Who Is Brian?
My story starts back on a cold and wintry morning in December as the wind was blowing and most people on the street that day were bundled up as they were hurriedly trying to complete their Christmas shopping (to my knowledge I don’t recall any of those facts, but I can imagine what my mom was seeing as she travelled to the hospital–nervously anticipating the arrival of her first child: Brian Steven Philbeck).
WHAT NAME DID YOU SAY? That’s right, you heard it correct, that was the name given at my birth. However, after a few years, my biological dad said, “I want out. I don’t want to pay child support, I don’t want him to visit anymore, I don’t want to have anything to do with him.” It could have been a sad time in a young guy’s life–experiencing true reject for the first time in his life (not the kind of rejection of being picked last in kickball, but we are talking about the kind of rejection that is felt when that ball is kicked as hard as it can be kicked and it unintentionally hits you in the dude region)–that is the kind of rejection I was feeling.
*CUE THE SUPERHERO MUSIC*
Into my life walks my earthly superhero…the man who marries my mom…the man who takes us to church…the man who teaches the Bible at said church…and the man who adopts me! His name is Dennis and because of his decision to adopt me, it afforded me the decision to change my name (what 8 year old gets to do that). I did think of that name change for a while (The HULK….yeah that would be cool to be called the HULK…G.I. JOE…nope, too much war for me…OPTIMUS PRIME…totally not believable, and I am a fairly little guy–no one would believe me). So what did I decide? Dennis Brian Roberts (“Dennis” to honor the guy that adopted me, “Brian” because that is what everyone already called me, and “Roberts” because I am now a part of a family). This earthly adoption has become an illustration of my entire life because one day it would be something I would cherish as I got the privilege to experience TRUE, EVERLASTING ADOPTION.
MY EVERLASTING ADOPTION
As I mentioned, my family was active in the church, and my dad taught the Bible every single week (sometimes 2-3 times a week). However, what I didn’t tell you was who he was teaching–he was teaching the students of the church (hormone crazed, emotionally unstable, and often times pretentious teenagers) of whom I was becoming one of them. In fact, I thought I was probably one of the smartest among them because I generally knew all of the answers–and many times I could find those answers in the Bible and I even dared to talk knowledgeable about scripture–why wouldn’t I, my dad was the student pastor…I had to know the answers. Yet, I came to realize that I didn’t know what was most important–a relationship with the almighty risen Savior of the world, Jesus. That is why on June 18, 1990 as the wind was blowing ( I do remember the wind that evening-it was warm and slightly humid) and I was gathered with 200-300 other students in the mountains of North Carolina at a camp called The Wilds. That particular evening, an evangelist by the name of Tom Farrell said this line in his sermon, “If you haven’t done this, you need to do it now, N-O-W, like you mom says it when she’s mad at you, now.” At that moment the Holy Spirit moved over me and said, “Brian, you have the answers, you have the knowledge, but I want you to know me. You can never do anything to earn this. I want to give it to you. Will you receive it tonight?” OF COURSE I WILL!! So right there with the wind blowing, the humidity causing me to sweat, and in the back of a gym, I fell to my knees–repented of sins, and believed in my heart the Jesus was indeed Lord. I made a commitment to be a Christ-follower that evening. THAT was the day of my TRUE, EVERLASTING, ADOPTION–and I realized my earthly adoption was only a glimpse of what real adoption feels like.
I’d like to say it has been perfect, but then I would be lying…because I am still a sinner, only now I am redeemed and saved by grace (though Faith Alone in Christ Alone). However, God has allowed me to have many blessings in life: my beautiful bride who just celebrated 15 years with me, my two amazing and healthy children ( I never knew how blessed we are with healthy children until I meet some people who have sick kids), and 10+ years of serving the local church, primarily leading them in worship…trying to teach them that worship is not a gather, it is a lifestyle lived out daily in spirit and truth. God has been good to us as a family and we love those special moments together (no, not the “special” moments where my son shoots a NERF dart and hits my daughter in the face, and she retaliates by throwing a book at him hitting him in the stomach, and then he retaliates with a blood-curdling scream accompanied by the decapitation of a Barbie doll). I am talking about those moments where we give to live out Deuteronomy 6 in the home though singing, and praying, and reading scripture, and encouraging each other–a moment where I baptized each one of my kids–a moment when my son in his inquisitive way asks, “Dad, when you get to Heaven do you think you can dunk a basketball?” those are the moments we are blessed with—and praise God, He gives me wisdom beyond my imagination in all of these circumstances.
THE JOB–or NOT A JOB
My current vocation is leading worship for the local church each week. It is a job, and sometimes it feels like a job, but most of the time it is one of the most humbling, yet rewarding things I get to do–lead others in giving glory to the Lord God, Almighty! I love the times of rehearsal, because it is where i get to do life with these people–an opportunity to disciple–it is not always about the music, sometimes it is about marriage, or addictions, or struggles, or depression. That is where the ministry takes place–that is why we call it Worship Ministry or Music Ministry. It becomes more than music, more than a gathering, more than brief moments together in a service. It becomes about a lifestyle that is lived out in spirit and truth with every opportunity presented.It is offering all that I know of me to all that I know of Him. It reveals the inner heart and the recognized value that we place upon God in our lives. Worship is more than just something we do. It is an attitude that we carry with us day by day, an attitude of genuine praise to God. It is only fueled by corporate worship, the times we gather together.
A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES(worship/testimony videos/sermon illustrations/bumper video)
This Is Amazing Grace:
Great Are You Lord:
Sermon Illustration I Filmed, Edited, and Produced For a Series Entitled, “Perspectives”
TV Commercial I Filmed, Edited, and Produced For 13 week run on local television stations
Baptism Testimonial Video I filmed, and Edited for Use On “Baptism Sunday”
SERMON BUMPER VIDEO
Sermon Bumper Video I Created For a Series Entitled, “Famous Last Words”
Worship Choir Recording of “Ring The Bells” from our 2017 Christmas CD entitled Emmanuel (recorded at Nashville’s Sound Kitchen Studio)