————— January 08, 2015 —————

Just like John

((NoTe:  I need to stop writing blogs on FB.))

When I was 13, we went to a church in England. It was *OLD* time church – all hymns, KJV only, women in dresses – no shorts allowed. We actually ended up getting kicked out later, because my mom did a VBS song with the kids that went “Shake a friend’s hand and sing Hallelujah”… and the second verse was “squeeze friend’s knee and sing Hallelujah”, and the church felt that it was too risque for five year old boys and girls to be touching each other’s knees, and asked her to leave. ((Don’t ask. Christianity is SO fun.))  It didn’t help that my mom was loaded up on meds for a wrenched back, and was even more confrontational than normal.  Which prompted her to have came back with, “Fine!  I don’t like your preaching, anyhow!”  ((Ah, memories.  And come to think of it, my mom didn’t need meds for that kind of a response, either.))

Regardless, back at that church – before the knee thing – there was an SP (Air Force cop) that led the singing during services, and his name was John. He. Made. Hymns. *FUN*. No, seriously fun. He had SO much enthusiasm, and we kids just loved him to death. All of us. He held notes reaallllllllly long, just for fun, and everything bounced along (unlike present day church, funeral dirge hymns). He was awesome. I never forgot him.  He loved songs like “Sound the Battle Cry” and “Hold the Fort” and had us wave our Bibles and really got people excited with the singing.  I can’t even begin to tell how he was.

Anyhow, we learn a new hymn every month, in our homeschool, and this month is Phillip Bliss’ hymn, “Whosoever Will”.   We go to hymn sing once a month, and we went on the second (last week)… and they sang ‘Whosoever Will’… and the minute they said the name of the hymn, I started bouncing in my seat.  LOVE that song – it was one of the ones that John used to do at the church in England!!  I was so excited!!  And of course with January just having started, I thought it would be the perfect hymn for our next month!

I wanted the kids to hear how peppy and wonderful it is, so I tried to find it on YouTube… and Ho. Mi. *GAWSH!* … they all kill it! It’s sooooooo sloooooow annnnnnnd horrible. Nothing like I remember.  This best version I could find… and even these don’t bounce like John did:

They slow down halfway thru and start dragging like everyone else!!
((And there’s supposed to be a FERMATA on that last ‘Will’! Hold that note!!!))

Anyhow, I got to remembering John, yesterday, and went off to see if he was on the world-wide web.  Practically everyone is, you know.  And guess what?  I found him!  He’s still a cop, and probably still has a ball with hymns.  He even looks the same… which is a trick, considering I last saw him in… 1987?  Pretty crazy.

But isn’t it amazing how someone can change your life?  Make such a difference that years and decades later, you still think of them and smile?  That’s amazing to me.  Such good memories.  And inspiration…!  Because now I get to be John to my kids.  I get to make the hymns fun.  Just like John did for me.  I get to raise my Bible and hold the fermatas extra long and bounce along thru the songs.  And when I do?  I remember to send up a little ‘thank you’ for having had John in my life as a young girl.

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