"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

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August 29, 2021 - #4798 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at musicandthespokenword.org.

This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word  delivered by Lloyd Newell.

Music

Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“All Creatures of Our God and King”
Music: German hymn tune
Lyrics: St. Francis of Assisi; translated by William H. Draper
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Look at the World”
Music and Lyrics: John Rutter

“Fanfare” (organ solo)
Music: William Mathias

“Who Will Buy?”1 from Oliver
Music and Lyrics: Lionel Bart
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“Where Can I Turn for Peace?”2
Music: Joleen G. Meredith
Lyrics: Emma Lou Thayne
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Thou Lovely Source of True Delight”
Music: Mack Wilberg
Lyrics: Anne Steele; additional text by David Warner 

  1. On the CD Showtime! and in the CD set Encore Collection.
  2. On the CD This Is The Christ.

The Spoken Word

Things Bigger Than Basketball

Written by Heidi Swinton

When Gideon George arrived at New Mexico Junior College, the newest member of the Thunderbirds’ basketball team, he found things to be quite different from his home in Minna, Nigeria. He had an air-conditioned dorm with indoor plumbing, for example. The basketball courts were not made of cracked concrete or hard-crusted dirt. And in Nigeria, you didn’t typically see a pair of almost-new basketball shoes in the trash.

So, when Gideon walked past a garbage can in his college dorm and saw some perfectly good shoes, he asked, “Can I have these?” But he wasn’t asking for himself. Instead, his mind was on the people he knew in Minna whose shoes—if they had any—were old pieces of rubber tires crudely stitched or glued together by hand. He may also have remembered the day, years ago back in Nigeria, when he was approached by a local basketball coach who offered a pair of donated shoes if Gideon would join his team.

With all that in mind, Gideon started collecting secondhand shoes, first from his teammates and then from other athletes on campus. Eventually the school’s athletic department joined the effort, offering free tickets to basketball games for fans who donated shoes. As his collection grew, Gideon contacted a non-profit organization to help him ship the shoes to Nigeria. They agreed, expecting maybe a dozen or so pairs. Two hundred arrived. Another one hundred and fifty followed. And that was just the beginning.

Playing basketball in the United States has been a blessing for Gideon. But just as important to him is seeing pictures of smiling boys and girls in Nigeria who receive the shoes he has sent. “That’s where I get my joy,” he says.

Sometimes we think joy comes from personal comfort or personal achievement. But Gideon George reminds us that more often, it comes from bringing a smile to someone’s face. It doesn’t matter if that person lives across the world or across the street. Our efforts might seem small, but among all the big things we do in life, lifting and blessing someone else might actually be the biggest. One of Gideon George’s teammates put it best when he said, “[Gideon] does things that are bigger than basketball.”

  1. See David M. Hale, “The Amazing Journey and Mission of BYU’s Gideon George,” Feb. 26, 2021, espn.com.
  2. In Gordon Monson, “Gideon George’s Path from Nigeria to BYU Crossed Two Continents, Stepping through Two Worlds,” Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 27, 2021, sltrib.com.