Dec 212016
 

Our carols season 2016 has been, well… unusual.

Rain, no rain, and falling trees… It’s been dramatic, that’s for sure. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Primrose Methodist

December began with a morning spent at Primrose Methodist Church. We were essentially CrossRoad Lite – no lead guitar, with Rich unfortunately not able to join is. We considered canceling, or using backtracks, but ultimately we decided to just head in and play our hearts out with only 3 of us.

Well, it was strange with no guitar – Rich’s playing is such a big part of our sound – but we played hard and it was a fantastic morning. Both congregations – 08:00 and 09:30 – sang along and enjoyed every minute.

It was warm, so very warm, and as we packed up and made our way home Dad and I were saying that it might just be the warmest day of Summer so far. We got home and had a swim to cool off.

Willows Methodist

I mention this because when we arrived at Willows Methodist at 4pm we were excited to play outside. A pleasantly warm evening under the stars singing carols – that sounded like a great way to end the weekend! And so we set up, confident in all the weather apps and websites which said that it would never rain again in the history of the world.

Alright, I’m exaggerating a tad, but that’s how it felt. We were all saying how great it was to have such a lovely evening and no worries about rain. Ha. Silly us. We forgot to add “God willing” like James tells us to in the New Testament.

Carols began, and almost immediately, dark rain clouds materialized out of thin air, and a wind picked up. Now, when I say wind, don’t think cool breeze. Think armageddon.

Yes, I’m exaggerating again… although, maybe not quite. I had just finished Joseph’s Song, and suddenly there was a crack! and the crowd screamed as one, and over to our right a tree came crashing down… Right where Shereen and Shanna sat with our cds.

Adrenalin is a strange thing. All I remember is somehow making my way to where a bunch of guys were lifting the tree off that table, and freaking out, trying to find Shereen and Shanna (my wife and sister, by the way).

Turns out, they both somehow escaped relatively unscathed. Shereen had leaned down to pick up a cd as the tree fell, and it hit her back and kind of knocked her out the way. Shan had stood up at the moment and taken a glancing blow to the head. Both ladies were just fine – apart from needing a good straightening out by the chiropractor during the coming week.

But when that tree fell in that wind, man, what a scary moment. Everyone scattered. Carols were over of course, less than halfway through. But I think everyone was happy to be out of that wind.

That rain came down on our way home, and we saw some scary accidents on the R21. Please friends, drive slowly in the rain!

And so our time at Willows – yes, the irony in the name is not unnoticed – was sadly cut short. But we’ll be back… as long as we can play inside!

 

St Catherines

The very next day we were scheduled to play carols at St Catherine’s school in Germiston. Now the weatherman was really trying hard, and the forecast said rain all afternoon and all evening. So the event was cancelled… and of course, there was no rain. Not a drop.

 

Home carols

Next on the agenda was our home carols. As you may know, we do carols at our house every year. The band sets up under the lapa, and everyone brings picnics and blankets and we have a great time.

But now, we were weary. Very weary. Could we risk more falling trees? The forecast said rain, 6pm, which was when we were scheduled to start. We eventually decided to play it safe and move it to a church close by, LRC Boksburg.

And finally! We got it right. Because at 5 o clock the heavens opened, and it whacked down. Proper rain. We were so glad that we didn’t have to scramble to get our instruments in from the back yard.

The evening kicked off with our friends Kings Collective singing a few worship songs. It was just the two of them – Renier, a lecturer colleague of mine at Emendy Multimedia Institute (and he also mixed my new solo album, I Owe You Everything) on guitar, and his wife Heidi on vocals. What a great set of songs, and a heart of worship that just set the tone for the evening. It was really great having them around, and we’re hoping to do more with them next year. Find out more about them here: www.kingscollective.co.za

Then we were up, and after kicking off with a few rock n roll praise songs to get things moving, we got stuck into the carols. Amidst some sound problems, some tablet malfunctions and some very strange notes on the piano, we had a great time! As always, Joseph’s Song made an impact… And the band intros in Feliz Navidad were as comical as ever.

We sold a bunch of boerie rolls, although we have a bunch left over which will be lunch and supper over the next few weeks. I wonder if any of our guests ended up at Living Waters down the street by mistake? They also had their carols on that night, and I have a feeling some of our friends ended up there. But either way, they would have had a night of worship in song. Christ be exalted!

 

Boksburg North

Early the next morning, bleary-eyed and running on prayer and coffee, we arrived at Boksburg North Methodist. Thankfully we only stay a few minutes away, so we didn’t have to leave too early to get there.

We visited BNMC earlier in the year and were blown away by the way the people sang. And this service was no different – we started on the carols, and the congregation just belted it! From the heart too, you could feel the worship coming out of them. What a way to spend Sunday morning!

 

Hillside Methodist

To end off our weekend, we headed to Edenvale to our old friends at Hillside Methodist. It had been a while since we’d been to this church, and we were very much looking forward to sharing our songs there.

By 6pm the hall was full, and after a special visit from Father Christmas (all the way from the North of Joburg) we got carolling. And the people got rocking and rolling with us, there was a lot of excitement and many cheers as we played the old favourite carols. Rocking Around the Christmas Tree (with our reworked Jesus-lyrics) was the highlight of the evening.

We were also touched by the generosity of the church – it was Dad’s birthday, and after singing a rousing Happy Birthday, Peter presented Dad with a bottle of wine as a gift. Great stuff!

 

Heidelberg Methodist

And so suddenly we had only one more carols event! This time we were at my home church, Heidelberg Methodist. We played carols at HMC last year too – also on Youth Day, at the Four Seasons Nursery (be sure to pop in at their coffee for a cup of coffee next time you’re in the area).

Once again it was a stunning day. The afternoon was very hot, and we were commenting on how similar the day felt to when we were at Willows. We arrived, and again the question came – should we set up outside or inside? No clouds to be seen! No rain forecast by the apps!

We decided to play it safe, and we set up inside. Luckily, the Four Seasons venue is set out in such a way that the people who sat outside could still hear everything. A good thing, because the inside was packed to the brim.

Being our last gig of the year, we let our hair down a bit and really had fun – and the HMC crowd got so involved! There was dancing and clapping, and during Rocking Around the Christmas Tree a train of people formed and spun their way around the venue while singing “Christ is born today!” Just fantastic.

We were asked to open with HMC’s theme song (and probably our theme song too) Walking With the King. Then we were asked to close with it again after the carols… And of course that train started again, as we all celebrated Jesus together. What a way to end the year!

Then, as we were packing up… the rain came. Luckily we were inside so we didn’t have to rush everything out of harm’s way.

 

That’s a wrap on 2016

Sheesh – what a season! We’re grateful for the rain, we needed it so much. It made for an interesting (and, at times, frightening) Christmas time. Now for some rest.

2016’s been wonderful – we’ve met new congregations and revisited some familiar ones, played some new songs and rediscovered some old songs. Most importantly, this was our year of rising up in prayer. I can still remember sitting around the table at our studio in January deciding to call the studio our War Room, and committing to praying together like our lives depend on it; which of course they do! And through some rough times, and through some epic times, our God has kept this thing called CrossRoad going. We just pray that he keeps getting all the glory. When that stops, when it becomes about us, or when people stop getting Jesus out of our songs, then we’ll hang up our instruments.

God willing, that won’t happen in 2017. We have a US trip booked for March/April; a new album in progress, and a whole hoard of people to sing and minister to.

God willing!

 

Cheers, and God bless you all this Christmas,

Luke and the team

Noel

 Posted by
Dec 022016
 

Christmas season is upon us! It’s almost too good to be true. In fact, it seems far too early to be singing Christmas carols.

Why is that I wonder? These are some of the most wonderful worship songs ever written. Surely our every day should be a cry of “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”, not just our Decembers.

But even if Christmas shouldn’t be more worshipful than other times, it is still a great time for us to reflect on the beauty and majesty of our great God, and to worship Him from the deepest part of our souls.

Genesis
This year our carols season began at Genesis Family Church in Kempton Park. We’ve played at Genesis a few times over the last year or two, and so it was a familiar feeling pulling into the driveway, driving around the new building up to the church, greeting Andre the talented sound man, and feasting on muffins and sandwiches and coffee!

The first gig in a tour is always a little nerve wracking, and this being our first Christmas service of the year, there were a few nervous laughs as we stepped us to begin singing. But soon we were in the swing of things, and the congregation sang along to all the familiar songs with great enthusiasm!

The highlight, at least for me, was singing Michael Card’s “Joseph’s Song”. We were lucky enough to record the song on our Born in Bethlehem album, and it’s always been a song that gets to me, as a I reflect on what Joseph must have felt in this calling of his to raise the Son of God. God hand picked him, you can bet that. He was just the man God needed to give Jesus the right start here on earth. Singing this song always convicts me on so many levels – would God have picked me? Could I have done the job Joseph did? Am I a man of integrity?

We rocked around the Christmas tree singing our praise, and packing up afterwards we felt sure that the people had worshiped and met with God. That’s what it’s about!

Brackenhurst Methodist
A few hours later we arrived to set up at Brackenhurst Methodist for some carols by candlelight out in the church grounds. And what a lovely afternoon – no clouds, no wind – just perfect!

And so we set up, did some sound checks… and the first cloud appeared.

Now, you highveld people know what I’m talking about here. Next thing we knew, a storm was close, and long rolls of thunder sounded ominously from above. We looked, and we thought, and we ummed and aah’ed … And then we decided to pray about it.

For those of you who might be reading this from outside of South Africa, let me give you a bit of background: our country is in a time of drought, and we’ve been praying for rain for months. Our dams are empty and we’ve had water restrictions this summer.

So as I started to pray it struck me: I can’t ask God to keep the rain away. Not only would it go against the needs of our nation, but there are thousands of people praying for rain. Who am I to compete with that!?

So we prayed, Lord bring the rain. If it can miss us for a few hours, let it be. But bring the rain!

We looked again, we thought again, we heard the thunder… And we decided to move inside. Rather that then sit and worry about the rain as we play, and risk damaging our equipment. We announced the change, and the good people all chipped in and helped carry our gear inside.

By the time we were all set up, the adrenaline was pumping! There was an excitement in the air, and the church was packed, We sang our songs, and the people danced, they clapped… and they sang. Oh boy did they sing! The sweet sound of the people of God singing together as one; it makes it all worth it for us.

As always, we finished off with Feliz Navidad, and then we were done. What a great day to start off the season.

All praise to God on high. He is worthy, He is holy, He is our delight.

December:
We have a few more gigs lined up for the year. We hope to see you at one of them:

4 Dec: Primrose Methodist 08:00 and 09:30
4 Dec: Willows Methodist 18:00
5 Dec: St Catherine’s School 18:00
10 December: Home carols 18:00
11 December: Boksburg North Methodist 09:00
11 December: Hillside Community Church 18:00
16 December: Heidelberg Methodist @4 Seasons nursery 18:00

Luke’s solo album
Lastly, my new solo album, I Owe You Everything, is finally out! I’m very excited; this is a very personal collection of songs that I hope will give you great joy and peace. Feel free to come get your copy at any one of our gigs.

Have a listen to the songs here: https://lukepowell.bandcamp.com/album/i-owe-you-everything

Have a blessed December everyone, God bless from all of us here at CrossRoad.

Cheers
Luke

Called to Worship

 Posted by
Nov 062016
 

It’s been a little while since I’ve written, and as usual, CrossRoad has been busy church-hopping. We love what we do! What a great honour to lead so many different people at different churches in worship week by week. August Cancelled gigs are always a disappointment, and when one of our August services was cancelled […]

August 2016

 Posted by
Aug 112016
 
August 2016

We often take a few weeks off in winter, mostly so that we don’t have to do our usual 5am Sunday morning starts in the ice cold! But this year we decided to fight through it, and I’m so glad we did. We’d have missed out on some memorable times if we’d slept instead. June […]

Jun 102016
 
Wise Men from the East

There are a LOT of churches in Gauteng. It was 2010 when we left our home church, Trinity Sunward Park, and began traveling around from church to church. And we’ve been so busy doing that that we hadn’t even left the province during the first 6 years of our ministry. Until May 2016! We had the great […]

Apr 252016
 
Your Love Lifts Me High

“I’m gonna praise Your name every single day of my life I’m gonna tell the world how Your love lifts me high!”   Has HIS love lifted you high lately? We’ve been singing some old songs from our A New Beginning album, and as we sang this one at Genesis Family Church a few weeks […]

We Are Blessed

 Posted by
Mar 182016
 

Hi everyone, hope you’ve had a blessed 2016 so far. We’ve had a quiet start to the year. We played a few dates in Feb, and then March has been quiet. We’ve decided to not play Easter for a change – to rather spend that special time with our families. Then in April we start […]

Jan 152016
 
Rising up in prayer

2016. Already. How about that! We had a great time in December going playing our Christmas album all around. It’s something we’d been wanting to do for a few years, and to finally have that album out for you all to hear and enjoy is really a blessing for us. Hope you all enjoyed it […]

Dec 102015
 
Onward Christian Radio article

Hey guys   Have a look at this article that the good people at Onward Christian Radio wrote on us! http://www.ocradio.co.za/rocking-for-jesus-meet-crossroad/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook As well as this from GenesisChristianRadio.com   God is good, and He deserves all the praise and glory. Psalm 34:1-3!   Keep walking with Him!   Luke

On Our Way

 Posted by
Nov 092015
 

It’s been a busy time for us – mostly with preparing our Christmas album, which is now out! God is good, and He always makes a way where there seems to be no way. Proof: he uses us 4 ordinary guys from the East Rand, and uses this music to really touch people’s lives and […]