To surrender all to Him because His plan is infinitely better and where He is, there is true fulfillment and purpose and beauty.
- Mallory Beckett
He has a plan for my life, He loves me, That I must be wounded for worship, And I now am fully convinced of all of these things. Praise God.
- Nathan Baxter
How do you put something like this into words? The rawness of the people, like you said, the bared souls. The smiles. The genuinely kind, loving, and like minded people who would come alongside to help and yet also let you help them. The sincerity.
The knowledge of wounded to worship was definitely a breakthrough for me. Just being able to know that God DOES have a purpose for hard times, and sometimes that's just so you can relate to and help other people going through similar experiences. It's amazing to see how He'll use our dark times for good later down the path, it really helped me in learning to trust that He knows the big picture. And yes, feeling the presence of God, there were so many people opening up and healing, it was amazing. It was such a privilege to see God working and be with so many fantastic people.
- Gracie Hacking
Ever since I got back from the 2015 Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines, I’ve been asked, “what was it like?” and so far all I’ve been able to answer with is a few stammered albeit enthusiastic adjectives. There are really no words to describe that week of my life, from the 12th through the 17th, during which my life was completely changed. God was so present throughout every day, moving and shaping in incredible ways. He stretched me in ways I hadn’t thought I’d have to endure and lavished His love on me in ways I know I didn’t deserve. I laughed till my face hurt. I cried as God moved my heart. I experienced more than I’d thought possible in just one week. The teachers there were so passionate about their work and skilled in their craft, and yet so compassionate towards us students, it was unbelievable to experience and observe. The service by the Mountain House staff too was humbling to witness. I really could go on for pages about the unbelievable week I experienced when God presented me with the Lamplighter Guild. Instead I’ll simply give praise to the ultimate authority on the dramatic arts, the One who created the earth, painted the mountains, the skies, and the oceans with His perfect hand, gave us the music which makes our souls soar, enacted the greatest drama ever told and then wrote it in His book for us to read: my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be praise, honor, glory, and power forever and ever.
- Rachel Fowler
We woke before the sun every morning and worked til long after it had set, but every moment was worth it. Through all the struggles, prayers, conversations, laughter, and encouragement, I grew. Guilders, you are all amazing, every single one of you. I wish I could have spent more time getting to know you. Masters, thank you for poaring your passion and wisdom into us students. God was truely present this week, and I have been blessed abundantly through it.
- Elena Creed
I came just expecting to be a chaperone. However the Lord had other plans for me!
Not only was I able to see Him working in the lives of many of the students, but He also showed me much more than I can put into words! I am very grateful for the Guild being the vehicle for the Lord to reach each participant!
- Bonnie Ogle
The biggest thing God showed me during the Guild was how significantly I need to mature, how much I need to surround myself with those stronger in the faith than I, and how desperately I need to know the Word of God.
- Nathan Jacobson
I came to the Guild so empty.
I was tired and afraid, and my heart was hiding. The past year and a half had left me reeling with its pain and its changes, and I had almost decided not to go to the Guild at all. It was easier to hide, easier to keep quiet, easier to just keep ploughing through things. I was tired of pretending that everything in my heart was okay. But my wise and wonderful Mom just wouldn't let me forget about Mohonk and what was going to happen there this July. Finally, she convinced me and I decided to go. I went, and I was excited, but I was afraid. I was afraid that I would come home at the end and that nothing would have changed.
Now, I have been home for a full day and I am still speechless. That is because, like so many others before me have said, there really are no words wonderful enough to say what happens at the Guild. When I heard the theme of our week spoken for the first time - wounded to worship - I felt needed tears in my eyes and I knew that something beautiful was being born. Looking back on it all and trying to cram all of the glory down into mere words on a page is laughable and my mind is racing around in every direction right now, gathering up memories, ideas, people, smiles.
The people there are beautiful and I made so many amazing friendships. I saw, so brilliantly, the truth that, "to love another person is to see the face of God". I saw the face of God there at Mohonk. I saw His face in the morning devotions, out by the misty lake at 6 a.m. I saw His face while Cathy Sara smiled and prayed so earnestly, "Lord, help me". I saw His face in the hours that every master spent poring over the work we, students, had done, advising, encouraging, being there beside us. I saw His face in the delight I heard in Mr. Hamby's voice when he welcomed us to step into Narnia. I saw His face in the songs we sang. I saw His face in everyone's tears, while people opened up like butterflies and walls broke down.
I learned, at the Guild, how to be vulnerable. I know now, through experience, that vulnerability is a beautiful thing. And knowing this, my heart is full and overflowing.
- Alexandra Presley
God showed me that it is well with my soul as I listen to the voice of His truth both in the valley of sorrow and on the mountain of triumph.
- Semenye Jones
One thing that stood out to me was the passage in Romans that we covered on the first day. It illustrates just how God uses suffering to reshape us “…suffering develops endurance, endurance develops strength of character…” Rom 5:1-5. That spoke to me, and got me to think how God used the suffering in my life to reshape me. Even though it was bad or hurt at the time and I just couldn’t see the point of it all; He took a broken person like me and still used me for His purpose and changed me.
I think I learned that struggle is a real part of the creative process, a real agonizing and time-consuming part! Also, I learned the vulnerability of putting an idea out there, having my ideas shot down and having to shoot down other ideas. I’ve experienced this before but not like this, it was like a God-ordained hardship or something. It was almost like He wanted us go through that, to get a much better final project than we might have had.
- Bojeung Leung
My favorite session was Tuesday morning with Cathy Sara. As she spoke, I felt God's presence on my heart so strongly--I was crying, and as soon as the session ended I had to run outside to find a secluded spot so I could weep and pray. I felt like God was calling me, but I wasn't sure. I wanted to be FULLY CONVINCED, but that didn't happen until Thursday night, when I once again went outside to cry to God to fully convince me. My wonderful friend came outside to pray with me, and Cathy Sara stopped to pray and talk with us as well. After she left, we continued to sit and pray, until another wonderful woman (an older student from the Dramatic Arts course) came to sit and pray and talk to us as well. It was then I realized, through the prayers, tears, and encouraging words, that just because God had moved me didn't mean He was calling me that day; It might be years. I have been called to a waiting game, and I am praying that God will help me remain patient through it all, and to know His will when it is time for me to take action.
- Seriah Getty
I have learned it is so important to learn to trust God early in life and without reservation. It is that faith that keeps you going through the trials and tribulations, through the wounding Mark Hamby spoke of. I felt His spirit all throughout the week encouraging me to be quiet and still and to listen.
- Kayley Baxter
Something I really took away from this week was that as God did not spare anything for me, I cannot spare anything for Him. The concept of needing to be vulnerable to worship was also not lost upon me. It particularly was necessary for me in my life to become more vulnerable so that I could worship God.
- Sara Grace Williams
God told me to open up. To become vulnerable to Him. To become fully convinced that He is going to use my gifts and talents for His glory. That no matter how far I run and how deep I hide, He always has a way of touching my heart and bringing back to Him. The Guild brought me closer to Him than I have been in a long time. The Guild was that special something that the Lord took and waved in my face to wake me up. Throughout the week I was constantly having to hold back tears, in awe at what was happening in my spirit. Praise God.
- Thomas Presley
I will work to create with excellence, to God's glory and for God's pleasure!
- Libby Tester
God totally blew up the illusion in which I have been walking my entire adult journey with Him! He showed me that faith without works is truly dead, that hearing without doing is deceiving myself. He took the dry, lifeless words of my soul and turned them into flesh. He broke through the last veil between us and released a flood of His love, freedom, and the satisfaction of His living water into my soul! I am no longer the center of my own delusional world, the heroine of my own story....God in His incredible love and grace has written me into HIS story....He is the center and the whole....the One who was and is and is to come! All I want from this time forward is to pour myself out for HIS glory, because at last I am FULLY CONVINCED that my greatest joy and pleasure is in HIM! He is showing me the path of life; in His presence I find fullness of joy, at His right hand I know there will be pleasures forevermore! (Ps. 16:11)
All my adult life I have been desperately seeking to find the "real thing", to "get ahold" of God....but during the Guild, He got ahold of me. I have been on the mountaintop with God, and you can't live on the mountaintop, but, like Moses, I came down radiant with the glory of God, because he has touched me and I have seen his face! I am forever changed! All honor and glory belong to my Creator, my Redeemer, my Life....the Lord Jesus Christ!
- Kari Keener
Not only did I find a passion for sound design, but I also felt like God was leading my more towards my talent for directing. I also learned that we can communicate so much just through our actions.
- Lizzie Schneider
He spoke to me about some of the expectations I had for my life that were not in line with how He made me. Interacting with some of the other chaperones and with Colin was instrumental in showing me that I am much more missional in my decisions, than entrepreneurial. This greatly affects how I view God's blessing and "success".
- Mark Mahoney
In 2013 when I first came to the GUILD and Mohonk, I was a shy and very awkward (I thought) 15 year old with a very high opinion of myself. I left awed by everything that I didn't know about Christ and the Arts, and inspired to dedicate my work to Him and begin a passionate pursuit of excellence. When I came back the next year, I was challenged very deeply to give greater effort to show Christ in my work -- not me since He is what matters above all else. I was also encouraged by the sweet fellowship of sincere people, all pursuing God with abandon to all else.
This year has been unlike all others. This year I had to viciously fight to slay a part of myself. This part of me was untrusting, narrowly-focused on myself, and didn't believe in the unlimitedness of God's power and grace. This year I was called to believe that God wounds those He wants to use. So if I was being wounded, I should rejoice because my Lord could use me to give greater glory to Him! And now I can do that because He's given me a brief sight of how wounded people can worship Him greatly. I saw it in the smiles on my fellow Guilder's face each morning as I would lead worship and could look out on the sea of beautiful soul's crying out to God, ignoring all else. They all knew what pain was, they'd all experienced it in some way, shape or form. But they worshipped, and were vulnerable to each other. Baring their hearts and souls, they weren't playing around. They were serious before God and left fully convinced in His power, mercy, love, and grace.
And I am too.
- Rebekah Bolen
Each one of us has a creative spark inside, and that we can use it for God's glory.
- Estelle Olson
God really was working with me this week on patience, perseverance, and setting aside my expectations to do His will. I had to pray a lot and ask God to help me maintain my joy when I was confronted with various struggles during the week. It was amazing. I was able to see God's hand even in the things I would normally deem disappointments, and appreciate just how richly He has blessed me.
- Elizabeth Russell
Don't be afraid to learn new things. It may be difficult, it may even seem impossible, but God specializes in working through what may seem impossible.
- Lee Stang
God is so faithful and can use you for mighty things when you first let Him break you and mold you!
- Hannah Diesterhaft
Being at the Guild taught me to include God in every step of creativity. Without Him, everything is chaos and confusion. We prayed before, during, and after everything. It truly was beautiful and has helped me in my spiritual growth since the Guild concluded.
- Talon Grayshield
He spoke to me about learning to trust Him. Learning to use what He's given me to glorify him. But the most powerful thing for me was learning that sensitivity to others and what they're going through is meant to be a help, and that I should not try to carry other people's burdens by myself.
Pastor Colin Smith's talk on Hanging Haman was probably my favorite. The story of Esther is one that every Christian has heard over and over and yet Colin Smith told it in a way that made you understand what God was doing in Esther's life and how He prepares each of His children for the situations they encounter in life. God uses everything to create a masterpiece in each one of His children and nothing, no uncomfortable situations are wasted; He uses every detail of our lives to create a beautiful story.
- Hannah Olson
Home again. Life ever changed, friends ever missed.
- Bryce Sanders
The one thing that God revealed to me was the infinite majesty of Himself. Every time I sang the part in “Whom Shall I Fear” that goes; “I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side. The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine…” I started to cry because I was beginning to see how big God really is. I saw that He already has so much, but He still wants me. He’s still working on me even though I try to push Him away sometimes. He still loves me even though He really doesn’t need me to be satisfied. He wants to by my friend…? I’m so grateful that He hasn’t given up on me yet! The other moment that really moved me and showed me even more of the huge, beauty of God was after the rock scramble at the tower. When we reached the top, everyone starting singing “Here I Am To Worship,” and I saw God’s beautiful masterpiece spread out around me. I just couldn’t hold back the tears of joy and awe! This is my God? This huge, infinite, mighty being loves me? Everything God is, and the love that He has for a little girl like me became more real to me than ever before.
- Isabelle Slater
God taught me to crawl out of my shell and do things that I didn't think I could. He stretched me farther than I thought I could be stretched and I left with a deeper and more intimate knowledge of Him. He showed me the importance of doing what he says no matter the consequences.
- Alina Grace Whitmore
It has truly changed my life not just through the creative arts but also spiritually!
- Hannah Schroering