This weekend in Tucson, we saw the culmination of months and months of prayer and preparation as the first O2 event of the summer finally arrived. Of course in my life nothing went according to plan during the final week before the event. I had scheduled a quiet week full of preparation and rest so I’d be ready to speak five times at the host church’s weekend services and then twice at the event itself on Sunday night.
Then life happened. My dad’s heart attack changed everything. I rushed to be with him and spent the week at his side with the rest of my brothers and sisters, praying for him and trying to help him however I could. To be honest, it was difficult to think of going and speaking at all but my dad wouldn’t hear any of it. He had been a major part of the event, flying to Tucson several times and helping mobilize other churches and media.
One of the first things he said to me, from the ICU, when I told him I was headed down to be with him was, “you are going to do the O2 experience.” Thankfully, the open heart surgery was a success and even though it was hard leaving him while he was in so much pain, I was able to be there for him when he came out of the operation. We set up a special webcast for him so he was able to watch the event from the surgical intensive care unit and he told me that it brought tears to his eyes.
The thing I kept trying to remember is that none of it caught God off guard. He had known all along that this was coming and He was going to give me the strength to speak 7x (my all time record) in one weekend, even though I didn’t feel I had anything to give at all. His grace was sufficient for me. The moment things began I felt instantly upheld, as though I had just tapped into an invisible fuel source, and I continued to feel that way through the whole weekend. Ironically, I woke up the morning after feeling better than I usually do on a Thursday morning after skull church.
The O2 went off without a hitch. Our team performed UNBELIEVABLY. It is such a thrill and an honor serving the Lord with them. Everyone on the platform put their heart into it and did a killer job. I am so thankful for the way the vision of the O2 has gripped the hearts of those involved over the years.
When the dust settled, 135 people had made public professions of faith in Christ and we saw an UPRISING of young people in Arizona committing themselves to God’s plan for their sex lives! I get contacted from time to time by people who attended an O2 at some point and are still honoring that commitment, and nothing gives me greater joy than to think of the heartache that is being missed out on as God’s directions are followed. Yes He can forgive sexual sin, but how much better to not go through it in the first place?
We have one more O2 Experience this summer, and it will be in Montana! Tickets are going to be gone soon so if you haven’t yet, get ‘em quick! (tickets available at o2experience.com) I am willing to go to blows for the youth of this nation to know that the devil wants to rip them off. And that the fullest enjoyment of their sexuality comes through Christ.
Here are some more epic photos to give you a feel for what we saw God do on Sunday night.