Take the wonderful things in life – coffee + chocolate + charity + CD party – and blend them into a Saturday afternoon for my CD Release Party!
Come and join me at my CD Release in person and get a digital download copy of my CD ‘Hope On My Horizon’, along with free Coffee Supreme espresso and cold brew coffee, and free chocolate treats from Mrs Higgins while you help Mercy Ships NZ with a portion of the profits rocking the boat!
IN PERSON PARTY ACCESS TICKET: https://peterwoolston.yapsody.com/event/index/13477/hope-on-my-horizon-cd-release-party
You will get access to the CD Release Party at Edge Kingsland in Auckland (NZ) with free espresso, free Mrs Higgins chocolate treats, an “acoustic live cafe” performance from me and prize draws – plus you will also receive a digital download of the CD ‘Hope On My Horizon’!
ONLINE VIEWING TICKET: http://peterwoolston.com/party/
Watch online for free … sorry we can’t squeeze the coffee or chocolate down the wire so bring your own and celebrate with me!
I can’t say how many times I’ve felt alone and overwhelmed in my life but even more so in recent years. These quotes tell my story and journey of making my CD ‘Hope On My Horizon’ …
“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” Tom Stoppard
Having your best friends “assassinate” you blows your world apart. It crushes you. It carves up your confidence and tears you to shreds. It was only a number of years ago I was cornered by those close to me and thrown overboard into a tempest.
The frightening and sad part I found being pushed off the edge by those I loved and trusted was the horrid crashing and burning of those close friendships, along with leaving behind a community of awesome people I had done life with coupled with the overnight destruction of the music I was part of making – my ‘success’ was set on fire and I was left helpless to just stand there and watch it burn – I lost it all and had to simply start over.
I stepped into a sad painful ‘exit’ which was also an ‘entry’ to no obligations and no demands. It transported me to a space where I had too much time on my hands and left my choices wide open …
When my influence and opportunity and close friends were sadly stripped away I was left standing alone with God with only what I had left – my family and a few close friends and my faith in Him and the gifts He’d given me. Through my whole life I’ve known I needed to use my gifts more than I had as a songwriter but I’d always been too busy doing other things to dedicate myself to finishing my music and sharing it with people who needed a hope and a future … in the resounding solitary silence God whispered so clearly to me that now was the time to finally focus on taking the songwriting gifts He’d given me and put them to work for others.
“Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” St. Ignatius Loyola
My true confession though is I had spent most of my life waiting … waiting for God to “do something” … waiting for Him to move mountains and bring me the “opportunity” … it was like I expected Father Christmas God to smile and set me on His knee and give me what I had been telling Him I wanted with my fervent prayers and hands held out for a hand-me-down. Sure I was taking a few faltering steps forward but I hadn’t seriously put my money where my mouth was and taken real steps of faith towards what I was asking His help with. I had fooled myself into thinking that just because God had given me these gifts He would miraculously work out everything and all I had to do was lie on the shipwrecked beach getting a tan till He sent a heavenly cruise ship to pick me up loaded with everything my heart desired.
Sitting on my shipwrecked shore staring at an empty horizon I finally realised God had been waiting on me for a long time … waiting for me to take the gifts He had already given me and work with them even if I couldn’t see anything on the horizon. The verse I had mumbled since I was a teenager was suddenly crystal clear to me – “Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!” Luke 12:48 The Message Bible.
My life had been filled with my excuses about how I didn’t have the time or the money or the energy or the inspiration to make my music when quite simply I had chosen to waste away the years! Sure I had limitations but I could have chipped away a little at a time even with the beautiful cacophony of working a day job and raising a family and loving my wife. I had to face up to the facts that I had filled those days with excuses instead of action. No one but me was to blame for my dreams being unfulfilled, least of all God. In a sudden cathartic moment I admited it was my own fault that my music had been stagnant so many years. I was finally agreeing with the cold hard truth staring me in the face that my inaction was the real reason I had settled for a desert of dead dreams.
Facing up to this fact was most of the battle. The abandonment by my best friends and being thrown overboard into a sea of disappointment and emptiness that forced me to swim for dry land was a terrible time but it became a life-changing catalyst. It was awful. I was terrified. I got pushed under and my lungs filled with salty fear. I gasped to breathe and truly thought I’d never make it through this.
But when I crawled ashore with shattered dreams and was left alone without the bustling business I managed to get up, dust myself and my dreams off, and take the first steps I had spent years avoiding – I started towards making my CD ‘Hope On My Horizon’ …
This qoute glared at me every day I stayed with my son during a visit to where he lives in LA. Hanging on the back of his apartment door it goaded and taunted me, reminding me that just because I was now ‘on the right track’ I couldn’t stop or take a break or let the current just take me. I had to take these dreams … and make these dreams.
In some ways I had done all the hard work – between my ears. Now all that was left was just the gritty toil of writing, re-writing, recording, producing and marketing the CD. But throughout all of that work I’ve had more difficult doubting days than I dare admit. More than a few times I’ve given up on the inside to the fear and shadows shouting at me that I should pack up my dreams and forget all this nonsense of making music that could give people hope and courage … but God in His patience would quietly whisper to me that …
God never lost confidence in me.
You, my fans and supporters, never flagged in your faith in me as a songwriter who’s music makes a difference.
The mountain I had to conquer was inside of me – my fears of failing and what others thought of me was waiting for me when I floundered ashore on the beach that day.
My fears had dictated to me that sure I could dream about making a record but I should be a grown-up and just knuckle down to the hum drum of my lot in life and live out the rest of my days with those songs still on the inside of me.
Faith changed that.
My CD ‘Hope On My Horizon’ releases on July 1 2015.
Fear is not equal to faith.
These quotes helped me fight through fear and maybe, just maybe, these tacky quotes can help you live a better life too.
NOTE: I’ll get behind you turning your ‘dreams’ into ‘done’ by giving you a copy of a song from my CD at no charge. Just click here to grab your copy!
“I was waiting to die. I could not do anything. Every day, I was just waiting to die.”
The tumor caused unrelenting discomfort, “hot like fire”, said Sambany. “I cannot sleep at night, and even during the day it heated me up. When walking, it’s too heavy, I have to hold it.”
It was an emotional burden too. Sambany’s family and friends rejected him, mocked him, laughed at him, and shunned him. Some thought his condition was contagious hurling harsh words at him, “Why are you still alive? No one can help!”
Sambany had become so weak his home was now his prison and his life a deadening cycle of waking, eating, sleeping. He was useless to his family, watching them labour in rice fields while he wasted away, their poverty trapping them – if they dared to spend the little money they had trying to find help for Sambany they would have no money for food.
Sambany’s only escape was listening to the radio where one day an announcement sparked a flicker of hope: a hospital ship that would treat tumors for free was coming to Madagascar. Weak but with a newborn hope Sambany told his family, “Die or survive, I want to go!”
This was a desperate journey, a foolhardy struggle to survive. Sambany lived several days away from the nearest road and the Mercy Ship was hundreds of kilometers away… Sambany struggled to even walk around his house – how could he dare to dream of making the trip or even survive?
In our desparation hope gives us determination and those who truly love us do more than just smile or speak soft words, they rally with us behind the weak wish fanning it into dogged determination. Selling a rice field to pay for the trip they gathered what little they had and hoisted Sambany on the their back and set off. For two days they walked, six people taking turns to carry Sambany on their backs before they could even reach transport. Then Sambany sufferred a painful taxi ride for six hours…and arrived at M/V Africa Mercy.
Sambany’s monstrous burden weighing 7.46 kg (16.45 lbs) – the equivalent to two heads – would be extremely high-risk for Sambany and the medical team, for almost two weeks wrestled with the danger and course of action.
After a lifetime of hearing, “No, no, no,” Sambany heard the words “yes” from the Africa Mercy. Well aware of the risks Sambany said, “I know without surgery I will die. I know I might die in surgery, but I already feel dead inside from the way I’m treated,”.
12 hours in theatre with over twice Sambany’s volume of blood lost and replaced, Mercy Ships crew literally poured life into Sambany with blood from seventeen people from six nations.
Soon enough Sambany was free from the burden that had weighed him down for nearly two-thirds of his life. He held a mirror up to look at himself for the first time and reached out to touch the tumour that was gone, “I am free from my disease. I’ve got a new face. I am saved!”
Together, Mercy Ships and Sambany had fought for his life, and by the grace of God, they had won.
It’s my privilege to serve Sambany and all the other patients and crew of Mercy Ships as a Musical Ambassador and together you and I can use music with a mission to rock the boat!
I had my leg in the air lying on the couch the day after my knee surgery. I admit it I was there because of my own stupidity … after singing in EMCs The Voice in Boston I slipped on ice. Piling into my inbox were “get well soon” messages so in between painkillers I was reflecting on what I could do for them to show my gratitude for their the support and encouragement.
Staring back at me was an email invitation for a national TV shoot singing songs off my CD. Too excited to read it properly (… c’mon I’ve just had surgery and at the best of times “details focused” is not how you’d describe this rock musicianary singer songwriter) I didn’t think twice hitting reply and was frantically forming vaguely intelligible sentences when I spotted the date … the shoot was 4 days away!
My gung-ho grin was over run by panic-filled pandamonium. DEFCON1 started blaring followed by the surgeon’s icy face floating in front of me “blah blah blah elevation for 2 days blah blah blah no exercise for 4 weeks blah blah blah …” DEFCON2 crushed my eyes closed with mad fears of letting my fans down after they’d been there for me. DEFCON3 slammed my pain-addled peace … would I miss this chance and never be considered again if I turned Shine TV down? DEFCON4’s straight-jacket insanity swelled around me … how in all the world could I be ready in 4 days! I didn’t have any tracks from the recording sessions ready. …
A deer frozen in headlights I was stunned as this opportunity growled towards me like a F60 pickup truck when an email “bling” snapped the silence – it was a fan telling me how much my music meant to them. The shrill sirens faded and the quiet calm confidence that comes from knowing True North rolled over me … there’s nothing quite like doing what you know God made you to do to hold back the insanity screaming at you “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!” .
I clicked over to the comment made by the fan on my blog and found even more supporters spurring me on. I realised I would never feel ready – there would always be obstacles to making music that gives people strength and courage so I did what any crazy musician would do and asked the station for a 2 week delay while immediately contacting the record Mixing Engineer asking for a mix without my lead vocal track …
Reason suddenly joined in the jaberring conversation logically reminding me I could be a flop at the shoot and disappoint Shine TV and my fans. I could injure myself performing so close to my surgery when my surgeon had expressly told me no exercise for 4 weeks.
When I think about it now I realise I was an idiot. What was I thinking! If I was going to do a TV shoot I should make sure I had a band to appear with me, be fully rehearsed, be fit and strong, fully pumped to give my best shot for the station and for all my supporters …
Instead I was committing to a national TV appearance straight after knee surgery without a band or even any instruments, singing karaoke through painkillers while trying to look like a polished performer straddling a stool in case I fell over … I knew I wouldn’t be able to give my best performance and may in fact lose the plot with my fuzzy brain while blowing out my knee jumping around rocking out within a week of surgery when my surgeon had given me express instructions to rest and not exercise for a month! Enthusiasm and pursuing your calling are an unstable partner to a busted up body …
The TV station emailed me straight back telling me the crew was only available for a limited window and they could delay only 3 days. It would mean a TV shoot 7 days after knee surgery but I was willing to run the risk … God created a whole bunch in that time so with whispered prayers and a smidge of crazy courage I confirmed the date.
5 days later I was in the studio with the amazing Shine TV crew and it went …. GREAT!
Sure I had to sit on a stool for some of the shoot (I keep telling myself it was to achieve that casual-singer-songwriter-cafe-performer look when it was just covering for the fact I needed to sit down) while I dialed down my enthusiasm. And as you’d expect I did hurt my knee by rocking out a little too much but not enough to stop me from seizing the opportunity for my fans and for Shine too – the crew loved it and the station got what they wanted.
I drove away satisfied that I’d supported Shine TV and given my best for my fans … with a little help from some painkillers too :p
After all this is bigger than just me – what’s the point of making my music if I’m not doing it for others, for you, to bring you hope and healing. Most things in my life have not panned out how I expected they would. Life seems to offer challenges and opportunities in unexpected ways and takes me off my beaten track. After lots of unexpected adventures I’ve learned to recognise this as it seems to be the way with me. I can confidently say that life, and singing on TV, never works out the way you planned!
Share and comment below …
Listen to what others are saying about Peter Woolston!
“5 out of 5 Stars”
Heath Andrews, Music Critic
“kicking rock … grand confident vocals … layered guitars
… similar timbre to Switchfoot”
Kelly O’Neil (Foreigner, Kevin Max, Jaci Velasquez, CCM & CrossWalk magazines)
“… drawing comparisons to artists like Jon Foreman, Bono and Martin Smith”
Scoop Independent News