Man and Woman

Featured song: Woman, Man That I Love, from Paul Clark’s 1977 album Hand To The Plow.

Candle-lightingTwenty-three years ago today, I stepped out on a journey that I have never regretted. It has become stronger and more sweet with time. I am not referring to my journey with Jesus, but rather the life I have lived with my wife, Kim.

On that wedding day, we had written our vows, arranged our ceremony, and planned for music to be sung. Our friends, Jim and Diana Moeller agreed to sing for us two songs that I had liked for a long time. After Kim heard them, she also liked them, and asked for a tape of them to listen to, so she would know them better. The special gift that she gave to me that day was that as we listened to this song being sung, as we faced each other up in front of our family and friends, she softly sang the words of the woman’s part — to me! How memorable that was for me, something that I continue to treasure.

Happy 23rd anniversary, Kim! You have made this life worthwhile!

Enjoy, then, one of the most performed songs for weddings during the era of early Jesus music! [Note: for the album, Paul Clark had the help of Kelly Willard singing the second part.]

Woman, your worth is far above all precious jewels
My heart trusts in you
I know you’ll do me good,
All the days of my life

Woman, your hands, they seem to work with delight
You’re like a merchant ship
Gathering goods from afar
For your home

You rise before the sun
To serve everyone
Day after day, your hands seldom rest
You never eat the bread of idleness

Woman, you are a gift to me
Grace and beauty are yours
Woman, you’re like a silent night
Gentle and quiet in heart

Woman, you are a gift to me
Grace and beauty are yours
Woman, you’re like a silent night
Gentle and quiet in heart

And I love you
Please love me
Let us live together
In Him

In my heart there’s a feeling
That I know has come from above
He gave me you for my covering
It’s true that you are the man that I love

Since the day that He spoke to me
And showed me you were the one
We’ve been through so many changes
But still you are the man that I love

What a joy to be living
Sharing our lives together
If we continue in giving
We’ll share a little of heaven
Right here on the earth

What a joy to be living
Sharing our lives together
If we continue in giving
We’ll share a little of heaven
Right here on the earth

Woman, I love you!
You’re the man that I love!
Let us live together in Him

Hand To The Plow, 1977, Paul Clark This album is available at the artist’s
web site

Roll Call

Featured song: Lazarus Come Forth, from the 1984 album by Carman, Comin’ On Strong

The Raising Of LazarusAnyone who grew up in a church that had Sunday school classes for children was exposed at a young age to stories from the Bible. There were stories from the New Testament about Jesus, but there were also those great stories from the Old Testament about the encounters that people had with God over the thousands of years before Jesus came to earth.

All of the most interesting stories are those in which God does something miraculous in His interactions with people. Hebrews 11 in the New Testament is specifically discussing the topic of faith, but in the process it gives snap shots of many of the miracles of those saints of the past.

These stories are compelling because they are not part of the ordinary life that we usually see from day to day. They inspire, they provoke dreams, and they have built up my confidence in the certainty that God interacts in daily life.

In today’s song by Carman, we have another Jesus story. Again, it is told from the point of view of someone in the story as he lives through it. The story is about Lazarus, one of Jesus’ friends, and his two sisters. Lazarus became ill; Jesus heard about it, but purposely chose to not come and heal Lazarus. Instead, He allowed this illness to take Lazarus’ life. And that choice made the miracle all the more miraculous, because it was not only a healing, but a resurrection from the dead.

The story, told from Lazarus’ point of view, shows his journey from life into death, and his interaction with the faithful dead saints of the past. It is told in the context of these souls having a meeting, and each sharing his or her testimony of God’s action in their life, how they knew Him. The song is a powerful reminder that God can make the difference in a life — in my life, and in your life, even today!

“I am the resurrection and the life
He that believeth in me
Though he were dead
Shall he live”

A certain man had died
In the town of Bethany
And Lazarus was his name

The Bible says he was
A man that Jesus loved
And his sisters
Thought it was a shame

Mary and Martha longed
For Jesus’ healing touch
To come and raise their brother
‘Cause they loved that boy so much
But Jesus had a plan
Not known to any man
That would soon take away their pain

They was waiting for Jesus to come and say
Oh, Lazarus,
Hey, Lazarus, come forth!

When he died he went to where
The saints of God did stay
In the holding place
They lived beyond the tomb

And there he saw Elijah, Moses and Samuel, even Ruth
And all the others, jammed up in a room
He turned around and saw Ol’ Gideon standin’ by the door
He walked up, said, “Hey, brother
Tell me, what’s this group here for?”
Well, Giddie said,
“Well, alright, this is testimony night;
Have a seat, man, ’cause the meeting’s startin’ soon!”

While Mary and Martha just wanted to see their Lazarus,
Oh, Lazarus,
When will their Lazarus, come forth?

Moses shook his stick, said,
“Now, this meeting come to order!
Can I get a witness for the Lord tonight?”

Abraham kicked it off, said,
“I want y’all know that I knew Him;
He gave a child to my barren wife!”

Isaac waved his hand, said,
“Hey, daddy, I knew Him, too!”

Jacob jumped up, says,
“Amen, Grandpa, preach it!”

Old dignified Solomon
He adjusted his robe, said,
“I knew him; He made me so smart,
I started to teach it.”

Ezekiel said, “I knew Him
As a wheel within a wheel.”

Job said, “Man, he healed me
When I was almost dead!”

Sampson said, “I knew Him
When some Philistines tried to jump me;
I took a donkey jawbone, busted a few heads!”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said,
“We knew Him in the fiery furnace.”

Jonah said, “Man, He gave me a second chance!”

Daniel cried out, “I knew Him
In a hungry den of lions”

The Holy Ghost hit King David,
He just started to dance!

Lazarus got so excited,
He shouted, “Hey, I knew Him too!”

Moses put down his stick,
Said, “Hey, who’s the new kid?”

Needless to say the room got real quiet
When Lazarus said, “But I knew Him
In a way that y’all never did.

“You see, man, I walked with Him and talked with Him;
I saw how His teachings awed the crowds.
Those famous tears of compassion, I could actually see.
Man, He used to come over to my house after church,
And my sisters would make Him dinner
Every month, I even supported his ministry.

“You see, man, I watched him confront the Pharisees
I was there when he fed the five thousand
I heard the people gasp when he healed the lame
You see, man, I even remember the littlest things;
The things that most folks would forget.
Like the simple, loving way He’d just
Call my name.”

Up at the grave, stone rolled away
With a loud voice Jesus started to say,

“You see, fellas, it just seems like yesterday,
I could hear that man saying my name…”


“As a matter of a fact it seems like today, I don’t…”


“Excuse me brothers,
I think I hear Him calling me now, what…?”

“Hey, Jesus!”

“Lazarus, come forth!
Come forth!
I command you,
Come forth!!”

Whoa, Lazarus,
Hey Lazarus,
Oh, Lazarus come forth!
Like Jesus was saying,
“Sickness be healed,
Mountain be moved”
When He said, “Lazarus come forth!”

Mary don’t weep, Martha don’t moan
Here come your boy, comin’ forth!

“He that believeth in me,
Though he were dead
Shall he live.”

Comin' On Strong, 1984, Carman

Mothers and Time

Featured Song: Watercolour Ponies, by Wayne Watson, from the 1987 album of the same name.

Mother and babyToday is Mother’s Day, 2009. It is, I have heard, one of the busiest days for telephone traffic of nearly any other day of the year.

Some recollections of mothers are, sadly, not positive. For those people for whom this is true, I express my condolences. I myself had a childhood that was made more enjoyable by the closeness I had with my parents, and it was my mother who held the household together. She loved we three children deeply, and was very selfless in her care. I am grateful for the life she provided for us, and love her all the more for it.

From the point of view of being a parent, I have learned many of those things about children and parenting that I believe she told me once I would understand “some day”. And one of those things is the relative speed at which life seems to run as an adult compared to the time it took to pass when I was a child. I posted here about the tendency to “turn around” and suddenly finding that the early years of your children has come and gone in a flash of time. It seems like not such a long time since my two children were babies; about twenty years later, they are both in college and facing the future of their own adult lives.

For a mother, then, there is the sweetness of holding a baby, the joy of playing with the young child, the busy time of handling their school years, the even faster pace of high school, and then they are gone. Your relationship is changed, and although still parent to child, it now (hopefully) takes on some of that of “friend”.

To the mothers in the world, living and past, I dedicate today’s song. Wayne Watson’s lyrics give a picture of a just a small aspect of the life of raising children.

There are watercolour ponies
On my refrigerator door
And the shape of something I don’t really recognize
Brushed with careful little fingers
And put proudly on display
A reminded to us all of how time flies

Seems an endless mound of laundry
And a stairway laced with toys
Gives a blow by blow reminder of the war
That we fight for their well-being
For their greater understanding
To impart a holy reverence for the Lord

But baby, what will we do
When it comes back to me and you
They look a little less like little boys every day
Oh, the pleasure of watchin’ the children growin’
Is mixed with a bitter cup
Of knowin’ the watercolour ponies
Will one day ride away

And the vision can get so narrow
As you view thru your tiny world
And little victories can go by with no applause
But in the greater evaluation
As they fly from your nest of love
May they mount up with wings as eagles for His cause

But baby, what will we do
When it comes back to me and you
They look a little less like little boys every day
Oh, the pleasure of watchin’ the children growin’
Is mixed with a bitter cup
Of knowin’ the watercolour ponies
Will one day ride away

Watercolour Ponies, 1987, Wayne Watson