Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Livin' Humble

My favorite male chorus, HIS MEN, used to sing an old spiritual called LIVIN' HUMBLE.

That title came to mind over the weekend, when we celebrated 40 years of ministry by this wonderful regional ensemble. At the conclusion of the weekend, we presented a 40th anniversary concert in a large Grand Haven church, to a warm and responsive audience that overflowed the sanctuary, despite the threat of bad weather. It was an incredible experience.

But now back to the subject of humility.

In case you are not aware of it, I was the founding director of HIS MEN, back in 1972. We had no long-range goals for this little rag-tag group of singers. A few of us just picked out the finest voices we knew in the area for each of the four parts, invited them to come sing some songs, and a group was formed. We knew that we loved to sing, and we knew that we were devout in our Christian faith. Our goals were simple: to sing familiar songs and do it well, to help worthy causes in their fund-raising efforts, and to reach out to others. That's all. We didn't want to compete in the church hit parade with other music groups. We were not interested in buying a bus, wearing fancy suits, using elaborate sound systems, and making a big impression. God took the rest.

The ministry of this group over the past 40 years has been astounding, and the group still focuses on raising money for others, like HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS, and still makes an effort to reach out to the disenfranchised, especially prisoners.

But now back to the subject of humility.

After the concert Sunday night, one lady insisted on giving me the credit. And she wouldn't be sidetracked. "But look what you did," she insisted. "You get the credit. Think of it. You started all this."

I'm sorry, Mrs. S. That's where I have to bow out.

God blessed me by allowing me to be the director of this simple little group of dedicated singers. That's it. My successor, John Mattson, feels the same way.

From that point on, it was not my path, but His.

And still today, it's His path, for HIS MEN.

Still Livin' Humble.


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