I searched and searched the Mercy Me website a couple months ago for concert venues close to Dayton Ohio and the closest I could find was a 4 hour drive from Dayton. I was bummed because we wanted to take my dad to see them in concert as part of his Christmas. Then a few weeks ago K-Love started advertising Mercy Me in concert at Far Hills Church with Tenth Avenue North and Jonny Diaz. I was so excited! We got online and purchased 3 tickets immediately... which I am glad we did......
I didn't know what to expect from a concert at Far Hills. All tickets were general seating so should we get there early and stand in line to get good seats? We decided to take Dad to Chipotle first (he had never been before and we wanted him to try it) and we knew we would pass the church on our way so we could see if anyone was starting to line up at the door.
We passed the church around 3:20ish and the place was empty. We drove over to Chipotle and enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch and then headed back over to the church around 4:30ish. There were about 5 people standing in line. We sat in the van for a few minutes and as people started pulling in we walked up and stood in line. We were 3rd in line at our particular door. There was one other front door and then a side door off to the side. The ladies in front of us had been there since 2:30 so we didn't feel as foolish getting there at 4:30.
It made me rather sad as a christian to witness the lack of love from some in this group, the lady in front of us included.
When she first arrived there to wait in line she sat in her chair between both front doors. Another lady and her family showed up to wait in line and she asked the lady in the chair which door she was waiting at so she could wait at the other. The lady in the chair said I will wait at the door to the left. The other lady replied Okay, I will wait at the door to the right. Well, a few minutes later the lady in the chair found out the sanctuary was a little closer to the door on the right and she had a fit. She said " That lady KNEW she would be closer to the sanctuary once the doors opened." She continued to complain the entire time about volunteers coming in and out of the building.....she would say "If they let those people in first I am going to be really upset because I was here before they were."
When the doors did finally open at 5:30 she absolutely RAN all the way around the stairs to the sanctuary, (dropped her ticket) and ended up right in front of us again while we waited for the sanctuary doors to open at 6:00. She pushed and shoved and did receive seats 2 rows in front of us but my goodness was it all worth it? She grumbled and complained and had herself worked up for nearly 2 hours.
We are all brothers and sisters in Christ who were gathering together to worship with Mercy Me. What if however we brought a friend who was on the fence with Christianity? Is this the example of Christianity we want others to witness? If this is how Christians treat one another they certainly won't want to be one. I felt in a setting like this one there should have been smiling faces, people opening doors for one another, showing God's love to each other. It did make me stop and think about myself. I may not have had the attitude this lady had last night, but there have been other times when I am sure I have been just as bad. If we carry the name of Christ people.... let's act like it. Show some love, smile a little, stop judging for a few minutes and look in the mirror.
Ok, now that I got that off my chest I will share the concert experience. The concert was AMAZING! We had great seats; 5 rows from the front. We were surrounded by friends which we did not plan at all. Many, many Southbrookers were there.
Greg was chosen (since he has been such a good boy this year) to sit next to Santa Clause. He was full of excitement as you can see.
Although, from the look of Santa in this picture, Greg may have been moved to the naughty list.
I didn't know much about Tenth Avenue North, or Jonny Diaz but they both were fantastic. I especially like Jonny Diaz. What a great, down to earth guy and I really liked his music.
I apologize for the pictures... I grabbed our small camera not thinking we could take pictures and sure enough we could. The pictures are kinda blurry and the video is not nearly as good as if I had taken our video camera. You do the best with what you have. :)
Lastly, Mercy Me came out onto stage and the crowd went crazy. They are awesome; I could listen to them sing live for hours and hours. They are funny too; quite the entertainers.
They had about a 20 minute question and answer time where the audience could ask the band questions. They were hilarious. We had a gentleman in front of us propose to his girl friend during the question and answer time and after he was done Bart, the lead singer, said "Oh and look.... you even proposed in front of Santa Clause". Everyone turned and looked at the man sitting next to Greg and laughed and laughed. Here is a link to the Mercy Me blog if you would like to see the proposal yourself... click here. We were sitting directly behind this couple. It was a great time.
Here is a sample of a few songs they sang. The video doesn't do them justice though.
This song was not written to be a Christian song from the original artist Tom Petty, but they made us look at it from a Christian perspective.
This song was one of their encore songs... Emmanuel, God With Us. Great song!
They liked to listen to us sing too.... it was beautiful to hear everyone singing together.
They sang Word of God Speak too, but I was caught up in the song and forgot to record some of it. I did get their biggest hit I Can Only Imagine though. What a moving song.
At the end of their encore we bowed our heads in prayer.... Bart lead us in prayer as the rest of the band exited the stage. As he finished praying he started singing an old hymn.... the crowd started singing along with him and by the time we were finished singing and raised our heads he had exited the stage too. Great concert! I can't wait to see them again.