Below is why I wrote the songs on this CD... I hope these stories bring you closer to the One who inspired them.
I wrote the title track, “Rise”, three days after walking away from my full-time nursing job. I left because I had a fire within me that could not be put out. I could not even do my job. I had to do what God gave me a gift to do; write songs. My heart’s desire was Jesus, and I wanted to tell the world. So, I had to start a new chapter in my life, live life according to God’s plan for me and not my own. This CD would not exist if it were not for the day God insisted I “Rise” to His call. It is interesting how God took what seemed like one of the hardest times in my life and turned it into something better than I could have planned for myself. All because I stopped trying to be in charge. This CD is for my Maker, because He has a plan that I have not even thought of yet. Somewhere, someday, whether it is through human eyes or God’s eyes, He will accomplish what He had in mind with this music. For me, that is more than I can ever dream.
Have you ever had so much information that you feel immobilized? In America, there are so many materials available on spiritual teaching. This wealth of knowledge can leave you essentially glazed over in a minutia of information. The idea of a glazed donut came to mind after a brilliant yet immobilizing sermon, and because I had about thirty pounds of well, “donut” on my body that needed to go. I needed to use the bounty of God’s teaching and lose the bounty of my eating! Hence this song is a combination of those two thoughts merged into a motivating message.
Somewhere Beyond This Place
I remember taking a bus trip when I was a kid and seeing an area of New Jersey that looked incredibly desolate. I could see dirty wetlands, landfills, and factories in the distance. The air was thick with the smell of sulfur. I wondered who lived there and what their life was like. When I composed this song decades later, the image of this dreary land was still stuck in my mind. I wondered, who will tell them about Jesus? This song is for those who have not been told and for those who still search for hope.
Lay Your Burden Down
I used to sing the Blues in barrooms. Maybe that is because I used to have the blues, but no longer, now I have God. This song is in that same Blues-style, but with a not-so-blue message. Maybe some will relate to this song and find that the answer they seek is very close at hand. However, it will not fall into their lap. One must choose to seek truth, not their own predetermined idea of who and what God is. Laying aside our own agenda and the burdens of this world, we will find Him if we look for Him in truth.
What Mercy Means
Most of us have dark secrets that we simply choose not to dwell upon. When we are forgiven Christians, we often accept the head knowledge that Jesus has forgiven us, but we do not truly accept the depth of His forgiveness in our heart. We cannot bear to reveal to Jesus the painful truth of our dark secrets to even ask His forgiveness. That was so with me for twenty-nine years as a Christian. The abortion I had at age 19 was one of those terrible secrets. Even after years of counseling and Bible study I could not figure out why I felt so worthless. However, I found that it is at the darkest moments in our life, when God shows himself to us. I decided to take a Bible study specifically meant for post-abortive women. It led me down each dark corner of my secret and revealed that God still loved me despite my most horrible deed. It left me amazed at His limitless mercy and on fire to tell every woman and man with the same secret, that there is mercy for them too. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 3 women in America will have an abortion by age forty-five. Among these women, there is so much regret and feelings of worthlessness, but there is freedom to be found through the amazing mercy of Jesus! If this song describes you, seek out your local Crisis Pregnancy Center and ask about a post-abortion Bible study. Next to accepting Jesus as Lord of your life, seeking one of these specialized Bible studies could be the most healing choice you will ever make.
Wolf in Sheep’s Pajamas
This song came from an odd combination of a Bible verse and a comic strip. In the Bible, Jesus warns us to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15). And in Gary’s Larson’s “Far Side” comics, he depicts wolves wearing sheep’s costumes to catch sheep. Hence I saw a connection and couldn’t resist writing a song about it. I have several versions with different verses, but these are among my favorites. I hope you like it, and take heed!
Only You Remain
God is so much bigger than any song I’ll ever write. But this is my human attempt at a love song for God. He is Creator of all things, even life itself, yet it was through my father's death that I caught a glimpse of the vastness of God. As I stood at my father's graveside, I noticed that no matter who we are in this life, eventually we fade and disappear from view. However, God will always remain. I love to sing this song and get lost in the aura and magnitude of the one true God. It is my greatest desire to bring honor to the One who will never, ever leave me.
I’ll Wait For You
In this crazy world we live in, it is hard to hear the quiet voice of God gently reminding us of what we already know. We have created such skewed versions of right and wrong. I hope this song is a reminder for us all, that we can always lift our hands up and find God as our strength to make choices that honor Him. He will never let us down!
I had just sent my five year old daughter, Amy, off to school on the bus. I was standing at the corner wondering if I had done the right thing. Amy did not like leaving her warm house and going off to school. She had been crying and pleading to stay home. I felt so sad for her and uncertain of myself as a mom. I wrote this song after it occurred to me that the only thing certain in this world was God. Without Him, how would I ever find confidence in my choices? But with Him, He would guide me in my little world as a mom, and keep my little Amy in His arms until she came home again. God is the Creator of the universe. We just need to hold on to His hand and never let go.
Have you ever forgotten to be as merciful to others as God has been to you? Sometimes I am blown away at how quickly I take for granted what God did for me and somehow think I’ve figured it out on my own. These verses in Romans 8:38 and 39 jumped out at me as I sheepishly recognized I am not the “smart one” here. I need to remember the height from which I have fallen and live in humble gratitude for His love. It is His absolute unconditional love that keeps giving me another chance to be who He wants me to be. I am so thankful that nothing can take His love from me.