With Songs of Ascent

This morning I have realized I am very blessed.  I am touring with Songs of Ascent 2013 as a speaker across the Eastern part of the United States. I get to hang out with musicians and develop my craft of preaching? Can it get any better? (Well, actually, it could but may be more on that later.) Photo by Caleb White, used with permission

In any case, I am so happy and delighted to be here. To be a part of this ministry and to help out the musicians and see the Spirit minister through wholesome music. So far, we have done seven concerts and not all have been our best performances, but all of them have resulted in people letting us know the ways in which they were blessed. At a few concerts, there have been specific stories and testimonies we have received from the attendants.

A young boy's heart being moved to apologize and ask for forgiveness from his parents.

A father coming to me and letting me know he was going to take the message of the songs and narration to heart and seek to apply it in his family.

And even a few instances of folks driving out a couple hours, one father doing so when he was persuaded by his daughter whom he usually doesn't have custody of during the week, just to come out to the concert and then none of them regretting having made the drive.

Photo by Bryant Rodriguez

So God is definitely blessing and His hand is with us. However, to be honest, the way in which I am really growing and being blessed is by the first thing I mentioned: being able to spend time with Christians musicians who see their music as a way to minister, not a way to entertain. Observing two married couples doing ministry and living off grace has begun to teach me a lot about what it means to be a godly partner, a godly teammate, and yet still keep your sanity. Watching Eric & Monique Johnson and Matt & Josie Minikus interact as couples and as fellow laborers is showing me what it looks like to be an honest and responsible worker, what priorities need to be maintained while performing, how it looks like to care about your craft while relying upon God to give the increase, what a Christian husband can look like, and how to love a woman. And these are just the more 'spiritual' things I am learning because there's plenty more 'everyday' things I am beginning to learn. Things pertaining to car maintenance, equipment preservation, how to shop for food cheaply while on the road, stewardship, minting good PR with churches and well, the list could continue but I will spare you.

All I am trying to say is that what Songs of Ascent 2013 is for me does include the developing my preaching. But really, that's the smallest part. What it really is about for me is serving four musicians whom I totally support in what they're doing and being able to pick up from their mentorship lessons and habits which I can then apply to my career in ministry and this is really the most important part of it for me. You know, the all important character development because after all, God is looking to develop characters more than gifts.

And this morning when I realized God has placed wonderful counselors and mentors in my life to instruct me is when it struck me, Wow, I'm so blessed.