Monday, June 22, 2009

"How Can I Keep from Singing". . .

. . .about "Love Without End, Amen!"

These two songs graced Worship yesterday at Eastwood Christian Church (Disciples). It was Fathers Day, of course, and when I first walked into the building one of the first persons I saw was Pastor Jay, who was wearing a very catchy necktie. It had words like "Dad" and "Father" all over it in various colors and type fonts. He told me it was an earlier Fathers Day gift -- and he'd almost forgotten to wear it!

In addition to being Fathers Day, this was the final Sunday the Eastwood Choir would sing an anthem before taking a summer break. And our Anthem today was "How Can I Keep from Singing". This is one of the best of the Anthems we've sung since I joined the Choir last Fall. We began with the women's voices, at piano volume, then added lower voices and crescendoed as we affirmed in song the grace and glory of our God, which is why we cannot keep from singing! Even in the face of this life's difficulties, how can I keep from singing to the Lord who walks thru everything with me?

Later I sang "Love Without End, Amen", a song written by Aaron Barker, which George Strait recorded and released as one of his hit country songs in 1990 or '91. From the first time I heard it on the radio it's been not only my favorite G.S. song but my favorite country hit of all time!

The very first Fathers Day following the song's release on radio I sang it at Donelson Christian Church (Disciples), a few miles east of my current church home at Eastwood CC(DC). I accompanied myself on my Yamaha acoustic guitar. Back in those years, the Tennessean newspaper here would run lyrics and chords for currently Top Ten country songs. Thus, I'd acquired the chords for the song. I've sung and played it in church on subsequent Fathers Days plus at other times so much since then that I have the song memorized.

Had my picture took on this first day of Summer --- and it felt like summer here in Music City! Nevertheless, I was wearing my brown suit, a green shirt and a necktie to have fellow church member Bill Ivie take my camera and photograph me with Chet Atkins. No, not the real, flesh-&-blood Chet; he's been dead a few years now. But at Fourth Avenue and Union downtown is a life-size statue of Chet with guitar, sitting on a stool with an unoccupied stool beside him. Recently I heard this explained as being the seat for the next CGP or Certified Guitar Picker. I've seen many folks sit there to get the picture taken with the legendary guitarist, and early on after my return to Nashville I'd determined that I must get mine taken, too. So today was the day!

Thank you, Bill, for doing me the honors!

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