I have been a Christian for over twenty-four years now. I am in NO way ashamed of my Lord, Jesus Christ. I am, however, desperately ashamed of how I have represented Him from time to time in the past.
From a very early age I have wanted to 1) play guitar with proficiency; 2) write decent original songs; 3) play, sing and speak in front of Christian audiences to encourage them to keep walking the walk, talking the talk, and fighting the good fight of faith.
I committed my heart and life to Jesus on August 3rd, 1988, and it was the best and most important choice of my entire life. Everything else that has been good and profitable has stemmed from that one. I had no hope of any future or amounting to anything. He has given me hope, purpose, and passion. He has put songs into my heart. I am quite certain that I sat down with an old beat up electric guitar and cheap amp that I had at the time, with a pen and a piece of paper and wrote my first song (with Jesus in my life) about 2 weeks after I made this momentous decision. The song was called Brave the Night and it was about conquering a fear that I had in my youth of pitch black night. With Jesus walking right beside me (in my heart) I can certainly Brave the Night.
I am a former United States Marine which was a dream from a very early age. When I got to my teenage years, I gave up on this because I knew it would be too much discipline and too much of a sacrifice. After Jesus came into my heart, He placed the confidence and the endurance inside me to earn the title. I consider this to be one of the paramount accomplishments of my entire life. I belong to a fraternal organization that very few would choose, and possibly fewer could endure. I cherish my experience as a Marine from a standpoint of honor and not pride. I say that because I would not have completed “boot-camp” without the grace of God.
I was mobilized in November of 1990 and sent overseas to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield / Storm. I tell of this simply to document my history; I don’t feel down deep inside that I am a worthy veteran, especially in the presence of many who have had to really sacrifice for their country. I have a paternal great uncle, whom I will not meet until joining him in glory with our Lord, who was killed in action on Leyte Island. Another paternal great uncle who went ashore in the afternoon of June 6th, 1944 on Omaha Beach and would be in almost constant combat for the next year and whose son was with the 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam. My paternal uncle is a genuine Marine combat veteran from Vietnam. And most certainly by God’s Grace alone, my maternal grandfather was a forty-month prisoner of war of the Japanese during World War II, surviving the Bataan Death March. All of these men do, and have (many of them have since passed) consider me a veteran no different than they and this humbles me greatly. My own military experience was like a summer camp when weighed with theirs. The bottom line though, is that I showed up and I wouldn’t trade my experiences, nor the title United States Marine for anything.
I have worked for the state where I reside as a medical technician inside a maximum security prison for over twenty years. As I tell anyone who asks, “nine out of ten days I absolutely love my job, that tenth day I would just as soon take a beating .” I have for the most part really loved my work and have been thankful for it. I do not feel that just anyone can do this; it takes a calling, bearing, and resolve on top of appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience. I also worked part time for a number of years, on the side, as a paramedic for a moderately sized area ambulance service. This work was extremely rewarding. I enjoyed the rush of adrenaline when responding to serious emergencies. At the risk of sounding boastful, I was very knowledgeable about my trade and I do believe that I rightly enjoyed the respect of my peers in the business. However, it was also very stressful and after a few certain very traumatic emergencies, I had to reevaluate my motivations for why I wanted to be a paramedic. I determined that I needed to take a break from it and I never really seemed to want to return. In the process, I had witnessed more than my share of trauma and death. I am thankful for the experience and thankful for everything that God taught me and brought me through in it.
God has truly blessed me with a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, diligent wife, and two amazing little boys. I truly have been blessed; pressed down shaken together and running over beyond all that I could ask or think. I have been given "More Than I Can Contain!"
I am fully aware that many artists are unable to fully accomplish their desired level of exposure of their music. I feel that the most important aspect of my music is to be an encouragement to others; therefore, I would be interested in seeking other artists to record my original songs. At present, I have approximately twenty originally written songs that are completed and perhaps that many more that still need work. I have a few songs posted as slideshows on my YouTube Chanel (listed under the name XMathis) as well as some guitar gear reviews.