... I am afraid that too few of us believe in the efficacy and the sufficiency of that name. With that name ... there is a joy that you have never felt and a hope that will never disappoint you. ... There is a love that will never let you go ... a friend that will never leave you ... a God that will never fail you, and a Christ that will never forsake you, a life that will never end, and a power that you will never lose. There is no name like this name! I wouldn't write it on the sky because some people never look up and they would fail to behold his beauty. I wouldn't write it on the ground because the wind might blow trash on it and people would walk over it. I wouldn't write it on the wall of the White House because only the invited would see it, and the uninvited would never know that he's the honey in the rock, water in the desert, and a bridge over troubled waters. I wouldn't write it on money ... the rich would live and the poor would die. ... I'd write it so you could read it in the midnight hour! I'd write it so that when tears are streaming down your face you could read it and know that he will wipe those tears away. ... I'd write it so that you could read that name and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
... I cried unto the Lord with my voice, And he heard me out of his holy ear. I lay me down and slept and await. For the Lord sustained, the Lord sustained me. For thou, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the lifter of my head. For thou, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the lifter of my head.
... No matter how you're feeling now or what you go through, There will be somebody loving you. Deeper than the grandest canyon, and higher than the open sky, Near enough to capture every whisper, every sigh, Strong enough to hold you when you cry. I am, and I was. I am the one who is to come. Before, after. I'll still be what I am with what I was. All that you need, all that you want, I am. If you need someone to hold you, if you are falling apart, If you need a light to guide you safely through the dark, and chase away the nightmares of the heart, If you need someone to give you a purpose for your broken past, Help restore the reservoir of hope inside of you, mercy for each morning that is new, I am, and I was. I am the one who is to come. Before, after. I'll still be what I am with what I was. All that you need, all that you want, I am.
My frame of mind was very needful over the weekend, and my hearing was very distorted. I was able to sing adequately, but I was not able to understand much of what was going on. I thought while I was there that the acoustics and sound were awful. Listening to the recording later, I realized that the problem was largely my distorted hearing. I was very thankful that I had taken the recorder. I caught only a few snippets of what was said and sung while I was there, but it was enough that I knew that God was trying to get my attention. When the group from Illinois was singing, the leader called at one point, "If he's ever made a way for you, you oughta get up out of your seat and praise him!" The singers launched into a chorus of nothing but, "Oh, Jesus," while the leader did some ad libs. Normally I find this kind of thing taxing to listen to; but it was hypnotic for me and very comforting. At this point in my life, my faith is the one thing that gives me stability. It doesn't depend on the stability of my circumstances as it did when I was younger; but it is the stability amid the craziness that is my circumstances. Without it, I could not cope with all these things. That's worth a bit of "Oh, Jesus!"