Saturday, January 30, 2010


I am a big fan of Southern Gospel music.  For several years my wife and I held permanent seats at the Southern Gospel Quartet Convention held in Louisville.  We would attend at least five of the six nights the convention was held.  We would sit there for six hours every night listening to some of the top SG performers in the country.  Although I enjoyed most of the groups my all-time favorite was the Cathedrals.  I was sitting in my seat the year the Cats came out without Glen Payne.  We were told he was in the hospital.  During their set he called the stage, talked with George Younce, the bass singer for the Cats, and then sang a verse and chorus of a song.  Although he was in the hospital and singing over a telephone, his song touched every person in that huge arena.  Many were crying by the time he finished.  A few weeks later Glen Payne passed away.

I don't think I heard anything from the next group as I sat there thinking about the faithfulness of Glen Payne and George Younce.  They had been together for years travelling the country singing Southern Gospel music.  They had already announced they would retire at the end of the year.  Never was there one word of scandal or accusations of poor behavior.  Although they were now at the height of popularity, there had been many lean years, but they had remained faithful to the calling God had on their lives.  As I sat there I felt the Lord saying that He wanted that same faithfulness from me.  It was a holy moment in my life.

The next year at the Quartet Convention a print of Glen and George was made available.  It would be signed by George and Glen's widow.  I immediately went to the display area and stood in line for a copy.  I paid more for that print than any I had ever bought up to that time, and later paid about the same amount for a frame.  It hangs in front of my desk as a reminder of that night when God challenged me to a life of faithfulness.

He wants that for you as well.  Your calling may at times be challenging, and sometimes you may wonder why it is so hard to be faithful in doing what God has called you to do.  You may question if you have even understood God's call on your life.  After all, shouldn't it be easy to follow God's will for your life?  No, not always.  I tell pastors in my workshops that sometimes being in the middle of God's will is the toughest place you can be, but it is also always the best place.

I miss the Cathedrals.  They are still my favorite group even though they did retire at the end of that year.  George is now gone as well, but their music lives on.  So does the inspiration to remain faithful in the calling God has placed on my life.  Stay faithful my friends.

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