I was born in 1948, and have been involved in music since the age of eight. My experience spans several areas of interest: sound recording, musical arrangement, session work, record production, studio engineering and PA, all of use to the Kingdom of God today. I also have considerable 'live' playing experience, am born again, Spirit filled, water baptized, and God anointed to work with music.
Me and my daughters . Photos of me and my two daughters
Me aged 5
Me aged 40 (ish)
In the Beginning:
I was blessed to be born into a Christian household. Mum & Dad were both Pentecostal from their youth. Much of that time it was not easy to be Pentecostal. How religion has fought against the Holy Spirit through the ages, but praise God The Holy Spirit has won, and we now have general acceptance of His presence, and work in the church.
At an early age I was taken to Sunday school, I was a shy kid but I enjoyed it. I was musical from the age of eight, at least that's when I discovered I was, and so I began to play in Sunday school and church. I was very shy, but somehow managed to 'shake' my way through the choruses at the start of the meeting. I didn't play for the serious music of course, hymns were sacred in those days, and you didn't dare mess with them!
Our house was the hospitality house. So all the visiting speakers used to stay with us. This must have been miraculous, because there were 3 kids plus mum & dad, plus the speaker and his wife, all in a 3 bedroom terraced house. Any way, I have only fond memories of those times. In those days it was the practice to have 3 week crusades, not the long weekend stuff we have now, and of course I had to attend all the meetings. I don't remember this being a hardship (except for those wooden benches we had to sit on!) Boy, the preacher seemed to go on for ages, well, when you're only a kid, an hour or so seems a long time. It was during one of those crusades that God got me! I can remember fighting not to put my hand up many a time, I was shy you see, and if you put your hand up in those days, you 'had' to go down to the front. They didn't believe in wimps in those days like we do today. You were required to make a public confession of your faith by praying the sinners prayer out loud at the front! Eventually the pull of God was stronger than my fear and I slipped my hand up, yes, I went to the front to pray out loud. I was 12 when it happened, my mum & dad must have been delighted, bless 'em.
The Wilderness Years:
I was baptized in water at 13. What a hoot, my dad was in the tank with the pastor, and when he saw me coming up to the steps he shouted, "where's the soap?" Scousers are like that, I praise God that I too am a scouser and have that cheeky sense of humour that my dad has.
Being baptized was a definite statement of faith. For one thing I couldn't swim and was terrified of water, the other thing, I was shy and terrified of being in front of people. My hands were shaking, my jaw was shaking, but I managed to say, "Thank You Jesus for saving my soul." That was half the terror over, now came the water. In those days they didn't have heaters. Their idea of 'warming' the water was to boil the kettle (a few times) and pour it in! I tell you, that water was freezing. Dad and the pastor had these rubber suits on that came up the their under arms, so they were immune to this cold. But me, in my gym shorts and vest, was not prepared at all for the shock of being dunked in this liquid fridge. Talk about take your breath away! I breathed in so hard the back door slammed shut! Then it was over, and we had tea to warm us up. Praise God for tea, revelation our American cousins haven't had yet!
Shortly after my baptism it happened, I can remember it clearly. It was a thought, it just popped into my head, out of the blue. Well out of the darkness actually, but I didn't know it at the time. The thought excited me, it was wrong, it was dirty, it had a serious element of risk, but it excited me. Did I dare do it was the taunt, O how I wanted to do it! Yes you guessed it, I did it, and lots of times until I got caught, and suddenly there were floods of tears, Mum's not mine. I didn't see what all the fuss was about, it wasn't that big a deal what I was doing, so I thought. I had no idea how it could destroy lives, least of all mine! I stopped doing it. Mum and dad kept me in for ages which was a real pain as I was just starting to play the guitar with my friends and forming a group. This was in Liverpool when the shadows were the tops. The Beatalls were just round the corner, and from then on, Liverpool would never be the same again.
Eventually I was let out on trust, and started to play in the local workingmen's club. I was still 13 years old, and as you've rightly guessed, God was nowhere to be seen. The thought that I didn't take captive pulled me away from God. Well that's not strictly true, it pulled my heart away from God, but God was there all the time. "Great is thy faithfulness O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee." I had lost sight of Him, but He never let go of me.
From the age of 15 I was almost full time in pop music giging 4 or 5 nights a week. I left school at 15 with no qualifications that you would recognise. I did some shop work which I hated, and then landed a job in a piano shop, not selling them, but reconditioning the innards. I liked that job, it was all hand work, no thinking involved. You wouldn't believe what a dirty job it is reconditioning pianos. Imagine using sand paper on felt, and then French chalk which you brushed off! The glue was made from fish! I used to look a sight on the bus going home, covered from head to foot in chalk dust and felt dust, not to mention every other kind of muck that you find inside old pianos, and smelling of fish glue and carbon tetrachloride! In all I was away from God for 27 years. When it comes to backsliding, I was a professional.
The Fear of God:
It happened one day that Carol, my then girl friend got saved. She started going to church and house group. I don't know how many times I came home from work to find the house group notes lying round! Of course they were praying for me, everybody was praying for me, not least my Mum, who prayed faithfully for 27 years. One day Carol came home with a book by Hal Lindsay called, "The Late Great Planet Earth." She started to read sections of it out loud, and to be honest, I got hooked. In the end we would sit up late reading all about the end times and how things were going just as the book was saying.
Some short time after this I woke up from a dream that I can't remember. I was in a state of panic. Cold yet sweating. Absolute terror is how I describe it, I was 'terrified' in the real sense of the word. There was this very real sense of being lost, and not knowing which way to turn. I was lost. If Jesus had come back at that moment I would've been left behind. I was away from God and it terrified me. All I can remember now is turning over in bed and saying 'in my mind', "welcome back Lord." That was it, I didn't even say it out loud, or in a whisper, and yet He came back. I knew in that second that I was back with God, and everything was all right. I felt something like warm sticky goo flow over me. The shivering stopped and I rolled over and slept like a baby, with such peace that was as far opposite to the terror as I can imagine.
It was some time before Carol got wind of what had happened. One day I was in my music room playing, when I heard an inner voice say, "why don't you write one for Me?" I knew it was God, and simply said, "OK Lord." Within an hour I had a song written and a backing track recorded. I had written the words for the chorus, but not the verses. So I left the tape with my words for Carol asking her to write the words for the verses and went to work. When I arrived home from work she had done the job, and played me what she had written. All I could say was "perfect." This is how Carol knew that I had come home to Father. The words I had written were:
Living with Jesus every day
Knowing He'll take my sins away
Talking to Him has sown the seed
Taking care of my every need.
The first time we sang that song in public God spoke to me again. He showed me the reaction on peoples faces as the chorus 'hit' and said, "See, you're gonna' have a ministry in music." I knew then that I would be in full time ministry one day. The rest as they say, is history...
For Him & Him only, Colin.
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"True inspiration only comes from The Holy Spirit."