Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Johnson Strings & an Auction

Sunday morning, my family and I went to a Johnson Strings concert at Zion United Church of Christ in Hubbard, Iowa.  We met the Johnsons in 2006 and listened to them for the first time in 2007.  They've been one of our favorite music groups ever since.
Zion UCC was a surprising large church with beautiful stained glass windows.  Since many churches I've visited are much smaller, have a hard time filling half their pews, and only are attended by older people, I was very surprised when the church was packed!

During the service, toddlers would occasionally start crying, a child or two laid on the floor, and a teenager stretched his legs in the aisle.  Not everything was perfect, but it was beautiful because it was alive.  Some churches are so nice and proper they almost are like funerals.
The Johnson Strings gave a remarkable performance.  My favorite song of the morning was Life is Hard (but God is good) as sung by Mrs. Johnson.  She has a beautiful voice and the lyrics are so true.  In life we face many difficulties, but God is good!

The instrumental pieces were excellent.  Karen and Abigail played a fantastic violin-piano duet, and Luke, who has a very good voice, sang a couple solos.  The grand finale was Handel's Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah...and then after the audience gave a standing ovation, the pastor asked for an encore!

The Johnsons have a Youtube channel featuring a few of their songs.  I've embedded one below.
Be sure to check out their channel here for more music videos and subscribe for updates!  

After the concert, there was a dinner in the church basement.
Chicken noodle soup was served over mashed potatoes.  It was a delicious combination!  After everyone had enjoyed dinner and delightful conversation, there was a church fundraising auction.  Iowans love auctions, so it was a fun way for members to donate to the church.

Below is a video of the auctioneer.  Auctioneers have different styles, and they're fun to listen to.  
Since all proceeds from the auction go to the church, some people took the bidding wars pretty high.
One little container of what I was told was a frozen German meat and oatmeal dish made by one lady from her grandmother's recipe sold for $200! 
The lady who bought it told me it was delicious and totally worth it for her.  I was told the name of the food, but can't recall.  She mentioned she could send the recipe, so if she doesn't forget, I can try it one of these days...or at least admire the list of ingredients.  I have doubts that my cooking abilities are sufficient to cook a dish that is just about as expensive as caviar! 
 It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning!  
The Johnson Strings are a very talented family and a joy to listen to!
What are your favorite music groups?
Have you ever been to an auction?

50 comments:

  1. what a talented group! (cute dog in the video, too.)

    i'd not bid $200 for any kind of food. :)

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    1. Yes, he is a good-looking lab! Same here...when I can get a perfectly good meal for $8, I'm not inclined to want to spend more...but the $200 went to a good cause!

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  2. Thank you for including the video as I'd not heard them before. Wow, the Johnsons are a very talented family. I love all the colored glass in the building - great photos. My favorite group is The Cockman Family - here's a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MbYouV8oJg&list=PLZLD9Q5w_R1eAe-enqQBa50v9ekX79zU4&index=1
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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    1. Thanks for the link! They're good! The guitarist's fingers really fly! Have an awesome day as well!

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  3. Hi Bethany,

    What a lovely morning you shared with your family! The Johnson family are such a talented group of musicians! What lovely music featured in the video, along with a beautiful location. Thank you for sharing!

    Poppy

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  4. Bethany, definitely the church is nice. In my opinion the music band is fantastic. Their music is so nice. I have been to auction it is a fun. My favourite band is ABBA the Sweddish Band but now One Direction the British One

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    1. Interesting to hear what your favorite bands are! I don't think I'd ever listened to them before.

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  5. What a lovely church sanctuary! I like my church service to be alive, too.. and the smaller the better for me. I am wondering what on earth could be in that German meat dish to make it so expensive! If you get the recipe, post it please!

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    1. One of the ladies told me it was basically roast beef cut very small (ground) and mixed with oatmeal and spices. So from that description it shouldn't be inherently that expensive. I'm thinking the folks at the church just really like it!

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  6. What a pretty church! I listened to your link and really enjoyed the group. They are so talented and I bet the Hallelujah Chorus was wonderful.
    We've had auctions at our church where pie or sweet rolls went for a large amount, but not that much.
    I've never heard of soup over mashed potatoes, I'm not sure about it! :)

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    1. It was a surprising combination, but I really liked it!
      Neat that your church holds auctions as well! Some of the most delicious pies I've tasted have been served at church functions!

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  7. The Johnson family are such a talented bunch. It is truly a gift that they can all play so well. The auction sounds like fun. I don't believe I have been to an auction before, I might have past a few while at a fair but that doesn't count.

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    1. Yes! They are very gifted, and practice pays off! (They go to a lot of work to be as good as they are!)

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  8. This looks like a fun event! The Johnsons play quite skilfully! :D
    I've never heard of eating chicken soup over mashed potatoes, but they're both good comfort foods, and I imagine they would be tasty together.

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    1. I'd never heard of it before either; it was surprisingly good!

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  9. That is such a beautiful church. I wish our church had stained glass windows, but then I'd probably be staring at them so much that I'd miss some of the sermon. Let's see, I like so many different groups that I have trouble narrowing it down to a few, but here lately, I've been listening to David Nevue, Casting Crowns, Mandisa and Toby Mac a lot lately... :)

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    1. Casting Crowns has some excellent songs, and I have a friend who loves Mandisa...haven't heard of the others before!

      The secret to paying attention in a church with stained glass windows is to come early and stare at (and photograph) the windows before the service. ;)

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  10. Thanks so much for this post, Bethany! I enjoyed your narrative and photos and the videos as well. The Johnson family video is beautiful fun...I want to check out their website. xx

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    1. They are fun people! Enjoy the website :)

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  11. The Johnson family is quite talented. Can't say that I would pay that much for a food dish, but the money did go to a worthy cause!

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  12. Sounds like a really lovely time. The church is beautiful, and your photos are wonderful. I like when there is music in a church. It certainly does bring it to life.

    Chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes? I am intrigued! I must try this just to see what it tastes like.

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  13. Sounds like a fun church to attend. I've been to auctions, but try not to buy anything. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and overpay.

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    1. True! Auctions can be a bit confusing at times, but they're neat to watch.

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  14. I like auctions like this, the money is really just a donation, and you get a little something which is nice. A beautiful church!!

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  15. I bet they do make beautiful music.

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  16. What a great post, Bethany! I love the video and I will have to share one of their songs on an upcoming post. I love their music and the area where they are playing is so lovely and tranquil, and cute to see the dog, too. The church is amazing, and I love the stained glass.

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    1. That would be awesome Linda! I enjoy the videos you post!

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  17. Well, only for a church donation would I consider bidding that high? In fact, I'd much rather have that than the caviar you mentioned.

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    1. I've never tried either, so I wouldn't know which would be better.

      Reminds me of an episode of CHiPs where Jon and Ponch, as guests of a sheik, are served caviar. Jon: Is it very expensive? Waiter: Not really sir, only $200 a pound. (Ponch stops short of taking a bite). Jon to Ponch: What's the matter, don't you like it? Ponch: I don't know--I don't think I can eat anything that costs $200 a pound.

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  18. Occasionally, I love a symphony; but I always enjoy a chamber ensemble!

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  19. Oh it was a great group. Love it, but 200 for that food seems rather high :-)

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    1. Agreed, but it went toward a worthy cause.

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  20. I bet it was a great experience. I love a chamber ensemble as well.

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  21. Lovely photos of the musicians. I'm sure they were delightful. Will have to look up their music. I guess the $200 went towards a good cause, but mercy! Out of my league.

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  22. I'm so glad you introduced the Johnson Strings to me. Always on the look out for more good music.

    Our family enjoys The Downings.

    Blessings~

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    1. The Downings are awesome! My family and I listen to them frequently on our record player.

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  23. Love the music!! The church looks so pretty, I can't believe how big are those stained glass windows and they're beautiful! When you come to the Hampton Roads Area I will take you to my church, they play great music and it's full of teenagers and older people too :) My teenagers kids love our church music!

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    1. Thanks for the invitation! I've never been in that area, but from the photos you post it looks like a lovely part of the country.

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  24. Those windows are gorgeous! And the food auction with the money going to the church sounds like fun!

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    1. The auction had a little bit of everything; it is a fun way for the church to raise money!

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    2. yes the johnsons family was a very nice group too listen too let me now when they are in the area again please thankyou.

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    3. You can keep an eye out for when the Johnsons will be in the area by looking at their schedule at http://www.thejohnsonstrings.com/2014/ . All the best!

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