UnBlog # 517
I don’t know exactly what my expectation was. I know what my hopes were, what I prayed for, how much I fussed and worried. But, I did not know what to expect. I only knew that it was for some reason the right thing to do.
From the opening song of “O Divine Redeemer” sung by my sweet wife and her sisters, I felt the powerful flow of the Spirit. I was so relieved and grateful when it came. I have done enough teaching and public speaking to know that there is only one circumstance whereby anything inspired or inspiring is said, and it is if and only if the Holy Spirit is present. When I felt that Spirit settle over that large group of about 550 people, and felt it enter into my soul, I relaxed, and I knew that whatever happened next, it would be what the Lord intended.
I had written and rewritten my address many times. When I left home I had reduced it to a few bullet points and some scriptures because I know that only the inspiration of that moment could put the right words in my mouth, and I was willing to stand up there with an empty bucket, believing the Lord would fill it in the very moment. I loved feeling the powerful flow of truth that resulted.
I loved the video presentation, and was startled, actually, to see that it perfectly echoed the words that had just come out of my mouth. I had reviewed the video of course, and had felt the Spirit urge me to play it that evening, but I hadn’t tried to harmonize my remarks with its quite startling message. In fact, I originally wanted it as a prelude to Spencer’s remarks, but when Kenneth Cope agreed to bless us, I moved it to following my address with no precognizance of how it would fit there.
I loved the speakers that followed me, Terry Keller, Michael Shannon and Shayne Holmes, who spoke with equal inspiration. Each one of them did exactly what I hoped they would, which was to tell their own story in a way that illustrated the common pathway we all share, and that with faith, belief, and reliance upon Christ, that pathway can take anyone to glorious things.
Nobody who heard Kenneth Cope sing that night will ever forget it. The spirit that he brought, his humble yet powerful testimony, his inspired lyrics and pure voice, his body language and the tears that filled his eyes as he sang about our Savior, is something I will always treasure and remember. It was majestically perfect as an introduction to Spencer. Words will fail me in describing how blessed we were to have Kenneth with us. There quite literally is no one who sings about Jesus Christ in the same reverential adoration that flows from Kenneth. You should know also that Kenneth volunteered his time to be with us.
I have never known anyone quite like Spencer. I am spiritually convinced that Spencer truly has seen all that he claims. Yet, he is so humble and self-effacing that I think he can hardly believe that 550 people would come to hear his story. He told me before, and after, that it was incomprehensible to him. Yet, the Spirit of God emanates from him when he speaks, and his story is unforgettable. I offer my eternal gratitude to Spencer for coming because he truly did not wish to be there. He came because I asked him to, and because the Spirit of the Lord authorized his being there. I know for a fact that nothing else could have enticed him to come.
In all, I can honestly say that the UnBlog Family Reunion was a highlight of my life. It was an exclamation point at the end of the sentence of my life. I praise God, and worship His Son for giving me this experience, and I give to Them any glory or goodness that comes from it.
When we came home that evening we found that our subdivision had been flooded and that all of the roads in and out of our home had been blocked all evening. There had been a mighty hailstorm. Most of the leaves were pounded off of the trees in our yard. The little plastic chairs on our back porch for the grandkids have huge holes in them from the hail. The rain that followed had sent mud sliding in torrents across our roads. If we had left even a few minutes later than we had, we would have been blockaded into our subdivision and wouldn’t have even arrived at the event. I can’t even tell you how mighty the opposition has been this last week, even to being quite literally “hell and high water”. But, our Savior is master of all, and despite everything that tried to inhibit this great evening, I am willing to believe that the UnBlog Family Reunion was everything Father intended it to be.
As my wife and I were talking quietly that evening in bed, too keyed up to rest, and too exhausted to sleep, I said something like, “I feel that there is still more the Lord wants me to do in my life, but after tonight, I feel that I could go back to Father and report that my life has been worthwhile.” And so it is.
My deep gratitude to the committee, and to the many volunteers who made it a success – and most of all to you marvelous saints of the latter-days, who came, brought your sweet spirits, and who shared this spiritually delicious evening with me.
© September 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.