It’s easy to forget stuff… even when it’s important or impactful. When recalling the events of some of the most important dates in my own life — my college graduation, my sons’ birth days, my wedding — I honestly don’t remember them in great detail. But these moments had a massive impact in shaping who I am today.

So in reflecting on my recent trip to Redding for the January 13, 2024 recording day, the ephemeral nature of defining moments became apparent, emphasizing the importance of remembrance. (And the importance of taking pictures!) The act of remembering, testifying, and expressing gratitude for what God has done is crucial, serving as a safeguard against forgetting transformative moments and the journey leading to them.  

I really loved the impactful prayer on comparison that Richard Gordon led us through at the start. This prayer set a positive tone for the day and really helped boost my confidence because I knew God had set me free from this trap in my own worship journey. 

When the time came for me to lead the song I’d rehearsed for many weeks, I wondered if I’d done enough to prepare. And when it was over, I had to fight through the voices in my head telling me that I didn’t do a good job and that everyone was just being nice with their compliments. The worst voice was the one telling me that I sucked because I messed up on the first set of choruses and the bridge. I’m grateful that the Holy Spirit helped me reject those negative thoughts within minutes and I felt so much peace as I remembered God’s promises over my life.

If we were to rewind to my college days, you’d find me shaking in fear at the mere thought of singing in front of others. Fast forward to today where I can confidently lead worship and sing out – it’s a testament to the transformative power of God’s work in my life and a culmination of prayers spanning decades.

Another takeaway from this trip was to avoid becoming casual towards the work God has done in my life. In other words, to not allowing blessings to become burdens. This recording day emphasized the importance of thorough rehearsals and preparation, highlighting the hard work that goes into singing and making music. As blessings (including gifts or talents) shift from their initial excitement to becoming items that require protection and maintenance, the challenge lies in maintaining a heart of thanksgiving and openness. I recently heard a pastor share about how the new iPhone or new car eventually turns into a high-maintenance headache. (His example resonated with me because my phone froze last weekend and navigating through the repair process took nearly an entire day!)

Today, I’m even more enthusiastic about upcoming music projects – whether cover songs or original music – and I do believe this is just the start. I look forward to songwriting, releasing music, and making more trips to Redding in the future.