CRUISING with God at the Helm … (part 1)
It would take a month of Sundays to wrap my thoughts up in a package and try to share with you God’s gifts and the feelings evoked on the Gaither Homecoming Cruise in general, as well as all the concerts, devotionals, places visited, time spent with phriends, great roomies, food devoured and more…so much more. Needless to say, the day to day activities were exciting, the meals were scrumptiously endless and the music and company were better than the best! I will let others fill you in on the places we went…They are all mixed up in my head anyway. I just know we had a marvelous time no matter where we were!
Each day, the anticipation of the concerts grew stronger and the strategies for the front row on our special days were in place when it was our turn…haha. The concerts and devotionals were all tied together in a building travelogue so we could face ourselves, find God in the beauty of all we are and all we are experiencing and, without a doubt, know that He is here in our midst always and forever!
Sunday’s concert was a BIG welcome aboard and was filled with fun songs and lively banter. Yet there were serious messages in some songs about what is to come. The opening song was GOODBYE WORLD GOODBYE and we knew we were going into a different realm of spirituality, because Reggie & Ladye Love Smith sang a rousing version of I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS. They are wonderfully talented and cute as can be! Gordon Mote sang I’M GETTIN’ READY TO LEAVE THIS WORLD. It was spectacular and so alive and radiant. He is a masterful musician and a thrill to watch. All the artists sang and played and joked. At one point, Gene McDonald, with his deeeeep bass voice sang WALK DOWN THAT LONESOME ROAD. The walls resonated and rattled as he held those long low notes. (Mark, of course, jumped all over that!!!)
Somewhere in there the Martin’s sang a wildly animated version of SO HIGH and followed that with the medley of PROMISED LAND, RIVER, & DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE. Their harmonies are amazing and their jovial spirits both on & off stage are delightful. They are buddies of mine and I am so glad to have been able to spend fun and catch-up time with them.
Charlotte Ritchie is the sweetest thing. She gently sang GO DOWN TO THE RIVER AND PRAY. Not a soul moved as she meandered through the lyrics and softly rode the clouds with us. What a joy!
Soon after, Kevin Williams decided to take over the MC spot and told the Vocal Band to go to the back of the stage and “make like a football huddle”…haha so they did…and he introduced each one of them with the funniest descriptions of who they were that we were laughing so hard we almost fell out of our seats! We cheered and stood and played right along with it…sooo great. The GVB finally went in to BUILD AN ARK and Wes strutted all over the place doing the “Carlton Dance” to much hysterics. Yes! There was thunderous applause!!!!
Michael, with his rich, soulful , clear voice …Wes and David sang DAYSTAR deeply and compassionately.
As the room calmed down to total silence, there was a spotlight on a single mic center stage and as he stepped into the role of Jean Valjean and stopped time, David sang an exhilarating BRING HIM HOME. The entire room was breathless and the artists were on the edge of their seats as we were watching the performance. Before he was even done his last high gentle, stunning note, we were on our feet in unbelief.
Again … He brought God’s gift to us like no other.
There were many more songs and many more moments, yet one other stands out to me. All the men walked forward and started singing I THEN SHALL LIVE in unison. The women joined them and then we stood and joined in as well…it was a theater filled with heavenly saints singing and praising our Lord. Powerful and moving. Then Bill started WE EXALT THEE and then I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS. We were all singing together and it felt like one unit for God…the Holy Spirit was having the time of His life and so were we all.
We danced out singing HOLY HIGHWAY...and headed right up to the Lido Deck for the coconut ice cream. We know a good thing when we see one!!! The whole evening was superbly spectacular and this was only the first night!!! WOW!
I haven’t figured out yet how to do more condensing to these concert experiences…I’m sorry if they are long…Can’t grasp it all in a few words. I’ll try better with the rest…
Part 2 coming “soon”!
Last edited by leeg22
on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.