| Beliefs: As a Winnipeg musician settling in my beliefs has been a long and challenging road for me. Having spent the greater part of my life as a performer I can honestly say that the only god I knew for the longest time was music. As with any talent, the ability to lose oneself with joyous absorption can be a great release. The highs are high and the lows become intolerable. I combined this obsession with music with another self-absorbing practice, transcendental meditation. Between the music and the meditation I was well on my way to a guru like state. For me at the time this all made perfect sense and for a time it seemed to serve my purpose of playing great music and getting high spiritually. After many years of following this path I was not getting the desired result. I was dependant on a great performance and TM to make my life go around. Things were just not working, and I didn't know why. After a long road trip I felt strong convictions to attend a church service in my area. My past had included only marginal Christian teachings. For some reason the day I attended church the message being taught impacted me in a way that somehow changed my life. I felt a truth pierce through to my core and in a very distinctive way I was refreshed and encouraged.I knew that day that Jesus Christ was becoming a reality in my life for the first time. The experience I had that day in June /95 drew me back to that church the next week and the next year for that matter. I still had a lot of junk to deal with in my emotions but I knew for sure that transcendental meditation and music were no longer my gods. I realized that on that first day of attending church I had opened my heart to Jesus Christ as my Savior. Not being altogether sure how to walk out this new revelation I just kept going to church and reading the Bible. I do know that at this time I was marveled at my fascination with the Bible and with the joy that was bubbling up within me. That initial beginning time was a wonderful turnaround in my life. Later as I learned more about Gods truth I was truly set free from things that had plagued me for years. As I got deeper into the meaning of what happened at the cross I started to understand Gods true love for us. I began to feel set free, truly forgiven and even righteous in Gods view. Really getting hold of these Godly truths was the beginning of a new path for me. I've continued my walk with God and I'm truly thankful for the healing and restoration that has taken place.
The last couple of days I have been reflecting on the past year as many of us have. Looking back over the past year sheds light on many blessings as well as many struggles. I have been inspired to bury all the struggles, temptations, pitfalls, doubts and waverings and rise up as the new man the Bible tells me I am. I accept the fact that Christ sacrificed his life for my wrongdoings. I'm certainly not going to hang on to them. God tells me my sins are buried in the farthest parts of the sea never to be found.
Having absolute freedom before God is what 2011 is al about for me. Knowing absolutely, that in Christ I have right standing with God is what freedom and joy is all about.
This year I plan to stay focused and remind myself daily about who I am in the Lord Jesus.
Developing our gifts is something we may need confidence in as Christians. I know over the years I've felt the pang of getting involved in missions or volunteer work in the church. At the same time I've felt the Lord guiding my path as as a saxophone player. I've chosen to dump off the guilt and pursue my path with all my might and when I've done what I can do I pray for wisdom guidance and strength.
We all have different callings on our lives and it's not reasonable to think we can all pursue the same paths of service to the Lord. I will be the best musician I can be and won't be condemned for believing this is of the Lord.As musicians we must encourage each other as to the value and integrity of our profession. When we fall we fall before men, we fall publicly,for all to see. Let us instead hold our heads high as testament to the God of music and trust him for our daily strenth to carry on.
As a musician it can be difficult to maintain the Christian walk. At times it seems the best thing to do would be to pack it in and take a day job. I 've found that God brings people to us on many of the gigs I do. As difficult as it gets I'm still thankful to be living the life of a musician and having the opportunity to talk with so many great folks. I think a solid faith gives us insight into the lives of others and often can inspire us to say a comforting word or a much needed encouragement. A great resource for me has been the CS Spurgeon daily devotional . We need to be fed on a daily basis and sometimes an outstanding daily devotional from CS Spurgeon can be a great way to start the day.