A House Concert and an Oasis

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Tim and Charla performing at our first house concert

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If you’ve never been to one, a house concert is just what is sounds like: a live musical performance in someone’s home. It differs from traditional concerts because the setting allows for interaction between the musicians and audience, bringing intimacy, a sense of community, and a shared purpose. As musicians ourselves, my husband and I have long appreciated quality music. To offer a venue with an increased quality of relationship for all involved, well…we were sold on the idea a long time ago.

We finally got around to hosting our first house concert in early March and featured three incredible artists—Ash Bultman, a local singer/songwriter, Tim Coons of Giants & Pilgrims, and Charla Bultman, his friend and musical collaborator from Denver (and coincidently, Ash’s aunt). I knew it’d be a touching experience but didn’t understand the magnitude until it was happening.

As darkness fell, music began to rise for a couple dozen of our new friends. A glass of wine in hand or plate of food precariously balanced on their laps, the glow of the candles reflected both smiles and tears as we realized together that something supernatural was occurring. As we sat listening to the music, we were also participating in something greater, something beyond the boundaries of our usual small talk in church foyers and school lobbies: Intimacy. Community. Healing. Restoration.

Music is the language God uses to touch our souls.

As my friend Sally said, “The house concert was such an encouragement spiritually. To encounter the music and musicians up close made it a personal and intense experience. An unforgettable night that left a big impact on me.”

There are times when faith feels too small, when theology feels cold, when church feels stale, and we find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness—when past hurts and current questions press on us like a wet blanket, snuffing out the fire and leaving only the smoke of what once was. It’s in the numbness of those times that the soul puts out a hand into the dark, grasping to find an anchor of hope.

In the desert there appears an oasis—water for a weary soul—in a place we least expect it.

Renewal always comes; the Spirit pieces together reflections of God’s nature to minister to us in our doubts. Whether he uses the gesture of a friend, a circumstance too coincidental, a walk in the woods, or a house concert, he calls us out of our darkness and smoldering to experience restoration.

God doesn’t relish our doubts or droughts. He isn’t the strong, silent type who is all mystery and no intimacy. He’s the husband that never stops courting you even after you’re married. He is creative in the way he pursues us and reveals his nature. He uses his Word. His Spirit. His creation. His people. His music.

Jesus is always the anchor. He’s always the source of restoration. He is good and creative, and he will craft situations and conversations to remind us of that again and again.

If you are dry, or smoldering, or in the wilderness, he will come after you. Maybe you’re supposed to come to our next house concert. (Info a the end of the post.) Or maybe he’s got something else in mind, your oasis.

Tim’s newest song, There is a Balm in Gilead, was one of the of concert highlights and speaks to the restoration found in Christ. Partial lyrics are below and you can listen to it on his website.

There is a balm in Gilead

it comes likes wisdom

it speaks like children

it’s a sight to the blind

and a strength to my weakness

it’s something for soul, body, mind.

There is a balm in Gilead

it’s a rest for the weary

a song to the sore

it’s a dew my dryness

that fills me with joy when I had none

There is a balm in Gilead

it’s a spring in the desert

for the winter to soak

it’s a strength and a power that keeps

making you whole

it’s a question you’re asking

and the answers you need

it’s the face you’ve been seeking

the one you’ve been begging to see.

Picture Gallery

House concerts must have food to be fun. Everything must have food to be fun.

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Time to talk with the artists is one unique feature of a house concert.

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Charla at the kids table. Makes perfect sense.

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Ash Bultman casting her spell on us.

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Our living room was transformed into a cozy concert space. There were chairs off to the left of the “stage” to accommodate more attenders.

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My daughter’s quiet face as she took in the music and cozied up in the lap of a friend.

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Charla channeling her inner pirate.

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Take 2. Our first house concert “pic with the artists.”

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We have two more house concerts scheduled this spring/summer. We’d love to have you join the next one on April 10th— featuring Joy Ike!

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