Creation Festival 2010 :: Recap

Creation Candlelight Service 2010

Christopher Hopper on fire

[Feeling the groove; photo by Jennifer Hopper]

when words get in the way:

How do you describe heaven?

Sure, how many people do you know who have been there and back, right? And of those few books by people who have claimed to visit it, do you really fully believe them? Not entirely.

My point is, how do you communicate something as awe-inspiring as eternity?

You don’t.

And the thing about heaven is, it’s billions of people, created beings, universes of creations worshiping Jesus. The very fact that they exist is worship to Him.

I think there are moments, glorious moments, here on earth where heaven touches down. Sometimes fleeting, sometimes grand. But divine at the core.

Perfect? No. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? The divine co-mingling with something imperfect to make it glorious.

Christopher Hopper at Creation Fest 2010

[An abstract shot of me during our Late Night set; photo by Jennifer Hopper]

jamming the midnight oil:

Thursday night July 1st, Paul Rohling and I took center stage as the Late Night act. And you couldn’t keep the smiles off of either of our faces (except when we were focused on not messing up; see below). Those that ventured out for the midnight slot were granted a rare performance of material from our duet CD, as well as some new songs, and lots of spontaneous musings. To be sure, the air was electric, and we fed off it, going on musical tangents neither of us had ever explored before. No night would be complete without Erin and Jenny joining us with their sultry voices, and Jennifer dedicated “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” to Pastor Harry Thomas, Creation founder and president, for his birthday. We’ve never had such encouraging feedback from any set as we have with this one; even Harry was getting emails the following morning saying how much fun people had. No promises, but here’s to a repeat performance in 2011!

Paul Rohling at Creation Fest 2010

[Paul Rohling tearing it up on his acoustic during the Late Night set.]

Erin Rohling

[Erin Rohling singing a Barlow Girls song at our Late Night set; photo by Jennifer Hopper]

Christopher Hopper's pedals for Creation Fest 2010

[My pedals, set list, and iPhone; photo by Jennifer Hopper]

Paul Rohling going it solo

[Paul going it solo; photo by Jennifer Hopper]

Paul Rohling at Creation 2010 (3)

[Tearing it up on the Tele. I seriously don’t know how his fingers move that fast; photo by Jennifer Hopper]

into the woods:

Two days later I had the distinct honor of addressing over 2,000 attendees from the secluded stage of “Woods 1.” I was quite surprised at just how many people actually showed up to my session, as it’s quite a hike into the forest. I shared on one of my “heart messages” entitled, “Born To Affect Culture.” We had lots of laughs, divine pauses, and even a boy’s bloody knee! (You had to be there). It’s one thing to play music for people, but it’s quite another to be responsible with the teaching and preaching of the Word. While it’s nothing new to me, I kept reminding myself, “Christopher, don’t mess this up.” Thanks, Jesus.

Christopher Hopper preaching at Creation 2010

[Gearing up to get my preach on; photo by Ethan Taylor]

Christopher Hopper preaching at Creation 2010 (2)

[It’s all about focus; photo by Ethan Taylor]

Christopher Hopper in the Woods at Creation 2010

[Something about those woods; photo by Ethan Taylor]

worshiping with the remnant:

The majority of people head home on Saturday night after the main event. But a die-hard core of lingering music heads stays through the final night and helps pick up in the morning. And for them we held one last service. Miles McKee from Ireland gave a beautiful Gospel message; no matter how many times I hear about Jesus’ sacrifice, it never gets old…and certainly not in an Irish accent. For my part, I had the joy of leading the tent meeting in worship. It brought back many memories of tent meetings as a boy; something about the smell of canvas and grass does that.

Pastor Harry Thomas during Sunday Morning Service at Creation

[Pastor Harry Thomas during the Sunday Morning Service.]

seeing like the Father:

The Christian Music Industry. Say that and you’ll get a pretty broad range of responses, everything from, “I love K-LOVE!” to, “Bogus,” to, “It has it’s own industry?”

And I’ll admit it, I have my own biases. Even to the point where I question if such an industry should exist. (GodTube? Seriously?).

But there was one common thread I witnessed that literally transformed my attitude entirely. Harry Thomas.

No matter who was on stage, you could find Harry watching on, bopping, lifting his hands, singing along. At first I was stunned. Really? I mean, here’s a guy who is the cross between Jesus (on the inside) and Santa Clause (on the outside). If you don’t love the guy you have serious issues. But more than twice my age (love you, Harry), he’s the last guy you’d expect to be dancing to Skillet stage-right.

And then it struck me. He’s wasn’t looking at them, judging how much or how little of Jesus they had, or how strong their ministry was, or even how successful they were making the customers’ experience. He was latching on to whatever looked like Jesus and celebrating it.

And I realized just how much like the Father that is.

Paul’s defining words, “I rejoice that Christ is preached,” seemed to echo in the air (Philippians 1:15-18).

God doesn’t look at us and cheer for us only when we’re 90% “in” to Him; He looks for anything that pleases Him–even if it’s 1% of our lives–and celebrates it.

Standing there, I realize just how judgmental of a human being I am, especially toward the Christian world at times.

Convicted.

Inspired.

So I started dancing with him.

[Jonathan Chu of Skillet playing us a private warm-up solo backstage right just before their set. I was blown away.]

Paul & Erin Rohling at Creation 2010

[Paul & Erin taking a stroll up the hill.]

singing with the masses:

The release of one area of my life lead to joy in countless others. And isn’t that just like God?

After watching Harry, I was free.

I’m not saying we don’t need to have healthy dialog on the state of things. I’m not saying we don’t need to grow and challenge each other to be better. But I am saying that being delivered of the need to be right, and then look for and celebrate whatever Jesus we see in people, transforms our ability to walk in tremendous joy.

And in freedom the presence of the Holy Spirit snuck up on me.

During the candlelight service as tens of thousands of candles were passed out to an entire hillside of worshipers, Pastor Harry shared on not hiding our light but allowing it shine on the hillside. And this time, it wasn’t figurative. I still feel like my Canon couldn’t do the scene justice. At first I was simply in awe of the spectacle; but as as we all began to sing, God showed up. And it hit me.

This is a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

Majestic.

Imitate.

Memorable.

ch:

Pastor Harry Thomas at Creation Candlelight Service

[Pastor Harry Thomas leading the candlelight service]

Camera Man at Creation

[You hardly notice them, but without them what would we see?]

Skillet pyro at Creation 2010

[Pyro for Skillet during the final night. Yeah. It was hot.]

Toby Mac's set list at Creation 2010

[I love looking at other people’s set lists. This one was Toby Mac’s backstage.]

  • Amanda House

    ?2 Cor 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” I pondered this scripture yesterday after an awesome sermon at our church. What does it really mean to be the “aroma of Christ”? I looked at the pictures and sensed all of the glory that God received during Creationfest and am in awe of how much God enjoys us as His children. I could just smell the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ flowing through each of the pictures. He gives us such amazing opportunities to be sweet smelling sacrifices for Him in our every day experiences and I think sometimes we can really overcomplicate things. How awesome it is that God stirs up this desire within us to be His aroma. All we have to do is to be His hands and feet. I long to continue to be the fragrance of Christ as it flows within and around me because of who He is in me.

    • Good words, Amanda! Too true! I share your sentiments exactly.

      And to think, I have hundreds more photos from speakers to worship to prayer to ministry to salvation…

      …just not enough room.

      • Amanda House

        Thanks for sharing what you did, it was a true blessing! It was awesome to see Paul and Erin in these pictures too, Clayton and I really wish we could have been there with all of you! Maybe next year 🙂

  • Billy.J

    Man, that is amazing. Just, awe-inspiring. I have got to go next year. I always through Creation was just for the music and tons of bands and hundreds of sweaty fans. Man, was I wrong. Its amazing how God will use things to touch people so much isn’t it? He is Amazing. And the way he uses bands and their music to touch people is amazing. There have been so many times when I was down, n one to talk to, and I put on some music, and God just enveloped my very being in His Embrace. Amazing. Thanks for sharing dude. I’ll hold you to those back-stage passes next year! 🙂

    Billy. J

    • Word.

      [RE: holding me to the back stage passes] – I’m sure you will. 😉

  • reenie

    Loved the pictures and the memories you brought back with your words I remember the woods I went there often to listen to Roger (ya know it’s sad can’t think of his last name) but it was his heart message I remember the most – that was during Jesus Fest so long ago but same wooded area- I think of all the speakers that have spoken in that potatoe field and I can’t help but think that is hallowed ground, the annointed of the Lord, and His spirit have been there over and over because people were obediant! God will faithfully meet us wherever we make time and room for him ! I just had to say – Love what you do for the Lord and Love the Lord you do it for !!!!!!!!

    • Wow, Reenie. Definitely felt the anointing on those grounds. Soaked in His presence for sure. Thanks, always, for your encouragement.

  • Rachel

    I’ve been wondering what you though of Creation!!!
    God is so GOOD! His transforming power is visible every day in every aspect of our lives. What an amazing opportunity to feel that freedom in worship with so many people!
    But, here is the big question… Would you go again?!!! 😀 (Awesome pictures by the way…:D)

  • Rebekah Berthet

    GREAT post CH!
    So that’s what the Rohling’s look like..I was beginning to forget since I haven’t seen them in so long!
    I’m wondering how many hits this post has gotten since it’s not about poop…haha 🙂

    Rebekah

    • You’re right: if I would have put “poop” in the title I would’ve secured at least an additional 25% increase in hits.

  • Such a awesome experience. Thanks for sharing it with us! The pictures probably don’t even begin to show what was experienced there.

    • Exactly! Cameras are amazing, but they surely don’t capture the spiritual experience.

  • Samantha

    Thanks for the encouraging thought from “Seeing like the Father”. I think this is what Christian’s need to be reminded of, otherwise we get caught up in our own efforts to try to be perfect, and it can make you pretty burnt out and discouraged each time you fail. Praise God that he became perfect for us!!

  • Hi Christopher, looks like you all were in a downpour of GODs GLORY, wish I was there with my sons. Keep us in your prayers esspicially,Nicholas, and Joshua, Blessings to you all see you in New York soon, with my other 2 sons by the grace of GOD. Mary

  • Kayla Batson

    Hey Mr.Hopper! I cannot believe that you were at Creation Fest! That is amazing! I know a whole group of people who went to that. I had wanted to go but unfortunately I lost some connection with one of the people that I was thinking of possibly going with. But next year if you are at Creation Fest, I will (hopefully) be there! Well it looks like you are leaving one big footprint on the world to share God’s love and music. I’m so happy for you and all your accomplishments! Well I hope to see you soon!
    Love,
    Kayla Batson (Wayne’s daughter) =]