A couple of weekends ago we got an unexpected blessing. A friend of our's called Nathan at work to say that he had 2 extra tickets to see Mercy Me in concert if we'd like to go. Of course we decided to drop all of our Friday night plans to go see one of the most popular contemporary Christian bands ever. Actually, we had absolutely nothing going on and it was a double blessing just to look forward to going somewhere. Sad, huh? We like to keep things low-key around here.
We got to the church where they were playing in time to park a million miles away and walk uphill in the pouring rain just to get in the doors. No, not really. I would totally have made Nathan drop me off at the door if it had been pouring rain. But we did have to walk quite a-ways! Once we were inside, we found our friends and our seats, which were really good, and waited for all the wonderful-ness to begin. And let me just say that before we got to the concert, I had been having one of those blah days where I was happy to be going to the concert but not super-excited. You know, one of those days where you don't want to stay at home but you can't think of anything to do or anywhere to go that would just make you jump up and down? That was me on Friday. I can't believe I forgot how much concerts, especially Christian concerts, touch my heart and pump me up! This was probably the 4th time I've seen M.M. live, and every time it's amazing. And in case you've never heard of them, they have a song called "I Can Only Imagine" that you've probably heard on secular radio.
Mercy Me's opener was Bebo Norman, whom I was not very familiar with, but now love. In a I-can-listen-to-that-song-all-day kind of way. He sang with just his guitar and his back-up-buddy-musical-genius friend and it was amazing! He has a great voice but he sealed himself into my heart when his back-up guy broke out the dulcimer. There's just something magical about that instrument, I think.
So since I was having a wonderful time worshiping the Lord, I had to take pictures to share with all of you. Hopefully, some of the moment will come through so you can feel it too. Remember to click on the pics if you want a better view.
This is Bebo and his back-up guru praisin' the Lord.
Back-up guy playing the dulcimer while the crowd sings along. I love when the whole crowd is lifting their voices in song!
Mercy Me's lead singer, Bart, sharing something riveting with us. Probably about how his son has Juvenile Diabetes and asked his dad one day, "How come we can't send doctors to the poor kids all over the world who need them?", which led to Mercy Me creating a foundation called Imagine a Cure that helps do just that. Told you it was riveting!
Rockin' out for Jesus!
This was so cool. They had a Q&A time and Bebo went out into the crowd to hold the microphone for the fans who had questions. We found out how they got their name, how Bebo got his name, what their favorite songs to sing were, and other interesting tid-bits. See on the big screen there? That's Bebo with a guy wanting to know how he can get closer to Jesus. Awesome!
Up close and personal...
The crowd listening intently to this guy's question...
Mercy Me and Bebo both work closely with Compassion International, which is an organization that provides financial & spiritual support to impoverished children all over the world. For only $32 dollars a month you can sponsor a child and help provide clean water, food, education, and love to a little kid who might be otherwise forgotten about. Nathan and I sponsor 2 kids through World Vision which is another organization along the same lines. If you're interested in sharing your wealth, then click on the links and help somebody! Oh, and if you're saying to yourself, "I'm not wealthy!" just know that if you didn't have to worry about where you'd sleep last night or what you'd eat today, then you're one of the wealthiest people in the world. That's pretty sobering if you ask me! And don't feel guilty if you can't do it right now. It's not about guilt, it's about a desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus in places that most of us will never go.
P.S. If you want to read some stories from someone who is getting first-hand experience in what Compassion Int. does, go read Big Mama's blog. She's in the Dominican Republic right now with Compassion workers!
P.S.S. I think this is a record for number of links I've put in one post! Have fun clicking through them! There's some neat stuff there. I know, because it's taken me almost 2 hours to write this post! I had to look around and make sure I was sending y'all to the right places! *wink*