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I was brought to the University of North Carolina by Intervarsity to mostly teach and to sing a little. They've been meeting weekly, between three and four hundred college students, this semester to dissect the Sermon on the Mount. The beatitudes, those eight blessings I've been studying and writing about now for a couple years, kick off that sermon from Jesus. So, my job was to teach my understanding of the beatitudes and sing a few of the songs inspired by them.

I mention this because it's the opposite of what my usual gig is. I'm usually hired to sing and allowed to teach if I want to - and I know, because the expectation from promoter and audience is that I sing, that less talk is preferred. That's hard for me because every song I write and sing comes from something I've studied and taught and lived. So when I sing a lyric my brain gets caught up in a web of related ideas and lessons learned, all the stuff that impacted me and made me want to pick up my guitar to write in the first place, all the stuff that didn't fit in the pop song box. And I want to share it.

Well, tonight I was supposed to. I was hired to get the cob webs out. It was therapeutic. Boring maybe if anyone came expecting a concert but entertaining if anyone came expecting preaching. Tonight was a rare hybrid of the two that leaned heavily on teaching. Felt weird. Felt good. The crowd made it easy. They leaned in and listened (and laughed) like only a college crowd does. My favorite age to teach for sure. Thanks to UNC's Intervarsity leadership for the invite.

What made the night even better was the number of children sponsored through Compassion International. Usually one out of every thirty concert attenders sponsor a child before they leave. At colleges that number drops off - college students don't have (or don't think they have) $32 a month extra to save a child's life. I understand that. I've been there. But the students at Intervarsity tonight sponsored as many kids as a "normal" concert crowd. Big surprise! Thanks to everyone at Intervarsity UNC for being so generous and saving so many kids from poverty tonight.


Blogger Kerry Woo said...


Your posting rekinded some fond memories 2 years back while briefly interacting with students from UNC Chapel Hill talking about the Passion ministry when I was doing the commuting thing between Nashville and Durham.

Last week, I hosted Dr. Wess Stafford, CEO of Compassion when he was in town at the MOPS convention. More here:Compassion and Defining Moments -- about Compassion's impact on the world with children.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is thanks for encouraging the students with your songs and teaching - there is something very unique that God is doing on college campuses. Just as in Dr. Stafford's case of having a spark in his heart for children, I looking forward to the fruit as these students step into their sphere of influence after college. Seems to me, something sparked - Big surprise! = Big God!

Blogger mlittlex said...

Great post...I'm a UNC Grad myself and did things with IV and YoungLIfe. I hope you had a great experience in "the Southern Part of Heaven".



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