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Welcome to Spiritual Sunday at SandwichINK. When I was working on finding some interesting videos for last week's post, A Merry Heart for the Whole Sandwich Generation Family, I came across another one that I thought was perfect for today. The Gaithers and their family and friends have been a blessing to me since I was a young mom, just starting a close walk with God – often feeling like a failure over my mistakes, yet so encouraged as my kids and I enjoyed their children's records. One in particular, which is now on a Gaither kids DVD, was the childrens song, I Am A Promise. It was as much an encouragement to me as it was to my kids. Flash forward 30+ years, and they are now grandparents, as am I. Their kids hymn songs and praise and worship music are now blessing my grandchildren who absolutely love their Find Bullfrog DVD. 🙂
As you watch this Gaither video, I wanted to mention two things that confused me the first time I watched it. You'll see Bill Gaither on one of their homecoming tours DVDs, as he introduces an old clip from 16 years ago – at the very first Bill Gaither Homecoming. Then you'll see the old clip, which ends with the end of the prayer. THEN it flashes back to current times with a trio singing. The trio is the Gatlin Brothers and Larry Gatlin is the gentleman they are praying for. At Faithful Reader, I found a very interesting excerpt from a book by Bill Gaither and Ken Abraham, It's More Than the Music: Life Lessons for Loving God, Loving Each Other, telling more about the background of this video, including:
"We sang some more, praised the Lord, and prayed for each other. Larry Gatlin had recently come out of a rehabilitation center, where he had won a major victory over an addiction problem. He had made a fresh commitment to God and was doing well, but he was scheduled to undergo surgery on his throat to remove nodules from his vocal cords-every singer's nightmare. He didn't know whether he'd be able to sing again when he came out from the operation…Vestal Goodman had known Larry all his life. "Well, I used to change your diapers," she quipped to him. "Let's just gather around and pray." We all joined in, asking that God would heal Larry completely and give him strength. A sweet Spirit permeated the place, and we knew in our hearts that Larry would sing again."
And as you can see by the end of this clip, filmed 16 years later, God answered that prayer resoundingly. I highly encourage you to pop over to Faithful Reader to read the whole excerpt, or better yet, click here to buy the book itself. Just the excerpt brought tears of joy to my eyes at the power and majesty of God.
Wasn't that wonderful! As a member of the hate-to-admit-we-are-aging Baby Boomers Generation, it seems like sometimes I am seeing more and more people impacted by major health problems – and not just in my generation or older. I don't know if it's just that I know more people, or major diseases are getting more insidious, but I currently know at least four people actively battling cancer – from four years to 25 to 45 to a senior citizen! These were such words of encouragement to me as I continue to pray for each of them!
I pray for each of you, as well, in the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for elderly parents, helping with the grandkids, and praying for everyone in your life, that you would also be blessed and encouraged this week in your prayers.