Photos! http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthdaniel ... 88/detail/
On Monday, Feb. 27th, I went to 7 am devotions with Bill Gaither in the Vista Lounge (showroom). Bill talked about how “Little is much when God is in it” and priorities. He told a story about a pastor who had sent him and Gloria a beautiful painting and a personal note. Bill wanted to respond to him personally and display his painting. He didn’t have time to do this, since he had some family obligations. He asked someone on his staff to write a thank you letter. This Pastor responded with a very non-appreciative letter. Bill took time to write him a letter explaining that he was with his sister, who was in the hospital and was spending time with his grandchildren. He wrote, “You’re not at the top of the priority list”. The Pastor wrote back to apologize and thanked Bill for taking the time to write with an explanation in order for him to understand. “Life is choices.” “You shall have no other gods before me.” Bill says he has to make these kinds of priority decisions daily, just as we do. Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
We docked at Nassau, Bahamas from 8 am – 1 pm. I went on a snorkeling/harbor tour shore excursion from 9 am – 11:30 am. Brenda met Sonja at the ship entrance/exit building. Sonja is from the Bahamas and had a sign with her name on it. We were told before we went on the excursion that we could cancel it, since the waters were choppy, but we decided to go. I met Bev Olsen from Alberta, Canada and we teamed up. Brenda and Kendall went on this excursion, too. We took a boat out to a reef to go snorkeling. I saw several big fish, where they were being fed, but I went back to the boat early. The sea was choppy and I had enough salt water in my mouth! After this, we took a harbor tour of all the mansions on Paradise Island. We saw the homes of Chuck Norris, Tiger Woods (with a white yacht in front), Oprah Winfrey (2 homes side by side – one was a guest house!) and even Elvis’ house (hidden by trees with a maroon dock in the water.)! Also, we saw several sports stars homes. Atlantis Resort is on Paradise Island. The connection between the buildings (the bridge) is a ten room suite costs $25,000 a night with a four night minimum! Michael Jackson was one of the first people to stay in this suite.
When we got back from snorkeling, Brenda showed me where to find Sonja. She and her sister, Kathy, had waited to see David all morning. Sonja took me to the Straw Market. I told her we would probably run into some of the artists when we weren’t expecting it. We walked through the Straw Market. Sonja said, “There’s Wes!” when we came to the edge of the market. I asked Wes if he would stop for a picture and he said he would. Sonja was really excited, so I told him, “She hasn’t met any of you guys, yet!” Told him she was from the Bahamas. Wes asked her, “Are you really from the Bahamas?” I took a picture of Wes, Andrea and their two oldest boys, Barrett and Hudson, with my camera phone. Sonja told Wes that she was blessed by his song “There’s Always a Place at the Table”. I told her that Wes sang When God Dips His Love last night. He said he tried to sing it, but not very well. I told him I saw David cheering him on! He said, “He was?” Sonja wanted to get a picture of them with her camera. She asked them if they were getting back on the ship. They said they were and if they ran into her again, they would pose for another picture. We hurried to catch them at the entrance building. We saw them again. As we walked up to meet them, I said, “We’re your stalkers for today!” They said, “Oh no…” I took a picture of them with her camera. Sonja told me that the next time we were in Nassau she could take us out in her boat and show us the sites that the tourists never were able to see! I’m ready to visit her again. I could have spent all afternoon talking with Sonja, but I had to get back to the ship, before it left! I got back to the ship at 12:30 pm when the gangplank was being pulled up. We had to be back on board at 12:30! We left Nassau at 1 pm.
I was eating a hamburger for lunch from the Terrace Grill at the pool. Karen spotted David and Lori at the pool bar ordering a smoothie for Coby. I went over to say hi and introduced them to Karen. I went to hug Lori and she said she was sweaty – they just worked out. I said, “Look at my hair – I don’t care.” I hugged her anyway. I told David that I didn’t want to bother them, just say hello. David squeezed my arm and said, “It’s good to see you.” I ate lunch with Karen, Kathi, Mary, and Brenda at the pool. Karen had seen Wes and talked with him. I found out later that Lori and the girls had gone to the Straw Market, but I don’t know if David went with them. David’s boys, Grant and Coby played in the pool with Wes’ boys, Barrett and Hudson. David’s girls, Callie and Maggie Beth, were sitting at a table by the pool. Madison, Sherrie’s girl, was with them. Several of the Homecoming artists were sitting around the pool on lounge chairs with their families in a group. The Gaither Bookstore was open this afternoon. I bought an 8 X 10 of the GVB, since the Homecoming Christmas book wasn’t there. I bought Charlotte Ritchie’s new CD, also. Callie arrived at David’s merchandise table late. Met Joyce Martin and talked with Russ Taff, too. It was time to get ready for dinner and our second concert!
We ate dinner at 5:30 pm which consisted of fruit as an appetizer, carrot soup and an entrée of flank steak. This is what I had to eat. There were several appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts from which to choose. Kendall (Ken), Brenda’s husband joined all the girls again. He was so funny mocking us, “Now, remember, we have to sit on the left side, because David is sitting on the left!” We left the table before our dessert menus were delivered! Our server said, “No dessert?” We told him we had to get in line for the concert about an hour earlier than the first night, since it started at 7:45 pm tonight. The doors would open a half hour before the concert. We found seats on the left side again, about two rows away from the priority section. Mark came out to the edge of the stage and said, “The first crowd was like singing at a funeral!” Kevin played guitar at the beginning of the concert. The Homecoming Friends started singing Feel Like Travelin’ On at 7:45. Michael lead on Heaven’s Jubilee at 7:51 and the GVB sang Jesus Hold My Hand. Mark joined them and sang with Joyce Martin at the end. At 8 pm the GVB sang Hide Thou Me without David. Wes did a wonderful job! Gene sang bass, Bill on piano. Bill told Gordon to take notes. Gordon pretended to be writing and held up a -3 for Bill’s piano playing! HA! At 8:03 pm we sang He Touched Me with them. Charlotte Ritchie sang Walk Out of this Valley. Gordon sang an awesome version of Roll Away with the Isaacs! David was sitting in the front row again on stage tonight, chewing gum. Gordon sang and played Through it All at 8:12 pm. At 8:18 pm, the Martins sang a beautiful song This is the Promise I Made to You! David sang the line “face to face…” on this song. Michael started That Sounds Like Home to Me at 8:23 pm with the GVB minus Wes, but Wes joined them on the ending. At 8:30 pm Michael sang What a Day that Will be! At 8:34 pm Charlotte started singing I Stand Amazed with Jonathan Martin taking a verse, and also David belting out his verse at 8:36 pm! Just after this song, Russ Taff, David, Wes and Gene sang Heartbreak Ridge. David bumped Russ! Ha! Mark walked on stage to tell us again that “the first crowd was like singing to a funeral!” He was glad we were having a great time! He talked about the toilets on the ship. He said, “You can’t sit on the toilet and flush, it will suck you down there! Does anyone have a hickey on your hinny?” Ha! Buddy Green sang Beautiful City at 8:47 pm. The Isaacs were center stage singing by 8:52 pm and David left the stage at 8:57. Lily Isaacs spoke and the group sang I’m Gonna Love You Through it at 8:59. Buddy and his friend Jeff Taylor played and sang I Don’t Belong at 9:03, when David came back to his seat with coffee. Jeff plays accordion and piano. Gene McDonald sang Thanks to Calvary at 9:09 with Bill enjoying every minute and David singing BGV. Wes sang A Place at the Table at 9:14 pm, with David and Michael singing BGV. David sang, “softly and tenderly…” at the end of this song. The big finale at 9:19 was the GVB singing Worthy the Lamb! We were all singing Holy Highway at the very end of the concert at 9:25 pm.
At 9:30 Ladye Love and Reggie Smith had a special Big Band concert. I think I heard about three songs, including It Had to Be You and Embraceable You. While I know some of these songs, and Reggie & Ladye Love sang them beautifully, this is not from my era. I knew these songs would put me to sleep, so I decided to go back to my room and go to bed after a long day. (Lee has a great review of this concert).