2010 is almost over. Wow, that's crazy! Looking back, I think I learned a lot in the past year. If you're reading this, I don't know how long you've been keeping up with this blog. But check the archives...like I did!
Back in '09, I went on a church retreat that pretty much changed my outlook on a lot of things. One of those changes included my outlook on music. (I've been fighting to keep that outlook since late '09.) Back then, the Lord told me to release the songs I had. He showed me that I was releasing the project for the wrong reasons and that I wanted to prove something to myself by releasing a full length, high quality project. There's nothing wrong with that but my motives for doing so were all wrong. So when He told me to release everything the songs that I already mixed and mastered...well that was a stretch for me because I'm a perfectionist and very passionate about my music. (Problem #1: The music was mine.) Fast forward.
At the beginning of 2010, my wife and I both had dreams that we believed to be from the Lord. Through those dreams, we figured that God wanted Jeneil (my wife) to stop working and become a full-time mom. (Mind you, our daughter Nyomi was about 3 months and I was working part-time at the church when we had these dreams. Jeneil was making considerably more than me at the time.) We sought some counsel just to make sure the dreams meant what we thought they meant. The meanings were confirmed...and continue to be confirmed today. As far as music was concerned, the first of part of 2010 was spent finishing up graphics and in March I released the physical copy of the now 7-song, hurting-my-pride EP called "The Freedom Project". The Lord blessed that effort. People were genuinely ministered to by the songs and I stayed VERY busy doing concerts from the time I released the EP until sometime in September. Some of them paid me...most didn't.
Even though my wife and I had those dreams back in January and felt like we knew the interpretations, she didn't actually stop working until August. Part of the delay was transition time (finding and training someone to replace her). Part of the delay was fear on our part. We weren't rushing to make this leap of faith. August was just the boiling point of our divine discontent. I believe that God creates this inside of His people when they are outside of His will for their lives. Conviction of the Lord + Voddie Baucham = deadly combination. So while in August I'm thinking, "Hmmm! The busiest time of my concert schedule actually starts to die down in September. But Jeneil stops working in August...one month before my schedule starts to die down. What are we gonna do about money? God why are you putting us in this position? Did I really hear God?" All of these questions flooded my mind. And to be quite honest they still do from time to time.
During this faith leap, the Lord has really been gracious to me and my family. Money has come from places I never expected it to come from. I'll have to give you the full testimony when we make it out of this test alive and in one piece! The testimony is still taking shape. And while the Lord is being gracious, he has expressed his graciousness by exposing my lack of faith in Him. I'm not being sarcastic. He could've let me be but He wants to conform me to His image. Hold on...tear in my eye....ok I'm good. It's easy to talk about faith but it's hard to DO faith sometimes. Some of us are never put in positions where we actually have to trust God...all or nothing. And if God tries to put us in those positions we wrestle him tooth and nail. Faith is definitely one of those "easier said than done" kind of deals. Hebrews has helped tremendously. God has also taught me a thing or two about unity in this time frame. 1 Corinthians and James 4 has helped me with that. I'm trying not to get tripped up by stuff that fellow ministers/artist do that at times seems intentionally hurtful. Or what about dealing with artists who are very obviously in it for self-promotion. Good ol' Paul has helped me put these people in perspective. So what do I do? For now, let them be...the message and the mission is bigger than any of us. Besides, I have enough to deal with already. Just getting me, my family and the young people at my church to be passionate about letting the Spirit conform us into the image of Christ is work enough for me right now. That's the Acts 1:8 missional way, remember?
So here I am. I'm going into 2011 focused on my faith in Christ and believing that He is the Good Shepherd. I'm focused on leaning on Him for everything. I'm focusing on me, my family, my church community and my local mission field. I thank God for all of the deep relationships made in 2010. I cherish the fact that I can call people and chop it up about the Lord. God is so good. And now it's time to work the fields of San Antonio in 2011. No laziness. No more besetting sins. No getting annoyed with petty issues. That's not me. I was made for the "City of God". Thanks for joining me on this journey so far. The journey continues...