Monday, February 25, 2008

Close Your Eyes

by Buddy Houghtaling
from the album Mercy Road

open bible on pillow on bed by lampstandWhen I was just a little boy
I'd be out playing ball
Til the time the sun would set
And then I'd here my mother call
I'll go and put my glove away
Make sure I'd brushed my teeth
Give my folks a kiss good night
And try to go to sleep
But sometimes sleep just wouldn't come
As I'd replay the game
My mom would come and rub my back
And I'd hear her gently say

photo by wheat_in_your_hair

Close your eyes
Time to rest
I know your team got beat today
But I know you did your best
The day is gone
Night is falling
And I'll be calling when the sunlight hits the sky
It's okay child.
Chose your eyes

Later on in life
I was sleepless once again
When the girl I thought would be the one
Said I think we'll just be friends
My mom would try to comfort me
Try to make it be alright
Told me some day I would meet the one
That'd love to be my wife
As I lay there in the darkness
The world right at its end
I remember momma coming in
And I heard her words again

Close your eyes
Time to rest
Just leave it all in God's hands
It'll work out for the best
Day is gone
Night is falling
And I'll be calling when the sunlight hits the skies
It's okay son
Close your eyes

hand with an iv drip resting on a hospital bedSo many things she taught me
Went around inside my head
As I stood there in the hospital
Beside my mother's bed
She fought to live so valiantly
But her strength was getting low
The heaviness within her eyes
Said that it was time to go
She seemed to ask permission
As if she wasn't sure
I kissed her gently on the cheek
And I said these words to her

photo by Tim Samoff

Close your eyes
Time to rest
In showing us a mother's love
Know you're the best
The day is gone
The night is falling
But He'll be calling when the angels fill the skies
It's okay, Mom
Close your eyes
I'll see you there with open eyes

This song is from the album,
Mercy Road, by Buddy Houghtaling, and can be purchased at his website.

Buddy performs from time to time on 3ABN television.

I admire Buddy for being able to share and perform this song. As teary as I can get just listening, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to perform a song about your own mother's death. But, praise the Lord, when a loved one dies in the blessed hope and we can have confidence that we will meet them when the angels fill the skies (1Thes 4:16-17)

It seems quite fitting that the next song on the album is
Precious Lord Take My Hand.

- Dave

Thursday, February 14, 2008

If I Had A Dime for Every Time...

long straight road leading into the mountainsJust Like Me by Sweet Comfort Band
from the album Hearts of Fire

If I had a dime for every time
I've had you on my mind
They would stretch on down the highway
In an endless line
If I had a dime for every time
I've thought about us two
I could buy myself a lifetime
Just to spend on you

photo by twoblueday

And maybe you could care for someone
Just like me
Maybe you're in need of someone
Just like me

Now I told you how I hold you
In my highest esteem
I hope you don't disapprove of me
If I'm not what I seem
As a matter fact fact
I've been holding back
The way I really feel
Cuz I've been afraid
Of what you might say
If my heart had been revealed

And maybe you could care for someone
Just like me
Maybe you're in need of someone
Just like me

Well, I'm no Knight in shining armor
I'm No prince charming, I agree
But what lack in might and valor
I'll make up in honesty

So, here I go
I will try to show
How much for you I care
But the value that I place in you
Is far beyond compare
You mean more to me
Than the eye can see
But your heart can understand
That I'm talking of the kind of love
To a woman from a man

And maybe you could care for someone
Just like me
Maybe you're in need of someone
Just like me
Maybe deep inside you're feeling
Just like me
And maybe you could marry someone
Just like me

Love, if not expressed, dies.

The wife was in tears and ready to leave the marriage. The counselor asked, "Don't you love your wife?" "Of course," the husband replied. "I told her the day I married her and if anything changes I'll let her know."

Have you told your spouse that you love them lately?
Better yet, have told them that you're happy that you married them?
Better yet, have you proposed lately?

Would you marry me?
I still do!

Arise, My Love

couple watching sunset on the beachby Michael Card
from the album The Way of Wisdom
(adapted from the Song of Solomon)

Arise, my love, my lovely one come,
Winter is past and the rains are gone.
The flowers appear, it's the season of song,
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.

photo by steelight

Who is it that appears like the dawn?
As fair as the moon, as bright as the sun?
Show me your face, let me hear your voice.
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.

Set me like a seal on your heart,
For love is unyielding as the grave.
The flash of it is a jealous fire,
No flood can quench,
For love is as strong as death.

Arise my love and come with me
Before the dawn breaks and the shadows flee.
You ravished my heart with just one glance
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.

Do not arose or awaken love
Until it so desires.

Arise, my love, my lovely one come,
The Winter is past and the rains are gone.
The flowers appear, it's season of song,
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.

I am my love's, my beloved is mine.
Arise and come with me. "

A very brave friend of mine sang this song to his bride while she walked down the aisle to him at their own wedding. It was quite a romantic gesture. He was so moved that he could hardly sing. I learned that day that I probably didn't want to do the same thing on my own wedding day. I do, though, sing it to my own well-beloved from time to time just to say:

Deborah, I still do. Arise my love, and come with me...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Take My Yoke and Learn of Me

Did you ever stop to ask what a yoke is really for? Is it to be a burden to the animal which wears it? It is just the opposite: it is to make its burden light. Attached to the oxen in any other way than by a yoke, the plow would be intolerable; worked by means of a yoke, it is light. A yoke is not an instrument of torture; it is an instrument of mercy. It is not a malicious contrivance for making work hard; it is a gentle device to make hard labor light. two oxen wearing a yoke

photo by bcmom
[Christ] knew the difference between a smooth yoke and a rough one, a bad fit and a good one... The rough yoke galled, and the burden was heavy; the smooth yoke caused no pain, and the load was lightly drawn. The badly fitted harness was a misery; the well fitted collar was "easy". And what was the "burden"? It was not some special burden laid upon the Christian, some unique infliction that they alone must bear. It was what all men bear: it was simply life, human life itself, the general burden of life which all must carry with them from the cradle to the grave. Christ saw that men took life painfully. To some it was a weariness, to others failure, to many a tragedy, to all a struggle and a pain. How to carry this burden of life had been the whole world's problem. And here is Christ's solution: "Carry it as I do. Take life as I take it. Look at it from my point of view. Interpret it upon my principles. Take my yoke and learn of me, and you will find it easy. For my yoke is easy, sits right upon the shoulders, and therefore my burden is light."

- Henry Drummond

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Two Different Worlds

from the album Ten Commandments
by Steve Hamby

Sunset in My Rearview MirrorAll of my closest friends think I'm a fool
They laugh and call me names and sometimes they're cruel
I try to live my life by His Golden Rule
By all of their standards I know I'm not cool

photo by Code Poet

They try to make me think I'm not what I could be
I could have glamor and gold and then they'd be pleased
But I just don't have a need for their diamonds and pearls
They say I'm crazy and in my own world

Yes I'm in my own world where Jesus is king
And only his true sheep will know what I mean
I could have anything like diamonds and pearls
But I know I'm livin' in two different worlds

Sometimes they ask me why I live this way
I like to tell them the promise He made
That there is another world too good to be true
And He tailor made it for just me and you

And we'll have our own world where Jesus is king
And of his true sheep will be at his feet
We can anything not just diamonds and pearls
And that's why were livin' in two different worlds

This song strikes so close to my heart. All of my life people have told me that I could accomplish this or I could achieve that if I would just stop being so persnickety. "It's a gray area," they said. Stop being so peculiar. Just check your conscience at the door. Abandon your family. Make choices for self.

It's the tyranny of the "got to's." You've "got to" do what it takes. You've "got to" do it now. You've "got to" seize the moment because they'll pull out the Captain's chair for you only once....

- Dave

Thursday, February 7, 2008

An Impressive Dream

4th of July Storm at Sunset on Trail Ridge Road
While at Battle Creek in August, 1868, I dreamed of being with a large body of people. A portion of this assembly started out prepared to journey. We had heavily loaded wagons. As we journeyed, the road seemed to ascend. On one side of this road was a deep precipice; on the other was a high, smooth, white wall, like the hard finish upon plastered rooms.

photo by Adam Baker

As we journeyed on, the road grew narrower and steeper. In some places it seemed so very narrow that we concluded that we could no longer travel with the loaded wagons. We then loosed them from the horses, took a portion of the luggage from the wagons and placed it upon the horses, and journeyed on horseback.

As we progressed, the path still continued to grow narrow. We were obliged to press close to the wall, to save ourselves from falling off the narrow road down the steep precipice. As we did this, the luggage on the horses pressed against the wall and caused us to sway toward the precipice. We feared that we should fall and be dashed in pieces on the rocks. We then cut the luggage from the horses, and it fell over the precipice. We continued on horseback, greatly fearing, as we came to

the narrower places in the road, that we should lose our balance and fall. At such times a hand seemed to take the bridle and guide us over the perilous way.

As the path grew more narrow, we decided that we could no longer go with safety on horseback, and we left the horses and went on foot, in single file, one following in the footsteps of another. At this point small cords were let down from the top of the pure white wall; these we eagerly grasped, to aid us in keeping our balance upon the path. As we traveled, the cord moved along with us. The path finally became so narrow that we concluded that we could travel more safely without our shoes, so we slipped them from our feet and went on some distance without them. Soon it was decided that we could travel more safely without our stockings; these were removed, and we journeyed on with bare feet.

We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end.

Our danger of falling from the pathway increased. We pressed close to the white wall, yet could not place our feet fully upon the path, for it was too narrow. We then suspended nearly our whole weight upon the cords, exclaiming: "We have hold from above! We have hold from above!" The same words were uttered by all the company in the narrow pathway. As we heard the sounds of mirth and revelry that seemed to come from the abyss below, we shuddered. We heard the profane oath, the vulgar jest, and low, vile songs. We heard the war song and the dance song. We heard instrumental music and loud laughter, mingled with cursing and cries of anguish and bitter wailing, and were more anxious

than ever to keep upon the narrow, difficult pathway. Much of the time we were compelled to suspend our whole weight upon the cords, which increased in size as we progressed.

I noticed that the beautiful white wall was stained with blood. It caused a feeling of regret to see the wall thus stained. This feeling, however, lasted but for a moment, as I soon thought that it was all as it should be. Those who are following after will know that others have passed the narrow, difficult way before them, and will conclude that if others were able to pursue their onward course, they can do the same. And as the blood shall be pressed from their aching feet, they will not faint with discouragement; but, seeing the blood upon the wall, they will know that others have endured the same pain.

At length we came to a large chasm, at which our path ended. There was nothing now to guide the feet, nothing upon which to rest them. Our whole reliance must be upon the cords, which had increased in size until they were as large as our bodies. Here we were for a time thrown into perplexity and distress. We inquired in fearful whispers: "To what is the cord attached?" My husband was just before me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. Should we fail here, all the difficulties of our journey had been experienced for nought.

Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high. I could not see the sun; but bright, soft beams of light, resembling fine gold and silver, were resting upon this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field. But could we succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry. Should the cord break, we must perish. Again, in whispered

anguish, the words were breathed: "What holds the cord?" For a moment we hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed: "Our only hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us now." Still we were hesitating and distressed. The words were then spoken: "God holds the cord. We need not fear." These words were then repeated by those behind us, accompanied with: "He will not fail us now. He has brought us thus far in safety."

My husband then swung himself over the fearful abyss into the beautiful field beyond. I immediately followed. And, oh, what a sense of relief and gratitude to God we felt! I heard voices raised in triumphant praise to God. I was happy, perfectly happy.

I awoke, and found that from the anxiety I had experienced in passing over the difficult route, every nerve in my body seemed to be in a tremor. This dream needs no comment. It made such an impression upon my mind that probably every item in it will be vivid before me while my memory shall continue.

from Testimonies for the Church Volume Two : Page 594, by E.G.White

Friday, February 1, 2008

To Know the Value...

To know the value of a sister
Ask someone Who doesn't have one.

To know the value of ten years:last moments of a sunset on the ocean
Ask a newly Divorced couple.

To know the value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To know the value of one year:
Ask a student who Has failed a final exam.

photo by Mike Baird

To know the value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a still born.

To know the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to A premature baby.

To know the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To know the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to Meet.

To know the value of one minute:
Ask a person Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To know the value of one-second:
Ask a person Who has survived an accident.

To know the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special. – Author unknown.

Some bonus values...

To know the value of a yard, ask an NFL running back.
To know the value of a tenth of a second, ask a basketball team down by two.
To know the value of an inch, ask an architect.
To know the value of a pint, ask someone in need of a blood transfusion.
To know the value of a child, ask someone who can't have one.

To know the value of a life, ask God while His Son was on the cross.

I especially like that last one.