St Louis Bright Lights Conferences Report

img_0308 This past June we held a “Strong in the Lord” and “Radiant Purity” conference in the St Louis area. It was a week of extra challenges and extra sweet moments! There was definite spiritual warfare, but thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14).

One of the challenges was getting the word out about the conference. It was the first time we’d run conferences in this area, so there wasn’t as much familiarity with our ministry. We PRAISE GOD for all He brought–many from longer distances, and many at the last minute.

img_0335 Interacting with the sweet girls who soak in the teaching makes every conference a great privilege. πŸ™‚ Soon, these girls will be the mothers raising the next generation in America!

img_0319 My mom, sharing with the mothers while the girls are in small group.

img_0332 Not only does my mom talk with and encourage ladies, she is always there for us providing encouragement, compassion, and help with so many needs.

13558638_1581960705430967_6062653904360890325_o Cassidy’s small group!

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13558624_1581959735431064_7124101392929408982_o Name tag table

img_0333 Sisters!

img_0383 Sharing time after the conference. One story in particular was especially heart-warming: one of the leaders mentioned that she was really hoping a friend of hers would come. This friend was struggling spiritually, and it seemed unlikely. It was during our free day at the St Louis zoo that this situation was mentioned. Emily said, “Let’s pray now,” and about 12 leaders formed a circle and had a prayer meeting for this girl. The next day, when the girl walked into the Radiant Purity conference, hearts were overjoyed! Not only did she come, but she and her mom stuck around afterward for a long conversation, leading to tears of joy and much praise to God from the leaders.

13558618_1581961375430900_912442822876091343_o Praise God for once again, bringing together a wonderful team of leaders who love the Lord and point others to Jesus.

img_0295 The fellowship we enjoy with the leaders is a highlight. Here was a Bible study with my dad on Colossians 1 after our set up day. We spent a while discussing the phrase, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” ! (Colossians 1:27)

13558814_1581959635431074_6707375456340778191_o We can’t say enough about Allison and her mom (and entire family) and the wonderful job they did in hosting the conference. The Whisler family has been such an encouragement to us!

13497746_1581958762097828_5600175382810266818_o Time to relax and invade the Whislers house for a great dinner!

13497550_1581958718764499_2385022513379067946_o Which included funny moments…

img_0357 …and learning an Arabic praise song!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for this conference. The Lord did beautiful things, and we are so grateful.

“Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11)

Photo credit to Cassidy Schoolz for a few of the pictures, thanks Cassidy!

Indian Southwest Brethren Conference

Though I didn’t have much time to share reports in June, I wanted to put up a few pictures now from the Indian Southwest Brethren Conference in Dallas (June 9-11) where we had the special opportunity to share on purity with the girls and mothers.

img_0237 There were over 1,000 in attendance. Most of these families have immigrated to the US from Kerala, India in the last 20-30 years.

img_0232 We really enjoyed getting to know these sweet families. They were extremely warm to us and welcomed us as part of the family. And it definitely had the feel of one big family!

img_0285 The highlight was the relationships made through good conversations with the girls we met.

The youth are in an interesting situation: their Indian cultural does arranged marriages, but they’ve grown up in the public school system in America, immersed in the culture here.

These families have the challenge of determining which cultural traditions they hang on to, and which ones they adjust. One father stated of his family, “We believe in BIBLE culture.” Amen to that. πŸ™‚

I remember one conversation I had with some of the girls where I explained, “I grew up here, but our family does things VERY differently from American culture!” I think it was interesting for them to observe that.

img_0273 This was a discussion time with the college-aged girls on contentment and the joy of serving the Lord in single years.

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img_0279 We were very grateful to have Nickie and Haley with us to help. The conference devotional time started at 6:45am, and things usually didn’t wind down til after 10pm. They really squeeze every hour our of the weekend!

img_0284 We’re also extremely grateful to Elsa (left) for the instrumental role she played in “hosting” us, and helping us to understand some of the cultural struggles and how we could best minister to the girls and moms.

img_0280 Grace (standing next to me) was also such an encouragement to us, and has a huge heart for girls’ discipleship. I just heard from her last week that the Lord has opened doors for her to start a discipleship group with some other girls her daughter’s age. Praise the Lord!

The conference was recorded and here are our two messages if any are interested.

First session

Second session
(The Audio starts during the 2nd minute)

See recording of the full conference here.

Bright Lights Leaders Encouragement Retreats

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We are very excited that Brights Lights Leaders Encouragement Retreats have been scheduled for six locations this fall and winter! If you are you a Bright Lights leader (past or present), or if you are you considering starting a Bright Lights group, I think you would be blessed and encouraged by the teaching and like-minded fellowship at these retreats.

Each one is hosted by a local Bright Lights leader. Registration is free.

Franklin, North Carolina (October 28-29th)
Hortonville, Wisconsin (September 30-October 1st)
Livingston, Montana (October 7th-8th )
St. Louis Park, Minnesota (November 4-5th)
Sumas, Washington (January 5-7, 2017)
Corona, California (January 20-21, 2017)

Earlier this year, Haley Skrnich (Bright Lights leader in Texas), and Emily Selander, (Bright Lights leader in Iowa), mentioned to us their burden to see Bright Lights leaders be refreshed and re-inspired. They shared their vision of these encouragement retreats and we really liked their ideas. We have increasingly excited as these plans have been coming together!

The retreats will be filled with times of Bible study, prayer, fellowship, sharing ideas, and time to get to know other Bright Lights leaders in your area. Unfortunately we will not be able to present at them, but Sarah recorded a 45 minute message that will be shown at each one.

“Speak Truth in Your Heart” Conference, Phoenix, AZ

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Click here to see full size PDF of flyer.

We’re excited to announce our next “Speak Truth in Your Heart Conference.” It will be happening in the Phoenix, AZ area, October 28-29.

For more information, see blog posts from when Sarah presented this material at a camp in Washington state, North Carolina or at a conference in Dallas.

See the Bright Lights Facebook / Twitter page for images to share if you’d like to help spread the word. Go here to register.

Speak Truth in Your Heart Conference, Dallas

img_0184 On June 7-8 we held the first official “Speak Truth in Your Heart” Bright Lights conference in Dallas, Texas. For many years we have been doing the same two conferences (the “Strong in the Lord” and “Radiant Purity” conference) so it was special to present totally NEW content.

The name of the conference (and Sarah’s soon-to-be-published book) comes from Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.”

We praise God for the way we clearly saw Him working that weekend. We hope to do many more “Speak Truth in Your Heart” conferences! The need is great for young ladies to be replacing faulty thinking with God’s Word. From the beginning, Satan’s strategy has been to use deception. Often struggles in our spiritual lives are intensified because we don’t know the Lord and His Word well enough! Trusting Him is a natural byproduct of truly knowing Him. Psalm 9:10 says “Those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

img_0190 Mothers and daughters, praying together in between sessions.

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For more information on the “Speak Truth” Curriculum, see this blog post from when Sarah presented it at a camp last September.

img_0206 This was a group activity / object lesson on discipleship.

img_0221 Since Stephen and my dad couldn’t be there, we were grateful for the extra help loading up afterward from Daniel Skrnich and Mr. Noland.

Wichita Mother/Daughter Dinner

This summer was filled with many back-to-back events. Sadly, I barely had any time to blog reports of what the Lord was doing! So I decided I would share some brief summer reports now at the end of the summer, starting back at the beginning of June. I pray they will be an encouragement to you, and bring praise to Him!

img_0160-2 A church group in Wichita asked if Sarah and I would speak for a mother-daughter dinner. Praise God, it worked out to come on our way to Texas. We were refreshed to see the many godly families at New Hope Bible Church and to observe the “outward” focus that their church has.

img_0145 Meeting for coffee with some of the girls who helped to plan the tea. It was encouraging to see their excitement for witnessing, and to hear of how the families at their church do a creation evangelism gospel booth together at the Kansas State Fair and other events.

img_0164 We stayed with Abby and Guy Spragg while we were there. Abby has been a part of Bright Lights for about a decade. Her husband Guy has been a lot of fun to get to know, as has her little girl, Ellianne.

img_0136 … I am posting this picture simply because Ellie is just so photogenic. πŸ™‚

Next I will post about the “Speak Truth Conference” in Texas.

Creation Evangelism Training Camp Schedule

FairPic1 copy Over a million people come to the Iowa State Fair each year … which means tons of opportunity for gospel impact!

Iowa St Fair - Creation Booth 1 (1024x768)[3] This is a picture of the Creation gospel booth that Roger Bishop has been leading at the Iowa State Fair for the past fifteen years. This year, he asked Ken Ham if it could become a ministry of Answers in Genesis. Mr. Ham agreed and he put our friend, Tony Ramsek, in charge of the outreach.

Iowa St Fair - Creation Booth 3 (1024x768)[6]

Naturally, since this is in our home state, we are excited to get on board — and to get others “on board” also, which is why we are running a Creation Evangelism Training Camp to coincide with the outreach. (We will have training sessions in the morning and then go over to the fair in the afternoon to put into practice what we are learning.) We are grateful for all that the Lord has been putting together, and look forward to seeing what He has in store.

Tony is bringing 60,000 Noah’s Ark million dollar bill gospel tracts to pass out. Please be praying for all who will be receiving the gospel, that they would receive the good news with soft and humble hearts and turn to Jesus to be saved! Please also be praying for God’s mighty hand at work during our “Creation Evangelism Training Camp.” Here is our teaching schedule:

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If you live locally and would like to come for just a couple sessions, please ask and I will email you more information on this option. We would love to have as many as possible benefit! (Please note that the schedule above is subject to change.)

Click here to see flyer with more information about the camp. Click here to register.

Witnessing Workshop Next Weekend!

Next weekend we will be running a Witnessing Workshop in Cedar Rapids. I am anticipating the Lord to answer prayers and work in big ways! If you know any who would be interested in attending, please spread the word.

Here is our schedule:
witnessing workshop schedule_small

Click here to register. For families, please note that there is also a special family price.

We are excited that Tony Ramsek from Answers in Genesis will be teaching many of the sessions. Tony has led the Answers in Genesis gospel outreach to the NEA Convention for many years, and this year he will also be leading AiG’s gospel outreach to the Iowa State Fair. We have greatly appreciated his insights in witnessing and his heart for the lost!

Tony came to Cedar Rapids in May for some planning meetings about the Iowa State Fair outreach, and we were grateful to have him speak for our church. We were blessed by his sermon on Romans 1:14-16.

Please join us in praying that the Lord raises up a whole army of witnesses in the Cedar Rapids area who are so overflowing with the gospel that they, like Peter and John, “cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)!

Also, for more information on the Creation Evangelism Training Camp that we are running on August 15-19th in connection with the Iowa State Fair gospel outreach, see this post.

Early Registration Deadline for Witnessing Camp is TODAY

Today is the last day to receive the early registration price for the Evangelism Camp happening August 15-19th. Click here to see flyer with more information.

Click here to register.

For information on family discounts, please email me.

If you can’t make it, we’d appreciate prayer! Witnessing is one of those things that I believe Satan is very opposed to, and witnessing (or witnessing training) is certainly not something we can do without the help of the Lord.

We’d also appreciate prayer that God would bring the ones He wants to this camp. I have personally seen that one of the biggest ways I’ve grown in evangelism is by rubbing shoulders and working side by side with others who are more experienced in witnessing than I am. The passion is contagious, and watching others in action is a wonderful way to learn. I’m super excited about seeing many have this experience by helping with the evangelistic efforts that will happen at the fair. Also, I believe everyone will really enjoy the interaction and fellowship.

Click here to see a short video we made that shows a little bit about what it’s like to help at a gospel booth (such as the one we will be running at the Iowa State Fair in connection with the camp).

Note: If you’re interested in coming from Texas, there is a vehicle coming that may have extra room. Let me know if you are interested.

Ark Encounter Opening!

IMG_0626 Nickie and I, standing outside of the Ark Encounter after the official opening day (July 7th).

IMG_0629 On our way back home from helping with the Answers in Genesis outreach in Washington DC, my dad, Sarah, and I, together with Nickie and Haley, have been volunteering at the Ark Encounter for the past several days to help with the needs of opening. It has been a very exciting time and God is doing many things.