Shocker of shockers: I follow Jesus. There is no greater example of a man who rejected power, prestige, and privilege to purchase the soul of man at the cost of His own flesh and blood. For God to surrender His Son – into the hands of a humanity that repeatedly and brutally rejected Him – shows the depths He was willing to go through to reconcile with us. I make no claims where it comes to how “good” a Christian I am or what authority I bear… and frankly, I would be suspicious of anyone who does.
Put simply, my shit reeks. Even those people you hold up as upstanding role models “beyond reproach” leave ugly surprises in the toilet. And sometimes they don’t even flush. Follow the Original and True One. Man is fickle. Even among the Twelve who spent the most time with Jesus: one sold Him out, another said “Jesus, who?”, and another said “Jesus? Rise from the dead? Pshaw. Yeah, right!”
The Good Shepherd will never leave you, whether it is during life’s jubilant celebrations or at the lowest times in the darkness.
Right now, I have entered a personal season where much of who and what I surrounded myself with has been stripped away, either by the initial incident or the ugly aftermath. I’m not blaming anyone except for the other party. The human tendency when conflict arises is to choose the path of least resistance rather than actually work to resolve it. All too often, what that means is to get rid of the “disruptive” party “making all the ruckus.” It is far easier for those on the sidelines to assert neutrality to “avoid taking sides.” That effectively isolates the “disruptive” party and casts him out of the group.
I’m a Black man born and raised in the United States of America. This shit is not new to me.
God is still with me. Wednesday afternoon at lunch, a friend told me a story from his own period of exile. A cardinal kept on flying face-first into his window and my friend asked God why. God said “Quit beating yourself up trying to get where you aren’t meant to go.” If I were a pastor, I would totally steal that story.
God is still with me. God still loves me. And there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. And I’m thankful. He will provide. Faithfully.
Which leads me to this.. (Wait… What?)
Sunstrike Piano is coming back. In fact, I spent the last week and a half recording the next album and just submitted the metadata last night. The original title was going to be “Exodus” to reflect my current season of wandering around in the desert, but Wednesday night, I decided to focus on God’s provision instead. The title for the project is now “The Goodness of God.” It has twelve covers straight out of Christian music along with an original piece. I’m not going to spend a lot of time promoting it because I feel a strong need to concentrate my efforts on other areas. You will definitely know when it is available.
One thing to know: Starting with this album, I’ve gone completely acoustic. Previous albums were recorded on a 22-year-old electronic piano that weighs over 120 pounds and has a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive. After the COVID-19 epidemic hit the United States, I started teaching myself to tune my own piano. (Still got practicing to do.) I decided it was just time to rip the band-aid completely off and go in.
So… This album is recorded on my actual Kawai piano with a mic that really wasn’t designed for it and a pianist who is not a recording engineer. There’s no cutting and splicing. There’s often a noticeable hiss. This album is going to be raw, unpolished, and chock full of imperfections. It will also be completely authentic.
That’s me. If I can’t do anything else in this world, I am going to be true to myself. Part of that is no longer waiting for everything to be perfect.
I invite you to stream and share the album when it comes out. Please consider purchasing the album (or previous albums… even a track) if you want to help support me.
God is still with me and I know He’s with you as well.
July 3, 2020