“Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision.” (Ezekiel 12:23-24, NKJV)
We all need vision. Without vision, hope for the future, the Bible says people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Or as it reads in The Message version of the Word, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”
In Part 1 of “Kill It So It Can Live. Again.” (if you missed that one, click on the title), I ended with this paragraph, “And so for the next five years, neither Laurie or I sang again. My Takamine guitar had long before been laid down, but now even my tambourine, orange shaker, and “lead vocal” instrument was laid to rest. Laurie’s beautiful alto voice no longer sang publicly, except as part of the full church congregation worship during Sunday morning services. We had no plans to ever sing again – as a duet, band vocals, or as a worship team backup or lead singers. But…never say never if you walk with the Lord Jesus!!!”
The resurrection story in this life continues…
If ever I had been given one deep desire by the Lord – well actually there have been two, missions and music – the music passion in my soul had come and gone. As it happened with Joseph, the reality of sharing this gift and talent came, and then it went, and then hope sprung anew, and then it left again. It seemed like a roller coaster. Pick it up. Lay it down. Open door. Then closed shut.
Ahava Love Band – last time together. August 2013. (L-R) Wane Daroux – bass, Laurie, Steve, Ron Bowen – drums One New Man gathering led by Warren Marcus in Charlotte, NC.
As with the Raiders band and the Ahava Love Band, there were a few versions of each, as gifted people would come and go. We had at times several different keyboard players, lead guitarists, and an occasional backup vocal. I know that can be common with most bands, with the coming and leaving of members, but after a while, it gets old with the changes.
“Lord, is there no consistency and commitment anymore?” was a heart cry of mine.
When the last keyboardist/backup vocal told me five years ago, that hot August night, that she was leaving the group, just after the Lord had already told me beforehand that this was it for the group, it still didn’t make it any easier hearing her words. Worshipping the Lord through music was a passion, and the passionate vision was being killed. On the outside I took it “as a man should”, but on the inside, my spirit was really grieving. Almost to the point later that I would never, ever, try again to play or sing publicly. The up and down, yeah and nay became too much. Hope again followed by big disappointment killed a big portion of my spirit.
During the next five years that followed, I knew I had lost something. It truly seemed that a big part of my spiritual life had been cut away, and I also knew it very much so affected my outward look, my hope for the vision, the way I carried myself at home and outside.
You too have experienced that. Life. Death. Burial.
After Laurie and I returned to Antioch International Church in May of 2018, revival started occurring in my heart. The vision was returning over the next few months. Hope for “life after death” became bright again. And the passion for worshipping the Lord through music started rising up from under the deep soil again, where it had been buried for so long.
With each passing Sunday worship service, I could sense His desires for me sharing the gift again coming back. It was a slow, week after week process, but it was returning. I could sense it. I could certainly feel it. I even began singing the worship songs aloud with those around me. The spiritual heart, with the blood flowing through my veins, was starting to beat faster.
I realized that, even at 64, I could still sing. After all, look at all the others who still sang after “their time” seemed to have finished. Hope was returning. If Moses, Joshua, and Caleb could still accomplish and fulfill their calling at 80, why not give it another shot! The years are yet plentiful!
At first, I didn’t tell anyone of this renewed vision and passion, but slowly I began to give hints to my good wife Laurie. “Let’s get back into worship leading.” “Let’s get the band back.” “I am going to get a guitar again.” (I had given away my last one to my 16-year-old grandson two years earlier, believing that was it.)
“LET’S SING AGAIN!”
I put a word out on Facebook, asking if anyone had a used guitar they didn’t want or used anymore, and would sell it cheap or just give to me. I also checked for used guitar listings on various websites and local guitar store ads.
In the meantime, I asked the Strength For Israel ministry leader David Peterman (one of Antioch’s church gatherings and outreach efforts) if he needed a worship leader for their monthly meetings, which I had never gone to. He said, “Sure. Currently, we have just been using CDs for music, as no worship leader has been available.”
1962 Gibson guitar
Within two days I got a message through social media that a lady who lived about two hours away from our home in Pineville had a guitar whose uncle had left her over 10 years ago upon his death. It had been sitting in her closet “collecting dust” she wrote and asked if I was interested in using it.
Five days later Rebecca and husband Earl drove to my Antioch church office in Fort Mill, South Carolina, bringing not only the vintage guitar (1962 Gibson model, which sells for $5,000 new (after getting a quick appraisal on this one, the value was at least $1,700), but also brought along a mandolin with her. She later gave them as gifts to our ministry Love For His People, to be used in worship times.
Taylor guitar I purchased
While this was going on, the Lord also led me to purchase a Taylor guitar, a good topline model these days, from an older gentleman (older than me!) for half the cost he had paid for it in the last year. It had been originally for his granddaughter, who gave playing it a try, but later decided to switch to the violin.
When I got it home and started playing the Taylor (just like riding a bike!) I could feel the tears of resurrection coming up inside me. As my Mom said later, “You cried, right? It is the Lord. He was doing it.”
Many more words could be written on this resurrection story, but time is moving too quickly forward. There are many of you reading this who have experienced this story similarly. With this season of death, burial and resurrection, I know our Lord Jesus is in the “resurrection business”, and is restoring lost vision, hope that was deferred, and giving new breath, life and joy back, in full empowerment and thrust forward, for you too.
So along with me, say “Bring it on, Lord!”
Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Now think on this,
Love For His People, Inc.
P.S. Want an adventure walking the streets of Jerusalem? Come with me sometime! And in the meantime, watch my short videos that I recorded in October 2018 as I did that just that. Jerusalem October 2018 playlist
P.S.S. I hope you get my latest book, Adventures in Courage, out this November. Paperback or Kindle versions. My 19th authored publication. (Yes, this is an advertisement!)
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