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With our son visiting a friend, Jan and I boycotted the Hallowe’en candy scene and drove down to Elizabethtown for a concert where local folk had arranged a youth event featuring contemporary Christian groups Chynna and Vaughan, Bluetree, and Newsong. We went early to grab a burger before Melvin’s closed and to get a good seat, but the gym at Elizabethtown Middle School was more than large enough to accommodate those who attended.

We were there mainly to hear Chynna (pronounced “China”) and Vaughan. Chynna Phillips, whose parents were part of the Mamas and the Papas many moons ago, formerly sang with the girl group Wilson Phillips, which had a good run for a while. Vaughan Penn has been known mainly as a very successful songwriter, but long before that, she participated in the Baptist Student Union at Appalachian State University, where she and Jan knew each other through involvement in singing and drama groups. Jan had not seen her since, and looked forward to having a chance to chat.

Chynna and Vaughan started the show, but only got to do four songs before turning the stage over to Bluetree, an Irish group who found some East Bladen band uniforms backstage and came out looking like Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. They were very loud and I couldn’t understand the words. Only one band member sang, and it took me a while to realize that “High Grit Is Our God” was really “How Great Is Our God” with an Irish accent.

We didn’t stay for Newsong, the headliner. I suspect they would have been very loud, too. I did, however, like one of the T-shirts Newsong was selling in the lobby. It said “Hope is my oxygen.”

I’ve known days when hope was the main thing that kept me going, and I suspect you have, too.

Breathe deeply!

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