Category: Bright Lights Conferences

Announcements/Bright Lights Conferences

2015 Bright Lights Conferences

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We are grateful to the Lord for all the pieces He has put in place already to run summer Bright Lights conferences! If “Bright Lights” comes into your mind, please pray that the Lord would deeply touch the lives of girls during these conferences! It is our desire to see the Lord turn the hearts of young ladies to seek Him fervently in their youth. Praise God that He is able to do more than we ask or imagine! There will be a Strong in the Lord Conference and Radiant Purity Conference in each location.

If you would like to help spread the word about these conferences on social media, Hannah Sandersfeld put together these images which can be easily shared via Instagram, FaceBook, Pinterest, Twitter, Blogs, Google Plus, etc. (Thanks, Hannah!) She also put together another document with practical ideas for sharing on social media. See that here if you would like.

Note: Click on the above image for instagram or the below image for blogs, etc. The original file will open. Then right click to save it to your computer so you can share it. If anyone would like actual paper flyers [smile] we’d be happy to put some in the mail to you. Just e-mail me and let me know how many you can use!

Bright Lights Image

Bright Lights Conferences

Young Ladies Conference in England

IMG_1111 Sarah talking with one of the mothers. Behind her is one of the buildings of Brunel Mannor–the location where our last conference was held.

IMG_1175 Discussion time with the girls late Saturday night. The highlight for me was when one girl shared, almost teary-eyed, how she’d had so many questions and Sarah’s session on “Before You Meet Price Charming” gave her answers that really helped her. Praise the Lord!

IMG_0980 We have also had some exciting times sight seeing. Here were are on top of a huge rock in Dartmoor.

I have soooo many pictures and reports, but have not had much free time to post. I will be posting them soon, though!

Bright Lights Conferences/Miscellaneous

A Few More Pictures

Below are a few more pictures and reports from our Bright Lights conference week.

20140707_211751_27499 As most already know, Stephen is the guy who basically makes everything happen smoothly….running cables all throughout the auditorium beforehand, taking care of sound (12 lapel mics, and up to 9 lapels on stage at once during one of the skits!), and many other logistical details. Not to mention packing up and loading the trailer afterward. We are very grateful that he took several vacation days off work for this conference!

20140710_112457_27733 We took the small group leaders to the coffee shop right behind the Bright Lights office on our free day in between conferences. At this table we got into a pretty interesting discussion about apologetics. 🙂

20140710_104525_27724 It sounded like they had some good discussions in the other room also. (We kind of took over the coffee shop as there were about 20 of us there!)

20140710_150745_27747 After the coffee shop we had a time at the park for our own individual time in the Word; very restful!

20140708_090536_27502 One thing that was very special was having several girls from our local Bright Lights group here in Cedar Rapids as leaders at the conference. (Pictured above are some of them.) It’s been encouraging to see them growing in the Lord and rising to leadership responsibilities within our local group, and we were blessed to have them as part of our team!

20140708_164110_27553 Thanks again to everyone who came to the conference or helped with the conference!

We are now gearing up for our trip to England. We are leaving Tuesday! We would ask that you would please pray for our time there — that the LORD would do a mighty work in that country and raise up leaders that would have great influence for Him.

If you’d like to receive our e-mails with specific requests during the England trip, I’ll add you to our prayer email list. Just send me an email with the words “England Prayer Points” in the subject.

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences/Thoughts

Radiant Purity Conference, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

20140711_175609_27789 Laura Sisson (Nickie’s older sister) sharing the special story of how she met her husband Jim. Laura used to be a central part of our Bright Lights team before she got married eight years ago.

20140709_124522_27600 We were excited to have Laura join us again for the “Strong in the Lord Conference” — this time attending as a mother with her daughter! (Abigail is a little young, but we made an exception for her to come [smile]). Laura is just one of many Bright Lights conference leaders who are now happy mothers!

20140721_160036_27938 The “Storms of Life” newscast skit

2014 leaders We had a wonderful team of small group leaders who came from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, Maryland, and Georgia! Most of them are currently leading Bright Lights groups in their home towns.

20140709_212708_27692 One evening after the attendees had left, all of us leaders went outside with a couple guitars and just sang and sang … definitely a highlight!

20140708_114350_27525 Mrs. Kramer (in teal) did the cooking for our team of forty for the week. She also did snacks for the conference attendees. It was a lot of work, and we are very grateful! We also appreciated Gabriella and Bethany Isaac (left) for all their hard work in the kitchen!

20140709_151227_27608 Mrs. Kramer even made homemade rhubarb sauce (like applesauce) for one of the snacks for the attendees. It was amazing.

20140711_203331_27798 One highlight for the attendees is the fellowship. Sometimes it’s lonely swimming upstream and not going the world’s way! I think it’s refreshing for them to see so many other girls who also want to love Jesus with all of their heart and walk in purity!

We received an encouraging report the other day from a mom who brought her daughter to the purity conference: “…coming to Cedar Rapids has altered the trajectory of my daughters’ journey to be directly living for Jesus… We’ve had so many discussions that are God centered, initiated by the girls(!) and developing a genuine evangelistic heart for unsaved…”

Praise the Lord!

The main thrust of the Radiant Purity Conference is that we are to guard our hearts–not merely for our future husbands–but for Jesus Christ! We want to be occupied with HIM in our single years. We want to be useful for His glory during this precious time. The question is not “Where is the line?” or “What are the rules?” but rather, “How can I please the Lord even more in my thoughts and actions?!”

It’s not about a perfect formula for a pain-free path. Rather, it’s about growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and learning to trust Him!

It was exciting to see girls grasp these truths and desire to follow a higher road.

One question that seemed to help the girls in my small group understand this point was the question, “Is purity something you don’t do, or is purity something you do?”
One girl replied, “Well, I think it’s both…”
Another girl answered, “Well, I think it’s something you do, because when you are doing the right things then you won’t want to do the wrong things.”

The primary emphasis is do not don’t. Purity isn’t just about avoiding certain activities. It’s much, much more. Purity is pursuing Jesus Christ! When a girl runs after Him with all her heart, satisfied in HIS love, everything else in her life will fall into it’s proper place as HE becomes the Master of every area of her heart.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9).

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences/Strong in the Lord Conf.

St Cloud, Minnesota, Bright Lights Conferences

20131015_160034_23373 There were some neat answer-to-prayer stories about “getting the word out,” and we were grateful to the Lord for those He brought.

20131015_160443_23375 Singing “I am Your Shield”


20131015_160520_23377 The Counselor skit

20131015_160604_23379 Picking up nametags


20131008_092615_23149 Staff devotions. John 15 was our theme chapter for the week.

bro-sis st cloud copyThe “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” session.


20131009_092533_23181Stephen does about a hundred things back there… I couldn’t name them all if I tried.

20131009_101948_23423 The guilty consciences, trying to convince Bekah that she doesn’t need to confess her sin.

20131009_114249_23209 Here are our two kitchen heroes from the week. Kelly served 3 meals a day to all 40 of our staff, and Mrs. Kramer did the conference snacks… and not just any conference snacks! She made homemade applesauce (9 gallons in all) and other homemade items. Her daughter Abby is getting married this weekend, so we are especially grateful that she still took the time to help with the conference!

20131010_134607_23258 Some very encouraging things happened on our free day, including an hour of witnessing at the mall and many good conversations.

20131010_141158_23265 My dad spent the whole time talking with a friendly Muslim man. Sounded like a very interesting conversation.

In conclusion, it was a great week. We praise the Lord for the beautiful things He did and taught us. Thank you to anyone who was praying.

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences

Prayer for Tonight

We are running Bright Lights conferences in St Cloud, MN this week. The “Strong in the Lord” conference went very well, and the Radiant Purity conference starts tonight. It’s looking like it will be a pretty large conference (there are over 400 registered).

This area of purity is a topic that young people are struggling with SO much! Please pray with us that the Lord uses this conference to convict, comfort, encourage, inspire … that the Word would be clearly taught and understood, that girls would respond to what they hear, and that fruit would remain for God’s glory. Thank you!

20131009_091225_23168 Hannah sharing a testimony during the Strong in the Lord conference a couple days ago.

Bright Lights Conferences/Strong in the Lord Conf.

“Cool” Ideas

20130819_180946_22744 We had a wonderful week running conferences in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

But it was not without complications. [smile]

What do you do when 500 people are coming to a conference, the air conditioning in the church auditorium is broken, the weather report says it will be 88 degrees, and the windows don’t open?

That’s what we wondered!

Well, first, you pray. Then … you get creative.

20130818_191604_22625 Dad and Stephen bought 100 feet of 8 inch flexible air duct.

20130820_113924_22704 They connected it to a nearby classroom vent and ran it through the hall …

20130820_113807_22702 … up the stairs …

20130820_120052_22713 … and off the edge of the balcony unto the crowd. I think it helped a little bit.

That wasn’t the only idea.

20130820_115921_22708 Mr. Houck constructed a large fan system to be blowing air across the room.

20130820_113747_22701 Here’s a better view of it.

As the conference was beginning, one lady told me, “Well, they got the air working in here–I can feel it!” I pointed out that it was actually the fans she was feeling. [smile]

20130819_124548_22652 In addition, we went to Kroger, bought 1,000 water bottles and asked the manager if he would freeze 500 of them overnight to be picked up the next day before the heat of the afternoon. We passed them out to the attendees as they entered the auditorium.

We also positioned fans to blow in cool early morning air before the conference started, changed the conference schedule (to have shorter main sessions and more of them), and moved the mom’s sessions to an upstairs room.

All in all, everyone survived the conference. No heat strokes. Once again, a problem turns into an opportunity to see the Lord’s hand of provision. Praise the Lord.

20130821_070504_22732 Here are our three innovative geniuses. [smile]

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences/Strong in the Lord Conf.

Bright Lights in Dallas

20130708_191158_22036 We had a great week of conferences in Dallas. It started out Monday night with a special time with the local Bright Lights group. Haley, Natalie and Megan have done a wonderful job leading this group for several years now.

20130710_153248_22069 Here is a small group from the “Strong in the Lord Conference” conference. It is fun to get to hear what the girls are thinking and learning. After Sarah’s session on being in the Word, a few of them expressed to me with seriousness in their eyes that they haven’t been doing very well reading their Bibles but now they want to make that decision to read it every day consistently.

This is probably the #1 response that the girls write on their “response forms” after the conference – that they are going to start reading their Bibles every day. We’d appreciate prayer for all of these young ladies right now, only a week after the conference….that the Lord would give them strength and reminders to follow through.

20130713_175352_22138 It’s also exciting to see the girls get excited about witnessing! Sometimes it doesn’t take much to spark their excitement. Many leaders tell me how their girls are anxious to talk about “sharing the gospel” in their small groups after it’s discussed in the main session. Here Priscilla is standing by our “Witnessing Starter Packages.” She was excited to get one. [smile]

20130716_125728_22175 We’re grateful for the testimonies that the Lord provides for the main sessions. They drive home the lessons in a personal, practical way. A message from a mind reaches a mind, but a message from a life reaches a life! Pictured above are Scarlet, Kate, and Abby sharing testimonies at the Radiant Purity conference.

20130713_084110_22121 Here’s a picture from the Purity Conference. We’d appreciate prayer for all the conference attendees from Arkansas, Houston, and Dallas … that they would be seeking Christ, abiding in the Word, seeking the Lord’s ways, honoring their parents.

20130717_143251_22182 The dads who are able to come to the Purity Conference always have a discussion on father’s roles in protecting their daughters and screening young men who express interest. My dad usually tells us afterward about some of the various comments and stories that are shared. He is usually very encouraged by how the men’s discussions go and he says they never have enough time.

20130711_101635_22093 During one of our devotional times, Stephen gave us a review of the book Radical by David Platt which he had been reading on the trip. Stephen was impressed with it, and read several sections to us.

In talking about missions and how we should all have a heart for the WORLD, David Platt writes, “As we have seen all over Scripture, God’s heart is for the world. So when we say we have a heart for the United States, we are admitting that we have a meager 5 percent of God’s heart, and we are proud of it. When we say we have a heart for the city we live in, we confess that we have less than 1 percent of God’s heart … regardless of where we live–here or overseas–our hearts should be consumed with making the glory of God known in all nations.”

20130709_111536_22044 During another devotional time, Taryn and Mirren Martin did a “Question & Answer” time with our group of leaders. They have been such an encouragement to us.

20130711_170747_22106 We enjoyed several hours on our free day at the Skrinch home.

20130717_130822_22180 Lauren and Haley. Haley (right) was one of the hostesses for this conference. Thank you Haley for all your hard work!

20130715_160005_22173 Guess where we had tire trouble? 45 minutes from home right in front of a Tires Plus shop that wasn’t busy! They fixed the 2 bad tires immediately (while we girls shopped in the air conditioned mall), gave us a good price, and my dad was able to witness to them. Praise God that He takes such good care of us.

Bright Lights Conferences/Strong in the Lord Conf.

Strong in the Lord Conference, Dallas

The “Strong in the Lord Conference” here in the Dallas area was another statement of God’s grace and faithfulness to provide in countless ways! We thought you would enjoy experiencing Session Three from the conference in 35 seconds.

“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.” Psalm 116:5

The Radiant Purity Conference started tonight and will end tomorrow at 6pm. Thank you for your prayers!!

Bright Lights Conferences/Radiant Purity Conferences

Houston Radiant Purity Conference

20130708_145441_22023 This was our first time to do a Bright Lights conference in Houston – the 4th largest city in the US.

20130706_210924_21980 Just as He did in Arkansas, the Lord blessed us in Houston with several godly young ladies from the area who helped us lead the small groups. It was mutually refreshing to have that instant fellowship with them in Christ as we served together, even though most of us didn’t know each other previously.

20130705_064606_22009 After attempting a few conferences overseas last fall without Stephen, we are very grateful for all his work to make the conferences run smoothly on the technical side of things. Thanks also to Kristin for running Power Point.

20130705_095354_22010 Cool down discussion with leaders …

20130706_173259_21941 Mrs. Moore (right) told me that a few years ago her daughters told her “Mom, we aren’t doing anything to get the gospel out to people.”

So they began pursuing various ideas for witnessing: door to door, children’s ministry, open air presentations to kids at parks, etc. It sounds like they have been busy!

She told me that her daughters are comfortable to share the gospel just about anywhere now since they’ve been doing it so much.

Their example illustrates the concept that we grow in witnessing by simply obeying Jesus and doing it. We improve and gain confidence as we go, but how will we learn if we never start?

20130707_131053_21994 Amy and Melanie Bogner (above) hosted the conference and also hosted our whole group in their home. We loved their fun and encouraging personalities and wonderful hospitality. It just went by a little too fast. [smile] Melanie came to the first Bright Lights Leaders Training in 1999.

Today we are setting up at the church in Carrollton, Texas (near Dallas). The “Strong in the Lord” conference starts tomorrow. Please pray that the Lord work prepare hearts and minds and produce much fruit for His glory!

“Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-9)