I am so unbelievably exhausted today, I simply can not put it into words.
Last night was quite a scene. Between the sweltering and almost unbearable heat and 600+ bodies crammed into our venue (which has the capacity to hold 350+), the loud music, enormous amounts of trash and literally the feeling that you might just pass out from a heat stroke and dehydration to running around town to pick up pizzas and extra water I just feel like I may not possibly make it through this day without having to lay my head down on this desk and just pass out.
It was a great show altogether. "Scream the Prayer" was the name of the tour and there were 14 different bands who performed. The event began at 2:00 pm and we did not get out of there until 1:30 am. Needless to say our dear venue was a sight to behold after the stampede was out. Endless amounts of water bottles covered the floor, gum still somewhat fresh and chewy pressed and mashed into the carpet (that's always lovely), and a floor vacuumed and cleaned just the day before looks as though it's never been cleaned. Ahhh, the venue life. I'll tell ya though, last night was pretty intense and amazing. The bands were so bold about their faith in Jesus. I loved that. Kids came from all over the place to see and hear their favorite "Hardcore" band and lo and behold they were presented with the Gospel. I am not a fan of the hardcore music, not one bit. I find it to be disturbing, obnoxious and harmful to the ears. haha. I will say this though, I have no place to judge whether or not this so called "christian" music is pleasing to God's ears. I used to think it sounded hell-ish and there was no way that it could be titled "christian", but you know what? I really don't think God cares about what the music sounds like and whether it's a beautiful melody played gracefully on a piano or a barking guitar and ridiculously loud drumbeats, God looks at the heart. He looks at the heart, period. We seem to get so easily caught up in this whole mindset of "Tattoos, loud music, breakdowns and hardcore dancing=rebellion and is Anti-God, we're stuck in a rut. Now, I'm not saying that there are a lot and I mean a lot of hardcore bands who do not live for Jesus and their music is born out of hatred, jealousy, bitterness and lust and that music is of course extremely unpleasant because it is accompanied by an dark and evil presence.
Now, again let me emphasize that I am not a huge fan of hardcore music and there was a point in time where I judged it harshly, I didn't see the point of it, it simply hands me headaches and makes my ears ring. But would you believe it if I told you that it brings kids from all over, they like eat this stuff up. Maybe it's the passion and energy the music gives off and it literally causes these kids to like lose control of themselves and dance like a crazy person! It's really a sight to behold, let me tell ya. How could we limit God's ability to reach these kids? Obviously this is something they absolutely love, it's their passion, it's like their escape or something. Don't get me wrong here but don't we believe that God works in mysterious ways? He totally does and I think he loves to shatter our mindsets and pull us out of the rut we so easily get ourselves into.
I am a firm believer in repentance and in abandoning your old ways when you come to know Jesus and surrendering your heart and life to Him but honestly would he require abandonment of that which has the potential of actually bringing glory to His name and proclaiming His truth to this generation to this group of "hardcore" kids or whatever you want to call them. They have souls too. They really are open to hear and trust me they are looking for it and when you present it to them in love they simply cannot resist it. I understand that these kids have been hurt and wounded because of the impression their appearance has given, it's almost like they're automatically categorized as awful human beings who have inked themselves and get wasted every night which is most likely true but shouldn't we be reaching out to them all the MORE?? I know a lot have wounds have been caused by "christians" and churches but I am not here to say that that is any excuse for anything. I am not bitter against the church nor do I place the blame entirely on them. I think we can get so caught up in placing blame and finding fault that we excuse their behavior because of hurt. Of course wounds do cause you to often do things that you probably wouldn't normally do, thats just the truth. We shouldn't get so caught up in finding fault and error that we forget the bigger picture. We don't need to bash the ones who inflicted pain, but pray for them. How are we different from them if we attack them and talk negatively about them. Either way, it isn't right. That is why there is so much discord among the generations, it is hard for the older people to understand the younger and vice versa. But can you imagine the radical movement that could very well take place the moment that we refuse to accept and believe the lies, the moment that we say, "you know what, they did treat me like crap but Jesus has changed me and I know what true love is and no matter how much they hurt me or neglected me, I am still going to love them and forgive them." Wow! What a heart, what a love, what a picture of the love of Christ.
No more back-biting and talking trash about each other. There is a place we can come to where we don't necessarily have to agree that their music and tattoos are pleasant and you know what?They probably would hate your music and don't like what you wear either but is that really what it's all about? I don't think we're all that shallow, I think we all know that despite our outward appearance, that is not how we are judged in the end. Our hearts, our inside, our spirit and our love is what defines us. They will know us by our love. Now, I'm not going to like go and get all tattooed and pierced now, not my style but I sure can love those kids just as much as I do the ones who have a neat appearance but could very well possibly be atrocious inwardly.
I really could go on and on. I feel like I have this revelation of love and of God's love for us in a deeper way than I've ever understood it before, probably because I was so caught up in what I "thought" it looked like. My little human mind thought it could actually comprehend such things, wrong-o! I have found myself to be very wrong in many aspects and I have let my guard down and I have dicovered a whole new place in my that I didn't even know was there. When I see these kids and see their desire to to be loved for who they are, it's like they're screaming inside for someone to accept them that they've developed this kinship among themselves and they've become more like family who would probably literally die for each other. Now we introduce the vast love of God to them and they become the Body of Christ. I see so much potential and I have such a desire to see God come and mess them all up and competely overtake them with His love. There is a movement taking place, I can feel it. I really believe that God is about to do something miraculous, something only He has the capability of doing. All these "atheists", "agnostic" and "God-free" kids are being confronted with the truth of His love and I can see that they can't deny it any longer. We all have a spot inside that only God can fill and I see them already scoping all this stuff out and testing the truth of it. We can't put limits on God, it's impossible. He always does things a different way. Partner with us and pray for the Red Door venue.
This minstry is unlike any other I've ever experienced. It's hard, tiring, depleting, and it can easily discourage you if you're not careful and if you don't continually pray and seek God. However the reward is always much greater than the sacrifice and the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward. We are sowing into what I believe is going to be a great harvest of souls who will advance the kingdom of God. May we not become weary in doing so. Our strength is drawn from Him, He is our supply for every need and the way we live speaks so much louder than the words we speak. They are watching us, every move we make. Let's set a standard, one of holiness, of purity, of righteousness and of truth.
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13: 34-35.
"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7