Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Is the Season for Believing - Concert with Karen Peck and NewRiver - Concert Recap

Last weekend was full of gospel music. After Friday's Jubilee concert, I went to Stuttgart on Saturday night to see Karen Peck and New River.

I always love seeing Karen Peck and New River, but Saturday night was such a special service. One thing you can always count on with this group is that they are not afraid to change things up to follow God’s leading and let the service go where it needs to. Saturday night was no exception.

Here’s a list of what they sang –
Karen Peck and New River
  • “Joy Has Come to the World” – Great to hear them start with a Christmas song from their Georgia Mountain Christmas CD. 
  • “I Wanna Know How It Feels” – It’s great to hear them staging this song again. Karen sings the first verse, and Jeff is featured on the second. 
  • “On the Banks of the Promised Land” 
  • “I’ll Fly Away” 
  • “Sustaining Grace” 
  • “Revival” 
  • “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown” 
  • “You Did It Anyway” – Jeff talked about his pastor before he sang this song. He passed away last March. He always read the book Cosmic Christmas around this time of year. Jeff said that they had been at his home church recently, and his pastor’s wife gave him the copy of that book that he always read from. He talked about how special it was for him to have that. 
  • “Finish Well” – Karen told a story of a track team that had been working all year long for the biggest race of the year. One of the runners blew out his knee just before the race. The coach recruited the water boy to run in his place. He protested to the coach, but the coach told him to just finish the race. The water boy was the last one to come in, far behind the other runners. As he got to the finish line, he fell over into the coach’s arms saying he knew he couldn’t do it. The coach said that he didn’t ask the boy to win, he just asked him to finish. She said sometimes the race of life is hard, but if we do the best we can do in life and keep moving forward may we all finish well.
That song closed the first half. During the concert, there was a small girl who would walk into the aisle and just watch the group as they sang. She never said anything or made a disruption, but watched them. It was precious. Karen pointed her out to the audience midway through the concert saying how she was just a little angel there watching them sing.

The group had two guests with them on stage during the first half. One is becoming more of a regular member than a guest – Kari Gooch, Karen’s daughter. The other was a member of the group and that was piano player Craig Nobles. He’s from Arkansas and played for the group for six years. He joined them playing for them that night.

The started the second half with Christmas music and did a medley right in front of the stage of “Silent Night,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Away in a Manger.” The front row of the church was full of little kids, so Karen went over while singing and held the microphone up to the kids and let them join in. Well, a few more kids came from the back of the church to the front row because they wanted to sing too! It was so cute! Karen stayed with the microphone up there with them and sang “Jingle Bells” and then started “Amazing Grace.” She then sang with them “Praise God” to the same tune. She tried to start the last verse of “Amazing Grace” but quickly discovered the kids didn’t know that one, so she went back to the first! Haha! It was such a sweet moment, and I know those kids loved every minute of it!!

New River kicked things off again with Jeff singing “Mary Had a Baby.” Love that I got to hear this one live!

They ended the service with “Everybody’s Going Through Something” and then “Four Days Late” before the invitation. It was a true altar call invitation to close the service. Incredible service!!

And it was a service that no one wanted to end! The pastor asked the group to come back up for another song. Well, one song turned into three more!!! They sang “Christmas is the Season for Believing,” “Light in the Window” and “Joy in my Heart.”

We all left encouraged and uplifted. Christmas is the season for believing, and sometimes it takes the innocence of a child to brighten your heart and remind what this season is all about.

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