Matthew Massie grew up in a Christian home in La Puente, a little suburb 20 minutes east of Los Angeles. His parents were pastors of a church for a few years and traveling evangelists. His mother is an accomplished pianist, so she would also do the music.
"I loved watching her play piano so she taught me a few notes," Massie recalled, "but being a minister and a mother of nine children, she wasn't very patient, so I pretty much learned on my own."
His father sold Bibles on the side to try to make ends meet. The family also opened a painting company, Christian Painting. His brothers still operate under that name.
Since then, Massie was the first of six brothers to go to contractor's license school and get his California painting contractor's license. A few years later, he went back to school to earn his general contractor's license, which he said really opened up a lot of doors, especially when he moved his family to Hesperia in 2003. Massie Painting and Construction specializes in room additions — they even built a custom home in Apple Valley. He's also an ordained minister for the state of California.
Massie has been married for 31 years to Joyce and together they have four children: daughter Donajoi, and sons Matthew Jr., Nicholas and Malachi.
Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.
A: My biggest dream in life that I've been working on since 13 years old is to put together a CD of the best songs that I've written. I have this vision to one day walk into a building and hear one of my songs on the radio.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment, professional or personal, to date?
A: My greatest accomplishment I would say is that I'm a successful father and husband to my wife of 31 years and my four beautiful children.
Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?
A: In 10 years from now, I'd love to retire in Palm Springs. We've spent 20 anniversaries there. The weather is great and there's a lot to do. I'm hoping the economy gets better to put in another 10 years of hard work.
Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?
A: I would have to say the person that had and still has the biggest influence on my life is my wife, Joyce. We met when I was 13 years old in church through my parents' preaching in Chino. She is the most positive person I know — she always sees life through the perspective of "everything will work out OK, keep the faith, tomorrow's a brighter day." She's my soulmate! Without her, I can truly say I would not be here writing this today. She held me and cried and comforted me through the hardest years of my life, through the death of my father in 1993 when he was 61 years old, and through hard economic times when business was slow and I had six mouths to feed. She would always say, "God will make a way." Looking back, she was right.
Q: What is your favorite quotation?
A: My favorite quotation is from a song called "Keeping Hope Alive" that I wrote: "I know the world is a crazy place, I'm living in it too. Trying hard to keep the pace ain't an easy thing to do, but I can see tomorrow the sun is breaking through."
Q: Tell us about your belief system.
A: My belief system is from the Bible that you sow what you reap and you reap what you sow. Kind of like karma. You get out what you put in. If you sow seeds of love, you will get love back. If you respect your fellow man, the earth and the environment, you will get respect back. It's so true — I've learned it through my 50 years of living on this planet. I've experienced through hard knocks that life is a boomerang — it comes back to you.
Q: What motivates you?
A: Money used to motivate me. Being from a big family, I never saw too much of it, so I dropped out of high school and started working at 16 years of age to buy clothes, food and my own car. I saw how hard it was for my dad and I wanted to step it up. I didn't want struggles for my wife and children. I wanted a better life. But through life's experiences, I found that can be taken away in an instant. What motivates me is being a positive light to my little world around me, to the people that I rub against everyday — people I work for, the cashier at Lowe's or Home Depot — just to smile and say, "God bless," and to be a role model to a fatherless child.
Q: What is your secret to living a happy, satisfying life?
A: My secret to living a happy, satisfying life is communication. When a problem arises with a customer or family member, I won't let it boil up inside to the point of exploding. I nip it in the butt. The problem resolves quickly. Communication is the key to a happy relationship, life or business.
Q: What is something you are particularly proud of?
A: I would say I'm particularly proud of my beautiful children. We've raised them to be a positive light to the world around them. They get it from their mother — it reflected off of her to them. I admit I'm a work in progress In that area. I'm blessed with awesome kids. They're all married and out of the house now. I was fortunate to officiate three of their marriages.
Q: What book had a significant impact on you?
A: The Bible, of course, and the writings of Jesus had a significant impact on my life. Also, "The Power of Positive Thinking," by Norman Vincent Peale, and "Seeds of Change," by Kerry Livgren, the founder of the band Kansas. It's about his journey through rock and roll and how he studied every religion but found Christianity. Kerry Livgren has been my biggest influence musically.
Q: What are five things you can't live without?
A: My wife; my children; God (of course that should have been first, but I'll score some points with my wife on that one); music; and coffee. (I'm addicted to coffee, what can I say?)
Q: What words of advice do you have for younger generations?
A: My words of advice for the younger generation is to slow down. They're moving way too fast. They want everything now — fast cars , fast foods, fast Internet, fast smartphones, fast education, fast relationships. I've seen so many young people caught up on wanting it now to where they don't make the right decisions and regret it for years to come. Slow down!
Q: How can readers reach you?
A: I can be reached at (909) 262-2776 or at Matthewmassie7@yahoo.com.
Who would you like to see profiled in an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a line at Editor@HesperiaStar.com.