I am waiting with expectancy for Jesus, this Advent season. That's the idea anyway; so I'm giving it my best shot.
Advent's the time of year in which we are to be especially aware of the Lord's coming, of God's intervening in all situations. If I were ever to make it to that point, I would hope that it would overflow into the other 48 weeks of the year. Yet, as the year winds down, I am left with the realization that, for the most part, I have been rather unaware of God and God's interventions in life, in my life, The interventions have been many. The year has been crammed full of blessings.
I have done well over 100 concerts, I have met wonderful people from all over the country. I have had the good fortune of becoming close friends with some of those people. I have been in 32 states; been to the Rocky Mountains, to Time Square, to the Atlantic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean, and to the Gulf of Mexico (oh, and Thailand!) ......what a glorious year. However, I have been far too unaware.
In many different ways, this year has been both a blast and a blow -- fun and frustrating -- happy and hard --transforming and tough -- renewing and rough -- renewing and renewing. Everything all at once, all rolled up into one; and always good. That is the bottom line. Yes, God has been ever-present; yet I have been largely unaware.
But, I will cut myself some slack. When I get to go to church, there is an awareness that lasts for ... say ... upwards of an hour.
I am awful at discerning what is "of God' and what isn't. I have never heard God's voice and have never had an overwhelming sense of God's hand. Yet, as I listen to the scriptures being read, I am unmistakably, unarguably hearing from God. The senses that tie together my mind and my soul are readied to detect the God who crafted me and equipped me with the faculties to experience life.
I have had some wonderful experiences. For example, this past fall I did a tour with "Clear" and "Satellite Soul" and had a great time. It was a blessing to be included as part of the tour. We were able to raise a lot of support for Compassion International and children from all over the world.
I have become good friends with "Satellite Soul" and now have plans to do a tour with them in April, May, and June of 2001. We are planning on doing about 30 concerts and each concert is going to be split evenly between us.
I will be doing concerts on my own in January, February, and March. I will continue to play with Brad Layher and Cobra Joe. I am one of the most fortunate people I know to get to work with them. I feel like it is the best thing I have ever gotten to be a part of. We are trying to take it up to another level with the coming year.
And finally, finally, finally .... my new record will be coming out February 20th. "Chasing the Horizon" will be released through my own personal record label called, "Out of the Box Records." I am, needless to say, really excited about this. It will add a newness and freshness to concerts and whatever ministry might happen to take place.
I am also releasing songs to radio. I am unsure of what kind of response to expect from stations, since I am not with a major label. But, I figured, what the heck, it's worth a shot. It would be a big help if any of you decided to call your local station and asked them to play my songs. The first song is called, "When You Love" and will be released for play January 22.
In all of this, I am looking to Jesus, expectantly ... as I walk home, literally, and figuratively. I am longing and hoping to detect God in everything--in the bare branches of the maples that I pass by; in the laughter of the young black girl waiting for the school bus; in the cool, crisp, piercing December air that nearly takes my breath away, almost as soon as I breath it in; in the stained-glass windows; in the mound of snow and dirt and gravel alongside the street; in the dead grass; in the car-exhaust; in the faces of neighbors I've never spoken to; in the incessant barking of the dog a few houses down; in the church bells; in the sidewalk; in my roommates; in the man who preached; in the older woman who sat in the fourth row, with the lonely, yet content look on her face; in the boy who lit the candles; in the flame that burned; and in you, and in me; and in the flame that burns within us.
So, with this Advent season, I am longing to become aware of God's presence. I want to become aware of the fact that Jesus will continue to arrive with more and more intensity in each of our lives, as each day passes. I pray I would be open to that.
I pray that we would prepare a path for our Lord. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
These are my holiday wishes for you.
May you have a Merry Christmas.
Peace of Christ,