I’ve been putting-off writing anything here for a few months. Mostly because I want to reserve this space to write something encouraging or inspirational. At the very least, I want to post updates about some of the exciting new developments on the horizon. But lately there’s been little to report. Only a handful of radio stations have picked up the new album, and there’s nothing brewing in terms of new partnerships.
The new record hasn’t garnered any real attention or rave reviews from anywhere. One radio promoter recently told me it just isn’t radio friendly. Album sales have been alright, but nothing to rave about. (I’m not sure how to interpret this. Truth be told, I’ve heard almost no feedback on the new album good or bad. Maybe it’s just got something to do with the internet. 😉 )
We’ve been on thin ice , financially, since the new record came out. Although I’ve just come off a busy month of touring, January was a slow month for us, and February was even worse. All that to say, our circumstances look somewhat bleak.
On the other hand, there has been much to encourage us. For instance, back in January, I had a man take me aside at a concert in Manitoba to tell me that the last time I played at his church, his marriage had been hanging by a thread. Something about the concert that night opened up communication between him and his wife for the first time in a long time. 2 years later, they’re doing great and are working within their church to counsel other hurting couples.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from another man who’d been at one of my concerts. He and his wife had just started attending church. He wrote,” The things you said today were right on the money for me. I really appreciated your take on finding beauty and God in the world (the poetic side of things). … Truth be told, up until two weeks ago I would have considered myself an atheist. … The fact that I felt God speaking to me through music was certainly unexpected. I have always been a bit of a snob about “christian music”. For some reason, today I didn’t view your music that way. I just saw you as a musician, that has a way with lyrics. … [And] today was the first time in a long time that I felt a bigger presence.
Finally, a few days ago I heard of how a young man, who’s been wrestling with addiction, felt God “tugging at his heart” after one of my concerts. That night he made a decision to change is life and to invite Christ into his heart.
I don’t usually get to see the fruit of my work. Sometimes a few people will hang around after a concert to say, “hello”, and “thanks for the evening.” But I’m usually on the road again in a few hours, and I simply have to trust that my concerts have been meaningful. To be honest, these are the only three stories like this I think I’ve ever heard.
That’s the way life goes, though, doesn’t it? It would be easier to make decisions if your circumstances and your heart told you the same thing. I’ve been ministering, through music like this for almost 3 years now. And every time I feel like it’s time to quit, some encouragement comes my way to make me realize my heart’s still in it, even though my head says, “Get out now!”. So, what do you do? How do you tell the difference between faith and foolishness? I suppose only time will tell which decisions were the right ones.
In the meantime, my schedule’s filling-up, and I have some concerts coming-up that I’m really excited for. I’ve also begun to feel the gentle rumblings that often precede some new songs. So, I trust that there’s still some life and some purpose in this yet. Press on….