Music Mends


Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent
-Hugo


Have you ever heard people talk about how ‘music heals?’


Now, I’m no rocket scientist (do rocket scientists know anything about the healing power of music…) but I instantly buy in to this notion based on the sole fact that I can remember points in time where music has been the tool that brought life and happiness to my situation, even if for a brief moment.

Even googling for a second, I read that severe stroke patients admitted to a hospital in Helsinki, Finland listened to recorded music for at least an hour a day.  They recovered their verbal memory faster, and experienced less depression as compared to those who listened to audio books or nothing. I thought that was pretty cool.

Not to sound like a broken record, but music has been a life long passion as well as a vocational foundation for many years. Currently, I serve as the music director at a local church in my home city where last night we had our very first worship night under my direction.

Long story short, it was a great night and I think it is opening new avenues of expressive worship for some people who might have gotten caught up in the stagnation that Sundays sometimes bring (that sounds presumptuous – but its from a good place, promise.) Last night for me though was something special. Not because of a title or a new endeavour but because I haven’t felt that free in my spirit; that close to my Father in a long, long time.

Something happens when we choose total abandonment of issues, failures, pride, position…  Something happens when you just let go and run hard after God no matter what you’re facing or who is looking. Sure, music isn’t the be-all-end-all. You don’t need a guilt-ar… I mean guitar, to seek your Father. You don’t need the latest and greatest songs to get close to His heart. I know this. But for me, it’s the gift of music and worshipful expression in such moments where I realize and experience His love like nowhere else.

 

I’m rambling… but here’s what I want to get at.


I know for a fact that 99% of people reading this have lost or have had a passion of theirs stolen in one way or another. Maybe that passion was tied to an expressive way in which you connected with God. Maybe, because that was no longer apart of your life, you found yourself slipping into bitterness, anger or maybe just a comfortably numb state where God was no longer tied to what made you feel alive.

God is in your passions. He is passionate about your passions. But He also wants you to find peace within with pain you experience. He wants the song of your life not to be silenced by the storms. I think I fell victim to that. I think I relegated God to a stage when it came to worshipping Him… and now that I have that back in my life, I almost grieve again for the moments I missed out in the valley.

So maybe you’re tracking with me. Maybe you can replace the idea of music with your own ‘thing.’ Whatever it is that drives you and brings you closer to your Father.

 

I want to be able to worship on the mountaintops.
I want to worship EVEN MORE in the valley.


May you find Him in both seasons. Pressing past the feelings and emotions of it all and finding the Truth, that He is good all of the time and He is always faithful to complete the good work that He started in you so long ago.

 

Thanks for following along friends!
Love you guys.

 

-Drew

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Riches Do Not Equate Wealth


Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit.
Eli Khamarov


If you don’t mind, this post is kind of a ‘one off’ in terms of what I usually blog about but feel the need to get some thoughts outta my head. Thanks for helping me process…

I’m not really quite sure where I wanna go with these thoughts that have been bouncing in my head the past 24hrs. They haunt me in the best and worst ways possible. So I guess I’ll just keep moving my fingers on this keyboard and hopefully something cognitive, something rational, will come spilling out.

I almost feel dirty.
I almost feel ashamed for my excess.
I know, I know… its situational and there’s nothing I can do or could have done to have been born into the West. However, I’m left to process ‘what now’?

A little back-story for you…
I just returned home from an eight-day trip to Santa Cruz Bolivia with an eclectic team from my church home. We had the privilege of coming along side an amazing organization called Compassion Canada. Long story short, we were able to see some of the ins and outs as to how this company is literally acting the hands and feet of Jesus in a country, and more specifically, in the lives of the least of these. Details of what we were up to, what we saw; I’d love for you to message me or stop me next time you see me. There are so many stories I could share to stir you to what hopefully could become a partnership between you and a beautiful soul in dire situation.

Now, we have a Sponsored Child at home on our fridge.
She’s from Africa and Zoey prays for her every morning before she goes to school.
It’s cute.
It serves a purpose of teaching my daughter that there are less fortunate children in the world than her. I don’t think, for me at least, it had ever translated from just a face on a paper. Maybe my ignorance is, or was, bliss because now that I’ve seen first hand how desperate these children are for my help, I am left with a hole in my heart that aches to see the developing world get as much of a chance at thriving life as I do… yikes… even that statement throws me off a little.

You see, the struggle in my heart and in my mind isn’t some socialist view where if we all had the same “more” than it’d all be sunshine and rainbows. That if the world could all have their 3.5 bedrooms, 2 bath, picket fence life, than we’d all find our contentment within our stuff. After seeing how little these people have while at the same time the joy in so many of their hearts and faces, I’m left feeling poor as I evaluate my heart.

I know can’t do away with statistics and comparisons when it comes to wealth. I have more things than these people I met maybe ever will. But indulge me for a moment when I as what really is poverty? Is it about what we have? Or is it a mindset that we carry around.

When I was welcomed into some of these homes no bigger than my daughter’s bedroom; rooms that housed 5 to 8 people at a time, I found myself asking how can this be… they are so poor.
But they were proud of their homes.
They had these beautiful piercing smiles of their faces.
The kid’s laughed and played and chased their flea-infested pets around the yard.

Okay… I’m rambling.

I guess what I want to convey is that I’m convinced that only God circumvents something in our hearts (wants and desires) and ultimately fills it with His love and its there where people find true wealth. These people had nothing but had everything they need for life and Godliness in Christ. They are so rich because of the love they have for their Saviour and are so thankful that people who they have never met before have ‘given them a cup of cold water in Jesus name.’ (Matthew 10:42)

So as I struggle to find the extra cash to buy the newest and best technology; while I decide to buy next pair of boots or jeans… I’ll remember that those things don’t make me rich and if I think they add anything to my life than what I truly need, I may be the poorest person there is.

Please take a second and check out www.compassion.ca.
These are more than just faces.
These are world changers waiting for you to intervene.

I’m not sure if any of this helps…
Thanks again for letting me process.

Love you guys,
-Drew

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Risky Love


Fortune sides with him who dares...
-Virgil


One thing that I’m learning, or at least paying close attention to in this part of my life, is the RISK involved with really loving people well. If I take an honest inventory of my heart or my motives when it comes to the relationship I’m deeply invested in at this period in my life… I feel like I have some work to do. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think I’m necessarily BAD at loving well. I have friends in my life that I intentionally remind them about how much they matter to me. Affirmation about their giftings and the gift that they are to me… I feel, at times, I do this quite well.

But there’s something inside of me that has been in tension when I look at some of the people in my life that (obvious to me) love better and are WAY riskier than I am in their love.
For example, my wife… all bias set aside, she loves and loves BIG. She gladly self sacrifices her own time, space and emotions to help those who come to her in their time of need. I’m more apt to tell her to get off the phone can come and watch TV… no, she talks and calms and prays and hopes for a better day tomorrow for the one in need.

Or how about my new friend and mentor Brad. I watch him love people effortlessly. Taking time to listen and engage and champion the hopes they have for their lives. He stops to pray. He laughs with and enjoys people. It’s actually extremely influential as I watch him. It makes me want to love better.

 

Maybe you don’t want to risk love.
Maybe you want to stay as far away from that stuff as humanly possible.
I get that.

 

There’s been more times than I’d like to admit where my past experiences have allowed me to justify putting up a wall around certain people or situations where I chose not to risk love.  I choose not to be vulnerable or ask hard questions or stick around long enough for people who really need it because of those who chose not to do so with me. How very selfish of me…

Part of loving well is processing the times when you weren’t. I’m learning that it’s in the pain I’ve experienced and processed that I am actually better equipped to love those who need it the most. I know how it feels to be left out or counted out. I know how it feels to be looked at sideways… But even more importantly, I know how it feels when people believe in me; when people choose to risk things like popularity, status, even close friendships to meet me where I’m at and believe in my journey ahead.

 

I know… maybe you’re like, where are you going with this?

 

I simply wanted to encourage you to ask yourself, do I love well? Am I being risky in my love? Am I getting close to the situations that need love the most or am I content in just letting someone else take care of those in need. Or maybe worse, letting those in need go without. Do you go with the flow when the masses count someone out or will you be the person who takes time to hear a story and walk the extra mile of a journey that may not be the easiest to walk?

I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:1 “….but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Man… the last thing I want to be is just a noisy Christian. I know I have been and I know that I still can be but there’s an awareness that we can have that reminds us that this life isn’t all about us. It’s about a love we’ve found so that we can give it back to those around us. It’s about a grace that’s been given to us so that we can walk with those who feel like they can’t escape the struggles of their pasts.

 

So love big.


Risk something in the name of Love. Whether it’s your reputation, your social status, your personal finances… Ask God to challenge you. You’re going to something amazing. I know it.

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Be Encouraged!


Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. 
-Emerson


I’m kind of at this place where when I sit down and try to blog out some thoughts, I wonder if I’m getting to a place where I just am sounding like a broken record.

Grace? Wrote it out.
Forgiveness? Yup.
The wrestling of issues and relationships? Mhmm… covered that too.

It’s almost as if I feel like I’ve tapped the well or am starting to kick that proverbial dead horse. I feel this way at times when it comes to my journey and now the responsibility I’ve taken upon myself to let you know that an authentic, Christ centered journey, is worth the fight. I think its important however, through this social media induced world that we live in, that little reminders of life’s insanity as well as the hope that is set before us are needed from time to time.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11
…encourage one another and build one another up…

 

I think one of the most important tools that we ALL have in our bags is the gift of encouragement we can so freely pour out on those around us. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m feeling like my progression has become a little stale or even has taken a few steps backwards, its that word from a friend who has journeyed with me that completely changes my mood, my outlook on where I’m currently at and my perspective of future.

I hope he doesn’t mind if he reads this, and no names needed, but I have this friend who is an incredible worship leader. Mind you, he’s a worship leader that hasn’t lead worship in quite a few years. But as we’ve been talking and dreaming together as of late, he’s been picking up his guitar daily (I even got a chance to just sit and listen to him play for a few minuets on his back porch just the other day. He’s a beast.). My job, and not in a pressured sense of the word, is to remind him if how gifted and anointed and how incredibly special his role is in his sphere of influence. The hard part is, just like everyone else; he has had moments where situations have brought disappointment and confusion. There’s been people who have had one of the best in the nation in front of them and have taken his gift for granted. I get it. That’s the kind of stuff that’s gonna play a huge part in finding a platform of personal progression. I don’t just see a friend, but I see the potential, the power, that Christ has placed on his life to bring people into deeper relationship with the Father and man… I would be foolish not to remind him of that time from time to time.

I think I have touched on this in past writings, but I want to encourage you to be an encourager in any moment you can. Even if the people that you’re maybe surrounded with on the daily, say co-workers for example, aren’t always the easiest to get along with. Find something about their character, even if it’s a small something, and speak life over it. Tell them what a great job today. Tell them you love their laugh. Tell them that you believe in them when they open up about a specific part of their life.

So wherever you’re at in your journey today, I encourage you that you’ve not missed the mark and that you’re exactly where God wants you for an effective, life giving role in humanity. Sure, it may have been bumpy along the way. You probably aren’t perfect like me… hahaha – just making sure you’re still paying attention! Guess what, you’re never disqualified from being light and life to a dark and dying world. No matter what you’ve done or the hard place you may find yourself in today, you’re progressing and your Father is so incredibly pleased with you. Don’t give in to the naysayers and don’t take yourself out of the game. Its only going to get better, I KNOW this because I’ve lived it and have seen God continually prove Himself strong.

As you encourage those around you in the coming days I pray that you reap an incredible harvest of what you’ve sown. That the joy and hope and peace that are lavished upon you will only make you laugh at the times where you thought you couldn’t go on any longer.

Thanks so much for letting me rant, my friends.
Some cool news is on the way. We can’t wait to share.

Be SUPER encouraged.

 

Create Your Purpose


He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
-Nietzsche


Hey friends!
Just wanted to take a quick second and share a little video I had the honour of doing with an old friend from the Greater Toronto Area. I love Cody and his heart to connect with people and help spread positivity and awareness of so many amazing organizations and causes. Take a look at Create Your Purpose on Facebook and Instagram and follow along in his journey.

Here's the vid.
Cheers, friends.

-Drew

Brother From Another Mother


Grace isn't just forgiveness, it is forgiveness fueled by surrender.
-Spiegel


We just got home from picking up our daughter from spending two weeks at a Camp, which is about 2.5hrs north of us in a little town called Paris, Ontario. Now, to look at this place you wouldn’t be blown away by any means. You’d think it’s pretty much a glorified trailer park for Pentecostals. I know, the picture I paint is bleak, but this is actually the place I grew up each and every summer and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. To be honest, some updates are really impressive and I know that the staff has done an amazing job in the past few seasons making the grounds come alive again. For my childhood, it was a place of games and friends and encounters with God that I could will forget…. And now to see my daughter as excited as I was to traipse around the campgrounds with wide eyed wonder brings my heart so much joy.

The one thing that pangs my heart is that this was a place where I had the joy and honor of not only encountering God as a child and a teen but it was a place where I had many opportunities to preach Jesus and lead many into great worship moments. If you’ve followed the main story I blogged about a little more than a year ago, you’ll know that my bad decisions have rendered future ministry moments, in this specific place, void. Now, this isn’t the focus on what I want to convey in this writing, but Camp is a place that holds my past and my future in tension.

What I was.
What I am.
What I want to become.

A friend came down from Toronto for the day to meet up. (I even have a smile on my face as I write this and that’s probably because I literally don’t have anyone in my life that is as real and as bold in his convictions as this guy.) He’s stuck by my side through the mountain top times and just as close through the moments where he even put his reputation on the line for my name’s sake.

Here’s where I wanna go with this…

He said something that hasn’t left my thoughts since the moment he spoke them. As we were driving around, pumping some Wu-Tang Clan through that stereo, he spoke so much life into my soul. “You know what? I get to watch the water turn into the wine while others who left and decide to judge from afar; they unfortunately miss out on the miracle.”

I was floored.
And not only for the honor my friend was speaking over my life in the moment, but for the fact that conviction landed on me in the best way possible. How easy is it for us, in our flesh, to write off a person who has wronged up.

Maybe it was a family member.
Maybe it was a life-long friend.
Maybe it was a confidant who you trusted with your deepest darkest secrets only to be hurt by them in one way or another.

My friend is an amazing example to me of what it can and should look like to be called a follower of Christ. To take what we read in the Word and to live it out uncompromisingly, no matter what situation is placed before us.

I think something that I need to work on is what I would refer to as ‘situational grace.’ Those wavering moments where you’ll love and forgive someone for one thing, and yet justify in one way or another the reasons why you just can’t forgive someone else. It’s sloppy. It’s not of God. It’s usually a spirit of hypocrisy that leads me to think that I have the right to harbor anger and bitterness and judgment because “I feel ______”.

I think it’s a safe bet to say that most, if not all of us would love to reconcile, or at least be seen in the light of grace by those that were once in our lives and are no longer because of messy situations. We’d love the grace to be extended but I truly believe this must start within our hearts first.

Extend grace daily.
Love unconditionally.
Yes, boundaries and healthy relationships are a must; please don’t be somebody’s doormat. We must do our best to love and honor one another on whatever level life allows in each moment.

I’ll leave you with these two scriptures.

1 Corinthians 4:21
Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and with a gentle spirit?

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

I’m thankful for a brother who could have beat me down with a rod but chose to correct me and call me out of my issues with a gentle grace that continually leaves me shaking my head, in a good way of course.

Hope this has found you well my friends.
Go enjoy that summer sun!