I like a lot of the modern music.

I listen to modern music when my sixteen-year-old daughter and I are in the car together. When I am by myself I listen to my music—60s stuff. We tend to favor the music we liked in our younger days, songs that we remember on dates or albums we purchased.

As a parent, I take a great amount of pride that both of my children like the music of my generation.  The fact that I played Beatles music to them in the womb and cradle might have something to do with it.  However, they don’t like all of my music nor are they familiar with all the artists.

Case in point, Sheri and I talked Natalie into accompanying us to a Kenny Rogers concert about four years ago in Atlanta.  She had never heard of him, so we set out to build him up, touting his career in rock music, then country, and his career in TV and movies. She didn’t really want to go, but we convinced her that it would be great.  The tour was called his Farewell Tour.  Well, in the words of Kenny himself, you got to know “when to fold ‘em.”  The concert was, and I’m trying to be nice, not good.  We apologized on the way home, and promised that we would never make her go to a concert from an aging former star.

That is, until we went to New York after Sheri’s death.  So, the three of us spent a week in the Big Apple and with all the great things to do there, we convinced her that a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden had to be at the top of our list. She at first said, “Who?”  But after a Spotify lesson of some of his hits, she was on board for this “once in a lifetime concert” from another aging star.  Well, so much for plans.  The day of the concert he announces that he has a viral infection and the concert is cancelled. Darn.  We were so upset.  (By the way on the way home from New York I got the cruds and preached that Sunday while feeling like “death warmed over.”)  Now, whenever a Billy Joel song comes on the radio, I whisper “wimp.” So, we are 0/2 on concerts for aging stars.

In baseball, 0/3 is a strikeout, right? You can’t fault us for a lack of effort.  Natalie and I are flying to Texas in June for a Paul McCartney concert, part of his Freshen Up tour. For a guy who is 76 years-old to be touring at all is remarkable, but then to have the courage to call it a Freshen Up tour is quite impressive.  So, will you pray that Paul doesn’t get a viral infection and that his cholesterol numbers will be good, and that his heart and body will hold up? I’m afraid if this concert falls apart, then I will never be able to talk her into going to the Carrollton AMP with me in 2030 when Gary Puckett and the Union Gap turn 80 and do their farewell tour.

But you’ve got to give it to the old guys for still using their gifts.  I doubt that Kenny, Billy, or Paul need the money, but I bet they really love what they do. We all have talents that God has given us that we need never to put on the shelf.

These are the talents that keep us pushing forward.  We lean on them when we are down and can’t find our way. We turn to them in times of joy when we feel lighter than air. These talents are a manifestation of the essence of who we are… who God made us to be.

So, instead of a farewell tour, which kind a sounds like you are done, I prefer the freshen up tour, which sounds like you’ve still got some gas in the tank.

Now if Paul can stay healthy…

~Pastor Steve

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