WHERE THE ROAD DIVIDES
At the crossroads of depression and faith, WHERE THE ROAD DIVIDES captures a moment in time, along the journey of life, when I had to muster the TRUST, HOPE, STRENGTH, and COURAGE to push ahead—one day at a time.
When I had no words to pray, these songs filled the silence.
These songs encapsulated my struggles.
This album is a testament of a time when God's "promises were in the process of becoming"—that is, yet to be fulfilled. Never give up hope.
Depression is real, but it can be conquered.
I stand as proof.
I thank you for allowing me to share this part of my soul with you. I pray God's hand of healing is upon you as you listen.
With abundant love and grace in Him,
To All The World
One evening during Easter week of my senior year in college, I walked out of my weekly group meeting. I was so depressed. I needed some fresh air. I felt I was suffocating. Lonely, looking for a place to hide, I wandered into a classroom in the humanities building now emptied after evening classes. There, I spent some time praying. I tried to make sense of why I was still hurting so much even though I pray and pray. Nothing ever seems to change. But after a while, I was encouraged. I was reminded of Jesus and how there must be suffering before new birth. It just so happened that a piano was in the room. So I sat down, whipped out my little blue pocket Bible that I kept with me and turned to a few verses in Psalm 19. Out came this cry of a song.
It was really exciting becoming a new Christian! I felt energize to know that I had purpose in this world. To young idealistic Ian, the thought of doing good together in the world with an army of other people who had also committed their lives to SHARING LOVE was not only a privilege but a force of nature. I was ready to see the world transformed. My faith was fresh. It was new. I felt alive!
All I Hear
Rise and Win
My first song, Rise and Win, was written during the summer of 1990 and finished that December. During Christmas vacation, I had borrowed a friend's Ensoniq synthesizer/sequencer and composed the background music for it. Awesome fun! It took me a whole month, sitting there 'til the wee-hours of the morning in my freezing Midwest basement! I remember being so excited about this one because it was my first completed song with both music and lyrics. It was written soon after I was "born again". This song captures my early zealousness and idealism of a Christian newborn.
My God and Lord
One lonely summer evening at home, I was growing more and more depressed and wallowing in self-pity as I focused on how little things had changed. I had to decide. Was I going to continue sulking and feeling sorry for myself, or just do something else.
I turned off the TV, and sat myself down in front of the piano and prayed. In the stillness, my decision to “Set my mind on things above and not on earthly things” (Col 3:2) brought about this prayer in song.
This is probably my favorite. It really comes from my heart. It’s my soul’s declaration of my love for God, a God-given passion that will never be taken away from me without a fight. I chose to guard jealously my relationship with Jesus. I tried my best to keep the fire of the Spirit burning, hoping never to quench Him. I may fail at times. But, often, this song has been a reminder to me, God is ever present. Maranatha! Come, hurry, Jesus, come! Oh, how wonderful the day will be when we are with Him in Glory!
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”—Romans 12:1
This is a love song. A wedding song, to be specific. It was written specifically for my best friend and her boyfriend during our sophomore year in college. They were high school sweethearts, and yes, they eventually married and now have a beautiful family. She sings the female part in this duet.
Unfortunately, I never got to sing it for them when they tied the knot. However, I did get to sing it at two other weddings. One for our mutual friends who were also high school sweethearts, and one more time, in Tokyo Japan, some years later for a good friend. What an honor.
God Already There
There are many who have non-Christian parents, in whose homes, religion tends to be a very touchy subject, if not, an area of great conflict and division. This can be emotionally difficult for those facing seemingly divided loyalties. God Already There is a song that I wrote for my best friend after listening to her fears about the conflict between her parents and her faith in Jesus. I wrote it to encourage her that she's not alone.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...” —Romans 1:16