My grade school and teen years were filled with clarinet (yes, really!), piano, choir and drama (now we’re getting somewhere!). But I never had the skill and confidence to do anything really well . . . except maybe pitch a baseball. Eventually I quit everything to pursue my dream of being a “pop star” on MTV. Ahh…
College was jazz choir, “garage bands” with guys from school, and dead-end meetings with record companies (I was told, “Your music doesn’t have enough sex and rebellion in it,”).
No mention of God yet – did you notice that? My family just didn’t know. Nobody had ever shared the gospel with us...
When my “MTV dream” died (with ‘90s grunge), I got a necktie and a real job. Several years of learning “about God” led to my actual surrender/repentance-and-faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord. Born again in 1997! (John 3:1-36)
Realizing that I should use my vocal talent to bless the One who gave it to me, I sang on vocal teams and big-church recordings for a while. In 1998, while performing at an orphanage in Kiev, Ukraine, I re-discovered my love for kids. So I left the adult worship “big stage” for Kids’ Ministry Music! (that sounds kinda backwards…)
In 1996 we started attending Mariners Church (a Southern California mega-church). We got more and more involved and eventually I ended up on staff as the Kids’ Worship Leader. During my time at Mariners , I concluded that there were not enough really good songs for elementary kids, so I started writing!
In 2003, I released my first solo CD, “You’re a V.I.P. to G-O-D,” and soon found myself touring all around the U.S.A. with my family. We’ve been doing concerts, VBS events, and having a blast representing Jesus ever since! (My wife Kathleen is the choreographer to all my songs and our kids Matt, Juli and Natalie often join us on stage singing and dancing.) God has also provided opportunities for me to write songs for Group Publishing, Uncharted Waters Sports Camps, and various churches and clubs worldwide.
In 2007, our (then 2½ year old) daughter Natalie was diagnosed with A.L.L. Leukemia. Nine months later (to the day), I was diagnosed with C.M.L. Leukemia. (My song “Hallelujah, Thank You” came out of that time.) Both Natalie and I are in remission from Leukemia today, and are grateful that God chose to heal both of us.
I’m excited to be back writing new songs and performing nationwide with my family by my side. My Leukemia scare really renewed my zeal to reach the next generation with the true gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone--the time is short! (Hebrews 10:24-25)