... Jerusalem ... 22 Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure ... Isaiah 66 (GNT), 18 ... Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its PALACE restored. Jeremiah 30:18 (GNT)


Christian festivals: uplifting?

Christians gather all through summer on festivals especially organized by and for them. What makes these festivals so special? Is it the many bands entertaining the audience? The seminars, the theater acts, or engaging in sport activities? Maybe a combination of all these. But to me the most import question is, whether there is anything uplifting at such a festival.

Although these festivals generally speaking aren't my thing, I went to the Flevo Festival at a location near the city of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands held the 18th to the 21st of August 2011. I went on Friday and spend a couple of hours there at the stage of three bands. When it comes to music I do hope it is uplifting. That is, that the One giving the bless is somewhere in there.

One of the bands playing some nice music ended its performance with a song in which they were singing about being a burning effigy coming to entertain us. No, thanks! For this didn't sound uplifting to me. Whom or what are you inviting in by singing a song mentioning this? Is this Christian ignorance? Christian bands please notice, be aware of what you are bringing in with your performance. A jolly party atmosphere isn't the highest goal, is it? On to the next performance.

In a tent the band Starfield - EMI-CMG: Sparrow records - the reason I was there in the first place, was getting ready and the band members were visibly tired, at least that was my impression. Probably because of, amongst other things, them performing on the main stage the night before (Flevo Festival on line program list). Although I think if artists realize that it may be the only chance their audience have to be present at one of their live performances, this may motivate them to give their best anyway. Starfield's performance today was audibly and visibly imperfect, as they themselves were aware of judging by a remark of the lead singer Tim Neufeld, but still enjoyable and most of all uplifting. I'll get to that later. The band ends its performance by singing “Nederland o Nederland jij bent de kampioen, wij houden van ...” which was unexpected and I found to be rather funny. So instead of engaging in singing I had to laugh. But it was for the lead singer a smart move to leave the stage quickly, because singing one more of Starfield's songs at the request off the audience wasn't going to happen.

How did they start their performance? To my surprise by singing ♫ The Saving One, a song I expected later while praising. But I was great full Tim and the band started with this song. Father got me hooked on it in prayer. And this continued during the following songs way till they started songs more focused on ♫ celebrating while praising God. They even got me jumping - or is it bouncing? ;-) - not my thing at all. What Tim said about "let go" must have triggered this. With the film Analyse This in mind, “Starfield, you are good” :-)

The reason I was praying so much? More than a week before this festival I was experiencing nonsense trouble buying a ticked, and since Saturday the thirteenth of August spiritual, occult pressure way into the week of this festival. By the way, I wouldn't be surprised if Christian band members and their team would experience these themselves while touring bringing worship music to congregations and - as Tony Patoto has been doing, in the past also for EMI with bands - to a broader audience. God's response to what I previously mentioned, was to gave me lots of prayer - to pray isn't casting spells, Matthew 6: 9-10, Philippians 4:8 - for this event and the band Starfield as of that Saturday on, while before that I wasn't busy praying for these. God's children are called to pray not to meditate! The word meditate in the sense of just thinking about something - to get more understanding not to flip into some trance and allow evil in - is of course fine, Philippians 4:8. This praying led me to find out that there was some sort of a mix up or misunderstanding about Starfield's performance dates on the festival as the difference in dates showed on their and Flevo Festival's website. Fortunately this was corrected by Starfield's management. Thanks!

So Friday - a day that started with the same bad rainy weather as the days before during that week - after all that and noticing a few things before the start of the performance, I wished Starfield would start the performance with prayer. Singing The Saving One, was just that. Thank you guys, and God bless you.

The result of prayer? First of all, going through all this while being educated by Father was a good learning experience. For he does wants us to learn in order to grow, to see and understand more of him and his plans. Further, when you invite the Almighty Father in at such an occasion, he is the One that gets things uplifted. In this case, this performance. I truly believe there is no way anyone can keep him out when he decides to listen and answer a prayer, even if it would be just one praying. By answering a prayer I mean the actions you notice Almighty Father takes and his guidance by his word, for he always speaks through his word. Biblical word that is. And just to be clear, when God has something to say, why would he whisper in your ear?! When he called for example Moses and Samuel, God wasn't whispering nor shouting. No, he was laud and clear!

As for the evil pressure and atmosphere, gone so people could connect with each other on the level of deeper (soul) friendship. God's grace can do this for those who are open for it. Friendship which also and far most means praying for each other, remember Job? So, no place or space for the depressing atmosphere of evil nor its induced fake but very real feelings of good feel - a euphoric reaction that has an addictive influence on people just like certain drugs would - that often enough goes with projecting ones attention on key figures, lets say for example on artists, but then in a wrong way. I prefer God's peace that surpasses all understanding, Philippians 4:7. As for those people who concerning this festival engaged in the occult which is at all times destructive, personally I forgive them and may the Almighty Father bless them. 
Resisting evil is obviously not futile. For every one shall bow for God the Almighty Father and Creator, to whom is all power in heaven and on earth.

And after a week of all that spiritual pressure, stupid mix ups and depressing weather, its fantastic to suddenly feel Father's sun rays shinning down on your face while you are in prayer and singing. I wonder, did anyone in that tent notice this moment? God opened up the clouds and let his sun shine over all. It became dry weather and remained, which was especially nice for all those camping at the festival. What sadly took place at a festival in Belgium that week, had no place here.

That's it? No. I received God's blessing, took it home with me and to this day I still feel blessed. I'll keep this part private.
So, was this festival as a whole uplifting? I wouldn't know. And Starfield's performance? To me by the grace of the Almighty Father, YES it was!

I can't help thinking,
5 You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me;
you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim.
Psalm 23:5

I hope Father also did this for Starfield and their management! May he bless them and the church they go to in Winnipeg Canada.

Thank you grace full Father! I do ♫ all for You, for all is Yours!

God bless you,

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Author: © Mrs A. vd Laan-LeitoPosted in: Columns