‘And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun’
-Pink Floyd “Time”
I woke up this morning to find a message in my inbox from a music biz friend. He was wishing me a happy work anniversary.
Since I had left my job back in Birmingham in 2005, I was a bit mystified. Upon closer examination (I read the email) I saw where it’s the tenth anniversary of the launch of Project Onefifty.
For those of you new to the program, P150 is the music missions non-profit ministry we began in Birmingham in 2004 after a tour of Italy and Switzerland.
Ten years gone. Hard to believe. But when I look in the mirror and see the streaks of grey in my hair…and the lines in my face, reality hits.
From the beginning Project Onefifty was to be the musical proclamation of Psalm 150:6, “let everything with breath praise The Lord.”
It is a story too long to tell how P150 migrated from Birmingham, Alabama to the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. There are many tales to tell indeed…
Ten years is a long time and a perfect time to look back. I can say that we never really became what I thought we were supposed to be. But instead we did apparently what God intended.
In ten years we played to folks all around the world. We partnered with other missions groups to sing the Good News in Ireland and Japan and Oman. We played coffee shops and churches and retreats and house concerts back home in the US.
We helped orphans in Africa learn that ‘Grace brings Good News,’ and contributed ‘Hope’ to disaster relief when the fury of storms ravaged the Gulf.
In the strangest turn, the song “I Will Trust in You” was published world-wide by LifeWay to teach kids about missions and how God is trustworthy.
Our music literally reaches around the world.
Please forgive me if it appears that I am boasting. I am not. I am just as shocked by all this as you, if not more so.
I am grateful to all the people who have supported this dream and helped make it a reality.
But ten years is a long time. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for everything.
It is time for changes for Project Onefifty. While there are still projects that can be achieved no other way than through P150, there are some places and projects that require a new vision and a new way.
I haven’t got a clue about what’s next.
All I know is that the times are a’changing, and things that live and grow change along with the times.
Change is not easy. It’s difficult and terrifying. But needed and necessary.
In the coming weeks and months, this new way will have made itself known and we will certainly shout from the rooftops when we figure it out.
I’ll end with a brief story. In the days before P150 I found myself in New Orleans with my church worship team. I was the tech director and we had come to the Baptist seminary to lead worship during their daily chapel services.
At that point in my life I had all but given up playing. Church tech work is a consuming fire and I was crispy on both sides.
During our off time, we made our way to Bourbon Street. Let me go on record that I LOVE N’awlins. It is a place rich in history and culture, and unlike any place on the planet.
I ducked into one of the many music joints when I heard the most terrifying sound. A guy was playing a blues so dangerous and electric…I could not help but fall under it’s spell.
On that day a fire long-dead burst into flames. I wanted to play again. I wanted to feel the fiery wash of sound from a too-loud amplifier. I wanted to coax tender notes from a steel-strung acoustic. I wanted the power and joy that is music to be front and center in my life.
The trip came and went and I reverted to the status quo of church music.
But I never forgot the blue fire of a guitarist in a nasty club on Bourbon Street.
Anointing is not exclusive to the house of God. I felt it wash over me in that club. And I’ve felt it a few times since.
God, send me the fire again. I want to be immolated in the sound of Holy Spirit blowing like the wind through hearts of cold stone like mine.
“Let everything with breath Praise The Lord”