What you see above is the mark of a new season in my life. It’s a reminder of where I’ve come from. It’s a sign of our God’s grace, mercy, plans and provision. It is the mark of my new adventure God has called me into.
If I’m being honest, this is one of the toughest blog posts I think I have ever written. Why? Because this new season also marks the end of a season of ministry with Integrity Music He called me into over 6 years ago. As I look back over the years, I see the hand of God working through a group of amazing people called together to help people worldwide experience His manifest presence. I can’t begin to describe the life, joy, fulfillment, and God-sized purpose those days at Integrity brought me! I could literally go person-by-person, artist-by-artist, ministry-by-ministry, church-by-church, and business partner-by-business partner and fill gigabytes of blog stories. I will treasure those memories and friendships for life!
So, you’re probably wondering what this new season is all about. Simply put, it’s about God’s call and purpose on my life. Today marks my first “official” day as the owner of my company, 119 Collective. I am taking the promises of God and the passions He has birthed in me as I walk into this new season.
He has prepared me over the last 20 years to bring these talents into a collective serving His kingdom. Over the years I’ve had the honor to work with some great artists, ministries, managers, A&R guys, publicists, executives, new media companies, radio directors, web-dev teams, social marketing developers, and the list goes on and on. I’ve been through the best “real-world” education anyone could ever dream of. It’s been a great journey with some of the smartest people in their profession.
Along the way, God has been preparing me to start a collective of services that will serve artists, ministries, brands, and companies. The focus will be around digital sales channel development, strategic marketing development, new media development, web and app development.
Before this turns into a novel, rather than a blog, let me close with these thoughts. The mark of this new season depicted above has a lot of meaning and significance in my life. As I eluded to earlier, it signifies God’s purpose and plan on my life.
Over the last 18 months God has weaved the numbers 911 and 119 into my life like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The amount of creative ways and frequency is mind boggling. It’s been very tangible and undeniably His hand. When this first start happening, the consistent number was 911. Now, you can imagine how warm and fuzzy that made me feel. My instant reaction was, “Yes God, I’m listening. Tell me what to do, and make it quick! This sounds like an emergency!!”
In typical God fashion, the answer didn’t come quickly. So, I moved from the urgent / freak-out mode, into please show-me mode. This last December that “show-me” moment came in a quiet time with Him early one morning. By this time, I had starting seeing the number in every combination. It appeared forward, upside-down, backwards and right-side up. That morning I was in Psalm 116, which lead me into Psalm 119 via a word concordance.
As I began to dig into Psalm 119, I realized how complex and unique it is. It was like finding a new treasure in a book I’ve been reading in-depthly for years. Then I started camping on Psalm 119:11 in the message translation.
“I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.”
This particular verse hit me pretty hard for a few reasons. First, it was the epitome of the 911 and 119 numbers in my life. Second, I was working through a very tough financial season as we were still trying to sell our home back in Alabama. The imagery Eugene captures in this translation was really resonating. The more I read the whole chapter and meditated on it, I knew this was my life chapter, verses, and book of the Bible.
The mark you see above represents that chapter and the numbers. King David (who I believe wrote it, as does Charles Spurgeon…and who can argue with Spurgeon:) crafted this Psalm with a creative acrostic. Each stanza starts with a hebrew letter. In fact, every verse in the 8 line stanza starts with that same letter. This continues through the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. It begins with the Aleph and ends with the Taw.
This mark above has the 911 and 119 shaped like a heart. The Aleph and Taw are there to represent the beginning and end stanzas of the Psalm. The three stars represent the 3 specific promises God gave me as I wrestled with the idea of becoming a “Christian.” I wasn’t raised in the church, and honestly did not have any strong Christian influence in my life until I was a 24 years old. That is when I hit the bottom, only to find God reaching down to bring healing, redemption, and transformation in my life. More on my testimony here.
As I wrestled with salvation, God promised me three things. I would marry Wendy (14 years of that amazing journey and still loving that promise!), there was good Christian music, and I would work in the music business again. I take those covenant promises and purpose and walk into this new season. I take the Psalm 119 mark with me for this journey.
Breathe In & Smile Out,