Here's a report from John Santosh on the Brother's Keeper tour:
I've been meaning to write you ever since Rich visited this side of the country. The concert was truly wonderful. I was sooo impressed with Carolyn Arends. Ashley Cleveland can sing with the best of them. And Rich...well, I don't have to reiterate what everyone else has written about him. His set was great...he did songs from every album. I can't tell you how cool it was to hear him start off with "Save Me." Only one other person I went with - we took about 20 kids from my youth group - recognized that song. And yes, praise God, he played "We're Not As Strong" I tried to memorize the lyrics but it was to no avail. Danl, man, I love that song. Forget that Rich calls it a Christian 'break-up' song. Somehow, it conveys a far deeper meaning to my heart. But Rich's stuff usually does that to me.
THe latter part of the concert was cool because Rich kinda backed up Carolyn and Ashley who took charge of the vocals. Lil Henry was doing his thing, too. The doxology was a blessing as well. Of course, what I really look forward to from Rich is hearing him share his thoughts. And his concluding remarks included a powerful story about Brennan Manning's meeting with an old man who spent his time in a nursing home talking to an empty chair - empty to everyone except the old man who preferred to see the chair filled by Jesus. Man, what a simple illustration of the love of Jesus. I understand that the story is told in Brennan's "Abba's Child," although I can't confirm that. Hope you get to hear it sometime. It will bless you, I'm sure.
At the end, we met Rich. He recognized my friend and I from the 4th of July concert in Boston. As I left, I managed to ask him to record "We Are Not As Strong"...PLEASE! My youth group really enjoyed the concert, so that was an added blessing.
I saw postings of reviews of the concert so that's why I'll forego a detailed one. BUt I just wanted to share the "Rich" experience with you.
Thanks a bunch John! Yes I've heard that story by Brennan. As a matter of fact, I got acquainted with Brennan Manning about the same time that Rich probably did. He used to come speak every year here in Wichita (now it's more like every other year). Any way, one time when I was at a Thursday noon lunch when Brennan was speaking at Central Christian Church (Rich's church when he was living here), and I saw Rich sneak in the back of the room to listen. That would have been '89 I think. One year I followed Brennan to every one of his 6 or 7 speaking engagements. He is truly a gifted minister. It's no wonder Rich was so impressed with him - enough to name his band after one of Brennan's books.