Saturday, June 10, 2017

DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER

Trust and pray everyone's had a great spring celebrating Easter (Resurrection Sunday), Mother's Day, Father's Day (next week) and graduations. Summer is right around the corner and, believe it or not, half the year is already gone! Hey, don't shoot the messenger - it's true.

The same can be said of those Biblical day messengers heralding Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah. Old testament prophets foretold of His soon appearance and was mocked, ridiculed and considered crazy lunatics. Why would Israels' deliverer come as a baby? They expected a strong, conquering king - a superhero! Well, our God knows what's best/better for us to understand once we embrace the loving Savior. Listen to the lyrics of "Who Would Imagine A King"... and don't shoot the messenger!
 
I guess you shouldn't shoot the messenger when he delivers other news, as well. After nearly 13 years without a change in personnel,Brotherhood bids farewell to our jovial bass man, Mel Hopkins. He and his wife, Barbara, have relocated/retired to the hills of North Carolina! At our "last supper" we remininced sweet moments of Brotherhood's ministry together - laughed and cried in the process. Me's was very light-hearted and full of the joy of the Lord. His gift was sharing with the children at our concerts in such a tender, grandpa/uncle way. He grabbed their attention so that the could easily grasp the gospel message he would share. Always encouraging, always crying, always Mel. We love him and will sorely miss him.
 
Change is good... so I've been told. Brotherhood now enters a new phase of ministry with the same purpose! We will continue as a trio or, Lord willing, as a new-look quartet. As you know, the Lord allows doors to open and close for our good. He also brings people into our lives for different purposes, as well. In the past year, Dennis Martin is one such person whom Brotherhood considers a dear friend. He's a fun loving, Godly man who does weekly outreach ministry and recently completed an Israel mission trip. And, by the way, I learned that he sang bass in the choir, with The 4th Man Quartet... and loves southern gospel music! Hmm.....

On occasion, Dennis has admirably filled in for Mel, so he's no stranger to us. We consider this a smooth transition and welcome Dennis to complete Brotherhood's roster, praise God! Attached are some "welcome photos" of Dennis, as well!  It's a big accomplishment, in short time, because filling a quartet need with the right person can be challenging. Brotherhood's unique sound, unity of spirit, along with mindset and focus to minister through music, resounds with this new 4-man team! We're excited and look forward to seeing you at a Brotherhood concert real soon. 

Concert notes: More doors opening for Brotherhood this year! In July, we head back to Sanctuary Church of God in Orlando, FL after a long time absence - look for details shortly. We trust and pray for greater things that are still to come!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON

Our God is an awesome, invinsible, loving God! We trust and pray that your year is going well as we move into the 2Q of 2017. Time keeps marching on no matter what we say or do. Our Lord controls everything and we just need to put our entire trust in His hands.
 
After our January concert trip to Naples, FL, Brotherhood continued with God's work "back home". Our baritone/pianist, Dan and his wife, were back on the mission field the entire month of February. He's part of the translation team with the Jesus Film Project and travelled to the South Pacific region of the world. Brotherhood supports that ministry and, when you come to our concerts, pick up a free DVD copy of the Jesus Film Project.
 
Phil, our lead singer, has been active with Campus Crusade For Christ (Cru). Every week, he visits the Full Sail University campus in Winter Park, FL distributing free chips, cookies, water, etc. At the same time, Phil has the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ one on one and there have been many prayers for salvation. In a 2- week period, there were 17 decisions made to accept Jesus Christ into their lives! According to Phil, that's "off the charts"! We give God all the glory.

 
Bass man Mel, has been super busy with preparing his home for sale. It's tough enough when you do spring cleaning, so imagine getting an entire house ready to vacate. He's updating our Facebook site with current photos, upcoming concert dates and information. Make sure to visit and be friends with us!
 
As for myself, this tenor man has been excessively busy at his "real job". During audit season, it not unusual to put in 50-60 hours per week to accomplish the task. It is understood & respected at the office that Sundays is not a day to work. Although the scriptures state in Genesis that it's a day of rest, I see it as a time of praise & worship to our Lord. Not that we shouldn't praise Him daily, but it's a carved-out day set aside for that purpose every week and gather with other believers. I thank God for the strength He gives to do my work, take time for my wife and family, write new music, make booking contacts, search/rehearse new material and minister with Brotherhood. Quite a busy schedule but oh so enjoyable. 
 
Upon our return, the March concert date was at New Tribes Mission in Sanford, FL. They are a non-denominational organization that takes the gospel all around the work with their missionaries to church plant, disciple new believers and partner with other faith-based ministries. Brotherhood ministered to these dear folks that mainly consisted of seasoned missionaries & pastors (active and retired). We were honored to minister in music to them and they were so blessed with the mixture of old and new gospel songs. many lingered afterwards to talk about Brotherhood, evangelism and the Jesus Film Project. Dan even met some ministry friends from his home state of Nebraska. It was so good seeing some of our fans, too (Art and Eloise).
 
We closed with "We Will Stand Our Ground" which spoke volumes to these people. We encouraged them to continue with this good work at New Tribes Mission as they evangelize the world. We know that no matter the circumstances or obstacles, His truth will keep marching on!