Oh man - the Casting Crowns concert was last night & it was so completely worth the wait! We have seen Casting Crowns in concert 3 times previously & am excited each time we get to see them. We had gotten Ryan a ticket for his Christmas/Birthday present & he loves Casting Crowns as well, but has a new passion for Leeland who was opening up the concert. After seeing them myself - I am their newest fan. First of all, because man, this group can sing! WOW - especially the lead singer, Leeland Mooring. Second, I love them because the dude is the cutest little red head & if you know me - I love my little red heads! Third - Holy cow! Leeland looks just like a young Steven Curtis Chapman in the face! Put a 80's mullet on him & the clock would turned back to see Steven himself standing there! But man - their music says it all! I highly recommend Leeland to anyone who hasn't listened to them before! They're going to be huge one day - count on that!
And then, Casting Crowns comes on stage. I have to say as well - we were in the 4th row - the best seats in the house to me & it was amazing. The set alone was just beautiful with the old time curtains & chandeliers hanging - it was just a beautiful set. Then add all their talents & it was just fantastic!
We did hit a sad moment - right as we walked in, Ricky said, "Man, I miss Steph" - which I know he was thinking, I was thinking & of course Ryan was thinking - Steph never missed a concert with us! So we get in & they started singing "Praise you in the Storm" which Steph considered her theme song. When the words came up, I just felt the water works hit my eyes & looked over & Ryan's heart was bursting at the seams too - that was rough - but by the end, man, we were Praising God for all the mercies & love He is so faithful to give - getting us through the storms that we too go through each day. It was a very emotional moment!
Then, there was the most amazing painter who was painting the most spectacular painting during the songs "Voice of Truth" & "The Word is Alive" - oh - how cool to see it come together. How talented some people are - & how they use that talent to Worship the Lord - the coolest!
And imagine this - the whole group took about 20-25 minutes to come out & pray over the audience - it was just the neatest thing - to see them sitting up on the stage passing down a microphone, each offering a specific prayer over each one of us in attendance - it was amazing! What other concert can you go to & have the artist take the time to give the audience some Blessings? Most "big time" artist want all the glory for themselves - that's whats so cool about Christian Artist - they wanted to take their gifts & bless everyone there & all the while, giving God the glory - it was a Spirit Filled Freedom Hall - let me tell you!
And finally, we are proud to say, It's a girl! Casting Crowns is such a proud sponsor of World Vision & really on a mission to get fresh, clean water to some countries where people die over the smallest things that can be cured with fresh water. Well, with most of our small group at the concert, we all said - lets do this together - so we headed out to get our "child" - we now have a little girl in Jerusalem named Welae Kamal (I wish I was at home so I could scan her picture for you all) We got on phones & called other members of our small group to let them know that we have a new family member to pray about - I can't wait to get in contact with our new family across the world!
The thing I found out last night - World Vision use to do commercials but they understand that there is so much on TV now, people just turn their eyes to the sight of the needy anymore - or they think its not legit. So instead of wasting money on the TV media - they have put their finances into Christian concerts knowing that the people of God will step up & take care of the problems of the world - how cool is that!!! I can't tell you how many people I saw walking around with a folder in their hand with their new family member's name & information! Can you imagine how many people around the US has joined in this JUST from the Casting Crowns concert? Oh - the difference we can make when we join together!
So, this was probably one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Got to spend time with friends all weekend long, laugh until my stomach hurt, learned some MONKEY BALL (darn Stage 10), got to dress up like Belle (can you believe it - I have NO pictures so I'll just have to explain it all on the "official" Princess Tea day), got to worship the Lord with thousands of others & then, I got to come into work late today - extra sleep after a weekend like I had - God is SO good!