Listen to - Even the darkness is not dark to You
Word for word from Psalm 139. Open C guitar tuning. Recorded live.
O Lord, You have searched me and You know me / You know when I sit down and when I rise up again / You understand my thoughts from afar / You scrutinize my path and my lying down….acquainted with all of my ways / Even before there is a word on my tongue / O Lord, You know it all / You have enclosed me behind and before / Where can I go from your Spirit? / Where can I flee from you presence? / If I go up to heaven, You are there / If I make my bed in Sheol / If I take the wings of the dawn / If I dwell in the depths of the sea / Even there Your hand will lead me / Your right hand will lay hold of me / Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night / Even the darkness is not to You / The night is as bright as the day / Darkness and light are alike to You / You formed my inward parts / You wove me in my mother’s womb / I will give thanks to You
Listen to - bad radio song
Wow, it’s a busy season! Posting this one a day late. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the summer heat to vacate and for cooler weather to germinate. “The fields are begging for September, the shade appeal. A drop of rain and the breeze, I love the Fall. Change is in the clouds, in the smell of anticipation of night walks with your hand in mine. We’ll make it through the summer while our air conditioner works overtime…” Hope you enjoy the tune.
The American Dream
I wrote this one a ways back at the ripe ole’ age of 23 or 24. When I hear it now, I think that young man was wise beyond his years. Have a listen and let me know what you think…Happy 4th of July!!!
Listen to - Straight to You
In times like these there’s only one place to turn – straight to You.
My heart’s bleeding through the ice and snow nowhere to go / but straight to you in the first breath of the morning that’s all I know / In the last fumes of the night, I’m replaying all my fears / In the fast forward and rewind, it’s hard to tell whats real / It’s hard to tell what’s real is the present a reality / Or are the shadows whispering and they’re always questioning / My every move, knocking at my door / Real peace is that too much to ask for / I feel foolish cause’ we’ve been given so much / A thousand silver spoons / Beautiful children, beautiful rooms / Nowhere to go, but straight to You / These days I’d rather be alone left to think / Inside my bubble, I want to hide away / Shut out the light, run from the day / I should be laughing and giving thanks / I feel foolish cause’ we’ve been given so much / Healthy kids, a job with a raise, a heated box to decorate it’s true / Nowhere to go, but straight to You
Listen to - The First of the Lasts
I recently read a book to my kids by Karen Kingsbury entitled “Let Me Hold You Longer” which inspired this song. We are always pushing our children to conquer the next developmental milestone. We push them to walk, clap for their first words, breath a sigh of relief when they’re potty trained, beam with pride as they learn to read and write, etc. But for every new ‘first’ there is a farewell to the ‘last.’ The last time they crawl, the last diaper change, the last time they ask for help to ride their bike, the last time they bring you a flower ‘just because’…..So get out your kleenex box and turn it up! Hope you enjoy the new tune. “Sometimes I wish the time away, but right now I want to pause the track – enjoy the first of the lasts.”
Listen to - Collect Call from the Pottawatomie Jail
Got a phone call the other night that went exactly like this….Collect call from the Pottawatomie Jail. A woman’s computer voice asked me to deny or accept and I stood there motionless, thoughts pounding like volcanoes. Is it someone I know? Someone in trouble? A life of regret over a string of bad choices. Now you’ll always wear the black mark. Branded for life for a petty crime. Or was it something serious? I pressed one for accept and two seconds passed like a century. “Hello, Kyle?” he said with tear stained trepidation. My heart sank like a brick. His call wasted on the wrong number. “I’m sorry.” He’s probably lying in his bed wide awake with the lights out and eyes open wide. How did it end up this way? A life of regret over a string of bad choices. Now you’ll always wear the black mark. Branded for life for a petty crime. Or was it something serious?
Listen to - Piano Song
Creative title, I know. We have a piano in the house and I fiddle around with it from time to time. I don’t know how to play…haven’t the foggiest idea of what chords or notes I’m playing half the time…but that makes it all the more fun. I’ve always been intrigued by the call to ‘follow your dreams.’ We were all told this as children. Follow your dreams. Be an astronaut or a movie star or a professional athlete. The problem is, only a small handful of people can make it into this select crowd. And what if your dream makes absolutely zero money? How are you going to survive and ever support a family? I know, I know…I sound like a humbug. I’m a dreamer you know. Always have been. But, there was a point where I felt cheated by all of the adult good will that was bestowed upon me. “Its a lie and they know it, why don’t they come clean?” So follow your dreams! Shine on you crazy diamond!
Listen to - Nameless Face
One of my personal favorites…enjoy. Wasted time lost in the bindings / As the minutes tick by / Like stairs that are winding out of control / You’ve lost your mind / Been sitting here for 11 days / And a year saving money in a database / In the mirror is a nameless face / From sun up to sun sleep / You work till your fingers bleed / Fallen world it’s our lot in life to work the soil / Punching the plastic keys / Now you’re up with highway’s call / Wrap the moon around your waist / And watch the stars fall / Did you think you could count them all? / You just don’t feel like praying / Don’t feel like trying / Firecracker light the fuse and watch you explode / Don’t feel like obeying / Been sitting here for 11 days / And a year saving money in a database / In the mirror is a nameless face
Listen to - Noah
I wrote this song 10 years ago today when my nephew, Noah, was born. I was enraptured by the miracle of life and the thought that my brother was now a Daddy. So here is little birthday present for you, Noah. One day you’ll grow up to be a man…getting closer every day. We love you and pray for you daily. Hope you like it. – Uncle Nathan (#1 Uncle!)
Listen to - A Rich Man
This week marks my 10th anniversary working at my job. Hard to believe how fast a decade can fly by. When I first started working it was just a job – something I was doing in the immediate to earn some money and gain experience, but not my end state. I was going to do something great and change the world! Over the years we added a house, a kid, another kid…and another kid, and suddenly this ‘job’ became a career. I’ll never forget the moment when this realization hit me. I had just turned thirty and we had just brought home our second child. I pulled into my work parking lot and I thought, “This is for real. This is it. I’m actually doing this. I need to start taking this more seriously.” It’s like on the movie Three Amigos when Lucky (Steve Martin) gets shot by a ‘real bullet’ and realizes that his fight with El Guapo and his entourage is real (and not a Hollywood ruse). Choking back tears he says to Dusty and Ned, “This is real. We’re all going to die. I’ll go talk to him man to man.” It switched for me at that moment and it was hard to swallow. I had a super cool, downer song planned for this post, but my wife changed all of that. She threw me a surprise ‘10th anniversary’ party with my closest friends and coworkers. I was humbled (and a little embarrassed) to say the least. This is what life is all about. God, family, friends – it’s about relationship. It’s about responsibility. A man is rich who has a few close friends. Or to quote a famous line from It’s a Wonderful Life, “No man is a failure who has friends.” Sure I’ve earned a paycheck and gained valuable work experience over these past ten years, but I’ve also provided for my family and made many friends along the way. In the end we’re all replaceable in our various places of work, but true love and true friendship remain.