Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Amazing Race

Yes, even we have succumbed to watching this show when we get the chance. We only saw the last half this week, but finally, there was a race. Les often says that it isn't truly a 'race' because when a team gets wayyyy ahead, that lead is often equalized by the doors not opening at their destination until 8 the next morning, or there being only 2 flights to wherever they are going. Still, I think that's a lot like's not always the fastest that win the race!

This time around Les & I haven't really picked a favourite team to win....we're actually ok with most of them winning, except for Rob & Amber (so underhanded and mean sometimes), and Ray & Deana (we didn't like how he treated her or the other teams). Ray & Deana were eliminated this week...and finally there was an actual race to the finish, with the brothers who had a huge set back by rolling their vehicle, making up time in their completion of the detour and catching up to Ray & Deana in a foot race to the matt. Now that was a race!

Dear friends of ours have recently gotten back from a mission trip to Haiti, and their experiences have gotten me to thinking of how they would be on The Amazing Race. In truth Elizabeth & Neil are an ideal couple and I'm sure they would do well in the race, not only because they are smart, but they travel well together, they respect each other to the max, and they are kind to others....traits that I think mean the most in the race.

Who do you think would do well in the race?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

"Every happening, great or small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message."
-- Malcolm Muggeridge

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis or Via Dolorosa) refers to the depiction of the final days (or Passion) of Jesus Christ, and the Church's devotion commemorating the Passion.

The Stations themselves are usually a series of 14 pictures or sculptures depicting the following scenes:

1. Christ is condemned to death
2. The cross is laid upon him
3. His first fall
4. He meets His Blessed Mother
5. Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross
6. Christ's face is wiped by Veronica
7. His second fall
8. He meets the women of Jerusalem
9. His third fall
10. He is stripped of His garments
11. His crucifixion
12. His death on the cross
13. His body is taken down from the cross
14. His body is laid in the tomb

Lucille Castro explains the stations this way:
"Stations are places where people wait while they are going from one place to another. A school-bus stop is like a station. People wait at train stations or bus stations or airports... Stations are also places where people take time to think about Jesus as he went to die on a cross. They are "Stations of the Cross." They show us how much Jesus loved us.
You do not have to think of all of the Stations of the Cross on one day. You may want to stay at one Station with Jesus for a few days before you move to another Station. Whatever you decide, Jesus is with you and he loves you." (drawings of stations done by grade 5 children) (good site for families & children)
Today I thought I would share my Brennan Manning devotion. It really hit my heart. It ties in with what we learned at Encounter this week and yesterday's "Last Supper" and today's "Good Friday"...

The One Jesus Loves

I believe that the night in the Upper Room was the defining moment of John's life. Some sixty years after Christ's resurrection, the apostle - like an old gold miner panning the stream of his memories - recalled all that had transpired during his three-year association with Jesus. He made pointed reference to that holy night when it all came together, and he affirmed his identity with these words: "Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them - the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper" (John 21:20).

If John were to be asked, "What is your primary identity, your most coherent sense of yourself?" he would not reply, "I am a disciple, an apostle, an evanelist," but "I am the one Jesus loves"...

To read John 13:23-25 without faith is to read it without profit. To risk the passionate life, we must be "affected by" Jesus as John was; we must engage his experience with our lives rather than with our memories. Until I lay my head on Jesus' breast, listen to His heartbeat, and personally appropriate the Christ-experience of John's eyewitness, I have only a derivative spirituality. My cunning imposter will borrow John's moment of intimacy and attempt to convey it as if it were my own.

"Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble." 1 John 2:10

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Your Love Makes Me Sing...

This song keeps running through my head today (and yesterday)...

Hallelujah (Your love is amazing)
Brenton Brown & Brian Doerksen

Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging
Your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet
Your love is a mystery, how you gently lift me
When I am surrounded, your love carries me

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing

Your love is surprising, I can feel it rising
All the joy that’s growing deep inside of me
Every time I see You
All Your goodness shines through
And I can feel this God song, rising up in me

Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah,
Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, Hallelujah Hallelujah,
Your love makes me sing

 2000 Vineyard Songs [UK & Eire]

Monday, March 21, 2005

Palm Sunday
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One of the most precious things I have ever witnessed is seeing (or feeling or hearing) those that I love worship. I still remember Amanda's first experience of communion two years ago on Good Friday, I remember her singing along with the soloist as we walked down the aisle to receive the elements... I remember her reading those words for the first time... 'Be thou my vision'.... She read them so intently, and then when it was her turn to take the bread, she ripped off the biggest chunk. As a parent, I was about to whisper, not so much, but then it occurred to me that maybe we should all be more like her. Once she got near to Jesus, she wanted as much as she could precious girl:)

Yesterday was Palm Sunday...a day of worship like no other, and in celebration, Amanda's dance class was performing during our worship. Oh how precious to see my dolly worshipping God that way...and to worship with her...lots of tears..

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
For our Lord God Almighty Reigns
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,

For our Lord God Almighty Reigns
Hallelujah, Holy, Holy
Are you Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
You are Holy, Holy,
Are you Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Amanda did a wonderful job of her dance (all three times). I was also struck by one part of the message in particular...about how we come to Jesus always asking...asking Him to be who/what we want Him to be... And while we wants us to ask for our needs and our deepest desires, sometimes we need to come and just receive who He is. Peter didn't want Jesus to die. When Jesus told him of what was coming, Peter said no and that he would fight to prevent it, but if he had gotten what he had wanted, Jesus wouldn't have been who He was.... I need to think about that some more and praise Him more for who He is! I don't want to think of what happened to my Lord this week, but I must, I NEED to worship Him for it.

Friday, March 18, 2005

50 Things About Me!

Inspired by Christy's blog, here are 50 things about me...

1. I'm a girl, a girly-girl to be more precise.
2. And I'm married to the most wonderful boy, well, actually he's such a man!
3. And we have a living dolly for a daughter.
4. We live in a cozy bi-level in a newer neighbourhood in the north west (yes, the dreaded west-side?!! ...queu the forboding music!)
5. I'm a chartered accountant.
6. But what I do for a living actually tells you very little about me.
7. I probably should have been a teacher.
8. But that's a longgggg story.
9. I love being a wife and mommy!
10. I love God even more than any of that!!
11. One of my greatest desires is to hear God.
12. "He holds me by my right hand, and afterward He will take me home...God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Ps.73)
13. I love music!
14. I love to sing!
15. When I was a little girl, my favourite band was 'The Bay City Rollers'.
16. I had the plaid cuffed pants and striped socks even.
17. My brother used to tease me mercilessly about liking that band.
18. My husband doesn't mind them.
19. We've even gone Bay City Roller cruizin' to their greatest hits
20. Our daughter even likes their music.
21. She often sings their song 'Saturday Night' when we're driving home from Church on s-s-s-Saturday ni-ght.
22. I'm missing seeing my Canucks play on Saturday nights this year:(
23. I like to cuddle up with my husband and watch hockey:)
24. I like to cuddle up with my husband and watch anything:))
25. My latest favourite guilty pleasure is the Carmel Macchiato at Starbucks.
26. Actually it's really not bad for me at all (it's made with skim milk).
27. I like skim milk (have drank it since I was a kid).
28. I picked up the saying "good grief!" from a dear friend of mine.
29. My husband thinks it's cute when I say it.
30. I think he's cute all the time!
31. He has the best sense of humor!
32. My friends are really important to me.
33. Nowadays, I don't seem to get as much one on one time with them as I used to (or as I'd like).
34. Yet they are always there for me.
35. And I for them.
36. I got my hair cut today.

37. My hairdresser has an adorable 11 month old, and I got to hold him and dote over him:)
38. I'm an affectionate person.
39. Words mean a lot to me.
40. I would never name a child without looking at the meaning of the name.
41. My full first name is actually Sherri-Lynn not just Sherri because my maternal grandmother didn't want me named after liquor!
42. That is also the reason my name isn't spelled with a 'y'
43. Sherri means sweetheart in French (cheri), and beloved in the baby books, so I don't mind
44. My favourite Disney character is Winnie THE Pooh
45. When I was 4, I met the REAL Winnie THE Pooh (blue sweater and all)
46. Coincidentally when we did The Hundred Acre Wood personality test, my husband's personality came out as Pooh.
47. Mine was Kanga.
48. Did I mention that I love tea?!
49. I always notice people's hands and feet.
50. But what I'm most interested in is the heart:)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are a few Irish Blessings from me to you!
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"May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain,
tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire."

"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

"May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!"

"May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing
can harm you."

"May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you"

You can go to this ( site to read more about St. Patrick's day.

Since I married Irish, we treat St. Patrick's day with a little bit of patriotism around our house. But I won't be making Irish stew this year as Amanda has another one of her big dance practices over the supper hour, so we'll be having something quick afterward, but I will be making the traditional green parfaits for a treat afterward in keeping with our family's tradition!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

One Thumb Down; One Thumb Up

On the weekend, for the first time, Les and I rented a couple of DVD's. We were given a DVD player before Christmas, but somehow had never found the time to rent one until now. We rented the movies 'Ray' and 'Terminal'. I would have to say that 'Ray' was pretty much a disappointment for me, but more on that later on... 'Terminal', on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise! I don't think I even knew this movie existed until I saw it on the New Release shelf. It's a Tom Hanks movie about a Crococian (spelling?) man who ends up in limbo in JFK. There has been an overthrow of the government in his country and so it is no longer being recognized by the United States, so they will not allow him into the US nor out of there, and he is stuck in the terminal. I thought Hanks was surperb in this role. I don't think he gets very much attention now that he's a bit older, but he was wonderful in this role. Another thing that I liked about this movie is that it was a fresh story, not one that you could figure out in the first 10 minutes. I also liked that for the most part it was a pretty 'clean' film with some very good messages about the character of a man. Les and I both really enjoyed it!

Getting back to 'Ray' though, we were both so disappointed in it. I think all the hype and build up I've heard about it really made me expect a better film, a rounder story, but I guess I was expecting too much. At first I felt the film was fairly biographical without getting into may of the intricacies of Ray's life that would have been interesting to follow and would have developed a better understanding of the person. Most of the story focused on his heroine addiction, but once he addresses the addiction, the story ends, decades before his life, before many of his musical accomplishments, etc. I really thought this film could have been more... Then yesterday as I was checking Carolyn's blog, I read something that interested me more than most of what I saw in the film. You can check it out here ( ...check out the entry entitled 'Ray Charles on Praise' is an excerpt of some of Ray's own words to his biographer as quoted in a recent issue of Rolling Stone:
"When we were writing my book, I remember telling you that I'm not really looking at Jesus, I'm looking at God. Well, I'm looking at it differently now. .... I think about stories. Songs are stories. And if you're going to write a good song, you're going to have to praise a woman. That's the key. And if you're writing a book about God, you're going to have to praise God. That's what Jesus did. Praised the Father. Taught us about praise. I used to think all that church praise, all that hooting and hollering, was overdone. Stop shouting. Be Cool. Besides, if God is God, why does he need all this praise? Now I'm thinking it ain't God who needs the praise -- it's us who need to do the praising. The praise makes us stronger. That's why I'm getting stronger."
Now that's a part of Ray's story worth telling!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Down Day

Have you ever had one of those days where you just didn't feel like going to work...and so you didn't go? great illness, a bit of a headache in your forehead, a bit of a feeling in your could work through it, you have many times before. I battled these feelings this morning from the moment I awoke. I hadn't slept well again (hard time getting back to sleep after awaking in the night for some reason), but I fought through it and got myself up and into the shower. 'There's nothing wrong with me,' I reasoned, 'I need to get ready for work'. I kept battling these thoughts as I dried my hair and so on, and then the thought came over me again, 'I could just stay home for a day...take a banked day...sure I'm not sick sick, but I just don't feel well...the tylenol hasn't worked yet...I should stay home...' Then the thought went through my mind of whether that would disappoint God, so I asked Him what He thought, and I didn't seem to get a direct answer. I decided, 'I better go to work,' and I continued to get ready, but to no avail, the thoughts came back again, and this time I let them win. 'I need a down day,' I reasoned, 'I'm always running.' So I called in, told my boss I just wasn't feeling great today and that I'd take a bank day. It went fine, but there still is this small pit of guilt I feel. Did I disappoint God by doing that? Did I disappoint those I care about, by just needing today? I hope not. Today I just need to take care of me a bit, so I'm off to camp out on the couch with my Bible, my journal and maybe a devotional, trusting that God will fill me up with whatever it is I need.

Monday, March 14, 2005

From Russia with Love!
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The 2005 World Figure Skating Championships are in Moscow this year and TV coverage starts today ( came up so fast, I almost missed it?!) CBC will have coverage each night this week from 8-10 p.m. and then on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. and Sunday from 8-10 p.m. I guess I better get my VCR set! I love skating!!

Links to what's all happening...

My picks of who to watch for...

Emmanuel Sandu, Cdn (capable of winning it all on the right day)
Jeff Buttle, Cdn (style)
Stefan Lindeman, German (the whole package)

Cynthia Phaneuf, Cdn (may be a year or two away from the podium, but my favourite to watch)
Joannie Rochette, Cdn (may be on the podium this year!)
Irina Slutskaya, Russian (what a comeback year!)
Fumie Suguri, Japanese (grace on ice)

Shen & Zhao, Chinese (still in a class by themselves)
Wakamak and Fecteau, Cdn (new team, 2nd in Canada, but such potential...give them time...)

Belbin & Agosto, American (Belbin is from Canada and as such they won't quality for next year's Olympics, but I think they should be on the podium here!)
88 Keys!

...something I've always wanted...and weighted too! My amazing husband wouldn't take 'no' for an answer when he upgraded my keyboard this weekend. My original keyboard was a Yamaha I had bought with my UFE bonus back when I was first on my own. Les and I have been looking at them for a long time, just for fun, and then last Friday, Les just couldn't pass up what he found...he's SO good to me! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2005


We all know that we should be drinking more water (well, except for this one fella I work with who likes to debate everything!) So for a very long time, I've been working at trying to drink at least 8 glasses (64 ounces of water a day). Recently though, I learned that I actually need even more than that! Regardless of what study I've read, they all seem to agree, that you need more if you exercise and that the number of ounces you need should co-relate to your body weight (in some way)...

I could go into the benefits of drinking water; I could talk about how important it is that your kidneys not become dehydrated; and I could point out that, generally, by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated...but I won't, instead I'll just talk about the amazing apparatus I've found to help me drink more water... It's called, (big breathe of anticipation!), 'the straw'! I've tried all sorts of water bottles (Amanda will tell you that there are three on my desk as I speak), but they don't help me to drink more (and many of them actually make me not want to drink at all). I've tried bottled waters. I've tried adding a wedge of lemon, lime or orange to my water, but the bottom line is, I still wasn't drinking enough water. Then one day I read an article that said that we generally drink more of beverages when we use a straw. Simple? I tried it...instead of drinking out of a strange water bottle, I pour my water into a glass (novel idea?!) and I drink it through a straw...and I'm finally beginning to drink the amount of water I should each day (ta-da!)

Here's an article from Balance TV today about the benefits of water, sleep, and less stress...

The 3 Basics for Optimal Health

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Water, sleep and relaxation. Most of us don?t realize how important these elements are to achieving optimal health.

Brad King, author of Fat Wars: The Un-Diet Plan, joined Balance Television host Dr. Marla Shapiro to convince everyone to get back to basics.


"If you look at the average North American out there today you would think that their bodies are comprised of...75 per cent coffee, juice or pop," King said. "We have to understand that the human body is comprised of water, nothing takes the place of water."

The average person out there is always complaining of a lack of energy,
King noted. Water is the primary substance that gives the body its energy

"It does this by breaking apart a very high-energy compound we call ATP," King explained. "Without water we can't break that energy compound apart and we can't produce that optimal energy we're all designed to produce."

Despite being made with water, coffee won't do the job because it actually causes the body to dehydrate, King said. Even juice won?t cut it unless it has all of the natural pulp and natural seeds. If it's your typical juice that's very high in sugar, it will just be sugar to the body.

"Water is water to the body," he said. "Nothing will replace that.?"

King's formula daily water intake is as follows: Take your body weight in
pounds and half of that is how many ounces the average person should be taking in in a day.


"The average person nowadays does not get the recommended amount of sleep," King said. "We're getting less than six hours of sleep on average and we know sleep researchers have been arguing about this for a long time - we need on average about eight hours and 15 minutes of restorative sleep every single night.?"

Many people are deficient in an important compound called tryptophan that comes from some protein containing foods, King said. When we're highly stressed, we deplete this amino acid and then by evening time we don't have enough of it to produce the sleep hormone called melatonin.

King suggests eating protein throughout the day and not just eating it in
the evening. Also, he believes people shouldn?t eat anywhere up to three
hours before going to bed so not to overstimulate the hormone called
insulin and put your body into fat-storage mode.


"We're a very stressed out society and what we perceive actually becomes reality in the body in the face of danger," King said. "We have to understand that we produce the exact same fight or flight response - whether it is actual or whether it is perceived."

In the evenings Kind explained, when we have very low levels of a
neuro-chemical called serotonin, people crave junk foods such as chocolate, cookies and potato chips.

"If we eat these foods, we stimulate insulin which brings our seratonin
levels up for a only very short period of time until we have low blood
sugar and we crave them once again," he said. "It's a roller coaster ride.
So we have to get our stress response in check especially if we want to
eliminate the nasty cravings at night."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dancing Queen
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Amanda is very busy with dance these days...which means that Les and I are very busy taking her to extra practices as her next big performance is coming up soon. She'll be dancing at all 3 services (9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.) at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Palm Sunday.

Amanda takes a worship dance class every Monday night, and I have to say, I couldn't be more pleased with the class. As a child, I always dreamed of taking ballet. I finally did that just a few years ago:) Amanda likes ballet, but seemed a bit shy of the discipline, so we looked for something that she'd enjoy more. Thanks to her extraodinary auntie, we were introduced to Tanya Wiebe, and Amanda began in the intermediate group in worship dance. Worship dance is a bit of everything...they learn some ballet, some jazz...even some hip hop... The class and performances are all done using Christian music. Each class, after their cool-down, Tanya gathers all the girls around her and they link hands and pray, then with a hug they are sent off with confidence, poise...and a little bit more awareness of God's love!
I love it!!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Je Ne Pourrait Pas Demande Plus

Yesterday, I came home from work to my wonderfully handsome and romantic husband. Now that would have been more than enough to make my heart beat faster, but there was more... He gave me red roses (my favourite!) and a card too romantic to be true. Although Les does not profess to speak French (except for the word 'fromage'), he had written the card completely en francais (as he says, "in the language of love"). His words were full of beauty and meaning:) Later, as I was gushing to a dear friend-sister of mine, he commented 'if you don't use your French you'll lose it!' Ha! :) (particularly in light of the fact that he had worked so hard that day to learn these phrases just for me!:) J'apprecie et adore vous, Les, mes beau amour! Vorte l-amour de mon vie! Je ne pourrait pas demande plus!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Call...

Here is link ( to a story from Robin Mark that my husband recommended to me a while ago. It speaks about the call on our lives. It speaks about work and ministry. It speaks about worship. I thought I'd share it with you because it's pretty timely given the dreaming and calling messages at Lakeview these last few weeks. I also thought it might encourage a few who are currently going through the effects of restructuring there.
Lopsided on Purpose

I've always known I'm a bit of a lopsided person...some would say much too much of a feeler. And I've spent my whole life working on my weaknesses to try to make them into strengths...trying to balance myself (and that takes a lot of work). So when my Pastor spoke a couple of weeks ago, he really caught my attention when he said that maybe I'm lopsided on purpose...that maybe God means for me to have the weaknesses I have (and the strengths), and maybe He doesn't mean for me to strive to turn those weaknesses into strengths. (See quotes from his sermon below).

I'm still working through what I think and feel about this. Part of me is comforted by the thought; part of me is affirmed; and part of me wants to rest in it...("Cease striving and know that [He is] God" Psalm 46:10) But there is also a part of me, if I'm honest, that despairs about that...what if this is it, the best I can be? These past few weeks on Wednesday nights at Encounter, we've been studying the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, and I would be lying if I didn't admit that I see some of the things God admonishes them for in my life. I've not lived a single day perfectly and am aware that I am so human that I can't even confess my sins perfectly. So on the one side I want to be able to accept my weakness and rest in that God knew what He was doing when He made me (weaknesses and all), but on the other hand I feel this need to do whatever I can to turn my weaknesses around because God deserves that. I am such a need of His grace each day! Only His Spirit can comfort me, conform me and make me what He wants for me to be!

“Before I formed you in the womb – I knew you . . . and before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

"These folks are amazing words . . . what is God saying? He’s saying – I knew you before you were (not before you were born – before you were . . . I knew you . . . .) . . . and that knowledge determined what and who you would become . . . . . . God said. . . . . . I thought about what kind of person I needed next and then I created you in my mind (first) . . . see (God said) . . . I always think before I do . . . and I liked what I thought . . . so I made you to be that thoughtI made what I knew and I always know best.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart” And so the question becomes, God . . . what were you thinking about when you knew me before you made me?

Did you catch that? It’s an important question –
God . . . what were you thinking about when you knew me before you made me?

See folks, I believe the answer to that question is the meaning of life . . . . . and then God goes on to say . . . . when I formed you . . . I gave you strengths and weaknesses . . . He said, . . . I don’t want these things to be strengths . . . – they’re weaknesses . . . and
I don’t want you to be well-rounded – a little bit of this and a little bit of that – God says no . . . you will have some weaknesses and that’s ok.

And You now what – our society is so backwards . . . our society says – lets focus on our weaknesses . . . Let’s try to make our weaknesses our strengths . . . It
says don’t focus on your strengths you’re already good at those . . . . . .Instead focus on getting your weaknesses stronger . . . and God says – that’s
crazy – they’re weaknesses!! (and they always will be)."

Past Dean Angell, Lakeview Church

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Carolyn Blogs!

Yes, I mean
Carolyn Arends! Though I've only met her a couple of times, she is like a friend in my heart. I find myself in the words to her tunes. She's an awesome writer, an awesome singer, an awesome person... If you don't already have her latest cd, Under the Gaze, I highly recommend getting it. There are samples and lyrics on her website, which incidentally, has undergone a makeover as well!

...and she's coming to Saskatoon in concert again on April 3rd at 6:30 at Elim Tabernacle.