Is my life more of an argument or more of a story? This penetrating question entered my life a few years ago and began to transform my thinking and relationships. My faith is vital to my life and God’s saving grace is truly amazing, undeserved and unearned. Yet, for much of my life the beauty of this truth was in the shadow of an “argument” perspective, that I was supposed to “defend” my faith. For several years now I have been growing in living and sharing life as “story” – getting to know people through their story and discovering where my story and theirs connect. Love, acceptance, forgiveness and grace are at the heart of this – not judgment or “being right.”
Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading short devotions on leadership and the issue of dependence on God rather than myself. Here are some things that jumped out at me that I didn’t get to blog last week…
I have to grow in trusting God to meet my every day human concerns so I will give my entire attention to what He is doing right now, in the present moment. Accountability is what to seek, not autonomy. I will either view God’s character in light of my circumstances, or my circumstances in light of God’s character.
I attended and shared my music at a men’s retreat led by Dr. Ken Boa, an amazing writer and speaker along the lines of C.S. Lewis. Here are a few nuggets from the time discussing Identity (origin – where did I come from? who am I?), Purpose (why am I here?), Hope (destiny – where am I going?) and finishing well (ending our journey with excellence).
The key to humility is to be amazed by grace…the One who knows me best loves me most, the world defines me by my power, my position, my possessions, my intelligence, my looks, etc…the word (scripture from the Bible) defines me through simple declaration of truth, filled with mystery and wonder that is part of living by faith.
Part of the story behind “The Voice” CD and the title track from this 2005 album…by the time I was in high school I was a worrier and perfectionist, overly conscious of what others thought of me. The voice I heard often in my mind was my own, criticizing my performance and pouring on more pressure to succeed. God was part of my life, but it took a long time before I deeply explored the possibility of hearing His voice. Could He actually guide my steps in life? Could He provide the wisdom, discernment and comfort that I needed? Could I really hear His voice? The more I have pursued this, the more I have encountered profound conversations and intimacy with a God who cares for me beyond my comprehension. Scriptures to consider: 1 Kings 19:11-13 and Isaiah 30:21).
I began playing the piano at age 6 and writing songs at age 14, but it wasn’t until I was 35 that I composed my first instrumental melody called “Grace and Truth” in May 2000. With musical influences ranging from Bach to Windham Hill to Billy Joel, and inspiration coming from ancient scriptures, I began creating melodies to help me (and eventually others) slow down and experience a sense of God’s peace and rest in a hurried world.
I am always working on new music and had a breakthrough this past Wednesday morning with a new melody that I think will become something very special. I was meditating on Psalm 19 and the words “in the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun” speaking to the wonder of the heavens and the skies. This new original work blends in with a world renowned classical melody penned over 300 years ago. It is very likely to show up on my 7th album which I hope to release in late spring 2011.
Welcome to my new blog! I appreciate your interest in my music and will be posting regularly, sharing in the following areas: 1) Present Moment – what I am thinking about, what is happening, what I am working on, 2) Past Stories – life stories and inspiration behind the six albums and 65 piano melodies / arrangements I have recorded so far, 3) Looking Ahead – special projects and dreams for the future with life, music, Music to Light the World and Get Music Give Hope. Thanks for being part of the story . . .