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(Photo: Courtesy of Harvest America)Evangelist Greg Laurie shares the gospel at the Harvest America event at the University of Phoenix stadium in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 2017.

I'm a Californian (don't hold that against me).

I love the great state of Texas, and I especially love the food in Texas! I'm talking about Joe T. Garcia's, Texas barbeque, and best of all, Babe's Fried Chicken. You just can't find fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and biscuits like that in California.

However, we did give you In-N-Out Burger, so you're welcome for that!

As great as those things are, I especially love the people of Texas. Their hearts are as big as the state, and we all know that everything is bigger there.

I have had the privilege of speaking in many campuses and churches there, including Prestonwood, Gateway, First Baptist, Crossroads, and several others. There are so many fantastic believers in Texas, and more megachurches (congregations over 2,000) than I have ever seen. In fact, the 10 largest megachurches are right there in Texas.

Then, of course, there are the strong family-friendly values and genuine care that Texans have for each other. Not to mention the great love they have for their state!

So, why do an evangelistic event at AT&T Stadium?

Texas is changing rapidly, with many new people streaming in from around the nation and the world. You might say the world is literally coming to Texas. It's no wonder; there is a very business-friendly culture there, causing many corporations to pull up roots and move there—including more than a few from California. While speaking in churches in Texas, I have jokingly said that I have come to Texas to evangelize to the people moving to Texas from California! Yes, as Bob Dylan once sang, "The times they are a-changin'..."

Two of the most recent mass shootings also happened in Texas, of all places. The country is still reeling from the heartbreaking events of last week in Santa Fe, when a young gunman ruthlessly shot 10 of his classmates. As an article from USA Today stated, "This week, instead of printing prom pictures and planning graduation parties, this small city held free community dinners and formed prayer circles. A florist was busier than ever, building bouquets for funerals she wouldn't have time to attend."*

In November of last year, the unthinkable happened in Sutherlands Springs. A gunman shot and killed 26 worshippers at church on a Sunday morning and injured 20 others.

Shockingly, in Tyler, Texas, home to 225,000 residents, the suicide rate is the highest among the state's most populous counties.

Yes, even Texas needs Jesus—just like California and the rest of the United States.

There is only one thing in the universe that can change the heart of a person, and that is the gospel.

What is the gospel? It is the simple message that we all have sinned against God and stand separated from Him. But the story doesn't end there. God loved us so much, He sent His Son Jesus on a rescue operation to our planet. Jesus lived our life, and then He died our death on the cross and rose again three days later.

That's the message I want to bring to the great state of Texas and literally to the world on June 10. This event is called Harvest America. Not only will we be speaking to people in the Metroplex, but also to people across the United States watching in host sites large and small.

When we held the event at AT&T in 2016, the stadium was filled to overflowing. Another 250,000 people watched it live in a host site, and thousands made a profession of faith to follow Jesus Christ. Some of these were suicidal teens, many came from broken families, and others were breaking free from addiction to drugs. Who do you know that needs to attend or watch? Invite them; join them!

I am looking forward to returning with my friend and musician Chris Tomlin, a Texas native born in Grand Saline. David Crowder, another Texas native, will be there along with Dallas' own Trip Lee. To top it all off, I will also be joined by Southern California's Phil Wickham and Switchfoot. You do not want to miss this!

I look forward to seeing y'all (you like the sound of that?) again on June 10, and I can say with full certainty that I will stop first for some good ol' fried chicken!

Originally posted at harvest.org

Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in Riverside and Irvine, California.
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