Break the Static 2012

I’m sitting here in tears. Why am I crying so much? I’ve never cried so much before over an event that happened in the past. And these tears came so suddenly, so out of nowhere. I don’t know what just happened. I’m still processing it really.

There are only a few things in my life that I would say have really changed my life and my course of direction. VERY few. And these instances stick with me for a while. They will stay in my memory and strong emotions will come from those incidents, almost as if I relive those moments again.

Well, this just happened to me.

I was reminiscing over the Forward Conferences that I’ve been to in the past. They were a huge thing for me and my sisters in the summertime of my high school years. That was the conference I looked forward to every year. But why? What made it so exciting and fun?

I reminisced over one particular Forward conference I attended, and that was the summer of my sophomore year, Forward conference 2012. I didn’t realize just how much that one conference stuck out to me until now. I was re-watching all of the forward conferences, and for some reason Forward Conference 2012 was the first result on google. So I clicked that one.

As I watched the recap, instantly longing to go back and relive that moment came back to me. I watched as amazing over amazing people showed up in the people back to back. I mean people who were leading the world of Christian music and evangelism.

I remember Chris Tomlin, my all-time favorite Christian artist came out. His performance was absolutely moving. The next day was Third Day, another favorite. And then the next day was Jeremy Camp (who had the most beautiful eyes that you could see from even far away), yet another favorite! Micah Massey, Adam Ranney, Israel Houghton! These were artists that I grew up with (besides Micah and Adam, but they were worship leaders at my home church, so basically yea).

And as I watched them kind of summarize their artists, I felt some tears come into my eyes. I remember how I felt broken after each of their performances, and I just felt so vulnerable and open. It was raw emotion. And every time, I was never afraid to cry out to God and have my hands held high.

I miss those times.

And then they got to the speakers, and oh my God, I remember all of them. Every single one changed me.

Gianna Jessen, I absolutely love this lady. She has one of the best personalities you will ever find on this planet. So uplifting, so genuine, so delightful, so carefree. She did not care at all about any ill words toward her or any thoughts about her. She was just her. Her laugh is so contagious and beautiful. Anytime she smiled, the whole auditorium smiled along with her.

I remember how she told the auditorium about how she is an abortion survivor. She was suppose to die before birth using a burning saline solution. But instead, she lived and her mother gave birth to her. Due to this, she does live with a few “gifts” as she likes to call them (which made me tear up at the time at how much this woman has had to go through because of her mother’s decision. She lives with cerebral palsy, which was somewhat clear with all the small mannerisms she had while she spoke. But it only added to her charm and her genuineness. She also talked about how she was put into the foster care system, and how initially the government didn’t believe she would amount to much. People doubted her time after time, but she kept proving them wrong time after time.

She easily became my favorite speaker of the conference.

Reggie Dabbs… Reggie Dabbs my God.. He is an amazing person. He absolutely loves every student, and he never fails to tell us time after time that we are loved by God and my him. He tells us so many amazing stories about his life and kids he has encountered, and once I hear about these amazing stories, I realize that my situation is probably very miniscule, which means that I know that God can do it and can take care of it. He told us about his own story, and about how he questioned why his parents didn’t want him (he was adopted). He talked about how he didn’t feel like he had a purpose, but then he came to God, and God called him to be a minister. And he has been doing it every since.

He comes to this conference every year, and every year I feel changed by what he has to say. I just feel love and hope and grace and passion come from him. It truly is amazing. Especially when he plays the saxophone, wow. The whole arena kind of looks at him in awe, it’s just amazing.

Steven Furtick is such a powerful speaker. He tells you how it is (He also has great looks 😉 ). He is such a young pastor, yes he’s talking to over thousands of people. It really is cool what he does. I love the part where he said, “The audition is cancelled, you got the part”. It really is powerful.

Matthew Barnett is amazing. My first thought while at the conference was, “Okay, I don’t know why they brought him here. He’ll probably be like any other southern pastor, and just tell that we’re all going to heaven. This will be so weak.” Boyyyy, was I so wrong. He basically told me about my life and everything that I was missing (I mean he wasn’t really talking to me but that’s just how powerful his message was). I learned so much from that sermon.

Jentezen Franklin, who was the pastor hosting the event, gave a powerful sermon.

Lincoln Brewster also performed.

The theme was Break the Static. It was so amazing, and I really do long to go back and attend a conference again. I feel like I would definitely appreciate it even more than I did ever before. Mainly because I really feel like I need it this time around.

 

Advertisements

Bombed

I bombed today in Latin. Atleast, I did not do as well as I had done on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, I was on m A-game. He called on me first, and I knew the translation. I could tell him about it, and even at the end of it, he said, “Good.” I was satisfied.

And usually there’s a method to how he calls people. If he calls you one day, he’ll probably not all you the next time we meet. So I was relaxed, and didn’t even think about really going over the translation again. I just wrote down my translation and that was it.

Well, boy was I wrong. I was super overconfident, and I flustered.

I received this biggest shock of my life today when he came in and the first name he called was mine. I looked up with wide eyes, and even others had wide eyes. Every eye was on me, and they kind of had the same expression as me. They were surprised that he called me again, and called me FIRST. AGAIN.

Well crap.

Before the professor gets to class, we (well, my classmates, and I just listen) talk about how we don’t want to be called today because we didn’t finish the translations, or that he has a method to how he calls people. Or we say how he calls on people who seem like they don’t know the translation or are really good at it. We just don’t want to believe that the method is purely random.

So before class, I always review my translation so I’m not completely lost in class, but I look at it more closely if I knew that I was going to be called that day. Well, I should have looked closer.

So I did well for the first half of the translation (except I forgot the meaning of word “haud” and thought it was “but” instead of “not”. Honest mistake. Okay. Fine.

But the next sentence, wow it went so downhill that I couldn’t keep up.

I was just so unprepared. I remembered this part because I remembered having trouble with it while I was translating, but I couldn’t remember all of this stuff. Honestly, I think my nerves also got to me.

And then for the rest of the class, he was mainly talking about other stuff. People were asking him questions to buy themselves time and to make sure that no more people were chosen. And they were damn good at it. If I had not gotten chosen to translate first, I would have thought that those people asking questions were angels sent from God. But because I had already been chosen, I just wanted to translate the dang passage and get it over with. We have a test on Wednesday, so I just wanted to finish translating everything and be done with today. But literally after me were 3 other people, and then we were done. These students were professionals! They had bought themselves about 30/50 minutes of class. I was highly impressed.

We didn’t even get to today’s intended translations…

I should have reviewed :/

Oh well, now I have an interview, so I should prep for that.

“Except as a punishment for crime…”

After watching the documentary 13th, these are my afterthoughts…

The 13th Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

“It’s not the brutality that’s changed over time”…

They found the loophole. They found their saving grace.

They found a way to create the new Jim Crow Laws, to mask the identity of the lynchers, the abusers, the killers.

The system’s been reshaped, redesigned, reformed, renewed, restored to its former glory!

Hardly even recognizable.

They found it.

Gone are the days of wearing all-white dresses, masking their guiltless faces with the crystal veil, separating them from the ones they deem unclean and unworthy. Their hats pointing high to God who they call upon to grant them the keys to the kingdom.

This time, they look us in the eye. This time, they are camouflaged. They’re with us. They’re our own neighbors, our own friends. We welcome them into our homes with open arms and open hearts, even though the gun is cocked right to our heads. Plain sight.

We entrust our lives with them, hoping that they will keep us safe. We hope that they will keep the evil guys away. And even though we watch them as they pull our kids from our laps and throw our very sons and daughters to the ground, we continue to pour more of ourselves into them and allow them to feed off of our tears, our sorrows.

We watch in unblinking awe and beautiful terror as they pull the trigger on our youth, sealing their fate. They take away our children’s freedom in order to protect their own, yet we smile to our protectors through the bloodshot and tired eyes, and applaud them on a job well done.

The devil is gone, and we are safe.

They are keeping the evils away. Oh, the irony.

Oh, how glorious it must feel to keep slavery alive! To reminisce over old days and old ways of oppression.

The stubbornness of a country to bring back their “glory days” and the “good ol’ times” when they were the superior race and only their life mattered.

How lovely the feeling of being on top at the suffering and expense of the bottom.

Let’s not call it slavery. Let’s call it mass incarceration.

Dehumanize the competition, annihilate the race little by little, as to do it without the mass even noticing it.

Shove them into cubicles unfit for even a rabbit. Feed them the crumbs. Clothe them with rags. Forget about their health!

Put them to work. Punishment is hard labor, but make a profit out of it. Let them call it… community service.

But let’s not stop there.

Get them from the root of their home. Tackle the whole family. After all, 1 in 3 African-American men in America will find their way home to the big house.

And the stereotype will live on. “Black children don’t have dads.” “Black families have the highest rates of divorce and separation.”

The education system has already given up on them. Prisons started building cells based off of elementary school standardized testing scores. Hell, their school already believed that they would not amount to much, so why should they believe in themselves?

Just like Trump said, “Get ’em outta here!” Who needs them, right?

After all, the American dream was only dreamt in one color.

They’ll make a fortune out of this business. They’ll bring back the “glory days” and “good ol’ times”.

They’ll restore peace and happiness, Oh yes!

They’ll make America great again.