Monthly Archives: May 2009

An Incredible Story 2 of 2

close%2Bup

Here’s the 2nd part of the story…This is unbelievably sad but with a joyful return that you will understand after you read it.

Louie Giglio States:

I will never forget the day her message came. And I’m not going to forget last Friday. Waking early for the last day of Thirsty, I happened to see this on my Blackberry and opened it.

Dear Mr. Giglio,
It is with a heavy heart that I send you this email. My daughter is Ashley, she wrote you an email that went on your blog and podcast Well, today May 3rd at 4pm we buried Ashley. She was killed in a car accident late on Sunday night. She lost control of her car and hit a light pole. She was the only car involved and had serious internal bleeding. She died in the arms of my husband at the hospital from unstoppable internal bleeding. But I have hope of seeing my daughter again. I have this hope because after years of praying for her, and watching her live a lifestyle in college that is known as the typical college experience. The last semester of her college career I saw a woman, not a college girl that I have never been more proud to call my daughter. I can point the thanks to you and Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, and everyone else involved in your Passion Conferences. Ashley fell in love with our Savior over the last 5 months of her life. She was so excited about graduation this week and moving to California to work her first real job. She had a life ahead of her. I miss my beautiful princess more than anything in this world.But I just felt like you should know that she listened to as many of your talks as she could get her hands on and read your book I am not but I know I am and she was so excited about God and her new found faith. Words alone can not thank you enough. I may never meet you here on earth, but I know that someday I will be able to meet you and give you a hug in heaven, but only after Ash does. Thank you so much for praying for my girl, and your support of her as she was starting her new life. Also thanks for being a man of God who has a passion, and love for college students.

Your vision to share the gospel and getting college students to do the same made all the difference at a funeral today. Instead of being sad and scared for her. We were able to sing praise and worship songs today. Though there will be tears and I am so very heartbroken and crying as I type this, it is only because I will not hold her for so many years. And I will miss her for the rest of my life. I know I have said thank you a lot in this email, but because of you and Christa (Ashley’s roommate) and people at the Bible Study that she was going to she was happier than I have seen her in a very long time. In the email she originally sent you, it said she had life for the first time in her 22 years, and please know she meant every word of that. She lived the last few months serving and loving and learning more about Christ. She will now spend eternity in heaven with Him so one more time thanks. I know this was long and I debated for the last 4 days as to whether or not to write you. I know you are a very busy man, but I also figured you would want to know.

Ashley’s Mom

Anna,

By the third line tears were streaming down my face, blurring the words, but not the sudden reality of it all. I had just received an e-mail from Ashley a few days before saying how excited she was to finally be through with college and headed to a “real job” in the Bay Area of California. And now she was gone.

I was crushed, but I found myself pumping my fist in the air, confident that Jesus Christ overwhelmed death and the grave. And just in the nick of time, He reached through the confusion and hopelessness and brought Ashley back to life again. Her mom was kind enough to allow me to share her e-mail and sent a photo of Ashley so we could all put a face with the name that has brought much rejoicing throughout the Passion world in recent months. Anna, please know that you and your family will be in our hearts and prayers as you begin the process of living without the daughter you so deeply love. You will see her again. And with our prayers we are praising God for matchless mercy…mercy that saved the day and carried Ashley safely home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Thoughts

An Incredible Story 1 of 2

Friends, I didn’t want to do this at first, but the more and more I thought about this, the more I realized that the only way to convey this message is to re-post this blog from 2007.  I’m going to re-post this in 2 parts. The 1st post will be Ashley’s response and the 2nd will be the response and story at a later date. This is probably one of the most incredible stories that I’ve heard in a long time. It comes from the 268 Blog in January 2007. I first heard this story when I was at one of the Passion Conferences a couple years ago, but only heard the bittersweet ending. Truly remarkable how this story plays out….


Ashley’s Home

You guys remember Ashley, the Florida senior who sent what might be the coolest e-mail of all time. Just after Passion 07 we received this at the Passion House from her:

Hi, I feel kinda weird writing this email. And i doubt if it ever gets to Mr Louie Giglio. I am a Senior at The University of Florida. I got a new roommate this semester and she is a Christian and I have never really been into the whole Christian thing because every pastor or speaker that I have ever listened to didn’t speak in a language I could understand. I have believed in God and Jesus, but never really understood it because the preachers at the church that I have always been forced to go to every Sunday of my life. They speak all high and mighty and I never really felt connected, and I felt like God was only for the perfect people.
Well my roommate went to this Passion Conference over winter break. And she came back and moved into my apt and she was real and genuine about all her Christian stuff, like I have never seen before in a person. She said that God changed her at this conference, so i was like what are you talking about. And she told me. She told me about how God was cool, and how God really wanted a deeper relationship with her, and she wanted to really love God the way he loved her, so of course I was like well huh? She then said you need to listen to Louie talk about God, so I asked who Louie was, and she put on the Indescribable talk, and then we watched the Passport talk. And in the Passport talk you said that Christians do not have to just hope for the best at the end, that they do not have to do enough good stuff. You explained how to get to heaven in a simple way, in a way that I have never heard before. I actually got it, I got it that it is not about being so good, cause I am not a good person. I have screwed up a lot. But then you said grace, and talked about how is was different than other religions. Because God is a loving and a kind God who wants to forgive me. My roommate then explained that he wants to forgive me.
Now for one of the reasons I am thanking you. One, I am now a Christian. And two, my roommate said that she had never really cared about telling others about how much God loved her before she went to this conference. So though I am not sure who will ever read this. Please tell Louie thanks from me, for talking about Christ in a way that a college kid can understand. I know that Jesus has changed my life and as I get ready to graduate college in May, I am gonna be a different person. I am sorry this is kinda rambling but I just had to tell you that I now know about the Grace of God, and I have life for the first time in my 22 years

Ashley

1 Comment

Filed under Spoken Word

Truth Reveals

Someone once said that “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians,,,,, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” with that being said….. I think it’s funny how God uses certain things in your life to reveal specific things that you need to hear.

This encounter happened when I was minding my own business watching an episode of “Hells Kitchen” on Fox. Gordon Ramsay was being his normal self by yelling and cussing every other prepositional phrase at his chefs who were all performing very poorly. During this hour, one of the things that Chef Gordon was repeatedly saying over and over was, “Taste the food first before sending it out!!” Most of the potential executive chefs were sending out food to the guest that was either, too salty, too bland, and/or too spicy, and all they had to do to remedy this simple problem was to taste the food first and fix the mistake.

2453277533_15feb8926f_m

Immediately after I heard Chef Gordon say this, God thumped me on the head and asked me one simple question He already knew the answer too. “Do you speak simple truths to others without applying it to your life first?” I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say because I knew in my own life, I was expecting people around me to live a life that I didn’t require of myself first. He immediately referred me to the life of Moses to explain this conviction.

Most people only know the story of Moses from what they learned from their Sunday School Teacher or even what they have seen in the movies. I believe one of the greatest truths that had to be revealed, happened even before Moses even went to Egypt to ask Pharaoh to “let his people go.” In order for you to understand this post, you must first know the main reason why the Hebrews needed to be freed was not because they were, “Slaves of Egypt” but because they were “Slaves to unrighteousness.” During captivity, the Hebrew people were unable to worship God as they were instructed to do. At that present time, circumcision was a man’s way to enter into a covenant with God. Pharaoh prohibited this act of worship and caused all men to be left uncircumcised during their slavery. (In fact, local Pastor, Chuck Swindoll mentions Joseph, a another Bible character,  had to show he was circumcised to his brothers in order for them to realize that it was actually him alive in Egypt). God chose Moses to free His people so they could worship Him accordingly. What happens next reveals the truth and  how we can apply it to our lives even IF it’s in the Old Testament.

Exodus 4:24-26 is what blew me away because even after God chose Moses and gave him clear cut instructions, and even after Moses conceded after begging God to pick someone else, God came into the night ready to kill Moses before his adventure even started. See Moses forgot one small detail…his son wasn’t even circumcised so how can he deliver God’s people from this bondage, when he himself hasn’t worshipped God in this way? Zipporah his wife had to unconventionally be the person who responded and spared Moses’ life while he was asleep.

I had to chew on this story for a long time just because, I myself tend to act on things without applying it to my life first. When I was working at my previous church, one of the most common mistakes that I made frequently was the fact that I would go into study only to prep for the next bible study that I would be teaching without trying to apply what He was teaching to me first. In fact, now that I look back, most of the studies that I taught on, were mainly intended for me!!! I urge you to listen to God’s still small voice. His intentions can be played out rather loud if you just listen. I pray that In Joy, Enjoy!!!  Even if the truth convicts you. Love God, Love People.

3342156471_2b3a95f41d

2 Comments

Filed under Spoken Word

Memories vs. Reality

140557217_3ebe991e53

It was the start of summer of  ’87 that my curiosity got the best of me. Summer vacation meant a few things in my life at that time: freedom for three months and more frequent visits to my real father’s house. Yes, for most kids, it’s the time to go outside and play with friends down at Central Park, but since we lived in a very transitional community at the time,  people my age didn’t stay in one place very long.  Because of this small little situation, I learned the art of staying at home and building forts with our flower printed couch cushions and pillows.

As a kid, I didn’t have a lot of toys growing up partly for a couple of reasons. A. My mother was a very frugal person, and there were only a certain amount of things you could do with legos. B. When I did have toys I would take them to my real father’s house and leave them there only by the request of him. (I will now refer to my real father as Steve)  I preface this because, as a kid, you NEVER forget what is yours…especially when you have so few toys to begin with. See Steve, was a not a great dad at all. Without going into all the horrible things he used to do to my mom and I, I will say this…the reason why he forced me to leave things at his house is because he wanted to give them to his other son since he spent most of his money on his little addiction. Later during those weekends I would come home, my mother would ask me where a certain toy was I would say, at Steve’s house and she would discipline me because I was irresponsible. Thus the reason, why I played with flower printed couch cushions and pillows most of the time. Steve can’t steal couch cushions without mom knowing. Although I did try to take them one time but they couldn’t all fit in our red Nissan Sentra.

There was this ONE toy, that I never let out of my sights. I would polish it once a week, tape the handles every summer so I wouldn’t get blisters, and kept it fueled with high octane bubbles. The only time I would take my bubble lawn mower out was the day that my step-dad mowed the lawn. As he headed into the garage, I ran towards the dining room window to get the best seat in the house. At the time, mowing was the most entertaining thing to watch on a hot summer day. I would see him start the mower with one pull of the cord and watch him glide across the grass cutting every single blade without missing one. Every single time he passed by, you could smell the fresh cut grass and it was heavenly. After he was done, I immediately went out there with my bubble mower 1000 and simulate what I just saw. I would always wait until he was done because my bubble mower 1000 wasn’t as powerful as his mower. Mine left grass everywhere and it smelled like soap rather than fresh cut grass when I pushed my mower.

After watching him cut the grass several times, I felt that I was ready to take the challenge, step up and become, “the man”. I asked my step-dad every week for 14 weeks, “Can I mow the grass this time?” His answer was always the same, “You’re not ready yet, and I’m having too much fun.” His answer didn’t change until May 23rd 1988. He comes in my room and says, “Happy Birthday, You are ready and you can mow the grass this time.” At that moment, this was the best birthday gift I have received to date. I pulled out my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles undies, my shorts, my mighty mouse t-shirt and boots. (don’t ask). I went out to the garage and he instructed me where to pull and push and also where not to put my hand just in case grass got stuck somewhere. After several failed attempts to start the mower, my step-dad intervened and got it started for me. I quickly began to notice that my lines aren’t as straight as his and I sweat more than I usually do pushing my bubble mower. After I was done, he said, “Good job son, how’d you like it?” I quickly responded telling him, that I would like to stick to my bubbles, but before I could finish my sentence, he interrupted and said, “You’ve been asking for a long time, and now this is your responsibility.”

Later on in life, I was required to read a book about a fellow named Tom Sawyer. I quickly realized during that time, that my step-dad played a little trick making me believe that mowing was fun just like Tom played a trick on his friends on painting the fence.

I say all that to say this. The bible clearly states that, “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end, it leads to destruction.” My ways, my thoughts, my desires will always lead me down the wrong path. This 21 day fast of ourselves that our young adults are doing right now has shown me how selfish I can really be. I just pray that God will ruin my plans so I can follow Him according to His will…Sorry for such a long post…Love God, Love People

2 Comments

Filed under Spoken Word

Love Dallas, Love the World (1st Post)

untitled-1-copy1

It’s almost awkward for me to think that I am actually posting a blog…Facebook Statuses & Tweeting take little to no effort for me to think about what to say. I think I’ve typed and backspaced about 14 times before coming up to this random 1st blog entry. But after tapping on the keys without typing one word, (you know you do it too), I finally figured out what to say. I don’t think I have the chops to write a blog that people would flock to and read.  But I do know that documenting this first ever blog would be cool to look back at a few months from now.

I titled this post, “Love Dallas, Love the World”. This is in regards to everything that happened tonight at our young adult bible study called Seven. Let me preface this post first by giving you a small background lesson on how I got here. If you don’t know me and you are reading this post randomly, I attend Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. In the Evangelical world, most people would call Gateway a “Mega Church”. Growing up and being part of a “bible believing” and significantly “smaller” size church, it was embedded in my head that all mega-churches were about “entertaining the crowd” as the people “entertained the church’s pocket book.” I started to believe this statement the first time I went to a mega-church in the area (Not Gateway). Christian and I were the only ones in our section to have their bibles, and the pastor decided to literally break dance on stage while barely using scripture during the actual “message.”  It was an uneasy feeling to say the least. Our first encounter/impression with Gateway Church changed our views rather quickly. We entered the doors wanting to see the worship team and to “hear” good music, but Christian and I left the church hearing the Lord speak to us, “This is your new home.” 7 months later, we are still here and loving every minute of it!!

Our Young Adults Pastor, Preston Morrison, had an incredible message tonight about fasting from ourselves and how to find joy from it. Without sounding like I’m quoting his message verbatim, I would encourage anybody who was not there go podcast it right now…

His message reminded me of a passage in Acts 4 where John and Peter were preaching the gospel and are seized by the high priest and elders. They started drilling Peter and John with questions and asking them “By what power or what name did you do this?” Peter speaks up and preaches directly to them and ends his answer with a popular verse that a lot of us know already, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” I guess my point of this post all falls back on the following verse. Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” I long to be that type of person. A believer who can have just one encounter with someone and they immediately know, that I’ve been with Jesus. I hope the next 21 days, I will find the needs of others and help them meet their needs in whatever way that I can.

If you do attend seven at Gateway, and you need some help finding out how to serve others, go to Craigslist. No, not to buy, sell or trade, but to find peoples needs and help them out. If you didn’t know there is a tab just for volunteers. Small groups of people or organzations post the needs they have that they are unable to get them done by themselves. People who just need the lawn mowed, or “shut-ins” who just need a bag of groceries. It’s time to act on what we hear. To love God, and Love people.

2 Comments

Filed under Spoken Word