When I was old enough to talk, my parents taught me to pray...and they taught me to pray in the name of Jesus. From my earliest memories, Jesus has always been a very precious part of my life...but I came to a time in my life when I said, "LORD, I don't want You to be 'part of my life' anymore. I want you to 'BE MY LIFE' (Colossians 3:4). It was at that point, at the end of my college years, that God did a powerful work in my heart and my life changed...and I dedicated my "everything" to the LORD.
Growing up in a German-American Lutheran culture, I thought the whole world was Lutheran. My parents met through a little Lutheran church just around the corner from my house...as did my grandparents...and my great grandparents...also my great, great grandparents...and my great, great, great grandparents...as did my great, great, great, great grandparents met and married here in the very same Luthern community back in 1821 when we used to worship down by the creek in a little log church building. All of our neighbors on the country road where I grew up (as well as all of my cousins) in rural Ohio, were Lutheran. I enjoy studying the history of worship in our family lines. My family were the founders of both the Lutheran and the Moravian Church...in colonial America.
Ordained through the Evangelical Church Alliance in 1996, my background includes years of Bible studies with gifted local, national, and international Bible teachers...participation in countless prayer ministries...years of prison ministry...church ministries...international missions, outreaches along with pilgrimages to Israel where I've enjoyed leading worship several times for Vision For Israel at their annual Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
My journey toward the Song of Solomon started over 30 years ago when our pastor led a Bible study...which included a deeper look into the Tabernacle of Moses, David's Tabernacle, and Solomon's Temple.
As a Christian concert artist, preacher, teacher, and worship leader, the pattern that I found in the tabernacle became "instructional" for me...and I learned to lead others to the LORD (through prayer and song) by first entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise...coming to the cross, proclaiming the gospel at the altar of sacrifice...going to the laver, washing in the word...and entering the Holy Place of worship and intercession.
Growing up deeply rooted in a liturgical church structure (where guitars were used mostly at youth camp and for youth outings), developing a music ministry outside the Lutheran Church culture was like learning a new "language" for the ministry of the golden lampstand, the bread of His presence at the table of showbread, and the ministry of prayer and intercession at the alter of incense. I wanted to learn more about the ministry of the "Holy of Holies" where we find the arch of the covenant and the mercy seat with the two cherubim, "The place where God's glory dwells." I became fascinated with Davidic worship and the music ministry genre called "praise and worship."
In January of 2000, missionary friends in Hong Kong invited me to come and perform on a national TV program being produced by Wuhan, China, where we were permitted to sing Christian songs for China's New Year celebration. While on that trip to Asia, I extended my tour to visit a missionary friend in Bangkok, Thailand to help him with a few church plants. It was during those weeks in Thailand that my friend went on and on about the Song of Solomon...which was intriguing to me. But the LORD got my attention when my friend say, "The Song of Songs is likened to the Holy of Holies."
These were the words that stayed with me...and which compelled me to press into the Song of Solomon. It took me a little while...a couple of years actually...before I realized how deeply I was being called into the book...and it took another five years on top of that before I realized I was being called to grow an 8 chapter/8 album/80 song/verse by verse, song devotional and Bible study for the Song of Solomon called, Song of All Songs.
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. - Revelations 19:10b
My calling into the Song of Songs was born out of a desire to seek God's heart...and to lead others to seek Him too. The first point of "deep personal ministry" in my own life was in SOS/Chapter 5 where we learn how God uses persecution in our lives to help us know Him more deeply...in the fellowship of His sufferings.
The key verse for all 8 chapters of this amazing book is Song of Solomon 4:7 which says, "You are absolutely beautiful, My love and there is not a spot in you." Here in this verse, we see (through Christ) how God looks at us...as holy and beautiful...as the bride of Christ...without sin...without a spot or blemish.
The Song of Solomon is like a brilliant, perfectly cut jewel with many facets, proclaiming God's deep love and beautiful plan for me personally...for you personally...and for the peoples and nations of the earth through His amazing and unfailing love for (and irrevocable covenants with) the people and the land of Israel.
There are no two renditions (nor two translations or interpretations) of the Song of Solomon alike...just as there are no two personal relationships with the one true God that are alike. When you are in Christ, you have an exclusive, personal relationship with GOD...both personally and as a unique member of the body of Christ. There's no one like the LORD, there's no one like you...and there's no one like the LORD and you.
The Song of Songs is all about an intimate and personal relationship with the Word of God, knowing who you are in Christ...and bearing spiritual fruit that lasts forever...to the glory of GOD the Father.
My hope and prayer is that you will find the amazing poetic wisdom of God's heart in the Song of Solomon to daily draw you closer to the LORD...and that you will also find a fresh new vision of God's deep love for Israel...and for the nations of the earth and the islands of the sea.
Your brother in Yeshua,