It’s midway through March and finally I have time to tell you about the last few weeks. I should be studying but instead I find myself in front of the laptop, replaying today’s service at Emseni in my mind. The usual Sunday night!
We started March out with a time of worship at Kempton Park Methodist Church. We lead there on the first Sunday every month, and for me it’s always a highlight. Luvuyo’s strong leadership and passionate preaching always makes you walk out feeling ready to take on the world! This week though, we were privileged to hear a message from the Bishop Jonathan Anderson, who was there to induct a new minister at KPMC. Our friend Rev. Ron Robertson from Trinity United Church in Norkem Park was also there, and we all shared a very special service.
For a while Rich had been saying “Let’s do an acoustic thing – not without drums, but we can do some nice stuff without blasting electric guitars and solos and stuff”… So we picked some old songs that we used to sing back when we were a worship team at Trinity Sunward, that Rich could rock out with his acoustic guitar. “Trading My Sorrows” is always fun… “I Will Lift Up” by W Duane Clark which we hadn’t done for AGES… An old John VD Laar song called “Never Let My Hunger Die” (www.sacredise.com) and some others. Great stuff. Deep stuff.
Then on the 9th we headed off to Benoni Central Methodist, where we play once a quarter. Hadn’t been there for months so it was great to be back! Hilton was away on an Emmaus walk, so we heard a Dave Bentley preach a wonderful sermon called “To Believe or Not to Believe”, based on John 7 and 8. Towards the end he used an incredible CS Lewis quote which has been bouncing around in my head and heart ever since – “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Wow!
Worship was great – we did a Chris Tomlin themed set (of course it was a GOD-themed set but you know what I mean)… We did “How Can I Keep From Singing” to open, and then together we all sang “Indescribable”, “God of Wonders”, “Our God” and “How Great is Our God”. Powerful… the congregation rose up and belted it out, and it was one of those that you just didn’t want to end!
It’s always great being at Benoni Central… we say it every time we go there. Great congregation to lead because they just get into it and let it fly. It’s why we do what we do!
And then today, the 16th, we were at Emseni. Of course we started our ministry at Trinity with Derek Wilson (I was baptized and confirmed there in fact!) so playing here with Derek leading the service was really special.
It was a full service – the chapel was packed to the rafters! There were four baptisms, plus a lovely tradition where the people can come and light a candle and pray for a loved one. We did three worship songs and a few items, my favourite of which was Third Day’s “Love Song”, which I can really belt out and sing from the heart. We were without drums – it’s a smaller church and it would’ve been a bit of overkill – and so Rich went acoustic again and we had a lovely time singing some older songs.
The piano was positioned behind the guitarists, so I was battling a little to see the congregation, which was a little strange to me. Difficult to connect with people you can’t see! But I could hear ’em singing away, and in the middle of “I Stand in Awe” I was thinking “Yes! This is what it’s all about, right here.”
Now we have a few Sundays off, and so we’ll be spending our weeks working on songs for the new album. We need to write some new stuff – we’ve got ballads galore, but we’re a little short on our usual rock n roll praise! But the songs will come. They always do, God kind of says “Here you go!” and suddenly you got a new one done. God’s cool like that.
I’m also excited to have my solo CD out at last. It started when the song “Just a Man” didn’t really work on our CrossRoad albums. As much as it is a spiritual song with a lot of God-stuff, it’s not really worship… So I thought I’d take my songs that CrossRoad never do – love songs, piano pieces and that type of thing – and put them on an album. You can pick one up wherever the band is playing!
We get busy again in April – we got a Chrysalis Praise Party at Trinity Sunward which you do not wanna miss.. Plus Holy Week. Looking forward to that time – God just does incredible things.
See ya soon!