Today, I will be talking about the importance of music in our lives, but first I want to urge everyone to vote during our primary election cycle with Early Voting beginning on Thursday morning of this week and running until 1 pm Saturday, May 5, at Tanglewood Church of God.

Although the ballot in Lenoir County is short in the primary, there are a couple of very important decisions that must be made.

First, a countywide sales tax referendum which will raise taxes from 6.75 percent to 7 percent, which is one/quarter of 1 percent, will be decided. This is vitally important, since its passage will very likely make a property tax increase unnecessary.

Secondly, the race for the 3rd congressional district will be on the ballot, featuring incumbent Walter Jones and challengers Scott Dacey and Phil Law.

The sales tax referendum is open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation, Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian, but the congressional race is limited to Republicans and Unaffilated voters. It bears noting that there are now approximately 8,000 Unaffiliated registrants in Lenoir County, and that number continues to grow, and there are almost 10,000 registered Republicans, folks, it will take only a few minutes of our time to cast our votes, but doing so can make a big difference in our lives.

And now about music. There is usually a very interesting message woven into the fabric of every memorable song that touches the hearts of many who hear it. When Hank Williams sang "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," you could feel his emotional involvement. He wrote and in many cases LIVED the words of this song.

When The Gun Boat Boys perform at Breakfast on the Boat, they present music that, although in many cases is decades old, still rings true today. When the many church choirs in our area present their music, it is usually memorable and timeless. Songs like "The Old Rugged Cross," "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," "How Great Thou Art,' and countless others are in many cases more relevant today than when they were written many years ago.

I don't know what Heaven is like, but I think I can get a pretty good idea by listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing "Peace In The Valley," With these closing words, "There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, no pain there to bear, there will be peace in the valley for me." J.C. Penney descended from a long line of Baptist preachers and was on his way to establishing a successful career when the Great Depression of 1929 hit.

His business deals failed, and he became very ill. He felt he had nothing to live for. Then one morning he heard singing coming from the little hospital chapel, "Be not dismayed whate're betide, God will take care of you." He said he felt as if he had been instantly lifted out of darkness and into the sunlight.

So many times what really matters in this life is reflected in song. It is interesting that as the great Titanic sank to its watery grave on April 14, 1912, those standing on the deck, who just hours before had been dressed in their finest, wining and dining the night away, were now spending their last minutes huddled together, singing, "Nearer My God To Thee." AMEN!

 

Reece Gardner is the host of The Reece Gardner Hour television show which airs on Tutt Media at 8:00 P.M. on Tuesdays and at 7:00 P.M. on Sundays, on Suddenlink channels 17 & 117, and simultaneously on other cable outlets throughout Eastern NC.