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A celebration of Creation

July 15, 2008|By ROBERT KELLER / Pulse Correspondent

What is the difference between a Christian youth rally and any other rally? A Christian youth rally has bands that are all Christian and almost everyone who goes are Christians, and kids who go and who aren't Christian become Christian at the rally.

I went to one of these rallies from Tuesday, June 24, through Sunday, June 29, called Creation Festival. I went with the youth group of New Life Christian Ministries in Clear Spring. Creation is the biggest Christian youth rally in the Northeast. This year's rally was at Mount Union, Pa., and had 70,000 kids attending.

Tuesday

We left for Creation Festival at 8 in the morning. We drove an hour and a half trip along winding roads through a lot of farmland. We finally got to the rally, waited to get in, set up camp and rested for the rest of the day since nothing was scheduled to occur until the next day.

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Wednesday

The first thing I did when I woke up was check to see who was going to perform that night. The only band I saw that I wanted to see was Switchfoot, a rock band. As the day wore on, my plans changed and I decided to see a band that I had never heard before, Skillet, because they were on right before Switchfoot.

When I stepped into the arena for Skillet's performance, I noticed thousands and thousands of Christian teens jumping up and down as the band began. I loved hearing the audience praising God. As I listened to Skillet, I felt my head bob and my feet tap, and soon after that, I was jumping with everyone else. I fell in love with Skillet, and they became my new favorite band.

After Skillet finished performing, I watched Switchfoot in concert. I knew most of their songs, but seeing them live was amazing. Their lead guitarist had a special guitar that he would hold up to his mouth and sing into it. After the concert, I headed back to camp and went to bed.

Thursday

I checked to see who was performing; I wanted to see the David Crowder Band.

I sat down and played Monopoly with three people from my church. We played for six hours, ran out of money in the bank, kept track on paper and finally stopped playing.

Then, I went up to the music store and bought Skillet's new album, "Comatose." Eventually, I headed back up to the arena and listened to the David Crowder Band. They have so much energy when they play. One highlight: The band played Super Mario Brothers music on the keyboard. I left halfway through the concert, and missed the band playing a song with the "Guitar Hero" controller. Wish I'd seen that.

Friday

I didn't see any bands that interested me Friday, but there was a speaker that I wanted to see, Bob Lentz. His message was "Tim to the World." He spoke about his daughter, Joy, and how she loved to sing.

When Christmas came around, she would sing "Joy to the World." Lentz also had a son, Tim, who sang the song a little differently: "Tim to the world, the Lord has come!"

Lentz used that as his message to say that as Christians, we should each insert our names in there and change the world, because we are the generation that will change the world. He also went on to talk about how when he was young, he and his church had a free car wash and how one person tried to give them money. He turned it down and when the guy asked why, he replied, "God gave freely and so do we."

Lentz is a powerful speaker.

Saturday

I wanted to see tobyMac, a Christian hip-hop/rock artist, and another speaker, Reggie Dabbs, on Saturday.

Dabbs spoke early in the day. I was impressed with his message. He used nursery rhymes to connect to God.

He even told us how his dad would tell the story of the "Three Little Pigs" and it went something like this, "Well, there was the first pig, and he was cheap, so he built his house out of straw. He needed to save his money for video games. The Big Bad Wolf came and blew down his house and ate him. That was his appetizer.

The second pig was a little bit smarter, but he was still cheap and he made his house out of sticks. The Big Bad Wolf came, blew down the house, and ate him too. That was his main course. Now the third piggy, the Big Bad Wolf didn't mess with. You see, he was Rambo piggy and he was locked and loaded and ready to go."

Dabbs brought along ex-football player Keith Elias, who talked about how he had money and material things but was still unhappy. Elias decided that he needed Jesus in his life.

Later that night, I went to the tobyMac concert and sat in the front row with one of my pastor's sons.

I took a lot of pictures and when they finished performing, tobyMac performed three encore songs.

Sunday

When dawn broke on Sunday, I headed up with my pastor and several other people to the church sermon.

During the service, I felt the hand of God on my shoulder, and he touched my heart again. I nearly broke out into tears of joy as I realized that the presence of God had come upon me. I felt him take away all the pain and fear in me.

Once the service was over, we tore down camp and headed home.

To know more about Creation, visit www.creationfest.com and click on Creation Northeast '08.

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