Saturday, March 29, 2014
Day One started with a need to stop scratching with the hens in the chicken yard and start soaring with the eagles.
When we take a close look at our lives, where it's been and where it needs to go, we begin to see patterns in our choices and the directions of the roads we continue to travel on.
I had an epiphany of sorts while trying to work on plan A, avoiding such patterns that seemed to keep me going in the wrong direction.
From the Christian point of view, God reveled to me again how satan was using the small things to build up to the big bang, so to speak. Deceiving myself that I was doing OK with plan A, I was slowly being draw back to the chicken pen and loosing the battle again. So my next thought was to come up with a plan B.
The old hymn says, "Open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of truth thou hast for me". God gently but firmly reminded me that I had to quit relaying on a plan of my own making that was destined to fail from the beginning and look deeper through His eyes. By doing so, he showed me the pitfalls that satan kept putting in front of me to lead down the path of failure. There was no hope in this plan or any other plan that I would conceive.
So Day One has come and gone. As Day Three arrived and the same tricks of satan were scattered around me, God gave me new strength and purpose. He again revealed to me how satan deceives and color coats his evil ways. He helped me to open my eyes, to see the truth and take another step to soaring with the eagles.
So many times the answers are right in front of our face. So many times we see them, yet constantly turn our gaze back down to the world around us. But as I searched once again for the glimpses of truth that I may truly see, God returned with the same direction and purpose. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you......Hallelujah......
So once again I've been given another glimpse of how satan continues to lead me a stray, following him and my own doings, and how God can strengthen my wings and help me to soar high above the clouds, if I will let Him. Will the road be smooth sailing ahead, probably not as we are human and humans forget and make mistakes, but by keeping the eyes looking upward I have a much better chance than trying to make it on my own.
and the Journey Continues.....
Friday, March 14, 2014
March 14, 2004, twenty years ago today , I took the plunge and headed to Nashville, TN for a new phase in my life and what an adventure it has been.
Doors opened up for me to work for several Christian music companies, including New Day Distribution, Diadem Music and Benson Music Group. This allowed me to work with several leaders in their field as well as so many artist that I had been moved and blessed by for so many years. So many artist that were at the top of the charts in all genres of Christian Music.
Opportunities opened up for me to experience so many perks through these companies, including experiencing a close rapport with the artist and more concerts than most get a chance to enjoy in a lifetime. Through the years, I had the chance to take a cruise to the Bahamas with Diadem Music and the opportunity to sing at Amy Grant's House, "The Loft" with the likes of Michael W. Smith, Nichole, Paul Overstreet and several others. Yep, my fifteen minutes of fame.
It was a learning process for sure as I learned that even in Christian music, it's about the bottom line and making money for the companies.
Through the years, I've had the chance to visit so many states around Tennessee and learning so much. From seeing lake Michigan and Erie, to enjoying the Olympics in Atlanta, I could write a book just on those travels.
While I was with Benson, I was diagnosed with cancer and given about 6 months to a year to live. That was about 18 years ago. I still have to battle some health problems but I try not to let them get me down and I give God all the Glory.
I made a decision to start working more on my own music and put it in a set of songbooks for others to use and enjoy. Shortly after I got started, the health of my parents changed drastically and the next 7 or 8 years were spent with tons of trips back and forth to Texas, taking charge of all of the responsibilities of their stay in a nursing home and their business affairs. While in the nursing home, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, surviving only about a month before he passed. The week of his funeral, we found out my mom had liver cancer. Being the fighter that she was, she kept on fighting for about a year and a half before she passed. Then another year of so many trips to Texas as I closed up all their affairs.
After a couple of weeks at home, I headed to the North East, from Pennsylvania, to New York, to Washington DC and all their surrounding states, taking in all I could, relearning to enjoy the simple things as well as the big and wonderful things this country has to offer. I returned home to start anew, to find ways of letting go of the stress, some anger and some grief and yep, I'm still working on that.
At the ripe old age of 59, I took a big step and started my own publishing company. Who would have thought that I would be the CEO of my own company this late in my life. But it was time for me to do what I loved the best. Starting the first of January, 2013, I had my first songbook, "Songs of the Heart", ready in September of that year. I'm finishing up a book of prose and poetry, "Whispers of Life" to come out later this year.
Through all the changes and struggles as well as the great times, my character and outlook on life changed significantly. I've learned to look at the world dramatically different than I did a few years back. Seeing a world with so much hatred and anger, I've started my own personal crusade to make the world a more positive place. I've learned that sometimes it's just reaching out to one person at a time, but with the internet, one can reach millions as well. So I'm no longer the man that I was 20 years ago. But thank God I'm not. I can say I've learned and grown, I've prevailed and made mistakes, but it all went into molding me into the man I am to day.
Finishing with my two favorite quotes:
"Let Your First Word Be A Smile"
"Be Who You Wish The Word To Be"
I challenge each of you to take each day and each moment and do something good. And 20 years down the road we can all say.......WOW......what a life.....
and the Journey Continues.....
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
It amazes me how God can slip us a little wisdom when we least expect it, and in all places, our dreams.
I had two dreams one night, the first showing a life without Him and the second showing what an amazing life can be with Him.
I headed out to enjoy the night life, taking in all that the world had to offer. Every where in the club was loud music, plenty to drink, or smoke, or whatever. People were in the corners letting their lust go wild and everyone was partying till early into the morning. When I finally had enough of the craziness, I tried a pay phone to get a ride home. The phone wouldn't take my money and kept charging up unexplained bills till I finally gave up. I found a friend and we went out to try and find my car. It turned into an endless search for blocks and blocks, circling around, heading back, all in vain. The night and the day had become one frustrated time of feeling lost, confused and hopeless.
I was in the parking lot of a store and witnessed a small boy and his dog get hit by a speeding car. I rushed to the scene of the accident and was met by an elderly black man. He scooped up the boy and I took the dog and we went inside until the ambulance came. That meeting started an incredible friendship with the man and his family. From that moment on we watched as each event was now more than just a coincident. With each moment we could see how God's plan was unfolding before our eyes. Life was no longer the same for his family and me. His son had struggled with the wild side of life, but from that moment began to grow closer to God and his family. We were in awe as God took control of each of our lives as well as the new family that we had become. Every moment of every day we felt a new bond and love for each other and God. Each event was no longer a coincident. As we embraced it, we knew it was all part of God's plan.
Unexpectedly God showed me what life is like without Him and how it can be with Him.
The world can offer a small amount of happiness and sometimes just a cheap fix. But turning everything over to God can give us real purpose and life and an eternity beyond our wildest imagination.
A tale of two dreams, once again:
"Opened my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth thou hast for me
Opened my heart, illumined me
and the Journey Continues.....