On Friday night, we had a great line up at Singing in the Sun; the Mark Trammell Quartet, Ivan Parker, the Talley’s, the Pfeifers and the Booth Brothers – it was awesome! After some congregational singing, Ray Flynn opened the night in prayer and then shared how 73 people came to know the Lord that week so far. The Lord was doing some wonderful things! As an additional feature, Singing in the Sun offered a live feed video stream of the evening concerts, and Ray asked us to “say hello” to all the viewers – after we did just that, Lauren Talley Alvey walked on stage to warm us up with In Christ Alone.
From my seat in the middle section on the floor, I saw the first group of the evening take the stage – the Mark Trammell Quartet. They began the program with Meet Me Over on the Other Side and Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah. “Thank you so much,” Mark said, greeting the crowd. Introducing the guys before he went any further, Mark explained to the audience that their tenor was still in the stage of contemplating whether or not he wants to be in their ministry permanently. A good old bass feature followed introductions – Wonderful Time Up There! Mark teased Dustin about how he doesn’t like to be in front of large groups of people, before featuring him on Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus. The punch line to the joke was when Mark said, “Apparently, he doesn’t think we’re in that category.” LOL Nick’s solo, Testimony, came next. At this time, Mark went on to talk about their current project titled “Lifetime,” and how his record company asked him to take the songs, writers and groups that most positively influenced his life – of course, all of that had to be condensed to 10 songs! He said that wasn’t an easy thing to do, but after hearing him tell the story behind why he recorded this next one, you’d understand why it made the cut. He explained the motivation of why they travel and sing, “It’s not about the singing, or the laughter, it’s that you know who Jesus is and that He is coming soon.” With that, they closed their set with The King Is Coming. The crowd was really ready to worship that night because everyone was on their feet and many had their hands in the air before the end of the song.
“This next gentleman coming to the stage,” Greg Cook, the emcee began, “well, how many like songs like I Can Only Imagine, Midnight Cry? Put your hands together for Ivan Parker!” Ivan appeared on stage and shouted, “Hello to Myrtle Beach!” His first song was Sail On – now, if that isn’t a perfect song for the ocean or what?!!! He followed up with I’m Going Home and then asked, “How many young people do we have in the room?” A huge cheer rose up from the audience and he said, “I didn’t realize we were having a youth rally tonight!” So he encored the song. Ivan’s a family man and he was so excited to have both of his sons with him that night. At first, he brought Josh up to play with him, and then his oldest son, Ryan, was brought up on stage also. He went on to talk about the Boston explosions and the fertilizer plant in Waco, Texas, encouraging us to pray for our country and its people. “I want to honor the guys and gals who are fighting for our freedom right now while this this concert is going on,” said Ivan with conviction. Asking the veterans to stand, he sang God Bless the USA in their honor. He didn’t get past the first line before everyone in the building stood to their feet! While he sang, there was a music video playing on the big screens, these ended with fireworks and you could hear them too! It was very cool. “I could not wait for this night to sing this song,” said Ivan, “if you need a message of hope to encourage you, this song is for you.” It was I Choose. After that stirring ballad he had Josh play us a solo on his guitar – he played Shout To the Lord and received a standing ovation. Just as everyone sat down for the next song, Ivan began to sing Midnight Cry and the crowd stood right back up! LOL
“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together.” – Psalm 34:1-2 The emcee used those verses to introduce the next group, “Please put your hands together as we exalt the Lord together with the Talleys!” Debra and Lauren took center stage as Roger sat at the keyboard – Amazing Grace opened their set. The next song featured Lauren on the verses, though originally the song featured her husband Brian, it was The Church Will Overcome. I really enjoyed watching them sing that one live! “Thank you for coming and spending your Friday at Singing in the Sun,” Lauren said warmly, then introduced the trio quickly. “Pay real close attention to this lyric, I just love this and I think you will too,” she said of Roger’s feature, Every Scar. Afterwards, just to prove that we all have “scars,” Debra told a story about an experience she had in a Walmart parking lot. Their bus was parked there before a concert somewhere and she grabbed her purse to go in and purchase some items. Before she left the bus, she noticed a young woman on the other side of the lot holding a cardboard sign. Debra went and spoke to her and in their conversation; Mrs. Talley asked the woman if she knew Jesus. Her response really touched me, Debra said the woman looked down and said, “Yes, I do. That’s one of the reasons I’m so ashamed of being out here…because He’s been good to me.” Debra found out that her name was Angel and she had two children and asked if they could pray together. To us, Debra said, “We go to church on Sunday, and then we go to work the next day and we don’t tell one person about Jesus, shame on us! There is a world that’s dying…” This story led into Broken World, and when Lauren began the first verse she changed the lyrics to accommodate that story, “Angel’s got more month than she’s got money…she’s got two kids, she’s barely getting by.” It was the perfect follow up! He’s Alive ended their set – and boy did it get everyone excited! This was a standing ovation waiting to happen! LOL
Ray Flynn came up on stage and asked if we enjoyed the Talleys. “I can tell you on the authority of God’s Word that He is alive,” he said, referring to that last song, then introduced John Hagee. Pastor Hagee spoke on prophecy, The Four Blood Moons, using Joel 2;30-32 and Acts 2 as his platform. Though what his sermon was about was clear, the implication of the information was a little confusing. He went through history and the Bible to build his case that the next set of blood moons (which we’ll be seeing in 2014 and 2015) herald the Lord’s return – but then he went on to say that he was not in any way trying to set a date on the second coming of Christ. So, here is what he said, you decide what you think about it all!
NASA has predicted “Four Blood Moons:” appearing on these dates, 4/15/14 and 10/8/14 –a solar eclipse is thrown in the middle at 3/20/15 – then another set of blood moons on these dates; 4/4/15 and 9/28/15.
For the first time in history, a series of blood moons will line up with the Passover. The Passover will appear at the same time as the first blood moon in 2014 and Sukkot lines up with the second blood moon that Fall. In March of 2015 a solar eclipse will take place at the same time as Nisan 1 and the Passover and Sukkot in that year match the dates for the third and fourth blood moons.
Hagee did some research and found out that each series of blood moons in the past appeared in the same year something big happened with the nation of Israel. In 1492 the Jews were kicked out of Spain – in 1948 the state of Israel was reborn – in 1967 the city of Jerusalem was united after 2000 years…and all of those events revolved around a set of blood moons.
Also, Pastor Hagee explained that every seventh year is called a “shemittah” year. These years are important, for example, September 11th when the World Trade Towers crashed was a shemittah year, 2008 when the stock market crashed was one…the next one is 2015. Also, this is the exact same date as the four blood moons. Therefore, John Hagee is very convinced that it is very possible that the Lord will return during this time.
The Pfeifers were up next and began their time on stage with an instrumental of How Great Thou Art. A faster song followed, God is Good and God is Love. Another instrumental of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (with a little bit of singing) came next with a ballad called I Know Who You’re With. John told the story of It Is Well With My Soul, of how Horatio Spafford lost his daughters to the Atlantic waters and yet, “Out of that tragedy came something that you and I can get encouragement from today.” It Is Well closed their set…they played through the first part and Mary sang the last verse – standing ovation!!!
“Amen!” said the emcee, “that’s a lot of hot air…but its anointed.” LOL Before bringing the last group up, they announced that the boom of thunder at the end of Hagee’s sermon knocked the internet out and their live feed!!!
“Without further ado, the most awarded male trio!” announced the emcee, “The Booth Brothers!” (Well, I guess Greater Vision and the Booth Brothers are tied for that position! LOL) The BB’s kicked off their set with Because He Lives, Welcome to the Family and He Saw It All. Michael quickly introduced the guys and then asked Roger Talley to come up on stage. He explained that he asked Roger to play a song with them…this wasn’t the one, but he claimed it was easy! Patting Roger’s shoulder, Michael said, “Just trust me.” Roger replied, “You’re not the easiest person to trust.” LOL Jim introduced the song, Every Cry Is Heard By the Father and when they finished singing it, the words appeared on the screens for us to sing along too! We sang the chorus two or three times and then Mark Trammell walked up on stage and strapped on his bass guitar. “When we came into this field we had no excuse not to do it right, because we had men like this for examples,” Michael said indicating Roger and Mark. Those two examples provided accompaniment for the ballad that followed, Look For Me At Jesus Feet. Their last song was Feeling Mighty Fine, not only did Mark and Roger play along on this one too, the Booth’s invited Lauren Talley to come up and sing on the encore. It was a very unique moment to have all those different people on stage together, Michael, Ronnie, Jim, Roger, Lauren and Mark. No wonder they encored it…again.
When intermission came to a close, Ivan Parker led the second half beginning with Canaan Land Is Just In Sight. Afterwards, Ivan turned to Mark and told him he was going to sing – I’m Standing on the Solid Rock was the tune selected. “Folks,” Ivan said with a smile, “this is just a fun time! We don’t have a clue to what we’re doing – we’re just a bunch of friends singing together!” The song What A Lovely Name must have been on a lot of people’s minds, because that’s the exact song that Ivan had Mary, Lauren, Jim and Mark sing next! On the second verse, Mark stepped back and let Jim, Mary and Lauren sing it as a trio. I’ll Fly Away closed the evening – the crowd was on their feet and Lauren sang it about three times! It just kept going and going and going!
Conclusion: Each night kept getting better and better! The combination of artists that appeared on stage Friday night was superb! More than that, each group had something to say that encouraged your Christian life. Debra Talley’s story about Angel at Walmart put tears in my eyes, Ivan’s song God Bless the USA reminded me how blessed we are to live in this nation and Mark Trammell drew our focus on the soon return of our Lord.