Friday, August 31, 2012

Crabby Day at Silver Dollar City

When I first saw the line up for Wednesday at Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic, I had high hopes of seeing a partial Crabb Family reunion with the Bowling Family and Jason Crabb both scheduled. And, I got my wish last night! Definitely the highlight of the day was seeing Jason bring Kelly and Terah on stage to sing several songs with him!

More on that later, but here's a recap of the full day:

This was my first time seeing the Pfeifers live. Definitely the best moment for me was John playing "We Shall Behold Him" on his trumpet. He gave his testimony in the second show, which I had never heard before. Amazing story of how God worked in his life!

Mary Jane sang "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus," which was such a unique arrangement. This is one of my favorite hymns and sometimes you don't want people to mess with the original version of the song. However, this worked really well, and Mary Jane did an incredible job!

Other songs that I really enjoyed were "Good News," "There Is a Healer" and "A New Hallelujah."

Old Paths
I was able to catch a full set of Old Paths on Wednesday. The beginning of their set was the same as what I was able to catch the day before. Jeremy Peace, tenor, sang "O What a Savior" again, and it was just as incredible the second time.

They sang "Echoes From the Burning Bush," and then part way through they picked that Daniel wasn't getting low enough. So Jeremy and Daniel switched places. I caught some video of this I'll have to post later! Jeremy must have an incredible range, because he did really well singing bass!

They also sang "The I of the Storm," which is one of my favorites that they sing!

Bowling Family
I got the chance to see all three sets of the Bowling Family Wednesday afternoon at Red Gold Heritage Hall. They really did a great job of changing it up on all three sets and making them different, only repeated one or two songs that are some of their more requested songs. They've quietly added a drummer since I saw them in June. It only adds to the group to have another live musician on stage.

Here were the highlights for me:

  • "I Still Glory in the Cross" - They closed both their first and second shows with this song. I love hearing them sing this song live, and it works as a great closer. It's such a beautiful song that they sing with such power and conviction behind it. 
  • "Farther Along" - Mike sang this classic hymn. It's on their Feels Like Sunday project. On the first verse, he sang with just John Jeffrey accompanying him on the piano, and it was great!
  • Kelly gave a short testimony about their bus accident in each show, thanking God for sparing their lives. She sang "Miracle" after the testimony during the second set. I love hearing Kelly sing this song.
  • "Thank You Lord" - I love this song! Terah does such an incredible job on this fun song.
  • Their third set had a lot of older songs including: "The Lighthouse," "Don't You Wanna Go," "Please Forgive Me" and "Tears Will Never Stain the Streets of That City." 
Jason Crabb
Jason started with "Lamb, Lion and King" and "Hope for Me Yet." He had the audience on its feet through most of the first two songs. 

He sang "I'd Rather Have Jesus" also during the first half. Love hearing him sing this song. He went straight from this song into "Oh How I Love Jesus" and had the audience sing with him.

He started "Please Forgive Me," and Kelly and Terah walked in behind Jason's product table to the right of the stage. The audience had an immediate reaction. And Jason called them on stage to join him to the audience's delight. They finished singing "Please Forgive Me" together. 

Kelly and Terah started to put their microphones back after the song, but Jason didn't let them off the stage that easily. They sang "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now," which was a song they had done at Echo Hollow years ago during one of the Crabb Family's first live videos.

Jason was trying to come up with a Crabb Family song for them to sing together, and someone from the audience suggested "Don't You Wanna Go." They sang that next, and then ended the first half with "Through the Fire." I never got the chance to see the Crabb Family perform all together, so I loved getting to see these three siblings sing all together!! Definitely those songs were highlights of the night for me!

During the second half, Jason sang "Midnight Cry," and then went into "I'm Going Home With Jesus," which had the audience clapping along. He started "Sometimes I Cry" and immediately people started clapping. This is such a great song that it's no wonder it was Song of the Year at the Dove Awards last year.

"I Sure Miss You" was not a song that I was as familiar with as other songs. He shared about his grandpa before singing the song.

He also sang "I'll Take Jesus," "When He Was on the Cross" and "I've Never Been This Homesick Before." He put on such a great show! He sang longer than other groups had sung, but I definitely didn't mind that at all!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day Five of Southern Gospel Picnic

It's hard to believe that the festival is almost halfway over. The most anticipated event of the day was Legacy Five with new bass singer Matt Fouch, but the entire day was full of good gospel concerts.

Pureheart's show was the first one of the day for me. This female trio sings at Silver Dollar City all the time. They normally sing several gospel songs in each show, but for the festival they had an all gospel show. If you are ever at Silver Dollar City, be sure to see them!

Reggie Saddler Family
I was able to catch two of the Reggie Saddler Family's shows this morning. During the first one he did a lot of his guitar tricks. He led the audience in singing I have decided to follow Jesus playing it on his guitar.

His daughter Ingra sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." It was beautiful and the highlight of that show for me! To close the show they sang, "Crown Him With Many Crowns."

They did a lot more singing in their last show on the park. Some of my favorites that they sang were "I've Got Me a Home," "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," and "All Over Me," which had a bluegrass flavor to it.They closed their final set of the day with "As the Old Fellow Used to Say," which I didn't remember hearing before. It was a fun uptempo song to end on though.

Old Paths
I was only able to catch part of an Old Paths show today. The theater was full so I watched from outside until moving on to another show. I definitely plan on seeing a full one of their sets I'd never seen them before but I was extremely impressed.These are the songs I was able to catch:

  • "Someday"
  •  "I've Got a Feeling"
  • "O What a Savior"- Jeremy Peace's voice had already stood out to me on the earlier songs, but he really shines when he steps up and tackles this tenor song.
  • "I Woke Up This Morning" - Daniel Ashmore, bass, did an outstanding job on this song.
  • "I Know My God Can Do It"
I'm glad they will be on park two days, but I want to be sure and catch a full show next time!

Down East Boys
I saw the Down East Boys last year at Silver Dollar City, but that was my first time seeing them. Songs that stood out for me that they sang were:

  • "Life Is Like a Mountain Railway"  - They sang this song a capella at someone's request. I'm glad they made the request, because this was one of my favorites they sang.
  • "He Did It All When We Could Do Nothing - A beautiful song with a beautiful message
  • "Ride that Chariot" - Bass singer Stuart Carey was featured on this one.
  • "I Won't Trade My Crown" - Tenor Tony Jarman did an outstanding job singing this song. It was probably my favorite of their set!

Legacy Five
Monday I had the chance to see Matt Fouch in his last performance with Soul'd Out Quartet. And in just a little over 24 hours later, I was able to see him in his first performance with Legacy Five. I think this was one of the smoothest group transitions. During his introduction yesterday, Matt Rankin said that he would be joining Legacy Five. And tonight there was no elephant in the room, because Scott Fowler made mention of him singing just the day before at the park with Soul'd Out. It was very unusual circumstances, but I thought it was very classy of how both groups respected each other during this time of transition.

Legacy Five started the night with "It's a Wonderful Life" and then went into "God Cares for Me," both from the group's A Wonderful Life.

Gus Gaches sang "For What Earthly Reason"after his introduction. I love to hear him sing this song!

It was easy to hear Matt on the other songs, because a bass singer's voice does stand out. But after Scott introduced him, he stepped up to sing "I've Been Changed" for his first feature. He did such an incredible job on this song. The audience was on its feet after the song! I thing Matt's voice already blends in great with the group, and this will only grow with time. Legacy Five made a great hire with Matt!

They sang "Thankful for the Change in Me." And then, Scott Howard was introduced and sang "Destination Known."

Scott Fowler introduced Trey Ivey, and then he played his classical sonata before going into "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." The crowd loved it! They closed the first half with "I Found Grace," which is one of my favorites!

They sang several more in the second half. Trey got his chance to be featured vocally. I knew that he sang, but had never heard him featured much, so it was good to hear him step out.

Scott Fowler told the story of Patty and Hanna to set up the song "Ask Me Why." They closed the concert with "We Shall See Jesus." Matt knocked this one out of the park! This was by far my favorite song of the night! Such a great moment and great way to end the concert!

Scott Fowler is known for making great hires as he has in recent years with Gus Gaches and Trey Ivey. Matt Fouch also makes a great addition to the group. The other guys were so encouraging to him last night in his first appearance. And I couldn't help but notice how Matt would mouth the words as other guys in the group were singing. He knows the songs well already, and you can tell that he loved being on stage with them.

I have several more videos that I took that I'll get posted later. But be sure to check out the video of Matt singing "I've Been Changed" with them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Legacy Five With Matt Fouch

A full recap and post of day five of the Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City will be later. However, I wanted to share a video clip of Matt Fouch singing "I've Been Changed" from tonight's concert.    

Sorry it's not the complete song, but my phone froze and cut it off! :(

Southern Gospel Picnic Day Four

Day Four of Southern Gospel Picnic is complete. We made seven shows today! The day for us started with the Dixie Echoes and ended with the Perrys. Here's a recap:

Dixie Echoes
Since seeing the Dixie Echoes last year at Silver Dollar City, three members left. The group performing on Monday consisted of Randy Shelnut, Scoot Shelnut, Jordan James (bass), Craig Thomas (tenor) and Ben Hart (piano). 

They started with "I'll Shake the Hand of the Lord" and then "Close to the Master."

Craig Thomas was featured on "I Know a Man Who Can." He and Jordan were both featured when they group sang "Just a Little Talk with Jesus." Both did a great job singing, but you can tell they are new to the group. 

Ben Hart played "Keep on the Firing Line," and provided some comic relief when Randy played his "guitar song." They finished the set with "I'll Have a New Body."

LeFevre Quartet
It had been a while since I saw the LeFevre Quartet in concert, so we saw two of their shows at Red Gold Heritage Hall. I was able to see Paul Harkey at bass who has only been with the groups a few weeks now. He was featured on their opening song of the second set, "Plan of Salvation." He has a great bass voice, very strong. Harold Reed was featured on "Never Too Far Away" and they sang the chorus again a cappella. Many bass singers hold the microphone extremely close because the low notes can come out very quiet. But he was holding it quite a distance from him during this a cappella part, and his voice was so strong and coming through loud and clear.

They sang a few Gold City songs like, "When I Get Carried Away" and "In My Robe of White." They also sang a couple of older songs like "Sing His Praises" as well.

Murray Family
We went back to see the Murray Family again today. They started out with "This Is Just What Heaven Means to Me," which features Connie. She really has a great classic sound on this song. They sang "I'm Going Where He Lives" next, which was another great vocal performance from the family.

The third generation of Murrays got their turn on the stage as they sang "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." The girls did a great job, and it sounds like they will have more singers to add to the group one day!

They repeated a few of my favorites from yesterday, "Lazarus" and "He's Alive." Chris pulled out his banjo as they sang "Hills of Old Judea," which featured Cindy, his wife. It was a great performance and great way to end the show!

Soul'd Out Quartet
This was my first time seeing Soul'd Out Quartet with Bryan Hutson. While I was really disappointed with fellow Arkansas native Tanner Stahl left the group, Bryan is a great addition. We got to see two of their sets.

Two highlights for me were them singing "When They Had Prayed" and "Worthy the Lamb Is He." The closed their second set with the latter, and there was such a sense of worship in the theater as they sang this song!

The group sang a number of older songs including, "Unclouded Day," "Kneel at the Cross," and "Meet You in the Morning."

They ended their shows at Silver Dollar City with "We'll Soon Be Done With Troubles and Trials" and the entire audience was on its feet clapping along.

I'm presuming this was Matt Fouch's last appearance with Soul'd Out. Matt Rankin said that we would see him perform the next night with Legacy Five. I was very hopeful that since the groups were performing consecutive days at Silver Dollar City that this would happen! Look for that recap tomorrow!

The Perrys
I only saw the Perrys a few weeks ago right outside of Conway, Ark. And it really was one of the best gospel concerts I've been to. (Read its recap here.) So by that, the Perrys had set a pretty high bar for themselves!

They started the night with "Blue Skies Coming," and then went into "Come and Get Me." Tracy then let Libbi sing her bluegrass song, "Jesus, Hold My Hand." And the audience loved it! The guys on stage didn't, but she had the audience on its feet three songs into the concert!

They sang a number of new songs from their latest project not yet released. As much as I love hearing the songs that I know and my favorites, it was great hearing the new songs! After tonight, I cannot wait to hear this album!! New songs that they sang include: "Everywhere I Go," "When He Spoke," "One of These Mornings" and "The Blood and its Power." I have a few videos I will post later.

"When He Spoke" is a song that the Perrys cut in 1998. Tracy said he didn't like to recut songs, but they never felt that this song got the attention they thought it deserved. It's an incredible song, and one that I wasn't really familiar with. Their delivery of this song live was a highlight of the concert for me!

Libbi sang "The Blood and its Power" when I saw them last, and it's such a great song that reminds us all of the power of Christ and in His blood. As she was singing, a lady had to be helped from the amphitheater for presumably health issues. Tracy stopped the concert after the song to pray for the lady. It's one thing to sing about the power of Christ and the power of prayer, but it's another to stop the concert to have prayer for a person in attendance. That spoke volumes to me about the kind of people the Perrys are and the faith they live out! Such a sweet moment for them to take time to go to the Lord on her behalf.

During the introductions, Tracy had Bryan sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," and I have to say I've never heard him sing it better! He again had the audience on its feet.

They ended the first half with "If You Knew Him." They sing this song with such conviction and power behind their vocals every single time I see them! Joseph really outdid himself on this song Monday night. And again, the crowd of more than 4,700 people went to their feet!

They sang a couple of classic songs to start the second half like "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now" and "I'm Living in Canaan Now."

They ended the night with "I Wish I Could Have Been There," which has become a tradition for them to end their concert with at Echo Hollow. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite songs they sing. As soon as the song started, people were clapping along and standing to their feet enjoying every word. They, of course, did several encores of the song!

It was a great night with the Perrys! They had the largest crowd of any night so far in the festival! Tracy mentioned how they always love coming to Silver Dollar City, and it was evident from the crowd tonight that the feeling is definitely mutual! The Silver Dollar City crowd loves the Perrys!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Worshipful Day at Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City had worship services on park for the Sunday of Southern Gospel Picnic. This morning we had the chance to hear David Ring preach. I'd never heard him before, but it was a great message. God is truly using him to inspire so many people and to change lives.

After the service we went to see the Murray Family. I was able to listen to their first show and see their second show. Once we got to the theater, it was overflowing with people gathered around to see them! I'd become acquainted with the Murray Family through Twitter, but it was really great to meet the entire family!

Some of my highlights from their shows:
  • "He's Alive" - They sang this during both shows. It's such a great song from their most recent project and features the females in the family. It's also their current single. Great uptempo song!
  • "Rise Up and Walk" - I love this song that was their first single from He Gives a Song.
  • Live music - The Murrays are not only great singers, but also great musicians. In an industry that's full of groups singing only with tracks, it's a great to see a group playing and singing and doing both so well!
  • Different combinations - I enjoyed how different combinations of family members sing on different songs. They not only allow each member of their family to be featured, but they have several trios and combos within their family that are showcased.
  • "Lazarus" - Chris, Jason, Connie and Ernie sang this a cappella song. Probably my favorite song to hear live!
After the Murrays, we went to see Karen Peck and New River. Their second show of the day was one of the most worshipful concerts at Silver Dollar City I've ever been to. They went completely away from what they had planned and just went with what the Lord was leading. The group sang "On the Banks of the Promised Land." Karen sang a beautiful a capella rendition of "Amazing Grace" which led into "Four Days Late." Jeff then asked her if she would sing "My God Will Always Be Enough," because he just felt the Lord leading them to sing it. This is one of my absolute favorite Karen Peck and New River songs! I love the message of the song and love to hear Karen sing it! It was such a time of such worship.

I also got to hear them sing "Mighty High" from Joyful Noise. It was a fun one that they got the audience to participate with them! Jeff told a sweet story about his grandmother paying for his piano lessons, going with him every time and praying for him while he practiced. He recognized the grandmothers in the audience and thanked them for all they do. He then sang "I'd Rather Have Jesus," and it was another highlight of the afternoon for me!

Karen Peck and New River ended their shows at Silver Dollar City with "We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown." The entire audience was on its feet clapping along with them!

Tonight the Inspriations were down in Echo Hollow. I don't ever remember seeing them sing live before. It was a great concert to end the day on!

They sang a number of classic songs including, "Is That Footprints That I Hear?," "Jesus Is Coming Soon," "When I Wake Up" and "Have a Little Talk with Jesus." Mike Holcomb really showed off his bass vocals on the latter!

Before intermission they sang "It's in the Savior's Hands," and did several encores of the chorus. This is such a great song, and Martin mentioned that it had become the theme song for the group. They got a standing ovation at the end. To end the first half, they sang "I'm Not Ashamed" and had the entire audience on its feet. 

I was not as familiar with the Inspirations as I am other quartets, but I was really glad I got the chance to see them live on Sunday night!

I'm looking forward to Day Four of Southern Gospel Picnic!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rainy Day at Silver Dollar City

Day 2 of Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City was a little soggy. However, rain does not deter gospel fans as evidenced by the crowd. Despite the number of ponchos and umbrellas I'm sure were purchased, most fans stayed until the last note of the concert!

We got to Silver Dollar City in time to catch the Freemans at 12 and 1. I think Chris Freeman has the most recognizable voice in gospel music. It had been several years since I have seen the Freemans. One of the highlights for me was them singing "Three Rugged Crosses," which I have heard a lot on the radio recently. It's a great song! Caylon Freeman was also featured on "Sending Me Angels," another one of their great more recent songs.

Chris tore up the Hinson class "Seawalker." I love this song and was really glad to hear them sing it!
They also sang two hymns in the second show, "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" and "What a Day That Will Be." It was absolutely beautiful! 

Misty was also featured on a song during each set. During their last show, she sang one that her mom had sung with the Hinsons, "Let Me Fall." I was not familiar with this song, but I will be looking it up and seeing if I can download it!

After the Freemans, we came out of the theater and this is what the sky looked like:

Needless to say, the bottom fell out of the sky about 10 minutes later. After waiting close to the same theater since the Mark Trammell Quartet would have a show just a little later in the afternoon, Silver Dollar City thankfully had pity on us and let us in. The Mark Trammell Quartet was still finishing up their sound check and getting things set up, but hopefully they didn't mind a wet audience!

I was able to see their first two shows of the Mark Trammell Quartet. I glad to see both Dustin and Nick with the group. Dustin is mainly playing piano, but he's also singing some and even came forward to sing "One Drop" during their second show. It was good to see him sing one last time with the group. Nick already seems to fit naturally with the guys.

They sang several from their most recent project "Lifetime." I loved "Wonderful Time Up There" and "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus."

They also sang "Glory Road," which features Eric, and Mark talked about how much he hates the song. Eric did an encore of the song, and the audience loved it! Mark said that when we all left the theater every dog in the county would be outside the doors!

They closed their second set with "I Want to Know." I'm so glad that this song went #1! It's one of my favorites that they do, and I enjoy seeing them sing it live!

After the second Mark Trammell Quartet show, the line was already backing up for the Booth Brothers, so I got in line.

Despite rain, gospel fans stayed, 4,143 to be exact, to see the Booth Brothers. Michael said the audience should go in the concert-goers Hall of Fame for enduring the rain to see them. You could tell they really appreciated people standing and waiting in the rain to see them. They even came out wearing ponchos! After a couple of songs they lost the ponchos, and Michael said the choir was a getting a little contemporary and losing the robes.

Here were the highlights for me:
  • "Hello, Mama" - They sang this song of Squire Parsons and Jim set it up telling the story behind the writing of the song. I'd never heard it before, but loved it!
  • "Look for Me at Jesus' Feet"
  • "Because He Lives" - This was simply beautiful, and the rest of the audience thought so too, giving them a standing ovation.
  • "He Saw It All"
  • "Masterpiece of Mercy"
  • "Played in the Band" - This song closed the show tonight. They did several encores of the song with the audience on its feet loving every minute of it! At one point, they thought they were done, and the audience still wanted to hear more, so the sound man started the music again. Ronnie and Jim both ran to pick their microphones back up!
It's easy to see how the Booth Brothers have become one of the most popular groups in Southern Gospel music. A sign language interpreter was sitting at the front for a group of hearing-impaired people. All the guys made sure to gesture to them or wave at them. Not only are they great singers, but it's easy to see they are so sincere in what they do. Now they definitely like to have fun and joke around too, which makes for the dynamite combination that they have going on!

So the wait in the rain was worth it to get to see them! Praying for no rain tomorrow!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City - Day 1

Today was the first day of the Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City. It was a great start to the festival. We saw four different groups, and here are some of the highlights:

Brian Free and Assurance
Brian Free and Assurance at Silver Dollar City
They performed this morning at the Red Gold Heritage Hall. During their first set of the day, they were singing "Go Tell the World," and the lights on stage went out. The guys kept right on singing, but it did provide some comic relief!

I was glad to hear a few songs from their new project including, "I Want to Be That Man" and "Revival." Brian Free told the story of how when he first listened to "I Want to Be That Man" he was driving the bus late at night and it reminded him of his dad. He was extremely humbled to find out that his son, Ricky, had written the song. It's good to see Derrick Selph featured on "Revival."

Another highlight was hearing Brian sing "O What a Savior" during their last show of the day. He did absolutely amazing!

Ball Brothers
I haven't seen the Ball Brothers in a couple of years, so I was anxious to see them with their recent group changes. The highlight of their set for me featured newbie Chad McCloskey singing "Beulah Land." They also closed their set with "It's About the Cross," which is one of my favorite songs. They have the same great sound they've always had! They will also be on park tomorrow so maybe I'll get to see another set of theirs.

The Whisnants
Whisnants at Silver Dollar City
We were able to catch the last two shows of the Whisnants. During their second show both Austin and Ethan were featured on songs. Both of their son have really grown as singers since I saw them last year. They released their own project earlier this year. Susan and Jeff bragged about the decisions their sons were making to serve and honor the Lord by singing gospel music.

Susan sang "I'll Pray for You" in both sets we saw. This is one of my favorites that they sing. She also sang "I'll Trust the Potter's Hand," which is #1 this month in the Singing News.

A great moment in their second show was when they had the audience join them in singing "Amazing Grace." It was such a sweet moment!

They closed their last set with "New Day Dawning," which the audience always loves!

The McKameys
McKameys at Silver Dollar City
They sang at Echo Hollow tonight to a crowd of 4,100. They commented that this was one of the largest crowds they sing to. Of course as soon as they started singing "God on the Mountain," the audience immediately began responding. It was a highlight of the night.

Other highlights for me were "Do You Know How it Feels?" and "I Wanna Finish Well," which featured the male trio of Roger, Reuben and Eli.

Their product table must have been a popular place during intermission because they were all late coming back from the table! Reuben was still at the top of the amphitheater when they started the second half. He made it to join in during their first song and caused some of the audience to start clapping!

It's been a couple of years since I've seen the McKameys. It did make me laugh that Peg kicked her shows off not once but twice tonight. :) The second half was pretty short compared to the first, and they ended up singing one more after chanting from the audience.

Look for more updates throughout the festival!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City

Tomorrow is the start of Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City. I look forward to this event every year. It's become a yearly tradition with my family. Some years I get to stay longer than others, but this is the first year I'll be at the entire festival!

I'm very thankful that we are able to go this year. With my grandfather's recent diagnosis of leukemia, I wasn't sure that we would be there. Not only do I enjoy the gospel music, but it's also a chance for me to spend time with my grandparents. The older I get, the more I realize how precious that is.

The Southern Gospel Picnic is 11 days packed full of gospel music. It's nearly impossible to see all the groups there, because several shows are going on at one time. But we will try to cram in as much as possible! I'll have plenty of updates throughout the festival, so be sure to check back!

Here's a rundown of what groups will be there and when:

Friday, Aug. 24
The Whisnants
Brian Free & Assurance
The Whisnants
Ball Brothers
Dixie Echoes
The Harpers
Bill Allen
The McKameys

Saturday, Aug. 25
The Freemans
Mark Trammell Quartet
Bill Allen
Ball Brothers
Booth Brothers
Booth Brothers
Dixie Echoes
The Harpers
Booth Brothers

Sunday, Aug. 26
Karen Peck and New River
Ivan Parker
Murray Family
Dixie Echoes
The Harpers

Monday, Aug. 27
LeFevre Quartet
Soul'd Out Quartet
Ivan Parker
Murray Family
The Perrys
The Perrys
Dixie Echoes
The Harpers
The Perrys

Tuesday, Aug. 28
Reggie Sadler Family
Down East Boys
Southern Sound Quartet
The Harpers
Proclaimers Quartet
Old Paths
Legacy Five

Wednesday, Aug. 29
The Pfeifers
Bowling Family
Bowling Family
Bowling Family
Old Paths
Southern Sound Quartet
Proclaimers Quartet

Potters Wheel
Jason Crabb

Thursday, Aug. 30
Palmetto State Quartet
The Taylors
Downing Family
Proclaimers Quartet
Potters Wheel
Spoken 4 Quartet
Spoken 4 Quartet
The Hoppers

Friday, Aug. 31
Spoken 4 Quartet
The Lesters
Downing Family
Potters Wheel
11th Hour
Collingsworth Family

Saturday, Sept. 1
Dennis Swanberg
The Talleys
Tribute Quartet
Tribute Quartet
Barry Rowland
Crimson Gold
Forgiven Quartet
Tribute Quartet
Triumphant Quartet

Sunday, Sept. 2
Crist Family
Barry Rowland
Crimson Gold
Forgiven Quartet
Tribute Quartet
The Isaacs
The Isaacs
Jeff and Sheri Easter

Monday, Sept. 3
The Browders
The Browns
Tribute Quartet
Allen Family
Forgiven Quartet
The Isaacs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Amber Nelon Thompson on American Idol

I watched the Nelons online Sunday night at Shadow Mountain. After they had sang a couple of songs, Kelly Nelon Clark shared the story of Amber's journey on American Idol. I know when American Idol started airing last January, many had heard that Amber had advanced and were wondering what happened. I know some magazines have covered the story previously, but I think it's worth revisiting. Other singers in Southern Gospel have been on the show, but they were not faced with the same situation Amber was. Kelly proudly tells the full story in the clip below.

I think it's so admirable that Amber was willing to stand on her convictions and not compromise her beliefs when it would have been so easy to. When you have famous singers and producers and have a chance to showcase your talent on such a large platform like American Idol, it tells so much about Amber's character and faith to walk away from it all. I know it couldn't have been easy, but I think she will definitely be rewarded for her decision in the end.

Edit - Sorry the video has been removed. Since this, Amber has done another interview about her Idol experience. Check it out here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Matt Fouch Joins Legacy Five

Legacy Five announced today that Matt Fouch will join as their new bass vocalist. He will officially join the group on Sept. 1. Fouch was with Soul'd Out Quartet for eight years.

Here's a statement from Matt:
“For the past eight years I have had the great opportunity to travel and sing with the guys of Soul'd Out Quartet (SOQT). These men are high character individuals and it has been a pleasure to sing along side them. God has blessed SOQT and I am very thankful for the many friends I have made and the opportunities God has given through the ministry of SOQT. With that said, after much prayer, thought and consultation with my wife, I have decided to resign my position with SOQT and join the Legacy Five team. It is an honor and a privilege to join L5. These men have a wonderful calling on their lives and do a fantastic job. They are men of integrity and I couldn't be happier to join their ranks. I'm excited to see where God leads and what He does in this new season of my life. My family and I are thankful for your prayers and support, and I ask that you keep SOQT and L5 in your prayers as He leads both groups in the calling He has placed on their lives. God bless!” 

Scott Fowler of Legacy Five says:
“Seasons of life change for us all. Change is never easy but it is inevitable. The older I get, the less I like change, but with change comes the excitement of seeing what new and refreshing doors God opens for us. We are really looking forward to Matt’s contribution to Legacy Five, both on and off the stage. To Matt, Dusty, Michael and Bryan of Soul’d Out, I want to say how much I have appreciated how gracious and kind they have been to Legacy Five and Matt during this time of transition. I cannot remember when two groups have had this type of cooperation in a situation like this. They are truly good men and I have great respect for them.”

Also in the release was a statement from Matt Rankin of Soul'd Out Quartet. I think this move showed a lot of class from both group.
“Soul'd Out Quartet wishes to thank Matt Fouch for 8 years of service to the Lord and the group. We have been a part of seeing many come to Christ in those years. We have been a part of watching God's hand at work and have watched him supply the group's needs time and time again. We hate to see Matt leave Soul'd Out but we trust that God is leading this decision. We will be in prayer for a replacement and will continue our prayers and support for Matt Fouch, his family, and Legacy 5. Though change is many times difficult, the big picture is that we all are trying to serve the King. With that said, thank you Matt for making Soul'd Out a better group while you were here. We love you. God bless."

I'll get the opportunity to see both Legacy Five and Soul'd Out Quartet in Branson at Silver Dollar City next week. Since Matt doesn't start with Legacy Five until Sept. 1 officially, I wonder if he'll still be with Soul'd Out Quartet then or if he'll stay on and go ahead and sing with Legacy Five! I'll be sure to let you all know. Regardless, I look forward to seeing the new lineup of Legacy Five and what's in store for Soul'd Out.  

Here's Matt featured in a song with Soul'd Out Quartet

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun Clip Friday with Mark Lowry

Happy Friday to everyone! No southern gospel concerts for me this week, but hope to be headed to Branson next week for the Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City. I'll have more to say about that next week. I hope to be there for the full festival this year, so I'll have lots of updates. 

Here's today's Fun Clip Friday with Mark Lowry for you to enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Changes for the Lesters

Dan and Ginger Pitchers are leaving the Lesters. Dan has accepted the position of pastor at First Baptist Church in Annapolis, Mo., effective immediately. He drove the bus and was the sound technician for the group. Ginger Pitchers, alto vocalist and arranger for the group, will leave the road to be with Dan as they serve in Annapolis. Ginger will stay with the group until a replacement is found. Ginger is a great vocalist and will definitely be missed on stage.

The Lesters have announced that they are searching for a male vocalist to join forces with Jonathan and Brian Lester to continue in the family ministry. In a release, they stated that the decision hasn't been an easy one since the Lesters has always had a female vocalist in the group. However, at this point and time in their ministry, they feel having a male vocalist will be best for their ministry.

Pray for all those involved during this time of transition. For anyone interested in sending a demo, email

Canton Junction CD Review

Canton Junction
The first release from Canton Junction has been a highly anticipated one. The quartet consists of Matthew Hagee, Aaron Crabb, Michael Sykes and Tim Duncan. Although all four have had years of experience in the southern gospel industry, their backgrounds are extremely different. This is why the name Canton Junction, which means "the crossroads of different subjects or regions into one gathering point," fits them so well.

Canton Junction started somewhat spontaneously in preparation for special music at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Their performance quickly became a hit and a must-see YouTube video

Canton Junction's debut project is a self-titled, two-disc release. This is not your traditional quartet album. Song styles range from Southern gospel to praise and worship to traditional hymns. 

Disc 1 Standouts:
  • "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now" - This upbeat song was a great choice to start the project. The group shines on this country-flavored song. 
  • "Show Me Your Way" - Aaron Crabb steps up on this song, and to me it has a Crabb Family sound that he could have recorded with his siblings. 
  • "Heaven Is" - This song features Matthew Hagee. It's a great up tempo song that shows the blend of all four guys.
  • "Go Tell It on the Mountain" - I love this song! It seems a little random to throw a song normally associated with Christmas into the mix, but it's a highlight of the project. They give a country twist that really shows the strength of the group.
  • "Softly and Tenderly" - The classic hymn shows the softer side of the quartet. They take their time with this song and let the lyrics speak for themselves. With such a diverse project, I think it was a great choice to include this hymn.
  • "The Inviting Christ" - Mark Lowry covered this song previously. It's not a song that is typical southern gospel, but I really enjoy their rendition of this song.

Disc 2 Standouts:
  • "Sweeter As the Days Go By" - This is the live recording of their performance at Cornerstone Church. I think including this song as their live performance was a great decision. This is the song that really caught a lot of people's attention, and it's one of  my favorites overall on the project. 
  • "Glorify" - Aaron Crabb wrote this song, which is more praise and worship style. While it deviates from the traditional southern gospel sound, I think it can help the group reach a broader audience than just southern gospel fans.
  • "Dig a Little Deeper in God's Love" - This is one of favorites as well. This song really showcases their blend as a quartet.
  • "Going Home" - Tim Duncan's bass vocals shine on this song. I really like the simplicity of the arrangement of this song with just the piano that really allows the quartet's vocals to come through.
  • "Hold On" - Their rendition of this song is another highlight, and one that will appeal more to southern gospel fans than other songs. 

While I enjoyed the variety that this project brings, I was not a huge fan of the secular songs on disc 2. However, the standout songs are more than enough to make this a worthy purchase. And where the group is strong, Canton Junction is really strong. I think there's a lot more potential for this quartet, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for them.

*Review copy provided

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Harkey Joins LeFevre Quartet

Paul Harkey has joined the LeFevre Quartet as their new bass singer. Brandon Barry left the group last month. Harkey was formerly with the Anchormen. (Hat tip, Aaron.)

Here's his bio from the LeFevre Quartet's website:

Paul Harkey grew up in Petersburg, Texas. He later went to high school and college in Plainview, Texas. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Church Music from Wayland Baptist University in December of 2003. Paul started his full singing career in 2007 with Crystal River and later joined the Anchormen until his call to The LeFevre Quartet. His early influences were Tim Riley, George Younce, and J. D. Sumner. Paul enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding his dirt bike in his free time. He, his wife Jennifer, and his daughter Cameron reside in Randleman, NC.

Here's a clip of him with the Anchormen:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Never Walk Alone - When Lyrics Speak

After I moved for my job several years ago, I went through a time of just feeling alone. I knew a couple of people in town, but not any close friends. I was church hunting and couldn't find a place to get plugged in. I really had no one my age who I could hang out with. I just felt alone.

Loneliness can sometimes creep in when we least expect it. We can be surrounded by people but still get of sense of feeling lonely. Sometimes, it can just be the feeling that no one understands where you are.  Ever have those moments? I know I do.

Thankfully, God does promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. As His children we are never alone. One song that reminds me of this promise is the Brian Free and Assurance song "Never Walk Alone."

Christ came and suffered a type of loneliness we can't even imagine. So even when we feel alone, not only do we have the promise that God is always with us, but thankfully we don't have to experience loneliness to the degree He did.

"Your spirit never leaves me
Even when I’m hurting
I don’t have to bare that burden on my on.
You carried all the pain
And buried all the shame
When You made that rugged tree Your righteous throne.
Because of You, I’ll never walk alone."

Thankfully in times of loneliness, whether it's actually being alone or just the feeling that no one understands, Christ never leaves us. He suffered and bore the pain so that we would never have to. He understands how we feel, because he faced the same things we do. However, our problems don't compare to what he had to endure while here on earth. But no matter what we face here on earth, we will never walk alone.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fun Clip Friday - Socialcam

We're going back to Socialcam for today's Fun Clip Friday post. Here are a couple of videos that have been taken recently for you to enjoy!

Anyone else watching Socialcam? Whose videos do you look forward to?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Autobiography of Dianne Wilkinson To Be Released

I got the following press release about Dianne Wilkinson's upcoming autobiography. She's the writer of not only some of my favorite gospel songs, but also some of the most well-known in the industry. I can't wait to read it!

The autobiography of beloved Southern Gospel songwriting legend Dianne Wilkinson will release next month. Dianne Wilkinson: The Life and Times of a Gospel Songwriter it will chronicle her life story and the stories behind over 150 of her best-known songs. Wilkinson wrote the book in conjunction with editor Daniel J. Mount. 

In 1974, Wilkinson—already a church pianist and Sunday School teacher—realized that she was still unsaved. Her salvation prompted a period of serious doctrinal and theological study which provided a foundation for her songwriting career. 

She began writing songs when touring with her family group in the 1970s. Her career took off in the 1980s, in parallel with the group with whom she became closely associated, the Cathedral Quartet. Songs she wrote for them include “Boundless Love,” “Homeland,” “Jesus Has Risen,” and lead singer Glen Payne’s signature song, “We Shall See Jesus.” 

She has become Southern Gospel's most recognized non-performing songwriter. Virtually every major Southern Gospel artist has recorded her songs. Around fifty of her songs have been charting singles on the industry-standard Singing News monthly radio charts; seven have reached #1. Her songs have also received multiple Dove Awards® nominations, over a dozen Singing News Fan Awards nominations, and multiple Singing News Fan Awards for Song of the Year. 

Dianne Wilkinson: The Life and Times of a Gospel Songwriter will be available for physical purchase from Amazon, and for digital purchase for the Amazon Kindle®, the Barnes and Noble Nook™, the Apple iPad® and iPhone®, the Kobo™ e-reader, and several other formats and venues. A book signing is also planned for the National Quartet Convention. 

Media outlets interested in digital review copies can contact Daniel J. Mount at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sharing Their Hearts - The Perrys Concert Recap

The Perrys - Joseph Habedank, Bryan Walker, Libbi Stuffle
and Tracy Stuffle
I had two nights in a row of great southern gospel music last week. I had the chance to see the Perrys near Conway, Ark. on Friday night. It was a different type of concert than I’ve ever been to before. It was a great night full of wonderful testimonies and great songs.

The night started with "Plan of Salvation." I really enjoy hearing them cover this song to highlight Tracy's bass vocals. They then went into "Blue Skies," the title cut from their most recent project and one of my favorites from it.

They then sang "Come and Get Me." After that fast song, Tracy remarked that it was too hot for all that. He later awarded Arkansas as the hottest and driest place they have been to all year, and I must say I agree!

Libbi was featured on "Still Blessed" next. I've never heard her sing this song live, so it was a treat for me! Her vocals definitely reminded me of why she's been the fan favorite alto for several years.

The Perrys then sang "He Loves to Save," which features Bryan and is also from Blue Skies. The next song was "I Rest My Case at the Cross," which is the song that made me fall in love with the Perrys. They always do such an incredible and passionate job on this song. Next, Libbi was featured again on "Did I Mention."

Then, Tracy said they were going to do something a little different with the concert that night. He was going to have each member of the group give a testimony and then pick any song they wanted to sing. I've never been to a concert where I've seen a group do this. It was so incredible how each member let us see their hearts. Each one allowed God to use them and their story.

Lead singer Joseph Habedank was first. He talked about how his mom raised him and his brothers as a single mom since he was a young boy. He shared some of the pressures he felt even as a young kid to try to be the man of the house. He reminded us that the singers on stage have hurts and go through trials just like everyone else. He quoted the verse in Psalm that says weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning. He then sang a song that he wrote, "Almost Morning." I love this song, and it's probably my favorite that Joseph has written. After his testimony, he did an incredible job singing it with such power and conviction behind the words.

Next, Bryan Walker, baritone, gave his testimony. He talked about growing up with his dad singing gospel music. He said that he never would have guessed the path that God would have taken him on to sing with the Perrys. When he was working as a police officer, he had a couple of people several days in a row suggesting to him that he should try out for American Idol. So he decided to try out, and he made it through several rounds. He said that once he was cut at the top 50, he was extremely disappointed. He thought that since God had used people to encourage him to try out and carried him through several rounds then He would see him through to the end. He returned to his job as a police officer in Sevierville. He had the chance to get to know the Perrys better when he filled in for Joseph. And then when the baritone position came open, the Perrys called him. He talked about the faithfulness of God through all of that, and shared that he would have never guessed that would be the way that God would lead him to sing with his favorite group. He then sang a cappella "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." He nails this song every time I've heard it, and Friday night was no exception!

As Libbi started, she said that she felt like a proud mom on stage after Joseph and Bryan just shared their hearts. She told about her salvation experience. She said she was sitting by her pastor's wife at church. She said if you are wanting to escape the conviction of the Lord, that is not the place to be. She knew the Lord was dealing with her and her pastor's wife asked her if she needed to go up front. She made her decision for Christ that night and was saved. Libbi decided to sing a song from their new project which will be released later this year, "The Blood and its Power." If this song is any indication, I can't wait to hear the new album!

The Perrys started the second half with "Jesus, Hold My Hand" from Libbi's solo project. While all the guys gave her a hard time about this song, I have to admit, it's probably my favorite from her solo CD. They then sang their latest single, "Every Time I Need Him." I love the second verse of this song when Bryan joins Joseph. The blend of their voices together is great.

Libbi sang their Dove-award winning song "Celebrate Me Home" next. Tracy then introduced a young girl from the church who they knew and had her come up and sing a song with them, "I'm So Glad I've Got a Better Place to Go." She did a great job as Joseph, Libbi and Tracy backed her up. Then, Libbi sang another one from her solo project, "Daddy Sang Bass/ Reunited."

"If You Knew Him" was next. I love seeing them sing this song, you can feel the power felt behind the song. They did an encore of the chorus.

Tracy then started giving his testimony. He talked about how he would always go to his grandma's house every Sunday after church. She would always ask him if he went to church, and the answer was always yes. Her saying was always, "It ain't nothing Heaven ain't going to fix." No matter the situation that's what she would say. To close out, he had the group join him at the front of the stage for an a cappella version of  "This Is Just What Heaven Means to Me." It was beautiful! As they sang they walked forward down the center aisle of the church. It was such a tender, yet powerful moment, and a great ending to a great night.

Tracy mentioned during their product pitch that they typically only do this type of service twice a year and normally he gives all the group members a heads up before that night, but not this time. I am so glad I was at one of these twice-a-year events. Each member shared their heart, and you could see that on Friday night. We all see how they allow God to use them to minister through song week after week, but I really appreciated each of them opening and allowing God to use their life stories and experiences to minister to people as well. Thanks to the Perrys for sharing your hears with us!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blessed Night With Greater Vision - Concert Recap

Greater Vision - Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin and Chris Allman
Greater Vision traveled to Monticello, Ark. last Thursday night to the Oak Grove Assembly of God Church. I had been looking forward to this concert for a while now. It had been a couple of years since I’d seen the group, so I was excited to see the current lineup of Gerald Wofle, Rodney Griffin and Chris Allman. The entire night was such a blessing, and I hope it’s not several more years before I see the group again!

The night started with “I Could Never Praise Him Enough” which was written by Chris Allman. They then sang “He’d Still Been God,” which had the crowd clapping right along. It’s definitely at the top of my Greater Vision songs.

The next song was their “Redeemed Medley,” which really showed off the blend of their voices. Then, Rodney was featured on “No Longer Chained,” which is such a great and different telling of a familiar story. Rodney does such a great job vocally on this song.

Gerald introduced Chris and told how he had been an original member of Greater Vision before coming back a couple of years ago. He told the story of how they had been asked to sing “I Know A Man Who Can” at a church one night in California not realizing that the concert was being broadcast online. Overnight it became one of their most popular songs. This was the song I was looking forward to hearing live the most, and Chris nailed it! The audience was on its feet at the end, and he did an encore of the second verse. It’s such a powerful song!

Gerald sat at the keyboard, and talked how blessed we are. He mentioned how they stood in line the day before for an hour and a half just to get some chicken nuggets. He talked to a man in line who had driven 80 miles to go to Chick-fil-A. He had never eaten there before but just wanted to go support. He made the remark that we are so blessed to live in a country where we are able to support a business who takes a stand for Christian principles and values. This led into the song “We Are So Blessed.” I love this song, and especially their rendition of it. It was a great worshipful moment in the concert. 

Greater Vision picked up the tempo with “He Could’ve Passed By” next. Gerald then introduced Rodney and talked about how he had won Songwriter of the Year for more than 10 years in a row in the Singing News Fan Awards. Rodney then sang “It Pays to Pray.” This one of my favorite songs that he has written, so I was really glad to hear them sing it live. I love the message of this song.

And they finished the first half with another song written by Rodney, the always fan favorite, “My Name is Lazarus.”

The second half started with “It Means Just What It Says” and then “A Pile of Crowns.” After that, they sang “A Mighty Fortress,” which was a request from an 18-year-old in the audience. He talked about how old the song was and not a usual request from a younger person. Gerald asked if he could take his picture with the teenager and send it to Toby Mac to prove that young people still enjoy southern gospel.

Gerald then complimented Brett Stewart who sang during intermission. He asked him if he sang in a group or just by himself. Brett responded that he mostly sang by himself but he would sing with them! Gerald asked him what he wanted to sing with them. Poor guy had a hard time coming up with a song to sing with them, and Gerald asked him if he had Toby Mac or Greater Vision CDs in his truck. After much deliberation, Brett took Rodney’s microphone and sang with Chris and Gerald on “The Only Way.” Gerald remarked that he wasn't used to singing with someone who had hair or was his height. The back and forth deliberation between Gerald and Brett reaffirmed my belief that Gerald is one of the funniest guys in southern gospel.

Chris was featured on “Like I Wish I’d Lived.” Rodney then came up and sang the chorus again, and then led the audience in “I Surrender All.” He spoke about what the words really mean to surrender all to God. He presented such a clear altar call and gospel presentation and kept the main thing, the main thing. The night ended with their “Jesus is Coming Again Medley.” Gerald’s vocals were spot on as always, but he really shined on this song to me. Great way to end the night!

I definitely hope it's not years before I see them in concert again. It was definitely a blessed night. It was a blessing to hear Greater Vision share the gospel and the love of Christ through song and to hear the truths spoken between the songs.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stephen Hill Passes Away

Stephen Hill pictured with his family
(picture from his website)
Singer/ songwriter Stephen Hill passed away today. He was in North Carolina when he suffered a heart attack and died unexpectedly. Hill played and sang for more than 30 years. He was well known for his soloist appearances on the Gaither Homecoming Series. He also taught voice and guitar lessons at the Stamps Baxter School of Music. He was 55 years old. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Several artists have expressed their condolences on Twitter:

Sheri Easter - My heart is breaking for Stephen Hill's family. Please pray for them. Stephen was an incredible, gentle man whose presence filled a room.

Karen Peck Gooch - Our hearts are broken at the passing of Stephen Hill. Precious friend. Heaven's getting sweeter:)

Wes Hampton - Just talked to Jeff Easter who confirmed that Stephen Hill passed away tonight from a heart attack. I'm devastated. What a precious man.

Gordon Mote - I am so sad to hear about the passing of Stephen Hill. He was an incredible singer, and an even better person. We will miss him.

Tim Duncan - A very sad day. Stephen Hill was a great friend and a wonderful wonderful person

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fun Clip Friday - Looking for a Tenor

Last night I got to see Greater Vision in Monticello, Ark. It was a such a great night. Look for a full recap next week!

Gerald Wolfe talked about how many songs Rodney Griffin and Chris Allman had written. So for today's Fun Clip Friday, I thought I would feature a song that he wrote. Enjoy this clip of "Looking for a Tenor" written by Gerald that was debuted at last year's National Quartet Convention!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Broken Ones - When Lyrics Speak

I love songs that tell stories. "The Broken Ones" by the Talleys tells the story of a young girl named Maggie. Maggie spends her life caring for the broken ones. It starts when she's a child finding a raggedy doll that someone else had thrown away and continues to her as an adult she helping a young woman at a shelter.

The story is a beautiful picture of how Maggie loves and cares for the broken ones, as Christ does. It's a song that convicts and makes me wonder how am I reaching out to the broken ones around me.

This is the last chorus of the song:

"Love the broken ones, the ones that need a little patchin' up
See the diamond in the rough and make it shine like new
It really doesn't take that much, a willing heart and a tender touch
If everybody loved like He does, there'd be a lot less broken ones."

We live in a world full of hurting people, physically and emotionally. I'm sure I would be surprised to know some of the stories of those who live around me. We don't have to go far to find broken people. Are we loving the broken ones around us? Christ loved us in our brokenness. He reached out to those who were seen as probably the "most broken" people.

It doesn't take much, if we are willing to step out, get out of our comfort zones and start helping people. If everybody loved like He does, there would be a lot less broken ones. Starting today, may there be a lot less broken ones.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Where Are You Eating Today?

When I first started this blog, I debated about whether it should be strictly southern gospel or if I might have other topics thrown into the mix from time to time. Today I decided to break the strictly southern gospel rule.

Because of a stand that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy took against gay marriage, today has turned into Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Christians everywhere are flocking to support him at the urging at Mike Huckabee (an Arkansas native, I'll add :)). His goal with today is to "affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for Godly values."

That's why I'm eating Chick-fil-A today, to support an organization and individual that possess the same Godly principles and beliefs I do. Marriage should be between one man and one woman and just one time. That's how God intended it. In a corporate world, it would be easy for Dan Cathy not to have taken the stand that he did. You have to admire a Christian man who speaks his convictions not knowing how that would affect his business.

My support of Chick-fil-A is not to bash the gay community. People seem to be turning this into a big political debate. For me, it's not about politics. I certainly don't support what the GLBT community stands for, but the Bible preaches to love the sinner and hate the sin. I hope that, in addition to supporting a Christian organization, that we will take a step further to reach those who need to know Christ. I pray that we won't lose sight of that.

It's so encouraging to me that my Facebook and Twitter today have been blowing up with pictures of lines at Chick-fil-A or comments about eating there. Several southern gospel artists, like Aaron Crabb, the Perrys, Lauren Talley and Greater Vision, have tweeted or posted on Socialcam about this. I love seeing Christian people across the country supporting an organization that stands on Christian principles.

So what are you eating today? Because I am eating chikin.