When my friend Jody Fitzgibbon interviewed me for her blog (see http://www.mystateart.com) she asked for a funny story. Thought you all might enjoy it too. Some years back I played in a gospel bluegrass band, Mark Allen and Gospel Train (Mark, Mitch Chalos, Larry Dickerson, Joe Milner, and me). One evening at a town festival in southeastern Illinois, we were setting up on the flatbed of a semi truck (a typical stage in small towns, cool, fun, and it works). We carried in the sound system, got everything set up, cables run, and instruments tuned. All along both sides of the street were people and festival food stands (elephant ears; lemon shakeup; corndogs; burgers, etc.). You know, all that healthy stuff. We also had a portable light bar, for outdoor events, so the lights (red, yellow, blue, green) would make us look natural, rather than washed out as happens with a white flood light. Just as darkness fell, we took the stage, paused for the first song, and on the announcement, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mark Allen and Gospel Train” it was my job to step on a footswitch to turn on the light bar. When I did, the entire town went black as night, and our sound system went silent! The food stands went black, the street lights went out, the courthouse went dark, everything! We had shut down the town! Thankfully, a representative from the local power cooperative was in attendance, put on his pitons, and climbed the pole faster than a squirrel, with a fuse as big as my forearm. He got the electricity and the lights back up and running in less than 5 minutes, but it was an unexpected surprise for everybody! An unforgettable evening for all…
To all of the initial subscribers, welcome aboard and thanks for joining the blog before we got started on this journey.
Q: Ken, why did you choose Hebrews 13:8 for your Bible verse?
A: I believe it. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His intent for his friends and followers has not changed. His love for His creation and mankind has not waivered. He is still on the throne, and it is a great comfort to know He praying for us (Hebrews 7:25).
Q: Why do the words Encourage, Restore, and Challenge appear on the Acoustic Sincerity website.
A: I love and respect words. These small words, each filled with great meaning, are the mission of the music.
Encourage: The small inconveniences and large challenges of our lives sometimes converge to wear us down, to sap our energy and make us question our faith. We all need encouragement at times.
Restore: Sometimes the big challenges and the big hurts of life damage us, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I’ve been there, I’ve wanted to crawl under the front porch like an old hound dog, until I’ve recovered. Sometimes, a bit of restoration is the order of the day. Maybe it’s a bit of sanding or some paint, maybe our brake pads changed, so we can move forward again and stop on a dime.
Challenge: Mankind seems to be hard-wired for a good challenge. We love the words and thoughts, the coaching, the high lofty ideas (I have a dream… We will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade… Pacers win! Pacers win!) that lift our eyes, remind us of His higher purposes. Challenges make us dream, inspire hope, then motivate us to act, to create an amazing tomorrow.
More to come later on each of these three words; they are a large part of the programming and planning for each invitation to play.
Q: Why a focus on rural and small town churches?
A: I’m originally from a small rural church. It feels kind of like home, a place where maybe I can Encourage, Restore, and Challenge, to make a difference.