Maybe it’s because I’m a musician
That I love music so.
When I think of some key moments in my life I seem to be drawn to musical themes. The first record I bought was Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and I still have that record today, complete with scratches and tracks that jump (you probably need to be over 30 to know what that means).
Although I’m not a Londoner, the lyrics of this old music hall tune resonate with me, not as a Londoner but as a musician with the lyrics changed to “Maybe it’s because I’m a musician”:
“Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
that I love London so”
~ Hubert Gregg
So many memories seem to be associated with music for me, and I suppose that’s not a surprise since it’s been a large part of my life from an early age. I remember listening to my mom practising her violin and wanting to start learning to play for myself.
I remember distinctly how I was mesmerised by Harry Belafonte as he sang the main part in Carmen Jones, a version of Bizet’s Carmen put into a second world war setting. I can visualise where I was sitting, and being totally enthralled by his passion as he sang a song entitled “Dis Flower” about how he missed his beloved Carmen. (It was actually Harry lip-synching to LaVerne Hutcherson, but I didn’t know that until years later!)
Other musicals that have left their mark on how I remember the past include: A star is born (featuring Barbara Streisand), The Witness (by Jimmy & Carol Owens) and The Jazz Singer (featuring Neil Diamond).
The Witness was released as a narrated musical drama around Easter time. It is a story told from the perspective of a young fisherman called Peter about his friend, a guy named Jesus. I saw it as a local production in a theatre near where I live and it left a profound impression on me.
I guess it brought together the stories I had heard about this guy called Jesus, and it presented that all from the viewpoint of an eye-witness, someone that had spent several years in his company. It turns out that there is more evidence to support and corroborate the stories about what Jesus did and said than there is about any other figure from that time including people like Julius Caesar and that most of the New Testament was actually written in the lifetime of many eyewitnesses.
For me, the story had a particular trail that I found quite compelling. This is found in John’s gospel, and in chapter 10 Jesus has a debate with the Jewish leaders and makes the claim, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
“I and the Father are one”
This was a pretty clear statement, and it led me to consider the claim over several weeks, and it was in my mind as I listened to the music unfold. Being of a fairly logical, analytical nature, it seemed to me that this statement was either true or untrue, and Jesus either believed it or was lying. If he believed it and it was untrue he was some sort of lunatic. If he didn’t believe it and it was untrue he was simply a liar. If he didn’t believe it even if it was actually true he would have had no reason to say it.
The fourth alternative is that he believed it and it was actually true. So, having made that statement, he was either a lunatic, or a liar, or he was actually the Christ, the Messiah that had been foretold and that he now claimed to be. I came to faith that day, on Saturday 13th November at around 9 pm.
“Lunatic, Liar, or Lord“
~ CS Lewis
Since then I have been involved in a local faith community we call Church, and fairly active in that community in one way or another in terms of contributing to the music by playing the violin, acoustic guitar or electric bass, leading regular small group coaching sessions, and in terms of leadership in some way. My current involvement includes playing electric bass regularly in my local Church, leading and attending several small groups, and most notably as part of the leadership team of an international group of volunteers we call Church Online.
Church Online is a ministry from a church called Life Church based in Edmond, Oklahoma, and is an extension of their weekly services held at 29 campuses in 9 US states. It is streamed online reaching over 250,000 people every week. Together with the Church Online Host Team pastor and another leader based in Australia we lead and coach a team of some 400+ volunteers in around 50 countries who support over 80 online services every week.
Last year some 10 million people visited Church Online, and of those, some 18,000 responded to the message with a personal commitment to put their faith and trust in this guy called Jesus. This week we are celebrating a key milestone in Jesus’ life and ministry and we call it Easter. You can find the life.church easter promo here: https://www.life.church/easter/ and you can join us online at any one of our 80+ services this week and every week here: https://live.life.church/.
You don’t need to have all the answers. You don’t need to be perfect. You just need an internet connection.
If you choose to join us at one of these services I would love to talk about that with you and to hear any feedback you may have about the experience and any ideas you may have to help us to make this an even more enjoyable and meaningful experience.
Have a great Easter 🙂
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.