Songwriter, Music Producer, Worship Leader

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.

On this July 4th, I pray for and am thankful for this country of America.

While freedom and peace seem more elusive and complex than ever, it is still worth our creative energies to keep those dreams alive for every living person. Even with our challenges, my heart holds on to the words from a song I heard as a young boy: ”Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” 

Today is also the release of the music video for the song, “Solstice,” the first track on my recently released album The Healing. This video takes you on a beautiful panoramic journey through the seasons and the endless wonders of God’s creation. More than anything, I hope it can serve as a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for. The Divine is all around us… if we just open our eyes to it.  

There is a great healing power in creation. I love all the ways nature has helped my faith: sometimes through a sunrise or sunset, sometimes in a snow-covered mountain or calm lake.  Nature helps me stay ‘connected’ and gives me hope. It’s infinite design and perfection makes the wisest of us doubt our doubts in the Divine and awakens our child-like imaginations. 

I pray that the soothing music of “Solstice,” coupled with amazing footage from around the world, can inspire you, encourage you, and bring you peace on this special day.  

And may God bless this land of America.

There is no way to describe the devastation we have faced in 2020. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our world in unthinkable, heartbreaking ways and threatened every facet of our daily lives.

But this hasn’t stopped us. Just the opposite – humanity has stood up against this enemy and fought back. It’s forced us to adapt quickly, to find solutions, and to rely on one another in new ways. The virus has brought us great pain, but ultimately, I believe it’s made us stronger.

This video was made to honor the essential workers, military personnel, and volunteers on the front lines of the battle. You are our heroes. Thank you for your service.

The Healing is a project that has been on my heart for many years. It’s a collection of soothing instrumentals (culminating with a medley of two timeless spirituals) that I pray will bring you peace as you listen.

Interestingly, the title track was the final song added to the album. It developed organically over the first weekend that shelter-in-place mandates had begun in the United States (March 2020). I wasn’t looking to write something, but between Saturday morning and Sunday evening, the song was complete, and it was clear there was a divine timing and purpose. For something so poignant to arrive during a time of great pain, it felt natural to name the song and album after the healing we all needed.

Miracles come in many ways (including the Divine), but they happen most often through the love and care we give to each other. Whether it’s a smile, a kind word, or a shoulder to lean on, we need one another to make each other whole. Together, we are the healing.

Acknowledgements

My heart is full of thanks – starting with my wife Sheila, my daughter Brooke, and my son Joseph. You have helped bring this project to life and are my healing every day. I would also like to thank my piano teacher of 12 years, Mrs. Betty Stasson, who taught me “can’t” is a four letter word! To all my Covenant Church and Daystar family of worshippers, it’s been great fun and an honor to worship God with you. To Marcus & Joni Lamb, I’d like to give a special thanks for believing in the call on my life, allowing it to grow, and sharing it with the world. 

And finally, to my late father, Joseph Ninowski, Sr. — who survived both the Great Depression and being shot down during WWII — and my mother Linda — who escaped the Holocaust, was a mother of four, and survived my father’s early passing. You both taught me that nothing is ever above you or below you… to be humble, to get back up again, to make a difference. To be, in fact, The Healing. This project is for you both.