After spending my teenage years in sin, I felt like God didn’t want me anymore. I didn’t doubt God’s power to save me, but I did doubt his desire to. I was a violent, angry, sexually promiscuous sinner that always knew better but never did better. I was sure God destined me to hell. I knew I didn’t deserve heaven, or a relationship with him. But through a book by C.S Lewis, I learned that Jesus died knowing that I didn’t deserve his grace, but he chose to love me and die for me anyway. After that, I gave my life to him and he began to change me from the inside out.
Military & Ministry
Shortly after becoming a Christian, I joined the Coast Guard and moved from my hometown in Florida all the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There I fell in love with the bible. I would literally read my bible for 16 hours straight on some of my days off. I became so enamored with Jesus that I couldn’t keep him to myself. I began a bible study at work and regularly did street evangelism in the inner city. I attended and served my local church, and some older brothers in the faith took me under their wings and taught me so much about life, godliness, and living out the bible.
I was transferred to Los Angeles, California. There I got involved with youth ministry and gang intervention. I spent most of my free time disciplining young men who didn’t have many positive Christian figures in their lives.
After a few short years California, I exited the military and became an inner city Youth Pastor at a small church in Lansing, Michigan.
Previously before salvation, I was involved with music, poetry, and public speaking. In Lansing is where I really started to see it as a tool for the kingdom. I would regularly go to a local juvenile detention center and rap and speak to young people awaiting trial or serving their sentences. I was blown away by the impact it made. I saw dozens of young people give their lives to Jesus.
I began to post videos of me doing poetry, playing piano, and rapping on Facebook. I have been able to see thousands of people impacted and have life changing experiences through my music. My desire is to be able to reach many more people with the gospel through these means.
I recently released “A Sincere Introduction.” It is a short album mostly recorded in a friend of mine basement. It chronicles my life and struggles, and it is truly a sincere introduction to me as an artist but more importantly as a follower of Jesus Christ. "I've Been Praying" and "Dad Was Locked Up" are composites of testimonies shared by students and young men during youth ministry.
Otherwise, I have a wife and three small children who I love more than anything in this world. I currently reside in North Florida and work in business.
If you would like to know anything else about me, don’t hesitate to ask. I try to respond to everybody but every once in a while, an email gets buried, and I might miss it. Please blame it on my head and not my heart.
The Art of Not Drifting: 6 ways to paddle upstream in the Christian Music Industry.
KB wrote a masterpiece called the "art of drifting". The song describes the ugly fall of a Christian entertainer. The story is not foreign one, a once dedicated Christian slowly slips into sin. If you are like me, you have heard more than one horror stories about great Christian ministers who's ministries ended in adultery, sexual immorality, pride, drug abuse, and other deadly sins.
This is where their drifting ended, however, it is not where their drifting began. Pursuing God is like paddling a canoe upstream, in order to make progress you have to stay faithful. However, if you relax, or, if you decide to pursue things other than God, you will find yourself miles down river in a place you were never meant to be.
Here are 6 ways to make sure you avoid sin and continue paddling up stream.
Remember your Purpose
Why are you making Christian Music? To glorify God? To love people through your gifts? I hope so, and I also hope God blesses your efforts! I also hope that your actions and decisions reflect your purpose. Its easy to start making decisions to become successful that have nothing to do with glory of God. We should always be asking ourselves while we make decisions, does this glorify God? Is this Love? If not, you are not only drifting, you are paddling the wrong way. It is important to remember that God cares more about your character than your success.
Refresh your Perspective
Where do you want to be in 3 years as an artist?. I know a few years ago I would have said signed to Reach with a huge platform. Now, my answer is different. What if God never allows your music to blow? What if you only reach a few? Would you be ok with that? The truth is God is in control. The bible says promotion comes from God alone (Psalms 75:6-7).
Record deals and large platforms aren't bad. But neither is obscurity are a small platforms. The truth is God doesn't honor one over the other. God cares about your faithfulness not the number of people that you reaching. If you have a record deal and all the media coverage you ever wanted, that doesn't mean your honoring God. If you start chasing record deals, blogs, and fame you will find yourself drifting.
Read your Bible
You can read your favorite devotional, or follow all the best people on Twitter, or listen to your favorite podcast, but it is not a substitute for the bible. Its like skipping all your meals and only eating vitamins. Eventually your going to die. You need the hear from God yourself. That means you need to read the Bible. Psalms 1:2-3 says " meditate on the word day and night and... you will prosper."
Andy Mineo once said "My priorities wrong, I talk about you more than I talk with you". It's really easy to get so caught up doing ministry that you forget about who you're doing ministry for. I have definitely been there. But you need God, you need his wisdom, joy, and satisfaction. If you neglect communing with God, you will find yourself overworked, undervalued, and bitter. Drink in the goodness of God and always pray. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Stay in Community
Now, I don't mean go to church. Yes, church is good and you should definitely go. However, church and community are not synonyms. There are a lot of churches where you can go in and go out without saying anything to anyone. That is not what God originally had in mind.
Community means finding fellow believers that you share your lives with. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We should be encouraging, warning, helping, and loving each other in an authentic way. If you don't have authentic community you are either already drifting or you will be soon. Visiting small groups at your local church is a great way to find authentic community.
Kill your ego
It would be easy to dismiss artists who have slipped into sin as hypocrites or fakes. You can think that will never be you. But remember, you are a human just like them. The bible says watch out if you think you can't fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). The truth is if you neglect the Bible and prayer, alter your purpose, lose your perspective, and become isolated you will find yourself drifting. However, if you consistently pursue God and keep him first, you will overcome!