[Calvary Chapel]1999-07-03 - Creation Festival

We had the opportunity to go to another Creation Festival with our family this year. We were privileged to be able to take along with us some young people from our church. As we planned to go we realized that we count the year in anticipation of the festival. We are already talking about what we will do next year.

We were told that approximately 69,000 tickets were sold in advance with thousands more sold at the gate. It is great to be in a place where the majority of people are Christians. A place where you can allow your children to walk freely without fear. With the number of people and limited facilities we usually are in bad need of a shower by the time we get home! But showers and outhouses aside, it is an awesome adventure!

The speakers were great! The concerts were a lot of fun and the message was clear and focused in one way or another on Jesus Christ.

One memory that will clearly stand out about this years festival was seeing the crosses from Columbine High School. On a hill three white crosses stand.

Near those crosses stood the 16 representing the students and teacher killed at the Columbine High School shooting. The carpenter who made them traveled with them across the country so that we could see them at the festival. Each of the crosses had a picture of the person represented tacked on along with messages, teddy bears and other personal items. The one that stopped me in my tracks had a blue high school jacket on it. It kind of brought the whole thing home. I thought of the pain that mother must have felt as she put her sons jacket on that cross.

People held candle light vigils and had prayer services near the crosses. Several speakers mentioned the incident and spoke of Cassie. I realized there was a lot I did not know. The speaker was told that one of the boys who shot the others had, approximately two weeks before the shooting, attended a youth prayer meeting. At the meeting the youth leader said that God wanted him to extend an invitation to accept Jesus, as someone there was filled with a lot of anger and hate. The young man never responded.

The same speaker said many young people had asked how this could happen.

He believed it happened both because the young man had turned his back on God and also because Satan is trying to turn the heart of the youth of this generation away from God in fear. He believed that those who are taking a stand for Christ in the schools are under spiritual attack. He also spoke about Cassie. Cassie is well known because of her statement of belief in God.

What I did not know was that Cassie had been very rebellious prior to her salvation. She at one point had planned to kill her parents, was enveloped in witchcraft and her parents had agreed to let her stay in the home with the help of a counselor and with proof from her that she would change. She had tried everything. Nothing worked until she found Jesus. She told her parents she had changed. They watched her. They watched her begin to read her Bible, become involved in her youth group. Even though she never really felt like she fit in, they watched God transform her life. Cassie had gone into the library to read her Bible the day she was killed. That night her brother found a poem she had written two days before:

Cassie Wrote This Poem As A Testimony To Her Surrender To Christ:

Now I have given up on everything else
I have found it to be the only way
To really know Christ and to experience
The mighty power that brought Him back to life again, and to find
Out what it means to suffer and to
Die with him.
So, whatever it takes
I will be the one who lives in the fresh
Newness of life of those who are
Alive from the dead

  - Cassie Bernall

Romans 8:28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.

Cassie knew what it meant to have her life transformed by Jesus Christ. The same speaker handed out t-shirts asking all students to wear them on the first day of school as a way to witness to others. The t-shirts read, "She said Yes".

A popular Christian musician Michael W. Smith shared that he was called by the President and asked to appear at the funeral service in Columbine. The President said that the greatest present need for the people was for God. Michael W. Smith wrote a song dedicated to Cassie's memory which will appear on his next album.

At Creation we saw thousands of people walk to the prayer tent either renewing a commitment or making a new one to Jesus.

Saturday evening a candle lighting event happens near the close of the days events. As you turn to look at the tremendous candle lit crowd, all singing praise to God … you find yourself longing for "home".

1 Thes 4:17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

For us and thousands of others who attended this years Creation Festival, our challenge as we returned home to our schools and to our jobs was this: Would we say "Yes" to Jesus just like Cassie? And our challenge to you is, will you say "Yes" and allow your Savior Jesus to also be the Lord of your life by living for Him and being a bold witness of the power of the Gospel for which we are not ashamed, where-ever you are? May the Lord empower you through His Holy Spirit to say "Yes".

Please email us if you would like information on how to request tapes from the Creation festival or if you would like web addresses for either the festival or those dedicated to the students at Columbine High School.

In His Service,
Rick and Sandy