Winterfest 2007 – Wrap Up

Well, the trip to Gatlinburg is now history. Our group even arrived in Delaware approximately 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Some highlights of the last day were:

— The Prize – P314, This year’s theme was based on Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Already; Not Yet!)

jeff-in-prayer.jpg— Jeff Walling did an exceptionally good job connecting the various parts of the program so that the drama, the special music, the worship times, and preaching flowed seamlessly. Few people I know are more capable of “connecting” to such a broad range of people so effectively. During our return trip one of our teenagers said, “That Jeff guy sure is funny!” For a middle-aged, balding guy, this is quite an accomplishment. I know this to be true from firsthand experience.

unbound.jpg— Unbound – As usual, Oklahoma Christian University’s acting group did an extraordinary job with the dramatization of the message. Unless it is well done, I often find drama more of a distraction than enhancement. In the case of Unbound at Winterfest, it went flawlessly.

astronaut-roger-crouch.jpg— Astronaut Roger Crouch shared the story of his long journey (spanning several decades) to become an astronaut. His down-to-earth qualities and gentle humor made him a hit with the young people. His message of perseverance and character was suitable for all generations.

mike-marsh200.jpg— Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mike Marsh also spoke about perseverance. In addition he brought home the importance of personal integrity. Following a successful college track career, he was advised by his coach that he had no chance of cutting it in the Olympics unless he resorted to performance enhancing drugs. His response to this was to get a different coach. Subsequently, he won two gold medals and a silver medal in the Olympics. Like that of Roger Crouch, Marsh’s message of living his Christian commitment and character resonated with the young people.

— Honduras contribution… The young people, some 12,000 in total, gathered from the four winds to demonstrate not only the commitment to Christ, but, also, their willingness to give of themselves and their means. More than $20,000 was collected for mission projects in Honduras slated for this summer. Young and old alike will travel to Honduras to conduct Vacation Bible Schools, build homes, schools, churches and other useful structures.

— Our worship experience on Sunday morning was the nothing short of magnificent! Our hearts were stirred by a message that prompted us to realize and remember the breadth and depth of the love of Christ. Following this we shared in partaking of the Lord’s Supper. We were then challenged to go and be Jesus in the part of the world to which we were returning. And, of course, return next year, unless the Lord returns to take us home first.

Blessings to all,

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
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10 Responses to Winterfest 2007 – Wrap Up

  1. Greg England says:

    Makes me wish I could have been there. You are right about Walling … he is gifted! I’ve heard him repeat a lot of the same stories from one year to the next at Pepperdine, but I’ve never heard him that I was bored.

  2. Kathy says:

    And yet, we’re told not to envy another – how do we not envy you such a glorious experience? However, just imagining the impact on the kids’ hearts, souls and minds gives a moment of sharing that experience with y’all.

    Glad you’re back, safe and sore, but overflowing with joy from the spiritual feast you’ve just enjoyed.

    You’ve been missed, so am glad you’re back with us!!

  3. pam says:


    Aside from some of the entertainment, it sounds like we had the same Winterfest. It was very well done. However…I must say that I’d considered emailing Jeff Walling about some of the teaching that went with the whole “Prize” theme. Honestly, I was a bit afraid for a little bit while at Winterfest that my 12 yr.old was going to come home and insist on being baptized for fear of not going to heaven. I just can’t get on board with that line of thinking for taking such an important step in one’s journey. Does that make sense at all? Or, am I being heretical to question the teaching of such a beloved and knowledgeable brother?

    Just speaking my mind and heart as usual. Hope that’s okay.

    love and grace,

  4. Neva Cooper says:

    So thankful you were able to get that uplift and recharge. But, am also thankful you are back. You were missed,
    Peace and prayers,

  5. Rachel says:

    All Glory to God who showered His love down on all who were a part of this retreat! May His greatness, mercy, and love be exemplified in the lives of those who were touched by Him!

  6. cwinwc says:

    The downside of playing a spring sport. My son was the only teen from our youth group that did not go to Winterfest. Where you involoved with the evacuation of the Convention Center due to a fire on the 2nd floor?

  7. Steve says:

    My daughter was at WinterFest and thoroughly enjoyed it. We chartered a bus this year and took 55 adults and kids.

    Glad you are home safe.


  8. I wish I could have been there.

    Bobby Valentine

  9. Jenna says:

    I was a lucky of the 1,200 teens that attended Winterfest in Gatlinburg this winter. It of course was a completely amazing and refreshing experiance for me. It was only my second year going to the sessions. It is one of the most powerful experiances I’ve ever attended. The picture of Jeff Walling praying with us all I most definitely was in the group to gather in front of the stage. I have not been that moved by God in my life. I go to a weekly devotional with my friends and I still do not feel as close as I should with God, but just being in the middle with others that felt as I did that day made me feel so brilliantly enlightened with the Lord it’s hard to think about it and not feel blessed that I was even a part of it. I just saw this and thought I would comment.

    God Bless You! =)

  10. aly says:

    I LOVE JESUS!!!!! and winterfest got me and my friends all cought up and knowing eachother now and i use to feel like since i was new to my youth group that i didnt fit in but after winterfest someone actually walked up to me and told me that i am no thte quiet introverted girl i used to be before winterferfest and ya wanna know the truth, its because god took over my life he told me to go talk to so and so or ya know go and smile at her or him because it is ok to get outta ur convert zone trust me, he has a place for every single one of yall that r reading this he blessed me big time and if you never went to winterfest before and dont think that anybody on this earth can make you, well my mom made me go and i was so mad at her but i went and the all mighty god changed my life forever, i got to listen, see, and wittness the miracles god can do in peoples lifes, if youre going through touf times right now with school, friends, bullies, or parents, and ya just know sibilings can get mean then just talk to god and he “WILL” hear you!!! im sorry if i am going on and on but i just cant get over how great gods mercey and holy glory is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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