Merry Christmas to all.
Thank you all for your support this past year. It has been a wonderful year of growth for me – spiritually, artistically, musically, and personally. I am grateful that Jesus’ blessings extend far beyond my merit or perceived standing with Him. It seems His graciousness exceeds my ability to even detect it.
With the close of one year and the beginning of the next, it is a time that many of us make resolutions. For example, we vow to exercise more, stay away from sugar, read more, or speed less. With resolutions, I do well for a few days, maybe a week, or even a month, yet in the end I falter and find myself in a heap of “failure.”
The psalmist asks the Lord to GIVE HIM a resolute spirit. My determination and gumption are nothing if they aren’t held up by the grace of God. The structure I attempt to build with my own fortitude is nothing but a flimsy, wind-swayed monument to myself if it isn’t set upon the mercy of Jesus and buttressed by the peace of the Spirit. Apart from the Lord, I am left to focus on the times I failed in my commitment. I miss out on seeing all the instances I was able to pull off what I had resolved to do.
So this year, my resolution is to not make any resolutions. Instead, I will try to walk in thankfulness, try to be honest of heart, and try to do what I can to point people towards Jesus. And, I long to be accurate in my pointing.
I will not be pointing to the comfortable and safe Jesus of radio, TV, malls, and our neighbors. Nor, to the casserole baking Jesus of tradition. Not to the perfect looking slick-haired, smooth talking Jesus of the corporation-style church. Or, to the mellow, politician Jesus of parties and cookouts.
The Jesus I am wishing to shout about from the mountaintop is not limited to our narrow and varied perceptions of Him. He is in all of this?x2026;all places, all things, all people?x2026;all hearts. These are pieces that make up our great Savior, pieces that make up His kingdom. Yes, it is the Jesus of our lives, the Jesus of all of this, that has my attention.
That is why this past year has been a wonderfully busy time of concerts. We played 100 concerts in over 30 states. It is a blessing to have Brad Layher (guitar, hammered dulcimer) and Joe Curet (drums, percussion) still traveling with me. We have all been growing individually and as a group. The three of us have been through many irreplaceable experiences over that last five years. We are trying to meet both the highs and the lows with the same wide-eyed faithfulness.
With the coming year, it is my goal to be tenacious, and do as many concerts, for as many people, as I can, because?x2026;the Word has to get out there. The concert calendar for the coming year is filling up as we speak. I would love to come play in your nick of the woods. So, give me a call and we can get something set up. Or, just keep an eye on the website’s dates page. I will most certainly be nearby, and I would love to see you.
I am excited that the concert DVD, “Live From the Off Center Garage”, was released in October. Four previously unreleased songs appear on it, along with many from my past four CD’s. I wanted to do something that was real representative of what we do in concert. I feel really good about how it came out. It is available at concerts and on the website.
I have been recording another CD. Yet, it has not gone exactly as I planned. During the recording process, Spindust Records folded. Though I believe in what I am doing and will be moving ahead undeterred, this has definitely thrown a wrench into the situation.
However, I do have a lot of unrecorded songs stored up. They continue to grow and evolve while new ones pop up all the time. We are even playing a number of them, and you never know when we are going to throw a completely fresh one into the set list. But for now, it will be a while before they are out on CD. The CD is still upcoming; it won’t take forever, just a little longer than I had anticipated.
This is definitely a time of transition for me. As I wait upon the Lord, I am trying to be faithful in doing the next thing. I am refusing to stand in one place, no, I am moving onward. And while I stand in the middle of life’s ebbing and flowing stream, it is an exciting blessing to have Paula sharing the experiences with me. Marriage is new for me everyday. I am fortunate to get to grow and adapt and be a part of her life.
Once again, I wish you and yours a wonderful, Merry Christmas. I pray each of you have a bless-ed happy new year.