Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An invitation, a story, and a confession

I was living in an orphanage in India and my thinking started getting clearer. The things in life that don't matter started mattering less and the things in life that matter started mattering more. 

Sometimes God talks to us by letting us realize things, so when we realize something that's true and matters, that's the 
Holy Spirit who is causing that realizing to happen. 

So I'm in this orphanage in 2012 and start realizing a few things. One of the biggish things I realized centered around the music that I make. 

When I was 15/16, I began writing music. 
For 10 years now, I've been writing music. 

I don't mean to, I just can't keep from it. 
Those songs are coming because of the way I'm being loved by the King of all the earth. The way He loves me produces a song in my heart and that song doesn't seem to have an end. 

So for 10 years, God has been my sole audience, with a few friends thrown in here and there when I'm feeling brave. 

I don't have a singer's voice. 
Although I'm a fairly confident person, my music has been one big insecurity and I felt it would be much safer to keep it to myself. 
So that's pretty much what I've done. 

So back to the clear thinking in an Indian orphanage in 2012. 
Here's the biggish realization that I had: 

"God gives me songs to sing and I'm singing them to Him, but what's keeping me from letting other people hear these songs? 
I'm scared of what they'll think. 
I'm terrified of not being great at something and hearing their disappointment at the quality of my music. 
But I guess their approval isn't the approval I'm trying to earn with my life. 
God's approval is the one I'm after and He's nudging me to share my music, so that's what I'm going to do."

After this biggish realization in India, I sat out on a slow and still a little bit apprehensive journey to record a CD.
Aware of my not-so-hot singing voice, I wasn't looking to produce a million dollar record, but was looking to obey God and just share some simple tunes. 

It's right about two years later, and I'm finished with my first album. 

(That sentence is still surprising me.)

It's homemade in just about every way.
It's full of me and my friends' voices & instruments, a buddy's mixing and mastering, and a cardboard case sewn by my mother. 

It's called "Sycamore" and there's much more to be said about that. After the album is released, I'll type lots of words right here about why the focus of my life is to be a sycamore tree. 

But for now, I just want to invite you to the cd release party. 
It's on July 27 (that's a Sunday) at 7 p.m., in the front yard of the farm I grew up on. 

My mom is making homemade ice cream, I'm baking cookies, my dad is getting straw for us to sit on, my friends are coming over to sing and play with me, and God is going to be smiling the whole time. 

Will you come join us? 
I hope so. 

One more thing I want to say is that sometimes God asks us to do things that aren't comfortable or pleasant at all. 
He knows better than us, and we need to say yes. 
If I only did what I wanted to do and what felt good in life, I would have a pitiful, selfish existence. 

Let's say yes to Him today, no matter what He asks. 

Sing to the Lord a new song, 
sing to the Lord all the earth. 
Sing to the Lord, praise His Name, 
proclaim His salvation day after day.
-Psalm 96:1-2