SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Catholic’s Take on the Festival of Hope

Franklin Graham, son of the legendary Billy Graham brought his Festival of Hope to Jacksonville.

Almost all Christians, no matter the denomination know the Graham family. I remember when Billy Graham filled the Gator Bowl fifteen years ago. I heard of his son Franklin Graham bringing his tour to town and felt I needed to go.

I prayed about it and felt the compelling desire to attend. I mentioned the event to another Catholic, not as invite but more as a ‘this is what we are doing.’ When I did the reaction was that of surprise. They then went into a segue of how wrong they were and how right we were.

This did not sway my decision to attend, if anything just the opposite. As Christians if we spent less time judging one another and more time loving. Maybe just maybe the world would be a better place.

Friday nights event started off with music by the band Caves from Canada. The emcee for the weekend was spoken word poet Amena Brown. Her husband providing dj entertainment for the weekend. City Harmonic really got the party started. Franklin Graham spoke about his hope not only for America but even his hope for our own city. After hundreds of people were brought to Christ, the band Tenth Avenue North closed out the evening.

Saturday night Franklin’s talk was centered around the story of the prodigal son. A packed house witnessed hundreds more come to Christ. By standing up for God and publicly admitting there sinners

A New Journey to the Cross

Everyone that is a Christian understands the Cross …right? Since Pentecostal Sunday there has been a journey towards the Cross that has shaken my core into a new brokenness.  We, as Christians make the sign of the cross at church, when we pray all without thinking of its power.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Spirit that crosses our hearts and sets us on fire. Spending a few days in the hills of Georgia serving thousands of other Christians spreading His love and word at our annual trip to AtlantaFest at Stone Mountain can bring anyone to their knees.  Between the Christian artists, speakers and guests there were moments of profound brokenness and healing that all were directed toward the Cross.  Through pain, joy, tears and repenting, lives were changed and redemption found. Starting with singer Matt Maher on opening night describing how broken people can be saved by the healing power of Christ and how broken hearts can be mended by taking our sins to the Cross.  The theme continued throughout the festival, from artist like R3D, Thousand Foot Krutch, Rhett Walker Band to Kari Jobe there were four days of phenomenal worship and testimonies of healing. Professor and Apologist Ergun Caner broke it all down in a real ‘honest’ way describing how a Muslim was saved by one person that showed him the way to the Cross.