When a person has the possibility of becoming famous people might say, "I knew him when..."
I knew him when he was but a few hours old.
I knew him when he was learning to walk, read, spell and add.
I knew him when he did not know how to even play the guitar.
Who did I know when? My brother, Ben!
Ben has matured so much the last year. He is an amazing guitarist. He has a beautiful voice. And he has a deep seeded passion for Jesus Christ. He has also taken steps to pursue his desire to make Jesus famous through music.
Ben has no desire to pursue music for the end goal of fame. He does not want to be rich or popular. He loves music. He loves Jesus. And the two go together very well.
Last October he began his journey by becoming the Lead Worshipper (he likes this instead of Worship Leader or Music Minister) at Canyon Ridge Baptist Church. I have had the honor of traveling with him to Fort Collins (an hour and a half away) to help with the church plant. I have watched him grow, mature and develop in his musical and leadership skills.
He has also been strengthening and training his voice through personalized vocal lessons with a well respected man in the music industry.
In March he went to a singer/ songwriter competition in New Jersey. He competed in both songwriting and vocal contests, where he was judged by his voice coach, others such as Ginny Owens and top record producers. Of the 100 competitors he won third place.
Since returning home from New Jersey his voice coach has told Ben that he has improved by 90%. And I agree. There is a deeper, more smooth sound to Ben's singning. In just three months he has developed to the point where he probably would have won. Maybe next year.
In June Ben had the opportunity to lead 1,500 people at the Colorado Home Educators of Colorado Conference. It was the largest crowd, so far, that he has guided in worship. He looked so comfortable, so natural and so free.
Since Ben works at the Lifeway Christian Store he was asked to be staff for a conference in Estes Park this week. You might have heard of it; It is called Music in the Rockies. There are workshops and conferences but the main attraction is the competitions. The top producers, songwriters and vocal coaches in the nation gather to encourage the musical hopefuls. Some people that have been "discovered" at Music in the Rockies are Point of Grace, Rachel Lampa and Chris Tomlin.
So, since Ben is working with Lifeway at the conference, he has a pass to all the concerts and workshops. He will get a glimpse into the real competition and judge how he rates, in his mind, although he will not be competing this year. He will know what to do and what not to do next year.
Yesterday at Music in the Rockies he met with his vocal coach (Dr. Scott) and some people from the conference in New Jersey. They are hoping to start a similar competion in Colorado as in New Jersey. Since he is Dr. Scott's pet he was included in the planning meeting.
Sunday night my mom and I went to Estes Park for the Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Louie Giglio night. As silly as it sounds, when I watched Chris Tomlin I saw my own brother, Ben. Tomlin talked about the first time he was in Estes Park as a musical hopeful. He challenged the people to not seek fame but to seek Jesus.
I cannot wait to see what God has planned for Ben's life. I am honored to be his sister and to watch first hand his journey. Hey, maybe one day he will be on stage in front of large crowds. That is definately not the goal... but it is fun to think about.
And I can say,"I knew him when...."