But it's all good stuff...
Tuesday night: Anthem rehearsal. Got home around midnight.
Wednesday: Woke up to Makai screaming just after 5:00 AM. Anthem band played for our hs/jr high ministries. Got home around 11.
Thursday: Woke up to Makai screaming just after 5:00 AM. Good thing I had my earplugs handy, but too bad they couldn't shut out his crying. Neither could the pillow over my head. Anthem band played at TSC. Got home around 11:30.
Friday: Makai slept in 'til 6:00 AM. I knew I was in for a good day. Anthem that night. More on that in a second...
Saturday: Woke up to Makai, but went back to sleep as we were rescued by Grandpa Jack and Grandma Linda, who had driven up for Anthem. Stadium cleanup until 11:3o pm in 26 degree weather. Here I am with Parker, a guy I recently started discipling. This was his first ever stadium cleanup. He picked a winner to attend. Don't get me wrong- ISU got slaughtered by Missouri (a moment of silence for the pathetic Big 12 North...)- but more importantly, the Janitors of God rocked Jack Trice Stadium in just over 2 hours. I'm overwhelmed by the 200+ students that came out in the freezing cold to serve Jesus in this way.Sunday: 6AM- left for church to lead worship for the gym services. 1:45- got home to attention starved chilren and a wife who I haven't seen much of for a week.
Next weekend: What was I thinking...another youth retreat.
Anthem was amazing.
Imagine 1,000 students packed into a gym for one reason alone: passionate worship of the living God. It's indescribable. Uncontainable.... I feel a song coming
My personal highlights (I will try to get pictures soon):
- Going into the night I received a prophetic word from a friend. He said people were going to be saved, therefore, I should make the gospel clear. I did my best one minute gospel presentation at the end of our first set going into "lead me to the cross." I haven't heard any specific stories of new birth yet, but...
- 4 of the people I talked to after Anthem all said they realized for the first time who they were in Christ. One guy said it was like he was having an out of body experience. He was looking at himself worshiping and he was saying about the guy he saw (himself), "That guy right there- he is a true follower of Jesus. This is real. His faith is real!" The God stories from Anthem abound. There are 1,000 of them. Many said they felt the presence of God walking into the room.
- Jesse singing "My love, I adore" with just him on acoustic...Wow. That Anthem song's got some anointing on it. Soli Deo Gloria, Clint!
- Tim and Geoff coming down from Des Moines to lead during the acoustic set. Dude's got a set of pipes (he almost made this season's American Idol), but more importantly, he exudes worship. God has bigger plans than a tv show for that guy. Geoff's tasty guitar playing on the T-5 (a guitar that's worth a downpayment on a house) was so fitting for the songs. Praise God for such gifted people. AW Tozer said how the world has taken God's instruments and thrown them in the mud. May this generation take hold of T-5s and play them like David would- with passion and skill for God!
- Five years ago, I used to have this attitude about the songs we (me and other people in our church) wrote, "Well, I guess we should do one of our songs, since we wrote it and all." But in my heart there were 10 other songs I'd much rather do.
This is not the case now. Case in point: "One life" and "I will lift up my voice"
The new Anthem songs are blessed. I can't wait to get them on an album this spring. We're planning on a live CD/DVD recording at the next Anthem.
I've never worked with such an "others-centered" and "God entranced" group of musicians and artists. They could care less whether their name is attached to a song (they even resist it), or whether they play lead or just run lyrics and help tear down. They are happy being nameless, as long as Jesus is glorified. May God bless us in a way that it spills over. And especially to the nations.
"How can I repay the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the LORD..." (Ps. 116)