy from the University of Central Oklahoma
Benjamine (do you go by Ben?) from Marshall University in West Virginia
Megan from Vandy (Go Doors!)
Rodolfo, a college leader from Rio (as in de Janeiro, Brazil)
Katherine from Samford

Yep, good guess! They all registered for Passion06 in the last few hours and are headed to Nashville. The message today: you are not alone! You may be at Auburn, surrounded by hundreds (if not thousands) of followers of Jesus or you may be one of the relative few at Washington University in St. Louis who claim the Savior of the world. But, in either case you are part of a massive army, countless thousands, hundreds of thousands, running after Him with everything they've got.

That's one of the things I love most about Passion. It's a neutral ground connecting spot for people from different churches and campus ministries representing every kind of campus in the nation. We all come from different streams, but our common bond is Jesus Christ. He is the corner stone on which all of our hope is built. His unique life, matchless atonement, distinct grace, historic resurrection and unending reign are the source of our rejoicing. That's why His name is our desire and His anthem our loudest song.

That's why it's not enough for us to champion 17,000+ people packed in an arena. We have added smaller Community and Family Groups to the mix so that you can link your journey with other students from places you may have never heard of before and leave knowing you've got a lot of company as you seek to live for Jesus. We're glad you're coming with the people you see everyday, but we also want you to meet someone who's living the same faith, but in a completely different part of the country/world.

So come ready to connect with others who are seeking a deeper faith and a louder voice. Who knows, maybe Douglas will be in your family group and you'll leave with a new pal from south of the equator.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6.

Today's prayer:
How cool would it be to pray for the others who you are going to be in a Family Group with befoe you ever meet them. God knows the names of the 8-10 people in your group already, so ask Him to prepare them for the days in Nashville and give them a fresh awareness of Himself during Christmas.
Pray for your Community Group facilitator and worship leader as they prepare to help you process what God is during during the days of Passion06.
Look for the chance to connect with someone in the middle of the mass at Passion06 who needs to know they're not alone. Come ready to unite...and with one loud voice glorify Jesus Christ.

Father, thank You for connecting us through the Holy Spirit, kniting us forever to You in Christ. While we celebrate our various streams and distinctives, we boldly rejoice in our common Savior. Release a spirit of unity in our midst and tear down competition and pride for Jesus' sake. You have made us one and one we will be for You. For a louder shout of His name. Amen

Through the day: I'm in a big, big family.

Monday, December 19, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Sixteen

Tuesday 12//20/05
16 Leaders First

In God’s economy, leaders always go before the people. Not because they’re special, but because they have been set apart by God.

In general, the student generation will not awaken before those in leadership are fully awake. If students are asleep, it’s often because no one around them sounds the alarm.

In Joel 1:13 we find the first call going out to the spiritual leaders of Israel. “Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn; wail you who minister before the altar. Come, spend a night in sackcloth; you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God.”

On the verge of Passion06 the challenge goes out to all spiritual leaders, ministers, pastors, and shepherds… Come before the Lord— in brokenness and desperation-- because the worship of God is being robbed from His people. I know from experience that you are weary as the semester ends and that you feel the relief of Christmas break as much as your students...or more. But during these days consider setting aside some time to seek God.

Notice, the leaders are called to a “night with God” first AND THEN the invitation comes in verse 14, “Declare a holy fast.” Only after our night of seeking are we prepared to lead the way.

Let the priest, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people O Lord.” Joel 2:17a

Leader’s prayer: Father, You have called me and appointed me as a shepherd for Your people. I have no ministry but Yours, no calling but Your calling on my life. Where I have abandoned the radical call of following the Savior, exchanging vibrant life with You for the "doing of ministry," have mercy on me. I thirst for You and need You more than ministry, service, success, recognition. I’m tired of following. I want to lead. I’m weary of telling others what You desire for their lives. I want all You have for mine. I am Yours. Break my heart. Call me away with you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Pray for those who lead your church and ministry.
Pray for their encouragement.
For for the fresh wind of God's Spirit in their hearts.
For the abandon of self and safety to the wild call of Christ on their lives.
Pray for the protection of marriages and for God's covering of mercy.
Do something today to let them know you love and appreciate them.

Through the day: Lead us. Lead me.

28 Day Journey-Day Fifteen

Monday 12//19//05
15 Fast

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18

It’s interesting that Jesus’ tone in these verses appears to be matter of fact. He’s assuming that fasting is a part of our spiritual journey, opening with the words, “When you fast” as opposed to “If you should choose to fast.” Thus, Jesus drives straight to matters of the heart, revealing that the prize in fasting is not a pat on the back from others but a touch from Heaven above.

Thirteen days out we’d like to challenge everyone headed to Passion06 to fast at least one day before you arrive. Fasting is not so much about ritual as it is focus. When we withhold the stuff we love, need and crave we heighten our sense of dependence on God. And we say to Him with more than words that the thirst within cannot be quenched aprt from Him.

You might choose food, entertainment, your cell phone, coffee, surfing online...whatever. Don’t make a big deal out of it to others, but every time you think about what you’re missing, tell God how much you love and need Him. And as you do, interceed rather than indulge, asking God to do the supernatural in your life and the lives of those around you.

Today’s prayer:
Father, break my proud heart…the one that causes me to live day after day without desperately seeking You. You alone are true food and drink. You alone deeply satisfy. By Your grace I am setting my eyes on You, choosing to set aside the things of this world as I make You the desire of my soul.

Meet me in the hunger of my body and soul with a greater awareness of Your presence and power in my life. Make my heart ready for all You have for me in the days ahead. Lead us through the doors in Nashville hungry and expectant for You. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Through the day: Seek first Jesus.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Fourteen

Sunday 12//18//05
14 Rest 2

Funny thing, Sabbath. It’s here…again. Six short days have passed and Sunday has come once more. It’s been like that since Eden, God’s weekly “pause button” on this rat race called life. Sabbath doesn't come so much for His sake (as though He’s going to be any less God if we don’t stop to honor Him), but for ours. Because sadly we can’t travel too far without forgetting that He is God—and we are not.

That’s what today is all about. Sabbath is not about legalism and rule keeping. This holy day of rest is about the posture of our hearts...about laying at His feet the heavy weight of the world we’ve tried to carry all week long.

There’s so much to be done to get ready for Passion 06 (and everything else in our lives) and so little time to do it. And that’s the point exactly. We can’t. But, then again, Sabbath reminds us that God is building the house that stands, not us. And having done our best at all we can, it’s time to be still...and by our very godly inactivity exalt Him as our all in all.

Breathe out weight and worry. Breathe in again the bigness of God.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15a

Today’s prayer:
Father we praise You today. Not because we are supposed to, but because we want to…we need to. We need to remember again today that You are Almighty. Limitless. Unchanging. Forever the same. From weariness and brokenness we look up to You. You are the source of life and peace. All of our help comes from You, Maker of heaven and earth.

Passion06 is thirteen days away…not enough time to get everything done and cover all the bases. We are doing all we can with what we have, but in the end You must breathe the whole thing to life. Breathe on us, Holy Spirit of God. Jesus, You are the same yesterday, right now and as long as there will be.

Through the day: You.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Thirteen

Saturday 12//17//05
13 Here

Passion wants to touch the world, yet we are also asking you to consider allowing God to use you to light your hall. While the GO Center at Passion 06 will highlight our commitment to Mobilization as a lifestyle, going to the nations is not all that’s on our hearts. In fact, it may be easier to cross borders than to cross the apartment complex parking lot to tell someone about Jesus at our own school.

For one, when we make the trek to Asia we only have to hold our spiritual lives together for 10 days. But to connect the dots for a classmate or dorm-mate means we actually have to live the life. By saying that we certainly don't mean it's our perfection that opens the way for others to receive the Gospel. Just that they have to see something real in us before they are going to stop and consider what we have to say.

We are praying many of your will join God’s global adventure because of Passion06, but we are also hoping every one of us will lift our eyes to see that the fields that surround us are desperate for something more.

I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. Acts 26:17-18

Today’s prayer:
We’d like to challenge you to pray for one person on your campus (or city) that does not know Jesus. Would you make space in your holiday season to pray for them everyday until you are back at school next year. Do something to remind you daily…write on your hand with a Sharpie, wear a rubber band on your wrist or set your phone alarm to keep them in your thoughts day by day.

Lord, I don’t know who else is praying for them, or if anyone ever has. But I am lifting them up to You now. Open their eyes to see how beautiful You are. Expose the empty wells of this life for what they are. Free them from less and allow them to know You, Jesus, so that they may sing the song of those who are alive forever. Amen.

Through the day: Start here.

Update: We received another great report today. Our Community Group leader who has just been diagnosised with cancer, while still undergoing tests, was told that the cancer has not spread rapidly throughout his body. This is great news of God's favor. We continue to pray for God's mercy and goodness as further evaluation is done and a course of treatment begins.

Friday, December 16, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Twelve

Friday 12//16//05
12 Global

Passion06 is a global endeavor. Not simply because students and leaders are headed to Nashville from virtually every continent, but because the Kingdom of God is an “all skate,” encompassing people from every nation, tribe and tongue.

While it is going to be massively encouraging to see 17,000+ fill the Gaylord Arena, we have to remember that Passion06 is a tiny speck in the economy of God. That doesn’t discount in any way the staggering implications and importance of our gathering. It just gives us a better vantage point as we take our place in God’s redemptive work among all peoples.

I was reminded of that again today reading an account from mission’s leader KP Yohannan about a meeting in his native India a month ago. The gathering in the state of Nagpur united 10,000 Believers for four days of worship and prayer. Stunning in and of itself, this meeting of Christians takes on added significance considering Nagpur (which means “abode of snakes”) is home to the headquarters of RSS, the militant anti-Christian fundamentalist group, and where people are trained to carry out attacks against Christian work in India. In the midst of darkness, His light is growing brighter.

It's true the need throughout India and the world is great, and as a result of Passion06 we are praying many will go. But make no mistake about it, God is building His church in every corner of the world with or without you and me, and nothing can stand in His way.

All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Psalm 86:9-10

Today’s prayer:
Pray for people traveling to Passion06 from outside the US. Ask God to provide all they need for the journey and to use this experience to establish and strengthen His church where they live.

Father, everywhere the sun rises and sets today You are praised. Hallowed be Your name. We are floored by Your love for each of us, yet know we are a part of a “every people” plan. As You love us, You too love every living soul. Connect our hearts to Your worldwide mission and leverage what happens in Nashville to the end that every nation hear Your fame.

Through the day: Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Eleven

Thursday 12//15//05
11 Twenty-four

In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever. Psalm 44:8

24. That's it. That's today. It's what we get. Sixty minutes of sixty seconds. Twenty four times over. That's life. Our chance. Each day.

(If you're a college student you know how many hours there are in the day because you probably were just awake for all of them, cramming as much as possible into that brain of yours. If that's you, in the midst of finals, thanks for taking time to hit the blog. We're under the gun at the Passion House, too. So we're with you!)

24. You can't take it back. Redo it. Reshape it. But we will replay it again and again...if not now, in eternity. What were we thinking? What were we doing? So careless. So frivolous. So enamored with stuff that amounts to little while we carry the name of the King of Creation.

Everything on earth tells us to take it easy. Not so fast. You've got so much time. But suddenly the end comes and the days are done. Spent forever on something we hope is worth forever
. 24. They all have to count.

24. At Passion 06 that's when we'll pray. Yep, all day long.
Kneel, The 24 Hour Prayer Journey will be open in four locations throughout Nashville from the time you arrive to the time you leave. Praying through a dozen prayer stations, thousands will take the journey through Kneel, each pausing where someone has bowed before and where someone will follow, we will cover every single second of our time in Nashville with voices rising to heaven.

Come prepared to take stake your place. An hour is waiting for you. Look for sign up details when you arrive.

Today's prayer:
Awaken my soul to the moments that are in my hands. Open my eyes to the treasure of just one day. Attach my wandering heart to Thine.
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:1-3)

Thank You for 24 today. I am grateful for Your kindness and freely offer mine back to You. I am Yours, Jesus. Amen.

Through the day: Live.

Update: Our staff member (Daniele) called to say her brother came through 12.5 hours of surgery in Sao Paulo today. The outcome was as good as could have been hoped for given the complexity of the operation. We are rejoicing that he endured the day and are praying he finds strength through the night. Though he still has a continued battle with cancer ahead, we are grateful for God's mercy over his life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Ten

Wednesday 12//14//05
10 Breathing Prayer

We cannot allow prayer to become a segment of our lives alone, something we do at certain times throughout our day or week. For, prayer is the seamless connection we have with our Father, an unbroken conversation that fills our days and nights. Both alone in the closet and always on the way, we stay “in touch” with the God who is constantly present everywhere we are.

There is no reason why we cannot talk to God about everything that is happening in our lives. He’s always there. Why wouldn’t we acknowledge Him? Why wouldn’t we talk with Him? Is it because we lose sight of His presence, forgetting that he is near?

There will never be a moment in this day that Jesus Christ is not right where you are. Keep the conversation alive, praying about everything, listening in every situation.

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-28.

Father, heighten my senses. Tune my heart to You. Open my eyes to see You in all places, to recognize You at all times. Then, and only then, my prayers will never cease. Amen.

Through the day: Jesus, You are here now.

P.S.-Thank you so much for your comments and prayers. You cannot fathom how much they mean to us and those on our team who are facing difficult days. The God of our fathers is with us now.

28 Day Journey-Day Nine

Tuesday 12/13/05
9 Kneel

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:6-7b

Bowing down is probably more about the heart than about how close we are to the floor. Yet, when we are on our knees something seems to happen inside. Bowed down low we are both in a position of submission and vulnerability. That's why we're not down there more. Sadly, the tide of sinful pride causes to us to think that we can manage life on our own (with God's help, of course) and control the outcome of our days if we try.
But, as it turns out, we can't control much at all, and when dark nights creep in and we find ourselves crushed by tragedy, we fall to the ground, collapsing helplessly at the feet of God, asking for mercy to sustain us one more breath.

It's sad that His beauty alone doesn't find us kneeling as often as the fury of this life does. But whatever drives us downward is a gift, because with our faces to the ground we are in the very best place we can be.

Tonight, one of our Passion staff is on a night flight to South America for her brother's impending cancer surgery. And over the weekend we received news that one of our Passion 06 Community Group leaders has been diagnosed with cancer, as well. This has been our journey this fall, one wave after another. We are weary from the blows and clueless as to how God is working. So we found ourselves on our knees today, tears flowing, defiant praises rising, healing pleas, confidence known, for mercy calling. While we bowed low we could see Him lifted high. And I sensed His great love...and knew that we are in the hands of Majesty. While we can pray in any position, there's a prize that defies description waiting for us down on the floor.

Today's prayer: (Let's find our way to our knees as we pray)
Great God, we are bowed before you, confessing that You alone are God. We are helpless, but You are limitless. Defend us. Save us God. Rescue us from the depths of death. Have Your way in us. We will lay down and sleep tonight because we are sheep in Your care. Our only hope is You.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. Psalm 143:10-12

Father we lift these we love so much to You. We know that You are greater than cancer. We ask for Your mercy as You display Your power and glory in their lives. Thank You for Your grace today, sustaining them with more than this world has ever known. Lift up our Savior, Jesus Christ, today as You do supernatural things in them. Amen.

All through the day: I surrender.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Eight

Monday 12//12//05
8 The Ultimate Purpose Of Prayer

If all things exist for God’s glory, so it is with prayer. The chief end of prayer is the glory of God. Jesus said, “I go to the Father, and whatever you ask in my Name I will do, that the Father might be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13. Jesus is saying that he will hear and answer our prayers to the end that His Father (and ours) will be glorified as a result.

Andrew Murray writes:
It is to this end that Jesus on His throne in glory will do all we ask in His Name. Every answer to prayer he gives will have this as its object. Where there is no prospect of this object being obtained, he will not answer. If follows as a matter of course that this must be with us, as with Jesus, the essential element in our petitions. The glory of the father must be the aim and end, the very soul and life of our prayers. [With Christ In The School Of Prayer, 152-155.]

When we close our prayers with the phrase, “In Jesus’ Name,” are we doing so to get His stamp of authority on our prayers? Or are we saying instead by ending with that phrase that our prayer has been motivated by a desire to see His name made great as a result of that which we have asked?

The heart that seeks His glory in every prayer moves heaven and earth.

Whatever you ask in my Name I will do, that the Father might be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13

Today's prayer:
Father, so often my prayers are motivated by self-interest, self-preservation and self-advancement. Have mercy on me and allow the words “In Jesus’ Name” to come to life and take on new meaning on my lips. I want to care more about Your reputation than my own, more about Your fame than mine.
I confess that too often I am motivated by self. Teach me how to pray with Your interest in mind.
As we move towards Passion06, let every prayer bring glory to You. So the world will know Jesus' name, Amen.

All through the day: Be glorified in me.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Seven

Sunday 12//11//05
7 Rest

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

Our team is back in Atlanta tonight and our Volunteer Team Leaders have headed back to cities across the nation. And Sunday has come. It's been a long week, capped with three intense days of meetings in Nashville. But today is Sabbath, the day we cease from labor and gather to worship.

Sabbath, by the way, is God's idea. Not a suggestion, but a command. A non-negotiable for anyone seeking to honor Him in this world. And Sabbath is about so much more than physical rest. It's about remembering. Remembering that God formed us from dust and to dust we will return. Remembering that God made the universe in seven days without any input from you or me. Remembering that God is going to do what God is going to do...nothing can thwart His plan. Remembering that He doesn't need us to accomplish His plans, rather He has chosen us to join Him in them. Remembering the confession of Isaiah 26:12, "All we have accomplished the Lord has done for us."

Today we rest. Not because there's nothing to do, but because when we cease from our efforts we "ascribe to God the glory of being all to us."

Today's prayer:
Father, today we exalt You in worship, remembering that You are the originator and sustainer of all things. As we rest, we affirm that You are God and we are not. Everything in life depends on You and everything we do we do in You. We praise You because today, while we cease from labor, You continue to work to accomplish Your plans. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Psalm 127:1-2

Through the day: You do what we do.

28 Day Journey-Day Six

Saturday 12//10//05
6 Team

Passion06 is a team event. I'm in touch with that reality today having spent the past three days in Nashville, gathering with our Volunteer Team Leaders as we make the final push to January 2. Our Passion staff team is relatively small (we like to think of ourselves as lean and agile :>) and there is no way we could pull off a massively intricate event like Passion06 without tons of help. This year almost 1000 volunteers are preparing to be in Nashville, men and women who are taking vacation time and paying their way to work long hours and set the table so that a student generation can have a history-changing encounter with God.

Leading this volunteer army are over a dozen Volunteer Team Leaders. These are folks with full time jobs who have taken on another semi-full time job with Passion because they believe in the vision and love seeing students awaken to His renown. You've heard of Piper, Tomlin, Crowder, Louie and the other lead worshipers, but these are the guys that really make Passion possible.

Looking around the table yesterday I was humbled again, and grateful. Our team is the best. While most people just show up and enjoy a confeence like Passion06, few really can imagine what it takes to make it happen with excellence. Moving 17,000+ people around downtown for four days is a huge challenge, one that requires detailed coordination at every level. And for us, we aren't just trying to get through it, we want to do it to the very best of our ability. In doing so we glorify God, reflecting to the people of Nashville that events focused on Jesus are done right, where from the way workers in hotels are treated, to the banners we hang on the streets we reflect the power and beauty of God for all to see.

We are striving to do our best, yet we can only do so much. In the end we are table-setters, preparing the way while trusting Jesus to be the meal. We are door-holders, making as open a way possible for every student who comes to see the face of God.

So, today, we want to pray for our Volunteer Team Leaders and those they lead:
Father, we know that Passion is not dependent on smooth logistics and well-executed details. Our hope rests solely on You to draw us into Your presence and meet us in supernatural power. But, too, we know that You desire that we offer our best to You, doing what we do as "unto the Lord, and not men."

Thank You for an amazing team. Inspire and empower them as they balance jobs, holidays and Passion06. Live through them in power and meet them in Nashville in the midst of many long days and nights of labor in life-altering ways.

All through the day: We are preparing the way for You.

Friday, December 09, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Five

Friday 12//09//05
5 Expectant

God loves the expectant heart. He loves it when we come to Him in faith. He is never intimidated by our hopes and dreams. He is not daunted by the size of our prayers.

Yet, so often we approach Him with such little aspiration. We pray as though we might easily tire Him or deplete His supply. We come to worship, but we always seem to “know” just what’s going to happen. We can always predict how things are going to go.

That’s a sad commentary for those who say they believe this God is awesome in His glory, working wonders by His mighty power.

So as we come to Nashville, Lord willing we will come expecting. Expecting what, you ask? Expecting God to meet us in glory. Who knows what He will do. None can tell how He will move. All we can do is come. All we can do is prepare our hearts. All we can do is approach in truth the throne of grace. All we can do is offer all of who we are. The rest is in His hands. His response is up to Him alone.

But we can believe. We can hope. We can have high expectations. Not that He will do some specific thing we desire (although we can make our specific requests known to Him at any time), but that He will meet us there.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by You, says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:12-14a

That’s why we’re coming. That’s what we long for. That’s the prize.

Today's prayer:
O God, increase my faith.
Lord, I praise You today because You are limitless in every way. There is nothing too difficult for You. You never run dry. You do not sleep or slumber.

Father, heighten my sense of who You are. Expand my anticipation of what You are doing all around me, and give me a greater capacity to believe You for all that is to come.

God, make us expectant as we come to meet You. Help us to cast away little faith, safe prayers, “the usual” thinking, the fear of not having our expectations met. Do a fresh and mighty thing in our midst. Please come and fall on us with great power. In mercy allow us to stand in awe of You.

Passion06 is all about You. Shrink my thoughts of me. Blow up my view of You. Blow, wind of God. Surprise us. Undo us. Amaze us again. Display Your glory for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

But as for me, it is good to be near God, I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:28

Through the day: Come Holy Spirit.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Four

Thursday 12//08//05
4 Endurance

This is not a good time for a collegiate ministry like Passion to be launching a 28-Day journey of prayer. End of term projects have drained the laughter of days gone by and just over the horizon finals loom, the dread of those who have yet to buy the book or make it to class. So much cramming to do. So little time. But for even the most prepared, these days are filled with stress and pressure. So today, we want to pray for you.

At the end of the day, there is very little separation between the days of Passion06 and these. It's all life and worship, and it's our opportunity to show the world that Jesus is alive. And just as we pray God will meet us in power in Nashville, He is fully with now You wherever you are.

For some, this term might be lost. I don't say that to heap guilt on you (I personally flunked out of college, twice!), but to be realistic. Your chance to glorify God academically might have to wait until another day. But whether you're about to pull down shimmering A's or something in between, the way you approach your school work is one of your best chances to magnify Him.

A lot of people on your campus will never hear of Passion, but will be moved by seeing someone who has found God to be enough on the academic journey. I learned that the hard way, trying to serve as a youth pastor while stinking up the classroom and being a terrible reflection of my Father. Yet, in his mercy I got a second chance and got to see His power come to life within as I successfully squeezed my last two years into four quarters. It was His life at work in me.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20.

So, breathe deeply today-you belong to Majesty and He is living in you.

Trust Him, not for the next two weeks, but the next two minutes. And keep doing that over and over until you arrive in Nashville.

Do your very best. You might not be able to change a C into and A before finals are over, but don't let that stop you from doing every single thing you do as though you are doing it for Him. Because you are.

Notice that He is there every second. Catch His gaze. Ask for His help. Give Him a smile.

Encourage someone else. A short text or voice mail might be all they need to recover hope and run for the finish.

Today's prayer:
Lord, thank You for being in everything. In the papers, the projects, the exams. I am spent and weary, but I know You are endless supply. Power me with the life of Jesus as I walk through these final days. Give me the grace to endure. And be glofified as I seek to do all I do for You. I'm hanging on to You Jesus. Live Your life in me.

And Father, we pray for every student, asking that You would cause them to know Your presence in the midst of little sleep and lots of stress. Thank You for the grace You give every minute of the day. You are more than enough. For Jesus' name, Amen.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Three

Wednesday 12//07//05
3 Movement

Jesus is a movement. It's what He is all about. He's not into monuments, systems or external structures. He is a river of life, “And everywhere the river flows everything lives.” Movements are fluid, not static. Movements move... and are not always predictable.

A decade ago Passion started as a movement among this collegiate generation. It's not the first and won't be the last. We are not the beginning or the end of anything, just one of thousands of tools in the hands of God. More than anything, we seek to fight the tendency to settle and conform, to categorize and crystallize.

To remain a movement we have to have more than words. More than catchy phrases. More that a recognizable identity. More than a declaration. More than events. Our brand must be altered lives...those fueled by radical obedience for the sake of His Name.

The external stuff of Passion06 is not what we're after…not what we need. God is asking us to bring ourselves...to come before Him openly and honestly, exposing whatever's within so that He can reclaim us for His purposes in this world.

Some will be fooled because they fill an arena and sing the songs... deceived because they feel the emotion and shed the tears. Yet without a heart that is torn open before Him, no Spirit-birthed river can flow from once barren places to water the earth.

If Passion06 is going to be part of a movement, Jesus must have freedom to flow in every heart.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Father, we know all movements begin with You. You are the first mover in all of life and creation. Help us-help me-to not bog down in this world and all that surrounds me today. I do not want to settle. I want to keep moving with You.

Wind of the Spirit, fill my sails. Blow me onward. Forward. Freely. Godward. Wildly. Powerfully.

Lord, we will not be satisfied by outward signs of spirituality… outward expressions alone. Help us. Assist us. We desire to tear our hearts open before You. To move beyond outward layers that deceive and impress, but do not revive the soul. Jesus, lead us in power. Amen

Through the day: Jesus, move freely through me.

Monday, December 05, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day Two

Tuesday 12//06//05
2 The Fight

In case anyone has forgotten, we're not on blissful stroll through life. We are in a fight. And it's not just some small conflict, either. We are in a war, a spiritual battle that rages all around us, darkness contending against light, and you and I are in the thick of it everyday whether we want to be or not. It is as Paul warned, "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:11-12

The more we seek the cause of Jesus, the faster we find the fight. That's why it came as no big surprise to me when Blogger.com (our home for the 268Blog and these Prayer Journey posts) crashed late Monday afternoon. While I'm sure there is a perfectly good explanation for why the site failed, I also feel we at Passion should have given fair warning to all the bloggers at Blogger.com that we were launching the Passion06 prayer focus on Monday so they could have anticipated a service outage.

No, we're not filled with spiritual paranoia, looking for the enemy behind every shadow and blaming each bump in the journey on some grand demonic scheme. But we have been at this for a while, and when major passion gatherings are on the horizon strange things happen. Trust me, we know we are in a fight (we have suffered costly loss), but we are not afraid. Realistic about the battle-yes. Scared to move forward-absolutely not! God is with us and He is our defender. That doesn't mean that we will escape the fray without wounds, (see Paul's life) but that we are convinced that "Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

That's why the 28 Day Prayer Journey exists. We cannot go it alone and would be fools to proceed without fighting on our knees.

Today's prayer:

Father, You alone are our Shield and Defender. Your name, O Lord, is a strong tower; the righteous run into You and find shelter. We know that we are in a raging battle today, a fight for Your glory and grace. And we know we are filled with the Light of Jesus Christ.

We ask not that You remove us from the conflict, but that You cover us in Your care and demonstrate Your greatness no matter what comes our way. Our lives, and Passion 06, are in Your hands. Our trust is in You. In Jesus' Name and the power of His blood, Amen.

All through the day: Defend us as we lift up Your name.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

28 Day Journey-Day One

Monday 12//05//05
1 For The Glory

The beginning and end of everything is the glory of God. So, naturally, it is fitting that we begin our journey of consecration, moving towards Passion06 and beyond, with His glory in view.

As we prepare our hearts for what lies ahead in Nashville, and as we begin to pray together all across the nation and world, we must do all we do to the end that God’s name will be great in our midst, receiving the honor and glory that He alone is due. If we have any other motive in our thoughts, actions or prayers, we will fail.

Passion exists for the glory of God. Our goal is not simply host successful events. We want more than songs. More than speakers. More than an experience. We want to start a movement for His renown! Thus, our desire is to center everything we do on God, do all we do for Him and leave Passion06 with renewed hearts to spread His story of mercy and grace to every person on planet earth.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17.

Today’s prayer:

Father, You alone are God. You are bigger than my ability to fully comprehend. You are “I AM.” I am “I am not.” You are great. I am small. Yet, You have made me in Your image and have redeemed me from the muck and shame of sinful ways. You have brought me to life through Jesus Christ and called me Yours. My very breath has come from You. All that I am and everything I will ever be is You.

On the very first step of this journey I humble my heart. There is nothing I want more than for my life to bring attention to Your greatness, for my life to reflect Your face to the whole world.

Lord, cause every part of my life and Passion06 to bring the most glory possible to Your name. Amen.

All through the day: More of You. Less of me.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another Look At Toronto Opening Video + Interviews w/ Kat and Others