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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Winter Jam 2015 at the BJCC

Yep. PicLab. Don't judge me, I have self-imposed deadlines to make
March has been a whirlwind of me attempting to get my act together...and sort of failing...but I wanted to share my Winter Jam experience with you all before the month's up!

So. Winter Jam. 

It's pretty much one of the coolest (Christian) concert events in the history of ever, and I got to see it at the BJCC the weekend before last. 10 bands for $10?! I mean, you just can't pass that up! (And Skillet *_*! 'Nuff said.)
If you want to learn more about the history of Winter Jam and/or the artists that participated this time around, check out their site :). You can also follow WJT on several social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter @winterjamtour.

The concert was so incredible I didn't much care that we waited in the wrong line for over an hour, then waited in the right line (while it was sprinkling) for about as long...yeah...I dunno how that happened, either.

Anyway, if you have the opportunity to go to Winterjam, go!! I had so much fun :)

Also, waiting in the wrong line wasn't so bad because...we got to see a mini live performance by About a Mile!! Woot woot. It was totally unexpected; they just came walking down the street with their equipment, jumped  onto a wall, and informed us they were About a Mile before singing their single, Satisfied. Here's a 16 second vid:
Yeah....It would've been longer than that, but my phone decided I had too much memory taken up :/. Lame.

And, for helping the band out, one of the members of my youth group scored a free signed CD! :D 

Favorite bands of the evening, in no particular order:
About a Mile (backflip onto the stage as an intro? Check)
Francesca Battistelli (she sounds even more incredible live!)
Jeremy Camp  
Here are some pics! 

None of these have been edited, and I don't know who was performing for most of these. Grand light show, lol :)

Now that I've shamelessly promoted Winter Jam and several artists (lol), I'm going to shamelessly promote Holt International :D

They're a Christian organization that advocates for, supports, and serves orphaned/abandoned children. Chris and I are now sponsoring a child named Dat from Vietnam ^_^. Check out their site; I didn't do their mission statement justice.

Ok, now  *sucks in a breath* I'm going to dive into two topics that were discussed during the concert: finding your identity in Christ and being committed to Him. 

Finding your identity 
Finding your identity in Christ—meaning that you allow Him to define who you are rather than allowing your friends (or not friends), your parents, your role models, your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. to tell you who you are—was something several artists mentioned. They talked about how they spent much of their lives believing lies about themselves because of what other people told them. 

Only Jesus fully knows and accepts who you are; He sees your heart and knows the plans He has for you. You can trust Him with your dreams and aspirations, fears, and questions. He's the only One Who knows you inside and out--there are no secrets before Him--and loves you anyway. I can't say the same of anyone else--not even my husband. 

John Cooper, the lead singer of Skillet, spoke about being unashamed of the Gospel and about remaining committed to Jesus. He confessed that the band's been offered opportunities to gain more money and play more songs if only he would stop talking about Jesus. If he'd just stop talking about Jesus, Skillet could be the greatest rock band in the world. 

Obviously, he refused; Skillet chooses to follow Christ Jesus instead of following fortune or fame. 

Other bands spoke up about how much of our heart we're willing to give. 

Actually, I think Camp mentioned this point as well: if our heart is like a pie, and we cut out a slice and hand it to Jesus and keep the rest for ourselves, we aren't really committed to Him; we're committed to ourselves. And considering Who He IS, and all that He's done for us (and wants to do for us, because He is FOR US), it's beyond lame to say nonchalantly, "Yeah, I follow Jesus...but I do what I wanna do. This part of my heart is His. The rest I'm holding back for something greater." 

Let me just put this out there: There is no greater than Jesus Christ.

Doesn't exist. Has never existed. Will never exist. 

So...if you're a follower of Christ, fork over your whole pie! :)

Seriously, though, if you purchased a pie at the store and it cost you everything--life savings down to spare change, your house, your clothes...and on top of that, also put you into debt so extravagant you'd never be able to pay it off even if you lived 900 years (we're talking trillions, or maybe one of those wacky terms like jazillion...I mean really, no one pays much attention after trillion so sure)--wouldn't you want to get what you paid for??! 

What would you do if you paid all that and received one measly (or two, or three) slice? 

Let the table flipping commence:

But seriously, you'd be pretty upset, right? 

And here's the thing: Jesus paid that price. In fact, He paid so much higher than that price we can't even put a figure on it. 

He gave His life despite being completely devoid of sin, of blame...despite being God Himself, He died for us! Knowing what kind of death He would die (an excruciating one), and knowing that we couldn't ever afford to pay the ransom or Him for paying the ransom for us, He still chose to die. 

It's important that we understand this: it was a choice, and He chose such a death because He loves us.  

And because He rose from the dead, we have confidence that we also will be raised up with Him physically...and that if we believe and confess that He died for us and rose again, that He saved us, and we accept His gift, we have already become alive spiritually. 

One more thing:
I was struck by what was said about the struggles we often face with our peers--namely, that we struggle with the notion that if we follow Jesus wholeheartedly, we won't be popular or cool or [insert your concern]. But if Jesus is enough, if His grace is enough, why do we need to follow Jesus and be popular or cool? Just following Him is enough. 

Besides, our peers don't always have the best idea of what's cool (bullying/hazing? Not cool. Getting wasted? Not cool. Also...not flattering). 
I'm probably never going to get an excuse to use this again, so...
Saying that you're a Christian while remaining noncommittal isn't much different than walking while dead. It's just going through motions; there's no life in it. There's no victory in it. But in losing our lives--in giving Christ our all--we find purpose and meaning and beauty. We're finally alive.  

Rebirthing now,  I wanna live for love, wanna live for You and me, 
breathe for the first time now,  I come alive somehow
Rebirthing now,  I wanna live my life, wanna give You everything,
breathe for the first time now,  I come alive somehow
~Skillet, Rebirthing

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