Monday, October 13, 2008

Toto, I don't think we're in Utah anymore...

A few months ago, Deborah's mom invited us to her annual church choir concert. Last night was the big night--and MAN were we blown away. As the program began, and we were surrounded by black singers in flowing choir robes walking up the aisles and singing, "Amen! Amen! Glory glory hallelujiah!" in perfect harmony, I turned to Ryan and said, "This. Is. Awesome." I felt like I had stepped into the movie The Preacher's Wife (minus Whitney Houston of course).

The concert featured a jazz pianist, a lady rocking out on the drums, a spirited narrator preaching the Good Word, and of course a choir swaying, clapping, and praising God through music. People in the audience would randomly jump up and reach their hands into the air, calling "Hallelujiah!" One lady busted out a tamborine she had brought, while the lady next to us joined in the music by shaking her keys and stomping to the beat. The highlight of the evening was when random people in the audience started reaching for the microphone and wailing out their own improvised Gospel solos with the choir. WHAT?? Can all black people sing like American Idols?? That's what it seemed like last night as audience members just kept busting out the high notes. (And just because I know many of you are wondering, NO I did not take my turn on the mic! I would have made a fool of myself with my classical training trying to keep up with those Soul Sisters!)

It really was an inspiring evening. I love seeing how others worship God. The theme of the concert was "I Don't Feel In No Ways Tired," which is the title of an old spiritual the slaves used to sing, encouraging them to endure their hardships and trust the Lord without complaint. The narrator talked about how life can be stressful and tiring, but we can't give up or complain, and if we rely on Jesus, He can invigorate us and give us strength. She said that God will always say to His children, "I love you, and I'm not tired yet!" (The best part was, she didn't say "I'm not tired yet!" The choir behind her sang that phrase in harmony every time she pointed at them. She had them do it about fifteen times during the course of her sermon.) I thought it was a good point: God will never get tired of taking care of us, and we should never get tired of taking care of others.

I tend to get exhausted, whiny, and stressed out too easily. The message of the concert was perfect for me, and I left feeling uplifted and grateful for all the new experiences life in Buffalo has afforded me.

This is Deb's mom, Patricia, with Deborah, Ry, me, and Deb's daughter, Shavonne.

Here is some video footage from the concert. Unfortunately, our camera is a piece of garbage, so there's no sound, but you can at least see the choir. The man in the gray suit was their soloist, and he was awesome. I wish you could hear them!


  1. Sounds fun! The Gladys Knight fireside we went to had a similar feel, but not quite as much overt enthusiasm. :)

  2. I am loving reading about all of your adventures. I wish I could hear them singing....I secretly always wanted to sing in a choir just like that!

    I worry about the future of my children as well. Even here in Bountiful, I see so many discouraging things. Last year Trevor was a student teacher for seminary and we often found ourselves in similar conversations. Thank heavens for the gospel,though(literally)! I only hope it will serve as the an anchor for my children as I know it was for you and I.

    I loved the amaze me.

  3. Rock on! That sounds like an awesome experience. I'd write more, but unlike the choir, I'm in several ways tired, so I'm going to bed. xo

  4. Must love Deb. She's hilarious.

    Jeff will be jealous that you got to go to an actual "revival." He often pretends he is part of an all African American gospel choir. I continue to tell him: It never hurts to dream, my friend.

  5. How awesome is that!?! I'm sure there is some good soul singing here in B-more, too ..... somewhere .....

  6. what a fun experience! i stalked you from tia's blog. gad to see how well you guys are doing. hope school's going well for both of you!
    our blog is


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