I really don't know what category my music fits into. And I didn't really have a clue what I wanted this record to be when I set out on the path to make it nearly two years ago. Honestly, it sort of just came together. A handful of islands finally colliding into one 8 song mass. And as I look back, that's exactly what needed to happen. All I knew is that I wanted to tell my story, so I followed the thread, and this is what came off of the loom.
My hope is that you find your story echoed somewhere in these songs. They may only intersect in a line or two–and maybe in a completely different experience than mine. But they echo still, for we are all part of the great story God is writing.
-- So, to give you some context for the album, here's a little bit of my story, taken from a January 2012 blog post on my website:
"You may remember Metallica’s version of 'Turn The Page' better than Seger’s. That crusty old highway blues feel and wild west kind of smell. Honestly I didn’t even know Bob wrote it. The Google machine told me. Minus 5 musician points for me..
The point is that we are most assuredly turning a page. Or several. Jill and I are going through decidedly the most difficult time in our lives. Never has the pendulum of faith and fear swung with such vicious fervor and frequency. It’s stretching us and shaping us, and it’s really, really amazing. The amazing, of course, is punctuated by spurts of scared-out-of-our-minds, but we’re trying to choose faith. Not stupidity, irresponsibility, or rose-goggles. Faith.
The simple truth is: I lost my job (didn’t expect to be saying that so soon). As much as I might have wanted to stay at First Baptist Hendersonville, every day adds to the pile of certainty that this is exactly what God wants, exactly when he wants it, and exactly where he wants us to go. I’ve learned that to believe anything different would be pointless and a waste of all of our time. So, in 20-27% fear and 73-80% faith, we’re turning the page.
I had an awesome time at First Baptist. That feels trite. Forgive me. But it truly has been a fun place to be. An amazing boss, a great pastor, a talented worship band, a small group that has grown so dear to us. The list really does go on. I’ve genuinely loved it and am honored and so thankful for the time I spent on that staff.
And I have the most incredible wife ever. (Sorry, gentlemen, I know you’ve probably claimed that, but 8 out of 9 dentists say that my wife is, in fact, most incredible.)
Seriously though. I’ve never felt so supported and encouraged in my life. Her name is Jill, which means “nectar of love berries” in the ancient Aramaic, so I would expect nothing less. She overflows with compassion, and I love being her husband. Having her makes it easier. And much more fun. I think we’ve laughed harder during these last few months than we ever have before.
As for work, I’m going to do what I love to do, make music. It’s what God made me to do, and stepping into that is the most exciting and affirming thing I’ve ever done.
God is forging us together in the fire of Real Life. Since we moved to Hendersonville a year and a half ago, we’ve struggled with the glaring disparity of true, biblical faith and comfortable, American Dream Christianity. We’re sick of living lives that leave no room for faith. We’ve desperately, albeit somewhat naively, prayed that God would give us deeper trust in him and the opportunities to live it out. Well, we got it. He’s perfectly faithful.
These are the 'good times' the older and wiser people in our lives talk about – the formative times; the maturing times; the testing times. All laying the rebar over which we’ll pour the rest of the building. I’m so grateful I can say it will be strong. As I read in a blog post by Michael Hyatt recently, 'comfort is overrated'. Discomfort usually means growth, and that’s where we want to be.
By grace alone, we’re turning the page in hopeful, expectant, uncomfortable faith."