Behind Aerophobia

Okay so what’s it all about? Why would a father of five in his 40’s just resign from his dream job to pursue a career in music? I mean there’s really nothing sensible about it. You don’t just quit your job to chase some impossible dream! Or do you? I remember when I was a boy, I always loved to sing and to write music. My grandmother was a mariachi , that’s a Mexican entertainer. She played the guitar and had a beautiful voice. My sister and I used to love to watch her sing and perform. I guess it was then that I knew that music would forever play a key role in my life. You see some people are born to fly planes, others to be teachers and others to be at home parents and raise the children. I knew then that I was born to do things that most people would consider un-reachable.

As I grew up I realized that I had a great passion for singing so I devoted myself to learning as much about it as I could. I remember listening to the Jackson 5 for hours trying to emulate Michel Jackson and learn how he would phrase his verses and breathe through them. It wasn’t enough to sing good, I had to be one of the best. In high school I joined the Jazz choir as a freshman and I began to excel. I played trumpet and sax but I wasn’t very good. I really needed to stick to singing. I didn’t have the kind of voice that was amazing, like some people but I think it was more the passion behind it. Little did I know then that this passion wasn’t earned by anything I did, it was instilled in me by God.

I didn’t have a clue that God was responsible for my ability or for the fire inside me. As I grew I became more and more self consumed and even arrogant, I really thought that I would be the next great rock star. As I look back I can only laugh. I was so young and full of myself. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I realized that I can’t take any credit for anything. I was saved in 1998 and it was like the scales fell from my eyes and I was able to see the truth for the first time.

Through my whole life I wanted to learn how to play the guitar like my grandmother but even though I had recorded several songs over the years I was never able to learn to play a single chord. One day after I had already committed my life to Jesus, I prayed and asked God to help me learn to play for His glory. It was crazy, that same day I learned 4 chords and I wrote my first song on the guitar to God! Now to this day I’m not a good guitarist by any means but I play.

Okay so what about the album?? How did it all come to be?? In 1998 I joined the worship team at my church, in that same year I knew God wanted me to begin the process of becoming a full-time minister. I was blown away, I mean if you knew me back in the day you would never think of me as a pastor. But God had other plans. I began learning about God and studying the Bible. In 2005 I began a 2 year group course that would enable me to become a licensed pastor. In 2005 I was hired as the full-time youth pastor and worship leader for my church.

During this whole time I was learning a lot about God, people and church. I loved leading worship but I always wanted to do it a little differently. As a worship leader the songs we would do were appealing to people who go to church but not very appealing to people who don’t go to church. I always wanted to share music to God and about God with the world, but in a sound and way that the world would embrace. I remember just before I resigned my position thinking about a new way to do this.

I remember 2 months after resigning asking God what He wanted me to do and his response was simple “music” and it all came to me. I was to write and record songs that would cross generational and cultural boundaries. Music that would inspire Christians and Non-Christians, music that would represent all ages, races and beliefs. Music that this culture in America could relate to. Using the sounds and tools of today’s modern culture. Even songs that said nothing about God or would be considered by the Christian audience as secular or worldly. You see for so many years I catered my musical style to “churched” people, but now it’s time to go to the world.

Aerophobia is the title of the album. The meaning is : fear or strong dislike of flying. You see when we fly we have to give up control to the pilot and have faith that he will take us to our destination safely. Even if we know how to fly a plane we still have to have faith that the plane itself will get us to our destination safely. Either way it takes faith to fly. So often we want to control everything and we refuse to let go. This is why we don’t fly and accomplish the things that God has created us to accomplish. We have a fear of flying a fear of letting God pilot our lives. Our church in America suffers from Aerophobia and that’s why it’s so weak today.

Aerophobia is all about being who God created you to be and doing things his way, because sometimes we think that we are doing it his way but in reality we’re doing the way man has taught us. If we only allowed songs on this album that were solely about God and nothing else, then we would only reach Christians. There are tons of great Christian artist out there for that. We choose to reach the unreachable with songs about everyday life and experiences, along with songs about our beliefs and great love for God. As we market the album the plan is to push both secular and Christian genres simultaneously. It’s defiantly going to be hard work but we know who has our back.

I guess for me the hardest part has been the transition from leading worship in a church setting to performing songs in front of people who expect a good show.

King David was rebuked by his wife for celebrating in a manner that she didn’t think was fitting for a king as he brought in the Ark of The Covenant. David’s response was I will become more undignified than this for the sake of his Lord. So as questions rise over the next few months about our album, just remember that whether you agree with it or not, whether you like the music or not or whether you think I have just gone mad!! I am doing this with the purpose of reaching people who the church today don’t really have a detailed plan to reach.

I just want to help people get close to God, and for now this is how God has me doing it. So now you know…This Is Why I Do This.

And oh yeah, for all my friends out there that are concerned that I’ve turned my back to organized ministry, don’t worry. I am also planting Generations Church in Pleasant Hill California, I’m the worship pastor. Love ya!

Www.thisiswhyidothis.com

Vision…

I was having dinner the other night with some friends and the subject of helping the needy came up.  My friend got real excited as he began to layout this plan to feed the nation.  He started breaking down how our government subsidizes the farmers and how we have silos of grain rotting and going to waste.

I mean he was really into it.  He had carefully thought through everything he needed to do to accomplish his task.  It was pretty intense.  This guy had a plan and a vision.

That reminds me of a scripture;

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

Let’s talk about that.  You see if you don’t have vision, or revelation from God then your life will be out of control. If you aren’t in tune with God’s purpose, or his laws then you will spiritually die.  But if you are in tune with God’s vision for your life and with his purpose and you let them guide you, then you will thrive.

You see God has created us to have a vision in life, to have a purpose for life. But it’s his vision for us, not our own.  Do you feel like life is going no-where? Do you feel like your constantly spinning but getting absolutely no-where?

If so, you may want to have your vision checked.  Are you in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit? Are you listening to the guidance of God?

You see God created us to thrive, to overcome, to be more than conquers.  If those things aren’t happening in your life, then maybe you’re going blind.

How’s your vision?

The Impossible

It was early in the year 2003 and I remember this overwhelming desire to pray for my city.  You need to understand something, I’m not just talking about… Oh Lord bless my city kind of prayer.  I’m talking about something that I could never imagine doing.  Have you ever been asked to do something that you knew was impossible?  Something that you knew was just too big to tackle.

You see when I accepted Jesus as my savior, I told him that I would do anything he asked me to do.  I told him to send me to do the work that the others refused to do.  I told him that I was one of “the few” that he had referred to in the book of Luke .

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.                                       Luke 10:2-3

You see, “like lambs among wolves”, this was serious stuff. Let me give you a little history about me and my wife. In 2001 we founded a ministry and we felt that God wanted us to trust in him for everything. Now I know that sounds simple, but it was harder than we thought. In September of 2001 I lost my job and we felt that I was supposed to work the ministry full-time without pay and just watch God provide. That’s another blog in its self.

So here we are feeling like God wanted us to pray for our city, but what we heard was pray through the entire city, down every street.  What!!  Every street?  That could take days , even weeks! How could we do that?  The answer is, we can’t, but…”Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

You see sometimes God asks us to do the impossible so he can show himself to us.  My wife and I prayed and prayed and God was faithful to give us the plan.  We assembled a team and we fasted and prayed together.  We chopped up the city into sections and on a Saturday morning we met at the park and all 14 of us took our section and off we went.

I remember my wife and I and 3 of our sons driving down each street praying.  It brings a smile to my face as I write this because it took us 10 hours to complete all the sections that we had, but God’s grace was so good, our boys never cried or complained.  That in it self was a miracle!

Next time you feel a passion or a stirring for something to big to be you, or to big to do.  It might just be God calling you to do his work, calling you to do the impossible.  Are you willing to be the answer to prayer?

Think about it.

Is America’s Church Dying?

I mean really, is the Church in America even relative? As a follower of Jesus Christ I find it very disturbing to see some of the things that I see everyday. We are constantly bombarded by T.V. ads with half-dressed people every commercial has a sexual theme to sell its products. The news if filled with stories of selfishness and greed.

Where’s the Church??? I thought this was a country built on the Word of God. I mean, do our churches even go outside of their own building to see what’s happening in the world? Now I know that there are some “Mega Churches” out there with 30,000 & 20,000 members and so on. But don’t you think if even those churches lived what they believed that this nation would be a little different? Hmmm maybe not.

You see I think that the Church in America is stuck in its own way of thinking, but over time the way the church thinks has been distorted. Where in the bible does it say to think highly of yourself, or judge people based on the way they dress or the way they talk? I don’t think that the church consciously does these things, I just think that somewhere down the road it has lost site of its purpose and vision.

” Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment.” The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-39 (CEV)

Really!!?? We love ourselves, we make sure we eat and have clothes and if we are followers of Jesus Christ we teach our selves about Him by reading the Bible. Do we do these things for others??

Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (CEV)

You see, while Jesus walked on earth he built personal relationships with his disciples and with others. He spent time with them and he got to know them on a personal level. Jesus modeled what the church should look like by the way he lived his life. It’s time for the church to get to know the people in a practical sense, not with big religious words and fancy sounding prayers. Just keep it real and simple, that’s what Jesus did.

It’s really very simple, just try to see people the way that Jesus see’s them. If we can do this we would begin to treat people with love and respect and we would bring life back to the church.

Tell/Show The World

As a youth pastor I am constantly having to communicate with others. When I have a vision or direction for our youth group it is very important for me to be able to explain that vision. My ability to communicate is vital to the spiritual growth of our students. There is no difference between me communicating my faith with a group of young people and you communicating your faith with others. The word communicate, means to impart or to make known…wow, that’s pretty simple. So all we’re doing is making known Jesus Christ to those who don’t know Him. It’s like giving the dead life, John 14;6 says I am the way, the truth and the life. When we share our faith we give dead people an opportunity to live. How wonderful is that. There is nothing greater than sharing the gospel. I get so excited about this subject that I could go on for days, but I think I could help you better understand if I let my students explain it to you.

Colton is an 18-year-old student leader and Lindsay is a 15-year-old student leader, I asked them 4 simple questions and this is what they had to say.

Question: What does it mean to communicate our faith?

Response: It’s all about actions and words, we need to be able to show people our faith through our lives. But living it is not enough, we also need to be able to talk about it and explain exactly what we believe. Going out to others and striking up a conversation. Asking people about their faith is a good way to get people to open up. Then we can tell them what we believe. And if your shy or you’re not a good speaker, just have faith that God will give you the strength to get out of your comfort zone and share your faith.

Question: Why is it important for us as Christians to communicate our faith?

Response: Because if we don’t no one would ever know the Truth. The truth is that everyone is meant to bear the image of God. Sharing our faith may lead them to Christ and then they too will bear His image. We also need to communicate our faith to fulfill our purpose on this earth. We as Christians are called to be the salt and light of the earth. You see, sin leads to spiritual death. So we need to give them the one thing that leads to everlasting life.

Question: Are there any verses that can help us on communicating our faith?

Response:
Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth… “You are the light of the world…

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 5:1-2
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

The 11th chapter of Hebrews.

Question: How can we communicate our faith to people we don’t even know? Should we?

Response: It’s very hard to have the authority to speak into someone’s life that you don’t even know. So it’s best that we show strangers the love of Christ through our lives. Just live it! So the answer is yes, we need to make known our faith to strangers because we never know who really needs a touch from God. God may use us at any time to be His hands and feet to people we don’t even know and we have to be ready to be used.

You see students these responses came from your peers, kids just like you. You get it!
You really do understand! All those nights at youth group are really paying off. And here I was thinking that no one ever listens to our long boring sermons. Lol

But seriously students, you are the generation that will change this world, either you will make it worse or you will make it better, but the bottom line is that you will change it. Your generation is like no other generation before you, you are unique. You have a boldness that has never been seen before. You are passionate about whatever you do. You are created to make an impact, for such a time as this. God has set you apart for these times. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Rise up and answer the call that God has given you, stand for what you believe in. Believe who God says you are not who the world says you are. Buy into the truth, that God has created you for great and mighty things. “Tell/Show The World” the glory of God through your life. Get excited and passionate about Jesus and the harvest field. “The Bible says the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2). Be the generation of “The Few” Go and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. You are created to make a difference, go out and live your faith and change the world.

And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Romans 10:15