From the Austin American-Statesman’s Eileen E. Flynn :

Last year, Austin resident Jim Butt followed what he said was God’s call to spend $100,000 of his savings on a Christian music festival. He also believed that God would bring about 40,000 people to Auditorium Shores to hear praise and worship bands for what would become a Christian South by Southwest.

But the Power of the Cross Festival didn’t draw the numbers Butt had predicted ” he estimated that a few thousand people attended. Nearly broke but driven by faith and a desire to bring divine healing and Christian unity to Austin, Butt is trying again today. And this year, he said, God is moving people throughout Austin and the country to offer money, donations and services to make the second Power of the Cross Festival a success.

“We hope to present a side of true Christianity that most people have never seen before and to reach out to the people that most people don’t reach out to,” Butt said. “Religion blocks the door in many cases to people experiencing what really is the kingdom of heaven on earth and that is Jesus Christ. … The best of Christianity will be on display at this festival, and it’s not going to be about religion.”

The lone sign on the main stage will say “Jesus Loves You.”

Maria Long, a Christian rock musician in Hot Springs, Ark., was surprised when she stumbled upon the festival’s Web site.

“I’ve got tons of friends in Austin who aren’t super close to God,” she said. “I didn’t think there would be a Christian festival in Austin. It seems like a big music scene, but it doesn’t seem like a big Christian music scene at all.”

as of 4:50 local time, it’s raining at Auditorium Shores.  Hard.