Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Link Family in Concert at COTH

Last Sat night, we had the pleasure of listening to The Link Family from Lebanon, Missouri at COTH, here in Glenavon. I used my voice recorder to record the concert and it’s taken me 3 days to transcribe their words – 8 pages of them. So, I’ve had to cut back for this post:

Pastor Lorne: Is it correctly pronounced ‘Mizz-oor-ee’ or ‘Mizz-oor-ah’?

Lance Link: Yes. (laughter)

Becky (the mom): It’s a pleasure to be here tonight and we are excited to be in Canada. This is the very first time any of us have come here and we have had a great time. Our goal is we want to be encouraging to the believers, but most importantly, we want to bring hope to the lost. And that hope is Jesus Christ. This next song, the words were written in 1707, the music was added in the 1800’s and it’s still in our hymn books today. We’re gonna sing it acapella style for you and it’s called, At The Cross.

Rachel: When I was 5 yrs old, I asked Jesus to come into my heart to be my Savior and forgive my sins. I heard it first from my mom and dad that if I wanted to go to heaven after I died, I had to get saved. So, I went and asked my mom about it and she showed me some verses in the Bible where it talks about Salvation, and she led me through the prayer and I got saved. Since I was only 5, I didn’t understand a lot of what she told me and I had a lot of doubts and fears about whether I was really saved or not. And I had trouble with that until I was 12. Then Dad showed me a verse in the Bible that says, ‘That if though shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, though shalt be saved.’ (Rom 10:9) When I saw that verse, I knew I didn’t have to worry about it anymore - I was saved. And Kyle’s gonna come sing a song that talks about that and it’s called, Be Assured.

Lance: We love the hymns. Hymns are my favourite music in the whole world. We collected hymn books through the years. If you don’t have a hymn book at home, you have to go get you one. Just keep it laying around. Commit those old hymns to your heart, let them run through your head, and in the hard times, those hymns will come back to your mind and those words will come back to you. And they will help you. They will strengthen you. Some of the best sermons ever preached in the whole world is right in your hymn book. We want to encourage you to keep those old hymns alive with you and your family. We know something that’s really quite marvelous: It we will sit down as a family, open up the hymn book, and just sing. Momma, Dad and the kids, maybe get Grandma and Grandpa and I tell you it is the most wonderful, marvelous thing. So don’t let those old hymns die. Make them a part of your faith walk. Rachel’s gonna come up and do one of my very favourite hymns called, I’d Rather Have Jesus.

Benjamin: I’m here to introduce the 2 little boys for y’all (laughter). And the small boy’s John and he’s 8 yrs old and he’s learning the mandolin. Why don’t you give him a hand... On the fiddle’s Aaron he’s 10 yrs old and he’s been playin’ the fiddle for awhile. We think he’s doing a really good job.

Aaron: On the banjo’s Benjamin, he’s 12 yrs old and he’s been playin’ the banjo since he was eight. Up the ladder’s Kyle and he got married May 10th to Ashley Lynch and he plays the fiddle. My one and only but not lonely sister, Rachel, she plays the mandolin and she got married Jan 1st to Landen Keeler, our soundman in the back. On the bass is Dad, his name’s Lance and he’s 46. (Laughter) Up the laddest the farthest, her name’s Becky and she’s old enough. (Laughter) This song’s called –Somebody Touched Me

This one tells the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. (when the walls came tumbling down.)

Kyle: This next song we’re gonna do for y’all is a new one for us so before I tell you what it’s called...what?...(whispering)...oh, it’s not a new one. (Laughter) This is my wife, Ashely and back at 4th of July, I took her back to my family reunion, a place my great-grandfather built and to teach her how to go fishing. And I got her and I put her in a boat and we went off around the lake and when we got back, she caught twice as many fish as I did. (laughter) So this next song we’re gonna play is called, Faded Love. (Louder laughter) I’m just kidding...

Lance: One thing I enjoy most about what we do is driving around in our blue bus out there all around the countryside and seeing the mighty wonders of God’s creation. You know, the Bible says, it’s a fool who says there is no God. Just by looking at God’s creation, you know there is a Creator. In fact, in Romans it says, man will be without an excuse just looking at God’s creation without acknowledging a Creator. Peter says, a man like that is willingly ignorant now that’s quite a thing to say, isn’t it? You’ve got to choose not to believe. You’ve got to choose to be ignorant of it.

Now, I want you to know something tonight, this room’s full of people who know Him, Jesus, as their Lord and Saviour, and there’s nothing that will make us any happier. And if there’s someone here who don’t know Him, come and know Him tonight. No one is gonna stand between you and Him, tonight.

Kyle’s gonna come up and sing a song that talks about the resurrection. About Christ taking it upon Himself - our punishment - His blood to share. He’s raised again and with that resurrection, we have hope for heaven. You all remember the story about Thomas, don’t you? In the Bible? Do you all call him Doubting Thomas up here? Yup, that’s what we call him down there. You know, Missouri – we have a saying down there – we are the ‘Show Me’ state. We don’t believe it, til we see it. It’s kinda the way we are.... So, we figure Thomas comes from Missouri. (laughter) You all remember Doubting Thomas – I can’t believe it, til I see it. Remember when he put his fingers out - I won’t believe it til I put my fingers in His side. When the Lord appeared, he said, ‘My Lord and my God’. Someday folks, that’s gonna be our privilege to bend our knee before our Lord, because of the resurrection. Here’s Kyle and I Am The Man, Thomas.

Pastor Lorne: Well, have you enjoyed the music so far? (Lots of cheers and clapping) These folks here have come – and I think it must be a real step of faith to come that far and come into a place and hope to have your needs covered. And so tonight, we ask you again, and you’ve been so great over the times we’ve had the different concerts and it helps to support the people who come and bless us with their music. So, one more time we come to you and whatever you feel you’d like to give tonight to help support this family as they travel all across the United States and now into Canada, and so whatever you can do to help. And while the fellas come up for the offering, we’re gonna keep listening to another number. (I think they played the instrumental ‘Salt Creek’ while the offering was collected. It was lively and the congregation clapped the beat.)

Pastor Lorne – Well, that was pretty good offertory music. (laughter)


Lance - We really appreciate the giving. It’s our faith ministry. Pray for us. It’s what we do. Full time We’re at our home 15-20% of days of the year and the rest of the time we’re on the road. And we’re a unique ministry, I think, in that we play many secular venues as Christian entertainment or the complimentary gospel band. And we have many opportunities to witness to a lost world. We sure enjoy coming into churches and being with people who are like-minded and it’s just nice. We sure appreciate all your smiling faces and your amens and we like to see that light in your eyes.

The Pastor mentioned something about that last tune - the last 2 songs were written by Benjamin, the banjo player. (clapping) He’s written a lot of banjo tunes and this week is actually the first time he’s writing a tune with words. And he’s working hard – it’s not quite ready yet – but we’re really please with his work. Little Ben is the youngest ever to be nominated ‘banjo performer of the year in bluegrass’ in the Midwest of America, doing a great, great job. (clapping) Little known secret now ‘cause we wouldn’t want you to get too bored - he’s just about to set the world record for speed banjo playing so you might want to check out the You Tube in a month or two and I’ll get to make it official and whatnot and we’ll see if he can do that. Let me tell you Mom and me can’t even keep up with him. (laughter)

Speaking of Mom, I’m gonna brag on her a bit: People always want to know how we got started and Becky has been in gospel music since she was a small girl and she’ll tell you about her family heritage and music in awhile but she’s actually the current female vocalist of the year in bluegrass and Kyle is the current solo performer of the year in bluegrass. And I drive the bus. (cheering and clapping) Oh my.

Let’s brag on Rachel a little bit, too – you see that prison break fellow back there at the sound board? (Laughing, we all look to the back where Landen, the soundman is set up.) He had hair up ‘til about 3 hrs ago. (laughter) Rachel was cutting his hair and got a nice hair cut. Finished it right up and was making sure she was getting it right and there was a little long sprig there and she picked up the clippers and there was nothing on the clippers...they were bare as (laughter drowned out his words) And now we got (laughter) for a son-in-law back there. He had hair until a while ago. Rachel’s the oldest sibling and she does so much for us. She’s in charge of our music – Becky’s taught the kids basic music and they’ve gone on to learn a lot on their own...got to work with a lot of great musicians and so, she’s the one who chooses us what to do. She’s the one who buys all our clothes and our food.

Ashley has come on board about 3 months ago and is finding her place in our band.

Little Ben’s gonna come up and sing a song here. This is taken from the Lord’s Prayer and you know, I could preach on this for 30 mins. You know, the Lord recommended that we pray that we not be led into temptation. That’s a warning. That’s part of my prayer life. And I can tell when I skip it. Pray often: ‘God, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil .’ I can tell when the Lord’s doing that mighty work in my life and I’m just doing my own walk, my own way, following temptation and that’s what this song’s about...Lead Me Not.

This song also has to do with family. My brother Scott Fergans from Free Hill (?), Missouri wrote this song about 25 yrs ago. About 5 months ago, we decided to pull it back up and sing it bluegrass style. It talks about one day, I’m gonna get to see my Father and my Saviour, Jesus Christ, Face-to-Face.

Kyle: This next song we’re gonna sing is called Prayer Bells of Heaven and the first verse talks about our prayer relationship with the Lord and the second 2 verses give biblical examples of prayer. Prayer is a very neat thing. We can use prayer in our lives anywhere,anytime, for any reason. That’s one of the greatest things I think about our Lord and His relationship with us, His creation. He loves us so much he’s willing to let you do it. Here’s Prayer Bells of Heaven.

Well, we’re gonna do about a minute commercial here, if you’d bear with us...if you’d like to know more about The Link Family you can go to our website: http://www.linkfamilymusic.com/ If you’d like to receive a newsletter through the email occasionally, just sign up back there. We will not farm it out or any of that stuff, just every once in awhile, we’ll send out an information letter and most likely, we’ll probably be back up here next year about this time of the year. We’re working with the man who got us hooked up with the pastor, here and they’re working on next year, so. We’d love to see you folks again, sometime.

Kyle is our state fiddle champion and rhythm guitar champion – he’s won many contests. He’s an expert at what’s known as Texas-style Fiddlin’. But he just ran out (of CD’s) so if you want one, just sign up back there and he’ll mail it to you and not charge you nothin’ for the mailin’ of it.

About our CD’s: we got live CD’s – this ones for a secular venue and I am so funny on this CD. (laughter) Anyway, uh...that’s what we do in the secular venues and you might be interested in that. We got an all-gospel CD of the kids when they’re small – it’s really cute and if you’re kids are a little younger you might be interested in that – some really good titles on that one. We just came out with a video a month ago – already getting phone calls – people getting saved watching that one. This album’s almost a year old already it made ‘Album of the Year’. So, avail yourselves of the CD’s back there and enough of that stuff.

Ben’s got a request here we’re gonna do. This here’s an old spiritual you might recognize – it’s been done many times, many different ways. It’s called Gospel Flat ???

Benjamin: What I’m about to tell you is my favourite picture of God’s grace. Up on Mount Calvary, there’s 3 men and the Man in the middle died for your sins and He died for my sins. He loved you so much that He died for you. The man on the left and the right are examples for every person’s decision: you either accept Him, or reject Him. You either stand on the solid rock of Jesus, or the sinking sand. Where are you standing tonight? This song’s called Standing on The Solid Rock.

Lance: Well, we’re gonna wind her down after this one and as the fiddle’s slowin’ down, we’ll hand it back to you. We’ve sure enjoyed being with you folks here tonight. You’ve been such a blessing and encouragement to us. Smiles – man, you make our job easy. I’m tellin’ you it’s just plum fun to come up here and play for people who really, really appreciate it. I only try to encourage people in good works – we’re ain’t saved by works, we’re saved by grace and Jesus said, ‘.......until I come.’ And we want to encourage you: Be bold in your faith. Share your faith. Share the good news of Jesus. Man, there’s so many ways you can that. One better way is to just go down to the nursing home – y’all got nursing homes – you call them nursing homes for the old folks? Man, you can go in there and go right to the front desk and say, ‘Who ain’t got nobody to come check on them? There’s people down there that nobody’s checking in on them. Go down there and find out who that is and spend some time with them.

And that’s kinda how our ministry got started. Becky called up the nursing home and said, ‘I got these kids trying to learn some instruments...can we come down and visit with people? And out of that grew this ministry. We’re gonna finish up with the best know gospel song in the whole earth. Little Ben took this and re-arranged it according to how a banjo player thinks. This is Amazing Grace.

(Standing Ovation)

Lance: Would you like to hear another one (Yes!) I’m gonna shock these people behind me. We’re gonna do one we’ve never done for an encore, but I’m gonna leave you smilin’ tonight...is that alright? (Yeah!)

Benjamin: This next tune was written by a guy in Kentucky. He heard this old pop tune and he really liked it but he couldn’t remember the words. He wanted to sing it really bad and it drove him mad and he couldn’t take it any longer so he wrote the words to something he knew about. Let’s see if you folks can recognize the tune...and the critter...

(It was the Possum song. We bought the CD that this was on and my kids listened to this song all the way home...and enroute church the next am...and on the way back...)

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about your own personal relationship with Jesus, please email him.
Again, click http://www.linkfamilymusic.com/ for more info or to order the CD's and DVD of this musical family.

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