On Tuesday night we saw Elton John and Billy Joel in Cincinnati on their Face 2 Face tour. Up in the back row of the far corner of the US Bank Arena (those of you my age will remember it as the Coliseum), acoustics were not the greatest and it got up to oh, I don't know, maybe six thousand degrees. But, still, starting with dinner at The Montgomery Inn Boathouse, Lisa and I shared the evening with good friends and had a great time.
The concert lasted well over three hours with no intermission. They opened together with a few songs, followed by a long set by Elton John, a somewhat shorter set by Bill Joel, and then they came back together. Unfortunately, with the acoustics what they were, we did not get to hear a lot of their keyboard magic but, when we did, it was obvious that they are both still incredible. Elton had the better voice for the night but Billy Joel, backed by a much larger band with saxes and brass, by far took the "showman" and entertainer awards for the evening.
Then, last night, we saw Casting Crowns at Hobart Arena in Troy, Ohio. Still in the back row of the far corner, it is a much smaller arena so the seats were just fine. Casting Crowns played many of their big contemporary Christian hits and also did a plug for World Vision.
The song that "got me" most was one of their newer songs, "Slow Fade". This song points out just how easy it is for one to slip from a fire-in-the-belly journey-er for Christ to someone eventually just stumbling along following their own ways and the ways of the world instead of Christ. Not that a person always has to be over-the-top and not that it is not expected that we will have hills and valleys in our spiritual lives just as we do our real lives, but for me the lyrics of this song remind me that I need to stay up with my prayer life, my Bible study, ... my walk ... my community with others ... or things do begin a slow fade. And in these days where stress seems to be foisted upon us from all angles, it is so easy to lose our focus on God ... to start living for ourselves ... to give ourselves away ... and crumble.
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade