I spent 40 years in a perpetual state of “neutral” when it came down to following my dreams. There just seemed to be so much imagined pressure associated with the act of actually trying to accomplish what one only dreams about. Tenacious doubts have a way of convincing the mind to remain in the safe zone of familiarity, as opposed to doing something radical, such as stepping outside of the comfort zone. Wasted time; so much wasted time.
I love to write. Its therapy for me, you see. Especially, when I get the opportunity to write something that someone else (outside of my little world) deemed as special or helpful; heck even entertaining will do. And so, taking babysteps, I decided to release my writing into the world at large. You know, get my feet wet, so to speak. And it was good. Really good! I quickly discovered that I do in fact have a knack for this thing called writing. People actually read my random thoughts, color commentary and quirky rhetoric. With each new comment, whether positive or negative, I gain a sense of belonging to the writing community. The “question” was inevitable.”I wonder if I could actually get paid to do this stuff?”
And so, the challenge made itself visible. As a Christian, the first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray to God.
“Lord,” I said, “…if you gave me this gift to do something with, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind attaching some income to it. You know we could always use a few extra dollars around here. But even if you don’t bless us with money, I’ve decide to write for you anyway.”
That promise was made a few years ago. Each year, I renew it. Despite the non-receipt of a huge payday attached to anything I’ve written since the promise, I have been blessed to see how my writing has touched lives. Here’s an awesome example.
“Incoming” was a short story written about three years ago, depicting the struggle between good and evil over one lost soul. In the end, Grace triumphs over Sin, saving a girl from committing suicide. It was 750 words of pretty good story telling, I thought. One day, I received an anonymous email from a young lady, who’d read my story, on some random site that I’d forgotten I submitted to in the first place. She praised the short story as something she’d never read before in her entire life. She went on to explain that things were a mess in her own life, up to a very resent time; as in the time she came across my story. She had planned to kill herself that very day, when she “just happened” upon my story!
What in God’s name am I supposed to do with that? Give up on the promise? No sir (ma’am)!
This year, I’d like to see a few dollars roll in as income from my writing. To date, I’ve seen $15 as payment. But that’s really not the goal anymore. That’s a perk, if you will. I want to see my writing touch as many lives as the Lord would have. I want it to bring people into a state of conversation about God and heaven. I want to know that the Lord is using the gift He gave me, to reach out to the lost and saved alike…through my writing. He doesn’t need me to reach anyone. I realize that. But, I like the fact that He is choosing to use me in some way. That young lady’s emailed proved that much to me. I don’t believe in coincidence. God saved her life that day.
So, my new reader friend, I do have one more goal for this year. If you can stay with me, I’ll try to make this one short. You see, this movement is already in progress. Just waitin’ on the results, man; waitin’ on the results.
I love music. I mean who doesn’t right? What heartless soul out there can’t find a single beat to tap to? As a kid, my Dad bought a single Yamaha keyboard for his three children to share in the 80’s, and I took to that thing like a fish to water. I taught myself to play chords before I even knew what a chord was. If the melody was nice, I simply went with it.
In 2005, I got my hands on a crude music making software package for my PC. I was instantly smitten. For the first time, I was actually able to pluck the sounds inside my head, and record them exactly the way I wanted. Over the next six years, my novice skill increased as I taught myself to play the keyboard with a bit of proficiency, learned basic rhythm and tempo, discovered track production and beat making, picked up a few vocal tips and tricks, and incorporated my writing bug into lyrics. The first time I put it all together, to produce my first song (a rap song complete with harmonic chorus and adlibs), I hated the sound of my own voice! Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to throw that song away.
So this year, “Judgment Day” was added as track number three, on my debut EP called, “The Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing”. Last November, my 8-year old son, said, “Daddy, you should let people hear your music.” This year, I got on it. I hit TuneCore, iTunes, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Bandcamp to share my Christian hip hop music with youth everywhere I can. I even burned hard copies and passed them out to people and churches in my area. I’ve emailed Christian musicians such as Toby Mac, Lecrae, Canton Jones, and Kirk Franklin, just to name a few.My goal is to get this music heard everywhere, by the end of this year. I still hate the sound of my own recorded voice, but if God wants me to use it to spread His gospel, who am I to argue with Him?
So that’s it. By year’s end, I’d like to see my writing and my music bring the Lord to people, because there are people out there who simply aren’t really looking for Him. Perhaps you’re one of them. Well, let me invite you to check out a few of my articles and stories here at WordPress. While you’re at it, check out some of my music. Yeah, you can find every link to where I am on the ol’ inter-web, but I’m gonna go ahead and send you straight to my EP, “The Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing“. Check it out sometime. You might just help me to meet my goals by year end, friend. Oh, one more thing. That little story I told you about earlier, “Incoming”, you can read that here.