Month: February 2013
One of my life-long friends, Don Brock, is a pastor in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Since our kids were about the same age, we spent some time together a few times…at the beach, DisneyWorld. Now everyone is grown up and pursuing life on God’s terms. Don’s son, Mack, is a singer/songwriter/worship leader at Elevation Church in Charlotte. They have just released a new CD, “Elevation Worship–Nothing Wasted” with Mack playing a significant role in writing and producing as well as singing and playing on it.
He is one of those guys you need to know about! Here is a video of one of his songs in a live worship setting with Mack singing the lead. It is lots of fun having talented friends!!
Once in a while, a bona fide hero comes along. Dr. Howard Hendricks was that for me. When news came this week that he had passed away, memories spanning over forty years flooded my mind. From the first cassette tape I heard of him teaching back in my college days to the last time we spoke in Phoenix a couple of years ago, the “Prof” had a way of commanding my attention and nourishing my mind and heart.
As a young pastor, I went to the Moody Pastors’ Conference in Chicago with my wife Cathy. We were overwhelmed by the ‘celebrity’ nature of the line up of speakers–John MacArthur, E. V. Hill, Adrian Rogers and a host of others. But hearing Dr. Hendricks in person was guaranteed to be a highlight of the week for me. Needless to say, his practical wisdom, entertaining illustrations and biblical truth were then as always completely captivating!
In the 1980’s, conferences on biblical exposition were hosted regionally across the country. I chose Elmbrook Church in Waukesha, Wisconsin because there were three speakers–Stuart Briscoe, Kent Hughes and yes, Howard Hendricks. Much to my delight, during the short days of that conference, not only did I get to hear Dr. Hendricks speak but ended up eating two meals with him and shared an hour ride to the airport with him! I would have flown to Wisconsin just for the airport drive with him!
Years later, on a couple of occasions we hosted Dr. Hendricks for leadership and Bible conferences at Providence here in Raleigh, as well as having him speak at our weekend men’s retreat at the Cove. Never once did he disappoint and every time I was present when he taught, I felt that I had been treated to unique insights into the heart of the Lord from a great and godly man.
So yes, I actually got to spend time with this dear man, seek his counsel on occasions and learn from his example as much as his teaching. The legacy of great Christian leaders mentored and taught by Dr. Hendricks is well documented elsewhere. I for one count myself blessed for having the pleasure of getting to know him, however briefly, and consider my life richer for the privilege!
Thanks to the Lord for his influence for the kingdom of heaven and his love for Christ and His people! He was and ever shall be a hero of the faith for me!
“So, do you know how to get this stick inside this ball?”
After watching their five year old cousin Michael take a mighty swing, younger cousins Brian and Tom try to figure out the fine points of batting on vacation last summer! Life is complicated when you are not
quite two years old and everyone seems to understand this but you!
Several years ago, Cathy and I spent a couple of weeks in Cape Town, South Africa. While there, we had the honor of sharing in ministry with St James Church, Kenilworth. Frank Retief, then the pastor at St James, and his wife Beulah, were our hosts for a part of that time. While with them, we got to meet their three kids, Bruce, Grant and Debby.
What a rich heritage of ministry in this special family!
This morning, I ran across a website for Bruce Retief who is now a composer and arranger of some extraordinary music. This piece is called, “Tears.”
It was performed by Rouchelle Liedemann in a live concert in Cape Town. The power of its message needs no explanation! Enjoy and worship!
Twenty years ago with the Retiefs in Cape Town!
(Apologies to the family who have never seen this picture before,
but I bet their spouses and kids will love it!)
Sometimes Christian artists get a hard time when they step outside their specific ministry focus and just perform some fun music. Two artists I have grown to appreciate over the past 18 months are Dara MacLean and Brooke Fraser. Both have been very effective in writing and singing songs that convey a strong Christ-centered message. But they both have also developed quite a following outside the normal Christian music circles.
Here are a couple of recent finds that I think you will enjoy. One is a cover of an old song given new life and a new audience by Dara while the other is an original song by Brooke.
First, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” performed in a cool live studio recording by Dara MacLean who in this song does a duet with Jason Eskridge. Love this version!
Second, Brooke Fraser sings one of her own big hits. From her beginnings in New Zealand, she now has a world-wide platform for her music and recently has played before sold out crowds in several international arenas. This is a song called “Coachella.”