Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Singing of His Love - Jeff and Sheri Easter Concert Recap

Jeff and Sheri Easter are one of the first groups I started following in Southern Gospel. I loved listening to their music, but I'll never forget getting to see them live for the first time. They are one of those groups where you walk away from a concert knowing that what you see on stage is exactly what they are off stage. They let the love of Christ shine through in how they interact with each other on stage, the audience during the concert and fans at the table. I was reminded of just how great it is to see them live in a church setting last weekend.

They came to Rock City Harvest Church in Sherwood, Arkansas. I've been to this church several times for concerts with various groups including Jeff and Sheri. They know the Ward family from the church very well, and all are very talented. Jeff and Sheri made it a point to share the stage with different family members and showcase their own talents which I think is such a neat thing that they do.

Jeff and Sheri started the night with "Small Town Someone." I love their latest project Small Town, and it was good hearing so many of these songs live. And this one was one of my favorites! Then they sang "Over and Over," with Jeff on the first verse and Morgan on the second. Morgan was featured on another new one "Someone's Listening" next. I love how Morgan has grown into her role with them and become such a great vocalist. I was with a friend who is a little hard to impress, I'll just say. :) I've only heard her compliment two singers; Morgan Easter is one of them. Next they sang "Sitting on Top of the World," which is my favorite recent Jeff and Sheri love song.

They introduced the band members next. Jared Easter is now playing with the group. I think he played about four different instruments that night, incredibly talented. And they have a young drummer, Joshua Phillips, who Jeff likes to pick on about his hair! :)

Jeff decided to demonstrate what the steel guitar sounded like that Jared had been playing and where people might have heard it from. Jared started the intro of "He Stopped Loving Her Today." They played and Jeff sang just a little bit of it, but the people wanted just a bit more. The pastor and his son, Arthur and Chopper Ward, even joined in a bit!

After some fun with that, they played a medley of different songs to showcase the live band - "Amazing Grace," "The Lighthouse" and "I'll Fly Away."

Sheri gave a bit of her testimony. She talked about how life happens to everyone. She lost her father at the age of 20, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago. She talked about how blessed she was to only have a few of those really tough times of life. She said that the important part was to keep your level of gratitude high no matter what you may be going through or how long your list of wants is. She read an excerpt from her devotional book talking about love. It was an incredible reminder of how powerful God's love is for us and how we have issues understanding this perfect love. We are engraved on the palm of His hand. This set up perfectly "Jesus Loves You." I absolutely love this song! She stopped for a moment to speak after the song. Sheri has such a way of connecting with and encouraging the audience. What she said was to good to paraphrase, so here it is in Sheri's words -

"We've been singing since we were 2 or 3 years old, 'Jesus Loves Me, this I know.' We sang it with affirmation because we believed it. Somewhere along the road of anger, bitterness, betrayal, loss, busyness, even celebrations we can sometimes forget that we are very valuable, that we are loved deeply by the Creator of the universe. We forget. It's nice to be reminded from time to time because I truly think if we could all understand and recognize the value that we hold, I think we'd be a lot kinder to each other....Somewhere along the way people forget that they are loved. All we can do is keep showing people that they are loved." They then sang the chorus again. What an incredible moment!!

Jeff then talked about his dad and sang with him via video screen. He talked about how blessed he was to still have his dad and how much he cherished that video of them singing together. It was so sweet to see the musical heritage and for him to pay tribute to his dad.

After a short break and hearing from a few members in the church, Jeff and Sheri took the stage again. They invited a few members of the Ward family to join them. Chopper Ward sang before the second half and even has been featured on TBN. His son Judah played the drums for them on one song, and one of his daughters Sydney sang "I Need You More Today." Their oldest daughter Katlynn also sang "Victory in Jesus" with them at the end. And their youngest Zoe came and sang "Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart." I think it's sweet how Jeff and Sheri are always willing to share the stage.

The second half was all requests with songs like "I Just Came to Talk to You Lord," "Thread of Hope," "Handful of Weeds" and "Living in the Rain." I'm not the one who requested "Thread of Hope," but I'm very thankful for whoever did! That's probably my favorite song they sing, love hearing Sheri sing it live! Morgan was featured on "Handful of Weeds." They also had a request for "Going Away Party," which Chopper sang the first verse on.

They ended the night with "Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me" and then "More Than Enough" to end the service with one of their fast tempo new songs!

It was an incredible concert. It was such an encouragement for believers and a powerful reminder of God's love for us through music, testimonies and demonstrated through the artists themselves.

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! Voted for the Talley's in every category you were in. Also voted for Sheri & Jeff. You guys are the best.


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