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Getting the band back together

It was like a scene from The Blues Brothers: "getting the band back together" and being "on a mission from God."

This past week was a whirlwind that took me from an out-of-practice guitar player to leading a band in front of more than 100 people once again. But the madness was worth it.

It started with a phone call from my friend Alex, a Cystic Fibrosis patient and member of Powell Baptist Church where I used to serve as youth director. The church was holding a fundraiser for the CF Foundation, and Alex needed my help.

That wasn't a problem. I've participated in the CF Foundation's fundraiser walk for the past few years and was a member of the team named after Alex's older brother who died from CF in 2004.

But what he wanted wasn't quite as easy as writing a check. It required me to be good at something I hadn't done in 18 months. No pressure.

Alex was in the youth group when our praise and worship band, Ordinary Hero, was formed. We named it after the regular people in chapter 11 of Hebrews who became heroes of the faith.

His request was to "get the band back together" for a performance at the Sunday Night Sing and pancake supper. The event would raise money to fight CF, our "mission from God."

I thought about it for a second, knowing it would mean getting in touch with a dozen people who had scattered since I left as well as hours of practice time that I probably didn't have. Then I said, "Of course we'll do it."

Now I hate playing unprepared in front of people. It's a deep-seeded pet peeve of mine. I think if you're going to play music, the least you can do is play to the best of your abilities. I knew I would have to set that feeling aside this time.

We practiced for a couple of hours on Wednesday, then for about an hour right before the performance. I told the crowd of our miniscule practice schedule and that they should bear with us.

Then we proceeded to play our three songs nearly to perfection. My mother later asked rhetorically, "Now how do you think that happened?" She was right; God took over our fingers and voices. It's the only sensible explanation.

We were even asked to perform an encore. We played one of the songs twice because we hadn't practiced anything else. The crowd didn't care, though. They sang right along with us.

The youth who have either graduated, moved to another church or stayed there at Powell enjoyed the "reunion." Reminiscing about old times while eating pancakes brought back many forgotten memories.

Well, at least our story had a much happier ending than Jake and Elwood's. And if you want to do your part to fight CF, visit

Web posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007

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