June 21, 2007: Often folks will ask me what the weather is like in Nashville during the summer months. My answer is easy, hot. That's one of the reasons I always enjoy getting to travel up north to a church or event to savor the coolness of the weather and the warm hearts of the lovely people I meet there.

I recently got to enjoy a time up north with some of my favorite people in the world. They are at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Lockport, NY. I have had the delight of being a guest singer/speaker at this church several times but this one was especially precious to me. It was for Niagara Frontier City Ministries, a charity that does great work. I felt so blessed to be part of it. One of the coolest things was what the Pastor, Duane Priset and his staff did to bring in people from all around the Lockport community to the event. They asked as many as twelve churches to bring their choirs in and had each one sing a mini concert. As the evening progressed I was so impressed with the talent of the singers in the choirs. The considerable church audience was too. Then I had the privilege of singing and giving my testimony. Toward the end of my concert the choirs all came together and sang back up on two of my songs, "Pray" and "Wonderful Counselor". As a singer and writer I have to write that I have never felt so honored and moved. As all those voices came in singing on my "little songs" I was overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord. I felt close to heaven.

As a singer and writer I have been singing my songs for some time now and it isn't that I don't enjoy them, I do, but it's easy to take them for granted. You forget how special they were to you when you first wrote them or the first time you got to sing them. When I sang "Pray" and "Wonderful Counselor" with the choirs that evening I was reminded and refreshed. It wasn't because I had written a song that touched hearts or that the choir made them so special, it was because these songs were about a Lord who created the enormous love and power we all felt in that historical, beautiful church that evening.

I always get so blessed by the people I sing for at every church or event I have ever been to. I tell folks that meeting them is my favorite part of the visit. I've heard myself sing for more years now than I care to admit. I am always grateful to share my testimony of the wonderful saving grace of our Lord. The event in Lockport was special for so many reasons though. I felt like I too was part of that community of believers for a very special cause. The fact that we all received a blessing as well is so like our Lord, Jesus. He is so giving.

Whether I am up north, out west, down south or in the east, I am grateful beyond words to be singing and speaking about a love that reminds us of the joy we have as followers of God. May your summer be cool and refreshing, filled with warmth that only our Lord can give.


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