Kindred’s July Artist of the Month: Joe Antonelli – By Tim Ewing
Meet Joe Antonelli:
I always knew it was God who instilled in me the passion and desire to write and play music. I’ve been pursuing that passion since I was seven, the only problem was that I was doing it my way…not his. Only after scraping out at rock bottom many years later, did I seek the Lord’s will, plan and purpose for my life (Jeremiah 29:11).
I was beginning to doubt that there was a plan. The enemy had used many tactics to get me off course (Ephesians 6:12). The dissension in to the pit was a gradual one, once at the bottom I believed the lies of the enemy (John 8:44). Those lies kept me in a place where God had never intended for me to be. Toward the end of my ordeal I felt myself slipping farther away.
I prayed for God to intervene and there was no mistaking it when He did. I began to seek the help that I needed (Matthew 7:7). He opened many doors and closed others. Change is never easy, even if it is for the better. I always believed God had a much better life in store for me, I just never knew how to attain it. This is when I began to learn about trusting God and having more faith; He provided challenges that would grow my faith and allow me to know him better (Mathew 17:20).
This is when I began to understand just what Jesus’ death on the cross was all about. Having been raised a Catholic I always believed in God and Jesus but I never realized I could have a personal relationship with them and that God wasn’t “out to get me”, as I once heard George Costanza say on an episode of Seinfeld. To the contrary, He wanted me to succeed. He wants his children to do well just as any father would.
It was like a veil was lifted and I could clearly see how my sins have separated me from God and that there is nothing I could do in and of myself to remedy that (Romans 3:23). Things began to change dramatically after God etched that upon my heart. I know that through my faith in Christ I am not only saved but that Jesus also died to set me free from the bondage of the enemy’s lies (Ephesians 2:8). Many of those lies I have believed since childhood. They became a part of who I was.
Between the ages of 16-40 I kept writing songs and performing cover songs in bars or at private parties. Having reached the end of my emotional rope due to heavy addictions and strained relationships, I cried out to the Lord for help. I realized that I had been wasting my talent and my life. I told him I quit writing songs and playing music until He instructs me otherwise. Those were the years that the Lord grew me up in many ways. His blessings are endless (Deuteronomy 28:1-13).
I decided that I wanted to glorify him through the talent he had given me. I am now writing songs from my heart about the Lord (1 John 2:17); hoping to reach others who have been or may now be in the place from where the Lord saved me.
Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries.