Monday, March 26, 2007

The Final Circle

From the banks of the Olentangy River.....

Tonight, this stretch of the HGIOG Tour comes to a close on the campus of The Ohio State University, the University so mighty it must be preceded by the definite article "The" so no confusion will abound. We played tonight from center court of the Buckeyes basketball arena on the same day the aforementioned team returned home from a successful Sweet Sixteen run that landed them in this years final four.

[By the way, I would go into one last round of mascot madness, but it's the end of a draining day and it would take a bit of explaining to cover the full story of the Ohio Buckeye Tree (the State's official tree -
Aesculus glabra
), so named because its nuts resemble the shape and color of a deer's eye...or to introduce you to Brutus Buckeye, the school's mascot...so let's just say that The Ohio State University is a fairly impressive place, one of the top five schools in the nation in terms of student body and tradition.]

As you remember, we ran into snow and ice on our last visit to Columbus and had to leave town no sooner than we arrived for fear we would be stuck here and miss yet another date in Michigan the following night. That was strike one. Strike two came about 1 hour before tonight was to begin when the sound system went out and we faced the very real possibility of not being able to go through with the night. We prayed...and our crew pulled out an amazing back-up solution that allowed the night to happen...just in time!!

At this point, we should say a massive thank you to our crew, guys who rock at what they do and lean into the wind with us every night as we ask God to do more. They are Greg D., Brian, H., Mark, Christian, Cam, Kyle, Russ, Tommy, Michael, BJ, Ryan, Greg M. and drivers Chad, George, Tim and Paul (and family). We owe so much gratitude to you all!

So the night went on and we poured out our hearts one more time. Maybe it's just a coincidence that we almost missed doing this night for a second time, or maybe there was something more powerful behind it all...someone perhaps that was going to come face to face with a Universe maker who calls them by name. We may never know, but as the night ended we found ourselves in a back-stage hallway, circled one final time...arms locked and heart's grateful. We prayed for Columbus, like we have for 32 cities along the way...and asked God to plant a seed from this night that will last forever. And we said "Thank You" to a God who brought us back to life and gave us something special to carry to the nation. Imagine that...

How Great Is Our God!?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

One More To Go

As we head to our snow day make up in Columbus Sunday, we are carrying great memories of LR and St. Louis...

And though tonight's entry may be brief (but then again, there aren't too many of you reading the Blog on a Friday night at midnight anyway, right!), don't take that as a slight to our last two stops. Though they did not involve any close up encounters with ferocious collegiate mascots, we loved being in Little Rock last night and at the Family Arena tonight.

St. Louis, as you know, was supposed to be our final stop...and what a great ending it would have been. But we are counting on Columbus to pull through Sunday night and put a huge exclamation point on this nation-wide trek.

We are officially wiped...but God has never been intimidated by our weakness, rather He relishes in the opportunity to breathe through weary vessels. And, as though there was ever any question, once a night like tonight is done it is clear that anything of power that was left behind is of God and not of man.

Again, we are grateful for your prayers. I know we say that over and over, but we never tire of standing in the words that you offer to God for us...and as we do, it's more than just us crossing the nation..it's US.

PS-Thank you for the paper clip!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Geaux Tigers

Tonight’s update comes from Death Valley…in the heart of the storied campus of LSU (Louisiana State University for those in nether lands far from the South), where the HGIOG Tour rocks on Cajun style from the Pete Maravich Assembly Hall (Pete was an amazing shooter of the basketball for those who might wonder), that very place where Shaq himself roamed...and smack adjacent to the new 3 million dollar habitat that is home to Mike V, the Bengal tiger that embodies the spirit of this fine institution. [Mike V, by the way, gave us a warm welcome to the campus today (see photos above)...and as I checked throughout the day continued to sleep. But after all, Mike V is nine years old and aging a little (Mike’s birthday, by the way, is October 19, 1997, in the event you would like to send something this fall for his tenth), and I’m told sleeps almost 20 hours a day…an impressive stat no doubt, even on a college campus. Tradition has it that Mike V roars before each LSU football game, striking fear in the opposition and igniting the home crowd in a ravishing fury as they sing the fight song, “Make Mike the tiger stand up and roar.”]

Wow! Powerful stuff.

(OK, that was uncalled for...this place really does have incredible tradition and really cool people.)

But enough about Mike V (though in the spirit of equal time I felt compelled to continue our short lesson on collegiate mascots for those who were enthralled by the legend and lore of the Penn State Nittany Lion from our earlier post…though, in fairness and honesty, I did omit Smokey, the Bluetick Coonhound who leads the crusade at UT…but then again, I do have Auburn running in my veins and can only get excited about a limited number of rival SEC mascots in the same week...so forgive me.

On to tonight...

Tonight was a beautiful night. We prayed for something special…not just night #30 or a concert vibe. This town and state have been rocked hard by mighty winds and waves and we wanted to both celebrate the God who puts things back together and breathe on this town the life that comes from the Spirit of God. I loved this night...loved what was happening in the room...and believe that God did/is doing more than we could imagine.

Just coming back to LSU was a bit moving today, given the last time we set foot on this campus was a Wednesday. I remember because it was Wednesday, September 12...24 hours after the bombings of 9/11, events that changed our lives and the world around us. That Tuesday we were in Atlanta rehearsing for the Passion Experience Tour as planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, and we were instantly faced with the choice of heading home to safety or loading three buses to begin a multi-city tour beginning in the Student Union across the way. We chose the latter, believing that our message was move important that our comfort... and though still in a daze, shared a night of worship here that we will never forget.

In a way, our return reminds me again tonight that life on this planet really never is all it's cracked up to be. Though there are just enough tiny stretches of sunshine to make us think it’s pretty cool, in reality it’s planes crashing into buildings and innocent lives lost. It’s hatred and war...violence, brokenness, sin and strife. Yet there is an unfathomable mercy from above... and a grace that repairs shattered dreams. That’s our story tonight in the midst of it all and His name is Rescue and Unfailing Love.

So we head to Little Rock, praying mercy over Death Valley tonight…and a different roar.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Home Stretch

And other assorted Passion/sixsteps news...

Well, we have said goodbye to lovely Florida with great memories of Fort Myers and West Palm Beach that we will carry for a while...especially those of the crazy Miami crew that made the trip up to WPB on Saturday night. As well, we have ventured to the Volunteer State, and played in the shadow of one of earth's great cathedrals (think stadium) where the day-glow orange checker-board end zones bookend the hallowed ground of UT football glory. Knoxville was a great stop, and thanks to all you guys who came out on a Monday night.

Tomorrow, more SEC turf as we head to Baton Rouge and play on the campus of LSU. Then Little Rock, St. Louis (sold out today, I think) and the snow make-up date in Columbus, Ohio...the tour's last stop for now and what we hope will be a massive finish. So if you're anywhere in the vicinity of Columbus on Sunday night come and help us bring it home in style. We are excited about these last five dates, and as crazy as it sounds given that 2 months have basically vanished before our eyes, we are a little sad to see it end. It will be great to get home and park for a while, but we have had such a blast carrying hope to people from coast to coast.

A few other things to check out:

If you haven't heard, the DC*B is IN the studio working on a new project to be released by sixstepsrecords in the fall. The cameras are live as we speak in the Dr. Pepper Barn and you can amuse yourself for hours on end watching the proceedings and trying to read between the lines as the new songs take shape and come to life. Visit davidcrowderband.com and check it out. I know the guys would love to your prayers and support!

And while we're on the album front, we have decided to delay a new Passion recording until later in the year. Sad, I know, because there were some powerful moments left on the table. But we have given it much thought, and in the grand scheme of things we feel like it's best to wait until the fall regionals to record again. In the meantime, grab the iTunes bundles if you were waiting for an EP and know that we are working on ways to get another song or two from Passion 07 to you before the end of the year. As well, we hope to get a short video capturing the highlights of of 07 going soon. So, here's the plan...we will record in the fall at the 2 Passion regional events (dates will be released very soon) and see where things stand. If all goes well we'll release something in the winter that will lead us into the four winter/spring regional events and the World Tour outing. Thanks for your patience and understanding...

and see you in Baton Rouge!

Don't stop praying, please!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Restart In Memphis

For those of you who have been following our adventures and praying for us night after night...thank you so much. I can't even begin to tell you....we are so grateful. The HGIOG Tour fired back up in Memphis Tuesday night after an eight day hiatus (time off, which for me was crazy days at the Passion House where plans for our Regional Events and World Tour are heating up) we are heading into a stretch of 10 nights in 12 days. If you do the math, that's crazy! So here we are in the midst of a run of five straight nights that began in Memphis, TN.

And Memphis was amazing. Memphis has no shortage of churches and lots of religion, but this night was alive from the start.

For one, there's all this nervous energy going on that first night back (for me, wondering how in the world I'm going to remember how many earths (think golfballs) can fit into a 4.2 mile-wide star named MU Cephi, which of course means little to those of you who have yet to join us on the tour this time around, but is one of many bits of info that awaken us each night to the grand scale of this God we know by name) and in some ways it's like we'd never done the tour night before. But everything clicked and it was one of the best nights ever in Memphis, a place that is so special to the Passion Movement as a whole, the home of days spent at Shelby Farms for the first OneDay that marked many of us forever.

Yesterday we blew through lovely Mobile..the one in Alabama. Sadly, it was spring break at The U of South Florida (our location) and students were scarce. Bummer. But a bunch of people showed up ready to go for it and we had a really cool. And then things got tough. Our runner for the day (a volunteer who drives us places we need to go during a tour day) who is a youth pastor in Mobile got the message as he was hanging out late waiting to bring our drivers from the hotel that a drunk driver going 100mph had plowed into the bus carrying his youth group home from the night they just spent with us. All we knew was that people were injured and students were being taken to the hospital, and instantly he took off. We prayed...and waited, but all night long we couldn't reach anyone to get an update and our hearts were heavy.

It was crazy...I had just talked to Chris (the youth pastor) after the night was over and he was telling me how much his students loved the night and that they were going on and on about it. Now peril had come and we didn't know what to do, a theme that has followed us as, among other things, tornados hit south of Birmingham hours before we were to play there and a bus carrying a college baseball team tragically crashed over an interstate overpass in Atlanta the next day as we arrived there. Hurt. Pain. Chaos. Confusion. Death. Everywhere. And now again.

When morning came the news was tragic...and miraculous. Sadly, the driver that hit the bus died and one of his passengers was in very bad shape. Yet, none of the students were seriously injured (though the front of the school bus is no more), though the driver and a few others suffered more significant injuries that are not life-threatening and will heal. The youth pastor left a message for us today saying those students will never sing "How Great is Our God" the same way, as that was the last song of the night and the one that was on their lips as they headed into this collision.

This tour...these nights...are more than a concert...they are hope for those in the valley of the shadow of death. For many, it's a great reminder and something they very much believe. But for others, it's where they are as they try to find their way through utter darkness carrying loads that are crushing their souls. Yet, the truth is, we all have pain and loss waiting around the bend, and in those days what we celebrate in these nights will be true...His grace is enough for whatever this life brings our way. Let's pray for this family who has lost a son and for those who will now recover (hopefully that's the case of the seriously injured passenger in the truck) and thank God that He is all we need.

Today, Jacksonville brought sunny skies and 80+ heat, enough to make CT and I wilt in our annual tennis outing with some friends from the International Christian Tennis Academy. Let's just say we didn't win too many points today and got waxed...and we were playing girls, at that! OK, so they're pros... But tonight...wow. Many voices and a loud anthem for His fame. There was something going on from the start...some kind of God-at-work sense that makes me think things changed in this building tonight and will never be the same.

Quickly we'll be in Fort Myers and West Palm. We are so humbled by the journey and will treasure every prayer you offer for us. Much love from the bowels of Veterans Memorial Arena. LG

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Passion 07 Ripples

Encouraging stuff as you continue to share your stories:

Dear Passion,
Wow. I just finished listening to the latest podcast and that is all that I can say. I am so glad that you let us share our stories. It is so encouraging to hear all of them. The one that really stuck out to me was Janelle's. That's because I too stood during that prayer on the last day. I know that God has called me to pack up the American dream and become a part of His story overseas to the unreached. But before Passion, I was afraid. I had wrestled with that calling for a least a year and then finally in early 06' I surrendered to God. I knew that He wanted me to go into missions, so I said "yes, I'll go." But there was that fear in the back of my mind of living overseas, not knowing what was going to happen. I wasn't sure that I was willing to give up my security. And to top that off, my parents were not super crazy about this idea either. But during the "After Party for all Nations" talk I was completely shaken and in awe. I just started crying and shaking. God shook me up and showed me the real story: that it's not my story. And that He is going with me. I don't have to know where, or when or even how...but I just have to trust my Father and know that He's never ever going to let go of me. It's all about Him. Now I cannot wait to go!!! Something crazy and supernatural seriously happened during that last morning when you guys prayed over us. I'm trying to find the words to explain it right now, but I can't. All I know is that God changed something inside. Well, I could probably go on forever but I better let you get to reading the other emails from other people whose lives were changed just like mine. Thank you for following this vision to help this generation find the truth that we so desperately crave. God Bless!!!!!!! (SHINE! :)!! )
Lauren, IL
ps: You guys should definitely make a permanent podcast!!

So amazing to see what God is doing. Lauren, we are praying for you. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
PSS: The Global Awakening Passport area has just been update on the Passion website with info on our friends who can assist you as you go and our partners in the Do Something Now campaign.

Monday, March 05, 2007

At iTunes Tomorrow!

The final iTunes bundle (THE BLUE BUNDLE) from Passion 07 lands at iTunes tomorrow...featuring the potent talk by John Piper and music from Charlie Hall and Chris Tomlin. Charlie's Marvelous Light, the version that followed Piper's talk, is a powerful reminder of the fact that though we have fallen, we will get back up and run into the arms of our Savior. From the opening night Chris leads Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) as we bask in His unthinkable rescue.

This is the last of the Passion 07 iTunes bundles and is available starting tomorrow, March 6th. Download the whole bundle/album and pass it on!

"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." Micah 7:8.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tour Takes Breather After Great Nights

Two words: wow and weary! I think the collision of those feelings best describes the How Great Is Our God Tour family as we finish a long stretch on the road and head home for a much needed break. Great nights in Atlanta (thanks for a great hometown welcome) and Orlando put a huge exclamation point on this leg of the tour and are sending us home exhausted and grateful!

Much will be happening for me in the Passion House this week and we are still gearing up for one last HGIOG run. If you're near Columbus, Memphis, Knoxville, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, West Palm, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Little Rock or Mobile, there's still time to come and join us.


Friday, March 02, 2007


Hometown ATL

Though it's only for a few hours, I'm pretty excited about being in Atlanta for what we hope is going to be an outrageous night at the Civic Center. The week has been a bit of a blur as we are finishing a stretch of being on the road for 24 straight days....but that's no slight to Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Chattanooga and Birmingham, AL. Every stop has been a privilege and amazing in it's own way. Last night we had heavy hearts in Birmingham as tornadoes took the lives of people not too far from here, but this night is about championing a God who loves us beyond what we can conceive and who is in complete control of our lives no matter how crushing or confusing the circumstances around us. We are deeply saddened, yet confident His grace will be enough for all.

While I was in the Passion House for a few hours on our off day Wednesday we recorded a new episode of the Passion 07 Podcast that will hopefully air tomorrow (later today) that includes quite a few of YOUR comments from the phone line. Thanks to everyone who left a message for us. Though we couldn't include every comment, we were moved by all.

One last thing, watch for the final Passion 07 iTunes bundle coming this coming Tuesday, March 6th, with Piper's Passion talk, Charlie's version of Marvelous Light that followed and Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).

See you tonight in ATL!