Friday, February 02, 2007


Last Thursday night, the Methow Valley where I live in N. Central Washington hosted the Harlem Gospel Choir. I wish you could have joined me in The Barn, our community auditorium for this amazing evening. All I could think of was "this is just a little taste of what heaven will be like."
The rich, full sound that emanated from nine vocalists, a keyboard player, and a young female drummer had the standing room only crowd on their feet all evening. What struck me even more was their unapologetic joy for Jesus! One choir member strutted to the front of the stage and announced, "Winthrop, (our town, pop. 350) you might not realize it, but we have brought church to you!"
And they certainly did. It was the closest to a revival I've ever seen here. The Methow Valley is home to a diverse group of people, many who would never set foot in a church. In fact, the event organizer had expressed her concern that no one would come. To her surprise, tickets sold out, and the enthusiastic crowd almost raised the rafters in The Barn. And many of those folks were ones you wouldn't have expected to be there clapping and shouting hallelujah!
Randy and I felt refreshed and uplifted by their music. One song had lyrics based on Psalm 121: "I lift my eyes to the hills because that is where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord. You are the source of my strength. You are the strength of my life. I lift my hands in total praise to You."
Yes we do, Lord. Even in the midst of heartache and trouble, we do lift our eyes to You. Randy traveled to S. Carolina on Wednesday to be with his mother and sister who have kept a vigil at the hospital where Randy's Dad has been in ICU for more than two weeks. (I wrote my last blog about waiting and how difficult it is, especially when you're waiting for life and death news about a loved one.) We still continue to wait as Dad's chances of recovery fade.
Doctors took him off the ventilator today, and he is breathing on his own. But in Dad's weakened condition, he probably won't be able to maintain the needed oxygen level. His Living Will is clear about his desire not to be kept alive by machines.
So my thoughts turn heavenward. At times like this, we do need a more eternal perspective. We are all pilgrims on life's journey, and we are only passing through here. Our family is comforted knowing Dad has a relationship with Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. But it's still hard to let go, to release him into God's hands.
I'm thankful the Harlem Gospel Choir not only brought church to our community, but also a taste of Heaven to Randy and me. We needed that!



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