I remember actually wanting to be Russ Taff. No wait, that’s me now.

I remember trying to rap like dc talk at a youth rally. I think I actually pulled a muscle. Huh huh heavenbound!

I remember pre-ordering Jars of Clay’s first album when the band opened for PFR and rejoicing the day it came in the mail.

I remember hearing dc talk’s "Jesus Freak" and knowing — without a doubt — my life would never be the same.

I remember buying the Chagall Guevara album and thinking Steve Taylor could be the coolest human alive. I later heard "Squint" and knew he was the coolest human alive.

I remember seeing Charlie Peacock, Vince Ebo and Jimmy A. performing acoustically and actually wanting to learn how to play guitar. After one lesson, my ADD kicked in, and I moved on.

I remember listening to “Heaven” by Michael English over and over after my father passed away.

I remember joining my first praise band. I remember playing my first church camp. I remember when we started MercyMe. I remember making our first independent album. I remember the first time I led a kid to Christ at one of our concerts. I remember the first time I heard one of our songs on the radio. I cried — not because it was on the radio but because my dad believed it would happen one day. I remember writing "I Can Only Imagine" at 3 in the morning. I remember my wife waking up, reading the lyrics and telling me it was going to be something special. I remember Delirious playing on the radio when my first son was born. I remember hoping to never forget those moments in your life that define you.

I am a product of the system. Christian music has played an enormous role in who I am today, and for that I am forever grateful.


Bart Millard is set to release his solo debut, "Hymned," on July 26.

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