Christmas

Peace

My love affair with the song “Peace,” which was co-written by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Michael McDonald (of Doobie Brothers fame), began with a trip to Chattanooga, TN.

I was in the process of writing a play for Christmas at my church. The play centered around an atheist who had suffered significant loss in his life which left him believing in nothing. We were looking for a song that would reflect the atheist heart coming to an acceptance of Jesus.

I happened to be in Chattanooga for an Inductive Bible Study training seminar and I was eating at Cracker Barrel for every meal (we don’t have one on Long Island and I am from the South so you get Cracker Barrel when you can). Anyway, I was in the restaurant shopping area and I heard what seemed like the most beautiful song I had ever heard over the store sound system. The song was “Peace” being sung by Kenny Rogers on an exclusive Cracker Barrel Gospel CD called “The Love of God.” I immediately shared it with Todd Marshall who was the worship pastor then and in charge of the presentation.  That was several years ago.

This year, the play has been resurrected and with it the song, only I had the pleasure of singing myself. Matt Pastor listened to the Rogers track and produced an amazing orchestration (and lead sheet for me). The video below is a performance of the song by me and the orchestra at SGT (Kenny Rogers, of course, sings it better). At least I thought so until I heard Chapman’s recording! Beautiful! But then I also love Michael McDonald’s version! Except that I just discovered a recording of it by Michael W. Smith in a duet with McDonald! Wow!

I’m not sure why this is such a big deal to me. Partly it is because I’m not sure how many more times I will have this opportunity: to sing with an orchestra in front of a few thousand people when it was all said and done. Also, I think of my family, especially my kids, whom I hope will appreciate this video of their dad.

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