Monday, November 26, 2007

Camera Phone Tour Pics!

Well, we are...about 2/3 way through our fall tour and it has been a fun time so far...

We are currently in ..Iowa. haha But today we head off to the great state of Illinois for the last week of tour. Its still early and I am in my onesie foot pajamas and listening to anberlin's new b-side cd. Life on the road is great.

Here are some pics to prove it.

The boys and I made a fort with our hotel beds and I lead devo's in it one day last week

...brooke will get it

merch models

Brooke vs. the Big red wrapper game.


too fast


Hold your head high heavy heart,


Monday, November 19, 2007

give us words to speak

As we re-adjust to life back here in the states with one concert every other day and the open spaces, it's as if our bodies and minds are catching up with all of us on the team. The experience in Hong Kong was truly a supernatural experience. Back here in state-side tour the battle seems subtle, different. Where in Hong Kong the approach was a direct evengelistic method, which proved effective with lives changed, here in the states generally with a basic knowledge of Jesus or "growing up in church mentality," how do we encourage others? How do we awaken people from this slumber and indifference? It's not the lack of response or the "cool" attitude of the self that is predominate in America that is the only issue, but how can hearts that are cold from the wickedness of the world be changed? I've come to realize that it is truly only God and the Holy Spirit that can transform and redeem this apathy, this age of Laodicea that has become the norm in these tumultuous times. We can only be the vessels, the instruments, the carpenters tools. In the book Revolution by Barna, stressed how in this technological age, we must become the church, the body. The blame is not the institutionalized church (the building) or even moral rights issues, instead the trend and way to reach people will be relational. It won't be credentials, degrees, titles, money and even a traditional, cultural, structured services that make the difference. I was reminded that if it was the local church that was so important, why are so many falling away? The author Barna, reminded me that what will save the world is Jesus, and Jesus alone. The spiritual state we are in is a choice, one that we are responsible for. It's humbling to go to these schools, prisons, not having a doctorate, or a seminary degree etc., which are not bads things in of itself, but truly God is glorified when he uses the weak to shame the strong, the fool to shame the wise. It is not easy to be on a team, but I realized that instead of a "Sunday Pharisetic non-compromised" stance I held, I realized that the Christian, church, is 24-7, anywhere with anyone. It's not the music that was the most important, but our fellowship, our love, our passion for Christ, the aroma we give to a dying world. Sometimes it's hard to speak the truth in love, a time where honesty or brutal truth is something we fear to do, to not offend, not hurt anyone, but if the Christian faith and bible is absolutely true in the end, the awful part is that we will one day stand face to face with our Maker, accountable for all we did in this life, what words will we say, what excuses can we make?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Back from Hong Kong

I'm back home in good ol' MN, and it seems surreal that I have been gone for an entire month. If I could describe the ministry time in Hong Kong, it would be intense. We were there for 4 weeks, and we did 77 concerts. About 45 of them were schools, 8 in malls, 5 street evangelism, and the rest churches and other YFC events. We worked with the Youth For Christ there, which was a huge blessing. They are very driven people and will go to all extents in order to share the Gospel with as many people as they can. I learned so much from them!!

Never had I been as physically exhausted from doing 3-5 concerts a day, hauling our equipment up/down many stairs, waking up at 5:30 a.m and getting home at 8, and walking a billio to wherever we had to go, but my time there really challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone of sharing Christ with people. We were asked to share our testimonies with thousands of people, a very daunting task. There were so many times where I didn't feel adequate to be speaking up there, yet everytime was an opportunity to share Christ with someone, and I couldn't miss that opportunity. We went out into the streets and malls to share our music/dramas, but more importantly the love of Christ. Those venues are something that we really don't get a chance to do here in the states, so I found it an honor.
I'm still trying to process this all-- Thank you SO much for all of your prayers.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I am not ashamed

I am not ashamed

"I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed."
That thought kept on running through my head. I was standing under a skyscraper in Hong Kong, surrounded by hundreds of Filipinos, and I was a tree. Waving back and forth as my team performed a drama behind me. I was embarassed. I felt ackward and foolish. Who stands in the middle of a street in front of strangers who didn't ask you to be there... being a tree?

We were with YFC, one of the ministries that CTI partners with internationally, and they asked us to do street evangelism. Our ministry with YFC consisted of going to schools and singing songs in cantonese and then presenting the gospel to the kids. On weekends or evenings we did street evangelism or minister in churches. We would use dramas that we had learned in the states. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the drama "Dare You To Move". It's an amazing drama and I love doing it. But it looks rather foolish when you're just standing there for the first 2 minutes waving back and forth like a tree. Don't worry, I eventually turn into Satan in the drama so it's all good! I get used to eating dirt after Jesus destroys me!
Hong Kong has a large Filipino population. Mostly women who come there to earn money to send home. Most of them are domestic helpers and have only one day off a week. So we were ministering to these Filipino women who were enjoying their day off.

I always struggle with the thought of street evangelism, in regards to it's effectiveness. I know it would not work at all in the USA and to be honest I would be offended to see it in America. But we weren't in America. We were in Hong Kong, and we would be for a month.

" I am not ashamed." I told myself. But I was ashamed, ashamed of myself for being embaressed by the message of salvation. Ashamed that I wasn't bolder, or more joyful. And I was saddened that so many times I miss the meaning of why I believe in Jesus. I forget the mess I am, and the rescue that Jesus was, is, will be to me. Why can't I grasp this? Why can't I translate that into words, or a smile, or a note I sing? Or into being a tree?

While methods vary ( I would never choose street evangelism to tell people about Jesus) the message remains constant. Love is waiting. God is waiting. I am waiting for it, though I have it, I'll never have enough. Yet it still is too much for me to contain. Words fail to describe Jesus. That's why sometimes all I can do is stand in a busy street in Hong Kong, perform dramas, sing, play, and remind myself. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because this story of love is the power that renews life!


Just a quick note to let you all know that the team has made it home safe. We're doing debriefing with them today in Willmar. Tomorrow will be a much deserved day off!