About a year ago, Joe Boyd taught me a very important lesson while speaking at Vineyard Community Church. It’s a lesson that has been pivotal in my life and in my journey over the past year. Joe is a great storyteller…and a history lover and I think that is one reason this particular lesson is still so fresh in my mind. He talked about the Wright brothers and their passion for inventing and their desire to fly…and how other people doubted and just didn’t “get it.” (Of course he told their story much more creatively and eloquently than I am recounting it here). The lesson here was Continue reading
Recently, Faith Passage was asked to lead worship at the Tree of Life church in Hamilton. While we have played at many different events and at various churches, we had never led worship, but we felt that God was in this so we accepted the invitation. Pastor Dan Broxterman asked us if we could do Amy Grant’s “Thy Word” during the service to tie in with his message. This song, which has been around for decades, is so simple but so powerful at the same time. It’s funny how “things” come into our minds and lives and sometimes we don’t really see their significance initially. Brian and I are constantly praying about the mission of Faith Passage and about what we should be doing with our ministry. This song is helping us understand the scope of things. At dinner this weekend, our dear friends Kim and Felix Russo, tried to help us make sense of the mission of our ministry. Felix quoted this verse: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Psalm 119:105. Hmmm…the same verse that the song we were asked to sing is based on. He explained it like this and it has really stuck with me. When you are on a path – or trying to find a path – and using a lamp, the lamp does not illuminate the entire path. Rather, the lamp lights the path directly in front of you – just a little bit at a time. Faith Passage may not truly understand where our path is leading…but we are following God’s lead…His word is our lamp and it is lighting the way for us. We cannot always see the “big picture” but we trust in God’s word and know that He is guiding our actions and our direction. I am thankful for Pastor Dan for requesting such a beautiful song, and thankful for friends like Kim and Felix who offer wisdom and advice. Faith Passage Ministries will continue to follow the path that God has laid out for us as we walk in His light.
When Brian and I first formed Faith Passage and began playing music and singing, I told him very clearly that I was NOT a creative person, and that there was no way I could write songs. We then proceeded to write 15 or so songs over the next 6 months – and all the while I insisted that I still wasn’t a songwriter, nor was I one of “those people” – the creative type. Recently we took a little break and attempted to re-group and write again. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to writing. I often ask questions of myself like “what if this isn’t good enough” or “what if this is sounds stupid.” This self-doubt is enough to make a songwriter just hang it up. At times I am intimidated by Brian’s amazing skill and creativity. He is a truly gifted guitarist and is constantly honing his craft and pushing himself to be better. He always reassures me and helps me to believe in my writing and singing…but there is always a hint of self-doubt that I allow to creep in. Recently, Joe Boyd, teaching pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati, tweeted about a new book by his good friend Todd Henry called “The Accidental Creative.” I began following Todd Henry on Twitter and have kept up with all of the buzz that has been surrounding this book. This morning, Todd Henry was at church talking with Joe (and to all of us) about the subject of creativity and how each of us has this creative side to us. He explained creativity in a way that I had never thought of it myself. We are all creative in so many different ways…and we are all made in the image of God – and we should act on the things – those creative things – that God has put on our hearts. (Obviously Todd put it much more eloquently than I am able to do here). The thing that stuck with me the most was the concept of “dying empty.” If we fail to act on those creative things that God has put on our hearts, they are no good after we are gone. We should do what we can while we are alive to explore those things and to express them – to empty ourselves of them. We left church and went directly to Barnes and Noble to buy “The Accidental Creative” and I can’t wait to read it. This evening, Brian and I wrote our latest song together…one that has been in the works for months but has never really gelled until tonight. I believe that this was the first time in our creative process that I was able to let go of my fears and anxiety as we created and just let it happen. I am so grateful from all of the influences in my life – to those who believe in me more than I do, who inspire with ideas, who listen and give feedback, and especially to those who take the time to be creative themselves.
Just over 6 months ago, Faith Passage played our first live show. I can still remember those feelings that accompanied that debut performance. We had only been writing music for a few months, had never played in front of an “audience”, and yet we were going for it. I remember those feelings that led up to that first song. They were feelings of fear, anxiety, self-doubt, excitement, and happiness – pretty much in that order. We did it though, and we were both so proud reaching a goal that we had set for ourselves. Tonight we are scheduled to play at Offering’s Cafe in Hamilton. We have played there many times and always have a lot of fun! As I go through my day today, I’m thinking about the show and my feelings compared to our very first show. The nerves are gone. I am no longer filled with the fear and anxiety. I think that the biggest reason for this is because we have grown in our style and our confidence and really know what to expect. I also feel like I have gotten over the self-doubt that I originally had when we would perform. I have truly come to realize and appreciate the fact that it’s NOT about us. Brian and I – Faith Passage – formed so that we could share the talents that God has given us. We love the chance to share our message and our faith and our music. We may not hit every note or every chord – but we do what we do with hearts full of God and a passion to share his love. So, no nerves or anxiety here…just excitement and happiness for the chance to meet new people and share our music.
Brian recently received a call from an old friend from high school asking if we would be interested in helping out with a new worship band he was leading for Foundation Community Church. One of the biggest lessons that we have learned over the course of the last year is to not turn away from opportunities that have been presented to us, so we agreed to give it a try. Our worship leader, Benson Cope, is a super great guy, very talented guitar player, and open to everyone’s thoughts and ideas. In just a few practices and only two preview services, this worship team has really begun to come together. Dave Buchanan has been sitting in on bass – and can sing some serious harmony. Eddie is a super drummer who helps hold the whole thing together. And, of course, Brian is such a strong, talented, creative acoustic guitar player! The thing about this opportunity that makes it so great it that we didn’t see it coming at all. It was totally unexpected, but has turned out to be such a blessing. I am so thankful that we were given this opportunity, and that we took it.