Will Graham Celebration Concludes with Applause in Heaven
June 1, 2008 - Sunday evening is sizzling here at the Will Graham Celebration in Burleson, Texas! The stadium is full and the sun still blazing as The Son gets ready to shine.
God knows your burdens, your heartaches. Jesus will take the broken pieces and give you a fresh start.
by Janet Chismar
7:30 p.m. — Some people just radiate God’s love — and Britt Nicole is one of them.
The up-and-coming singer approached me as I walked through the stadium gate a couple of hours ago just to ask who I was and say “hello!” Britt, who has incredible stage energy, started writing songs at 16 and has co-written every song on her CD. She uses her personal experiences, such as her parents’ divorce when she was only 7 years old, to help others.
“I talk about things that I’ve struggled with, my weaknesses, hurts and own life experiences and just try to be real,” says Britt. “Through God’s peace and healing in my own life, I feel that I can speak and sing of these things with genuine conviction and passion for those who are in similar places.” Britt’s heart for youth is refreshingly genuine.
And, wow, does she have passion while performing! From the first sounds of “Say It,” you can see why the screaming kids can’t stand still! Songs “Set the World on Fire” and “You” totally rocked.
“God called me to share His love though music, but I was afraid,” Britt is telling the crowd. “Then God gave me a Scripture, 1 Chronicles 28:20, telling me to be strong and courageous, that the Lord will be with me. You know what? He can be with you, too!”
8 p.m. — Ever meet a real cowboy?
Todd Pierce is the genuine article. The Texas audience seems to love this former bareback bronco champion with a heart for the Lord and he loves them back: “Texas, I want to thank you because you made ‘cowboy’ cool – and you made BBQ!”
Todd hung up his spurs several years ago to answer a call to the ministry as a rodeo pastor. As an ordained, non-denominational minister affiliated with Pro Bull Riding Outreach, a Christian ministry for rodeo contestants, he travels to competitions all over the nation.
“Before I knew God, I had an arrogant, hateful heart,” Todd says. “I served the god of performing. Now I serve the God of eternity.”
8:10 p.m. — Swinging with Salvador! All the people in the bleachers and on the field are dancing to the hot sounds of this Austin-based group. Their Latin-infused pop sensibilities are wildly popular here in Burleson. Several girls are screaming behind me how much they love the guys!
Born out of a makeshift praise and worship band of preachers' kids, leader Nick Gonzales has no qualms in telling of Salvador's humble beginnings at their home church in Austin. "Sometimes our praise and worship leader would just not show up, and one day, my brother dared me that if I'd play guitar, he'd play drums. I knew a total of two chords," he laughingly admits. "When we began to play the first Sunday, it was a pretty messy experience to behold."
8:35 p.m. — Although Tree 63 played all three nights, tonight seems to be extra special. Yes, there are more people here, but there also seems to be a current of added energy to the band’s performance. Lead singer, composer and founder member John Ellis is coaxing the crowd to worship. As the sun is setting, people across the stadium are waving arms and open cell phones. The effect of thousand of lights dotting the landscape is nothing less than spectacular while “Blessed Be Your Name” once more is echoing to heaven!
9:05 p.m. — Will Graham seems more at home tonight than ever and for good reason. The people of Burleson have given Will a Texas-sized welcome. He has attracted a larger audience here than at any previous Celebration. After thanking all the performers and the local churches, Will now is talking about our most important possession. Listen in for a few highlights:
“It’s not your iPhone, your house, or your Play Station: The Bible says that the most important possession you have is your soul.” Why is your soul so valuable? Its' value can be measured by its eternal quality.
“Our bodies grow old and die. Almost exactly a year ago, my grandmother died. Her body gave out, but her soul goes on.”
Will is explaining that the soul is what feels joy, pain and heartache. When we don’t have a relationship with God, our souls feel a void, an emptiness. People try to use all sorts of things to fill that void, but only God can.
Satan knows the value of a soul …. He is trying to destroy what God has created, but God has a plan to rescue you. “I will give you an opportunity tonight to know where your soul will spend eternity. Make sure you know where you will spend eternity.”
God paid the ultimate price for your soul … He gave His only Son. “God knows your burdens, your heartaches. Jesus will take the broken pieces and give you a fresh start. You need to give your soul to Christ. … You need to surrender totally to Jesus. Won’t you come tonight?”
Read the latest from Saturday night »
Catch our Friday video and blog »
Read about Will Graham's hopes for the Celebration »
Burleson Churches Unite in Prayer for Weekend Celebration »