Starting September 5th, 2014 I'll be hosting "Acoustic Cafe" at Lakeside Family Church in Stevensville, MI. If you're in the area, join us on the 1st & 3rd Fridays of every month as we recreate the 60's Coffee House experience. The format is basically open-mic (though there will be some mini-concerts scheduled); you'll hear music from the 50's - 90's, different genres/styles & some original songs/compositions too ~ The format is casual & relaxed & this is a great place to network w/ other artists in the area, 'hope to see you there!
"Worship is simply giving God His breath back" ~ Lou Giglio Job 12:10 "In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" Isaiah 42:5 "...He Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it" Acts 17:25 "...for it is He Himself Who gives life and breath and all things to all [people]" Scripture tells us that every breath comes from the Lord, every single breath: He's given us His Life, abundantly & He's also given us His breath, eternally. It doesn't matter if you can sing or not or even sing as well as someone else; sing w/ the voice that God gave you. He made the canary & the crow & He loves to hear them both. So, as you come before Him in private worship or as you gather together in corporate worship, return God's breath to Him in praise, in adoration, in worship... Continue it during the week, every day, every hour, let your every breath be a sweet aroma that God inhabits. Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord" ~
Music is such a powerful thing, it can move hearts & it can tear down walls, it can heal & it can hurt, it can calm & it can stir; music is such a powerful weapon & awesome expression of not only the human experience but the spiritual one too.
Be yourself & express yourself as only you know how to, find your own sound, your own style then... own it. There's enough copycats in the world, be a cool cat.
It's the one that's different, the one that stands out that gets noticed, never the one that blends in so stand out: learn new things, new scales, new styles, new sounds but be... yourself...
Creativity is inherent in the human nature, it's a divine thread wired into our DNA so create as only you can & glorify the Lord as only you can ~
It's been a busy year so far: a couple of recording projects in works... collaborating... songwriting... co-songwriting... promoting... social media stuff... open mic stuff... acoustic concerts... it's been a blur, a blast of course but still a blur.
Since the dawn of time we've all had the same 24 hours to work w/, the same 24 hours to impact our world & make our mark, the same 24 hours to exist or to live, the same 24 hours to advance our own agenda or advance the Kingdom.
In all my "busyness" my main priority has been & will always be:
- knowing God more intimately - seeking His glory above my own - helping people be all they can be in Christ
Being in the music business doesn't have to be "dog eat dog" or even cutthroat, we can help each other, network w/ each other & promote each other, unity among Christians is a great thing: it commands the blessing & shows the world we truly love Christ & one another.
Be Blessed ~
I just wanted to offer a word of encouragement:
Don't be obsessed w/ numbers or stats... or how many plays you've gotten on a certain song... or how many fans you have... or what your ranking is...
Just make great music.
Long before there was Reverbnation, Purevolume or Myspace Music; long before there was social media of any kind, there was music, musicians & fans, period.
Each artist had their own community, their own support group, their own fan base & their own style. From seedy nightclubs to coffeehouse open mics to Google+ on air hangouts, just get your music out there & don't worry about things you have no control over.
One more piece of encouragement: network. Seriously, network & promote not only your stuff, but also other artists. I know that sounds crazy but try it; it might just work for you like it's worked for me.
If you're going to be obsessed then be obsessed w/ making great music & have a great time while doing it.
'just a word...
quit the comparing... quit trying to be like someone else... what works for them may not work for you...
quit trying to live their life & start living your own... God gave you a voice... whether you speak, sing or write w/ it... it's your own voice...
God gave you a life... if you're hid w/ Him live it for Him... but live your own life & let others live theirs...
comparison kills... it kills inspiration, creativity, drive... originality births & it continues to birth...
speak, sing, write... but do it w/ the voice you're given... & it will resonate.
I took a little walk yesterday & I thought about the mercy of God in dealing w/ people.
Samson lost both his strength & his sight, in that time he probably reflected on his life choices & in the end, he was humbled & died a changed man.
Then there's Jonah who couldn't see things clearly & found himself trapped in a fish, nowhere to go, but safe in the dark... just him & God working things out.
Then there's Saul, who was blinded for three days & he discovered what was truly important & got a new name & purpose in the process; all examples of the mercy of God in dealing w/ people...
If you'll notice, each of these cases involved blindness or darkness; sometimes, but not always, it takes complete darkness for us to see clearly -
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo
In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul talks about pressing toward the mark for the prize of the HIGH calling of God in Christ Jesus…
Psalm 121:1 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help…”
“Lift up my eyes to the hills…” is a Hebrew phrase; the key words are nasa (lift) and ‘ayin (eyes). This phrase frequently indicates a looking/seeing with anticipation of/disposition toward, the object one is looking at.
Lifting one’s eyes involves a choice of one’s will; what or where you lift your eyes to look reflects your heart.
In Jesus, we have a very high calling & for many, our vision is too small, our aim is too low, for whatever reason we’re playing it safe.
Jesus said that according to our faith, so be it unto us. We have a big & mighty God, high & lifted up… Whose vision is so panoramic & plans for us so grandiose that we can hardly imagine…
By His grace, we are empowered w/ His power. He’s already done everything: He’s reconciled us to Himself, He’s defeated the enemy & ‘made a spectacle of him.
Our part is to have faith in His completed work on the Cross.
Our part is to believe that in Him & through Him, we will do greater works.
Our part is to lift up our eyes, lift our vision higher, set our aim higher & also press toward that high calling…
A couple of quotes from Laura Ingalls Wilder:
"Suffering passes, while love is eternal. That's a gift that you have received from God. Don't waste it." "It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
The mind of Man complicates everything: life, love, God... while the mind of Christ simplifies those very things.
In the light of eternity, this life, w/ all it's joy & pain, is relatively short & it can only be truly lived in the power of Love Himself. Don't waste this gift of life you've been given or the gift of love that you can share w/ others.
Appreciate the small things, cherish the simple things & in all things, give thanks...
Now is not the time to be fearful; but to be faithful.
Now is not the time to sit back, but to rise up.
Now is not the time to shut up, but to speak up.
Now is not the time to hold back, but to hold on.
Now is not the time to scatter, but to gather.
Now is not the time to come apart, but to come together.
Now is not the time to get ready, but to be ready.