American Idol On Tour

It’s no secret to readers of this blog that our family loves to watch American Idol! I’m not real crazy about the first several episodes of the season that is played up for humor. My favorite part of the season is when they get down to the top 12 of all of the contestants and it becomes a true singing competition.

Last night our friends Royce and Carol Ogle took us to Shreveport to see the American Idols Live on Tour. What a fantastic gift! You might be one of the few people who do not know about Royce’s excellent blog. Royce e-mailed me a few months ago and asked if we’d like to go to the show with them … an act of encouragement and mercy in the shadow of our journey of loss. We said yes. I’m so glad we did.

Now for those American Idol fans out there, the show was fantastic. It was their 40th show. All of the contestants did very well and it was a lot of fun. (Except for a cheesy warm up guy who was way too excited to talk to a walking Kellogs Pop Tart character. Where was Ryan when we needed him?) The stage set up was very simple, allowing all the focus to be on the singers. My regular readers know that I was hyped for David Archuletta during the season, and although he came in second place, I thought he was the best singer. And he did a great job last night as well. The winner of the competition, David Cook, demonstrated why he was the winner with a great performance, complete comfort on the stage, and engaging the audience. His encore performance of Billie Jean was fantastic. All of the idols sang songs from their performances on the television show… I think they each sang three songs … except for Archuletta and Cook who performed four (I believe). It was an impressive and energetic show. Syesha broke down and cried during her last song of the night. She apologized … who knows what was going on in her heart … but that woman can sing! Of course those of you following me on TWITTER got about 20 updates from the show live!

But I tell you, that’s not the best part of our night out… the best part was spending time with Royce and Carol. It seems we have so many connections that our friendship has developed quickly! An immediate connection, of course, is that Royce is a fellow blogger … and it’s great to be in the same town with him. He’s dropped by my office several times since I moved here, offering his friendship. But we had a connection even before that.

Carol, Royce’s wife, is an administrator with Whites Ferry Road Disaster Relief ministry. It was through coordination with Carol that we were able to get some help down to the Coast after the hurricane. She works directly with Don Yelton in this ministry and they were wonderful sources of encouragement and help across those first scary months. As a result, all four of us had a dozen hurricane stories to share with one another, making connection with people we had all met, and even in some cases knowing different sides of the same events … which was so interesting to Maggy and I.

Royce and Carol are also leading a GriefShare group … another connection. Both of them were widowed before they found each other. They have used their grief to bring healing and hope to others. Celebrate Recovery is every Friday night at WFR, during which the support groups meet and minister to the hurting.

YES, we were overly appreciative of our treat to see the American Idols with Royce and Carol. But the show – as great as it was – could not outshine the warmth and love extended by this brother and sister who took it upon themselves to love us. Thanks Royce adn Carol!

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And I’m sure that by now all of you have noticed a menacing presence about to enter the Gulf of Mexico. We need to pray for God to dissipate this storm named Gustav.

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Hope your Wednesday is a great one!

Thanks for reading,

John

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