Archives for January 2013

Wednesday’s Prayer Guide-Week 1

“Father God to You I come…”

Our Father who art in heaven, we come to you as fathers and mothers who aren’t in heaven bringing our concerns for our children to You.

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As the Psalmist David prayed in Psalm 51, we ask You to search our hearts and see if there be a way in us that is not submitted to you. Create in us a clean heart so that we can then confidently lead our children in Your holy ways.

And, as we forsake the feeding of the flesh today we ask You to see our meager sacrifice as a sign of how serious we are about wanting You to intervene in our children’s lives.

We believe that by coming into Your presence through prayer, we will be changed and in turn our children’s lives will be affected in an eternal way.

Do purify our lips as we call on You on their behalf.

 

In Christ’s holy, powerful and matchless name,

Amen

Wednesday’s Prayer Requests and Praise Reports

To have others pray for you and your children, click on the blue “Leave a comment” option above.

The Ships Are Burning

WE FEATURE THIS POST AGAIN BY REQUEST…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO BOB & LINDA!

In the 1500’s, when Cortes landed on the shores with his men to begin his conquest over the Aztecs, it is reported that he burnt the ships that had brought them there. His intent was to help his men understand that it was win or die…no retreat.

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Using the picture of Cortes’ decision to get rid of the escape routes, The Ships Are Burning was written to illustrate our commitment to each other and also to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2000. These many years since our “silver” anniversary we continue to maintain the same determination.

 

 

We hope the song will remind you of the incredible importance of “burning the ships” in your own relationship. 

 

The Ships Are Burning

We made this journey, we sailed here together

We made a promise, we’d stay here forever

And when we reached the shore we kissed the ground

You took my hand and we turned around

Then we smiled as we watched the flames light up the night

Cho…

Cause the ships are burning, there’ll be no turning back for you and me

Whatever we find here, we’ve made it clear here is where we want to be

And on this island of pleasure there’ll be some dangers and we might thing about returning

But we both know we won’t go, that’s why the ships are burning

But too many lovers are keeping their ships anchored in the bay

One by lonely one we see them sail away

But when we reached the shore we kissed the ground

You took my hand and we turned around

And we smile while we watched the flames light up the night

Oh the ships are burning, there’ll be no turning back for you and me

Whatever we find here, we’ve made it clear here is where we want to be

And on this island of pleasure there’ll be some dangers and we might thing about returning

But we both know we won’t go, that’s why the ships are burning

(Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music/BMI) Available on the CD, “Kiss of Hearts

 

Be Still My Soul

Our sincere thanks to Catherine LeBlanc for creating the video called, “Wind & Wings.” Using a song recorded by our daughter, Heidi, titled, “Be Still My Soul,” (from the CD: Hymns From God’s Great Cathedral) as well as some text from our book, “Quiet Moments For The Soul,” Catherine wanted to encourage a close friend whose husband had passed away. She sent the link to her video creation to us and we are so grateful for the opportunity to forward it to our friends.

If you or someone in your life has experienced the loss of a loved one or friend, this video could be a wonderful source of comfort.

Blessings on your stillness…
Steve & Annie

Note: Catherine has posted another video using the Doxology from Heidi’s CD and text from Quiet Moments. It is called, “The Shore.”
Also note that the book, “Quiet Moments” is no longer in print and the only place you’ll see portions from the text is on Catherine’s videos.

Seasons of a Man

Its always interesting and humbling to know that folks are so moved by the songs we’ve written that they are motivated to “marry” the songs to their video images or photos. Such is the case with the video linked to this post. We offer our thanks to “pastorusty” for creating this tender visual with the song, “Seasons of a Man.”

A note about the song, without exception it was the most challenging I have ever written. The goal of putting a long life into 3 minutes was not easy. Choosing the word pictures that would be familiar to most of us took a lot of pondering, in fact, it took almost a year to settle on them. The song was released on the “Times & Seasons” CD in 1986.

The springtime voice is our son, Nathan, who was around seven years of age. The summertime voice was a fourteen year old named Paul Terry Hester, I did the voice of autumn and at the time I was nearing forty. The voice of winter was Steve Barron.

Obviously each of the singers have moved on into other seasons of their lives. Steve Barron is now enjoying the eternal spring.

We hope you enjoy the video and thanks again to “pastorusty” for his creation.

Steve Chapman

 

Seasons of a Man

I am the springtime, when everything seems so fine

Whether rain or sunshine, you will find me playing

Days full of pretending, when a dime is a lot to be spending

A time when life is beginning, I am the springtime

 

I am the summer, when days are warm and longer

And the call comes to wander, but I can’t go far from home

When the girls become a mystery, and you’re barely passing history

Thinking old is when you’re thirty, I am the summer

 

I am the autumn days, when changes come so many ways

Looking back I stand amazed that time has gone so quickly

When love is more than feelings, its fixing bikes and painting ceilings

Its when you feel a cold when coming, I am the autumn days

 

I am the winter, when days are cold and bitter

And the days I can remember number more than the days to come

When you ride instead of walking, and you barely hear the talking

And goodbyes are said too often, I am the winter

But I’ll see spring again in heaven, and it will last forever

 

Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music, Inc/BMI / Available on our “Tools for the Trade” CD

 

The Little Girl In The Picture

One day as I was sorting through dozens of old photo albums (mine, as well as those I had inherited from my mom) I came across a 3×3, black and white photo of a little girl, age five years old.

Thankfully, my mother was faithful to write the name, date and event on the back of her pictures. So, as I turned the little faded snapshot around I read, “Taken on the way to school, the first day Anne went.”

“Taken on the way to school, the first day Anne went.”

“Taken on the way to school, the first day Anne went.”

For some reason, that hand-written memo seemed a little strange to me. Why didn’t it say, “Anne’s first day of school?” As I looked closer at the date the picture was taken, I understood.

The notation on the picture was accurate. The photo was not taken the first day of school. I had missed the first two weeks of my first grade because I was a witness in a trial proceeding. A predatory pedophile had raped an innocent five year old little girl…me.

As I studied the picture, I began to remember the events of those trying days. I recalled how embarrassed I was. In some ways the trial felt every bit as traumatic as the crime. I hated that it was so public. The little girl in the picture had been subjected to testifying before a courtroom full of stone-faced strangers. She was required to say words she thought were dirty and she had to describe acts she didn’t understand.

The abuse continued as the little girl in the picture faced the evil injustice of a judge who seemed to sympathize more with the perpetrator than he did with the victim. “She’s young, she’ll forget this,” he assured the court. Why the dismissive attitude toward such a heinous crime against a child? Who knows…but for years I wondered what the judge might have been doing in his spare time.

It was the judge who told my parents to take me home and not talk about what had happened. “Let her forget; don’t mention it any more,” was his unwise advice. Of course, all the suggested silence did was add the destructive feelings of shame and secrecy to the damage already done.

Now, fifty plus years later, in my upstairs room, I stood face to face with my past as I looked at the little girl in the picture. Without saying a word to Steve, I put the snapshot in my purse and immediately drove to a photo center to get an enlargement made. They say the eyes are the window to the soul and I hoped to get a better look at the child’s eyes so maybe I could see what was going on in her soul.

Alone that afternoon with the enlarged picture of the little girl, I sat for a while and gazed at her sweet face. I was overcome with emotion, but not the emotions I had grappled with in the past such as hatred for the offender, resentment against the judge, nor sympathy for the pain my parents suffered for trying to do the right thing by pressing charges.

Instead, I had only one overwhelming emotion that day. Compassion. I held the picture of the little girl in my hand….and I talked to her.

Little girl, I know you. In fact, I used to be you…but I’m not you any more. Sweet child, you are so young and innocent. There’s something you need to understand, none of this was your fault. Little one, I have such deep compassion for you. I am terribly sorry for what happened. But, little girl, you are going to be just fine. You’re going to have a beautiful life. You’ll see. God has wonderful things planned for you. Don’t worry. Jesus is going to heal your wounded soul; He’s going to help you forgive what you think is unforgiveable.

I dare say, many of us have a “3×3 picture” in a drawer, in an old box, or maybe just in our thoughts. Sadly, it reminds us of hurts as well as failures experienced in our past. But the good news is we don’t have to live the rest of our lives as a wounded child. We really can grow up, and, through the healing touch of Christ we can grow beyond the hurt.

I can testify that Psalm 103:13 is true. God really doeshave compassion on his children… on those who fear him; for He knows how we are formed, He knows we are but dust.” It was His compassionate touch that healed me and in turn enabled me to show compassion as an adult to the little girl in the picture. (If you need healing from a childhood experience, I explain in detail how I gained God’s peace in my book, “Overcoming Negative Emotions.”)

The healing that God provided was sufficient to allow me to feel sorrow not just for victims but also victimizers. If you have wounded someone, God’s love is so great that He also has compassion for you. I pray you’ll seek His forgiveness. If you will, you’ll learn of the joy waiting for you in Psalm 103:11, 12 that says, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

To me, the little girl in the picture no longer represents damage, but instead, redemption. I long for others to know the same lasting recovery. To help you begin to know His peace and redemptive healing, we offer you the following song. It was written with and recorded by a friend of ours. Her name is Sharron Kay King. She and I share a very similar story. We not only experienced the same kind of hurt but we both know the source for healing. The testimony about that source is contained in the song she sings. May God touch you with His truth as you listen. You’ve suffered long enough. Let the healing begin.

Father’s Day Reminder…Where are you leading them?

The video featured here was filmed at a Wild Game Dinner at Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown, KY on January 19th, 2013. It addresses the question,

“Where are you leading your children?”

The Ten Commitments of Marriage-Part 2

If God can narrow down to Ten Commandments what it takes for us to live in harmony with Himself and with others, then certainly we don’t need anymore than “ten commitments” when it comes to living in harmony with our spouse.

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Walking out the promises

    Using the original ten as our model (from Exodus 20:2-17 NIV), we adapted our personal “10 Commitments of Marriage.” In no way are they meant to replace or add to God’s written Word. Our intent is to simply apply each one to our lives as a couple and as individuals. We pass these on to you with hopes you will find them helpful to your own marriage.

 

 As promised, here are the other five for you to consider. 

6. You shall not murder.

6.  I know that unforgiveness and anger in my heart can eventually kill a relationship. For that reason I will seek God’s healing touch in these areas. I will depend on a divine source for the needed healing and not give myself over to self-medicating with drugs, alcohol or any other means of numbing or covering up my pain. I will actively participate with God in overcoming any negative emotions. I will not punish my spouse for something they didn’t cause and cannot fix. I will give my mate the gift of a healed, sober spouse so that we can enjoy a home where patience and kindness reign supreme.

7.You shall not commit adultery.

7. I will keep my heart, mind, eyes and hands free from lust that can potentially lead to mental infidelity and ultimately to physical unfaithfulness. I will keep the marriage bed pure and our home clean of pornography, salacious movies, reading material, and friends who are suggestive, flirtatious and sexually inappropriate in any way. If a friendship makes my spouse feel uncomfortable, that friendship will end. Above all else, the marital covenant I have made with my spouse will be honored and protected.

8. You shall not steal.

8. I will be trustworthy with the family financial resources as well as the resource of time. There will be no hiding of purchases or selfish indulgences that use family funds in an unfair way. I will yield to the importance of mutually agreeing on major investments. In addition, I will view our time together as highly important and not steal time that belongs to the two of us. Time thieves like computers, phones, games, TV, hobbies and even friend and family will be carefully regulated.

9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

9. I will be truthful with my spouse. I will not lie or try to deceive them in any way. I will not judge my spouse, assign motive or assume the worst of them. Truth will be valued and practiced. I will live my life in an open, honest, forthright way so that trust will never be in question. My phone, computer, iPad, or any other means of communication will be openly available to my spouse. I will hide nothing.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
10. I will guard my heart and mind against being jealous or envious of others. I will cultivate a sense of contentment by focusing on what I have instead of what I don’t have. I will refuse to compare my spouses’ looks, intellect, talents or physical attributes with others. I will not be envious of others’ money, house, kids, cars or position in life. I will practice gratitude and count our blessings. My focus will be on what God has given us, who I am in Christ and what work God has called me to do.

 

As you can now see, “our ten commitments” are actually statements about what we are individually determined to do in response to God’s original Ten. We hope you are inspired by them and encourage you to create your own responses. Though a huge challenge to follow through with each one, the results can be life and marriage-changing.

Blessings on you and yours,

Steve & Annie

Bring That Child To Me

 

“Bring That Child To Me” was released around 1986. About six months later we received a letter from a young lady who was attending college. She told us that her very good friend at school had gotten pregnant and was wrestling with the decision of whether or not she would abort the baby. Her friend finally chose to go through with it and made an appointment with a clinic.

The girl who wrote to us said she called her friend and told her she had something she wanted her to hear before she went for her appointment and asked her come by her apartment on the way to the clinic. When Scan 1her friend arrived she asked her to take three minutes and listen to a song on a cassette. The song was, “Bring That Child To Me.”

When the song finished, her friend had tears streaming down her face and at that moment decided she would not keep her appointment at the clinic. Instead, she chose to go ahead with the pregnancy and at birth she would offer the child up for adoption … and she did so but with one request. She asked that her child, a daughter, be given the name, Stephanie, a combination of our names.

What an honor to have a baby named after us but more importantly, may God be praised for the gift of life… and blessed be His name for giving strength and courage to Stephanie’s mother to choose life.

 

 

(Bring That Child To Me/Steve & Annie Chapman/Times & Seasons Music/BMI 1986…available on the CD “Love Was Spoken“)

You Will Always Be Mine

We’ve had a request to post the song, You Will Always Be Mine, for downloading. Thanks so much! We hope this message of unconditional love for your children will be an encouragement to your family.

Also, here’s a video that features a live acoustic version of the song…

Lyric:

You Will Always Be Mine

You were born to me, I was there

And I remember your mother’s pain

I was very proud to let you have my name

And I want you to know, wherever you go

Or whatever you do

If you’re the president or a prisoner, you are my child

And I will always love you…cause

 

You will always be mine

And you can lean on me anytime

Whatever you do, I will always love you

You will always be mine

 

And I’m living for the day when I hear you say,

“Daddy, I’ve been born again!”

And the Savior will tell you what I’m telling you now

Cause I got the words from Him… He’ll be saying,

 

“You will always be mine

And you can lean on me anytime

Whatever you do, I will always love you

You will always be mine!”

 

Steve Chapman/Shepherds Fold Music/BMI  1981  – Available on the CD, Tools For The Trade