Thursday, April 21, 2005

God's timing on buses

Let me introduce Jenny to you. Jenny is not a believer, and when we talked in the past, she indicated that she was interested in finding out more about Christianity. However, when I asked her if she was attending any fellowship, she mentioned a group that is widely held to be a cult. I didn't know why I kept silent then. Probably because I didn't want to scare her by saying her first experience with a "Christian" group shouldn't even have started in the first place!

I felt so torn about what to say whenever I met her afterwards, that I asked my friend for advice. She suggested I tell Jenny that many people say that the group is a cult, so it isn't just my own opinion. However, I never saw Jenny again.

Last Friday, while I was on the bus after visiting my friend, who should I see but Jenny (whom I called Jessica--but does it matter?)! We chatted and I got to tell her to be careful about that group, since many people have said it's a cult. She was really glad I told her and was scared at the possibility of the group being a cult. It all went very well. I could tell that it was in God's plan and perfect timing all along. I don't think I would have felt such joy if Jenny wasn't on my mind. So praise God for this God-given coincidence!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

First Time A Cappella: Faithfulness

I arrived at church at 8:35 this morning to join others who were all dressed up. What were we doing at this time of day, when Daylight Savings Time had already robbed us of one hour of sleep? It was none other than to have a last-minute rehearsal for our a cappella performance. We sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness--a cappella style" near the beginning of our 9 am service, as part of a post-Easter worship.

Praise God for this opportunity to sing praises to Him! As our first performance, I had to say we sounded very blended and did pretty well. Singing in this group felt different from past groups. Most of the people were probably untrained in singing (I may be wrong), yet their heart and innate musicality made up a pretty decent group.

It was interesting that I didn't think this way after our first rehearsal. Everyone was singing way too forcedly, and we were repeating our parts too much. The second rehearsal was a huge leap for the better: everything went so smoothly! We also had so much fun laughing over tongue-twister warmups and the various characters within our group.

I felt so calm right before getting on stage. However, after singing halfway, I started to feel a bit nervous, and I could sense that our group felt the same. We were fighting for air. Some of our end notes went a bit flat. Our director forgot to slow us down near the end. Somehow, by God's hand, we managed to get through the whole thing in one piece. One girl confessed afterwards that her legs were shaking like crazy, so she ended up not singing. That, plus the large space where we sang, plus the fact that we were singing in front of people we knew, no doubt contributed to us sounding really held-back. It didn't sound like there were 16 of us!

However, it wasn't that bad. It was a new experience for me--being part of a group in the beginning stages of growth. There's that level of uncertainty but also excitement as well.

Some friends came to tell me afterwards that we did great. I chose to be encouraged by that because I'm sure few people really knew how shaky we were. It probably sounded good on the audience's side.

And if we do this again, it will definitely be better.