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

Childhood Dreams

Remember when you were a kid?  Remember your dreams?  As a kid the sky’s the limit, you can be what ever you want to be.  I remember as a kid I wanted to be a police officer, then I wanted to be a Mariachi musician.  As I got older I wanted to be a rock star…yea, a rock star..lol  All the typical childhood dreams.

What happened?!  As adults do we still dream?  Do we still believe that we can do those things?  I understand that as we get older our dreams and goals become more sensible.  And we begin to discover ourselves and identify our strengths and weaknesses.  But I really feel that at some point we give up and we begin to settle.  I mean think about it, are you doing what your passion is?

There’s this verse that I love;

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.                                     Psalm 37:4

That is so beautiful, if we delight ourselves in God then he is true to give us our hearts desires. WOW!

But let’s break it down:

Delight– to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly:

Okay our first step is to give joy to God, find our joy in him and bring him pleasure.  That’s pretty simple right? I mean all it’s saying is to spend time with God, get to know him and do what he says.  We bring pleasure and joy to God when we are obedient.

So if we do these things that means God will give us the desires of our heart. Right?  But what desires?  Here’s the key;

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

You see God has created us with a unique plan for our lives, and he places that desire in our heart.  Now as we grow, we begin to place our own desires and plans in our heart.  This can cause a lot of confusion and uncertainty.  The key is to recognize which plans are ours and which plans are from God.  It’s not that simple is it?  Or is it?

If we do what this verse says to do, “delight ourselves in the Lord” then we will be able to know God’s will for our lives opposed to our own will.  At birth God places in our heart a purpose, desires, dreams, plans and hope.  In order for theses things to be clearly revealed to us, we must delight ourselves in Him. Then God can give us the desires of our heart.

So delight yourself in the Lord, hang out with him, talk to him, listen to him and he will release his perfect plan for your life. It’s not too late!  As long as you can breathe, you can live. We are never to old to live for the Lord.

Dream big, because your God is big and he wants you to have the desires of your heart.

Think about it…

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?

Cheating Never Pays

Okay, so they took Reggie’s trophy.  According to Yahoo Sports the Heisman trust will strip Reggie Bush of his 2005 Heisman award.  The Heisman Trophy is given to the best college football player each year.  In its 75 year history it has never been taken back from a player.  Hmm… I find that interesting.

So am I to believe that Reggie Bush is the only player in 75 years to ever cheat and win the award? Probably not. And did the money that he received give him an un-fair advantage on the playing field?  Probably not.  You have to understand something, I am a huge USC  Trojan football fan. I believe that you can investigate every college sports program and find something that would disqualify them.  I mean everyone does it, everyone in college sports cuts corners or takes a little side money.

Think about this, these students are between the ages of 18-22, with enormous amounts of talent.  From the time they ever started playing sports they’ve been treated differently, they’ve been allotted certain privileges that not everyone gets.  So what do we except them to do.  The colleges are making millions because of these athletes and the athletes in some cases can barely afford to eat on a weekly basis. Now I know that the student gets an education worth thousands of dollars. It’s not like they receive nothing in return for their performance. I get all that.

But the truth is this; “Cheating never pays”.  Just because everyone else is doing it is no reason for us to do it.

You see, the world will always teach to “look out for number one”. But as a follower of Jesus Christ I am taught to;

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Philippians 2:3-5

Our attitudes should be the same as Jesus.  Jesus left perfection to come down and show us how to live.  And knowing how painful it would be he still gave his life for you and for me. Wow. How amazing is that?

I know that everyone doesn’t believe that. But for those of us who do, we can’t allow the world to determine our actions. We have got to stand firm on the Word and the principles of God.

You see what Reggie Bush did was hurt an entire nation of fans, teammates and peers, all because he was looking at himself and not considering others. And sure you can say that he was trying to help his family, but his big payday was coming, his family was going to be alright.

All together it’s a sad day for sports, hopefully we’ve learned;

Cheating never pays!

The Big Picture!

Remember the last time you went swimming? How did you enter the water?  Did you put your toe in first to check the temperature, or are you the type to jump right in?  I was at a baptism this weekend and it was real cool to watch the people enter the pool, some would move slowly, others got in quick. But one thing was the same, they all went in without much care for the temperature of the water. I mean it could have been freezing and they would have all still went in.  Because every one of them were focused on the big picture.

You see when we’re focused on the big picture we don’t let stuff we go through to get there stop us.  To often we lose  focus of the big picture and we let the stuff along the way kill the vision or the dream. In the case of the people being baptized, they all knew that God wanted them be baptized. So despite the water, despite all the people watching or even being dunked in backwards, they all just jumped in.  Life is too short to stand on the deck and watch everyone swim. What do you have to lose? So worst case scenario you fail.  So what, it’s not the end of the world, just get back up and try again.

Why are we so scared to fail? I mean really, what’s going to happen if we do? We’re not going to die. We need to focus on the big picture. For me the big picture is  life after this life and the work that God  has for me to do while I’m here. It reminds me of a missions trip I took. I was flying with a group of men to Mexico.  One of the men that I was with was scared of flying. With a nervous voice he asked me if I was scared to fly. My reply was “Jesus told me that I was going to Mexico to build a house , so I must be going to Mexico to build a house.”

Here’s why I believed that I was going to Mexico.  Jesus and his disciples were in a boat and Jesus told them that they were going to the other side. As they were sailing Jesus fell asleep and a huge storm hit, the disciples started to panic and they cried out to Jesus, they woke him up and said that they were going to drown, Jesus got up and he calmed the storm, but the interesting part is what Jesus said next, he said,  why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith. (Mark 4:35-40) You see when Jesus says we’re going to the other side, then we are going to the other side. No storm, no person, no circumstance can stop us. With Jesus leading and directing us there is no risk. So next time the storms of life come, remember, we’re going to the other side.  Focus on the big picture and all the stuff along the way will be a piece of cake.