We are beginning a new series at fresh life this weekend! I so excited about these messages and what I believe God is going to do through them. Come out to one of our campuses or join us online or on the radio for the Microphone series.
Last night we arrived back at home in Montana, after two weeks out on the road, with our hearts full of faith and excitement over what we have seen God do. It was also an emotional day for us as it marked six-months since Lenya went home. We were internally celebrating and simultaneously reliving painful memories. That’s just life in this tent–it’s valleys low and mountains high, sorrowful yet always rejoicing, perplexed but not in despair…Therefore we do not lose heart.
The west coast tour ended w/ a bang. God blessed the final of three California dates greatly. It was special being in San Jose as that was where my wife made her commitment to purity in 5th grade–and it was at the same church we held the event in! The Boise event was straight up out of control. So many showed up that they couldn’t all fit in the building or overflow! Then at the invitation the space up front filled quickly as did several aisles, from the stage all the way to the back of the room. When the dust settled, at these final two events we saw 330 respond to the gospel and 1,953 committed their sex-lives to God! That’s in addition to those who watched on line and were impacted.
We ended the tour the same way we always celebrate as a family when someone gives their heart to Jesus at an event. We danced. We threw on one of Lenya’s favorite songs and had a family dance party, rejoicing with those in the presence of the angels in response to all that God had done. I am so thankful for our team’s hard work and dedication in the past two weeks. Not just those who went, but also those who remained behind. Pulling off a national 6 city tour while simultaneously having church in 5 different cities in Montana is no small feat. This is called running with horses.
My heart shattered into a thousand pieces, each shard jagged and razor-sharp … the pain surreal. Deafening. Catastrophic. Six months ago today my daughter died in my arms. Wild panic burnt under my skin and blood hot with adrenaline flashed through my veins. I felt helpless, dizzy, and frantic. Sorrow upon sorrow.
Never once had I ever entertained the notion that I would have to face the death of one of my daughters. Not that I am in denial about mortality. I’m not. I think and speak of death often. I know I am going to die. Throughout much of my life I have had premonitions of my death and have suspected that it might come for me at a young age, but I never considered the possibility of one of my children dying in Kindergarten. This was unthinkable.
Yet in the darkness He was there. Invisible yet tangible, God was with us in those desperate moments. The beauty of suffering is that God is near to the brokenhearted. As I sank deep in miry clay Jesus caught me and set my feet upon solid rock. My soul was anchored with living hope.
Yes, her life had ended on this earth but her true life had just begun. It was a commencement not a conclusion. A comma not a period. In God’s presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures evermore. Six months ago today my Lenya Lion went Home.
I miss her so much that at times it blurs my vision and makes my face flush. I know I will see her again but the space between is very hard. The last half a year has been marked by ups and downs, tears and (perhaps even more difficult to deal with) the absence of tears. Sometimes my emotions are like a live wire and at other times I feel numb. Yet in all these things, nothing can separate us from the love of God and we have seen Him put to use what He has put us through.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25–27)
We just finished two extraordinary events in Orange County and Riverside. Both events were insane. Standing room only crowds overflowed both venues and we saw God move mountains in people’s hearts and lives. 239 people responded to the gospel and made professions of faith in Christ, and then in response to the call to God’s plans for sex and romance there was a massive uprising–1,922 people stood for sexual purity!
There are so many things fighting against the sexual purity of this generation. We know that God has called us to fight for it. I believe that there is so much hanging in the balance. We will never see God move in our lives like He wants to if we are not pure in heart.
With two events left to go (San Jose and Boise) I can’t wait to see what God is going to do.
Slowly but surely we are making our way down the west coast. The events in Seattle and Vancouver area were awesome. We have seen 999 students and young adults stand to commit their sex-lives to God and 171 people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ! Amazing. I genuinely can’t believe I get to be a part of this. It has been an absolute joy to work with churches in these areas and I am SO proud of our team. They have been getting after it.
And you have to remember, the message we are bringing–that God’s plan for sexual purity is the path to your greatest pleasure–is one that isn’t exactly popular anywhere in our culture today; but it is definitely NOT the norm in the places we have been so far on this tour. When we were leaving the Portland O2 we were passed by a man riding a bicycle wearing nothing but a helmet, which apparently is not out of the ordinary at all, just another naked bicycle rider going down the street…
Onward. We have three events in California this week: Riverside tomorrow, Irvine on Wednesday, and San Jose on Saturday. Next week we will hit Boise, Idaho on our long trek home. Praying and expecting God for great things. If you live in one of these areas I hope to see you at one of the O2 events….all the details here.
It is upon us. We are locked and loaded. The O2 Experience is here. I feel like you do when you stand at the top of a skate ramp and are about to drop in. A rush of adrenaline and a little fear. We have never done more than two O2 events back to back and in the next two weeks we will triple that. I am truly excited though. We are partnering with AMAZING churches and our team has been RUNNING WITH THE HORSES.
Please pray for the tour if it comes to mind. Safety on the road, health, and for God to move in power at each event. There is no doubt that the enemy does not want young people in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho to hear the gospel, understand His plan for their sex lives. I have been having crazy nightmares and have not been sleeping well. That is pretty much par for the course, especially around these kind of events, but it has been worse this week than normal. None of this comes as a surprise. This is war. In it all we are believing that God is going to do great things in the next few weeks.
We will be webcasting each event live at o2experience.com so you can watch and get the stream to those who can’t make it in person.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.