|Review of the GOSPEL FESTIVAL, held at the Central Park Summerstage in New York City on Saturday 6/13/09|
At 3:00pm, the Gospel Fest got started with an interesting act, R&B star Ruben Studdard. (At first, I thought, "Why would anyone put Ruben as a performer during a Gospel Fest event?", but I later found out that he released a gospel album back in 2004....however, I do not recall him doing any gospel/inspirational stuff in his 40-minute set) He performed a couple of his own R&B songs, followed by a nice cover of Michael Jackson's "I Can't Help It". Afterwards, things got funkier (especially on bass guitar) with the performance of the suite of Luther Vandross favorites, including "Bad Boy/Having a Party", "Never Too Much", "So Amazing" and "Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me". Ruben has a very, very soulful voice that reminds me of Luther. The Ruben Studdard set was over at 3:40pm.
At 3:45pm, it was on to some serious gospel music....YES!! First up is a wonderful, anointed gospel artist by the name of Byron Cage. (Now gospel fans, please bear with me because I am not familiar with Byron's music or Smokie Norful's music, so the reviews of these artists will be somewhat lacking in detail.) In the sea of people (about 10,000 or so), I can see the saints dancing, praising, shouting, worshipping and honoring God through this beautiful music, including songs like "I've Got a Reason" and my favorite, "The Blessing of the Lord is Here". To recite, every one was enjoying the glorious music of Byron and there was no mess going on (no fighting, cussing, or carrying on), which is a great thing to see, especially in my black folks. The Byron Cage set was over at 4:20pm.
At 4:25pm, Pastor Smokie Norful came out and blessed the audience with a 55-minute set of more God-glorifying music. Again, I am not familiar with Smokie's material so bear with me. The highlight of his set was the performance of "Celebrate", where he threw in a line that referenced an old-school song of the same name by Kool & The Gang ("Celebrate good times...come on")...also cool was the call-and-response thing that he did with the fans, having different sections of the audience singing different chants. The Smokie Norful set was over at 5:20pm.
At 5:40pm, the event that I was dying to see...the performance of Tye Tribbett & the G.A. started. All of the young people (and there were thousands of them) were on fire, waiting for this moment!! The musicians started with a church favorite "This is the Day (That the Lord Has Made)". Then the singers (along with Tye) came out and began JAMMING on "I Want It All Back"...I love the high energy of the singers (the choreography is really good) -- it reminds of seeing TobyMac and the Diverse City Band back at the Harvest 08 Crusade in Philly. The tempo slowed down a little bit for the next song "Bless the Lord (Son of Man)" and even more for "I Need You". I like the way that Tye told the fans, "Just say what God is to you" during the song "Everything" ("deliverer", "provider", "healer", "father"....).
After "Everything", Tye began to preach the word, covering topics in Matthew 7:24-27 (when he talked about the wise man who built his house on a foundation [on the rock] and the foolish man who built his house on sand) and Exodus 7:8-13 (when he talked about Aaron's staff turning into a snake after Aaron threw it to the ground...and the Pharoah's sorcerers' staffs turning into snakes...but Aaron's staff ate the other staffs).
After preaching for about 10 minutes, the group went into the uptempo rock song "Let Us Worship", followed by the high-energy praise of "So Amazing". All the saints were singing HALLELUJAH for the song "Hallelujah", before the group ended with a "dance & praise party" song off the first album...the song was "Victory". The Tye Tribbett set over at 6:50pm.
OH, AND BY THE WAY, IT WAS RAINING MOST OF THE DAY BUT THE SAINTS DID NOT MIND....PRAISE THE LORD FOR THE RAIN (AND EVERYTHING ELSE)!!
|SPECIAL MESSAGE TO
HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN?
If you had died the minute you started to read this invitation, would you have the assurance that you would go to heaven?
The Bible says there are 4 things a person must do to go to heaven:
1. REALIZE YOU ARE A SINNER. The Bible says "All have sinned, all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 2:23 NLT)
2. RECOGNIZE JESUS CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOU. The Bible tells us that "God showed his great love for us
by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners". (Romans 5:8 NLT)
3. REPENT OF YOUR SIN. The Bible says, "Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins". (Acts 3:19 NLT)
4. RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST INTO YOUR LIFE. The Bible tells us, "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved". (Romans 10:13 NLT)
Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior is the next step in your spiritual journey. IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE THIS YET, WHY NOT TAKE A MOMENT
RIGHT NOW AND MAKE THAT COMMITMENT?
Remember, TOMORROW is ***NOT*** guaranteed!!