Saturday, June 27, 2009

Making Music in Memphis

Yesterday morning, Jenna and I packed up her jeep and headed to Memphis for a musical road trip!

She had been asked to lead a mini-worship session for her friend's birthday/anniversary party. As it was explained to me, we were going to partner with her church's worship leader, Josh, and have a short period of music and worship before the party. Jenna and I have been working together for almost 2 years now at Redeemer (wow, time has flown!) and we have our 'thing' down, but neither of us knew Josh. So often in making music, the key is just to be open to the energy in the room, sensitive to the music being made, and generous with your talents. The three of us met for an afternoon rehearsal, and you could tell things were going to go well.

As the guests arrived, they were welcomed with fresh fruit and cupcakes, and then lead into the living room. We handed out songsheets, and the music began. Wow! For a small group, the singing was powerful! Everyone sang out, some people clapped, others sang harmony. It was beautiful. We moved between moments of song and prayer, but it really was a true time of worship and not just a sing-along.

And once things got started, it was hard to make it stop! The party never moved away from the singing and the praising. Once our "formal" part was done, people starting saying things like, "We used to sing 'Be Glorified' in church camp. Do you know that?", and we'd all sing 'Be Glorified.' Then they found out that Josh, Jenna, and I were all songwriters, so we each did one of our own songs, which was fun and cool. More requests, more stories, more sharing ... what a night!

After the crowd left, Jenna and I stayed up with our hosts, eating Muddy's cupcakes and learning more about each other. At midnight, our hostess said, "Let's go for a swim!". So we grabbed our swimsuits for a midnight swim! The air was warm and there was lightening in the far distance. So wonderful! The guest room was as beautiful as a bed and breakfast, so even though I had grand intentions of blogging last night, sleep overtook me very quickly!

As we drove home this afternoon, we drove past the site of the accident for the first time. I wasn't going to tell Jenna what we were doing, but I could feel myself getting more nervous, so I had to tell her. We prayed a little just before we got there, and I gripped my hands. As we drove through the stretch of highway, I had trouble distinguishing the exact spot but I was still awestruck by the location. A mile earlier, we might have be thrown into oncoming traffic and maybe hit another car. If we'd be thrown to the right instead of the left, we would have smashed into a solid wall of rock. I can't even imagine how those circumstances would have worked out. I know the "what if" game is a dangerous one, but when faced with the actual location of the accident, it's hard not to realize those alternative endings. I continue to marvel at God's grace on that day.

After a bit of rest this afternoon, Gerald and I got into a creative planning mode. We brainstormed some titles for my hymns album, and talked about the photo shoot on Monday. Gerald is recording some demos soon, so we went through his song list and debated the pros and cons of each choice. Our time here in Nashville is about to fly by, and I don't want to leave here with any unfinished business!

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