A Message for the New Year

Peace, joy, and rest to you all, my friends… and hope for new beginnings in 2022, as this last year was one of incredible challenge and loss for so many. 

In some ways, it feels like life has repeated itself for me in the last few months. I lost three of the greatest people I’ve known in quick succession: Ricky Texada, my pastor, role model, and counselor of thirty years; Jeff Morris, a very close friend of twenty-five years; and Marcus Lamb, a great visionary I served with for twenty years. All suddenly gone, leaving a vacuum in this world that seems impossible to fill. 

It reminds me of the loss of my father some 40 years ago, when I was a freshman in college. The pain of losing my hero was immeasurable. How does one find life again—with it’s amazing, beautiful, priceless pulse—when it’s so powerfully fragile? How can one find joy? At that time, the only thing I knew to do was find a piano somewhere. I’d play and cry. I’d play and reminisce. I’d play and dream of beautiful days past, and hope for better days to come. Music was my therapy, and ultimately, it helped me heal. 

Years later, I still find myself returning to my piano for comfort: slowly expressing whatever life has brought—sunshine or rain, joy or pain—into melodies and gentle phrases that bring the gift of rest. Even more beautiful is the fact that my comfort is one that I get to share with the world. With the encouragement and support of my family, I finally began to release some personal projects in the last few years: first with The Healing, and most recently with the Rest series. 

And as we go into the new year, I want to officially dedicate the Rest series to the families of Ricky, Jeff, and Marcus. Each man had a profound impact on my life, and I pray their families are able to find peace as they mourn for their departed.