Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday's Thought!

"Gaither Family Fest in the Smokies"
(C) Allen Pearson

Last weekend, I had the blessing of traveling with friends to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to attend the annual "Gaither Family Fest in the Smokies." The event is an awesome weekend of Southern Gospel Music featuring many of the genres notable artists like the Gaither Vocal Band, The Booth Brothers, The Isaacs, The Hoppers, Lynda Randle, The Easters and the list goes on. The artists sing Southern Gospel songs and hymns in their various styles which is really an awesome way to hear music from artists you are not familiar with.

"Clouds in the Smokies"
(C) Allen Pearson
Every year, soon after the concert starts on Friday night, it begins to give you an idea of what heaven will be like. The atmosphere is full of music, love, and often a bit of clean humor. It is a time of rejoicing and celebrating the blessings God has given us and for laying our problems, heartaches, and headaches aside and focus on God and His Magnificence which Bill Gaither, Kevin Williams, and others draw us into through the beauty of music. 

Also, I love this time because I get to hear my favorite songs from over the years and hear some new ones.  Although I have to admit, the music never fails to remind me of my father who was a Minister of Music and Songwriter who loved to sing solos using many of the Gaither songs. One evening, I aged myself 35 years when I remembered the debut of the song, "He Touched Me" written by Bill Gaither.

Another part of the weekend I really enjoy is hearing how "human" the artists really are. Sometimes we think we are the only ones in the universe going through a particular problem as we don't know someone who is going through it or all of our friends are living the perfect lives while we are still trying to get ours together. When an artist shares about God helping them with a problem, it's a blessing to hear their story. I was particularly humbled and blessed to meet a man named Daniel Ritchie who has struggled through physical difficulties all of his life. Though he has had significant struggles, he didn't complain about them but focused on God's Power to use them to help others.

The weekend features 5 concerts with a grand finale-type celebration on Sunday evening. Then reality hits as its time to head home and back to all the problems, heartaches, headaches and crises of the world. While it can be difficult to leave this taste of heaven, those who are Christians, accepted Christ as their Savior, know we will one day leave this world and go to heaven where there will be no more pain, problems, headaches, and heartaches.

Yes, the problems will most likely still be there but having Christ in our hearts, living in our lives, makes these trials easier to handle and go through. It is a peace which goes beyond our human understanding.

To learn more about God's Plan of Salvation for man, please visit, Peace With God!
"The Nelons in Concert at Gaither Fest"
(C) Allen Pearson