Wendy Schettig | Rise

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Rise

by Wendy Schettig

If you combine a voice like Janis Ian, the guitar style of James Taylor, with lyrics that deliver a grassroots Christian message, you will get this inspiring album of original songs by singer/songwriter, Wendy Schettig. The best of folk and spiritual.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
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1. Rise
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2. Gospel Donut
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3. Somewhere Beyond This Place
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4. Lay Your Burden Down
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5. What Mercy Means
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6. Wolf in Sheep's Pajamas
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7. Only You Remain
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8. I'll Wait for You
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9. Without You
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10. Romans 8
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Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
All songs written and sung by Wendy Schettig; Arranged, produced and engineered by Mike Lozinski

Musicians:
Wendy Schettig: Acoustic fingerpicking guitar, lead vocals, harmony vocals
Mike Lozinski: Electric and acoustic lead guitar, rhythm acoustic guitar, dobro, bass, percussion
Steve Simpson: Keyboards
Pete Thompson: Drums
Kevin Brown: Bass guitar
Amy Schettig: Harmony vocals
John W. Hessler: Harmony Vocals
Scott Kleber: Fretless bass
Russell Norkevich: Keyboards
Maria Ventor: Cello
Joe Simon: Viola

Below is why I wrote the songs on this CD, and the lyrics ... I hope these stories bring you closer to the One who inspired them.

Rise
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.

Lyrics to Rise:
Like a seed in the earth, waiting patiently for birth
For the warm spring rain to loose its chains and rise
When it first breaks the ground, there’s a whole new world around
It is not alone, such room to grow and rise
Reaching for the Light, it’s so warm, it’s so right
Rise, rise the Maker is calling it to rise.

I’m a child on this earth, longing for rebirth
Looking for a way to loose these chains and rise
But darkness holds me down, on my own I can’t break ground
So I’ll take the lead from a simple seed and rise
And reach out for the Light, it’s so warm, it’s so right
Rise, rise the Maker is calling me to rise.

Oh for this simple faith that I should know
I see it all around me. Why don’t I grow?

In my darkness I feel safe, don’t want to leave my hiding place
Even if it’s cold, it’s what I know … but why?
If He’s calling my name, to leave this frozen grave
Why not leave the cold, warm my soul and rise.
And reach out for the Light, it’s so warm, it’s so right
Rise, rise the Maker is calling,
The Maker is calling, the Maker is all I need to rise.

Gospel Donut
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.

Lyrics to Gospel Donut:
Gaining weight on the meat of the Word
Rounding out my faith
Saturated in the sermons I have heard
The gospel news is great, so I’ll just pack it ‘round my waist
I’m so deep-fried I’m sticking to the pews
The Spirit in me bears fruit roll-ups
I’m sugar coated so I can barely move
And I’m glazed over like a gospel donut

I guess it’s time I balance out the scales
And exercise my faith
I’ve built a firm foundation just sitting on my tail
I can walk this walk, but it’s time I ran the race
My faith is useless till I use what I’ve heard
Thinking about Jesus ain’t enough
You gotta stretch it, flex it, spandex it, and exercise His word
And work off a few gospel donuts.

I’ve everything to gain and a whole lot to lose
Need to give it all away like He told us
So come belly up to me ‘cause I could feed the multitudes
With my “tastes like heaven” gospel donuts
Oh, Oh, yeah ......
I’ve got some anointed in oil, puffed up confections
Deep fried in sermons and sweetened to perfection
Wisdom you can chew on, good news, gospel donuts.

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.

Lyrics to Somewhere Beyond This Place:
I can hear the voices of the children
As they play down by the train yard
The rhythmic sound of factories
Echo ‘cross the hazy afternoon
And I wonder if they’ll ever hear the truth
And who will tell them
And by the time they learn who Jesus really is
Will they even care?

There’s millions and millions of people
Living for no tomorrow
They’re going through the motions of life
Without a reason why
And I wonder if they’re shutting out the truth
‘Cause it hurts too much to listen
Or didn’t anybody even care
To tell them what they’re missing

Somewhere beyond this life there’s a warm place called Heaven
Somewhere beyond this place there’s laughter everywhere
Jesus died so we could live
Forever there with Him
With no more crying or pain
Someone told me how to get there… one day.

They’re trying till they’re hopeless
Then dying in the darkness every day
They’re living in a gutter, or a mansion
Some are losers, and some feel great
But their souls are skin and bone
They starve for what’s unknown
While we choke on the answers they crave
Someone told me how to get there… one day.

Somewhere beyond this life there’s a warm place called Heaven
Somewhere beyond this place there’s laughter everywhere
Jesus died so we could live
Forever there with Him
With no more crying or pain
Someone told me how to get there
I could tell them how to get there
Or you could tell them how to get there… today.

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.

Lyrics to Lay Your Burden Down:
Lay your burden down. Rest yourself awhile
Loose that heartache and hand yourself a smile
It ain’t as hard as it sounds

Everybody’s carrying on, their life is so full of woe
Ain’t it time you listened to yourself
Cause there’s something you ought to know

Brother the answer is right in your hand
The book about Jesus read it and you’ll understand
You gotta help yourself, nobody else who can
Cause if you found Jesus, if you found Jesus
If you found Jesus, you won’t lose your way again.

Dry those tears away. Open your eyes to a brand new day
Lift off that load you’ve been carrying so long
You can leave it, it’ll be long, long gone

Jesus will carry you, if you show him that your heart is true
There’s nothing to stop you, nothing left to lose
Jesus is the answer, now it’s all up to you

Brother the answer is right in your hand
The Book about Jesus read it and you’ll understand
You gotta help yourself, nobody else who can
Cause if you found Jesus, if you found Jesus
If you found Jesus, you won’t lose your way again. O oo hhh
O oo hhh………

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.

Lyrics to What Mercy Means:
I hear a sparrow somewhere in the sky
I’ve been out walking in the fading light
Could it be true, You would wash away my shame
Like the cool fall air cleanses me again

I’ve made mistakes, I’ll regret all my life
I was young and foolish, but time won’t make it right
And I’ll never win ‘cause I believe that I should lose
Do You want to take that burden on You?

But You’ve assured me that’s what mercy means
Your love shines through the darkest part of me
And there is nothing that You don’t see
Have mercy on me.

I know You’ve been waiting, hoping I would pray
So You could take this heartache away
It’s hard to believe You would take my heart of stone
And replace it with Your own.

But now I understand what mercy means
Your love shines through the darkest part of me
And there is nothing that You don’t see
Have mercy on me.

My step is much lighter. My soul is laid bare
I pull up my collar in the chilly air
But You walk beside me, You have washed me clean
And that is what Your mercy means.

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!

Lyrics to Wolf in Sheep's Pajamas:
Deep in the forest, where there’s darkness all the time
And the air stale and damp steals around us
Where the sounds of the forest echo up and down your spine
Lives a wolf in sheep’s pajamas

I’ve often tried to follow a different path at night
But they always seem to take me to the places the wolf likes
He wears those fuzzy slippers just to make you think he’s nice
To try and draw you closer for a bite

Got a letter in my mailbox, said I was in luck
I won a cruise for two to the Bahamas
But the baggage fees and taxes cost fifteen hundred bucks
It was that wolf in sheep’s pajamas

He’s got a sneaky plan to whisper in your ear
And tell you all the things that you really want to hear
But he never will admit that it’s all a pack of lies
Just to draw you in dangerously near.

Bought me a dozen roses and asked me on a date
And told me not to tell my mama
But he smiled as if he thought I looked just like a sirloin steak
It was that wolf in sheep’s pajamas

Don’t think that he won’t find you, he’s everywhere and more
From the White House, to the schoolyard, and your corner grocery store
He’s got a recipe, the main ingredient is you
So be careful when you answer the door!

So please take my advice, you’re safer at the zoo
With grizzly bears, crocodiles, and iguanas
This world’s so full of dirty tricks, it’s hard not to get chewed
By that wolf in sheep’s pajamas
By that wolf in sheep’s pajamas
By that wolf in sheep’s pajamas

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.

Lyrics to Only You Remain:
Always and forever are a long, long time
My heart soars with the angels
To think all those days with You are mine
I dream as my surroundings lose their color and fade
Till clearly in focus, only You remain.

There’s beauty in Your creation. All I see is Yours.
But even the mightiest mountain
Will one day bow and be no more
One day the gentlest meadow will usher itself away
Till clearly in focus, only You remain.

Fortresses will crumble
Kingdoms fade away
But in goodness and in sorrow
You will not change

Always and forever are a long, long, time.
One day I’ll go with You
And see You face to face.
One day all will fall down calling on Your name,
Till clearly in focus, only You remain.

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!

Lyrics to I'll Wait For You:
Since the day you were born God had a plan
He knows all about you and He knows who I am
Someday together we’ll be as one
Someday we’ll both say you are the one
But until I find you, I’ve got to be true
I will keep myself for you
Will you do the same too?

Will you wait for me
I’ll wait for you
In the name of God and a love that is true
I will lift my hands up and hold out for you
With God as my strength
I’ll wait, I’ll wait for you.

I know there’ll be times when we’ll have a choice
The world all around us trying to keep out God’s voice
But to turn from Him now, could mean losing you
And all of the plans He had hoped we could do
So until I find you, I’ve got to be true
I will keep myself for you
Will you do the same too?

Without You
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.

Lyrics to Without You:
Without You, the sun would not rise in the morning
The moon would not show at night
And I could not follow in Your great light
Without You, Jesus, without You

Without You, the snow would not thaw in the springtime
The trees could not drink your dew
And I could not awaken and reach for You
Without You, Jesus, without You

There wouldn’t be a purpose to any single day
I wouldn’t have a reason to go on that way
And now, I ask You, don’t let me go astray
And be without You, without You

Without You, there would be no joy beyond the sorrow
There would be no hope tomorrow
And I could not sing my songs for You
Without You, Jesus, without You

There wouldn’t be a purpose to any single day
I wouldn’t have a reason to go on that way
And now, I ask You, don’t let me go astray
And be without You, without You

Without You, the sun would not rise in the morning
The moon would not show at night
And I could not follow in Your great light
Without You, Jesus, without You …. Without You

Romans 8
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.

Lyrics to Romans 8:
You gave me hope when nothing was there
You forgave me when I was lost in despair
Oh You gave me life when I’d done wrong
You are my God and I sing You my song

Neither death, nor life, any angels or demons
Nothing present or future, any power or reason
Neither height nor depth, anything in creation
Can take Your love from me.

I don’t understand why You remain true
I can’t believe how I’ve treated You
Oh I’ve fallen down, but You’re holding me
Why do You keep on rescuing me?

Neither death, nor life, any angels or demons
Nothing present or future, any power or reason
Neither height nor depth, anything in creation
Can take Your love from me.

My thanks to... Guy, my husband, for your unquestioning and selfless support. Your quiet faith stirs my own faith and makes me braver every day. To Mike and Lori that you really believed this CD would finally happen and for all the creativity that poured out of you both to make it happen. To Steve, Kevin, Pete, and families for your generous time, love and support for this music and for your genuine heart to bring the message. To my daughter, Amy, you have been singing since before you could talk. It is a gift to me to have your sweet voice blended with mine to offer back to our Maker. To Ed and Joan for your tireless input and for always being there to support me no matter what. To Joyce and Pat, your strong Christian faith has kept me on the right road. To Stephan, you jumped in with your camera and a willing heart just at the right time. To Scott, Joe, Henry, Russell, Maria, Dave and John for adding your fine creative talents to this project. To the wonderful people at Calvary Chapel for showing me how to listen to God’s leading. To all my wonderful friends and listeners, whom I couldn’t even begin to list, who have ceaselessly encouraged me to make another CD, your support and enthusiasm have taken me through hard times and brought me back out where I belong. And to Jesus... You put it all on the line for me and I don’t know why ... but I’m so thankful that You did ... I can only offer up myself and this gift of music as small thanks.

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