Honestly...there is nothing, artistically, more fulfilling to me than the moments when I can sit down with my guitar and put my thoughts and feelings to music. At a very young age I was drawn to music watching my cousin’s band play at family functions. After a handful of guitar lessons from my cousin at the age of 8, I decided to teach myself. I was active in all the music venues throughout high school. I studied music formally in college for my first two years. I was not thrilled to be studying classical voice and lost interest in music as a vocation. I found studying music at the college level to be lifeless for me, and it stifled my creativity. It is hard to make that clear in a few sentences, but music as a career faded into the background and I put my guitar into the closet.
About the same time I lost my interest in music, my mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I found myself drawn to the study of Philosophy in an effort to understand life, death, and everything in-between and beyond. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin.
Years slipped by until I had a health scare of my own that rattled me to my core and had me reevaluating my life choices. One haunting thing I found myself regretting was not continuing to create and share music. I literally went for about 20 years without touching my guitar. I didn’t even listen to music much on the radio. I listened to a lot of talk radio.
Honestly, I had thumbed my nose at God when my mother died. Yes, I was angry at God for taking her, and at myself for not having faith strong enough to heal her. For sixteen years I really wanted nothing to do with God. I was, and to some degree I still am, a pretty prideful guy. But, that all began to change when I faced the prospect that I might be going to die sooner, rather than later. I suffered through many dreadful moments at the Mayo Clinic.
Through my agonizing fear, I was humbled and asked God to please forgive me, and let me have more time. I would fulfill what I always knew was my life purpose, create and share music. On my final diagnostic visit, the doctor told me I did not have what I was being tested for…ALS. It had taken nearly a year of tests and waiting to arrive at that critical moment of diagnosis. He gently told me that what was wrong with me, could be treated. The thankfulness I felt in that moment marked the beginning of a transformation in my life.
So much has changed in my life and in my heart since that one instant of surrender. I thank God for giving me that opportunity, and the fear that brought me to a place of humility and surrender. Since that day, I have been drawn to truly surrender my life to Jesus! I have come to learn that it is not a once and done thing, but I must chose to surrender deeper and more fully with every passing day. The Bible has become my guide. Every answer to life can be found among its pages, when I pray, through fellowship with other Christians, and by listening to the whispers of my Creator.
In short, I didn't know, what I didn't know...but by his grace, Jesus came and got me. He called me out by name, and in my humbleness, I said yes! I can't help but share what he has done for me. I want everyone to know, what I myself did not know. Jesus is real, he is alive, and he died to save me...and all who will turn toward him, ask for forgiveness, and believe in Him.
I grew up knowing the story, but I never truly believed that it was real. I hoped it was true, but figured I would find out when I died. Well, it turns out I did die...in that moment when I truly believed. He made me new. My old self died, and my spirit was reborn.
The remainder of my life is a process of sanctification...to become Christ-like. To be clear, I am not special, and I am so far from perfect. Jesus came to save sinners, and I am definitely one of them. However, I am moving toward Jesus. It really doesn't matter how far away I am, or now much i need to be transformed and purified. What matters is that I chose to move toward him, and that I keep choosing him.
Everyday I wake up, it's a new day, a new set of challenges, and a battle in my mind with the evil one who will try to derail me. As I continue to choose Jesus, every single day, the Holy spirit works inside me, and in my life, to help make me desire to be, and actually become more like Christ. There is much more to tell about my faith journey from yesterday, today, and as it is being written. I hope to accomplish that through my music and though the areas of ministry that I am called.
The amazing gift of creating music is a place God gave me where I can explore my life and faith…and where possible, express it with melodies. I hope you enjoy listening to my music and the stories of my life, my thoughts, and my faith journey. More importantly…I hope you can find inspiration to be humble and look to the one who made you. May God bless you...!