Ken's Latest Interactions
Perhaps Billy would not want me to tell this but what do I have to lose... Billy and Robert Howard formed a little duet group of themselves singing the old folk songs of the early 60's... Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Kingston Trio, and others. I loved to sing and actually learned to play guitar from Robert. But the day came that I wanted to play with them. I had an informal audition with Robert, sining the song, "Hand down your head, Tom Dooly hang down your head and cry..." And Robert really liked it. He came alive until the old black gospel sound that I learned from my nannie, "Aunt Coralee" came out. He stopped. He commended me in part but let me know quickly, "Ken, you just got too much black in you to be able to sing folk music. Go join a black band." Great advice though it broke my heart. REJECTION. But Robert was right, for a few years later I began playing horn with an all black band from Carlboro, "The Swinging Flamingos." I loved it. The only blue eyed member of the band, me, loved it and did well. As a freshman at NC State and playing in a black group on weekends, it was heaven on earth except for one thing: I wanted to sing. Finally that day came when Irven Hicks asked me to become the lead singer in a group called, "The Tassels." And from there it was history. We ended up forming with a few of the Swinging Medallion's "Double Shot of My Baby's Love" guys a new band called "The Pieces of Eight," and "Lonely Drifter" rose to into the top 40 all over the nation. Finally, after great success, just before touring with "The Alman Brother's Band," I gave my life, my heart, my everything, to Jesus and followed Him. God restored my broken marriage, my health, my all, and as I write this on my 27th trip to Norway, with my wife of 49 years beside me, I look back with no regrets and am so glad I got delivered out of rock and roll to be able to sing and write the greatest music ever, songs from heaven: Worship! And back to Billy Stinson, I once did a five minute radio show, over 1200 of them to be exact that went all over the country. I interviewed young people whose lives were radially changed from the Jesus Movement of the early 70's and followed each testimony with Christian music, which during that early era of a new sound in Gospel Music, contemporary was unheard of. Somehow, I can't remember exactly the circumstances, I came across an album the Billy and his wife, Sandra made. The cover was black and white and I knew Billy Stinson, the artist, and a great one at that, had drawn it, and I believe it was called "The Merchant Ship." I do know there was a song on it about a merchant ship that he equated to a virtuous woman, that described in the Proverbs 31, and the great line of the song was, "Who can find a virtuous woman... she is like a merchant ship carrying her goods from afar..." So, God Bless Billy and Sandra Stinson who love Jesus, love family, and as he wrote, "I am, thankfully, paddling downstream instead of up..."
Posted on: Aug 27, 2015 at 7:59 AM
Posted on: Dec 04, 2014 at 4:33 AM
Don't normally comment for lack of priorities and time… meaning, we just finished our 7th school at our ministry, A Place for the Heart. Our school is called "The 18 Inch Journey" –– the distance between your head and your heart. We had 32 students from 12 nations, along with interns, staff, etc, for a total of 64 folks living with us for all of June and July. But I respond simply because of where you state you are living: Lake Lure, NC. I was privileged to the camp pastor for 17 summers at a camp on Lake Lure called, "Camp Lurecrest." All of those summers with my family serving as a minister to 250 kids for 3 or more 10 day sessions was life changing. From the teen age girls I learned: "Girls look at girls more than guys look at girls." I learned that if girls bring 10 outfits to camp they have to have 10 pairs of shoes to match, plus I never met a teen age girl during those 17 summers who liked their hair. As for boys… I learned the the outward man is a whole lot more expressive than the inner man. They can be loud, crazy obnoxious, and full of ego, but when it came to accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of their life, they melted like crazy and became the real man that was always hidden on the inside. And that brings me to you…
As I read a few comments I put together that you are a widow, living alone, with your grandchildren, and for that I wish to express first my sadness of your having lost someone dear to your life. My wife, Linda, and I are about to celebrate our 70th birthdays, as well as 48 years of marriage, but best of all, 44 years of living in Christ and following His purposes for our lives. It is my heart for you that we both send our love, prayers, and desire for life to become more valuable and expressive than ever before. I pray the Lord Himself, become the "husband to the husbandless and a father to the fatherless." That is His nature!
We, my son, Jonathan David, and his wife Melissa, run the ministry together here, and we started this summer's session on "The Journey" with this thought from A W Tozer:
"What you think about God is the most important thing about you." I pray for Him to reveal Himself to you as the Loving Father that He really is and His peace keep your heart in such a place that your last years become your best years. Ken Helser
Posted on: Aug 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM