All my life I dreamed of making music, even before I was able to play an instrument. When I was a kid, it seems like there was usually music playing in the house. Plus, several of my uncles, aunts and cousins played instruments and my mother played the Autoharp. My mother sang around the house, and she exercised regularly by playing an old eight-track tape of fiddle tunes and doing clogging style dances. Music was just a part of my household and I wanted to be part of it. I remember as a teenager buying guitars that I couldn’t even play except for a few chords; yet wishing terribly that I could.
Anyway, several years later I came to prison and in 2000, went into the T.C. program, which had a guitar. A friend of mine, and I decided to start learning. We each knew three or four chords apiece and were determined to make them work. We played at a couple family nights and thought we were on our way. I later left the T.C. program and moved to the Honor Dorm, where I later gave my life to Jesus Christ on April 15, 2004. My life has not been the same since.
There was an old, broken twelve string guitar in the T.C. program that I played while I was there, and since I was no longer there and no one else played it, they decided to donate it to the Honor Dorm. Due to my nasty disposition in the past, many Christians would not associate with me, even though they knew I had made a profession of faith. I remember after getting the guitar, some would come around and listen to me play. Many times they would ask if I knew this Christian song, or that Christian song, (which I didn’t) and it would embarrass me. After such a session one night, I went to my cell and prayed. I told God, “I know you gave me this guitar, and the ability to play, but I don’t know any Christian songs and I’m ashamed. I want to use my talent for your glory, but You have to give me some songs.” The next day I wrote a song called, “On A Cross Upon That Hill”. The amazing thing about that song is that it is a wonderful depiction of the Gospel message and Christ giving Himself for our sins. Looking back now, I can see the theological correctness and scriptural soundness of that song, and I’d been saved less than two weeks! That lets me know for a fact that God did indeed give me the guitar and the talent to play it, and He heard my prayer that day! God hasn’t stopped giving me songs yet.
Several months after writing my first song, I sang at my first Chapel service. I didn’t have a guitar with me and I can’t carry a tune without an instrument. It was awful! But I did it for the glory of God. I think God was just testing me to let me see that He is my crutch, not the guitar. I can do all things through Him that strengthens me!
About a year later we got a guitar for the Chapel (a good guitar) and I got a job working in the Chapel. As I continued to be faithful to God in using my gift for His glory, He added better guitars, pianos, and a bass and blessed me with other faithful men to play music with; my lifelong dream had come true, we were making music. God is so awesome!
We are in need of a new Chapel with enough space to do all the things that are going on there. Some of our volunteers got involved with an idea of using original songs written by members of the praise team here and making a CD to be sold for the purpose of building the new Chapel. God had a plan all along. Approval was given by the powers that be and we were allowed to record. To say the least, God has blown my mind by all this. He truly is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we are able to ask or even think! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be part of something like this. But God took a handful of amateur men, brought us together, and gave us the ability to make music in order to make this CD.
This CD may be downloaded from anothercaptivefree.com. We are asking for a $12 donation (or more) that will go towards building a new Chapel.
I just thank Jesus Christ so much for all He has done in my life and all the things that He has given me. He has blessed my life in such a tremendous way that it just blows my mind. The awesome thing about it is He’s done it all just because He can and He loves me. I pray this testimony has been inspirational because God is no respecter of persons. If He did this for us, He’ll do it (or something greater) for someone else.
Just Blown Away,
Another testimony of one inside of prison.