Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and friends,
Steve here… Many of you participated in the “Fellowship Day of Prayer” this past Sunday (November 3). I’d love to hear from you. What did you do? What did your church experience? How did your church family, Bible study or small group participate in this special day? I trust it was a positive experience. Write me a brief note and let me know what happened—thanks.
Why I love the “Blues”
I crossed one more thing off my “bucket-list” last week; my daughter and I went to hear and experience B.B. King (and Lucille) live in concert. For someone who has loved blues music for decades, it was a treat to hear the “King of Blues”. Mr. King has still got it at 88 years of age!
I imagine some of you have no appreciation for blues music, so you’re wondering why this music grabs me at the inner-core of my being. The blues offers expressions of life. I sat in my church small group twenty years ago and a police officer shared that life is tough. Life is often hard, frustrating, a struggle. I retorted that I thought he had it all wrong; life was easy and free. 20 years on, I’ve concluded that he was right. I’m not suggesting that life isn’t filled with joy, amazingly fun and full of incredible experiences—it is. But, overall, this old sinful world is not heaven. It doesn’t feel like home, and I’m homesick. I long to go home where I know I’ll experience joy unspeakable.
Like other folk art forms of music, the blues and Gospel music come from the experiences of everyday life.
“The blues was born behind a mule”, said the great Mississippi Delta bluesman, Muddy Waters. Blues was born in the mud—the tough places of life; born initially in the days of 19th century Reconstructionism, Jim Crow laws and the segregation of Blacks in the early 20th century. It was born out of struggle. It often speaks of the struggles that life throws our way. We’ve all experienced curve balls in life.
And blues artists, like B.B. King and Gospel singers like Mahalia Jackson, sing songs that are real, raw and relevant to the human condition.
I still have a smile on my face after hearing B.B. King. This music resonates with my heart; it’s authentic.
In some ways, I hope our praise music does the same. While pointing God’s people to the Lord, we sing of the struggles of life and the hope only Jesus brings, while feeling a bit “home-sick” for the glory that awaits each of us.
I guess that’s why the blues and Gospel music are such close cousins in the musical library of American music.
Next time you hear the blues, I hope it reminds you of me…and I hope you’ll pray for me. Thanks.
Have a blessed week,
P.S. Next week we will be at our annual Fellowship National Conference in Richmond, BC (CLICK HERE for more information). I look forward to seeing you there. For those who may not be able to attend, you can follow what’s happening on Twitter at: #FNC2013.