On Saturday evening December 22, Christian singer/songwriter and recording artist Laura Williams gave a wonderful concert at the Life Hope Center on Main Street in Burney. The program was titled “Christmas in Burney: God With Us.”
Laura began by introducing John 3:16,”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” as the central theme of Christmas.
Then she combined message, testimony, and song to make for a meaningful and delightful evening of inspirational entertainment. In her clear soulful voice, she sang a variety of Christian songs and carols. She led everyone present in singing “Silent Night.” She shared an original song “All That I Need.” She also sang a version of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song “Hallelujah!” with new lyrics she had written herself to reflect her personal testimony of faith.
The audience responded to her music with resounding applause and a chorus of “Amen!”, “Hallelujah!” and “Praise the Lord!”
After her performance, host Pastor Jerrod Boling shared a 10 minute homily exploring the meaning of the words “Merry Christmas” and “Emmanuel.” We experience the joy of Christmas when we realize and experience that Jesus made it possible for God to live with us in a deeply personal relationship. He encouraged us to read our Bibles daily and affirmed his belief that Jesus is returning soon.
Boling is an Iraq War veteran. He shared about his experience of Christmas during the war, how much he cherished the opportunities that he had to talk with his wife on the phone, and how she wrote to him every day. This is the kind of longing and intimacy that we should have for God in our lives.
After his brief talk, Ms. Williams sang a final song. Then Boling invited everyone to stay for refreshments and closed the program in prayer.
Most of the people stayed to enjoy conversation over a meal of veggies, humus, healthy baked goods, cookies, and kale chips (amazingly delicious).
The Life Hope Center will be offering a number of Bible studies including the Book of Revelation. In addition they will offer several classes including a cooking class by RN Health Educator Coral Parrish.