Posted by: deerharas | March 3, 2006


Another late night. I don’t know what it is about me … I’ll stay up late, get up early, feel exhausted all day, and then once night rolls around again, I’m wide awake.  Crazy.   So this past weekend, my friend Randy, who’s a youth minister, was talking about all of the events he has planned for his youth this summer.  One of them was the Youth Evangelism Conference (which brought back the hysterical memory of my friend Tracy tripping and actually somersaulting down the steps at Reunion Arena) and for some reason or another, he mentioned that Matt Chandler would be speaking … which brought back a ton of memories. See, I grew up in a college town.  Three universities.  All Christian.  And back in the early 90s, this guy named Steve, I think, came up with the idea to begin a bible study to reach out to the Abilene college community.  It was called Grace, and over the years it grew tremendously in popularity, on some Thursdays attracting maybe 1500 to 2000 people.  At some point Matt Chandler took over as speaker, and at some later point, I began attending.  I must say, that just like Mezamiz, I was going to Grace way before it was the hip happening high school thing to do.   I loved Grace.  I looked forward to it every week.  I would go by myself if I didn’t have my trusty friends Ashleigh or Sarah to go with me.  I grew up in a great church, with a great pastor and youth minister, but I also credit a lot of my spiritual growth to Grace Bible Study.  Matt was an excellent speaker, full of passion and humor and so Spirit led.  He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth … “If you can’t say Amen, you better say ouch.”  I know if I went home right now and looked at my notes from all those Thursdays, the messages would come alive all over again.  Sometimes Matt would have us break up into prayer groups at the end of a service.  I remember one particular night going out into a hallway with several girls from school, and we really prayed for one another.  Tearful, transparent, Spirit prompted prayers.  Ashleigh, Tracy and I started a once a week prayer breakfast/bible study as a result of going to Grace … and this was before any of us could drive … yes, one parent would have to carpool to Grandy’s or McDonalds and another would have to carpool us to school.  That’s not even mentioning all the carpooling to and from Grace.  Going away to college was sad in a respect because I was without that weekly nourishment I had come to crave, and sadly enough, OBU didn’t offer anything that remotely compared to Grace.  I always looked forward to fall break, because I would get to go to at least one Grace that year.   

Anyway, all that to say that when Randy brought up Matt Chandler, I wondered what he was doing these days … and if he had a Podcast, which it turns out he does.  I just finished downloading a sermon on singleness.  It’s too late to listen to it now, maybe I’ll listen to it tomorrow while I’m not listening to The Rocket Summer scream, “Sho-ow me, ev-ry-thing you’ve got!” because every single person in my cell phone has plans for tomorrow night (actually tonight).  I just looked at everyone who is subscribed to me, and I think Alan’s my only other Abilenian … maybe he’ll appreciate this post.  Oh, and maybe Arlene.  Amanda did live in Abilene for a year and we were both on the first Grace CD they made … our claim to fame.  Ugh, gotta go to bed.  Grace and peace!


  1. the Steve guy’s name that you mention is correct, Steve Hardin. He is not actually on staff now at the Village church in Highland Village, Texas where Matt is the lead pastor.

  2. I meant he IS actually on staff.

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