This Legacy Project represents a milestone-vista along a breathtaking journey of over 30 years of life, writing and recording music. From the penning in 1982 of At Calvary in the little town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, to Open the Window in 2014 Bobbio Pellice, Italy, this three-decade adventure has seen 13 albums of original music written, produced, and performed on 6 continents and in over 60 countries all over the world, including two ocean-going ships.
What can you say of 30 years? During this slice of time, I have witnessed the birth of two of the most precious human beings, Shelby and Sharayah, been through a Bachelors and Masters Degree, walked through the valley of Cancer with the LOVE of my life, served Jesus globally for 25 years, and seen the building of OM Arts International from nine people praying in a room, to 75 people in varying capacities serving in over 23 countries. I have lived long enough to categorically say with absolute certainly, that God is faithful, and He will redeem the years the locusts have eaten.
To give dedications for a project like this is almost impossible, considering the sheer span of time and the prevailing influences. But I would say that if it wasn’t for two individuals, one who I only just met once, and one who I am inseparably bonded to, this music would not have been possible.
Keith Green left an indelible mark on my life; coming from similar musical influences but filled with the Spirit of God and boldness, his uncompromising lyrics converged with a sound that at once resonated within my new beginnings, and has contributed to the deepest levels of my discipleship and spiritual formation. We met once at an event in Austin Texas, after which I stood in line with those who wanted autographs, or to congratulate him for what had been an outstanding concert. I said, “Thanks man, I love you!”, gave him a big hug which he warmly returned as a brother in Christ, and I knew I had met a kindred spirit.
I remember that fateful day in 1982, waking up to the news that Keith had just died in a tragic plane crash with two of his children. I got out of my bed, got down on my knees, and asked God if it pleased Him, to allow some of that anointing to fall on me. I didn’t know what I was asking for at the time, but in some small way, my life and ministry has been an answer to Keith’s final message, “Why You Should Go To The Mission Field”. Yeah.
Teresa (Teri) met me at my worst and has been with me ever since, loving me unconditionally, seeing the latent potential that no one else did, assisting me on my journey that then became “ours”, and it has been the supreme privilege of my life to have been believed in, supported, prayed for, and loved into the person that I am becoming in Jesus by a self-less wonder of God. Words can’t express it, but I am and will be forever grateful.
This anthology project was birthed by a desire to put together an album representing the three main types of work that I have been privileged to produce over the last 30 years. Legacy – The Rock represents the first of the three, a double-album compilation of almost all the Rock & Roll tunes that I have recorded since 1986, when my first album, You Are The One, came out. Legacy – The Song represents many of the best ballads that I have written through the years, except for the ones that appear on Legacy – The Mission, which contains all of the missions songs I have ever written, except for two that appear on Legacy – The Rock: Toward The Mark, and To The Ends of the Earth (they just seemed to bit better to me there!)
On a journey like this, one meets a myriad of fellow-sojourners, who like me, are trying to work out their walk with Christ through their gifting, their talents, and passions. The collaborative result is in many ways a “symphony” – ‘many voices speaking together’. Such is the richness of the “voices”, lent through guitar, drum, bass, keyboard, piano, string, horn, and voice. I own each one of these incredibly gifted musicians a debt that I won’t be able to repay. But I have given then my heartfelt thanks, and do so here again, making sure each one that contributed is mentioned on each song for their invaluable contribution.
Along this 30-year musical journey, I’ve also had the honor of working with a number of skilled producers, who were able to mine some of the musical and lyrical resources God has deposited in me, bringing them to a fruition of sorts in the season we were working together.
I started professionally recording music in 1986, in Southern California. I was introduced to John Devries, and we worked on my first album, You Are The One together. In that process, I met Tom Cox, and we worked on the next two. Steve Brown, a producer in Baldwin Park reached out to me, and helped me to produce my first CD in There’s An Answer. Tim Jaquette, who played bass on my first album, then produced a later three: God is Awesome, Against the Night, and Seasons & Souvenirs, along the way becoming a dear friend and confidant. He continues to be in demand both as a performer and an audio engineer in Los Angeles while managing the renowned Recording Technology facility at Citrus College in Glendora, California.
On July 3rd, 1991, Teri and I moved to London, England with our 18-month old daughter Shelby to join Operation Mobilization and tour around the world with the founder, George Verwer, as his musician. You’ll find more about this life-changing event in the notes on some of the songs here, which were either born or influenced by the biggest career change I have ever made in my life. More about this is included in the 3rd compilation materials, Legacy – The Mission.
But it was during my second month in Europe that I met Marcel Zimmer and Elisha Krijgsman, two great friends and incredibly talented musicians from Holland who not only then befriended me, but had a huge impact on my music and ministry in the 1990s. They helped to arrange and produce the song, Move Through Me, the only “new” song on my Send Me CD (1998), Marcel having arranged a number of songs on Seasons and Souvenirs (1996) previously, and Crimson Thread of Grace (released in the UK in 2000) and Every Nation Tribe and Tongue (released in Holland in 2001) subsequently. Adrian Thompson from ICC came alongside of me during our British years, invested in us, and helped to produce Crimson Thread of Grace. Because of him, two of the songs from that album ended up in songbooks and CCLI lists all over the world: Toward The Mark, and As I Come Into Your Presence.
After relocating to the USA in 2001, I was introduced to Josh Fisher (current drummer for “Jesus Culture”), and we began to work together on the Aroma project, my first full CD project after the success of the single, Wear The Crown. While touring extensively with Aroma and Wear The Crown, a number of songs started creeping up on me, and in mid 2012, I joined up with Tim Friesen, the musically gifted son of a dear friend I used to work with a lot in California, and we began to produce Broken & Complete, which was released in 2013.
When it became apparent to me that I was arriving upon the vista of 30 years of recording music, and 25 years of being involved in mission, it seemed appropriate to take a breath, look back a bit, and acknowledge “where we’ve been”. But in that, is a brief look ahead with the lead tune here, Open The Window (also produced by Tim Friesen), written in 2014, 31 years after At Calvary. And there is at least one more new song, that will appear on Legacy – The Song, titled All Things. All Things was written for Teri during her recent ordeal with Cancer, but more on that when Legacy – The Song comes out!
I’ll never forget in 1999, standing on the stern of the MV Doulos, in a storm on the Tasman Sea, watching 30 foot waves pass by on the port side. We were making our way toward Sydney Harbour, trying to skirt a dangerous weather system that still pounded us, and ripped off two of the Promenade Deck Doors. Tons of water rushed down the stairs in “Titanic style”, and I must admit, it was a bit scary. But no matter how rough it was, we pressed forward, and yet, we also still left a wake. Wake’s left on water don’t last that long, but wake’s left on hearts can last for an eternity. It is my most ardent prayer, and deepest longing, that as I press forward into infinity future, my Savior would allow me to have left behind in my lifetime that which points to Him, honors Him: His glory reflected in a jar of clay. This is my Legacy. (1 Corinthians 4:7-11)
I hope you enjoy these album as much as I do – maybe less as a trip down memory lane, and more as a reminder of the faithfulness of a faithful God who leaves behind these golden crumbs on the ground that can indelibly remind us of His abiding presence regardless of how far we go, or which direction we travel.