I think I set another personal record last week. What started out as an outreach effort in the surrounding Calgary community quickly developed into an additional week of spiritual emphasis for the students at the nearby Chinook Winds Academy, and it culminated in a Calgary-wide Youth Event over the final weekend. Although we began with 14 presentations at one venue, we ultimately gave 26 presentations in three venues over the course of one week.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
The original evening event was held in the local Plaza Theater, a downtown art house/foreign film theater. The audience was a unique mixture of atheists, agnostics, anti-Christians, those who have been hurt by Christianity, and the more traditional “attend church every weekend” folks. It was a unique audience, and none of us—me included—left without being challenged on one level or another.
Although I would love to share many personal life-transforming testimonies from this event, for the sake of confidentiality, I cannot. I can say, with great gladness, that around 20 folks, some previous atheists, embraced God—not as He has been represented by the religion of Christianity, but as he has been revealed through the person of Jesus Christ. A majority of attendees, including the 20-or-so folks from the community, embraced the idea of following Jesus as a community, in small groups of 15-20 people—first-century style. Their first “following Jesus together” event will occur this Saturday afternoon, from 3 to 5. Please keep these precious ones in your prayers as they continue to endeavor to live like Jesus, think like Jesus, love like Jesus, and serve the world around them, like Jesus.
The week of spiritual emphasis at the local Academy was, in my estimation, a great success too. Many students experienced a change in their views of God and began to believe what was truly in His heart for them. The week, as mentioned previously, culminated in a Calgary-wide event for youths and young adults. We talked about feeling let down when our prayers seem unanswered or ignored. We considered the historical evidence for believing that Jesus really is the decisive clue, the one that must be given the greatest weight, in shaping our picture of God. Lastly, we pondered the supreme sacrifice of God Himself on the Cross, as an act of warfare against our Accuser, which revealed His radical, self-sacrificial, indiscriminant, other-centered, non-condemning love for each of us. It was an amazing event.
To those of you who prayed for last week’s meetings, thank you. I’m convinced that these meetings would not have been as successful if you had not been engaging the “powers” (Ephesians 6.12), on my behalf, through your prayers. Thank you.
This weekend, I’m on my way to Crescent City, CA. I will be sharing from the new Forgive Us Our Trespasses series. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you there! If not, please lift up all who will attend, including me, in your prayers.
Keep living in love, reflecting the radical love of our God, and building the Kingdom.
I love you guys. And thank you.