Matthew 25:20 NIV
"The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.'"
After being married to Michelle for a year and five months, God made it clear to us that we needed to leave Columbia, SC and move to Houston, Texas in August of 1998. Not only was this move the best thing for our marriage, but it was also the best thing for my musical growth. At first, I chose not to immediately get involved with the music ministry that was established--you know, the whole "not tooting your own horn" conviction. It was about two months before I started getting involved. While we were there, there was a band that was getting started; at the time, it was called Revelation. When Michelle and I were asked to be a part of the band (which was in Katy on the the west side of Houston, while we lived in the Channelview area on the east side of Houston. For those who don't know, Houston is 50 miles wide!), the band's name was Know Fear. At the beginning of one rehearsal, the Spirit prompted me to share the biblical story of King Jehoshaphat and his army in 2 Chronicles 20 (check out the story--it's very inspiring). From that time and that Scripture, I suggested that the band change its name to The Forefront; the other members loved the idea and decided to run with it. Once we started getting an identity as a band, and once a choir was added to the worship ministry experience in Houston, Michelle and I were asked by the lead evangelist and women's ministry leader to move to Dallas in order to help bring some energy to one of the regions within a Dallas/Fort Worth congregation. We, as well as the Houston congregation, were shocked! We had just moved to Houston and started making a living there, and now we were being asked to just uproot and go? Well, one of the things we learned from that charge was to really pay attention to what the Holy Spirit wanted us to do. Who were we to say no? We belong to God--when He says, "Go," we go, unless we wanted to meet the same fate that Jonah met! So, in May of 2000, Michelle, Pepper (our cat at the time) and I moved to Lewisville, a town north of Dallas. We didn't know it at the time, but this move was the start of immense growth for me musically. It was there that God gave me the opportunity to glorify Him in the following manner:
Participating in the 2000 production of the musical "Slingshot" and the recording of its soundtrack
Serving as a worship leader within the Dallas/Fort Worth Church of Christ
Becoming involved in small a Capella groups
Directing the church's choir during various congregational services
Becoming involved in the church's band, inside and outside of services
Learning how to play piano, keyboard and percussion
Becoming a songwriter
Directing a children's theatre group called The Story Tree Gang
...all within three years of living in the Metroplex!
The reason the year 2000 is a milestone for me is because it was the beginning of my multiplying what God had entrusted to me. Once I knew that He gave me these musical gifts, He gave me the charge to honor Him with it through the praise of Him and the edification of His church. Woe to me if I don't use these gifts. Woe to you if you don't use yours. Remember, whatever gift you may have is from God--it's a loan. He wants a return on His investment; it gives Him no glory when you sit on those gifts, or when you use them for your own personal gain. Use your gifts to make Him known!