Friday, November 16, 2007

The Sign Of Things To Come

It's getting close to 2:30 AM as I write my final blog from the How Great Is Our God Tour. I'm fighting a dwindling battery on my PowerBook as we roll south from the lovely Tri-Cities. "Why not just plug the laptop in, Louie?," you wonder. Well, I'm already in my bunk (for those of you who have dogs, think kennel) and my phone is charging in the one power outlet I have. Plus, my power cord is in my shoulder bag, which is also in my bunk with me at the moment, yet getting to it and retrieving the power cord is more than I want to do right now. Speaking of the bunk (some may ask, why not get up and write the blog in the front or back lounge? to which I say, great question, and reply: in ending the tour tonight we said goodbye to most of the crew as their bus headed one way, yet CT is leading in Atl this weekend and needs his smaller road crew who have joined us on our bus, though there are no empty bunks resulting in people sleeping in the lounges on the overnight to Atlanta---plus a seemingly endless viewing of "The Office" is now in full swing in the front lounge, so here I am in the my fabulous abode), let me try to describe it for you. I'd say, being generous, is 26" wide, a little longer than me, and not too high. My knees are now up and the laptop is resting on my chest. The ceiling is three inches higher than the distance of my arm from elbow to finger tips (in other words, as I lay here and put my arm elbow down on the "mattress" and stretch out my hand there is about three inches of room between the ends of my fingers and the ceiling. More than once I have turned over in the night with too much gusto and slammed my head on the bottom of Travis' bunk, and a few times have heard Matt G. doing the same below. Ahh, the glamorous life on the road!)

Thankfully, the guys are kind enough to give me a middle ride...and luckily, I really like small spaces.

So here I am, thanking God for such an amazing opportunity and excited about being five hours from home. Tonight was pretty surprising. I say that not to offend the wonderful people of East Tennessee, rather to thank them. Having never been here I didn't know what to expect, but they went for it tonight and made this a huge exclamation point on a phenomenal tour.

There are so many memories after a tour like this, but what I will take away from tonight was an amazing interpreter, a college student named Wendy, who met me during sound check with the question, "Louie, do you talk fast?"

Uh, yeah!

Perched on a chair near the front of the stage, she proceeded to bring this night to life for a hearing impaired person in the front row. Being a fast talking speaker I have always pitied those who have to sign for me, yet respected them so much for being able to amplify my message for all to receive. But Wendy was in a league of her own. I noticed in the middle of "Holy Is The Lord," as Chris was inviting us into what we were singing about, she was interpreting like no one I have seen before. It was like every single syllable was being grabbed and expressed.

I obviously couldn't catch much during my talk (imagine signing quadrillions, crazy star names and the speed of light!), but I was on her side of the stage during the last set and wish I could describe the combination of passion, non-attention grabbing, grooving, expressing, singing with her hands, leading and worshiping that she exhibited. And what was really powerful...she was expending all that energy, yet never sang or said anything of her own. Rather, she totally locked onto the voices she heard and beautifully reflected that message to someone who would have missed it all if she hadn't been standing there.

So tonight we're winding down the Tour and I'm challenged by the image of a 21 year old on a folding chair . And I'm thinking about how crazy it is that someone like me and you could awaken a deaf world as we simply tell them what we clearly hear. Can you imagine God entrusting us with something as pivotal as that? That's massively profound...even in a really tiny bunk.

Sign on.


  • This was a great post, there is a deaf grad student in our program and I'm always amazed by her interpreters (and by her, because I barely remember things with taking notes, and she just remembers it) and was just telling my sister about how amazing I found interpretation yesterday.

    Anyway, it sounds like the tour ended on a great note, and I have to say I was incredibly glad I got to see you guys last year, it was really meaningful. Thanks!!!!

    By Blogger morganleigh, at 11/16/2007 8:03 AM  

  • You all are on a very humbling ride as you continute to head toward the World Tour, and even now with sign interpreters. God SO wants His message to reach those hearts. He's going great lengths to span languages, and cultures, and borders to take His beutiful message to all those hearts. Carrying a message like that to the end of you and watching God carry it the rest of the way into hearts through different languages brings a face to the floor. What a wonderful God we serve, my friend. What a wonderful God!

    By Blogger Kendra, at 11/16/2007 9:51 AM  

  • Louie and team,
    So glad to hear yall are headed home! as i read this post this morning, Hillsong is playing and "To Know Your Name" came on as I was reading...how apropo!
    The world cannot know His great Name unless we tell them!

    Some of the lyrics that struck me: (I've listened to the song now 3 times in a row)
    "Convicted by Your Spririt , led by Your Word,
    Your love will never fail...
    So people undeserving can know Your Name..."

    Thanks for all you do to further His great Name to people undeserving...you and Passion continue to help inspire me to do the same!

    Love and get some rest!!!

    From B'ham...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/16/2007 12:11 PM  

  • Louie, thanks for the words of encouragement! I could not have interpreted last night without the "star breathing" God that I know as my Savior guiding my hands. You do not lie. You speak very fast and honestly I was intimidated somewhat starting out, but amazing things happen when you take all of the intimidation and you lay it down at the feet of our Lord and declare the night is His no matter what happens. I, myself, did not even know some of the signs going into the night and yet they came into my mind as I was signing. If that's not God working, I'm not sure what is. Our God is the "star breather" and yet He is also my Daddy. For that I will be forever thankful. I hope to talk to you soon. Maybe corresponding through email or facebook.

    By Anonymous Wendy, at 11/16/2007 12:36 PM  

  • good thoughts, good reflection. Louie, the small things are definitely sometimes the most profound. (is there really anything small though?)
    Anyway, one of the "small" things is this BLOG. It it awesome to see you, your thoughts, the real you in these posts. It adds an element of real to the ministry that so many lack.
    Keep bloggin', sharing what's on your mind - for the encouragement of the saints. God Bless

    By Blogger TaylorW, at 11/16/2007 12:37 PM  

  • wow, that is sure humbling..and challenging. just coming from a music background, it's hard to fathom someone worshiping God without words or harmony or melody, but this signer..wow, that challenges me. the fact that she can display the glory of God to someone who cannot hear..that's beautiful. that's a spiritual gift. that is annointed and blessed. God is good and He is working in many many ways.

    louie, that bunker sure sounds like fun. hope i get the chance to do that someday haha.


    p.s. the ripples left from passion::boston are continuing to move. thanks again for coming.

    By Blogger Joe, at 11/16/2007 1:08 PM  

  • Praying this verse for you and thanking God for what He accomplished through this tour:

    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

    Good job! We love you Jesus!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/16/2007 4:14 PM  

  • Thanks Louie for this post. One of my best friends is learning sign language in college right now. She's an amazing young woman, who I have been close with since we met in 2002 for the first time. Allisons family became my family and everytime I'm in New England I know that I always have a place to stay and a family that loves me. I feel blessed. It's always hard to leave and cross the ocean again but I always know that I will see them again...
    Allison's life has been hard, she was born at 26 weeks, her vocal folds weren't developed and so she has a hard time speaking. She can't scream...and when she speaks it almost sounds like whispering. But seeing her and seeing how she has grown from a little girl into a woman makes me see how amazing she is and I admire her so much. She is a strong woman and wants to help others! She always pays attention to the weak, no matter what! I admire that in her and see her as an example. Because I know that I can learn so much from her. But most of all I love her and I'm glad that she is my friend.

    I continue to pray for you, CT band and all the staff! I wish you a safe ride to Atlanta!

    By Blogger Jacoline, at 11/16/2007 4:31 PM  

  • Hey Louie, It was great to see you and Chris lastnight. I thought your message on the scope of the universe was spot on.

    However, I just have to say that I felt your use of the phrase, "The guilt trip is over" really took away from the worship experience in singing Amazing Grace. Our sin that separates us from God is as wide as the universe is big. Without Christ's atoning death, we'd be hopelessly lost and doomed to separation from him for all eternity. His death did amazingly so much more than simply remove a bad guilt trip.

    By Blogger Dave, at 11/16/2007 7:51 PM  

  • Man that does sound a little tight. Bet you can`t wait to get into a real bed. I am glad that this tour was such a time packed with all the goodness of God.

    Thanks for sharing about the girl who signed, I absolutely love watching people sign for Gods glory and to be able to bring His words to life for someone else. It is very calming and energing all at the same time to watch. Such feeling and gracefulness.

    Thanks again for all that your team has done thru this year and very excited to be a part of 2008`s great adventures.

    Peace to you.


    By Blogger Liz, at 11/17/2007 3:48 PM  

  • Johnson City Rocked! Thanks guys!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/17/2007 4:04 PM  

  • reading that gave me chills bro.

    By Blogger ::it's all for Jesus::, at 11/19/2007 5:48 PM  

  • Louie,
    I am compelled to write this. I recently attended the NYWC in your wonderful Atlanta. As I sat listening to your talk on our Hope - the Cross. I was tracking with you ever so much. I thank God that He put that message in your life and in your heart and in your mouth to proclaim not only at the NYWC but I am sure that you are sharing it all over.

    Two years ago my wife and I left PCB, FL for Boston. We had only been there a year when tragedy hit my family in East Tennessee. After believing that God had wanted us to move there and help my mom we left the God-dream in Boston. We were in East Tennessee for only three months and with no jobs and things with my mom not working out we turned to our friends. We ended up being invited to Texas. We were working odd jobs trying to make ends meet - all the while trusting that our Lord had a plan. We ended up being asked to come on staff here in Madison, Al - near Huntsville.

    The reason I am writing is that I wanted to encourage you. There has been some dark times for us over the past two years. There has been "trouble". AND at the same time there has been peace. Honestly, it has been hard to look at the trouble and know peace. To trust that Jesus has got it covered. That is why your message at the NYWC was so spot on for me. Passion was the catalyst for me to really mean it when I said, "Lord, I will go anywhere, do anything." One Day is still in my heart and soul and brain. It is as if God marked me in those days as we worshiped together. God used Passion 05 to push me out of comfort and force me to go to the hard place among the hard peoples. And then I discovered that all of that was calling me to call this generation to go, to be, to hope, to love to wait eagerly on the Lord and to spread a passion for the supremacy of Christ in all things. But Louie, you got to know that God used you to fan that flame in my life.

    While at the NYWC, I went to purchase one of the DVD's. I ended up talking to the ladies working at your booth. I shared with them my story and as I finished and wanted to pay, one of them handed me all three of your DVD messages. Monday night when I arrived home we watched "How Great is Our God". My brother in-law who is not passionately following Jesus was glued to your talk. He told me today that it moved him and that he thought about it all day yesterday.

    So - thanks. And thank your "booth ladies" they really made my weekend. Also, do you know when the David Crowder Band will be putting out a new CD? j/k

    For His Renown,
    The Big Red Goteed guy,

    By Blogger brianmetz, at 11/21/2007 7:14 PM  

  • LG,

    I went to the concert in Charlotte a few weeks ago, and it was really great. I was one of six guys that took a trip to see you and CT, and it was really worth it! We grew closer together by growing closer in Christ - literally! This past Sunday morning, one of my friends that went accepted Christ as his Savior and Dad while listening to Adrian Despres (USC Gamecocks Chaplain), and I accepted Christ as well that Sunday night (a youth group gave a profound presentation). So why am I saying all this? I say this because you and CT had such an impact on our lives at that concert and at Student Life Camp in Myrtle Beach, SC. Thank you for all that you do - God is certainly blessing you. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/22/2007 7:39 PM  

  • i think your readers would really enjoy the new book Brown Like Coffee. i saw it at www.brownlikecoffee.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/26/2007 10:13 PM  

  • Bonjour Louie~*
    How can I thank you enough for the talk you shared at the NYWC in Atlanta concerning the Hope of the Cross? Ray [one of my youth workers] had helped with the security at Passion in DC and had shared [basically] the whole talk with me and yet the revelation that came from hearing it personally has revolutionized how I view pain/suffering/tragedy. I shared a synopsis of your talk with my mom and sisters and was struck again with this overwhelming sense of God's amazing hope made possible through the cross. Awesome.

    By Anonymous Grace-Emma, at 11/27/2007 6:44 PM  

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