to boldly go!

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I’ll go in the strength of the Lord,
In paths he has marked for my feet;
I’ll follow the light of his word,
Nor shrink from the dangers I meet,
His presence my steps shall attend,
His fullness my wants shall supply;
On him, till my journey shall end,
My unwavering faith shall rely.

So remember in the last post when I said I would be back soon? See, I wasn’t kidding! I’m back! It’s been a minute (new slang term I’ve learned, meaning it’s been quite a while) since I’ve updated (told you, I’d start saying that at the beginning of each post) and I reckon it’s time for updating:

I successfully graduated from Asbury University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Here’s proof:

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My family and I after the graduation ceremony. We don’t take pictures together all that often, only on special occasions and significant milestones, so yeah that happened. It’s still bittersweet and won’t feel real until August 14th rolls around and I’m not in my first day of classes.

So, what am I doing now that I am fully gradu-ma-tated from Asbury? Well…

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…I have accepted a position as a Regional Music Director for the Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware Division. You heard right: I have moved away from the Central Territory and now reside in the Eastern Territory. In the 2016-17 season of the USA Central Territorial Youth Band, we played Peter Graham’s To Boldly Go and in a fitting manner, I boldly went!

It has been quite the adjustment period so far. I spent the majority of my time at the lovely (and huge!) Camp Ladore getting to know both my department (pictured above) and the young people in the division. Spoiler alert: THEY ARE GREAT! There is so much skill and so much potential in these young people. They are willing to learn, ready to worship the Lord, and really good at having fun. Some of the best times I had this summer was just hanging out with the youth and bonding over anime, children’s card games, etc. God definitely knows what He was doing when He sent me here. (He kinda always does.) Gavin Whitehouse (the Divisional Music Director, aka my boss) and I led the Chorus during Sr. Conservatory and I used Gungor’s Beautiful Things, Jim Curnow’s How Beautiful Upon the Mountains, and my own Anchored: complete with clapping, dancing, and choreography. It was such an encouraging summer, as a lot of the local officers and music leaders mentioned that they are excited to see what I will do in the Delaware Region. So, that’s pretty cool.

What music am I working on at the moment? There is a major work for the Western Territory Staff Band (B/M Neil Smith) coming soon in the pipelines and this piece is something I’ve been trying to do for a while. My devotional setting of In Thee O Lord is also still in progress. I am also undertaking writing a piano solo for a good friend of mine, Meghan Pierson (Deputy B/M of the Oakbrook Terrace Corps Band). Watch this space for more information on that!

If you are wondering how you can pray for me, I have one request: pray that I stay steadfast in my mission not only to help those I encounter grow musically, but more importantly spiritually. We naturally have an effect on those we encounter in this life, and I want to be a positive influence, pointing them towards Christ. In order to do that, I need to be focused on Him. There are times when that can be challenging, so I just ask that you pray that I keep my eyes on Him.

I leave you with text from one of the songs featured in Erik Leidzen’s At the Master’s Feet (ABJ #36):

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free:
Turn you eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

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