Testimonial

JApraise

As a young child I always the sense of something butterfly-like tapping me on the shoulder. My parents were not religious although my dad came from a Catholic family, and my mom’s father was a Baptist preacher from Georgia. So it is interesting because my parents skipped right across the religious divide. My dad was a rocket scientist and my mom was a housewife, they did take me to church & Sunday school some, but not because they were into it that I know of. I look back and now know the Lord has always had me in his sight, I was being called and I felt it, but I didn’t know what it was, having had no instruction. My parents raised me with good values and taught me to take care of myself, they always got me the best classes in school and that sort of thing, yet I always felt I was lacking a fundamental need. I got my first guitar in 1970, it was a Sears Sivertone F-Hole. Almost immediately I wrote a song called Fusion about a big storm! I still play it sometimes.

When I was 19 I had an experience where I believed that I had been touched by and been in heaven, it was a vision that I was to have with me, and continue to have with me for all these years. I knew at the time I was not even close to the real source of that experience, it was however the catalyst for my ongoing need to find the truth.

I had left home as a teenager due to problems in the family, I lived on the streets for a while, I was addicted to rebellion. It was accompanied by such demons as drugs, alcohol, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll. My parents had a violent and unpredictable relationship, they were both alcoholics and I swore I would never be like them. Even though at the time I had started using “escapisms” myself, I was searching for a better life so I did the best I could. I got a job, I had a place to live, got a car, and I started writing more songs and hanging out with friends. I got into a successful band but things still were still in the dark, I even wrote a song called that. I was living in Austin, Texas during 80’s, growing music scene and right as Austin was becoming a very well-known music and creative arts haven. It was a very vibrant, creative community and I thought I was in the right place. I just thought things were hunky-dory at least on the surface.

In 1991 I was TAKEN off drugs and alcohol. I didn’t actually quit, it all was gently removed from me overnight, I cried for three days, and I turned my back on that entire life and walked forward. I started dating a man at that time who was a drummer, he was also very into all the new age stuff (which I had gotten into somewhat in my search). I started reading every book I could get my hands on about spirit beings, angels, ET, immortality and more. All these ideas were really just twisted lies counterfeiting the truth, I know that now, but at the time I was still searching. It was a contest between the New Age indoctrination that my peers were espousing, and God’s continuing, by now, beating me on the shoulder! He was reminding me that it was all about Him. But I WAS walking forward and I was changing my mind and I was beginning to repent, so that was a great experience. One of the other things I vividly remember is being very high and reading the Book of John. Not sure where I got that Bible, but it was like a key got turned.

All that led me getting close to my family, when my dad died in 1997 I went to Mexico to settle the estate, that was the beginning of a really big change for me. I got the inheritance, and bought my land in the country and opened a recording studio. It was at this point God really started working with on me. I’ve been reading my Bible and praying and studying ever since. I’ve had many, many difficult challenges being out here on my ranch including tornadoes, illness, nursing my mom and my sister thru terminal cancer, loss of most of my family, divorce and distress! Also I’ve had many financial challenges and I became somewhat disabled through treatment I took for Hep C. Through all of this the Lord has been by my side.

The music that I’ve been writing since 1971 or 1972 continues to have lyrics that are provocative to me in terms of the spiritual life, they are like messages from above to remind me that there is more to this than meets the eye. I started writing music before I even knew chords or much about writing music so I believe it was divine intervention which brought that about, that’s been the process throughout my life. This music’s been my friend, in my companion, it’s been worship, it’s been prayer, it’s been Joy, and it’s been grief; it’s been a very interesting relationship. Because of the spiritual nature I always had trouble performing in front of people, when I pray i don’t really want to feel like I’m performing. But as I begin to look at it as worship it becomes easier and easier to share. I’m also part native American and I have that inclination of rhythm, beat, and ceremony so its an interesting combination.

This joy of creativity from the Lord is a gift that needs to be released into the world, and I’ve discovered I can’t hold onto it because what’s inside me that isn’t released will probably make me crazy.
I had to let go of my shyness and my selfish clutching and I just had to be who I am, and let it go like a bird, or a diamond in the sky. I know that our world is being so torn up and so many people are sick,
hurting, and lost in chaos; anything I can do to bring a reminder of the Lord: a minute’s worth of truth, peace, comfort, joy or understanding is valuable, sound carries information! I rejoice that the Lord will work His works and bring His way in the world and He will be glorified- mostimportantly because he is our God.

I don’t consider myself a Christian music artist, I’ve never been involved in that genre, never been involved in that group or that field. I just consider myself a pleaser of the Lord and I feel like Paul when he said that when in Rome do as the Romans, and I believe we are in Rome. I believe if God needs His music out, as long as I do my part and enable the dynamics for it to happen, it will. I’ve been six years and thousands of dollars making the first CD, I was healed for these times from a potentially fatal disease and made able to do this thing for now. I don’t know what the future holds, but I have at least three more records on the runway which I would love to finish-I just don’t know where we are going next with all this. I’m just exceedingly grateful for the blessings, mercy, and grace of the Lord, to me a terrible sinner…  I pray that he keeps me and ALL of us under his wing and His protective prayer and that someday we will all rise up and become how he made us as in his image! May God bless you and I.
And bring about what He needs to bring about!

amen