On Sunday night, Matt finally cashed in his "big" birthday present... tickets to the concert of a Christian band called Casting Crowns! I know, you're reading the words "Christian band" and immediately you're thinking bad white rappers, cheesy vocalists in soccer mom jeans, or a guy and a guitarist who thinks he's the first guy to have ever played a guitar... but this is a great band and an absolutely awesome concert!
We first heard their music kind of randomly, around the time that we found out how critically ill Mom was, and when the realization hit us of how limited her time left was. Specifically, their song 'Praise you in this Storm' caught our attention because it was so incredibly descriptive of exactly how we were feeling in that time. It's really hard to find music these days, Christian or not, that has the magic combination of great lyrics and great musical talent (you know, they actually play their own instruments)... and when you change "great lyrics" to "really great, deep, descriptive, real, uplifting, scripturally accurate and reminding you of the life you're supposed to be leading lyrics"... well, there you have Casting Crowns.
If I sound like I'm raving, I am. It was really that good! They also have the rare distinction of being even better live than they are on their cds. At times it felt more like a church service than a concert, and I mean that in the good way. There was all the excitement of a concert and the heightened emotions of live music, but when you add to that the fact that the whole band sat in a row in the front of the stage and prayed for different "sections" of the audience (marriages and mommies that were represented, ministries that were represented, people suffering from addictions, and of course lost souls in our communities) that's pretty cool. They also described walking through the auditorium before the concert, praying over the chairs and the people that would be sitting in them. If you've ever been to the RBC center, that's pretty impressive.
I bawled the whole way through when they sang "Praise you in this Storm," and it was really incredible to see that many people so excited about God and what he is doing in their lives. I had almost forgotten what it's like for so many people around me to be raising their hands and worshipping so excitedly! Matt and I also got a glimpse into what youth ministry may be like... there were obviously many youth groups there together. Let's just say it's a very weird feeling to feel so encouraged and so overwhelmed at the same time! Overall, it was just a really great time of praise and for Matt and I to be together enjoying something fun, but also focusing our attention that much more on the Lord.
These are not pictures we took, and I don't think they were from our specific concert, but we wanted you to see a bit of what the band looks like, so we borrowed them from their website:
And yes, that is a girl with a fiddle in the band. Everybody get excited.
There's no new news on the job front right now... still just waiting prayerfully that the right place and church will happen in God's timing. Obviously we still have a few lessons in patience and faith left! But that's a good thing, and one that was a long time coming with us. We're looking forward to having good news to share soon!