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Carnegie Hall

We have seen Kutless, 7th Time Down, Chris Tomlin with guests Matt Redman, Matt Maher, Phil Wickham, Tasha Cobbs, Kim Walker-Smith, and pastors Louie Giglio and Max Lucado.  We have been to the Hillsong movie, Let Hope Rise, and we have heard Franklin Graham preach.  Now we have added Francesca Battistelli and Lauren Daigle to that ever growing list.  This event officially ended the celebration of Grace's 16th birthday.

Back when she was just a little girl, just five years old, we were in the city to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and look at the window displays on 5th Avenue.  She was in awe of the city, just as she still is now.  Her eyes were full of delight and wonder as she craned her little neck to see to the top of Rockefeller Center.  I told her that once upon a time I went to a Christmas party there, at The Rainbow Room, and it was magical.  She asked when she could go and I promised her we would go as a family when she turned 16.  

Sixteen year old Grace is quite different than five year old Grace. She does not like fancy restaurants, she prefers down home barbecue served on paper plates under a tarp at a picnic table.  She likes jeans and Converse sneakers.  Her hair is always down and she detests makeup.  She is the most authentic teen I know and I love her for it.  Rather than make her adhere to a dress code and eat food she would rather not eat, we came up with a plan B for her birthday, to see Francesca and Lauren at Carnegie Hall.  

This is Grace.  Grace is a musician and her love of the Christian music genre is matched by Lilah's love for it, and mine as well.  There is nothing quite like an entire audience singing Amazing Grace at one of the most iconic music venues in the world.  That moment was perfect.  That moment was spirit led and holy.  It was beautiful beyond imagination.  It ranks with the entire audience of Madison Square Garden getting on our knees and reciting The Lord's Prayer in unison.  

16 was a special birthday for Grace.  It was so much more than just a day.  It was a true celebration of her life and how special she is to so many people.


  1. I love this! It sounds like a wonderful, wonderful experience. We have never been to Carnegie Hall. I need to remedy that! I will have to look and see what is playing.

    I love the image of a large group singing Amazing Grace or praying the Lord’s Prayer. There have been many, many times when I am just feeling anxious or down and I put on 99.1 (our local Christian station) and it lifts my spirits. When we sold the house we lived in before this it was extremely stressful, the buyer was very difficult and didn’t follow what he was supposed to do. Jason was working long hours at a new job, commuting over 2 hours each way (so over 4 hours a day in addition to working 10+ hour days) and I had two kids under the age of 3. I always credit Christian music as getting me through that time.

    Although I believe in the message of Christ, I have found some of the things that Christian leaders are saying and doing to be in contrast with my understanding of the message of Christ and what I have read/heard from Biblical scholars. I find that although I consider myself a Christian, I don’t want to necessarily associate with the label of Christianity as it is right now. I have been exploring the writings of Eckhart Tolle and other spiritual writers and finding a lot of peace and understanding there.

    1. I understand. I have to remind myself that the leaders are men and women with their own shortcomings and understandings and misunderstandings. I'm so grateful that I found a church where I like, admire, and respect the leaders and while I give them grace for being human, I feel their teaching is accurate and true. I know that when you seek Jesus, you will find him, so keep seeking! I'm glad you have found peace and understanding.


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