Me: I just got back from the coolest concert ever, the artist being a Christian family by the name of the Collingsworth Family. The mom, Kim, is considered the best gospel musician in the country and you would have loved to listen to her play the piano! At the end, there was a part where people shouted out songs and she would play them from memory and we would all sing along.... There was like 1100+ of us and she lead us in the Hallelujah Chorus and a bunch of different hymns... It was awesome and I have no idea how she knows so many songs from memory! She was like leaping from one end of the piano to the other :) and I have never seen anything like it. Anyway, it was my first time to see them live with them only coming to Chambersburg once a year and if you ever get the change to see them, you totally should!
Her: Wow Kate, that sounds really cool! I'm glad you told me about that lady. She sounds awesome! Maybe I'll look her up. Also, glad you were thinking of me while watching her. I feel totally honored lol!
Me: Yeah. I was looking at some of the videos online.... none of them really do the experience justice but such is life. :)
I just loved loved loved ability to bust into the Hallelujah Chorus at a moments notice, or any other song, but more her pounding the keys of that piano-- without any sort of mercy, with total confidence that each note is correct-- Kim shared an awesome testimony and with my bootleg copy, I figure that there's no reason I cant share her words with you.
At the end, my dedication to listening and typing and playing clips over and over started to get cut a little short, but here we have the words you’ll hear in the above clip. I think you get the most out of it if you would listen and read along, because she knows what she is talking about. :)
She is going to start a few minutes into the clip.
I like had a heart attack. I like to be home. I am a wife and a momma before I am ever a musician, and I love that role as a momma and a wife and so I was like "Phil, surely...surely you need to clean your ears out". Its true- this isnt us. But the truth of the matter was, it was. And the Lord began to talk to me, severely and very seriously. And he reminded me of several things. One thing being that I promised God at a young age that I would do whatever he asked me to do. When I was just a teenager. That I would go anywhere he wanted me to go, play anywhere he wanted me to play, sing anywhere he wanted me to sing, I’d do anything.
But I was thinking God, I never knew it meant this. I’m never going to be home and all these things I began to tell the Lord of. And after a lot of prayer, we took a big jump- a *big* jump out into the deep. I remember when we were still unsure of the next step. Phil quit his job and we had a little mini van and a little five bay trailor. We didn’t even have that at first, we just had the mini-van.
And we took off. And I was homeschooling and teaching phonics in the back of the van – and y’all say “That’s stupid”, well I thought that too. But I knew that God truly was in it and I was basically telling God, look what an inadequate person I was. I wasn’t equipped, I didn’t have the ability, and there was no way I was going to homeschool my kids—they’d all be a bunch of dummies. And I told him everything.
And he just continually through scripture kept telling me, “Kim, you worry about so many things. I don’t call people who are equipped. I don’t call people who already have it all together…. I equip the people that I call.” And you know what? I wrapped around the great big hand of Jesus and I hung on for dear life. If I had time tonight, I kept many many many years, I started journaling when Phil was 8 month old. Hes 21 that will tell you how long. I have story after story of how God has truly truly brought us through all kinds of crazy things. Its been a great wonderful, awesome, scary, terrifying, horrifying, marvelous journey. If that makes any sense to you.
But I do tell you, when we got started, we were singing to thirty people in a little church in Columbus Indiana and I say 30 people but it may have been less, but it may be thirty. Little tiny crowd. The kids were ten, nine, six, and two. I believe they had already sung theyre little special and went and sat down in the front row. And you know, I would play the piano and snap my fingers at them when they started misbehaving… you know. Come on, help me, you know what I mean. My kids were far from perfect, but anyway.
Phil was talking to the crowd and I was playing the piano mighty softly. And you gotta understand this picture. In our family, Phil is the visionary and I hang onto his coat tail for dear life. Doesn’t that sound like a nice wife?
I was sitting playing that night and this time it wasn’t Phil getting a great big dream or visionary, the Lord speaking to him: it was me! It was straight It was clear. The Lord tends to speak to me real simply because I’m a simple person.I really am, I’m not complicated. When you grow up as poor as I did, poor as a turkey, you played with thread. I’m telling you it’s the truth: You tend not to be real complicated with a lot of stuff. Its black and white, theres not a lot of gray.
That night I was sitting there and the Lord said to me “Kim, there is so much I can do though your little family. But you don’t pray enough. You and Phil are so busy, busy doing good things, but you don’t pray enough. And it was as though- and I didn’t see handwriting on the wall or hear an audible voice- but it was as clear as any voice I had ever heard. It was as if the Lord spoke to me and said there are two things that I want you to begin seeking me about: One: The salvation of your kids. If we win the world and lose our kids…. The second thing, was that we would pray that we would be effective for his kingdom right here, not ours.
It was that simple. We got done with the concert and I cant remember a single thing that Phil said- that’s a typical woman right there. We got out I said to Phil, I gotta talk to you. Hurry, tear the sound down. We got in van and I sad to Phil, God spoke to me clear. He said “What about??” it was my turn. I said to him what I just said to you and he said this: Tomorrow night, which is Monday night, I’m going to be gone. I have an appointment.
But what about Tuesday night, you want to start praying Tuesday night? I said Sure. You gotta understand that I was fourteen. He was nineteen and I was just getting out of the 8th grade and was going into his sophomore year of college. He sure trained me up in the way I should go.. We fell in love. Any way, long story short, we dated, got married, lots of romance, but we had never prayed together. We came down tuedsay night and I pray and he prays. We have our own little devotional times. We didn’t pray together but we prayed with the kids when we would tuck them in at night and that was it.
We came down that first Tuesday night and sat on the couch and looked at each other a little different. I told him the things that I thought I was supposed to pray about and were talking a bit and for the first time he got down at the couch and took my hand and we began to call out to Jesus. I was calling about the two things that I knew about- about the kids and that God would be helping us out here.
I didn’t have any idea, I didn’t have any forsight to know statistics. I didn’t know that 50% of evangelical Christians are getting divorced. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that the divorse rate between Christians and Nonchristians is almost the same. I get that stuff happens and its terrible and touches nearly every home.. it’s a sadness, it breaks my heart. In no way am I condemning it because I know that things happen. I did not know that for couples who prayed together that the divorce rate is 1%. I did not know that and you say that we are the perfect little family , I bet you hardly ever aruge…. And I’m not going to answer that. Its hard to be divided when you are praying together. Its hard to hate your enemies when you are praying for them. You say “Why are you telling me this?” and I don’t even know except that I can say without a shadow of a doubt that we just sang a song that there is healing in His hands for you. And Jesus said if you humble yourself and pray and seek my face then you will be healed.
He said I will show favor to those that call on my name. He said I am the Living Water of those that diligently seek me. He also said that the day that you seek me with all of your heart you will find me. I don’t know about y’all but I would rather have ten minutes of the Power of what Jesus can do than 10 years of working of my own strength trying to make something work. I have seen many many things change because of prayer. Are we perfect? So far from it that it absolutely stinks! I have to go back to my kids and say to them “Hey, Will you forgive me?” Because Ive been short with them. Now all of you gasp right now. I have to apologize to everyone right here. If y’all in PA aren’t like that I am moving here right now. I am moving here.
But I want you to know this: There is power in Jesus. And in 2015 if you turn on CNN or you watch Fox News you see it on your TV or computer screen its everwhere. They give you the bad in this world not the good. The bad news is that this world needs help! They give you the bad not realizing to the Chrsitian that we know what the answer is THE ANSWER IS JESUS CHRIST! But I want to let y’all know, ah, it is a privilege to be on this stage and say that as long as there is breath in whatever situation that you are in if you call on the name of God that he will be there.
I saw the other day, I don’t know where, a lady talking about God, She said she didn’t believe in him and called him your “imaginary friend”. I said “Wow! My “imaginary friend” heals broken marriages. My “imaginary friend” that you call him talks to me everyday and I talk back to him. He aswers the most littlest minute, detailed prayers. And I see you shaking your head and saying “Amen” because its true. I don’t even know what we are supposed to be singing right now. We start out with a program and then it gets turned upside down. So just hang on for the ride… We’re about 80% done.
We started talking about Noah and Noah knowing enough to float on faith. These kids are jumped out of the nest, living on their own… And I wonder if I have given them what to make it out there. And I remember I dedicated their life…