Alive And Well On The Road
The Indescribable Tour has a breather today in Ann Arbor on the way to Saginaw tomorrow night. Four straight nights made for a quick start and we are all (especially the crew) ready for a break...if only a short one. We met new friends and saw some old ones in Wexford, PA, last night and sensed through the night that God's Spirit was powerfully at work.
But one of the most encouraging things about the night was the report we received from DC that a friend of one of the guys on our team came to Christ as a result of what God did there Saturday night. Right on! We have all been praying each step of the way that these nights will be more than just a "great experience," but that the Kingdom will come in power and that supernatural things will happen in our midst. As we gather for prayer before each night and seek God together, it's not enough for us that people come to a concert/worship gathering, we really do want God to open our eyes to the staggering glory and grace of Jesus Christ. What a privilege.
Thanks for your prayers as we seek to serve Him!
PS-For those of you who follow the Blog comments, we do see the criticism I/Passion receives from time to time. Though completely mystified by conclusions some draw that are so far away from what is in our hearts, the best way to respond is directly with the person if possible and not on the Blog. After all, the biblical approach is to first go to people privately with disagreements and concerns. I think we (our hearts and motives) are transparent to most of you as we seek to inspire a generation to live for God's fame and spread His name to the ends of the earth. Let's pursue loving Jesus and telling people about Him...and let that be our focus.
How nice...the three amigos backstage Friday night in NC.
Raleigh was great, and tonight... well, I thought at one point the people were going to tear the place down. Crazy!
Favorite things on tour the last two days (in no special order):
1. Raleigh, NC, and special friends there.
2. All the Passion people starting the party clap between about half of the songs in Raleigh. Too bad the rest of the world doesn't know what's going on. Yet!
3. Meeting Don and Sharon in Raleigh, a special privilege as I had a small part in the journey of their son Daniel through a camp where I was speaking a few years ago. Daniel, who would be in college now, went to heaven Easter week last year in a car accident on the way to school after serving at a homeless shelter early on a Wednesday morning. His parents radiate Jesus and are still clinging to the One Daniel loved so much.
4. Listening to Charlie's new CD play in the venues each night as people are coming in.
5. Sticking our heads in the Oval Office today during a West Wing tour. W was up in the residence and the Oval was empty, but how cool is that?
6. Being on the road with friends I love and respect so much.
7. Having Shelley on the bus for a few days!!!
8. Being a part of such a cross-focused night of worship. Every word seems to mean more--and demand more--when the cross is clearly in view.
9. Meeting people tonight with many different Passion arm bands from all over Virginia!
10. Finding the statue of Georgia's own Crawford H. Long in the Capitol today (each state gets 2...he, for the record, invented the use of ether as an anesthesia). His motto: My profession is to me a ministry for God's glory. Very timely, given the fact that while waiting outside we were having a discussion about the Jeans talk and then walked in to find that beautiful affirmation.
May we all be able to say the same, whatever we do, all the days of our lives.
Headed to Pittsburgh. Need sleep. Excited.
Back soon with more,
Our first night of the spring leg (it's really more like the winter leg!) of the Indescribable Tour has come to an end. Thanks to you lovely people of Columbia, SC... it was a great start to our twenty-city journey. It was great seeing lots of people from Passion 06...and meeting Woodrow, our stage door security guy who took really good care of us tonight. Well, it's not like there was a high security risk, but it was nice having Woodrow around all evening. Lot's of people like him that you never see make nights like tonight possible, so I thought it would be nice if you could meet. Woodrow was styling the shades all night...indoors. Nice touch. I asked him if he'd downloaded the Passion 06 bundle. Not just yet.
Speaking of iTunes, we are still at #4 today with no movement at the top. Who are these Passion people?? I'm not sure if we'll crack the top spot...but you never know! Thanks for all your support. We're glad you're enjoying our little pre-CD offering.
Well, it's time to board the Tomlin bus and roll out to Raleigh, which I heard is sold out... as is DC the next night and Wexford, PA after that. Crazy. We are humbled by your prayers and really excited about joining you somewhere soon!Louie
Alright Upper Level, Are You Out There?
Way to go "below the yellow line people." You did a great job yesterday pushing Passion all the way up to #4. Today is the day for all you upper level folks to go crazy and see if we can inch our way higher. We can't tell you how much it means to have you with us. Obviously, we are after far more than chart success, but it is cool to see the power of our movement pushing the Savior to the center of the music conversation...and maybe even to the top!
We know the price is high for two songs and a talk and aren't quite sure why it's higher than we planned. Apparently, someone in the system can change the price, so thank for scrapping that extra buck together and downloading the whole bundle. That's what counts on the album chart and helps support the cause. I owe you all a dollar!
Charlie is #28 (you guys have nailed the #4 and #28 spots, wow) and you're going to be floored by his album. I was so honored to stand beside him last night at 7|22 as we launched this project. Hearing "Come For Me" live was worth the whole night!
Speaking of sixsteps...tonight we load buses in Atlanta to head out for the spring leg of the Indescribable Tour. Yep, starting tonight I'll be back in my cozy bunk on Chris' big black bus, his feet right through the wall behind my head and Matt across the isle. If you're in Columbia, SC, Raleigh, DC, or Pittsburgh we're headed your way in the next four nights. Come worship with us and bring someone you want to introduce to God's glory and grace. I'm so excited about sharing the Cosmos-inspired Indescribable talk in 20 more cities. Every time it shrinks my pride, makes me marvel at the fact that I know this Creator personally and leaves me speechless.
Back with more updates from the road.
Go for it all you "above the yellow Line" people!
Wow, That's Loud!!
#39 and rising!!
Sounds like some of you stayed up past your bedtime last night to rock out with 18000 of us singing at the top of our lungs at Passion 06! Thanks for kicking things off!
And, we are so glad Charlie's CD made it, too! Not sure how that happened or how they misspelled Kristian's name (he's Kristian Stanfill, BTW)...or how the price is higher than it should be...or how we ended up in the Pop category...
But you troopers found the bundle (remember, buying all and waiting forever for the talk to download moves us on the overall album chart!) and are probably cranking it on the way to class right about now!
I'm loving the sound of a generation letting the whole world know Salvation is here...and He lives in me!
Jesus, You are my joy today!
The Weekend Update
Lot's to update you on, so read away and spread the word...
Good News/Bad News on iTunes, campers. The people between us and iTunes had some problems with their delivery system this week and all projects releasing next Tuesday (1/24) from our sixsteps label partner (EMI) will be delayed and NOT make it to iTunes for Tuesday. Sad, I know, but don't stop reading! The bummer is that Flying Into Daybreak from Charlie Hall is in that group. We already have a strategic limited release in place for Daybreak--it's available online, at 268Store.com, iTunes, Hastings Music Stores and Mardel Stores only--so we are not too jazzed about waiting on iTunes, but the CD will be available online and at the above stores on Tuesday. Plus, Charlie will be playing songs from the new CD in Atlanta Tuesday night, so if you're in the area/state, come and worship with him and pick up a new CD there! If there are no further surprises, Flying Into Daybreak will be on iTunes by 1/31. The project is simply amazing. I can't wait for you to hear it.
Though the EMI projects got delayed, a miracle happened and ONE made it through... somehow! Yep, the Passion 06 Early Sessions bundle will be ready to roll at iTunes on 1/24. Many of you have correctly surmised that Mr. Crowder and friends will be bringing "You Are My Joy" to the mix, yet no one has hit on song number two. So, we are going to let it be a surprise! OK, we might tell you, but we'll have to wait and see. Also, Joy will be on the Passion 06 CD, while the other song is an iTunes exclusive only. The talk "Passion, Purpose and Designer Jeans" rounds out the bundle (definition-buy all) and will take you back to our time together in Nashville. On 1/24, remember where you were sitting the last day of Passion 06... then, you know what to do! If you weren't at Passion 06, enjoy on whatever day moves you. Plus, we've just finished bundle #2, available on iTunes in late February. More on that soon!
Speaking of iTunes, if you don't have an iPod yet, no worries. Download iTunes to your computer (Macs and PCs) for free, then you can purchase music at the iTunes Store. Once you've bought the bundle you can listen on your computer or burn a disc (for your personal use, of course :>) and listen anywhere. Don't have iTunes? This is your weekend!
The Passion 06 CD (not sure of the title yet), hits stores on April 4 and is going to be amazing. All the great moments and new songs. And yes, a full length DVD with all the songs on the CD and much more will be right behind it, coming your way in early summer. What else can I say, we have heard the people!
But, as you know, Passion is not just about the music, but about everything being rooted in the depths of God's truth. If you'd like to digest the talks from this year, everything is now available (CD and mp3) at the 268Store.com.
Finally, it was great meeting new friends at Auburn last night and seeing some Passion 06 wrist bands that are still alive. Speaking of wrist bands, we ran into HS seniors today from LCA (near Atlanta), who were about to play their basketball game sporting Passion 06 wrist bands, even though they are required to cover them with athletic tape during competition. Very nice touch... and really cool meeting you.
I think that's all for the weekend update. LG.
PS-There's a great Blog post from Mata (Slovakia) below under the Long Road Home Blog. Check it out.
Think. Go. Live. Be. Passion.
You're Getting Very Warm!
Only eight days to Passion 06 iTunes and you're getting very warm! We can tell you that many of you astute observers have correctly identified one of the iTunes "Passion 06 Early Session" tracks from the Crowders. The other track, however, an exclusive from our days in Nashville (it will be in the iTunes bundle, but not on the CD), has not been mentioned in any Blog post to date. Hummmm. We will have full disclosure on iTunes bundle #1 at the end of the week. Meanwhile, we've noticed the Passion 05 iTunes bundle on the charts, so we're guessing some of you have grabbed this great bundle while you're waiting. Thanks! We'll have more iTunes/Passion 06 CD/DVD info for you in a few days.
We are also really excited about the offficial release of Charlie Hall's new sixstepsrecords project, "Flying Into Daybreak." While the CD was on sale at Passion 06 (we sold out fast!), the CD will officially be available everywhere on 1/24. All I can tell you is the CD is amazing, filled with songs that give voice to people seeking hope in the struggle of life. There are too many great songs to mention here, but you can get a taste of one of my favs, "Bravery," currently playing on the 268Generation.com home page. "Flying Into Daybreak" will be available online (you can preorder now at 268store.com), at iTunes and Mardel Bookstores. And, rumor has it Charlie will be playing in Atlanta on release night...Tuesday, January 24.
Prayer Update For John Piper
Though the news of John Piper's cancer diagnosis has reached many people, for those who may not have heard, Pastor Piper announced that he has prostate cancer in a letter dated January 6. As you might expect, John and his family are trusting in the sovereign plans of God and desiring that this journey through cancer be used to glorify Jesus Christ and strengthen His Church. John's letter to his church is posted at DesiringGod.org. All of us at Passion are praying with John, Noel and their family.
13 Days To iTunes Happiness
That's right, we are hard at work mixing Passion 06 music today so it can be shipped off to the Apple folks tomorrow. We're working on two songs and a talk for the first Passion 06 bundle (translation: buy all) that will be available exclusively on the iTunes Music Store on January 24. I can't tell you what the two songs are just yet, but the pic gives a hint of at least one!
Stay tuned. More info coming. Thirteen days 'till iTunes. You know what to do!
The Long Road Home
You think your trip home was long! :)
Sunday, Shelley and I had the chance to say hi and bye to our Slovak friends who made the journey to Passion 06. It was pretty humbling having the chance to hug them and pray for them as they head home for Zilina, Slovakia. For one, in the circle were American's Paige and Amy who live full time in Zilina because of their passion to see young women there come to know the face of the Savior. They have sowed many seeds and are just beginning to see what I pray will be a massive harvest across Slovakia and Eastern Europe for His fame.
Ten girls made the journey with Paige and Amy and there is at least one new believer headed home with the group, while others sense they are closer to taking that step of faith in Jesus. Of the ten who attended Passion 06, most were still investigating Christianity.
Thanks to all who played a part in their journey to Nashville. I'm not sure if they will see this Blog (if so, how about a shout out from Slovakia in the comments), but know they would appreciate hearing that you guys in the 268 Family are praying for them.
They are...Mat'a (you met her in the opening session/lower right in pic), Zuzka, Janka, Evka, Ad'a, Evka #2, Lucia, Silvia, Katka and Stani.
"These are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation." Isaiah 60:21-22
Though we have left Nashville, thankfully we are still under the cross of Christ! The Uncontainable Creator of the entire Cosmos has sent for us through His Son and we are His.
The Passion House is closed today as our staff team is taking a deep breath, but for many of you class begins today and you find yourself back in the rhythm of campus life.
To that, I say "right on." As you guys make your way back to 1000 campuses across the nation and around the world, Passion 06 lives on! Passion is now as we tell and show the world that He Is Glorious!
"And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Love Jesus supremely.
Engage culture with excellence.
Stay connected to the community of faith.
We'll be back up to speed tomorrow with more!
I'm Sorry I Didn't Tell You Before You Came
For all you people new to Passion, I'm so, so sorry we didn't inform you before arriving about the post Passion dilemma of trying to tell people who were not there about what happened. I mean, honestly, have you ever felt more frustrated trying to search for mere words? So you say a lot of things that are sort of discombobulated and exasperating, hoping that the exploding radiance in your somewhat droopy eyes translates more effectively the surging truth and emotion that are about to blow your heart wide open.
If you're still searching for an answer to the "How was Passion" question, I like what one blogger wrote: "when asked by a friend, "how was it" all i could do is hug them with everything i had and tell them, that's just the first 30 seconds of the conference. imagine 4 days of that, but with God's intensity."
Oh, and I also forgot to tell you that your brain would hurt for a few days.
And that songs would thunder in your head.
And that you would find yourself drifting back into that massive crowd.
And that you would feel like you had known your Family Group forever.
And that you would wake up wanting to head to your Community Group.
And, most of all, in the midst of all that was running through my head Thursday morning, I forgot to say on behalf of Passion, thank you for the amazingly generous way you worshipped in the offering to help us reach more Bostons, NYCs and Torontos. It was stunning, to say the least, as you gave $216,542... and that number is growing as others continue to respond. Speechless, again. We will follow God, and serve Him through your provision to touch the lives of students around the globe.
Reading every comment on the Blog just now has made me smile at God. I don't have a lot of words to describe how I feel about Passion either, so let me just give each of you a huge hug and say, more to come as I can gather enough tiny words to do this glorious God justice.
Spent and happy, Louie
The city is emptying out now and everything is coming down. But I am still stunned in my heart, speechless as I try to absorb the GLORIOUS Art piece that was filled with the hopes and dreams of students and leaders from around the world.
We are His, and He has met us here in Nashville with overwhelming love, truth, grace, life and laughter. History Makers are now headed back to campuses all across the nation and around the globe. How sobering as almost 1000 campuses scrolled up the screens this morning as we sang and prayed This Is Our God over them. Staggering to think of how many were represented at Passion 06...and compelling to see how many were not.
But we are in His hands now. Supremely in love with Jesus. Sent out to engage the culture with excellence. Connected to the Body of faith as we go.
Pics are up on the Passion06 site at 268generation.com.
We will continue to update.
Humbled to be here with you, Louie
Everything For You
2:11 here in N'ville and we are spent. Literally spent on seeking, yielding and celebrating. I think we all are wiped out in the very best way. Today was the day of salvation at Passion 06, with many standing in our late night party to say they had trusted Christ to bring them to life. Yes!!
The night which began in candlelight ended with a mirror ball lighting up the arena as our hearts raced with gratitude for life and sight...and hope.
Again, a full plate today.
We'll try to start telling the story and showing you what happened tomorrow.
Full Plate For Day Two
OK, so I didn't do too good with the camera today, but we are working on getting some pics on the Passion 06 site...maybe late tomorrow or Thursday. For now, you'll have to use your imagination.
It's bee an amazingly full day. We have been walking in the statement God made in Psalm 81.. "I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt; open wide your mouth and I will fill it."
So we've opened our mouths wide (with His help) and, man, has He put more in them than we would think could fit.
I really can't recap the whole journey of today, just to say that students and leaders are abandoning empty wells (Jer 2:17) and grappling with the entrance of sin into the world for the purpose of God's glory being magnified in the suffering of Christ.
I feel like we are just beginning to scratch the surface, even though our hearts are swelling in worship with an army surrounding us and our heads are being stretched with truth.
We are praying these days will make history. Hoping. Louie
Passion Day One-What A Sight!
Not sure what to say, except seeing every seat in the Gaylord filled with students and leaders is pretty overwhelming. People made it here, and for that we're grateful. We had only 10 minutes of furious rain in a day that was supposed to be marked by strong storms for much of the afternoon. :) The opening session was almost too much to take in, beginning without a lot of flash, just a simple and powerful acoustic set with David, Chris, Charlie and Matt. Mat'a, a university student from Slovakia who traveled to Passion 06 with nine other Slovak girls and 2 leaders (only three of which are Christians!), helped me welcome everyone.
I should have been paying more attention to taking pics, but it was kind of a busy day! Here are two I did grab. One is students gathering outside the Arena about an hour before doors opened. The other is the guys on stage right before doors opened doing a quick sound check for their set.
God is here. We are eager to see how He's going to lead.
Will try to get more people shots for you tomorrow.
Today was a busy day as teams of volunteers arrived in Nashville to join our core team which was already hard at work. Passion 06 is taking shape right before our very eyes. It's late and the hockey game is over and the ice is being covered. If you're up late reading this, pray for the crew that is about to spend all night setting up production in the Arena.
I took this shot of the Gaylord this afternoon. A bit of relative quiet before the Passion storm.
The next pic is a bunch of great volunteers stuffing thousands of your registration bags with maps, wristbands, your name tags and the like. But they were in for a little surprise, because the building they were working in was also home today to band sound checks/rehearsals. That band way in the background in the last pic is the Chris Tomlin Band. (You can barely see Chris behind the arm of the green equipment.) So, the bag stuffers got to rock out and worship with their own private Tomlin concert. Trust me, at Passion we treat our people right!
Not too much sleep for our crew tonight. But there is sense that we are on the verge of something special. We are praying for you and can't wait for you to arrive!
PS-We are working on getting a version of Kneel--the 24 hour prayer journey that will be happening throughout Passion 06--on the 268 website so you Passion friends that can't be in Nashville can pray with us during the conference. Watch for it later Monday/Tuesday.
28 Day Journey-Day Twenty Eight
Happy New Year!
28 Tiny Pieces, Huge Story
Well, it's New Year somewhere, though not in Nashville...yet. Twenty four more minutes till 12:00AM CST. But the Passion Team is done for the day and most of us aren't going to party too hard at midnight. Our Australian friends are headed into January 2 already, while you West Coast guys have a few hours to go to 2006. But whatever time zone you're in, Happy New Year!
It's our last day of the Journey. One day to Passion 06, and we are so ready. I have no idea what it's like to be with child, but I do know what it feels like to carry a vision like Passion 06 for nine months and want to have the baby. Now!
Today, we are mindful that Passion is just a little tiny piece of God's huge work among college and university students around the globe. Close by, Campus Outreach is hosting one of their regional conferences in a downtown Nashville hotel. They have another gathering happening in Atlanta (and maybe more) and Campus Crusade has conferences happening all across the nation. And these are just some of the college events going on in the US and around the world, of which Passion is just one.
God's kingdom is bigger than any of us can imagine. It would floor us if we could see all He's doing among the peoples of the earth. By grace, He has come for us, redeeming us to join His forever story...little, loved people in His amazing epic.
Father, I am so humbled to be invited into Your enduring kingdom. To have the chance to play a small role is a gift beyond words. Thank you for the 365 days of 2005. I don't take them for granted, nor do I assume I will have all 365 in 2006. But in those I do receive, please give me the grace to treasure you first in my thoughts, emotions and actions. I'm thrilled to be in Your story Jesus, Amen.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Through the day, and the year: Every little piece counts.
PS-Give us a "Happy New Year" shout and let us know what city and timezone you're in!