First of all, I wanted to personally thank each of you who have already purchased the album, At the Cross. Your support and encouragement of this project has been such a blessing to me. This journey over the past 9 months has been an incredible one! I wanted to share the amazing testimony of how it came to be along with the Lord's overwhelming faithfulness through it all...
It was February 19th of this year when I received a call from a church member in our congregation. He expressed to me how the Lord had laid on his heart to financially support me in making an album. I was completely humbled and blown away! Since graduating from Belmont University in May 2006, I had dreamed of one day recording an album. However, I knew that I needed to wait on the Lord's perfect timing for this to happen in order for it to be of Him and not of my own flesh.
When the opportunity arose, the timing of it could not have been more perfect... my heart was ready and willing to be a part of something that would be for His glory and His alone.
The very next day I met with this person for lunch where he revealed to me more of his vision and heart for the project. He shared how it was his desire for the profits from the hard copy sales of the album to go toward missions within our church! I couldn't believe it!
Not only that he had given me the opportunity to create something incredible but also that the finished product would help further the Kingdom and proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
After our meeting I quickly began pulling together songs I had written and started jotting down ideas for new ones. The Holy Spirit continually inspired me with melody and song. The lyrics just seemed to flow through me with ease and passion. My incredible wife Jessica helped me a ton during this time. She has such an awesome way with words, I relied heavily on her opinions and encouragement. I began working as well with my producer and good friend David Gentiles to help put together the right songs that would go on the album. In my opinion, it was crucial to have him critique and listen through the songs, offering advice and re-writes as it progressed.
I wrote all through the summer and on August 13th it was time to go into the studio to record. Spaceway Studios, owned by Will Hunt, is located just east of downtown Fort Worth, across the street from the Union Gospel Mission, in a warehouse.
I thought this setting to be fitting given the missional vision behind the whole project.
The first 3 days consisted of laying down the roadmap for each of the songs and recording drums and bass tracks simultaneously. Will played the drums and Adrian Disch came in to play bass. They are both such amazing musicians! I was blown away the first time I heard them play through my songs, there's absolutely nothing like it! The next two days after that, were reserved for recording Electric Guitar...my favorite! Ethan Kaufman came in and added his touch to the project.
With every melody he played and every layer he added the songs began to fully take shape.
After a short break we met again the entire last week of August and laid down the vocals. I literally sang through each of these songs about 6-7 times. I was exhausted but it was so worth it! The recording was then finally complete. From September until about mid-October I listened to countless mixes of the songs and made tweaks along with Will and David. Everything from "the rhythm guitar is too loud in this chorus" to "his vocal has too much reverb on this song," we combed through each song.
In the end though I couldn't have been happier with the final product.
Saturday, November 3rd I was able to share this music with everyone. The CD release concert at my church was an absolute blast! Playing my songs and sharing the stories behind them was one of the most incredible experiences for me. But most of all, I couldn't help but praise God for what He had done in my life through the creation of this album. To think that it all started with a simple phone call, and a believer in Christ who just wanted to be obedient to the Lord, is humbling to say the least. I pray that this album brings all the glory to Christ. He has saved me, redeemed me and made me new. I know that anyone can experience this same renewal and joy that I have.
This album is a testimony of the Lord's work in my life and a testament to His unmatched grace and mercy upon my soul.
"All praise to the King who reigns forever, all honor power is Yours. I'll sing to my Savior, who conquered death forever. My heart my life is Yours." ~ At the Cross
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13