Messages from Young Adults

GC Session: Grace Notes #2 – Alabaster Box Remix

God encounters
I’m overdressed.
Being that I was going to run into the  African delegation and all  my parents’ friends I was dressed in church attire for the whole day.

It’s 9pm my feet hurt from walking, I still haven’t checked my email (I’m suffering from Internet withdrawal), but here I am in the lower level of the Sheraton Hotel waiting for the GodEncounters program to start.  In tandem with the Impact ATL conference, GodEncounters is in Atlanta to draw the youth and young adults into a real relationship with Christ. The mood was set with appropriate decor, small round tables that welcomed intimate confessions, candle light, purple color lights dimmed across the stage, a guitar stand. It looked like your typical coffee house or poetry joint. About a mile from the Georgia Dome young people gathered together from across the globe some wearing jeans and cotton. I look  for place to sit and that’s when I see her. Over six feet tall wearing a pink  tank top, blue jeans  with her long blond hair in a ponytail she looked more at home than I felt.

She fit right in, sitting in front of me.

She fit right in until she started dance. While others non obtrusively raised their hands in worship this young  lady danced her heart out. When the chair in front of her proved a hindrance she  moved it out of her way and resumed her jumping, clapping and dancing  tribute to her God unaware of those around her.  Focused on her adoration as she worshiped for an audience of one.
Initially I was ticked off, because she was standing in front of me and it was kinda distracting.
Then I closed my eyes and I could almost hear her heart shout “if you knew what he has done for me  you would understand “. In this grace moment I realized that the world will ask for an explanation when they see me praise  Him. I won’t have to distribute tracts or orchestrate meetings or try gimmicks to get them to show up, they will be drawn to my expression of his grace and it is then that I will have  a ready and willing audience to which I can proclaim His grace.

It was a 21st Century remix of the Alabaster Box scene from Mark 14 and I got front-row seat tickets to this wonderful life lesson.

His love fills us up. That is the long and short of it. When you realize and accept His love you cease to be conformed by the conventional modes of praise, worship and living, you praise Him the way your heart cries out. Now for some of us that might mean sitting when others are standing, for others it might mean kneeling and for others it might mean just crying or writing or bopping your head from side to side.

That’s not what I’m trying to say.
Let me try again.
His love fills us up. You cease to be confined by rules and are more concerned with pleasing God.
Yep that’s it

One thing realized is that it is less about you – and more about it. Less about what those around you may think and more about just being humble and giving praise to the One who Is.

Matt Gamble was in the house sharing from the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, Nick Zork was in the room with a praise band that had notable alums from Andrews University. In the next couple of weeks I will forget the songs that were sung and the major points of the message, but her praise has left an indelible mark on my heart. As I strive to live this Christian Experience I will remember her worship and try to be true to the One regardless of who is watching.

To watch some of the proceedings at the 59th General Conference Session in Atlanta visit

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