Thursday, June 19, 2014

Having Greater Vision on Father's Day - Concert Recap

Greater Vision - Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin
and Chris Allman
Sometimes from the first note of the first song, you can tell you're going to be in for a treat. That was the case on Father's Day as Greater Vision took the stage.

The night started with "He'd Still Been God." From the first note, the crowd was clapping along, enjoying every bit of it. I was glad to hear them sing this one; it's a personal favorite! They then sang "Come Unto Me."

The next song featured Chris Allman and is the title track of their most recent project, "For All He's Done." I've been hearing this song a lot on the radio lately. It was great hearing it live! They then sang "When They Ring the Bells of Heaven." They got a big audience response from that one. Gerald said he knew when he walked in and saw the church used a Heavenly Highway Hymnal that we would enjoy it!

Gerald mentioned that it had been 18 years since the group had been in Conway, Ark. for Toad Suck Daze. (Yes, that is a real thing in Arkansas.) This was a little different from the Toad Suck setting but the reason was the same. They came to tell people about Jesus and how He came to seek and save the lost. This led into "He Was Seeking for Me."

They sang one of Rodney Griffin's best known songs "My Name Is Lazarus" before Gerald introduced him. Gerald talked about what accomplished songwriters both Chris and Rodney are and how Rodney has won Singing News' Fan Favorite Songwriter for more than a decade. The next song they did was also one written by Rodney. Gerald mentioned that a lot of people were quick to say we had a political problem in our nation today, but it was really a spiritual problem. If the spiritual issues would get solved, then everything else would fall into place. We just need more people to be honest about our spiritual condition which led into "Preacher Tell Me Like It Is."

Gerald then introduced Chris mentioning that he was the group's original tenor singer. He spent a few years as a soloist and then as a pastor before returning to the group. The first half closed with Chris singing "I Know a Man Who Can." It was a highlight of the night! I never get tired of hearing him sing this song. At the end, Chris repeated the last verse and chorus with the audience giving it a standing ovation when he finished.

To start the second half, they sang "Just One More Soul" and then went into "He Is To Me." Rodney then sang another song he had written called "It Pays to Pray." This is one of my favorite songs of his. I love the lyrics and the promise this song holds. Rodney wrote the song about his father-in-law, and you can tell he feels the lyrics every time he sings it. Great moment of the night! Chris was featured on "Like I Wish I Lived in the Past."

Then, Gerald went over the keyboard and started playing "The Love of God." He said there is no other more powerful force in the universe than the love of God. It is what carried our sin debt to the cross and gave us the hope and assurance of eternal life.

Gerald talked about how a song lyric can absolutely overwhelm you sometimes. He grew up as a big fan of the Happy Goodman Family and specifically Rusty Goodman. He wanted to record one of Rusty's songs, but every time he tried to sing it in the studio he would cry when he got to a certain lyric. He was overwhelmed with the profound simplicity of it. Gerald then sang "Until You've Known the Love of God." Incredible moment! I was not very familiar with the song, but fell in love with it. Gerald did an amazing job of conveying every word of the song.

Rodney then led the congregation in "Oh How He Loves You." He told a story about his daughter Riley and how when she was 3 she had thrown a toy at him and refused to apologize. They kept telling her she needed to apologize to him before he left to go on the road. Right after he left, he got a call on his cell phone that was Riley apologizing. Rodney asked how many times does God tell us to say that we are sorry when we need to make things right, but we refuse. He led in a time of invitation. They closed the night with "God Wants to Hear You Sing."

It was an incredible night! I don't get to see Greater Vision that often, but when I do it's always a treat, and Sunday night was no exception! On a day when we recognize our earthly fathers and all they have done for us, it was a sweet reminder of the love and the grace we receive every day from our Heavenly Father.

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