Sometimes a Light Surprises

For the past two summers, as we have traveled back east to see family, we have also tried to share our music wherever we can. This past summer we had one event scheduled. We knew that we were leading worship at Hilton Head Presbyterian Church on July 3 but we did not have any other events planned.

After a week at Hilton Head, SC with my family we drove down to Richmond Hill, GA (just outside of Savannah) to spend a few days with my sister-in-law Carrie and her family. On the way there Allison and I were both commenting on the fact that we wished we had found a place to play for the next Sunday, July 10.

A few hours after we arrived at Carrie's house, I went for a run at a nearby park. As I was pulling in I noticed a banner hung near the entrance to the park which read "New Covenant Presbyterian Church." Immediately I thought, "I bet this is a young PCA church plant." After my run I drove back to the banner and noticed a smaller sign with more information on it. I called the phone number that was displayed and began speaking to the pastor of this new church plant. Within about 20 minutes we had a plan for Allison and I to sing a few prelude songs and a couple of songs during the Offering... the next morning!

The next morning rolled around, Allison and I drove the five minutes to the church, shared our music, enjoyed a great service, and met a number of great new people. The pastor, his wife, and I are all friends on Facebook now, and I'm sure we'll continue to stay in touch.

In additon, the pastor taught a Sunday School class before the worship service and he talked about the life and ministry of John Newton, who wrote "Amazing Grace." As he talked about Newton, however, he also shared about one of Newton's best friends, William Cowper. Together Newton and Cowper wrote hundreds of hymns. Allison and I love the hymns of William Cowper and have written new melodies for three of his lyrical compositions: "O For a Closer Walk with God," "God Moves in a Mysterious Way," and most recently, "Sometimes a Light Surprises." Allison and I sang our rendition of "Sometimes a Light Surprises" during the Offering that morning.

Another cool story took place in Birmingham, AL as we spent a few days visiting Allison's mom and stepdad. We were looking for some place to play while we were here, a midweek service or something. Allison's mom lives right down the road from a PCA church that we have connections with so I decided on Wednesday afternoon to drop by and just see if we could share some songs that evening. I spoke with Steve, the worship leader at the church and a friend of mine of about 7 years. Steve suggested that we share some songs at their worship team rehearsal. I mentioned to him about our latest CD and some of the newer songs we've been writing, including Cowper's hymn "Sometimes a Light Surprises."

Soon after I left, Steve met with his pastor who is currently preaching through the book of Habakkuk and mentioned to Steve that their was a hymn by William Cowper that he would love to sing on Sunday that would tie in well with his sermon text. Steve responded by saying, "Is it 'Sometimes a Light Surprises' ?" Steve had never heard of the hymn until about until his earlier conversation with me!

We shared a number of our songs at the worship team rehearsal later that night, and we had the privilege of teaching the team "Sometimes a Light Surprises" and then listening to them play it! It was a really special moment. They will be singing it during the Offering this Sunday.

I love God's providential surprises.

*The photograph at the top is from our vacation. It is picture of sea oats on a day trip to Daufuskie Island, SC.


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