In the early spring of 1995 I walked from my living room into what was my recording studio a changed man. Having just accepted Jesus as Lord, all I felt was the clutter of life. So much that had been important a moment before was now either useless or confusing.
As I sat in my chair reflecting upon my latest recording project, the first thought was throwing away everything to do with music. There was absolutely nothing redeemable in what I had written, nor did I have any interest in what I’d been doing with music.
Four of the five songs contained lyrics that either reflected a depraved worldview, a worldview without absolutes, or one in which the behavior of man bore no consequences beyond this life. Oddly enough the third song had no lyrics at all. I do recall sitting puzzled by that tune for days on end wondering why I couldn’t decide on a melody.
I can’t recall how many days passed before I realized that God might be able to use me in some way. ‘Perhaps I could write some music that reflected my Christian worldview,’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘no one has ever done that yet.’
When I went back in, writing was difficult. Before, when I was only concerned with people hearing my music, it was easy. Suddenly I realized that God was not only listening to my music, He knew what it was before I wrote it down.
It was that exact moment of realization that the third song on my tape came to light. I never could figure it out, but God knew what it sounded like already. Then an even deeper thought struck me. Before I ever realized that people were praying for me to accept Christ, Jesus slipped that song into my heart and mind. In the midst of the filth that was my life, something precious emerged from the very center of it all.
My mission as a music minister was still a long way off in the future, but when God took hold of me through a song planted in the very core of where I had been living, that mission was inevitable. One story after another emerged along the path that has brought me to Bushkill Community Church, but those stories all had their origin in that first experience. Putting to music what God puts on my heart blesses me, my family and the community of believers I’ve been privileged to serve.
I’ve learned a great deal since the first day I believed and I’m learning more every day. Praising Jesus in song answers a deep foundational need within me that transcends my simple mind. Although it is my greatest joy to worship The Lord in song, the greatest experience of my life, has been knowing that I’ve been used in some small way for His glory.
I titled that first song, ‘All Of Me.’
That’s what it takes, that’s what I strive to give. If I ever manage to give myself completely to Him, it won’t begin to compare to what He’s given me.
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