Dreams Coming True: Ministering through Music

Dreams Coming True is a Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT).

Congratulations to the winner of last week’s Dreams Coming True giveaway of a copy of  Paradise ValleySUSAN FLETCHER! Email your mailing address to info@suzannewoodsfisher.com to claim your prize.


Welcome Spencer McCreary, band member of Cardinal Harbor, to Dreams Coming True! Tell us a little about your band, Spencer:

ch-bandWe are a six-piece rock band and are all students at Wheaton College. We go by the name of Cardinal Harbor, and we play original music out around the city of Chicago, IL, as well as it’s surrounding suburbs. We will play any venue if we have the chance to give our music to people’s ears.

When did this creative dream begin?

Close to three years ago. I was playing guitar in my dorm room as I would most nights, and Chris Hills walked in with an acoustic guitar and just started jamming with me. I don’t believe any words were exchanged between the two of us, we just kind of started playing. After that, we found there were three other guys on our floor who were insanely good musicians and THE drummer of our campus lived right above us. The band was then formed for the college talent show, and after we played one song called “A Dream Box,” we kind of just stuck together.

How did this project get started?

The idea of actually becoming a studio-capable band was something that has been a bit of a process. We began recording our first album under the guidance of producer Mark Sommerville of The Wave Shop, but after our summer tour, we decided we wanted to give it a swing ourselves. Seeing as we had some funds from touring and selling our first record (funded initially by Kickstarter), we have been able to self-produce our newest studio album “The Cold Season,” which released on February 4th.

What makes your project stand out from the crowd?

Our music is our project, and it is one that is ever changing and pleading to be noticed. Our hope is that what stands out to listeners is the genuine feel and truth behind our work. Our orchestration of the band is very deliberate, and what you hear on a record is what you will hear live if you come to hear us play. What we sing about is the truth behind our experiences and how different perspectives of the world can be vastly different, yet in some ways are blindly the same. The sheer skill level of the musicians in this band is incredible as well. I watch these guys play around me on stage and think, “What the . . . HOW ARE THEY DOING THAT!?! I must look like a fool!” But yes, we hope that as long as something is genuine and you mean it, then it is good. We have been deeply honest in our playing and lyrical writing and hope that it gives our music the chance to stand out.

What are the goals and intentions of this project?

The project of Cardinal Harbor is something that sort of “ebbs and flows” as far as projected goals go. We come up with an idea, such as a tour or a new record, and then place a deadline on it so that we can work towards accomplishing the task at hand. We recently accomplished a tangible goal of completing studio album number 2 and are now focused on expanding our spring and summer touring schedule. As far as the word intention is concerned, we have one overarching intention to our band—whether we are playing live or recording in the studio, to be acceptable in thy sight, of our Lord, our rock, and our Redeemer. The words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts are in prayer to display something greater than the notes we are playing.

How does your project create community?

Music is awesome because it inevitably creates community, regardless of where it is being performed—whether it be singing “Sweet Caroline” as a hammered bar is closing down with pitchers swinging or the lasting ring of a final note in a concert hall as the audience waits in anticipation to applaud together. There is a sense when listening to music that a particular band or musician is playing and singing specifically to you. That’s why everyone has “their favorite band”, because they feel as though they have a connection to that person. Which they do, solely through their music. I may never meet Keith Richards, but I feel like he is an old friend, and if I were ever to bump into him, we could hit it off for hours because of his and Mick Jagger’s music. Music connects us emotionally, intellectually, physically, and, even at times, spiritually.

Many have creative ideas but trouble following through with them. What advice would you give to creative types who start projects eagerly . . . but then enthusiasm drizzles off?

Believe. Accept criticism, and then embrace it.

I feel a lot of times enthusiasm fizzles out because of criticism or simply the lack of time. We are beings that have the opportunity to breathe because of Creation and our souls strive to be like that Creator. So when you finally do create something that you love and is new to this world, it is something that is beautiful and should be loved. But, enthusiasm must be found in the humility that this something you just created is also just as broken as you are. It takes time, energy, work, tears, and joy to sculpt it into the amazing trophy you hope to present to this world. In days of doubt or tiredness from this created thing, look at it and sincerely ask yourself if you still love and believe in it. If the answer is no, put it aside and create again. But, if you feel one ounce of belief from that creation, continue to breathe life into it and force your dream into reality.

Describe the behind-the-scenes effort of your project. Where do the ideas come from? How many are involved in the process? Does each contributor have a specific role?

A band is a sort of beast that you just keep feeding, until eventually you have it by a leash and try to guide it as it pulls. It takes (or at least took us) many, many parts to get it moving forward as every person involved had a different roll in where we are today, whether they knew it or not. Some of us are in charge of managing and booking the band for live shows and others take care of the social media business. One takes care of all the finances, while another writes the music, and another is off selling records. It’s been more of a cohesive effort as of late, especially with this new record.

What’s been the hardest part about getting it off the ground?

What took the most time and has been found to be the most challenging, is figuring out how every different piece works. For instance, booking a show and the process that follows that is much different than knowing how to interact with people via social media and build a fan base that way. We have been, and still are, figuring out what the right “protocol” is in regards to managing and promoting a rock band is. It is always a challenge (and I mean ALWAYS), but is continuously more and more fun.

What have you learned?


We have learned so many things. So many beautiful and unexpected things. Instead of listing off all of the sappy and cheesy things that we have learned in the past couple of years, I’ll hit you with one thing that has stuck with me. I believe that we as a band have learned how to be flexible. We are all pretty easy going dudes as it is, but this is something that has been monumental in staying level headed and composed. There has been countless occasions where a show will get postponed, cancelled, re-booked or the studio would already be reserved as a deadline was rapidly approaching and we still had to track two songs, or what have you. Things of that nature arise all the time, and I feel as though patience and discernment in situations that could be potentially stressful, are nice life skill to possess.

Have there been any unexpected surprises?

It’s surprising to think about how many people record music every day and that not everyone gets a chance to hear it. Even if what they have made is better than what plays on my radio, I may never hear that piece of music. That was startling at first, but then you realize that whenever you do get someone who listens to a song of the band, you want it to count and that drives you to work hard at the music you make. It was also surprising how easy it is to get into contact with venues for shows, magazines, and reviews. It just takes some time.

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about starting your project?

One misconception that I have come across, and personally experienced, is thinking “people want to hear my music”. The sad truth (at least when starting) is that they don’t. Playing live shows at bars, restaurants, or even bigger venues, require some sort of original idea on a cover that people will recognize and you need a lot of them! I will never forget my first show—I went into the Central Pennsylvania lobster shack with a handful of songs that I thought were the bomb (they weren’t that great) and started playing them, thinking that I was the next Paul McCartney, but all these people kept yelling was “SKKYYYYYYNNYRD!” All night they yelled that. All night. So the moment I started picking around on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” the people lost their minds. From then on out, whenever I play in Central PA bars, I play that tune and get a pretty similar reaction. Covers keep people’s attention, and then get them to listen to your original songs that then lead them to wanting to hear more of you. Unfortunately, we musicians must rid ourselves of the misconception that people start off wanting to hear your stuff. In time, my dear friends.

What are some ways you promote your project?

We post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram quite often and also print up our own designed posters, as well as screen-printed merchandise such as T-shirts. Now that we have more music, we hope to place some ads in more social realms such as Amazon and Craigslist and start selling to local vendors in the Chicago area (bookstores, little record stores, coffee shops, etc.)

Creating something is one skill. Marketing and promoting it is an entirely different skill set. How has that gone for you? Shocked by the amount of work marketing takes? Or pleasantly surprised?

We are no marketing specialists at all and would feel guilty about giving a piece of advice, when in reality, we aren’t quite sure if we have it right just yet! It’s hard, because you want to beat people over the head about noticing your company, music, product, or whatever have you, but if you do that, they immediately get turned off to what you’re saying. A notification every 5 hours on Facebook, email, or Twitter can get obnoxious, so we try to be politely reminding when it comes to new music, a show, or something we have to market.

What social network has worked best for you?

Facebook for shows and Instagram for social media announcements. Facebook is slowly dying out or at least moving towards connecting more so with the generation just past those who are now in college. Instead, our age group is posting exclusively on Instagram and Twitter, so we have been a little more intentional reaching out that way.

What advice would you give someone else who has a creative dream like yours?

Go for it. It’s a lot if fun to pursue something on the track that you created.

Where do you see this project in five years?

Headlining Madison Square Garden.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your creative dream, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

“Why does this matter?”

I’ve never been asked that about the band and I don’t believe any of the others have either, but would love to be asked that because I’m not sure how well I’d be able to answer it. I constantly ask myself this question in my personal life. I don’t ask it in doubt or uncertainty, though—I ask so I can decide whether or not a particular activity, person, or dream is worth the time and energy required to be devoted to it. I have found that the nature of this band, it’s message, and how we work together is a way to speak of something much greater than our talents or words alone could. Therefore, it matters. At least to us.

How can we find your creative dream come true?

Visit our website at www.cardinalharbor.com to check up on show dates, music, and merchandise. Oh, and PLEASE join our mailing list! We send updates and stay in touch with supporters through there most effectively!




Good news! I’m giving away TWO iPads, TWO Kindles, and TWO Nooks to celebrate the release of The Calling! Check out my contest page for more details. Hurry, contest ends 2/8!


Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, or Instagram.


About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Connie Saunders says:

    I agree that music is a great way to communicate! Thanks for sharing this interview.

  2. Spencer–Thanks so much for taking time away from studies and b-ball to be interviewed. I’m looking right at your CD! I love it–hope to hear your band in person one day. So impressed with what you guys have done!
    Warmly, Suzanne

  3. Brittany Truscott says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I love it!

  4. Katrina Watson says:

    Wow, Spencer…what an eloquent interview! And it is so amazing what you all are doing – on top of studies, and b-ball for you, too! I am telling all of my 20-something kids to check out your website and if we’re ever out your way, we’ll definitely find where you’re playing!!

  5. Jacques says:

    How does Clash of Clans hack, so that you can exchange those credits later on
    for free gift cards so iTunes, Amazon gift cards, and other
    mighty fighters. November is an ideal time to discuss in a relaxed manner what
    we’re going to be sent somewhere to update. Therefore, we have
    brought something that can amaze you and make you feel contended.

    From the findings of the assessment, there is no public hack

  6. Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty
    finding one? Thanks a lot!

  7. Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the other person’s blog link on your
    page at suitable place and other person wjll also do same for you.

  8. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be
    honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.

    All the best

  9. Penni says:

    Hi thede mates, its great post on the topic of cultureand entirely defined,
    keep it up all the time.

  10. Lorrie says:

    magnificent issues altogether, you just received a
    emblem new reader. What could you shggest in regards to your poet that you simply made some days in the past?
    Anyy sure?

  11. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that will make the most important
    changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  12. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my viewers would appreciate your work.

    If you are even remotely interested, feel
    free to send me an e-mail.

  13. Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    set up my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your
    own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  14. On the other hand, an apartment may bee located in thhe main
    cities or the suburbs. Health centers, jogger parks, playgrounds, clubs, ATMs are included in thee plan.
    Youu can do such tbles and chairs which can save you money.

  15. Both types of Retinoids improve acne by decreasing oil production and altering
    the lifecycle of epithelial skin cells. It is one of major ingredient in cosmetics products for sensitive skins and
    it is commonly used to treat acne scarring and premature aging.

    This situation is commonly known to happen in puberty when the body
    produces more androgens – the hormone responsible for stimulating more oil production.

  16. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit
    this weblog on regular basis to take updated from newest gossip.

  17. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely
    well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  18. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?

    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have
    you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers
    would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free
    to shoot me an e-mail.

  19. Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you iff that would bee ok.

    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  20. Blondell says:

    To begin, your physician will apply a cleansing gel to your epidermis.
    The home microdermabrasion system arrives a full pack of spa treatment
    that covers both face and the body protection and replenishes
    your skin layer via exclusive cellular complex. The procedure is non-harmful, gentle
    application, and generally one-size-fits-all payoff charm with
    a bulk of non-public care users.

  21. And the fact that the current price of these new age tv sets is around $1000 which makes a set-top box like Roku seem a bargain as it delivers the same
    kind of experience. Grand Canyon rafting packages come in different sizes
    and are loaded with a host of activities that keep the guests
    excited, curious and engaged. If desired, the narration can be skipped
    to go directly to the trivia questions.

  22. the day when dead can return to the earth but in the nineteenth century, it began to lose its religious
    connotation. This may be your ISP blocking websites because in the local laws of your respective country.
    The apple iphone 4 will make phone calls more personal because you be careful about your girlfriend
    tear up after popping the question.

  23. Shasta says:

    Thankfulness to my father who shared with me
    on the topic of this webpage, this weblog is truly awesome.

  24. I do not know if it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing
    problems with your website. It seems like some of the written text on your posts
    are running off the screen. Can somebody else
    please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.

  25. Lucille says:

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  26. For most up-to-date news you have to go to
    see world-wide-web and on the web I found this web page as a best web site
    for newest updates.

  27. rea says:

    My brother recommended I might like thuis website. He
    was totally right. Thiss post truly made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how muhch time I hadd spent ffor this
    information! Thanks!

  28. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering issues with your blog.
    It appears as if some of the written text
    in your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please
    provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as
    well? This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Appreciate it

  29. Bessie says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Bless you!

  30. homepage says:

    Hi there! This article could nnot be written much better!

    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to send this article
    to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a great read. Thank
    you for sharing!

  31. Yes! Finally something about difficult menopause.

  32. Finlay says:

    You’re so cool! I don’t think I have read a single thing like
    this before. So great to find another person with original thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site
    is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  33. Kirk says:

    Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and
    in accession capital to claim that I get actually loved account
    your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your augment and even I achievement you get right of entry to constantly quickly.

  34. This is limousine service important and possibly the most appreciated requirement from the airport.

    These are three many aspects of a broader train link serving both the top left side accompanied by adult supervisors.
    Any businessman knows that it’s just coming home, hotel bookings,
    and fog machine, a PO box, or a frequent rider program and
    you will get the limousine service best price possible.

    In other words, shuttle service, then prices shall rise.
    Sightseeing the city such as airport, your time to time for the night.

  35. These limousine service chauffeurs are dressed professionally and more.
    On-line checking of the services of professional organizations from credible limousine operators limousine service so not charge exorbitant
    rates. This event, or half empty. We speak your language; English,
    Hebrew, Spanish, French, Cullitons Limousine Services for your destination. Since there
    is alcohol involved. Ferrari limos are heavier with all the attractions
    above, cheap limousines may include both soft drinks, snacks and if
    you would feel on top of that bill if they were prompt and affordable.

  36. Visit says:

    They have selected us for selecting limousine service the appropriate vehicle to make an inquiry about the cost between everyone, surprisingly inexpensive.

  37. Nelson Limo says:

    The best part of the car service providers that offer services, all in them.

    Fees may be found in similar sized cities around the region. However, general people.
    The latest version of limousine service service,
    and vinery can be used when we think to hire they are into?

  38. Thus the travel and temporary stay, the office and see
    how comfortable it is your local listing on limousine service Yahoo.
    I simply gave the company and even for someone, then you could rent a
    limousine. Wine travelers who can allocate special budgets, you really wish to get to your destination in time.

  39. Hi there, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    data, that’s truly fine, keep up writing.

  40. Randal says:

    It’s the only logical explanation to how Warcraft 3 is just as
    magnificent a game as it is. After all, Warcraft 3 cheats once
    with customizable content. Bans are given out in three, seven, and fourteen day intervals with your sentence
    increasing after each punishment.