Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do No Harm

Today, I give you two things: a semi-professional video of Passion 2012 set to the tune of Chris Tomlin's “Here For You”, and a post about me.
First, the video. I expect this to reach over a thousand views fast. Tell your friends, and your friend's friends.
Second, time to dive into my psyche. Today, I speak on one of the morals that has been passed down to me by my father, and one which I will do a great disservice to if I forgo observance of it. I cannot say I'm a professional when it comes to determining relationships, and the few loving relationships I've had ended suddenly. My father left me mostly alone in this regard, allowing me to take my own falls, though he told me one over-riding rule which, if I crossed it, he'd be disappointed: Do No Harm.
Time for a side-track... The worst thing I could do is disappoint my father. It's not the things I've done to disappoint him: if I do my best and he is disappointed, I've failed. My father doesn't hit me; if he's disappointed, that's worse than anything he could hit me with. When I disappoint my father, I hurt him. Deeply. This feeling extends to anything in the world. 
To this end, I have done my best to make every relationship I have beneficial and prosperous. Unfortunately, as many, many people will tell you, I am not exactly the most genteel person. In fact, I can name two people, [censored] and [omitted], who can attest to my offensive and insensitive manner. More on them later, as I will explain them soon.
First, I must make excuses for my offensiveness. Much of my life, as you may have guessed form many of my blog posts, I've lived with ADD. This means that things are said before I can say them. Much of my offensiveness deals with slander, and things that would never be accepted in society, though my mind is addicted to innocently finding relationships and plays on words in everything. This also means with inappropriate things, things that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject, or anything. My kindergarten teacher always said I had a talent for finding patterns. If only I could refrain from making those patterns known to the world.
Now to talk about them. [censored] and I would never have been friends. At best, we'd be classmates. Sadly, I had a crush on her the instant I saw her, and nobody bothered to let me know she had a boyfriend until the second semester. Strike one. Then, add in a few instances of what I described above, and you have strikes two, three, four, and five. Suffice it to say, she does not like me.
[omitted] would like me better lifeless. Recently, I had an incredibly terrible episode with him, and since then, he and I have agreed silently to remain silent with each other. He and I haven't liked each other for the last few years, and I can draw a straight line for his hatred, with [censored] as the source. It's interesting how much [censored] has influenced people's thoughts on who I am. Every person who's left the influence of [censored] has become more kind to me. I simply wish she would leave her source, whatever memory that black pit of hatred festers in.
What was I talking about? Oh yes, yes, Do No Harm. Throughout my high school career, I have degraded myself, mostly unintentionally, so that others would be higher than myself. Now, at senior class, I could say anything short of death threats and nobody would be alarmed (I wouldn't do that, by the way). Just like with my father, I am deathly afraid of hurting anyone through my own actions, purposefully or not. When I had that episode with [omitted], I was pretty well emptied inside. I thought I’d gotten my words under control of myself; the episode made me realize how exposed my own thoughts were to the world. To any at my school reading this (to the one person I know who reads this), I never mean any harm in anything I say, and I will explain what I said fully if you ask.
If you Do No Harm, nobody will fear you. From that, trust can build. I have a friend who has a penchant for, when he gets angry, throwing things. I do not trust this man enough to get close to him, though he is one of my best friends. Interestingly enough, I would trust [omitted]. He may have a testy character, though he is a man of moral integrity, and I see that. If there's trust between two people, a lasting friendship can be formed.
Again, I am no professional in relationships. Just one candle in a furnace.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Passion 2012: Wrapup.

So, what has Passion 2012 done for me?
1: It's told me, in the manner only a mob of believers could, that Christ is not anywhere near death.
2: It's told me that, if I have a small heart for Jesus, if I feel that Jesus is not that powerful, then everything earthly magnifies in power. When my heart is for Jesus, problems of this world become small.
3: Jesus has come to bring us back to life (Sort of overdone). We are completely dead in our life on Earth, and when death rears its ugly head on the end of our time here, Jesus will save us and bring us to Heaven.
4: When forty-four thousand people go ANYWHERE, it's usually very slowly.
5: The line to give to the cause of freedom was at least two hours long at some times in the afternoon.
If you did not
6: if you find a way past #4, stake out a chair. Not doing this as soon as humanly possible will result in sleeping on the ground.
7: be prepared for 19-hour days if you commute to the Dome from Roswell, GA. If you got a hotel, you have another hour or two. (my days were 21-hour... and I don't think I actually made it to my bed either of those days)
8: #6 is crucial if you wish to have more than 5 hours of sleep.
9: Main sessions are criminally loud if you don't follow #8 and #6.
10: Bootlegging things into the Dome is too easy. No, really... I wish I was kidding...
11: #10 is illegal, I do not recommend it. **cough**
12: Things like Passion 2012 really spark my creative fire again. I've got 5 new poems I can trace back to P2012.
13: Besides #1, #2, #3, the most important thing is that Passion is a MOVEMENT. If Passion 2012 stopped on January 5th, then it was all for naught.  
For His Renown. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Passion 2012 Freedom

A million targeted, most doubt the prevail,
College age kids can't handle such a task!
The hour-long lines told a much different tale,
A tale that told of the target triple passed!

All raised for the ending of a shame,
An injustice long without a name,
Enslavement happens much more than in the past,
Three million raised to make it end fast!

Ignorance: not an excuse,
Indifference: not a possibility,
Goal: to end the abuse,
Authority: for His glory.
If you're ever near the dome, go out and take a look at the international plaza, try to avoid looking at the giant, grotesque hand reaching for the sky. Try to avoid looking at the 27,000 raggy flags flapping in the wind. It's impossible, and I'd suggest you get yourself a cane or seeing eye dog if you missed it
Each of those flags represent a ten thousand slaves in this world. One of those slaves could maybe be represented by a single thread of one flag. The hand has on it multiple statements worth repeating, one of which reads, “SLAVERY STILL EXISTS”.
This video series captures the full horror of it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ipG4dpr0tQ
At the start of Passion 2012, Louie said confidently that we would hit the $1million mark. I wasn't skeptical, though only because my cynical mind already judged the people in the stadium MUCH more willing to give than their progenitors. Louie matched my thought by saying much the same a second later. What I was not expecting was the target to be broken in the start of the second full day, THEN be doubled on the last day, and more. A kind couple donated $500,000 to the cause. The total at end-Passion (I mean the end of the start of Passion) was $3.1million. The current total:
After the event, Google donated $11million towards anti-slavery campaigns. Here's the link to the full story.
In the interest of a flowing blog post, I will simply list the organizations this largesse helps at the end of the post.
One cause I'd like to emphasize is the forming of a new Atlanta task force designed to crack down on slavery in Atlanta. Atlanta has been named as a hub of human trafficking. Mayor Reed and Governor Deal were both at the movement to receive the donation, and from what they said, they are both Christians.
Fund a year-long prevention program that will reach 48,000 kids who are at-risk of being trafficked. Ukraine - $240,000 – A21 – Tiny Hands International–Build and fund 8 border monitoring stations and 8 safe homes that will help intercept victims as they are being trafficked. Nepal - $108,480
International Justice Mission–Fund 23 rescue operations that will provide freedom for hundreds of forced labor slaves. Chennai, India - $116,955
International Justice Mission–Fund a 2-year aftercare program for 1,100 forced labor slaves that have been freed. Chennai, India - $115,500
Hagar International–Fund holistic aftercare for 25 children rescued from horrific circumstances. Cambodia - $169,500
Wellspring Living–Renovate 12 apartment homes for survivors of sexual exploitation as they experience healing and a new future. Atlanta, Georgia - $141,240
City of Atlanta–Help fund a-Child Exploitation and Online Protection Squad through training, education, and social services. Atlanta, Georgia - $110,000
Not For Sale–Establish a vocational training program for 100 people at a manufacturing unit that provides jobs to survivors of human trafficking. New Delhi, India - $56,500
Not For Sale–Establish and fund (for 1 year) a crisis center for rescued victims of human trafficking. Cape Town, South Africa - $56,500
Restore International–Host 6 action-driven education conferences for 300 people on anti-trafficking for Traditional Healers, Police Officers, and Judges. Uganda - $40,680
Restore International–Fund 2 Ugandan High Court Session to bring to trial Witch Doctors or others responsible for human trafficking. Uganda - $36,160
Word Made Flesh–Purchase and renovate the Sari Bari building where women who have been exploited and trafficked can experience a new life through community and employment. Sonagachi, India - $129,950
Love146–Fund 6 certificate-training programs for 85 aftercare workers. These caregivers will serve 1,260 survivors of child slavery and exploitation over the next year. Asia - $47,460
Love146–Restore and reconcile 18 rescued children to their families and communities. Philippines - $16,385
Restavek Freedom Foundation–Build a safe house for 16 young girls who have been rescued from abusive situations of child slavery. Port Salut, Haiti - $169,500
As Our Own–Build an Innovation Center for young girls born into brothels, but rescued before they were exploited. Ahmednagar, India - $239,560
NightLight International–Provide alternative employment, training and care for 15 women who have been rescued from sexual exploitation. Bangkok, Thailand - $50,850
Bombay Teen Challenge–Fund a restoration program for 50 women that includes housing, care, education, and employment for 1 year. Badlapur, India - $84,750
International Justice Mission–Fund 15 rescue operations that will result in freedom for dozens of women and children. Mumbai, India - $76,275 –
You also donated 33,880 towels and 170,250 socks for Atlanta area homeless shelters.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Passion 2012 Songs

Forty thousand packed into the dome,
singing so loud, the echo stacks,
losing their voices for His renown,
The praise so loud, sets my ribs to racks!

First, met me get the new songs out of the way. Chris Tomlin has a whole smack of new, amazing songs, half of which I have no names for. “White Flag”(the Passion 2012 album name), “Lay Me Down”, “YHWH”(It's spelled out, though I prefer not to use that name in its' wholeness), and others. Also, there's a new song, which will be released to the UK and US pop charts, called “27 Million”, which exposes the evils of human trafficking through rap and the Passion 2012 audiences' singing.
(I express my apologies to Christy Nockles, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall, and David Crowder Band. I realize I have a slight Tomlin addiction, and am working to broaden my horizons to be exposed to other expressions of God's glory.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJRxFKIBjq8&feature=related leaked "white Flag" song, listen before it gets shut down!
Half a Georgia Dome created an interesting echo in the main area. One person would be talking, and the last four syllables would trail the one being spoken. When there was singing, though, the sounds would be insane. I stayed silent for five seconds, and the sheer noise from everyone's mouths shook the stadium. I had my camcorder out for a song, and the audio overloaded constantly.
Passion 2012's songs brought to light a very interesting thing about me. On the first day there, I made the comment to my sister that the songs seemed simple to me, lacking in any depth. My sister took offense to that, saying I didn't look into the lyrics enough, and that I was being shallow in my criticisms. I was of the opinion that I did analyze the lyrics.
On the second day there, though, I realized two stunning truths, the first about praise music, the second about my own walk of faith.
Let me talk about the second first. Second, I realized I was much too impregnated with the truths of the music to hear the depth of them. This is not to say I have a high horse I ride to show my faith, I merely state that I have been born and raised with the deep truths, and thus have never pondered them. The power of the songs is thus lost to me, though I did my best to lose my voice finding the meaning behind them. I guess divine understanding doesn't come with a decibel reader.
First, praise songs, for the most part, are very simple (again, in my opinion). The truths in Christianity, unless you go very in depth into a particular story, to me seem simple. It's the explanations that are deep and meaningful. Telling someone to love your neighbor is a very simple thing; It's explaining it that takes hours. There's a poem or song about this conundrum somewhere...

More on Passion 2012 soon! Next: the speakers, and the subjects they spoke upon!

Passion 2012 Primer

Forty Five thousand at the dome.
Fifty thousand watching at home.
3million raised for His renown,
Raised for a cause that’ll never back down!
A while ago, I was texting while driving, and I was involved in an accident because of it. That’s the day I became a statistic, and only a statistic. There was no story to that.
In contrast, there are 27 million stories out there, all enslaved to someone else. These stories aren’t known, aren’t acknowledged. There are this many slaves in the world, more than the entire history of the slave trade combined. It’ not just a statistic…

Coming back from Passion 2012, my first thought was, “Wow, Passion 2012 was awesome! Louie and Chris and Matt and…”
Then I realized that Passion is something different. It is a movement, a mindset. Passion 2012 is something you take out into the world. It’s not four days; it’s the rest of your life.
If I have to say I took something away from this, it is this: we are dead. We can’t save ourselves, for we are putridly sinful, even on our best days. Only through Jesus’s intervention on our day of death can we achieve salvation.
More to come… next I will speak on the songs of Passion 2012.

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