Hello America! Well the summer is
drawing to a close and the crisp notes of fall are starting to
appear. For many folks, including some of us, itís their favorite
time of year. Itís also when many states and towns hold their
annual fairs and festivals. We perform every year at the North
Carolina Mt. State Fair in September. Itís always a treat and an
adventure at the same time, but always fun for us and we hope a
blessing for those who come to see us.
years thereís always a running gag to see which childrenís ride
with the loudest carnival music, bells and whistles will begin
playing at the very moment Tim starts to sing. No matter what, it
seems, we can talk and introduce a song or band member, tune a
guitar or tell a joke and all is quiet. We can start a song, Chewie
play an intro and all will be quiet. Darrell can sing the first
verse and all will be quiet. The moment the entire group begins to
sing the chorus suddenly the ear-piercing siren from the kiddy ride
nearest to Timís side of the stage screams out like a wounded cat
in the night. And always, according to Tim, on his note. Needless to
say, it provides the rest of the band with much entertainment.
year however, we noticed something that took us back a step. We were
about an hour into our performance when something unexpected
happened. From the time we had started playing at the outdoor
pavilion the crowd in front of our stage had grown. The built in
seating was full and people were standing down the sides and all
across the back and up the hill. Quite a large crowd had gathered
before we had even started and by this time, it was as large as we
had ever seen it there. All good news one would think. It was after
a song when Tommy started to talk about the Lord that things took a
turn. He started explaining the groupís relationship with God and
how we cherish it in our lives, the joys of walking with Jesus and
life with the Lord in your heart. It was nothing preachy, but
clearly celebrating the Lord. As he was speaking we began to see
folks slipping away from the crowd and leaving. This is nothing
unusual as outdoor, in a fair setting; there are always people
coming and going. However this was different. These were people that
had been there from the start, or maybe walked up during the first
few songs and decided to stay. And it wasnít three or four, it was
more like eight to ten, and from all around the crowd not just one
group that may have been together or something. Though this seemed
odd we didnít think much more of it at that time. It wasnít
until a couple of songs later that it really became evident that
something was up.
finished a song that had special meaning to Tim so he felt lead to
say something about it. As he was speaking he started talking about
his personal relationship with God. Fortunately for him, the kiddy
ride didnít start up at this time. If it had, there is little
doubt the rest of the group would have fallen off the stage with
laughter. But that didnít happen and he kept talking about Jesus.
Then it started to happen again. A couple here, one there, one over
here, a few back there, members of the audience began slipping away
into the noisy, carnival night. And it was a noticeable number. Now
some could argue that they were simply moving on to enjoy the fair.
That they had heard their fill of gospel music for the night, which
was more than they normally, would have heard for they didnít come
to hear it anyway. They had come to see the fair and had just
stumbled upon us. Yes, that was probably true for half of the crowd
there if not more. But we had been stopping and talking between
songs all night. It just seemed peculiar to us that it only happed
the two times we began to speak at length about the Lord and what He
can do in ones life.
lot of the ones that left were teens and early 20s. I guess we
should be glad they were even there at all. But others were adults.
So the question is; is this were we are at in our current society?
Where the moment the name of Jesus is spoken or a testimony is
given, people run for the door? Especially young people? Is it that
uncomfortable to them to hear about the Lord, or to reflect upon
their own lives and perhaps the need for Him in it? Then one would
have to ask why is that so? Have the parents in todayís America
failed that much that their children run at the mention of the Lord?
The answer very well could be yes. Not just yes but a resounding
not necessarily the teenís fault. Kids will be kids and the fact
that they were there as long as they were was something of a feat to
many. But when the name of the Lord is spoken, they shouldnít be
so shameful. This is a parenting problem. Parents do not have their
children in church. They donít take them to gospel events or
concerts. If the parents go they often allow the kids to stay home
or go to a friendís house where they are learning many things
other than about the Lord. But sadly, many of the parents stay home
from these activities as well. Itís time the parents of this once
great nation came back to God and brought the kids with them. We
shouldnít see people walking away when someone talks about Jesus.
We would hope that is the time more people would join the crowd not
for us, we are grateful that all those people were there and chose
to stay and listen to us sing our praises to the Lord. We can only
pray that a song we sang or something we said before those who left
got away that planted a seed in their hearts. A seed of hope, joy
and love. A seed of the almighty God.
next month, be blessed!
Until next month,