Saturday Special: Sun, Fun and the Son
May 31, 2008 - From morning until night, God's Word and rocking tunes are resounding across the Texas landscape at the Will Graham Celebration.
filed by Janet Chismar
If we shall become as little children to enter the Kingdom, we should follow the example of Burleson, Texas. Hundreds of kiddos are swarming the high school stadium this morning for fun and fellowship.
10 a.m. – KidzFest – Those off-the-wall Go Fish guys are reaching tender hearts with the Gospel. Their high energy dancing and tunes come packed with heart – a heart for God. We are listening to “Snazzy” right now: I tried to be good, I thought that was enough/Then the Ten Commandments came and called my bluff/I told God I was sorry for my sin and then/He cleaned me up and now I’m snazzy again.
“There is a spiritual and cultural war going on for our kids and we need to counter the messages they’re being bombarded with in the world today,” says Go Fish member Jamie Statema. “Children need to accurately hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They can handle topics like sin, judgment, heaven, hell, the need for forgiveness, and the cross.”
Go Fish just gave props to some of their most important fans—moms. “Moms have an incredibly hard job and they rarely get the credit they so deserve.” Jamie encouraged the crowd: "If you love your mom let me hear you say Woo-Hoo!”
7 p.m. — Live from Burleson, it is definitely not New York … my car thermometer says 103 degrees. Ouch! Thankfully, the heat doesn’t seem to be deterring or overwhelming the gathering crowd.
7:30 p.m. — Don’t blink!! It’s not an illusion. Living Illusions is a touring illusion show with a message! Kevin Ridgeway and Kristen Johnson travel around the world dazzling audiences and sharing the Word of God. Kristen is recognized as one of the top female escape artists in the world. In fact, she currently is the only female in the world attempting the Famous Houdini Water Torture Cell.
Tonight Kristen is performing the world’s only full view escape from 140 gallons of water weighing 1400 pounds. Bound by Smith & Wesson leg shackles and chains around her arms, Kristen spent a very, very, very long time under water. We all tried to hold our breath along with her, but no one could even come close.
Kristen also was bound in a straightjacket, hung upside and pulled 65 feet in the air! While dangling so high up, she managed to escape as the crowd gasped and looked on nervously. Her successfull escape brought loud applause!
7:45 p.m. — Girl Power! Inhabited is another hot Texas connection. Brother/sister combo Sara and Marcus Acker were born and raised in Spring, Texas. They began singing together in 1999 at church and formed Inhabited in 2003 as a way to impact the world. Lead singer Sara spends countless hours ministering to the band’s fans, many of whom are troubled young girls who use cutting as a way to deal with their pain.
“I have been amazed as God has brought healing to countless shattered lives using our music and ministry,” says Sara. “It’s been a vehicle to rescue many from depression, guilt, rejection and addictions.”
Inhabited rocked out to a number of songs (not enough in my opinion), concluding with a powerful version of "We Need Somebody to Love." Amen!
8 p.m. — Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivor Nicole Bromley is sharing her heartrending story of pain and survival with the hushed audience. “I had no choice, no voice, no way out.” But Nicole eventually overcame this terrible situation through the power of Christ and found the true way out. Check out her book, "Hushed" for more.
8:30 p.m. — After joking about loving to drink gallons of sweet tea and his distaste for the lowly mosquito, Will Graham launched into an inspiring talk about purpose. “Are you wrestling with your purpose in life?” Some of you might be dissatisfied, hurt, angry, bored or disconnected. You might want to give up. You may feel abandoned.
"But God knows you by name and He has a purpose for you. You can know your purpose. You can have a loving relationship with Christ. Tonight you can come to Him. Our Creator gives up purpose and when we understand it, we can have joy."
Laying down his pen, Graham showed how it does not write on its own without him. "Likewise, we need our Master's hands to fulfill our purpose."
Being a Christian is hard, Graham admitted, "but I have never regretted it. It was the greatest decision of my life." There are good days and bad days, but you can have real joy if you will come to Jesus. A relationship with Jesus will give you purpose.
Religion, churches, or good grades won't get you into heaven, Graham said to the crowd of 4,200. "Only the cross gets you to God. He bled and died because He loves you so much. He died to restore a relationship with you. Come to Him by faith. He will give you meaning. Come to the One who gives you purpose."
9 p.m. — Starfield is concluding the night with a 30-minute concert. This group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is wildly popular in North America and the United Kingdom. The band ventures out into a hurting world with an intentional message that encourages listeners to trade a life of comfort for a life of faith that's truly extraordinary. What a perfect way to end a perfect evening!!
Sunday sizzles in Burleson, Texas »
Catch our Friday video and blog »
Read about Will Graham's hopes for the Celebration »
Burleson Churches Unite in Prayer for Weekend Celebration »