Dusty Wallace

Central Ohio Media Professional  - Owner/Artist at WallaceCreative.net

A Letter To My Daughter

My wife and I recently shared an amazing experience together... Doing a special ultrasound to determine the gender of our baby. You know... The fancy ones that you pay extra for (3D, etc.). To our delight, a daughter named Cadence has come into our lives, due in July.  

About 2 days after the ultrasound and the big announcement, a friend of mine called and asked me how it went. After I did my best to describe that experience, she said "That's beautiful. You need to write that down so you don't forget... And share it with her on her birthday when she's 3, and 5, and 9..."  

So here I am... Writing it down for her to hear, and to read someday. I share it like this now to remind all of you to tell your kids (or any of your loved ones) that you love them. Hopefully, those of you who do have kids will allow this to spark memories of the first time you "met" them. 

 Beloved Cadence,

I remember the day I found out that you were going to change the lives of your mom and I. 

We planned a special day for your grandparents to come with us to a special doctor. This doctor had a machine that let us see you when you were so little... And that's when we knew we would have you, and love you forever.  

They took pictures, and videos, and they had your mommy lay down and roll all over the place so we could see you move and turn and wave your arms and legs.  

Now, Cadence... I hope I'm better about this now, but I used to daydream a lot. I would sometimes think so hard that I wouldn't pay good attention to what was going on around me. Your mom is always really good at refocusing me, and on February 8th, 2015... I found out that you are too. 

When I first saw you on that screen I was 100% focused on you and your mom. Time stood still... In a good way. I couldn't stop thinking about you, right there in front of me. What a beautiful gift you are!

From that moment on I was so eager to  get to hold you, and take care of you. Mom and I looked at those pictures of you every single day. 

Cadence, you changed my life. You are special. You are loved. Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Jesus loves you. None of that will ever, ever change.  




When I Grow Up

When I was in the fifth grade, we had a writing project where we were to list short-term and long-term goals for ourselves. It was, essentially, a more academic version of a "When I Grow Up" story. We were encouraged to be realistic... whatever that means for a room full of 10 & 11 year olds.

One of my long-term goals was to be a musician for a living. I don't know specifically how I phrased it. I don't know if I said I wanted to be a singer... or a famous performer... or a one-man-band complete with kazoo and knee-cymbals, but I know that I wanted to be a musician for a living... and I wrote that. When I received my paper back with my teacher's grade... I got that one "wrong" for not being realistic.

Now, please know I'm not slamming my teacher. As a 10/11 year old... I was hurt. I was frustrated. I questioned my skill, my value, my passion for music. I wondered about (and became very insecure about) what my teacher thought of me. However, reflecting on it, I doubt she meant any antagonism toward me. If anything, my teacher probably assumed she was doing me a favor. Putting my head on straight. Helping me not end up disappointed.

Worship/music ministry isn't all just playing music. There is far more to it. But if I really look at my job(s)... I play or sing pretty much everyday as part of my work responsibilities.  I musically lead a couple hundred worship services a year. I teach private music lessons. I gig. I arrange music... and so on. Now, as a 5th grader, did I imagine being a "musician" for a living would look like this for me? Heavens no. God's calling on my life was still being groomed in me (... still is). So maybe that's what we should tell kids...

You can do or be anything you want... it just may not look like what you have in mind right now.

Why "The Plugged In Church"?

A couple years ago... I had a couple of acquaintances. Fellow artists. Fellow technicians. Fellow brothers in Jesus invite me in to something really... really... cool. (Insert 'not-so' cliff-hanger here).

I've been active in the production of church worship services since I was a kid, being taken under the wing of staff members and laymen of my childhood church. I began playing for and singing-in worship settings at the same time. I played and lead in worship bands all through high school. I got really active in it around 2007. Took my first ministry job the same year. Took on lead worship director responsibilities in 2010. Pursued a vocational worship pastor role the same year. Was offered a staff position at a great church in 2012 (where I still serve). Sprinkled in there I worked music retail. Taught private lessons. Tech directed productions. Even taught vocal music in an elementary & middle school... and never once did I ever feel that worship magazines, gear catalogues, or conferences were pointed at me.

Why? Because I don't serve in churches with thousands upon thousands of members.

It seemed like so many publications were pointed at my mega-church brothers and sisters. Companies seemed to subliminally say "buy this $20,000 audio console, and your attendance will double." And... disclaimer... I'm sure that's not the case... but it felt like it.

So... when Eric Frisch & Josh Howey dropped me a line to be a guest on their podcast called "The Plugged In Church" in my first year on-staff at my current church... I was intrigued. I said yes. It sounded good... and we "kind of" knew each other. These guys went to college with my wife, they worked for the same schools & communities as I did (although at different times)... and we apparently ran in 99% of the same circles while passing like ships in the night (go Matt Kearney song reference, go!).

Before my guest debut on the show, I pulled up their archives. I was hooked. I shredded through episodes upon episodes for the next couple days.

These guys were talking to me. My size church. My size budget. My ballpark of vision and calling. I didn't feel "ashamed" that I wasn't in a mega-church. I didn't feel like I was being filled-up with wish-list ideas... because I was being filled-up with practical ideas.

Late last year, after guesting a couple more times, I was asked to come on as a full-time co-host with Eric, as Josh went off to do some really great solo projects (check those out here). I happily accepted.

We just published our 71'st episode this week. Our listening audience is growing at a steady pace. The audience is breaking international barriers (apparently we have a bunch of listeners in France... who knew?). All of this is by word of mouth... simple retweets, reposts, and "likes".

Here soon we hope to scrounge up some cash to advertise more and maybe talk to some potential sponsors. All that said... we do what we do for churches of all sizes, staff types, and so on... but we continue to do it all with the small and/or under-resourced church in mind.

We want to be practical, fun, honest, and eclectic. We truly are all in this together... we want to model that camaraderie for the sake of expanding the beauty and presence of Christ here on Earth... one podcast at a time ;)

Check us out. Share us with your friends. Email us. Tweet at us. Ask questions. We'd love to hear from you.

Click here to check out The Plugged In Church... tell 'em "Dusty sent ya".