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Mission Through Music with Howard Gripp (Ep 59)
Episode 5918th April 2024 • My Ministry Mission • Jason McConnell
00:00:00 00:44:49

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Don't miss this passionate interview with up coming Christian musician Howard Gripp as we talk about his mission through music.

Guest's Links:

References to Bible Verses:

Isaiah 12:2; Philippians 4:6

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Cover Image & Music from Pixabay

Mentioned in this episode:

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Jason: Welcome back and thank you for listening. My name is Jason and I am your host. I'm very excited for this episode because I have the honor of hosting a musician for the first time. Howard Grip is an upcoming Christian artist. As of this podcast, he's released two songs, both are available on Spotify.

Howard doesn't just make music though. He is pouring his transformation, his experience, and his dedication to Christ into every musical note. His music is his mission, and it serves as a message of hope to tell others, Hey, you're not alone. Check out his website, That's Be sure to. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. All of his links will be found in the show notes, including his Spotify page and Apple music page. Keep your eyes on this guy. God is moving him towards something really amazing.

Jason: So Howard, thank you so much for setting aside some time to come on my humble podcast and talk about your music and your mission.

Howard: Yeah, I appreciate, appreciate you having me on, very excited.

Jason: That's great.

So in the guest interest form, you shared that Isaiah 12:2 is your favorite Bible verse, which reads, "Behold, God is my savior. I will trust and will not be afraid for the Lord is my strength and my song. And he has become my salvation." I mean, what a fitting verse for a musician for one, but would you mind telling us how this passage speaks to you?

Howard: Well, it kind of encompasses everything I think I'm doing right now. Yeah, it definitely is a musician passage. I've done quite the transformation from my rock and roll days to the last couple of years really delving into the Christian music side of things. And that verse definitely guides me .

Jason: Great. So I packed what I could into the intro, but I don't like to give away too much and we will get into the nitty gritty, but at a high level. Would you mind telling us, like, who is Howard? Who's Howard Gripp?

Howard: Well, I'm I'm an old guy with a young heart. So, I've been in music forever. I mean, I started playing when I was six and, and I'm not six anymore. I play an acoustic duo too, I do secular music too. I'm trying to stop doing that. I really want to pour everything into the Christian side of things. And, you know, God's been telling me, Hey, you're going to do something different with the music and it's going to be for me and it's going to be powerful and you're going to help people.

And so I've really been trying to focus more on that and stand to that group. I've played drum since I was six, my mom was in the church. She played the great big pipe organ and she sang in choir and she worked in where I was at church all the time. Her side is very musical. One of my sisters could sing pretty well. And then I have an older brother that he also got me really started on the drums. He's a drummer. He's a great jazz drummer. And he and I kind of took on the musical role of the family, I guess. And I just, I've just been playing music all my life. It's just, I tried to stop for a while. Yeah. Just couldn't do it. I mean, it's in my bones.

Jason: That's great. So I will let you know that I shared your music, your songs with some people in my circle. And the feedback was overwhelmingly good. One person said it was a nice way to start the morning. I had somebody tell me that when I pray has a powerful storyline. And another person said, it's rather soothing. So bottom line is your music's a hit with the people I know, at least. So I thought, how great is

Howard: them. I like all of them. Yeah, that's great.

Jason: So you mentioned it a little bit. I want to kind of go back and talk about your musical history, if that's okay. You mentioned you weren't always a Christian musician. In fact, this is a fairly new season of your life, right?

Howard: Yeah. Yeah. Last couple of years. Yep. Well, last year, really,

Jason: That's awesome.

Howard: I mean, if you want to go way back, like I said, I started playing drums at six, my brother Bob gave me my first. mismatch of a drum set. My parents were kind enough to let me put it in the basement and pound on it all the time.

I'm sure I drove them insane, but they let me do it. And that's kind of how it started. And, you know, I didn't do sports or anything in school. It was music, a hundred percent. I was in every kind of music you could think of, you know, jazz band, concert band, marching band, you know, drum corps, all of that stuff.

It was, it was, Just instilled in me. And then I don't know, about 16, I found a couple of the guys and they wanted to play and we rented a little hall. And that was my first gig live. My first, my first gig ever playing drums in front of people other than school was at church. We did Godspell in our church and I played drums.

So that was my first taste when I was a young teenager. So then, you know, 16, 17, I started playing bars back then I had to get my parent's permission and. Was in a rock, I was in a lot of rock bands but started my own rock band. And my parents would come out all the time and watch me and my brother actually played with me for about a year when I cut a CD back in the late nineties and I wanted to promote that.

And I was playing drums at the time and I kind of wanted to move out front so I could promote the CD more. So my brother came and played drums with me for about a year. That was, that was pretty special. I always wanted that to happen. It was cool that it could. So I quit playing drums. I kind of moved out, started playing keys a little bit and then moved out front, started singing and playing guitar and did that for a lot of years.

I ended up getting a record contract out of that out of L. A. Didn't do a whole lot. I mean, I got, I got some pretty good exposure in Europe, but. You know, back then all I wanted to be was like Van Halen or somebody big, you know, want to be a big star, big rock star on stage and tour and yada, yada, yada.

But I got married and I had I had three boys. So that kind of hampered what I was trying to do with my music and, you know, family or music, family or music. And I tried to do both and I did that for a while. And I got to, when I was 35 years old, I said, if I haven't made it by now, then I got to give it up because.

Everybody tells you, you're a rock and roll guy, you're 35, you're done, you're too old to do this anymore. So I actually quit everything. I quit playing altogether. I mean, I had all my instruments at home and I'd, I'd tinker around every now and then. It's just kept coming and kept coming and I don't know, about five years, I stopped and we moved and I found another band to join and play with them for a while.

And I think we did that for a couple of years and that kind of dissolved, but the girl in the band wanted to do some acoustic stuff and I thought, well, I've never done that before. That sounds cool. Let's try that. So I started an acoustic duo with her and we did that for, I don't know, three, four, three, four years maybe.

And then we kind of decided to go our separate ways and I joined up with another guy. I did some solo stuff. I like playing better with people, at least in that atmosphere. I like playing with duos as opposed to by myself. I did do some solo stuff, but I'd rather play with somebody. So I hooked up with another guy and we've been playing for forever. About two and a half years now out. He does it full time. You know, I'm, I'm, I got a divorce and I got remarried. So I still have a, I have a 16 year old stepdaughter right now too. So family is obviously most important, but we play a lot. And then about, I don't know, a year and a half ago, I went to Life Fest up in Oshkosh here, and I saw Ben Fuller.

I had went a year before to Life Fest, it's a big Christian concert up here. It's a whole weekend festival, Christian artists, just phenomenal. And a lot of praise and worship and, and testimony. And

Jason: That sounds pretty amazing.

Howard: yes, it's, it's unbelievable. It's three days. We take, I take vacation. We stay up there in hotels. We really enjoy all of it.

And two years ago, I kind of got done. I'm going to do something. I'm going to do something. Maybe the God's telling me to do something. I'm going to do something. And then, then life kind of happened and nothing ever happened with it. And then we went back again last year. And I don't know what it was, I saw Ben Fuller, and he's just super humble, and his words are really powerful, and you know, every song was thank God, and you know, it wasn't, it wasn't look at me, it was we are here to worship God, and he really moved me.

And when I got done, I told my wife, I said, I'm doing something with this this time, God's telling me to do something now. I woke up that Saturday morning, and I wrote He Rescued Me in the hotel, that was my first Christian song. And then when, when I pray, I went through some, you know, I think we'll talk about that later, but that was a personal song that came out a little bit later.

And I really never even planned on recording that song. That was kind of for me and to kind of. It was kind of a lament for me to heal from the things that I'd gone through with one of my kids. And but my wife and my stepdaughter kept saying, no, you got to record that, record that one.

Jason: Well, I'm glad you did because that's one of the ones I've got the most compliments on. In fact, if I don't finish this without you telling us the story behind it, I, they're going to string me up. So we will get into that, but

Howard: I'll try not to cry. So I went to Nashville and I hired a company and hired some musicians and they record it. And I went down there and I laid all the vocals down and got done. And I just started promoting it on my own. I took a Christian songwriting course through John Chisholm Nashville Christian Songwriters out of Nashville.

It was about an eight week course, I think, to kind of, because I had never written Christian songs. Heck, I hadn't even listened to them until two years ago, right? I went to that first LifeFest. I didn't know any of the artists. I might have known two songs. But I was blown away, you know, so about two years ago, right after that, right before that I had joined our worship team at church, never done that before.

So we have like a week to practice the songs. And on Thursday we practice on Sunday, we're performing. I was terrified for like a month because I mean, I was working, listening to the songs on the way to work, listen to them on the way home. I'd practice two, three hours a night. Cause I just didn't know any of them.

So, you know, you give me a rock song and in 30 seconds, I'll have it, but this stuff was so different and it moved me when I practiced it, it almost became part of me as opposed to, okay, you want me to play something by, I don't know, Van Halen. Okay, let's just go play it. All right. Okay. Play it. Hey, we're done. That was cool. No. And now you're telling me, you know, we're going to go play something by Mercy Me or, or Phil Wickham. And all of a sudden it's, wow, listen to these words, you know, listen, listen to what they're saying. Listen to what they're telling you, you know, and so it was a whole different atmosphere for me. But now I've been playing it long enough. Now all the Christian music is just like, comes to me just like the other music does, but even

Jason: That's great.

Howard: in the songs that we've played for, I just got, I actually just got done with practice this morning for a church tomorrow for Easter. And it's like I'm, I'm doing graves in the gardens and we've probably played that, 50 times in the last two years.

I don't know. It's been a lot and it still moves me. It's still, when we play it, it still gives me chills. And so Christian music is very powerful. I mean, because it has a meaning, you know, so I did that. Got a lot of support from my life group on recording the music. And I went down and recorded that and I thought, well, that's going to be it.

I'm going to do these two songs and maybe next year I'll, I'll do an EP, which is, you know, five songs and I'll just, I'll call it a day. And I was just going to do it. You know, those songs weren't very expensive. I didn't spend a lot on those two songs. And I met John Chisholm when I was down at Nashville, cause that's where he's out of.

And he started talking about this artistry development program and he really liked the, when I pray and he said, you know, you got something here, you know, and I said, I said, look how old I am, I'm too old for this. And he said, no, you're not, you're never too old, you know, and God's been telling You're not too old for this.

I want you to do this. So I joined his artistry program and he's building a brand new studio. I'm going to be the first artist that records in his studio, which is super cool and, and spend a little bit more money on this. So these are going to be a lot higher quality than the first two were. And I think they're even more powerful than the first two I wrote, just because I've, I've been able to hone my skill a little bit and I'm tapping into more life experiences and That's kind of been my journey through all of this.

Jason: Yeah, that's great. It's funny cause you mentioned, you mentioned something that kind of spurned a memory for me. How therapeutic, how, how different it is for you. And I'll let you know let the listeners know. I play a little guitar and when I say a little, I mean, I can strum a few chords and it doesn't sound totally awful, but, but it's fun to pick it up and do what I can.

And when I do try to play, I say try, because I don't know that I'm always successful, but when I do try to play, I play. Christian music. But it's, there's something about holding an instrument, making sound and trying to form that into something, something rhythmic and, and something tolerable in my case.

So, I mean, it's neat that you, you kind of delved into that because it sounds like this is not only, you playing music, this is you connecting with the instrument, with the music, with God and pulling that all together into, into something that God's going to sit out there and, and, and share with us all.

Howard: No, that's exactly right.

Jason: I think that's pretty neat. Shifting gears just a little bit. It's funny cause I prepare for these episodes and I have like a list of ideas or questions and things to ask. And you, you kind of touched on all of the music history ones. So we'll just move on. Did you grow up in a Christian household? It sounds like you did what was that like for you?

Howard: Yep, there's five siblings, I know all of us went to church, but I really only remember me going to church because I was the youngest, and my mom had me in church all the time. She worked there, she played there I went to Bible camps, I went to, I did all the Sunday schools, we went a lot on Wednesdays, we did a lot of buffets and things for, for the church, and I mean, it seemed like I was at church a lot. When I was a kid my dad did not go to church. He was he was one of those people that goes on Easter and Christmas.

Jason: Oh yeah. We call them CEOs. Christian Easter

Howard: That's, that's exactly right. Yeah. So he didn't go that much. But I went with my mom every Sunday. I mean, I can remember that it was an Episcopalian church.

It's a beautiful church, big stained glass windows, the big Brock, you know, the red rock. And it's just a great church. And, you know, I did God's spell there and all of that. So, yeah, my mom really. I mean, she brought me up right. I'm not going to say my dad didn't because he just didn't go to church. So if we're talking about Christianity that was, my mom took me through all that, you know, and then turned 17 or 18. I want to be a big rock star and kind of went a different direction. That's kind of how that

Jason: it. Yeah. So you look at then and now, you grew up in, it sounds like a faith environment, you kind of went off in a different direction and I didn't grow up in a Christian household. I grew up in a very secular household. They weren't against. God, they just didn't, we didn't talk about it. So I mean, I came to Christianity much later in life, like three, four years ago, we're talking.

Howard: Welcome.

Jason: Thank you. But it fascinates me to look at then and now for people who have grown up in the faith. Maybe, you go off on your own, you, you find yourself back, how has God's grace changed from then and now? How has God's grace changed your life? Through all of that.

Howard: I'm a totally different person than I used to be. I mean, I'm not going to say I walked away from faith because I did not. I mean, I would still pray every now and then, you know, and a lot of it came when things were bad, right? I mean, that's kind of how some of that go. Things are going bad. Oh, I better pray, you know, pray for help or, or whatever I needed at that time. I never walked away from faith. I just, I relied more on me than I did on God. And I paid for it. I mean, my journey from when I stepped out to try to be a big rock star to 15 years ago when I really got saved there was a whole lot in between and it was a lot of it wasn't very good. I mean, I was a very different person.

And, now I listen to God. I trust God. I've gone through some really tough times. in the last year going through some tough stuff right now, but I have faith in God and my strength in God is stronger than it's ever been. And I don't know if I could make it through some of the stuff that I'm going through right now without him.

It's just the surrender and the faith, that I have that whatever I'm going through, there's a reason I may never know what that reason is. I know we'll get through it. There's always, there's always an end somewhere. I think when I was in church with my mom all the time, I believed in Jesus. I was a good Christian.

I mean, I had strong faith but until I really went through it and really went through the depths of what I went through. And then when I really asked Jesus into my heart, it was totally different. It was totally different. He saved my life.

Jason: Absolutely. I totally get it. You know, we've, I think we've all got stories and, and you don't want to pit one against the other for sure, but, but everybody seems to reach that point where it's like, I have very little or nothing left and that's when. Jesus reaches out and picks us up. If you let him, if you let him, you have to let him do

Howard: Yeah. You let him. Yep. Yeah. You gotta let him.

Jason: We find music and song throughout the Bible. Music is a big part of our praise and worship. You know, there's celebration of deliverance in the song of Moses after crossing the Red Sea, Exodus 15 in Judges 5, we have the song of Deborah, which is a praise to victory over enemies.

Psalms are filled with, singing to the Lord and hymns of praise. And we even see music used in, in 1 Samuel 16, where it's used to keep Saul's evil spirits at bay. So it has this wide range of impacts on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And I, I believe that music is a form of ministry that brings us closer to the Lord in a way that the spoken ministry just, just can't, and I wanted to get your thoughts on the impact of music in ministry,

Howard: Yeah, I think I think music is the most powerful form of, I don't know if you want to say speech or connection that we have. I mean, everybody can communicate and everybody can connect to music, everybody. You know, it's. And you know, I agree. I, though the worship music is, it's powerful. It's meant to move you.

And it does. I mean, I played on the worship team on stage and have struggled even singing some of those songs because I get so emotional when I'm up there. It's just, it's so powerful. You know, if you, if you really listen to the words of songs and you really open your heart, I mean, you're going to learn a lot about God.

You're going to learn a lot about the Bible. You're going to learn a lot about yourself, you know, I think sermons are great. And the sermon we had last night at Good Friday was excellent. The music was excellent. And when you combine the two, there's nothing more powerful.

Jason: That's great. So let's get on to the songs when I pray. I think that's, that's so far as a fan favorite for everyone. And maybe that's because it comes from this raw emotion,

So before we talk about the song, I want to play a snippet of the song, and then we can circle back and listen to the story of it. So here we go.

Jason: it is truly a powerful song. It reminded me of how helpless we feel when tragedy or something happens to people that we love.

And we, we just have no ability to do anything. And I was just curious, is that the message is that on par to, to the source of the song?

Howard: Yeah, right on the money. So I have three boys, and my son and I have talked about this and he's okay with me talking about it. He wasn't a year ago back when it first came out, he was pretty mad at me. I kind of felt attacked, but. We'll get into that a little bit later here, but he has fought addiction for 15 years it's got a hold of him. Like, you know, it's a disease And everybody looks just quit doing it just you you can just stop doing it. Well, it's it's a disease It's got a hold of you I think you know satan's in there trying to take you over and and ruin you and It's really got a hold of him and we've had a lot of episodes with him but I got a call on a Sunday at six in the morning.

I mean, the song is exactly what happened. I got a call at six from my ex wife saying that my son was in the hospital a hundred percent kidney failure. They didn't think he was going to make it through the night and I was eight hours away. So I had to, I had to compose myself. I'm trying to do now and drive all the way home.

I, I cried for eight hours in a car all the way home. Got to the hospital and it was bad. It was, it was terrifying. I mean, it was, it was terrifying. You know, your, your child's laying in ICU in a bed and un, un responsive. And the doctors are saying, this, this is bad. It's, this doesn't look good, you know?

And that's exactly what you said, Jason. It's just, you get to the point where I can't help him. I can't fix him. I can't take this away. God, this is all, all in your hands, you know, all we do is pray, prayed and prayed and prayed and cried. And, you know, we sat by his bed and unbelievably came out of it.

Jason: Wow.

Howard: He came out of it and his faith is not very strong. I mean, I took them to church when they were younger and they know who Jesus is, he was in recovery and I was talking to him and I said, you know, God, has you here for a reason? Cause you should be dead. You shouldn't be here anymore.

I mean, all I did the whole time you were in there was pray. And he answered the prayers is it's a miracle that you're sitting here. So you have to figure out, you know, what you're going to do with your life because God's given you, we're going to call it a third chance. We've gone through it a couple of times, but you know, and so that's what that song is about.

I mean, he. Battles addiction. It's really got a hold of him. I'd like to tell you that he's all great now and, and well he's turned a corner and that was the last episode he had to deal with, but it's not he struggled again. He struggled, I don't know, three months ago. I think it got really bad.

I hadn't talked to him for almost a year. He quit talking to me cause I kept talking about faith and religion and he didn't want to hear it. We really got into it one night about religion and he was saying he was possessed and he was happy with it and he wanted to be possessed and the devil was his friend and yada, yada, yada.

He was just mad. And then I sent him, He Rescued Me, which is the second song. And I didn't hear from him like 10 minutes later, a phone rings. We'd been texting most of the time. My phone rings, he goes, Dad, I want to go into rehab.

Jason: That's amazing.

Howard: I said, okay. Let's get you into rehab. And we hadn't talked for a year, you know, and we got him into rehab that night and he texted me I think about a week ago. He said this is gonna be tough for me here said I listened to when I pray I listen to every single word he said and I'm not mad at you I didn't I didn't realize what I did to you guys and he he said It's not your fault because in there I say, I think that I'm to blame, right?

He says it's it's not your fault. It's my fault. And and I'm gonna be better I've I've accepted Jesus into my life and I'm gonna be better and he's been praying every day and we've been talking, you know, two three times a week And so now I think I think maybe he is getting better I feel that he's found faith and I'm hoping that I can help him grow in that area and You know, he's still got a long ways to go, but I feel, I feel good about it.

But really in all intense purposes, he never should have made it out of that hospital room. Never. So that's what that song's about.

Jason: Thank you for sharing that. I know that wasn't, that wasn't easy. And, and, I do appreciate that. It's a tough story, but it's a, Hopeful story. We're not, obviously not out of the woods. We're never done until we're done. God says we're done. So we will struggle.

We'll fight. We'll battle our own demons. As long as we're here and, it's good that he's, he's at a point where he can enlist Christ to, to fight alongside him. The song reminded me of. Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God."

Paul is basically saying we can pray about whatever we want and our requests in our lives, God will choose whether or not to fulfill them. And if he doesn't, you know, there's at least comfort in knowing that he hears our prayers, but if he does, it's going to be, it's going to be a miracle. And and I'm glad that it went that direction for you guys.

Howard: Yeah, me too.

Jason: And then that kind of leads into the next song. He rescued me.

So let's do this again. I'll play a snippet of the song and then we'll circle back and talk about it. So here we go. Here's the next song, He Rescued Me.

One of the things I was curious about is, where do you get your inspiration or how do you synthesize your experience? And you're explaining very well that these are, this is your life that you're, you're putting into music.

And I think that's what makes it so powerful is that God is transforming your experience into, into a message for other people. But, but that song, he rescued me seems to speak of, this transformation, God's rescue. And I think anybody who has never been Christian and then joined the church or who's strayed away and then come back, I think anybody in that position can appreciate and relate to that song.

You know, I'm curious, am I on the right track there?

Howard: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's, that's basically my salvation song. I tried to be the big rock star, right? I went on the road for him. I had kids while I did it. I was married while I did it. And I lived the life. I mean, the alcohol and drugs and, and women and, and everything wrong you could do. I did it.

I mean, that was, I was not a good person. I was, I was not a good husband. I was not a good father. And. I was battling depression and it was a super dark, the darkest period of my life was when all of that was going on. And, you know, one day I just decided I had an affair, ruined my marriage. I mean, I woke up one Sunday morning and I said, I'm done.

I'm, I'm, you know, just like you said, you wake up and I just, I was done. It was a Sunday morning. I got in my truck. I didn't say anything to anybody. I left the house, I drove and my plan was to end my life somehow. And somehow I was going to this church off and on for a while. Somehow I ended up in the parking lot and service was going on.

So I thought, all right, well, I guess, I should go get right with God before I go take care of business. Right. So I go into the church and it was pretty cool. There's probably three, 400 people in there. And I remember going in and I went to the right, the back of the, the pews And I just bawled, bawled, bawled. It just felt like the whole world just crashed on me. And I had said the prayer of salvation before. But, I don't know if I ever actually asked Jesus to come into my heart and into my life. I, I repented my sins and I asked him to, you know, but this was different and I just fell on my knees and I begged for forgiveness for everything that I had just I begged that.

That he would take care of my then wife and my kids, because again, I was planning on walking out of that church and being gone, and something happened, man, it was like, no one talked to me in the church, it was so weird, because I was bawling, you know, it just felt like somebody put their arms around me and said, not today, you know, you're going to be okay, and that's really when I feel I got saved, that's really when I asked Jesus to come into my life, and come into my heart.

And it really gets the Holy Spirit in me. And I walked out of that church and I drove home and my marriage eventually ended. And that caused some problems with my kids, but you know, it was just all the things that I had done wrong. It just, it, it, I destroyed our marriage and I take that.

Responsibility for what I did. So we got divorced and then I started looking for someone else that was in faith. I wanted to find somebody that was, because my ex wife, I think she believes in Jesus, but I wasn't sure. And that kind of all fell apart. And I went after, got saved. I totally changed all that old stuff went away.

And I turned my back on all of that stuff. And when I was looking for another partner, I wanted to find somebody that was strong in their Christian faith. And I met my now wife, Michelle, and she got me to go back to church. And, you know, the first couple of times it was like, I don't know if I should be in here.

You know, am I going to, am I going to catch on fire? That was kind of our date night. We'd go to church on Saturday night. And then we got married. And then a couple years ago, we moved up here to Rapids. And we said, you know, I've never been a member of a church. I want to be a member of a church.

I want to find a church that we can call home, that we can get involved with. Because I've never done that before. And I feel like God's telling me to do that. So we come across free church here in Rapids. Came members, I don't know, a couple months in. It was pretty quick. And then I talked to the worship leader and I had to try out for the worship team and I made that.

She is now teaching Sunday school and she has a passion for human trafficking. So she's doing some ministry on that. We joined a life group and I just, I have a great bunch of people that I can lean on and, and, and really that's everything stemmed from that day. I got baptized. I got baptized when I was a baby.

Cause that's what you did, right? I mean, all of us got baptized when we were infants, like, I watched a baptism, so I know what happened to me, but I didn't. You know, so October of 23, I got baptized again with my stepdaughter, which is super cool. And my sister asked me, what are you doing that for? Didn't we all get baptized when we were babies?

I said, well, yeah, we all did. I said, but now I know what it means, and I want to do this for me. So that's been the transformation, and that was really what that song was about, was that day and that church, and going from not being here anymore to recording my first two Christian songs.

Jason: Wow. I don't know how to explain this to people, there is. The things that we do that bring us pleasure of the flesh, as they put it. And there's things that we can do to bring, spiritual pleasure. And I don't know how to explain the difference between those, you do things that feel good in body, feel good in flesh, whether it's smoking a cigarette, drinking a beer, going out and sleeping with people, whatever.

But there's this unfulfilled. Pleasure left behind and you just, you need to do it more, but if you, shift over to, to, putting your faith in God, putting your faith in Christ, accepting them into your life and then accepting those spiritual pleasures, you never run out of energy. You never run, the tank never runs dry.

You never go searching for more of whatever. And I don't know how to explain that to people, but but again, thank you for, for sharing that. A couple of questions, again, I want to be respectful of your time. How long does it usually take you to write a song once you, you feel that inspiration and you start picking up a pen and paper?

Howard: He rescued me, took me, well, I wrote the song, Half asleep when I woke up that Saturday morning, I was half asleep and it was something just rolling in my head and I opened my eyes and I just started scribbling. Oh, that's cool. That's cool. That's cool. That song came pretty fast. I'm going to say that I probably wrote that song in an hour.

Jason: Wow.

Howard: Now I've written other songs that have taken me months.

Jason: Oh, so it's just depends.

Howard: yeah, it all depends on what it is. I mean, so I have five songs on this EP I've got coming up. I had the five songs all picked out. And my buddy Ryan from church came over and he helped me set up my pro tools. And I had this, I had this thing rolling around in my head and I thought, Oh, I got pro tools.

Now I can do my drums and bass and everything together. And it's a nice quick track. And so he was over here for about four hours and my wife was out of town. So I thought, well, I'm going to, I'm going to dink around with this song a little bit. And I spent the next eight hours writing that song, which kicked another song off the EP and put this one on it.

So that was about eight hours on that one. So most of the time it. I can write them pretty fast, but then to go back and there's a lot of tweaking and rewriting and, you know, I might have three different variations of it, so I got to decide where I want to land and So, front to finish, you know, it could take anywhere from a couple hours to six months.

Jason: Fair enough. So can you tell us a little bit of, you know, no spoilers, of course, but what are you working on? What should we be looking forward to in the months or weeks to come?

Howard: I've been going through a lot the last few months, and that song that I wrote that night is called Father Help Me, and that is really a lament song, and it stems a lot off of when I pray, I guess, because, It basically talks about just surrendering everything to God in the hardest times of your life. And sometimes all you can do is cry and, and all you can do is ask the Father for help.

And so let's call Father help me. The title track of that EP is going to be rescued, redeemed, forgiven. It's kind of a salvation theme. So there's a, there's one called slip and fall on there and that. tells people that, you know, it's not okay to go out and do really bad stuff, right? But we're all human.

We all still sin. We all still fall down, you know, and it's talking about slipping and falling in your faith, but getting right back up. And God is always there to, if you ask for forgiveness and repent, to be your rock for your wallet when you go through it. So I think that's another powerful one that is on that.


Jason: You know, and I, I imagine every, every we'll say at least Christian artist intends to send a message with every song. But I really think that you encapsulate that and I just want to make sure I said that for you and for the, for listeners to hear, it's like what I said before, your songs, the two that I've listened to, and I, and I have no doubt the ones that are coming, we'll, we'll follow this pattern, but it really speaks to.

I've been there. I know what you're going through. You're not alone and God is with you as well. I want to thank you for that.

Howard: mean, my whole goal is to, to write music that can help people get through tough situations. And also give them, faith that that God's there and God will, will help you. You know, I'm not, if I was 20, I'd probably want to be that big rock star again. I don't know, maybe not, but my goal now is not to write songs to be big and famous.

It's not why I write music anymore. It's why I used to write music. It's not why I write music right now. My goal is to save one person's life. That's my goal.

Jason: Yep. And that's probably why it's so great. I want to wrap this up, thank you for, for sharing. I know a lot of this was, was difficult, put a kind of an interesting spin on things and you probably know this, but if you hadn't gone through the events of your life that led you to where you are, you wouldn't have, you The resources and the experience to write the songs that you're writing.

And your son, I have no doubts. Your son has, has a purpose in this world, but a part of his whole ordeal was probably also a gift to you from God.

Howard: Yeah,

Jason: So, there, there's a lot of good things that come from, from bad situations, if you're willing to take a moment and trust, but before I wrap this up, do you have any final words, any last message for the people listening?

Howard: You know, like I said, I'm not a young whippersnapper anymore. but I know, God's telling me to do something with my music after all of these years in my life. And he's, he's not telling me I'm too old. So if you have a passion for something, especially if it's for God and he's telling you to do something, do it, just take the chance and do it.

And, you know, he, he's opened a lot of doors for me. And he's closed doors for me, and I've learned to stay away from those doors, I've learned to walk through the other doors. If he tells me to do something, I just go do it. I just,

Jason: you go.

Howard: you're never too old.

Jason: Definitely. Yeah. Abraham and Sarah, just

Howard: There you go.

Jason: All right. Well, thank you for listening. I hope this episode was valuable, helpful on your faith journey. Remember to check out Howard's music. I've put links in the show notes to his website. Again, that's Howard grip music, G R I P P. As well as social media and where you can listen to Spotify and Apple music. I'm going to throw on the show notes as well.

So next week, Laura and I will do another unveiling revelation episode. So, you know, come back for that. Take a moment to follow me on your favorite podcast app, shameless self promotion, of course, check out the links in the show notes, find my social media, send me some feedback, sign up for podcast updates, or do all of it.

Click all the links in the show notes. You won't be sorry because Howard stuff is in there. So definitely spread the message to help him get his music out there. If you like what you're hearing, you can support the show at Give me a tip. Always appreciated shop at my affiliates or just share it with other people.

And again, get the word out, share this episode, share Howard's music. So until next time, be sure to read your Bibles, love your neighbors, and may God bless you and keep you. God bless everyone. And God bless you, Howard. Thank you.

Howard: Amen. Thanks Jason. I appreciate it.



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