It was the summer after my junior year in high school. I was convinced that I had found the love of my life, and I was praying that we would be together forever. In fact, I was on a family vacation in Georgia, and since cell phones and texting were not very common at that time, I was writing and mailing old-school love letters to this amazing girl. It was destiny! Well, at least I thought it was destiny! Unfortunately, the girl whom I loved so infinitely had not come to the same conclusion that I had. And, needless to say, over the phone, while I was 3000 miles from home and her, she broke up with me! OUCH! THAT HURT!
Yeah, I cried and moaned and wailed for the rest of the vacation. I think my parents were getting tired of it because when we returned home, my father took immediate action. Possibly as a remedy, joke or perhaps a last ditch effort, my father bought me an acoustic guitar, told me he and my mother were heading out of town again, and that I would be left all alone. He said to me with a very unique smile on his face, “Here you go son, here’s a guitar, learn to sing the blues!”
Well, through this odd circumstance, I now had my first guitar! It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t high end, but it was for me to use to pour out my heart and feelings about all that was happening in my life at that time. And I tell you what, I poured it out my friends! I POURED IT OUT! In only a way that a highly emotional 16 year old dude can! Day after day that summer, I would play and play until my fingers couldn’t handle the pain that the six strings caused to uncalloused rookie guitar player hands.
But something was forming deep in me that was way beyond just a kid singing about a bad break up. I was discovering just how spiritual and deep these sessions of guitar playing were becoming. You see, I took all the hurt and pain that I had felt from my failed relationship, and I began turning it into songs of praise to my God. I started playing spiritual songs. Songs of thanks, worship and adoration to the Lord Jesus Christ. I couldn’t sing and play enough. Soon after, people began asking me to play for them. They would ask me to lead worship for them at gatherings they had. I didn’t understand everything about church gatherings and times of worship, but I would gladly grab my guitar and pour out praise to the God who was healing my broken heart that summer. I knew that what I was getting called into was very real, and that somehow, even though I was just a teen, God was directing my steps and leading me towards my ultimate calling in life. A call to be a worship leader. A call to help others take moments of time and give thanks, praise and adoration to the God that created the universe.
Well it’s been a few years now since that brokenhearted kid got his first guitar! The calling I received as a young man has taken me so many places across the United States and around the world. I have had the incredible privilege of doing what so many musicians dream of. I have written and recorded my own original music. I have heard my songs on the radio. I have seen my CD’s on music store racks or offered through myriads of online sales websites. I have been able to play my own music on many different stages and open for or play alongside some of my worship leader heroes such as Lincoln Brewster, Don Moen, Brothers McClurg, Kate White, Brandon Bee and tons more. I am incredibly thankful!
I think overall I am most blessed not merely because of the fact that God has called me to be a musician, songwriter and worship leader, but that God has called me to care about people and to help them on their own spiritual journeys. There have been so many moments when I have been able to use music to touch a life and make an impact when nothing else would. I’m reminded of a time when a former neighbor of mine had passed away. I was honored as his wife asked me if I would come play a song as their family gently placed his ashes in the creek on their property. It “just so happened” that I had just traveled home from a recording studio out of town where I had finished writing a song for an upcoming album that dealt with God being in control through the most difficult circumstances. I immediately knew the song was written for this moment. And I knew this was the first venue where it would be shared. I’ll never forget the sight of this dear family placing white rose petals in the creek surrounded by lit candles on the banks while I sang the lyrics, “I know you have a plan for me, I don’t always understand or see, the way you’re holding on to me, the way you work in everything. My life is in your hands, in every circumstance, my God I know that you are in control. When faith is running out, and my heart is full of doubt, my God I know that you are in control.”
Participating in stories like this have been my greatest reward over the years. After one church service where I had shared some of my original music, a woman approached me. She gave me perhaps the greatest compliment I have ever received. She affirmed and thanked me be saying, “You gave me the words to express to the Lord when I didn’t even know what to say.” Wow, how can that be topped!
So dear friends, my life is committed to the pursuit of encouraging, coming alongside and worshiping with others. I have the honor of so often using my own songs in that process, and you are the ones that I am thankful to know and hopefully bless by sharing my songs with you. It is my prayer that during the time we come to know one another, there might be at least one song that God uses to touch your heart in a way that brings greater healing, life, encouragement and joy.
Thank you for your interest and participation in the calling that God has placed on my life. I hope that we can journey together for a long season. Recently I have been giving away a three-song download from three different albums of mine, but I really think it is important to give another. The song I mentioned above, from my former neighbors’ creek-side ceremony, is called “You Are in Control.” Please click here and download it for FREE. May it be a blessing to you and an encouragement whether the sun is currently shining in your life or whether the sky is grey. I also want to give you a chance to take a listen to my latest album release entitled “Before Our King” representing where I am at in my musical journey today! Click here and enjoy!
Thank you for reading this blog, for taking interest in my music, and for helping me make a difference. If you do need someone to pray for you, I would be honored. Simply respond to this post, message or email me and I will pray for you! If you feel others would be blessed by this blog, feel free to re-post it!
God bless you all,