Well I've been back from Flavor Fest for 2 days now and have had a really hard time trying to write about all the amazing things that happened while there. So I'll just type and hope that I get across at least a small picture of this great weekend. I might even have to write multiple posts.
This will be my third year in attendance, but unlike the previous years, I would be bringing along a cousin (pictured above) who I adore and was also not sure of his salvation. So I was in prayer all week that his heart would be softened to the Gospel, that he would repent of his sins, trust in the Savior, and that his life would produce fruit in accordance with salvation.
My cousin has a unique story. He went to prison for a few years and while there he found a Gideon Bible in a trash can. This Bible was a mess. It had been stabbed into the pages, leaving pencil marks all over, torn out pages, and drawings of demons in the back. When my cousin found it, he decided to restore it. So while he read through it, he cleaned up all the pencil markings, and erased the demon picture from the back. He said that this Bible is what got him through those tuff years.
After having talked with him and his girl friend, they seemed to know a lot of stuff about the Bible and could probably win in a Bible trivia game, but they were lacking the understanding of the Gospel. So after sharing the Gospel with them and then hearing it a few times during the weekend, everything began to fall in place for him. When I asked him after the end of the second day what he had gotten out of the conference, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "repentance, and what all this stuff is really all about!" He also spoke of his hatred of sin, how blind he had been, and actually went out with us to Ybor City to do some witnessing, which I'll write about later.
It seemed to me that after the weekend was over and we were heading home, I was taking home a different guy than I had brought out there with me! So please pray for my cousin!
The conference was good. It seems that as I grow in the Lord, my discernment gets sharper so I really have a hard time sitting through most surface level topical type presentations. The other thing is that, this being my third year, I'm pretty tired of the whole "Hip Hop Church" idea that is being presented at this conference. Its really a pragmatic approach to doing church which I find very faulty. I guess now that I've said that I need to clarify. I'm not against a church that uses the sounds of Hip Hop in its worship or even being sensitive, to a point, to that genre of people which I am a part of. What I don't like is when it becomes so much about hip hop and its elements that it forsakes proper expository type Bible teaching, and the training of the saint for the work of the ministry. It's as if the focus becomes on how much we know about hip hop history and how to engage the hip hop culture than it does about Christ. I say just preach the Bible and those who get saved will preach to and impact there culture.
So with all that in mind, I can say that only two of the speakers really stood out to me. The first was Hip Hop artist Lecrae, who spoke on what the heart of a gifted person looks like, and his label mate Tadashi who spoke on True Godly contentment. These guys surprised me to say the least.
The highlight of the whole weekend was the concerts on Friday and Saturday night. There were 2 stages with over 40 artist performing. I got to watch some of my favorite artists perform including, Lecrae, HGA, Tadashi, Shai Linne, and a few artists that I might not have other wise known about like Odd Thomas whom I had a great conversation with. He even sold me a great book on the Atonement called Studies in the Atonement, by Robert A. Morey.
Below is a short video compilation of some of the concerts. If you want to see more go here
And here is a picture slide show.
If you cant see the video and slide show open here