I received the gift to write musical messages back in the early eighties and I am so grateful for how it has given me a deeper personal connection with Him. The spiritual intimacy between God and myself is a vital part of my higher education and is a bond that allows me to know Him more personally. I have expressed my thoughts and experiences with becoming aware and walking in His glory in my book, “A lifestyle of Worship.” This relationship with Jesus through music has also opened doors for me to lead worship throughout the years and it has been an honor to learn and enjoy the power and majesty of His presence. For me, the gift to write musical messages has been such an amazing opportunity to connect with Him and a vital part of my spiritual education to know more about Him. I have never been focused on being an entertainer but rather to use the melodies and rhythms of music as a vehicle to carry the message. With me, it’s all about what the song is saying and how I can allow its content to touch me and cause me to meditate as it relates to my purpose. In the last few years my writing has expended to a newspaper faith column called, “Living On Purpose” and once again the Lord has opened many doors for me to share His messages. I offer several CDs of original music that I have recorded over the years and each one has its own category tab. You can click on the CD title and it will open up to show you the cover and a few MP3 selections from the project for you to enjoy. These are not elaborate or professional productions but were created to capture the simplicity and the anointing with just singing to the Lord with my guitar in the secret place expressing how much I love Him.
I had the honor to be a part of the KCAL Old Time Radio gospel showcase again this year. What an amazing group of singers and musicians! Over 400 people attended and everyone had a blessed time in the Lord. I’m playing here with Mike Carr of the Moron Brothers, and loving his harmonica with one of my original songs called, “Somebody was praying.” It has a blues sound, and we really enjoyed our time together.
I love to lead worship and it will never grow old to feel God’s presence fill the atmosphere. There are no words to express seeing the Lord minister His grace to the hearts of those who are thirsty for Him. I have enjoyed writing and playing music all these years and consider it a privilege and honor to be His servant.
I want to share my testimony about how I started writing the song of the Lord. It was not a coincidence that my uncle stopped by our house and showed me some guitar chords when I was 12-years-old. Since then, I have been playing and singing for the Lord. I would play my guitar and lead our youth in church as I was in my teens. After I was married to my beautiful wife Cheryl, I continued to sing, and it was around 1981 I was asked to lead worship and was being used by the Lord to play and sing popular Christian songs, but one night in 1984 during a revival, an evangelist was preaching and all of a sudden he stopped and pointed his finger to me and said that I was going to write the “NEW SONG OF THE LORD.” As Cheryl and I went home that night, we wondered what this was about because I had not written a song before. About two months later, I was at work and a melody came to my mind along with some words. I found an old piece of scrap paper and scribbled down the lyrics and stuck it in my pocket. When I came home, I pulled out the paper, picked up my guitar and played the song like I had known it all my life. Cheryl reminded me about what the minister had said that night and we both just sat there and stared at each other. This was truly a miracle and opened the door to a new perspective of ministry and appreciation for the awareness and sensitivity of God’s presence. The songs started coming on a regular basis without any planning or labor of my own. We knew the prophecy was being activated, and it has truly been a special part of my intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus.
In 1985, that same evangelist moved to our area and started a church and Cheryl and I joined them to be involved as a Psalmist and worship leader. During this time, we were invited to a large worship symposium at Fremont Ohio that was being conducted by two different ministers that operated in the prophetic anointing so we decided to go with our new pastor and his wife. I was introduced as a modern-day Psalmist and was asked to bring forth a song of the Lord. In front of a crowd of 500, I stepped on the stage and sang an original song called “Unmeasured Love” and went back to my seat. The evangelist came out onto the platform and began talking about how worship breaks the ground (our heart) for the Word of God (His seed) to be planted then suddenly he called for me to come back to the stage and places a chair on the platform for me to sit in and begins to prophesy over me. The other minister was a lady from California and both gave lengthy and specific words from the Holy Spirit which included a confirmation about me writing music and certain warnings, along with a unique revelation that I was NOT going to be just a lyricist but would be required to “walk out” every word that was given to me. Many of the songs are about surrendering our will to God, taking up our cross, sacrifice, exposing our secret sins, spiritual accountability, and the hypocritical facade of religion. I did not completely understand at the time (and I am still learning), but after 30 years of writing about the Christian life, Cheryl and I can agree that this divine appointment has been a road filled with difficult walking.
This is the original recording of the prophecy that was given to me in 1985.
The heart of this message is referring to writing in the area of music but it also has been manifested in the form of the written word pertaining to devotions, articles, and books. I spend many hours each week communicating the thoughts of my heart through writing and it feels that if I do not release what is inside of me that I will burst! Writing has become a passion and the messages many times are direct and straightforward. In the music and the written word, the content stirs the conscience, and many times provokes and challenges the heart with conviction and the need for personal reflection and self-examination. Many songs are written in first person as if the Lord is speaking and emphasize the importance of humility and brokenness and approaching the holiness of God’s presence with reverence. The theme of my ministry has been to emphasize the responsibility for all of us to surrender our carnal will and take up our cross so that Christ can “seen” in us! Becoming aware of God’s presence is the most important aspect of the Christian life because changing the way we think – changes who we are. It is not how much knowledge we accumulate but how much we demonstrate! I have suffered the pain of rejection because the intensity of this message causes many to be uncomfortable but I consider it all joy in knowing that I have tried to follow the beat of God’s drum. The message of the cross is NOT POPULAR. I have not patterned myself after other singers and teachers in order to make people feel happy or well thought of but I want to depend on the power of God’s anointing to lead and guide me.
Through the years, we have been given several incredible financial blessings and encouragements from individuals that were inspired and moved by God’s Spirit to bless our ministry including; being given a brand new Martin D-35 guitar, and several gifts to pay for professional recording expenses, and other miraculous financial offerings that were supplied as a confirmation that God was with us. I remember early in our ministry that times were tough and we barely made enough money to get by. In this particular situation, we had some bills that were due and we were just praying that God would help some somehow. I had received a call earlier in the week from a pastor in the mountains that wanted me to come and minister my music to his youth group. It was a Friday night, and I had an opportunity to work the next day and make some much needed overtime money. I walked out into the backyard that evening and was crying out to God about whether to cancel the ministry and go to work – or trust Him. I felt a peace in my heart to serve Him and to just have faith.
The next morning it was raining, and we drove a long way to get to this church and finally turned on a highway that led to a church on top of a mountain with a mud road. We barely made it up the mountain and when I saw there were only about 20 kids there, I was wondering if my faith was truly being tested. I sang my heart out, and it was very humid as I remember sweat running down my face. We ate lunch and talked for a while and as the pastor tried to shake my hand, he secretly transferred about $40.00 into my hand. I thought, well, praise the Lord and started packing up to leave. While I was ministering, I noticed a man sitting in a wheelchair near the back door and he had not said anything. He had long hair and beard, wore a leather vest and looked like a biker. He rolled up to me before I left and said he had enjoyed the songs and slipped me what appeared to be a check. About that time my son Josh which was about 3 at the time was pulling on my pant leg saying he had to go to the bathroom. I excused us and was standing in the bathroom waiting for Josh and I pulled the check out of my shirt pocket and it was for $2000.00. I about fell to my knees! God had come through with a miracle from heaven as this was a lot of money back in the mid-nineties (and still is). We were able to pay all of our bills and have the confidence in knowing that God rewards faith and obedience. This is just one of many miraculous stories that reveal how much God loves His children and how He desires to help us become victorious for His glory.
I praise the Lord for His mercy, restoration and forgiveness in this journey as I have had epic failures that I was not sure I could recover from along with amazing breakthroughs that I know came from the hand of God Himself. I have experienced many awesome encouragements and also have felt the pain of disappointment but at the end of the day I will say that God is good all the time. Ask God today to come into your heart and take over your life. He loves you and longs to see you fulfill the purpose He has called you to accomplish. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free (willing) spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12.
Here I am at the Lexington Cemetery with an Ovation 12 string acoustic.