My LifeLight Experience

concertYou are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. {Matthew 5:14-16}

I had heard of something like this happening in another state a few years ago. When I caught wind of it, oh how my heart wanted to go. It was a 3 day camping adventure in the woods and experiencing God in worship, word, and wonder. Three years my heart was anticipating something like this to take place in our state of Texas. When I heard it would actually be happening Memorial Weekend 2013, I marked my calendar and set the dates and knew that our family would attend. LifeLight was introduced to me and I was anticipating their arrival and the amazing encounters to be experienced.

LifeLight is a nonprofit ministry that is making an impact and reaching out to the ends of the earth. Their mission is “taking the Church outside the walls, bringing Light into the darkness with the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

They have held music festivals in South Dakota, Missouri, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti and even Pakistan. This was their very first LifeLight festival in Texas. Countless hours and resources were spent planning, making preparations and setting up before the festival even began and throughout the event. So many prayers for lives to be saved, hearts to be touched, and fires to be ignited in the depths of our souls, and lives to be impacted were raised up to heaven. God was listening!

Four Stages, Big Top Tents and so much more were set up all around as vendors, volunteers, and performers were making preparations for the crowds to arrive. Activities, food, fun times and music was available for all ages. Over 50 artist were scheduled to perform at the 4 different stages that were set up. They had the Main Stage, Souled Out Stage (for the youth), Triple Shot Cafe, and Kaleidoscope Stage for the kids.   An expectation of hungry hearts wanting more of Jesus was felt among us. We were ready for God to pour out His goodness. That is exactly what He did, and so much more!

These are just a few of my favorite highlights from the LifeLight Musical Festival. If I were to recount all of the amazing encounters that God poured out upon us, it would take hours. So I will try my best to shorten so that you can at least get a glimpse at what God graciously gave us to richly enjoy.

We arrived at the beautiful land full of rolling hills and began setting up our tents for our 3 day experience in the woodlands and making preparations for our families to arrive. Our hearts were fully expectant and giddy as we were anticipating the Presence of God that was already rising in the atmosphere. Campers came from all around to experience and encounter God in a mighty way. Fields upon fields were ready and waiting for the people to come and see Jesus.

Wendy, Whitney and I were sitting under the volunteer tent and sharing hearts about what God was stirring inside of us and the scriptures that were rising to the surface to make an impact upon this festival. We each wrote with a black sharpie upon our hands I am the Lords from a scripture found in Isaiah.

For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour out My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing upon your descendants. And they will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses. One will say I am the Lord’s… and another will write [even brand or tattoo upon his hand, I am the Lord’s. {Isaiah 44:3-6 AMP}

The main stage had a sign above To God be the Glory

Prayer Tents were open and ready for the lives that were ready to receive a touch from God.

A walk by faith adventure set me out on an open road and traveled up and down the hills to set out for the perfect spot to sit and soak up some time with Jesus. I reached the top of the hill, overlooked the beautiful open range before me. I saw two huge trees and thought that must be the place. It looks quiet, cozy and serene. But Jesus had a special spot just for me to sit and reflect, and journal. He said keep walking. So I did. I approached this old wagon that holds a special significance in my heart and I heard a whisper… Your chariot awaits you… I knew this was the perfect spot that Jesus had set up just for me to soak and bask in His Sunlight and rays that were beaming down. I loved every second of my encounter with Him. Pages upon pages are reflected upon my journal from those special moments. I will forever treasure these words that He wrote upon my heart. I AM YOURS!

The headliner on Friday night, Sanctus Real, was on stage singing “Hold on to the promises. Hold on to the promises. Jesus is alive so hold on tight.” Some of my favs were also Run, Run, Run and Lead me. I sang with all my might the words to the songs and was jumping with the others in the crowd. We were declaring God’s promises to be true. The storm clouds were forming in the distance behind us. Some of us volunteers gathered in the prayer tent and prayed that the storm and rains would hold off at least until after the concert so that the crowd could soak up the seeds and all that was planned for the night. We watched with anticipation as Sanctus Real sang, and could see the storm approaching. Just wait a little longer for the rain to fall was our hopes and prayers. But, God had plans of His own. Sanctus Real had to cut their performance a little short due to the lightning, but the words and promises given were sown upon our hearts.

Many, many, many priceless family moments were shared together. I will cherish them forever!

I had a chance to meet Julie Elias and ask her about her new album, A Wild Rose.

God, I need some breathing room… While you lie sleeping alone in the night beneath the wind-driven snow. Hope springs eternal, the birth of new life, the bloom, a wild rose. Season brings changes, the day loses light, and darkness it comes and it goes. Splendid and perfect, eternally bright. God planted each wild rose. I was able to share some of my rose experiences with her too. So sweet! Love her!

We had our campsite set up and shared lots of love and laughter. Roasting s’mores, playing games and spending family time together. At night even though the area around us was so dark, they had this flood light that lit up the entire campground. Our tents were set up close to the light and it shone so brightly in our tents. It was almost blinding when you looked in that direction. We had no need for flashlights or lanterns because this light was so intense. What if we could shine this brightly?

The Afters were performing on Saturday night. The sun was starting to set as we overlooked the hills and panoramic views. It was so gorgeous and breathtaking. The rains had poured down a few hours before as well as bringing some mighty gushing winds. The kids had glow sticks and were ready for the sun to set so that they could glow too. They even spread some of the glow stick liquid on their shirts. They kept saying make us glow, we want to glow more. They were having the time of their lives. Best camping trip ever they kept repeating!

I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth. {Genesis 9:13}

I looked over at my hubby and said, oh, I would love to see a rainbow!! He said, well it better come quick, the sun is about to set. I said a prayer under my breath as I was passing out the goldfish crackers to the little ones around me. Families were spread out with chairs, blankets and picnics all soaking up God’s goodness in the field. All of a sudden Skylar looked up with amazement and said, look at the rainbow. We lifted our heads to see the most beautiful rainbow in the sky. The Afters began singing Light up the Sky and my joy was rising rapidly!! I began jumping up and down and kissing my hubby on the cheek! God heard our prayers for the rainbow. Little kisses sent from up above. Everyone was taking pictures of the beautiful and glorious display in the clouds.

Brightness everywhere! The way a rainbow springs out of the sky on a rainy day- that’s what it was like. It turned out to be the Glory of God! {Ezekiel 1:28 MSG}

Their lights are shining brightly for Jesus. All the artist, servant hearts and each and every person that gave of themselves to make this music festival such a remarkable experience. The love and Light of Jesus was spread around and lives were impacted.

Air1 had interviews with the Artist throughout the entire event. I could not wait for Plumb to come out and talk one on one. She said she loves to sing at Festivals! I stood towards the front and listened intently as she shared about the writing of her latest song Need you Now. She said it was written from a time in her teen years when she was so anxious and would cry out to God in her time of need. There have been so many times lately I am sitting in my car and this song comes on and it is exactly what I am feeling. I love when that happens.

They had a time of Q&A at the end of the interview to ask Plumb any questions. One girl raised her hand and asked her what her favorite song to perform was. She responded that she has so many favorites, but her favorite that she would sing tonight was I Don’t Deserve You (love this song!) I quickly raised my hand and asked her what inspired her song In My Arms. It was like we were sitting in a living room and she was talking to me personally. She said when she had her son Solomon she remembered the feeling of having these thoughts “what if he gets hurt? what if this happens?” Knowing that God would keep him safe In His Arms was what she always held on to. Releasing your children into God’s hands knowing that He will always keep them safe is the best remedy.

Side note: this song In My Arms has always been my song to Logan since he was a baby. So getting to hear from Plumb her heart behind the words of her song meant the world to me.

Ironically, Logan had just scraped his leg on a bounce house and was bleeding and in pain with tears running down his cheeks. Landan held him on his shoulders and whispered to me during the interview with Plumb, Mom, Logan got hurt. I gently grabbed him in my arms. I wiped away the blood, applied band-aids and kissed his boo boo’s and was holding him in my arms when I asked Plumb the question. It brought back so many memories of him as a baby and even now that he is six years old. He gets hurt, bumps and bruises and I know as a mom I am not always there to rescue him. I have to release him into God’s hands, knowing that He will keep Him safe, protected, and fully covered.

I was right up front as Plumb sang her favorite songs from her newest album. With each beat of the drum, I could feel it in my chest. I danced and sang along and treasured the moments.

We are Leo played some amazing songs! One of the band members wore a blue tank that said I LOVE BABIES! Made me smile!

Jenny and Tyler were a sweet couple that sang folk-rock, soulgrass style music. My hubby loved them the most! They shared their story of falling in love, writing songs and they have a baby on the way. She looked so precious singing with a baby in her tummy!

Building 429 sang their hearts out and the sound system was even shot at the end of their performance. Even thought the microphones were shot temporarily, and they had to use a megaphone at the end until the sound was back in check. They said some crazy things were happening. God was igniting hearts. Fires were set ablaze in our hearts. Ready to shine. Ready to spread this fire. Just as a tiny spark can start a wildfire, so can we as we set our hearts upon Jesus and spread His good news with the world around us.

I had some pinch me times, like is this for real?? Is this really happening? And yes, it was. Just as my family and so many others were able to encounter this and have the Love, Life and Light spread around us. If we were to take this all in, and not ever spread it around or share it, it would be like the scripture above that talks about hiding under a basket.

We are encouraged to spread this Light around to everyone. To reach out beyond the walls of our church, our communities and our everyday encounters. No matter where you are. You can be a light. You can spread the Light of Jesus to everyone you meet. Your light can shine and penetrate the darkness. You can make a difference. Your one Light can make a spark and ignite the life of others around you. Imagine the fires that will be ignited and spread by one life at a time. As this rapidly grows and spreads, wildfires will be ignited in the spiritual realm and will set the world ablaze!!! Let your light SHINE BRIGHTLY.

God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life. {Psalm 56:12-13}

Written by Salina Duffy

** Check out LifeLight online!

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