Tag Archives: Sweet Hour of Prayer

Kianna: ‘Follow your heart’

GUEST POST by Natasha Jackson

My sister, Kishia, just had her baby on Wednesday. It was an INCREDIBLE day. Here’s my letter to the sweet little princess … my precious niece. (Letter originally appeared on my blog, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.”)

Kianna,
 
If anyone in the family could describe me in one word, they’d probably say I’m a “butterfly.” I’m not known for staying in one place for too long. I go where the wind goes. And what is that wind? That’s the Lord, hopefully, that I’m following! I feel like about 98 percent of the time my decisions are based on God’s leading. I gotta leave some room for error. I’m human.

But my personality, too, is very much of a butterfly. I love going from place to place to learn new things, and teach people things. My goal is to show the love of Christ to anyone God puts in my path. Sometimes, I don’t do the best job of that ‑ but I sure do try. Sometimes I miss it, even though I don’t mean to.
 
With that being said, I haven’t been known to be around the family as much as most. Generally when family get-together’s happen, I’m off on a mission trip or women’s retreat that I’m either leading or attending. I haven’t given much attention over the past few years to family. Part of that is because I live further away than any of the others in our family. But I’ve decided over the past year or so to not let the miles be an excuse anymore.
 
Just two months ago, your Great-Great-Grandma Nola went to go be with Jesus. We all wanted so much for you to meet her. But I’m sure that you two already knew each other. If people have guardian angels, I’m sure that she is yours. Just like all of us, she loved you so much before you were born. Even when she couldn’t remember anything because she was so sick, she remembered you.

The pain of Granny Nola leaving this world is still very fresh. But, Kianna, you have helped ease that pain. When I saw your face just moments after you were born, something in my heart changed. As I held you, I wanted nothing more than to make you smile. I can’t wait to get to know you.
 
So this is my promise to you, Sweet Princess: I will be there for you. I have had some great examples as to how to be a really good aunt. And I plan on even surpassing those examples! I don’t know where the wind is going to blow me next. I don’t know what God has in store for me in my next season of life. I might be miles away from you, but I won’t let that keep me from you. And I promise to be there for your mommy and daddy, too. I haven’t done the best job at that either. But that’s going to change.
 
You are already the sweetest little girl. I can’t wait to see how you change the world ‑ because you’ll change it just by being yourself! Don’t try to be anyone else, because you are incredible. I can tell you from many, many examples and stories in my own life that you should feel free to follow your dreams. No dreams are silly. So go with it.

Follow your heart.

I can’t wait to see what you teach all of us. And I can’t wait to tell you about the adventures I’ve had in my life.
 
You are truly the most beautiful little girl that I have ever seen. And I can’t wait to see you grow into a stunning little lady!

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Filed under Family, Guest Blog, Kianna Allene Brown

Singing all four verses … a capella

Time for Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, but first a reminder that the Countdown to Kianna is at day 25. I’ll have a word for my first granddaughter in a few minutes. For now, it’s time to revisit one of the antiques in my storehouse of memories: Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.

I’ve mentioned previously that I developed somewhat of a fondness for Sunday night and Wednesday night church services — or at least I have fond memories. Those services were typically less structured, less rigid and not as formal as the Sunday morning service. We had printed bulletins on Sunday morning that listed which hymns to sing, who was “bringing the special,” and who was preaching, reading scripture and things like that.

But often on Sunday night and always on Wednesday night, the hymns weren’t pre-selected and listed. The music leader would ask for requests. The older folks naturally requested older hymns and, on the off-chance that the pianist wasn’t familiar with the song, we’d sing it a capella, assuming that at least one or two folks knew it well enough to get it started. Remarkably, those non-instrument numbers were typically on-key.

I think that’s where I learned to love dozens of old hymns. By the time I reached my mid-teens, I occasionally had the opportunity to lead the singing on a Sunday or Wednesday night. I preferred an a capella approach and was even known to break one of the oldest, unwritten rules of Baptistdom: Sing the first, second and last verse of the hymn. I’d say, “All four (or five) verses.”

I was a rebel even then. All four verses; no piano.

So we’ll wrap up Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting with a hymn — a capella, of course — and a more modern tune.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

The Potter’s Hand (Darlene Zschech and Hillsong. The audio and video are barely out of synch; be sure to turn up the volume. Enjoy.)

Grandpa’s message to Kianna, #12 …

You’ve got a rich musical heritage. Your mommy can sing beautifully, even though she won’t admit it. I can’t wait to hear your voice. Everyone in my family and on my side of the family plays one or more instruments. It’s been a while since we’ve had some brass.

In case you’re wondering, Grandpa really likes the sound of a French horn. But we also need a percussionist. How about a drum set?

I’m sure your daddy will let you set it up in his man cave. Right, Darnell?

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Filed under Family, Inspiration, Kianna Allene Brown, MIP: Memoir-in-progress, Old Time Religion