(AKA, focused on Glory ~ Christ in Us)
This post has been a LONG time coming. I've said before that I'm going to do a post someday on my "blogging process" to try to provide a bit of insight into why certain things get posted...or not...at certain times. However, I'm afraid it would be a little like my "stir and dump" method of cooking which makes sharing recipes a bit of a challenge at times...it just doesn't always make sense to anyone but me!
I don't make New Year's Resolutions as such, but I usually do sit down and make some general goals and plans for the year during the week between Christmas and my birthday. This year the expected "lull" after an even-busier-than-usual holiday season didn't materialize, and I haven't managed to put any goals or plans for the year in writing. I'm hoping that isn't a sign of things to come!
One of the things I would really like to do this year is become more intentional and organized in my blogging. I have great plans...but life just too often gets in the way. I'll probably never be a terribly "structured" blogger, but I would like to be somewhat more consistent. We'll see about making that happen in 2013. :)
In the meantime, I have some catching up to do around here. I have a list of about 25 posts from 2012 that were never finished...or never even started, other than in my mind or on my blog planning sheet. I'm going to try to finish a few of those this month. Today's post is one of those that's been partially finished, hanging around in draft, for months. It's #7 in a series of what will probably be 9 posts in all on our trip to Minnesota for the St. Paul Guy Penrod concert last May.
So...without further ado...7 months later...My Very Favorite Moment of the Whole Entire Trip!
The concert itself, as I described in prior installments, was amazing. Guy's concerts always are. :) But the post-concert time is even better to me than the concerts themselves. It's such a blessing to watch Guy interact with those who've come to meet him, have their pictures taken with him, and get autographs.
He never appears to be in the slightest hurry. He treats everyone who comes through the line as though they are friends. He acts as though he truly loves every minute...and he says that he does. He tells the story of standing at the back door of the church every Sunday morning of his childhood with his preacher father, wearing his little suit while greeting the congregation.
He posed for pictures with the girls, and willingly signed shirts, cds, and other paraphernalia for our little group. I was snapping pictures like crazy while we visited...although I somehow managed to completely miss getting a shot of Bayley getting her shirt signed. We chatted about driving all the way from Arkansas for the concert, about the previous concerts Jodie, Bayley, and I had been to, and about the fact that it was Emlyn and Ammah Grace's first concert. But...as much as we enjoyed that time, it wasn't *quite* my favorite moment. :)
My favorite moment came just after this picture was taken:
As we were waiting in line, we'd been visiting with the "friends from the computer" we'd finally gotten to meet on the trip as well as meeting some new friends and hearing their stories. This adorable lady is our friend Sue. Sue was one of our "friends from the computer" who we finally met in the hotel lobby the night before the concert. Before we'd ever met her in person, she had become a dear friend. One of the great treats of the trip was meeting her (and Denise, Heidi, and Kerri) in person.
The greatest treat of the trip for me, though, was a phone call that occurred just after the above photo was being taken. Just after the shutter snapped, Guy said, "I think your pocket is ringing, Mrs. Sue". Now...Sue has been to even more concerts than my friend Jodie. She's been on at least one cruise with Guy. They are old friends. :) Sue has a grand-daughter named Emma. Emma has some special needs, including a seizure disorder. Sue was a wonderful encouragement, resource, and prayer warrior when we were in the process of learning that one of our children has a seizure disorder. We, in turn, have prayed regularly for Emma and her family. Although we've never met her, we've heard many stories about her, seen pictures, and prayed for her so much that we feel like we know her.
So...when the phone rang, Sue pulled it out and said, "It's Emma." Guy immediately wanted to talk to her. You see, Emma LOVES Guy's music..she knows it all by heart. Guy and Emma had met at a concert, and they had sent messages back and forth at other concerts with Sue. So Guy took the phone from Sue, and stood there in the midst of all the hubbub chatting on the phone with this sweet little girl. It made Emma's day. Sue later told me that Emma was at some sort of party at the time, with a bit of commotion going on in the background, and when she got off the phone, she yelled, "I. JUST. TALKED. TO. GUY. PENROD!!" She was so excited.
And I was standing there wiping tears from my eyes.
Because that moment summed up the reason that we appreciate Guy's ministry so much. Because it's not just about the music, although the music is wonderful. Because it's not about the hair, although just after this picture was taken, Bayley rushed over to me whispering, "MOM! I touched his hair. And his hair is SO SOFT!" :)
It's about Guy's heart for God and his love for people. In every encounter I've had with Guy (and in so many stories I've heard from others), the love of Christ just flows out of him. One morning in youth Sunday School, the girls and I talked about the fact that Jesus just "oozes" out of some people. The girls weren't thrilled with my word choice, so we came up with some others, but that one still nails it the best, I think. And Jesus "oozes" out of Guy Penrod. His heart for God and his love for people make the message he shares from the stage in word and in song authentic.
And that afternoon, Guy's love for people just glowed, not only with the people who'd bought tickets to his concert and stood in line to meet him, but with a faraway little girl with special needs whose day he made by taking the time to stop and chat with her on the phone. THAT was my favorite moment of the whole entire trip. (Which says a lot, because I pretty much loved EVERY moment of the trip. Well, except that whole "we're never going to find a bathroom" thing in the middle of nowhere in Iowa. Oh, and the storm sirens the night we arrived in Minnesota. Those weren't my favorites. :))
|Another favorite moment for the girls...having their picture made with Keith, Guy's "brother from another mother" and road manager. :)|
|Keith and Sue making faces. :)|
|More people who "ooze" Jesus's love...Kerri, Sue, and Denise. Love these ladies!|
|Sue and her sweet friend Carol.|
Still to come in this series:
Heading Home! Adventures en route to Arkansas
God's Glory Behind the Scenes...an Amazing Story
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Previous posts in this series:
Part 1 ~ "Let's Start at the Very Beginning"
Part 2 ~ "We're Going on a Road Trip!"
Part 3 ~ "A Road Trip with Mrs. Jodie is Always an Adventure!"
Part 4 ~ "The Friends Who Live in Our Computers"
Part 5 ~ "At Long Last...The Concert!"
Part 6 ~ "More Concert!"
Although the photos in this post are not current, nor are they the greatest technically or artistically, I've planned for this story to be a focused on Glory feature ever since last May. :) focused on Glory is a sometimes-more-regular-than-others collaboration with Tauna at Creative Confetti. Be sure to hop over and check out the latest there!