Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Experiencing Revival with Karen Peck and New River - Concert Recap

Friday night I got the opportunity to see Karen Peck and New River in Batesville, Ark. The concert was to benefit WARP 180, which is a ministry in Batesville to help women who are struggling with substance abuse and chemical dependency issues. You can learn more about the ministry here.

This is a concert that the group does every year to help the ministry. Doc and Connie Spurlin along with their daughter Kristi head up the program. Doc and Connie got the night started by singing a few themselves. They sang several songs including "Celebrate Jesus," "Pass Me Not" and "I'll Fly Away."

Karen Peck and New River - Matthew Gooch, Jeff Hawes, Kari Gooch,
Karen Peck Gooch and Susan Jackson
Then, Karen Peck and New River took the stage. They took the stage with Karen's daughter Kari joining them. Karen stated later on in the night that she had battled laryngitis about six weeks ago. Kari agreed to join them on stage to help out and continued on. She did a great job Friday night. She never sang by herself but you could definitely hear her voice clearly at times. Karen was very proud of her daughter and how she had stepped up. She said Kari was extremely shy, but she had seen God do a work in her life over the last several weeks of her being on stage with them.

The group started with "Ephesians Chapter One" and then sang "I Wanna Know How It Feels." It was good to hear them stage this song again. Jeff took the second verse of the song and did an incredible job on it.

They then sang "On the Banks of the Promised Land." They started the chorus again a cappella, and Karen led "I Am Bound for the Promised Land" a cappella after that.

Susan was featured next on "Sustaining Grace." Love hearing her sing this song! Karen then was featured on "Hold Me While I Cry." I never get tired of hearing that one!

Karen spoke of how they had been declaring a revival across the country as they traveled. She encouraged the audience to state that they wanted revival to start in them. Previously that week, they taped the Harmony Honors for TBN. Karen, Susan and Jeff sang what they did on the program a cappella. They kidded about being able to remember all the words, but they didn't struggle one bit!

Then the group sang "Revival." It was neat since they had just sung a song from the red back hymnal to go to them singing a song that mentions the hymnal. The audience was on its feet at the end. And we didn't sit for a while. They picked up the tempo even more with "We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown." Toward the end Karen motioned for someone in the audience. I thought she was inviting the Spurlins to join them on stage. Nope, it was Dennis Duggar, former bass singer with Tribute Quartet! They finished another chorus or two of the song. And Karen said that they still weren't done, so they turned it around again!

After the song Jeff talked about how incredible Heaven was going to be and how we should work so that everyone we know is there with us. He opened up about his pastor dying suddenly this last year and how hard it was for him and his home church. But he has the promise of seeing him again and the peace of God to reassure him and us through the toughest of times. He then sang "You Did It Anyway." I love this song from their project Revival, and Jeff did an amazing job vocally and communicating each lyric. The closed the first half with "Four Days Late," always a favorite! Karen was incredible as always!

The group opened the first half with "Mighty High" from the movie Joyful Noise. Then Jeff was featured on "Look What the Lord Has Done." They had a request from a cute little boy in the audience for "Hey," so they sang that one next. It's always a fun one to see live.

Susan sang "I've Been Broken." Her sweet voice is so beautiful on this song! Then Karen sang "Fix Me Jesus." I had never heard her sing this one live. It's from her solo project. Her pure soprano vocals on this song give everyone else who has recorded this a run for their money! They then sang "Everybody's Going Through Something."

Karen led an invitation, and talked about how as long as we are living on this earth we were going to be going through something. However, we might have problems, but with Jesus we can have a peace that passes all understanding.

After the invitation, she asked for people in the audience to give a line of testimony. Several offered touching tributes of what God has done in their lives including some of the women who had been in WARP 180. It was an incredible reminder of the faithfulness of God!  They ended the night with "Finish Well," which was just amazing!

It was a true night of worship and revival. It was an expression of God's love, provision and grace. Karen Peck and New River did a great job vocally, but it was more than that. As an audience, we were ready for God to speak to us through them and ready to experience revival. And we did!

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