(I didn't have internet access this weekend, so I wrote offline and I'm adjusting the dates as I post these entries now.)
It’s 4:25 Saturday afternoon, and the last 30-something hours have been a whirlwind.
Last week, Gerald and I did something we thought was brilliant. We bought a great new sound system called the Fishman SoloAmp - it’s an all-in-one system perfect for solo artists or duos. Gerald spent the last few months shopping around, and when we found a great price on Ebay last week, we snatched it up. The brilliant part was that the SoloAmp would arrive on Tuesday, and we would have this entire week to rehearse with it.
Well, you know what happens when you start putting your faith in postal stuff. First it wasn’t shipped Monday, then it wasn’t shipped Tuesday, and so on and so on. Finally, the seller told us it was shipping out THURSDAY and would arrive 8 am on FRIDAY morning!
Reason for stress: Friday (yesterday) we had to drive 6 hours for a 7 pm concert in Ozark, Alabama - at a venue where we had to provide our own sound system!
We got up early Friday morning to get ready for the day, finish packing, and prepare for the 8 am arrival of the SoloAmp. Our plan was to do a test of the system before getting in the car. At 9:23 am, a very apologetic UPS man pulled up in front of our house. After a quick unpacking and testing (it works!), we were on the road by 10:15.
Here’s the irony: When we arrived at the Klondyke Gospel Music Center, yesterday’s group, Reign Song, was still in the building. They were just there to see the show, but they had left their sound system in place, just in case we wanted to use it - we didn’t need our own system after all!
After a sound check and freshening up, we started the show. The first half of the show was just me and my tracks and testimony. The crowd loved “Neighbour” and “Wedding at Cana” and “Moving Up to Gloryland.” I had a very cool moment during “Abide With Me” - I had my eyes closed for a moment in the bridge, and when I opened my eyes for the first line of the last verse, “Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes,” my eyes fell on the 3 white crosses at the back of the room. No one else knew what was happening, but it was one of the those moments when I really felt God moving in the music. I sang “Real Big Fan,” which I always love, and got everyone singing with “At the Cross.”
That’s when I pulled up Gerald. We did “In the Garden,” which always gets people singing. Gerald did some of his originals - “A Church Song Broke me Down,” “The Lovely White Birds,” and “A Hand-me-down Prayer.” We ended with rousing renditions of “What a Friend” and “Just a Closer Walk.”
After the show, the entire crowd made its way over to the Waffle King for a late night scoff. It was great to chat with people and learn more about their lives and community. Gerald and I stayed up very late chatting with Gina and Stacey Cooper of Reign Song (who are actually staying the whole weekend). After such a long crazy day, we also slept in very late this morning. Gerald and I had a lovely, long walk this afternoon, and the rest of the day was spent chatting and sharing music.
We’re getting ready now to sing at Grimes Gospel Lighthouse tonight. If all goes well, we’ll use our sound system and present the same show as last night. If God has another plan, well, we’ll just have to see what happens!