Monday, March 3, 2014


"Oh Music! Miraculous art! A blast of of thy trumpet and millions rush forward to die; a peal of thy organ and uncounted nations sink down to pray."-Benjamin Disraeli

Today I had an amazing worship experience. My friend, John Waller, was playing an organ dedication service at his small church home in Norcross and invited me to go. I'm so glad that I did.
Mount Carmel United Methodist Church is the kind of quaint, country church that has the feeling of being around for 100 years (maybe it has been). Before I even walked in the door I had been greeted by someone, ushered in, and handed a bag of pamphlets describing the church and its functions.

The congregation is small and made up of families who like they've been coming for many generations. The priest walks the aisles of the church in the middle of the sermon and asks for prayer requests and praises. The choir loft seats about 10 people. They use hymnals and have pew Bibles. And they have an epic cemetery next to the parking lot.
I have a love for old cemeteries. And this one was just about as perfect as they come!

The whole service was something of a welcome relief from my normal Sunday experience. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE my church. My pastor is amazing and the music is an event in and of itself. But my church is very big. We have thousands of people on campus each week. Sometimes you can feel a little lost. The message may not seem as personal. You think you can brush it off and forget about what the pastor said during the week. You could fall asleep or text during the service and no one would know. You could stop coming to church altogether and no one would know. Not so at Mount Carmel. Everything seemed so personal and gripping. It was definitely intimate. And, on top of that, they have a hidden treasure in their friend John.
John getting ready to perform. The organ console is right in the middle of the choir loft. Believe it or not I was sitting in the back of the church.
John is one of the best musicians I know. He has studied under Julliard trained musicians and does organ dedications practically as a job. He takes artistic liberties that some people only dream of and he takes them well. He is soulful and passionate. And most of all, he loves Jesus.

It was a joy to see John today and to hear him play. I was blessed by the music (made me remember why music was my first love and how much I miss hearing real music performed well). I was blessed by the church. The whole event was truly a blessing. I knew when I first sat down that God was in our presence. I'm glad I got to have an intimate experience with Him.

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