I've Been Freed

Album Credits

Compositions, arrangements, lead vocals, keyboards/Doug Howell • Harmony vocals/Bobbi Page & Doug • Drums/Mark Minor & Doug • Electric bass/Mark Johnson • Acoustic, electric guitars/Dan "Wonderknucks" Leonhardt • Flutes/Greg Purdue & Pam Murphy • Alto flute, English horn/Greg Purdue • Trumpets, flugelhorns/Larry Leffler & Al Morrow • French horns/Greg Eichman & Michael Davis • Trombones/Arlen Wiseman & Dwight Kiger • Percussion/Steve Hanna • Harp/Pat Motovick • The Pinebrook Strings

Special thanks to the above musicians, who not only contributed their talents, but themselves.

Production & general inspiration/Michael Glenn (Kuzma) • Engineering & understanding/Chris Banninger, a special brother • Ass't remix/Darrell Powell, Mike & Doug
Recorded at Pinebrook, Alexandria, IN • Thanks to Dan Posthuma for his constant support and concern (& to Crystal King for her sympathetic smile) • Mastering/Toby Foster, Los Angeles, CA • Pressing/Capitol Records, New Jersey • Jacket design/Mike & Doug • Photography/Mike • Aerial photo/Courtesy of Jerry Terris, Aerial Photo Co., Troy, MI • Photo lab work/Jack Wolak & Meteor Photo, Detroit, MI • Jacket fabrication/Rutgers Packaging, Indianapolis, IN • Color separations/Precision Colorplate, Plymouth, MI • Inset artwork/Bill Howison, Ann Arbor, MI

All compositions by Doug Howell except "For You To Live," lyrics by Mark Minor

In the love of Jesus to R.S. All glory to God, who is my life and song.

Digitized from the original master tapes December, 2005, by World Class Tapes

Recording ℗ © Trinity Sound Corporation 1977, assigned to Creative Measures (ASCAP) • All songs ℗ © Trinity Sound Corporation 1976, assigned to Creative Measures (ASCAP)

Note: See The Old Albums Revisited for general notes on the how's and why's of creating CD versions of the old albums.

I Just Wanna Talk About Jesus

19 Jul 1974

don't make me talk about weather
please don't make me talk about trends
and don't ask my opinion of the latest style
can't we talk about something
that's never gonna end?

I just wanna talk about Jesus
I just wanna talk about His love
how it frees us
I just wanna talk about Jesus
and I just wanna talk about His love
He's the one we should all be talking of

don't make me think about fortune
don't make me think about fame
don't make me think about the friends that fail me
I'd rather think of someone who'll always stay the same

I just wanna think about Jesus
I just wanna think about His love
how it frees us
I just wanna think about Jesus
and I just wanna think about His love
He's the one we should all be thinking of

and I wanna think about paddlewheel boats
and rivers that run forever
and a captain that smiled at me once in a dream
(oh, you know, oh, you know it's not a dream)

I just wanna sing about Jesus
I just wanna sing about His love
how it frees us
I just wanna sing about Jesus
and I just wanna sing about His love
He's the one we should all be singing of

1977 Notes:

I guess I just don't want to waste any time. I want you to know from the very beginning why we recorded this album—and more than that, why we live. I don't want you to have any doubts.

We've all been in situations where there seems to be a constant flow of conversation and light talk about every subject imaginable—except Jesus. One time I sat through about two hours of such non-stop nonsense when suddenly I got really fed up. "Why can't they ever talk about something that's gonna last forever?" I asked myself in disgust. Whereupon the Lord gently reminded me that He had given me a mouth, too, and that it might help if I would use it to change things instead of complaining.

Oh, I know there are many other things of value that we can and should talk about. Don't misunderstand me. But if we would call Him Lord, then He must truly be Lord of every conversation. And if we would name Him as our King, then He must indeed by King even of our deepest dreams.

Matthew 12:35,36

2006 Notes:

It seems to me now that the central thought in that whole Matthew passage is really at the end of verse 34: "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Whatever is in your heart will be communicated, one way or another. I think maybe what I should be saying is, "Lord, let my heart so overflow with You that I can't help but talk, and think, and sing about You." But I have to give you a little background info on this song...

We performed this song a lot with the Good News Circle, but never performed the bridge. We used the song as an opener, and the slower, more dreamy bridge would have dragged everything down, I guess. When it came time to record the song on the We Are His People album, I wanted to include it, but we ended up leaving it out then, too. I could understand the decision, but reserved the right to record the entire song as written at a later date. The bridge is included in this version.

That little story illustrates the problem with this song: Put the bridge in and it slows down an otherwise catchy, straight-ahead tune and complicates a simple message. Leave it out and the song becomes more one-dimensional. And if there's one thing truth is not, it's one-dimensional.

It's kind of like the difference between law and grace. You can approach things either way. You can (1) keep track of everything you say and think and try to control everything so it comes out right, or you can (2) just make sure your heart is right and let things flow. Since the verse says we'll speak what's in our hearts, seems to make the most sense to do the latter. Trying to control things only seems to work anyway. Even if you get the right words coming out in the right order, you just can't manufacture the meaning.

I took a trip to an amusement park with friends and was taken by surprise on the paddlewheel boat ride. The captain smiled at me, afternoon sun filtering sideways through the fake Spanish moss, and I just couldn't forget it. It haunted me, that smile haunted me, and it showed up in this song. It wasn't a dream, not really, yet it represented one. It was one of those divine moments that somehow manage to break through the routine and remind us of all the things we hope for.

So there it is, all wrapped up in a little bridge only a few bars long. The Lord made us human beings, not angels. Experience and communicate that humanness as only you can. Be real (and hold that thought for the next album).

Daniel

21 Mar 1973

thirteen inches of snow on the earth
what better way to spend the day
than sitting alone in my room with the door shut
typing my life on sheets of paper
life has always been a noun to me
but just now it seems to me
as if it should be something more

Daniel must have been some sorta guy
too bad it's not easy to live for God
then everyone would do it
wouldn't they?

one more layer of stone on my heart
and it will be unreachable
doesn't seem right that I've known You for fifteen years
and been slapping your face for fifteen years
Jesus, if You don't think it bothers me
just look at me now
I'm losing my head 'cause I don't want to hurt You

(repeat chorus)

I'm so glad that You never run dry
of the love I need so desperately
and You never seem to forget
that I need You
don't let me forget You when You need me
I don't think I'll ever understand
but I know I need Your life
to live a life that's gonna please You

(repeat chorus)

1977 Notes:

The Christian life is not always a happy, glory-filled sunshine skyway to the clouds. It is most often just an ordinary looking path, straight and very narrow. At times it becomes treacherously steep, and it often descends into the valley and is swallowed up in shadow. Consider the teachings of Jesus. He never attempted to make discipleship either easy or popular. Instead, He warned would-be followers to count the cost. Many times when addressing a crowd He deliberately emphasized the difficulties and seriousness of following him even though He new many would turn away, rather than give a false impression of ease just to increase the number of converts.

The road He calls us to travel is hard. But though it is steep, His strength is sufficient, and though it is filled with shadow, His light shines ever brighter in our hearts. We may not consider ourselves to be mature when we call His way easy, but when we see His way as best. Let us praise God for the mountains, for if we'd never become weary we would not know how great is His strength and willingness to help us; and for the shadows, for if we had never walked in darkness, we would not know how glorious is His light.

Luke 14:26-35

2006 Notes:

This is about as close to a "stream of consciousness" song as I've got. I really did just sit down at the typewriter and type my life. There really had been a blizzard of a snowstorm, and things were pretty much gridlocked. Couldn't go anywhere, and all I wanted to do was go anywhere. Just escape. From myself. But of course, that's not possible, and in the end you have to face things one way or another. Can't remember what was getting me down in particular, but I obviously felt like a failure. Guess it's a good thing that it bothers us when we fail. It's part of the motivation to pick ourselves up and try again. (More like give up trying, and let Him live through us.) Strange that even when we're feeling like failures, He needs us.

Make Me Just Like You

8 Aug 1974

I've been seeing things that I just shouldn't see
and I've been trying to be things in my mind I shouldn't be
I've been going places I really shouldn't go
Lord, You're my last chance for life and love
I know, I know, oh

make me pure and holy, Lord
make me kind and true
make me free to love, Jesus
make me just like You
I remember when You used to be
my best and closest friend
and You always gave me
your sweet love
please help me to give it back again

I've been trying to feel things I've got no right to feel
I've gotten so confused I can't tell what is face from real
oh, I just can't be the person that I long to be
unless You pick me up the pieces, Lord
and set my body free, oh

(repeat chorus)

fill me with your sweetness, Lord
fill me with your truth
fill me with your holiness
oh, fill me, Lord, with You
and I pray that You will always be
my best and closest friend
'cause You always gave me your sweet love
please help me to give it back again
to give it back again

1977 Notes:

"You shall be holy, for I am holy." I Peter 1:16

I used to react very negatively to this verse and others like it. I thought God was saying, "This is how it is: I'm holy so you have to be holy. That's all there is to it." This seemed very harsh and unreasonable to me. I realize now that I had forgotten possibly the most important fact in the Bible: God is love. And if God is love, then even this particular command must be motivated by love. We were created to have fellowship with the Lord, and He greatly desires that kind of relationship with each of us. However, there's one big problem. He is holy—so holy that He can't even look upon evil; and—you guessed it—we, by nature, are evil. that doesn't make for too high a rating on the compatibility charts. The only way we can have fellowship with Him is if by some miracle we become holy.

And here is the miracle: God loved us so much that He sacrificed His own Son so that by the shedding of Jesus' precious, innocent blood we can be cleansed. By faith, His holiness becomes ours.

There's no reason to settle for anything less than that glorious, holy fellowship, for even when we stumble and wander far from him, He always waits to forgive and welcome us home.

Hebrews 9:11-14.

2006 Notes:

My friend, Nance, and I used to quote this song to each other all the time. Just the line, "life and love, I know, I know." We used it in a lot of situations, but mainly as a way to sum up when words didn't make it. The message is an awful lot like "Daniel," when you think about it. We wander, but he never stops loving us. And it only gets truer the longer I live.

Hide and Seek

29 Jan 1976

it's so easy to hide the ugliness inside
beneath the clothes we wear, beneath the things we do
I was always afraid I wouldn't make the grade
so I learned to do the things I was expected to
I never knew

when I was young I used to play hide and seek
and I grew up hiding from everyone I'd meet
like a child, I long for someone to find me
searching in the streets
then Jesus came and found me
He threw His arms around me
now I don't have to hide anymore

it's so easy to make the commonplace mistake
of seeing who we are as who we'd like to be
Jesus opened my eyes to see my own disguise
and He freed me to become what I was meant to be
and now I see

(repeat chorus)

you're seeing who you are as who you'd like to be
Jesus can free you to become what you were meant to be
oh, can't you see?

when you were young you used to play hide and seek
and you grew up hiding from everyone you'd meet
like a child, you long for someone to find you
searching in the streets
let Jesus come and find you
He'll throw His arms around you
then you won't have to hide anymore
you don't have to hide anymore

1977 Notes:

My niece, Jamie, has a very interesting version of Hide and Seek. As soon as I close my eyes and start counting, she'll run for the dining room and stick her head into the little space between the buffet and the adjacent wall. I guess she thinks that as long as she can't see me, I can't see her, either. So I pretend to search the whole house, and finally, when enough time has elapsed (or when I get tired enough), I "find" her. Hide and Seek is one game we all know how to play. It started way back in the Garden (Genesis 3:8) and we've had plenty of practice since then. We hide from God. We hide from each other. We even hide from ourselves. and though we may be amused at Jamie's version of the game, we hide our faces from God and think He can't see us.

When will we learn that there's no sense in hiding?
When will we learn that there's no reason to be afraid?
When will you let Him find you?

Hebrews 4:13, Matthew 10:26

2006 Notes:

Hebrews 4:12 is quite a powerful lead-in to verse 13. It's about the double-edged sword that "judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." That's where the hiding usually starts, anyway, in the heart. Luckily, that's also where he seeks us. (More on that a little later.)

Earthbound

6 Dec 1973

if I could
I would stay above the clouds
above the people and the city
what a shame
most of them will stay earthbound
and think that I'm the one to pity

if they could only see
what they look like
from the air
the problems seem so small
don't seem big at all
from up there

if I could
I would go away somewhere
where all the hurting was behind me
but I know
I could not be happy there
if you were not right there beside me

the sky would seem so gray
and so empty
without you
and if I found the dawn
how could I go on
without you?

(instrumental)
and I guess
I would rather stay earthbound
if staying means that I'll be near you

1977 Notes:

As long as we can sustain the wall of stone around our heart we're safe and secure—and alone. We can't be hurt by those with whom we will not acknowledge even a slight degree of oneness.

But when we truly love, we give our heart into another's keeping. We suddenly become vulnerable, we have opened the door to all kinds of hurt and disappointment. And when that inevitable injury comes, we sometimes run away from the very one we love, as a hurt child runs away from home, only to find ourselves empty—and alone again. I have concluded that love is always worth the risk.

2006 Notes:

Yeah, this is about love, and about trade-offs. One thing I've learned is that trade-offs aren't always a bad thing. Compromise isn't the dirty word I once thought it was. It makes life work (especially with someone else), and it makes life beautiful. It makes life exciting, because you end up learning and experiencing so many things you never thought you would when you give up a little of your will to someone else. Too often, that stubborn resistance to compromise is nothing more than thinly veiled pride and selfishness. As I said in one of the songs on Bluer ["I Wanna Spend Time with You"], to love someone is to open yourself up to their dreams, to their likes and dislikes, to their schedule. That's what makes your relationship with someone else a life of its own. Two lives becoming one. And that means that staying earthbound and soaring aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

Here I Am

6 Feb 1975

here I am
crying again
my heart is breaking in two
here I stand
my love in my hand
I'm ready to give it to you

somehow I'm always expecting too much
and right now I long for your healing touch

here am I
just one lonely guy
that don't wanna hear no more lies
here I am
and here I will stay
please teach me to rest in your ways

(repeat chorus)

here I stand
my love in my hand
I'm ready to give it to you

just let me be what you want me to be
and from all of myself, Lord, please set me free

here I am
my life's in your hands

1977 Notes:

When we believe in Jesus we become identified with Him. We become identified with His death, burial, and resurrection. Our old self has been crucified with Him, and it is no longer we who live, but He lives through us.

One of the hardest lessons of this past year has been that no part of self can be excluded from the cross. When I came to the altar, I was not bringing my total self. I only nailed to the cross those things I readily recognized as bad or ugly. I gave up my pride, my wrong desires, and many other things that I realized were sinful. But I have come to see that even those things that are good and acceptable to me must be surrendered to the cross—even love. This has been a long, bitter struggle, for love was much more precious to me than my sins, and since I considered it to be supremely good, it was just that much harder to give up.

It's not so much that my love was bad, but that it proceeded from self, and nothing from self is perfect, or can become part of the Kingdom of God. When we exchange our life for His, we must surrender everything—even our love—to His way, the way of the cross. It is when I gave up even love that I began to understand what love really is.

Galatians 2:20

2006 Notes:

Boy, you can tell I was reading Watchman Nee when I wrote that one! Who among us hasn't felt the disappointment that comes from expecting too much? The resignation of that line, and the last chorus, "Just let me be what you want me to be"... These are still very powerful for me, and I love this song. It's the most personal song on the album.

After one of my college concerts, a few years after I recorded this, I was talking with a student in one of the dorms. I don't remember too much about our conversation, but I do remember that he seemed to know me much better than should have been possible, because I had not known him long. Don't know how it came up, but we started talking about this song, and at one point, he turned to me and, with a look that seemed to stop the turning world, he said, "If you don't want to hear any more lies, don't tell any." What he meant exactly, I'm still not sure, but it bothered me. I had tried to be honest in everything I said and sang and did, and here was this guy telling me not to tell lies.

Maybe he could see better than I could. Maybe he could see deep within me to all those struggles I couldn't name. Could I be hiding behind my honesty? There's a line in Another Country where the main character's friend says, "You wouldn't be in the mess you are now if you had any discretion at all." Then the protagonist replies, "What better cover for someone like me than total indiscretion?" Could I have been using honesty as a cover? Strange thought. But as it turned out, I was hiding. Not because I was trying to pull something over on anyone, but because I didn't know myself well enough yet. It would be nine more years before light started to dawn. Eleven before the closet door, so to speak, would swing tentatively open.

I've Been Freed

16 Nov 1974

I was raised in a box in the city
oh, no
I was really raised in the country on an orchard
a blossom-filled orchard
but my soul lived in a box in the city
yes, my soul lived in a box in the city
my soul lived in a box
most of the time
most of the time

but I've been freed
from slavery to selfish desires
from living my life
as part of a world full of liars
yes, I've been freed
from all the loneliness
that used to plague me so
and I want the whole world to know
I've been freed
by Jesus

then I moved to a place in the country
oh, no
I really moved to the concrete, to the city
a gray, dismal city
but my soul lives with the Lord in the country
yes, my soul lives with the Lord in the country
my soul lives with the Lord
all of the time
all of the time

(repeat chorus)

1977 Notes:

"If we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

"Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Hin, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

"For the death that He died. He died to sin, once for all, but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but presnet yourselves to God as those alive from the deead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

"For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be? Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

"I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:5-23.

2006 Notes:

When I was growing up on the orchard at home, all I could think of was getting off the farm and moving to the city. Funny thing was, just about ever since I got there, I've been trying to get back home. True metaphorically, too. Like the verse, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free..." The more I grew up, the more I learned that truth. The truth about God. The truth about me. And suddenly, one day I realized that the conflict I had always known inside of me was now outside. I wasn't in a box anymore. I was in a "blossom-filled orchard." But outside, some people were upset. Some said I was turning my back on God. Some smiled and said they'd always known. Some wrote accusing letters. Some loved me enough to start questioning things they thought they were sure of. But all that was outside. Inside, finally...there was peace.

Drivin' Down the Road Song No. 1

19 Jul 1975

when You reach out your arms to me
and take me to your heart
I know that there will never be
a time when we're apart
each time I read your book I'm filled
with wonder through and through
then even though You're who You are
You love me like You do

and Jesus
all my days I'll sing your praise
and lift up your name
everywhere I'll tell them how you care
I'll tell them why You came

I know You made the stars above
You call them all by name
but I don't know how it could be
You love me just the same
I pray that You will fill my mouth
with praises to the Son
so I can tell this world of hate
in love we can be one

(repeat chorus)

(repeat chorus)

1977 Notes:

One day I was just driving down the road and it really hit me how everything around me was praising the Lord. The bright sunshine, the singing birds, the wildflowers along the road—everything was effulgent with the brightness of life—everything seemed to be praising God, just by its very existence. It seemed that God was reaching out to me in the trees and whispering His secrets in the wind.

How strange it seemed that man, though he is the highest order of God's creation—made in the very image of God—how strange that he should be the only part of the whole creation that does not give glory to God.

How great is God's love, that He would give to us alone the capacity to reason and the freedom to choose, even though He knew we would choose against Him.

Brothers and sisters, let us praise Him with all that is within us. Let us not be put to shame by the stars (Psalm 19:1-6).

Psalm 150:6

2006 Notes:

Not much to add here. Except that it's still the same after all these years. I still ride down the road and the same thought still hits me. I was just riding bikes down a Florida road today with my folks, and looking around and thinking the same thing. It had been rainy and windy the last couple of days, but today: bright sunshine, a gentle breeze, birds singing, eagles bringing food to their young, grapefruit, doggies straining at their leashes, people waving from garages, and hugs all 'round—from Mom, from Dad, from Uncle Phil, from Aunt Leota, and from my 95-year-old grandpa. And the voice of my Davey on the phone, sounding like he wants me to come home.

Thank you, Lord.

There's a Difference (in the Way I Feel Today)

3 Mar 1974

there's a difference in the way I feel today
it's not that I don't know that you don't love me like before
but it just doesn't hurt me like it used to anymore
there's a difference in the way I feel today

I can see the love light fading from your eyes
and though your love for me has died
my love for you has grown
I can tell you may soon be gone
but I won't be alone
I can see the love light fading from your eyes

Jesus is the first love of my life
I know He'll do what's best for me although it may seem wrong
and when your precious love is gone
He'll still give me a song
Jesus is the first love of my life
Yes, Jesus is the first love of my life

1977 Notes:

I was losing the love of a friend who was very precious to me. I was depressed much of the time, and many times I prayed the "why?" prayer to God, and then proceeded to continue moping and sulking and feeling sorry for myself. All during this time, if someone had asked me if Jesus was first in my life, I would have answered "yes" without even thinking. But after a few weeks of this pitiful behavior I began to realize that although I might be saying "Jesus is first" with my mouth, my very actions and feelings were saying just the opposite. I had convinced myself I couldn't be happy unless this friend responded to me in such and such a manner, just as I wished. I was letting this expectation control my life instead of trusting my Lord to supply my needs—even the need for love. That day I gave Him His rightful place again. And the next time I saw my friend, it still hurt not to see the love in those precious eyes, but the hurt was overshadowed by a far greater love.

Revelation 2:4

2006 Notes:

I look back now and wonder how I could have let that loss rule my life for so long. But that's just it, isn't it? It's easy to let something (or someone) go when it doesn't mean the world to you. When it does... Well, that's a different story.

And I think I was a bit harsh on myself, too. (Not too surprising.) If the feelings didn't rush in and create havoc like that, right when you need clarity and calm, we wouldn't be quite human, would we? But we are. And that shouldn't embarrass us. After all, that's just what God wants us to be. He wants people that can somehow see Him in the midst of all that crazy humanness. What a challenge!

Jesus Is Enough To Make Me Smile

5 May 1975

lately I've been going through a rough, lonely time
I couldn't get my eyes off of my dreams
but even when my road becomes a long, hard climb
He's there to take my hand and say
"It's brighter than it seems!"

Jesus is enough to make me smile
the light of His Word shines around me mile after mile
when my eyes meet His it's just impossible to frown
and with His love inside
you just can't keep me down
Jesus is enough to make me smile

when I look at myself, I lose perspective on things
and I forget the joy of reaching out
but then His Word reminds me of the joy sharing brings
and to think that He's in love with me
it makes me want to shout

(repeat chorus)

cast your cares on Him
just lay them at His feet
and then He'll take those bitter times
and He'll make them oh, so sweet
oh, so sweet

(repeat chorus)

1977 Notes:

Here I am, one year, two months and two days later, learning the same lesson over again. When will I learn that when He says, "My grace is sufficient for you," He means it. but I keep looking for something else. I keep wandering away, searching for something I think I need, taking things into my own hands instead of trusting the Good Shepherd to supply all my needs.

I know you'll probably have to learn the hard way (if you haven't already), but just in case you'll take my word for it, I'll tell you something: I've done a lot of things in my life, I've gone a lot of places, I've searched near and far, and the only thing that has ever satisfied me is Jesus. The whole world just turns around without Him.

If you won't take my word, how about His?

II Corinthians 9:8; 12:9,10

2006 Notes:

Learning the same lessons over and over again is also a human hallmark. Thank goodness one of the divine hallmarks is patience, because I've learned that same lesson a few times since, and may have to learn it again one of these days. But if it's important, the Lord doesn't seem to mind teaching it more than once. And somehow it goes a layer deeper each time. One of these days it might just hit bedrock and then "we'll know, even as we are known." Until then, let's be kind to each other.

For You To Live

(lyrics by Mark Minor)
22 Oct 1975

life holds no fear
when in death there is victory
there's no need to shed a fear
when I think what Jesus did for me
before Pilate's mockery
He could see what the end would be
and now I know what He must have said
as He gave His life on Calvary

"for you to live, I must die
for you to win, I must try
for you to hope, I must give myself
to die upon a tree
for you to see, I must go blind
for you to have, I must find
for you to know, I must pass the test
and claim the victory
I'll claim the victory"

all across the earth
the nations all have heard
of this one, simple man
and how He lived by just one simple word
love can break the binding chains
and love can loose the pouring rains
love can tell this world of life
as Jesus did on Calvary

(repeat chorus)

1977 Notes:

I wonder if we'll ever really understand how much He gave up for us. I pray that we will never lose the wonder of why.

Philippians 2:5-11

2006 Notes:

I'm thinking of my buddy, Mark, as I read these lyrics, because he wrote them. Back in Good News Circle days, Mark was one of the most sincere guys I knew, and a good friend. I wonder where he is today and what he's doing. Maybe I'll Google him one of these days...

The arrangement sounds dated (in fact, it sounded dated when I recorded it, but that's another story). But the message sure isn't. Thinking about what Jesus gave up to give us everything is, I think, one of the most amazing and profound thoughts a human being can have.

Blessed Be His Name

20 Mar 1976

blessed be His name
glory to His name
Jesus holds all things in His hand
let us praise His holy name

(repeat chorus)

even in our darkness
we know His love won't fail
when the best that you can seem to feel is bad
so bad
His love will show the way
when those that you look up to let you down
Jesus won't desert you
He'll heal when others hurt you
He'll chase away the memories
and help you love again

(repeat chorus)

1977 Notes:
"And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

"'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.'

"And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

"'To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glorfy and dominion forever and ever.'
Amen."

Revelation 5:11-13

2006 Notes:

I must have listened to this song about a hundred times since I got Freed digitized. It's one of my favorite songs—not just on this album, but ever. (Mine or anyone else's, for that matter.) To me, it says it all, the immutable truth of who God is and what God's purpose is for us, and the utter humanity of us, the poor creature-disciples. It's only when we acknowledge that humanity that we can know—really know—divinity. And that, I guess, is really this song's message.

My prayer is that these songs will somehow cause every listener to more fully realize the incredible, unspeakable greatness of God, and that in all our frail, inconstant, imperfect humanity, we are not alone.


Lyrics & notes © 1977 Trinity Sound Corporation, assigned to Creative Measures. 2006 Notes © 2006 Creative Measures. All rights reserved.