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 we suddenly had a few empty weeks ahead. So we phoned around to see if anyone would take us on at the last minute, and it so happened that a small church around the corner from us jumped at our invitation.

That church was Dalpark Presbyterian Church, now shepherded by an old friend of ours, Philip Stoneman. Philip actually played drums with as on one our very early gigs – 2009 I think – before Jonathan or Kevin had arrived in the picture. Funny how these things work out!

We arrived early to set up, as usual, and were all set up and ready to go when the people arrived around 9 o clock. Now, this church has a small building at this point, and all our equipment set up in the front seemed like it might be overkill. But the people sang along loudly, and we felt right at home. The advantage of a small building is that there’s no separation between us and the congregation, and so we all sang as one family. Awesome stuff.

We played songs from our Rock of Ages album, and I did the Never Again talk. As we were packing up, one of the congregation members came and told me how much that talk resonated with them as an addict. Thank you Lord, I thought as they walked off, thank you that this old song can still touch people so deeply.

The next Sunday we were in Kevin’s home town – Springs! We played Trinity Methodist Springs years ago on a Friday night, but had never played in a service until this point. We decided to play our Walking With the King set, and boy, God just worked in those songs. Wow.

We played both morning services, and once again, “Hammer No More” was the hit both times. We are so looking forward to getting to the US to sing that song with Doug Ray. That’ll be just about as good as it gets!!

September

September came around and we were off to Pretoria, to Willows Methodist for the first time. What a beautiful church! And great people, we were really blessed to spend the morning with them.

We did our usual Rock of Ages set with the Never Again talk at both morning services. I was a bit worried before the early morning service, when some older faces came in and settled right near the front. Oh boy, is Rock of Ages gonna chase them out? I thought to myself! But I don’t know why I think that anymore, because they always just seem to get it, and they sing along and praise from the heart, and I’m always ashamed for doubting.

We’re excited to be going back to Willows for some Christmas carols on 4 Dec, 19h00. Hope to see you Pretorians there!

Next, we were back at St Andrew’s Presbyterian in Germiston. This is a special church for me – one of the first places I did my Never Again talk was at a men’s breakfast there, and I love going back.

This time we sang songs from our A New Beginning album. No talk or sermon, just songs and stories. One of those occasions where the music does the talking! Rich’s “Picking Up the Pieces” was the highlight for me. So many broken people out there, and this was just a reminder to bring our brokenness to the Saviour, and lay it down before the cross of hope.

Power Problems!

In early October we were back at Alberton Methodist Church to play at the men’s breakfast (where there are usually as many ladies as men!). This was an exciting occasion for us – Rich had been working on a talk based on his song “Come Unto Me” for a while, and this was his first time sharing it. We’d been praying over it for some time, fully expectant that God would work through him and touch each person there.

We were flying through our set of songs, and halfway through “You Walked a Mile in My Shoes“, the power cut! And this was no Eskom drill. Just about the whole of Alberton was out. We hung around, waiting, waiting… and finally Rich picked up is acoustic, sang the song himself, and then gave the talk. Intimate, gentle and personal – no fancy sound or gimmicks. In fact, probably just the way God intended it! Tears were shed as Rich went through lines like “My child, I count every breath that you take”, “My child, do you know that I’m always here for you”… and so many others. Powerful stuff.

Afterwards Rich reflected that it was a good thing he was doing the talk – my keyboard was useless with no electricity – his guitar was the only acoustic instrument, and so that was the only way we could have made it work when the power went.

Our next stop was an old favourite of ours – Emseni Methodist. This is an older congregation, and there had always been a concern that our music might not quite be received too well. So, for the last few years, whenever we’ve played at a morning service at Emseni we’ve really kept things low key, with gentle drums and acoustic guitars.

But this time Derek said “go for it! Do what you do.” And so we arrived, set up and belted out “Rock of Ages” with all the enthusiasm we could find. We sang “To God be the Glory”, “We Wanna See Jesus Lifted High” and “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” and the people sang along loudly! We boogied to “Sinner’s Blues”. Rich sang a deeply emotional “Come Unto Me”. I sang and spoke about grace and love until my throat went dry in my “Never Again” talk. And we all rose and sang “How Great Thou Art” and lifted that thatch roof to close.

Man. All I can say is in our years of doing these songs, we’ve rarely felt what we did this service. Something incredible happened on this Sunday. I can’t put my finger on it – God ALWAYS works in these songs, but somehow He went further this time… It was as if there were strongholds that were broken. Chains that broke free.

All glory to God. We can’t wait to go back next year!

Workshop

At the end of October we had the chance to take a step back and reflect on what we do and why we do it, when we led a workshop for the worship teams at Trinity Methodist Linden. We spent the whole day at the church, playing the morning service, presenting the workshop, and then ending off at the evening service. Great day!

Now in my own experience, if I have to prepare a sermon, sometime the person the sermon speaks to the most is me.

And it was the same with this workshop. Rich and I sat and worked on the content, and as we sat on the Sunday and led the Trinity leaders through the material, there was a sense in which God was growing us too.

The workshop consisted of 2 sessions: the first, It’s Not About the Music, where we spoke of the spiritual side of the calling; and the second, It Is About the Music, where we shared some tips for bands and music ideas etc etc.

This is something we’ll be hoping to do more of in 2017. Please contact us if you’d be interested in having us do this at your church! We’d love to share the knowledge we’ve gained over the years with whoever wants to hear it.

 

Carols season

And so we head into Christmas carols season! We’d love for you to join us on one of these dates:

27  Nov: Genesis Family Church, Kempton Park, 09:00

27 Nov: Brackenhurst Methodist Church, 18:00

4 Dec: Primrose Methodist Church 09:30

4 Dec: Willows Methodist Church, 19:00

5 Dec:  St Catherine’s School, 18:30

10 December: Home carols, 18:00

11 December: Boksburg North Methodist, 09:00

11 December: Hillside Methodist, 18:00

16 December: Heidelberg Methodist, 18:00

 

Cheers everyone, God bless!

Luke

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 […]

Born in Bethlehem

 Posted by
Nov 092015
 
Born in Bethlehem

Great news – our Christmas album is out! We’ve been hard at work recording this one over the past year or so, and we’re really excited to have this album for you guys. Here’s the cover: It has 2 original songs – one by Rich and one by me, and then a bunch of good […]