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

Just Another Day…

It was just another day. I remember getting up and going into work like any other day.  I worked for a local collection agency and a good portion of our business was done on the east coast.  I walked into our building and immediately a co-worker says “they attacked the Twin Towers, they think it’s Bin Laden”.  Bin Laden? That was the first time I had ever heard that name.

In an instant our lives can change.  On September 11, 2001 our lives changed. 3000 dead, 3000  families directly impacted and countless individuals in-directly impacted.  The way we travel has changed, the way security in America is handled has changed and the way we view people has changed.  Wow…

I wish I could say that this tragedy made us stronger as a God-fearing nation.  But the truth is it really hasn’t.  Right at first everyone was open to prayer and the term “god” was thrown around in places that normally we would never hear it.  But today it’s business as usual.  America continues to fight to remove God from our schools, government builds and government agencies.

How is it that even people who aren’t really followers of Jesus Christ turn to him in times of need, but forget him as soon as things get better?  This is not a new practice. In days of old the Israelites would turn to God in desperate times but go back to their wicked ways after he would deliver them;

10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

11 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. Judges 2:10-11 (NLT)

You see,  like the Israelites we Americans don’t learn from our past.  Did you know that the original school text-book in America was the Bible?  You probably didn’t know that because you were never taught that. I’m not saying that we can stop crazy people from doing crazy things. I’m just saying that we never know when disaster will strike, so we need to be prepared for it.

We can’t always prepare physically for tragedy.  I mean, no one was prepared for 911.  But spiritually we can always be ready and we owe it to our children and our children’s children to train them up in the ways of the Lord.

The bible says;

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”                                                                             Romans 8:28

Believe it or not there has been good that has come from 911.  We have watched a nation rally to re-build a city, we have seen and heard testimonies of great selflessness and acts of courage.  And many of the families have turned their lives to Jesus Christ. You see, no matter what, God will get the best out of the worst.

As for us who do believe, all we can do is be the hands and feet of God, ready to be used to show the world his love, grace and mercy.

Let’s choose not only to remember our past, but to learn from it.

Are you ready?

Ever Thought Of…Telling Someone?

Have you ever read something or heard something that got you real excited?  Or something that you just couldn’t wait to go tell someone about? Have you ever tasted something that was so good that you had to call a friend and let them know about it? Learning something new is so cool. Or experiencing something  for the first time always seems to bring excitement.

It reminds me of my youngest son who is four years old.  He is in his first year in school, kindergarten.  He comes home everyday so excited because he has learned something new.  He can’t wait to share it with us.

What if I told you that you could learn something new everyday of your life and you would be so excited about it that you would have to tell someone.  It’s true, we have the capacity to never stop learning. Human beings are built with an endless ability to learn. Now that’s all good, but what are we learning? Are we investing our time in things that make us want to shout it from the roof tops?  Or are we learning things that are only useful to us?

I remember when I first learned that Jesus called himself God. For me that was awesome, I couldn’t wait to tell someone.

I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.  John 8:58-59

Isn’t that exciting?! You see you have to understand some of the background of the story. Why did I get so excited about that?

Well, I had a cousin that didn’t believe that Jesus and God were one.  I was new in my faith and I would study for hours.  One day my cousin called and we began to discuss the bible and she said that Jesus never claimed to be God.  It was one of those “okay God I’m counting on you” moments.  I remember turning to John and reading that verse, it was like God himself explained it to me…actually it was God himself, the Holy Spirit. I read it to her and she said I was misinterpreting it. So my response was, I guess the pharisees misinterpreted Jesus too because they tried to stone him.

You see the bible is alive, it is like living water and it brings life, hope and excitement, to those who read it. If we spend time with God everyday and we are willing to learn, then God is willing to teach.  In this lifetime we could never learn everything, so let’s just learn the stuff that God wants to teach us.

If we do that, we will always be growing closer to him and we will become more like him.

Now isn’t that something to be excited about? Read the bible and tell the world. It’s that simple.

Just a thought…

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!

Where Are You?

Sometimes I wonder, I mean I know I’m supposed to have faith and that I’m supposed to believe but I see the children crying and dying inside. What am I supposed to tell them , what am I supposed to do? Where are the mothers and where are the fathers? It feels like we are losing the fight, it feels like all hope is gone. I know that I should tell them that you are the answer and that you are with them, but if they can’t see you, how will they know? The hurt and the pain is too great. When they talk their words scream for love and affection. When they cry their tears flood the land. It just feels like the world is winning. You sent me to them, you told me to go to them. You said that you would show me what to do and what to say, but I have no words for them and I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m dying inside because I just can’t help them.  Where are you?