Refuge was at First Baptist Church Arkadelphia today, definitely labeled an "on the road" week for the weekly service, that normally resides at Second Baptist Church, also here in Arkadelphia. The move is literally down the street. However, the Refuge sound system is pieces of gear that "ties in" to the existing sound system at our normal location. Moving the event would require us to move all our gear, IF we could tie into the system where we move to.
First Baptist is getting their sound system renovated, so we just brought in good ole Alamo Audio to the rescue. :) I guess that's what I'll call it… Remember the Alamo. :D
On the way back to the MBSF, and my lovely bed, I spontaneously pulled into the Tiger Mart gas station for an ICEE. I've never gotten one at night but hey, it's a 24hr station, and I was FEELIN it after that load out. This is the most popular gas station in town, by far, because of it's central location between the two universities.
Refuge tonight was incredible. Ouachita had something like 400 high school students visiting, which adds so much to the service, but something was just, ON tonight. There was something in the air. It's been in the air all week. It was in the air last week at Refuge too. I think it's called… the Holy Spirit. For real, there is something about this wonderful group of about 20 of us that just… warms me up. so much. so so much.
The worship was in. credible. incredible. Here are some of the lyrics from tonight.
You are good, You are good
And there's nothing good in me.
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
Back to the gas station. Sorry, I'm not that good of a writer.
Now, I don't know what I'm talking about, and I can't speak for anywhere else, but in Arkadelphia Thursday nights are party night. Parties happen every Thursday and no party would ever happen on any night besides Thursday. Which is profoundly ironic that Refuge, an event that happens every Thursday, never misses, and would never happen any other night, happens the same time every week. On one side of town, people are living one way, and on the other, people are living the completely opposite.
Side note. A girl bumped into me on campus a few weeks ago. She said, "hey sorry I missed Refuge last night, was it any good?". I get so busy with production, I would have never known she wasn't there she volunteered this. "yeah I skipped just this one week to go to that big party I didn't wanna miss it." What?
Back to the gas station. See?
I walk into the gas station. 12:20am. The place is hopping like a rabbit farm. Might as well have been 5pm they were doing some business in this gas station. I walk in, high as a kite from the service, almost audible reciting the lyrics from the last song of the night. …nothing compares to Your embrace… …thank you Jesus, thank you so much that you have come down to be a part of my life. Jesus forgive me for giving you a part. Forgive me for not giving you my all. I only want to live for you and not for anything my crazy flesh occupies my time with… Light of the world, forever reign… Must have looked like I was singing to the ICEE machine to get it to work better. But everybody knew that was impossible. ICEE's are perfect, they can't GET better. ;-)
I paid for my ICEE, told the cashier to have a good night, and got out of there. That cashier was flying trying to keep up, but when I said, "hey you have a great night, alright sir?" He stopped for 2secs and smiled. …Jesus forgive me and help me to really show others your love and the difference you make in your children's lives…
All this to say. Some people live for some things… Some people live for others. I live for one. I was just surrounded by my family of 550+ at least tonight living for one. It is SO easy to zone out and get caught in a bubble. There are lost people out there. There are people drinking and doing drugs and sleeping around RIGHT NOW. It's 12:45am right now, that is happening RIGHT NOW. But not because it's Thursday in Arkadelphia. People are living like this every day of the week. In every city in the world. For what? What will their lives mean in 100 years?
Praise GOD. PRAISE THE ALMIGHTY GOD MY SAVIOR that my life means something. I have never once had to "suffer" for my beliefs. I have never felt like what I do is crazy or wrong or difficult. I am living the freaking dream. And in the end, we win. Dad gum it the Bible has it written down our team wins. I am living the dream, having more fun than any of those clowns in that gas station. They are getting everything they want, sex drugs alcohol popularity friends money cars acceptance but I have my ONE thing. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ my savior. He paid it all for me on the cross and I will pay it all back to him through my life. My entire life devoted to him would be a filthy rag. But I will deliver my filthy rag the day I die. I will deliver it and he will take me in as his child. And I will live with my King who will forever reign. Now let's get some people to come with us!
Praise God that he has saved me from the desires of this world. How could I ever desire this garbage again? Thank you Jesus for using my time and my energy for your kingdom, and not for the parties of this world. Thank you Savior for Refuge. We will praise your name and glorify you humbly in the place you have provided. Thank you Father.