Saturday, February 28, 2009

So, I’m six weeks past this surgery. Recovering slowly but getting a little back every day. It comes in small increments. I go out to walk almost every day and usually keep going for about 30 to 40 minutes. At the beginning, I feel strong and think this is gonna be cake. The last 5 to 10 minutes, my feet feel like bricks and I notice I’m starting to slump forward a bit. Old ladies are passing me! Geez.

But I’m thankful. The position of gratitude, no matter what you’re going through, is a good one. There is always something to be thankful for. Always. Look around and say one thing – “I’m thankful for __________.”

The bags are not packed for the next trip, the next concert, yet. Heck, the bags are still in the closet on the top shelf. I had great expectations for 2009 and now, here we are beginning month 3 and most of what I’ve done this year could be summed up in short paragraphs. I’ve been on the bench for a long stretch.

I did get to go back and lead worship at my church last Sunday and will be there again tomorrow. These days, when I’m not out of town for other concerts, I’m at Chapelwood United Methodist here in Houston. They’ve been terrific through this whole recovery thing. Patient, prayerful and supportive. I’m leading the worship at the 9:45 service (one of three on Sunday mornings) so if you’re in the area, drop in!

Their perspective on worship is so refreshing. I met with some of the singers last Wednesday and some of the instrumentalists. I challenged them to pursue another level as they lead others in worship. . . . to be united, to pursue a pure motive and to sing as if they’ll never get another chance to sing (or play), to listen and to pray.

The people that walk into the sanctuary are not so concerned about perfect pitch, the perfect guitar riff, or the perfect anything. But that’s not a license to be lazy and shrug and say “hey, it’s just church music.” I hate that attitude. I want us to offer God our best.
But the people in the seats are coming from all kinds of places. Some of them fought with their spouse on the way to church, some found drugs in the kids closet, some are on the verge of ruin at work, some are about to be found out and don’t know where to turn. While some want to come and worship, others don’t really know what that means. Some simply want to be in an environment of worship for a few minutes. They don’t care what kind of guitar I’m playing or anything close to that. They want relief and refreshment at the feet of the Savior.

So we’re going to give it a go in the morning.


It’s getting harder and harder to be a casual news watcher anymore. I can’t leave it on for very long. Networks use fear and scare tactics keep us watching like voyeurs waiting to horrible train wreck. Why? So we can say “I saw it” or “I was there.”? It really does little, if anything to build my faith. It takes my eyes off my Provider and puts them on myself. Then the pressure builds. I have to actively refuse, almost minute by minute every day, to take part in this style of living. But we will stand. By His grace and His mercy, we will stand.

I’ve never seen a concert schedule like this. 2009 is my thirtieth year to be in this work of Christian music and ministry. To say that a lot has changed would be one of the more ridiculous statements I could make (but, hey, stand by . . . I’m sure there’ll be lots of other ridiculous statements before this is over!). Usually, the spring is a good, busy time. But I’ve got very little on the books right now. And neither do many of my colleagues and peers.

I know the economy has everyone frozen. Churches are freezing their programs and holding their collective breaths to see if the faithful are going to continue to be faithful – in their giving. I remind myself and, therefore, you that God is faithful and that we cannot outgive Him. Bring your gifts and offerings to His house. Help the church be a place where people can come to during these stressful days – a place of peace and healing from the worries of our lives.

I’ve never felt more passionate about what I’m doing and after thirty years, realize that time is flying by and I don’t want to waste any time. I pray, and would ask you to pray, for opportunities to sing and share what God has given me to share. Anywhere, anytime.

And for you, don’t buy into the fear that’s spread from the airwaves everyday. Remember, these news agencies have to fill the airtime with something. They have to make stories where there may not be a story. They have to make you think you’re out of touch if you don’t stay tuned. How many times have you heard an anchor person say, right before they go to commercial, “You won’t believe what’s coming up next.”?

The Maker of the Universe knows what’s coming up next and then some, he knows you, He loves you and He cares for you. Trust Him.


Wayne Watson
February 28. 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

OK, I know it’s been a long, long time since I’ve communicated through the site to you all and for that, I apologize.

Christmas came and blew by like a storm front, didn’t it. Where did it go?

Before we knew it, the new year was off and running.

On January 14, I went down hard, took an ambulance ride to the hospital with full lights and audio.

I was in a complete fog – and pain like I'd never ever experienced before. But I was conscious enough to see, and be very disappointed in the fact, that there was no team of young, energetic, skillful surgeons waiting as the ambulance pulled up to the door. Guess I’ve watched too much Grey’s Anatomy or ER ‘cause I really expected there to be a group all scrubbed up, decked out, assembled and ready to jump into my case. Instead the EMTs rolled me up to the desk like we were waiting to check into a hotel.

I spent more than a few hours in the ER. People coming and going, taking things from me, giving their educated guesses as to what the heck was causing all this pain. Whatever they gave me, finally, dialed down the hurt to manageable.

The doctor in charge of the ER said they were going to admit me. Whatever. Do something.

Hours passed, and the next morning, I found myself in prep for surgery. A tiny little curtained off section and a gurney surrounded by a couple of nurses, the doc (trying to explain what was about to happen), my dear friend John Barksdale, and my wife.

The only thing I remember was a beautiful prayer then a short ride to the operating room. Again, where were the cool lights and shadows like the OR on TV?? This place was lit up like a football field. White, bright everywhere. Thinking it over, I guess you do want them to be able to see EVERYTHING! I mean, EVERYTHING, RIGHT?

There was no “Count backwards starting with ten” or any of that stuff. Just a swift “goodnight.” Out.

I was in the hospital for a while and it took a few days before they said I was in the clear.

Again, I have no point of reference for all of this. Never really been sick that much and certainly not many hospital stays.

It makes you think. Not like missing a flight makes you think. This made me think.

And thankful doesn’t even begin to say it.

I do have to say, though, that whatever my doctor and his team earns for their skill, for all the years of training and education, all the sleepless nights while interning - they’re worth every penny and more. It was a great comfort to me to know that my surgeon is a Christian and leans on the Father to guide his mind and hands. It’s not often that you get to thank someone for literally saving your life. This was the first time for me.

So all that to say, I’ll be fine. Actually, better than fine.

I am anxious to get back to leading worship at Chapelwood UMC here in Houston on February 21st and will be all over the tour dates that are being scheduled right now.

I’ll be certain to take God’s mercy and grace more to heart than ever before. There is still a lot to do. There are new songs to sing. New experiences of God’s goodness everyday. And I’m thankful to be in a place to see Him work.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers, support and kind, encouraging words. I’ll be more in touch in the days ahead.