A testimony is not just one event in your life that defines or answers all—it is a continuous journey with uncertain terrains, challenges and obstacles. These trials build us, making us stronger and leading us in a path of faith.
I grew up in a beautiful Christian home. Loving and supporting parents and an extended family surrounded me. I had a strong identity and knew where I came from and had good people to lead me where to go. An experience not many have. I was blessed.
My folks introduced to me countless musical artists across all different styles. Rock‘n’Roll, Funk, Soul, Blues, R&B and Gospel. Our house was full of music. My father was musically inclined and a masterful pianist and keyboardist. My mother, well, she was more the visionary!
My brother Shawn (vocalist of Manic Drive) and I were taken to our first Christian rock concert in the basement of a church near Toronto, Canada at the ages of 7 and 8. The group was called The Daniel Band, a popular Canadian Christian rock act of the 80s. They blew our minds! I believe it was at that moment we decided that we were going to grow our hair long, wear ripped jeans and pursue the world of rock’n’ roll.
We were passionate about two things—our faith and our music. We weren’t even 10 years of age and we were listening to so many artists flowing out of the CCM market: DC Talk, Stryper, Audio Adrenaline, Petra, Newsboys, P.O.D, Skillet—the list is basically a bottomless pit, so I’ll stop there. These men and women were are heroes and our inspiration to perform music. Our testimony in starting a Christian group was simply because we loved it. But as I say, this is only a step in the journey of a testimony.
As we grew up, we soon found out the world was shrouded with pain, anger, abuse and war. As young kids, it kinda shocked us how this world can be incredibly harmful. I’m sure anyone reading this is aware of the horrors people face day to day. And in short we, as people of faith, are called to face such darkness. I’m not sure how brave most people are but, I’ll admit, it scared me that I could possibly face such challenges. But sure enough, my brother and I did.
just because you wave a banner of faith doesn’t entitle you to an easy life
I believe it is almost inevitable that we all will face some level of trauma in our lives. We will experience death, loss, pain, sorrow, illness, struggle and sadness. It’s nearly inescapable—so what are we to do when faced with the monsters of life? Well, for my brother and me, we believe that we can engage with life through faith so that good always find a way to overcome the beasts and giants that roam and war against us.
I understand how clichéd that may come across—perhaps like something out of a medieval fantasy novel, but it’s important to believe it. To lose hope and faith is to lose the battle that is constantly raging.
I know this to be true because I began falling into that trap. For a time I became bitter, selfish, careless and doubtful, especially with myself. It’s eerie how we can see the small transformations in a person’s character when they slowly allow themselves to sink. I had reached a crossroads regarding what kind of man I was going to be. It’s nearly embarrassing that I hesitated for a moment.
Two things came across my mind when considering the two paths before me. First, I recalled my childhood and how full of happiness and faith I had been. The things I treasured as a child greatly changed as I grew into an adult. I suppose that’s where the quote ‘faith like a child’ comes into play. It was a pretty powerful thought.
Secondly and most importantly, it was the teachings of Christ and the inspiration from His words and the actions of good men that immediately changed my perspective. I forgot about the little treasures in life, and was more concerned about coveting success. Yes, I made the top 10 of things Not To Do. One of the very few Top 10s I’ve made in life.
When I had released this way of living, it was such a huge burden off my back. Furthermore, I was challenged to be a better man.
When Shawn and I were in the studio this past year working on our new release, Into the Wild, we wanted to be completely honest and transparent with our music and message. Just because you wave a banner of faith doesn’t entitle you to an easy life. It’s not meant to get easier. We are called to brave the wild world that is set before us. And to know that we are not alone.
Listen to the Into the Wild and the interview below.