A Hug I’ll Never Forget

Hi everyone!

Back in 2001, I was volunteering with a Stanford campus ministry while serving at a local church. My colleague loved the worship music of David Crowder and soon I did too. Here’s a picture of David Crowder that I found online:

Somehow our church arranged (along with some campus ministries) to have David Crowder and his band give a concert on campus. It was one of the most amazing worship experiences I’ve ever had. David was so humble and self-effacing – and so musically skillful. But there’s something I remember even more clearly than the concert: the cleanup.

After the last song, a group of us were tearing down the stage and putting equipment back into a U-Haul trailer. The auditorium lights were back on and the students had scattered to their dorms.

I was walking from the back of the room to the front and David Crowder was walking from the front to the back. As soon as we passed, he pivoted in my direction and grabbed me! He clasped me in an enormous brotherly hug! No words. Just a hug! I couldn’t believe it and I never knew what motivated it. Just Christian love and an overflow of the Holy Spirit. I had just met him briefly before the concert. We hadn’t really talked and here he was giving me a bear hug. I’ve never forgotten.

I remember two things: first, how thin he was; second, my own internal thought process (“I’m hugging David Crowder! I’m hugging David Crowder! I’m hugging David Crowder”). Now, every time I sing a David Crowder song, I think about that hug back in 2001.

It made me a fan for life. But all the praise goes to God who redeemed him, gifted him, and gave him a heart of brotherly love.

David Crowder is still singing to God’s praise! If you’d like to watch a David Crowder music video and be lifted up in worship, click on “crowdermusic.com” and transcend your present moment with his song “Good God Almighty.” The words are excellent, and they fit Sunday’s theme to a T.

Oh, wait, I almost forgot why I mentioned David Crowder. As I remember, that memorable night David sang “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” which has this line:

Jesus the name that charms our fears
That bids our sorrows cease
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears
‘Tis life and health and peace

—”O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

Notice that word “health.” I want to invite you and your neighbors to explore a new opportunity at Valley Church that involves a healthful self in all its dimensions.

Now for a little more about this Sunday. We’re continuing our series “Learning from Life’s Crises” out of 2 Corinthians 4:1-8. I have a tiny text, just half a verse: “perplexed, but not driven to despair.” When Paul wrote those six words, he had a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face. He’s being humorous. I’ll explain why on Sunday, and we’ll get some inspiration for our own perplexing times.

If you can, please join us at the Walk for Life this Saturday morning at 8:30 AM at Martial Cottle Park. You can get more information on our website. Just click on the “Walk for Life” widget.

For “Good God Almighty,”

P.S. Don’t forget to register for the Spring Concert on Sunday, March 27 at 3:00 PM in the Worship Center. We’ll have performances by the Valley Church Children’s Choir and the Valley Handbell Academy. If you feel led, you can make a small donation to our Global Partner, Hands of Hope when you register with this LINK.