At the end of January, Roger & I had attended Breakforth 2008 in Edmonton with a bunch of other great people from our church. It was absolutely fantastic!! I don't know of any other place that you can worship God together with over 10,000 believers and choose from over 150 speakers to hear or workshops to go to. It was an incredible blessed time! I had been once about 5 years ago but this was the first time Roger and attended. He was very impressed! It was really a total God-thing that we went. Usually I'm saying that we need to go to stuff like this but this time it was Roger's idea to go - in spite of the costs involved and even though we also went to the Truth Project seminar back in November as well. I know God is working and moving in my hubby's life, my life and in our lives together as a couple, and in our kids lives. God wanted us there for a very specific purpose. And we were blessed!!
Roger & I went to a couple of the same workshops but we also attended different ones as well. Roger loved Lee Strobel - who was an atheist for many many years and has now come to believe in Jesus Christ, the resurrection, Creation and our God of the Universe - who made everything in it. Lee had amazing testimonies, photos, videos and presentation. What a journey he's been on. So many of his teachings went along with what we've been going through in the Truth Project. We took those as confirmations from God that we were supposed to be there and He had us there for a purpose. Josh McDowell (www.josh.org ) also had a great talk. All the speakers did - Erwin McManus, Lee Strobel (www.leestrobel.com ), Josh McDowell, and David Nasser. I had gone to two of Donna Carter's workshops but I would've also loved to have caught one of Kay Arthur's workshops - she was really good too.
The music was outa this world - really - it was, it was, it was, sooooooo good. Friday night we were led into worship with Mercy Me and then later that night they gave us a concert. WOW! We love their songs - each song is so deep and so meaningful and so about God. Mercy Me has this one song on their new CD and I just cried the first time I heard it. They sang it at their concert and of course it really affected Roger & I. The lead singer's dad had passed away when the singer was 19 years old - hadn't started this band yet. So in the song he talks about wrapping his arms around his daddy's neck when he sees him and telling him all the things that he's wanted him to know - telling him of how far he'd come and what God had done in his life - hoping that his dad would be proud of him - he wanted to tell his dad how much he's missed him and tell him how much he loved him. Then at the end of the song he sings about when he sees Jesus how all the questions that he thought he would ask him would all leave him and how he might just be speechless and then he sings the line "But the sweetest thing my ears have yet to hear, are the voices of the angels - aaaahhhhh!" Oh it's such a beautiful song and spoke to closely to Roger's heart and to mine. The kids love it too - especially Alysha, she wants to play it over and over again. There's just certain songs like that that just go so deep into a person's heart and every song that Mercy Me sings seems to speak to a person to deeply like that - each song has so much soul in it. What an incredible gift the Lord has given to this band. They will surely be blessed for singing these songs that God has written on their hearts to bless others with. WOW!
I'm not sure what happened with this one photo but I love it. I had been taking a picture of the stage with all the lights and pulled my camera down too soon. Instead the camera caught the reflection on the floor of the lights along with a shadow of a person. To me it looks like a young person standing with their face raised up to the light that God is shedding on their face. I love the thought of that - standing in God's spotllight. :-) In a sense, are we not doing that everyday??
There were 4 separate worship sessions where we sang for about 1/2 hour and then we listened to a speaker after that. On Friday, Mercy Me led worship - that one was my favorite. Then on Saturday morning during worship, a fellow was painting this picture - it took him about 45 minutes while we were singing songs along with the band. It was incredible!! There was a silent auction on the painting for the rest of the weekend and it went for $4,500 - and that money went to World Vision or Compassion, I can't remember, one of those two. It was a gorgeous painting. Two of my other favorite worship leaders are Robin Mark from Ireland and Paul Baloche from Alberta (I think) - they both led worship - Paul on Saturday night and Robin on Sunday afternoon for the final worship time together. Both of these men have written so many worship songs that we sing in our churches today. It was great to sing their songs that they've written together with them too.
Saturday night Lincoln Brewster gave a concert as well but we hadn't stayed for that one - but we heard it was fantastic. Sunday night Third Day gave a concert and we stayed for that - was that ever worth it, even arriving home at 3:30 am and driving all the way home through a blizzard - it was sooo good. I loved seeing older people raising their hands and dancing to the music. I loved seeing so many people moved by God as we all worshiped Him in unity. Something that really struck me during these concerts was the fact that we were all there worshiping God together, people's hands were raised and the band wasn't there to put on a show, but to praise God in the songs God had given them the words to sing for us. These singers weren't there to get the glory from us or for us to 'worship' and idolize them but to give glory and praise to God. To me that's such a difference at a Christian concert - the band always talks about God and brings the praise to Him rather than to themselves. Incredible.
Both Friday night and Saturday night were a ton of different events you could take in from movies, to live comedy acts, to blues cafes, to concerts.... It's a very full and uplifting weekend and you don't want to miss a thing. If you ever get a chance to go, it is so worth it. It happens every year at the end of January. Be sure to check out their website www.breakforthcanada.ca