So I really did mean to post more pictures from the Okanagan, but life kind of got in the way...
Our youth group went to the ABC District Youth Gathering and it was awesome. We left Thursday afternoon, and rode a really cushy bus for a TERRIBLY grueling hour and a half. That beats Greyhound any day! The theme was "LINKED", from Romans 8:28-29. Let's see if I can remember it... "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither height nor depth nor anything in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I think that's right...but the point of it is that we are Linked with God.
For me, there were a couple highlights of the Gathering - other than seeing a ton of friends, some of whom I haven't seen in ages - the first was the Passion Play (www.canadianpassionplay.com) on Friday evening. It was the third time for me, but they had a new script this year, which was really cool. It was narrated, and had a bit more humour, and was way more tear-jerking. There was this awesome bit where the possessed "Man of the Tombs" was reunited with his family that really got me started - I've never given him much thought before, but when I went to Matthew and read the story, it does mention Jesus telling the man to go to his family. So cool, and the 400 some volunteers it takes to put on the play did an amazing job. So did the donkey and the sheep...all that was missing was a llama :)
On Saturday morning, while the kids were at Bible study, I snagged a bit of time alone with God, under a tree, with my Bible and some music on my laptop, which was so refreshing. I really need to do that more often. (I had some more time for that on Sunday too, and then my battery died when I was in the middle of saving something, which was a little stressfull!) The best part of Saturday though, was some totally groovy worship music in the evening. My kids really liked it, and it was a lot of fun. We had some debriefing time in the evening, just us girls, and there was some cool stuff going on. I love Foothills' youth - they are just fantastic. I've been very blessed!
If you're interested in pictures of the Gathering, follow the links on the side to Jason's and Scott's websites - I still have a film camera, so it'll be a week or so for my pictures.
It really sucked to leave on Sunday, but we headed back to Calgary, and Chris, Kevin, Scott, Sarah, Trevor and I were off to the Stampede to see Starfield, Chris Tomlin and Third Day. While we were wandering around before the concert, Sarah and I discovered the most exciting food I've ever tasted - even better then Crave cupcakes. We bought a big piece of cheesecake on a skewer, dipped in melted chocolate. I took a bite and thought I'd died and gone to heaven right there. All the stress just melted away, and I nearly had to sit down. It was the most amazing taste sensation ever! I couldn't stop smiling...so good...
It was a little strange - I kept expecting to see youth there, and I found I really missed them. The guys sat in a box, and Sarah and I had 6th row seats, right in the middle section. It was SO cool! I could take or leave Starfield, and I'd never been much of a Chris Tomlin fan, but I am now. He's an amazing worship leader - very humble. He called "We Fall Down" "just a little song", which I found really ironic. It was more like a worship service then a concert, which I really enjoyed. God and I talked about some stuff, and the next day I ended up doing something I didn't really want to do, but that he was definitely telling me to, so we'll see what comes of that. If I don't chicken out and run away again, anyway. :)
I went for Third Day, and they were good, but after the worship set with Chris Tomlin, it was a little jarring to be blasted with rock music. They did slip back in to the worship groove eventually, though. If you're interested, there's pictures of that up on the Third Day website at www.thirdday.com. Maybe you'll be able to pick me and Sarah out of the crowd! By the time the concert was over, I was so wired - it's been years and years since I've been on a God-high like that - it was pretty cool - I've missed the groove we used to have when life was a lot more of a struggle for me. I find it really ironic that it was when my life was at it's worst that I had the best relationship with God, and now that things are pretty hunky-dory I tend to forget about working at my relationship with him. It makes me sad! After the weekend, I crashed pretty hard this morning, what with Sarah going home and me having to go back to work. Blech...
I need to find a job that I'm more passionate about - any suggestions?
So to sum up this weekend, I've decided that heaven is going to be like a giant youth gathering with lots of good friends, awesome worship music...and chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick. What more could you ask for? :)