My church’s band, Vested Worship, played at Miracles Happen Fest at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville, MN. They opened for Tenth Avenue North on Saturday.The Camp Director, Bob Badwell, was incredibly generous and provided church members with tickets to come to the Festival. This was exciting news for a friend and I because we weren’t going to be going due to finances. We carpooled with some friends and had a fun road trip to Stewartville.
The drive was hilarious and went by quickly. The sky was clear until we reached Rochester. Then a deluge hit and we all got a shower with lunch. But we dried off before we reached Ironwood Springs; so did the skies.Painted rocks inscribed with verses graced various places throughout the camp, which was a favorite features at Ironwood Springs. There was so much to see so Val, Katelyn, Michelle, and I set off to explore. We walked through the art and craft fair, checked out the food and had some treats. There were many activities including tree climbing, petting zoo, laser tag, mini golf, a Ferris wheel, zip lines, paint ball and more. Val was excited about the pony rides, which had sadly ended before we arrived.We saw Clyde the Camel, who seemed to love Michelle. He walked over to her, ignoring everyone else. Another fun stop was at the Ole Red Barn for Western photos complete with costumes and all sorts of props! This isn’t normally something I do, but it was pretty fun! After seeing the festival events, the four of us walked through the grounds taking in the beauty. Even with all the activity, the grounds felt peaceful. There were sweet little touches of love throughout the ranch including little gnomes and a bridge over the river that runs through the property. The volunteers were all helpful and friendly, adding to the peaceful atmosphere. Finally it was time for the evening’s music to start! Vested Worship started the evening of music with some worship to draw people in. After Vested Worship completed their set, Jeff Deyo, formerly of Sonicflood, took the stage. He was very energetic and more people trickled to the stage. After Jeff Deyo came Sarah Reeves. She kept her set low key with a keyboard and guitarist; her songs were calming. Something about her seems to familiar, but I haven’t figured out why yet. She reminds me of Ellie Holcomb.As Sarah ended, the promise of chicken and ice cream and ice cold water lured Michelle and I away from the stage and we were caught in a downpour of rain. It rained long and hard, completing our second shower for the day. Thankfully, many tents were set up and we were able to stay under one for the worst of the rain. We made it back to the stage in time for Tenth Avenue North at 9pm. While the whole day at Ironwood Springs was fun, Tenth Avenue North was the highlight. The message they bring to the audience is so needed. The lead singer, Mike, is funny (hello, prom queen disciples!). Their message rings true and was refreshing. Really, it was more like hanging out with friends and singing loud than attending a concert. “We’re not here to sing TO you, but to sing WITH you.”
Here are some of the songs they sang with links to the music videos. I hope they encourage you as much as they have encouraged me.
You Are More – The labels we create for ourselves and others should not define us, unless we use Child of God – the one true label. Mike said as Tenth Avenue North, they are not Musicians (with the labels of famous, special, etc.) but Children of God who happen to play music.
Struggle – As children raising our hands meant we wanted our parent to come pick us up. Mike compared this to us raising our hands in worship to the King of kings. Think to how quickly a parent runs to pick up their child when those precious little hands are raised. How much more does our Heavenly Father run to us when we lift our hands to him?
Worn – Life is messy. Often we do not receive resolution of events in the world or in personal life. Life doesn’t turn out perfectly all the time, many things are not resolved, but God redeems those times. He uses them for His glory. They are not a waste, but a time to lean even closer on God and trust him and his plan for my life. God is not a God of resolution, but a God of Redemption.
I Have This Hope – When life slams me against the wall, how am I going to respond? “So I have this hope in the depth of my soul. In the flood or the fire. You’re with me. You won’t let go.” Yes and amen!
Driving home was a hoot (exploding salad, extra burger, and frostys thankyouverymuch). It was so late and I was so tired. But it was worth it.