Archives for March 2013

Happy Annie-versary!

On March 29th, 1975 we stood in Beach Hill United Methodist Church in Southside, WV…

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Beech Hill United Methodist Church
Southside, WV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and made promises to each other that we still enjoy keeping.

Here we are walking down the aisle after we were pronounced “man and wife!” Annie said she looks inebriated but promises she was sober… I was intoxicated by love  🙂

Mr. & Mrs. Steve Chapman

Mr. & Mrs. Steve Chapman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our parents after the wedding… N.R. & Sylvia Williamson (left) and P.J. & Lillian Chapman (right).

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To all of our family and friends we say a sincere thank you for all your prayers for us through these 38 years.

Now its off to the hardware store to do something very romantic…get some lumber and tin roofing for our little out building out back we’re working on…then to dinner at the Olive Garden (our favorite…plus we have a gift card we can use)…and later head to The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to enjoy some music. Then tomorrow, we go to work on 39!

Steve & Annie

PS…And here’s our song of commitment taken from another post called, “You Have My Word,” that was recorded recently in our living room.

A huge thanks to all of you who have commented on this post!!!!! Bless you for your well wishes and encouragement!!!

Sweet Mary-Queen of Smiles

Mary-Queens of Smiles

Mary-Queens of Smiles

 

This song was written at the request of the staff at Harvest House Publishers  (publisher of our books) located in Eugene, Oregon. Their intent was to honor one of the most delightful individuals on the planet who has been a long time member of the Harvest House team.

Her name is Mary and according to Bob Hawkins, president of the company, she is known for being a master at delivering some very interesting and humorous twists of words and familiar quips.

Bob sent some of his favorite “Maryisms” and using his list, the lyric was created. I had a great time putting this lyrical puzzle together and wanted to let our friends hear it.  The recording was sent to Harvest House and was played at a party held in Mary’s honor. Enjoy the colorful Maryisms” shown in the lyric below.

 

SWEET MARY-THE QUEEN OF SMILES

 

I WAS HAVING A REAL BAD DAY ONE DAY

BUT LET ME TELL YOU HOW IT CHANGED

I WENT TO SEE THE QUEEN OF SMILES

SWEET MARY IS HER NAME

AND BY THE TIME WE SAID GOODBYE

SHE HAD ME TALKING ON A CLOUD

BECAUSE OF WHAT SWEET MARY SAID TO ME

LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER NOW

 

SHE SAID I WON’T DENY THE TRUTH OF IT

I’LL JUMP RIGHT TO THE CHASE

THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN YOU’LL GET CAUGHT

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A FIREPLACE

BUT WHEN ITS RAINING ON YOUR THUNDER

AND LIFE IS CHOMPING DOWN YOUR NECK

THAT’S WHEN YOU’LL SEE THE LIGHT GO OFF

SOMEWHERE IN YOUR HEAD

 

CHO…

THERE’S NO WORRY FOR THE RESTLESS

SHE SAID, LET ME STIPLIFY

WHEN THE SHOE GOES ROUND THE OTHER WAY

YOU WON’T HAVE TO WONDER WHY

AND WHEN YOU HEAR THE HOOVES OF HORSES

BUT YOU JUST CAN’T SEE THE COWS

…..I’M NOT REAL SURE JUST WHAT THAT MEANS

BUT I FEEL BETTER SOMEHOW

 

THEN SHE LOOKED RIGHT STRAIGHT INTO MY EYES

AND SHE SAID AS WE HAD LUNCH

BEATING YOUR HEAD AGAINST A DEAD HORSE

WILL GET YOUR SHACKLES IN A BUNCH

AND AS SHE SIPPED HER EPHENDORPHENS

SHE SAID, MY CHILD I THINK YOU GOT IT

A DOLLAR IN THE HAND IS BETTER THAN

TWO BIRDS IN THE POCKET

 

CHO….

THERE’S NO WORRY FOR THE RESTLESS

SHE SAID…LET ME STIPLIFY

IF YOU HAVE TO HIT THE DOOR RUNNIN’

JUST PRAY IT OPENS WIDE

AND WHEN YOU HEAR THE HOOVES OF HORSES

BUT YOU JUST CAN’T SEE THE COWS…

….WELL, I’M STILL NOT SURE JUST WHAT THAT MEANS

BUT I FEEL BETTER  SOMEHOW

I JUST FEEL BETTER WHEN SWEET MARY IS AROUND

 

S. CHAPMAN

Wednesday’s Prayer-Week 10

 

“In their sorrow, be their song…”

Dear Father,

We know in this world, it is inevitable that our children will experience sadness, feel pain and suffer through disappointments and heartache.  But we pray as the waves of sorrow wash over their souls that You will comfort WP e cover copythem with Your gentle presence.

Lord, we ask in the midst of trouble that Your sweet Holy Spirit will speak to them, reminding them that nothing can separate them from Your love. Help them hold on to the truth that You are bigger than any problem they may have and Your love is deeper than pit them may encounter.

In the midst of their gloom, may they hear You sing over them, filling them with the reassurance that You love them, You are in control and they can trust You.

In those moments when sadness would seek to strangle all hope from their hearts, let them remember….

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoiced over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; they cry for help because of the arm of the mighty, But no one says, “Where is God my maker, Who gives songs in the night…”   Job 35:9, 10

The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation…   Exodus 15:2

 

Wednesday’s Prayer-Week 9

“Give them peace in Christ alone…”

Heavenly Father, we know that in this world, our children will experience trials, and pain, and disappointment.  In the midst of their trouble, may the peace that passes understanding be that which fills their heart of hearts.

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O Lord, we trust you to stand like a guard over our children.  We trust you to defeat the enemy of their soul; the evil
one who seeks to steal their peace, kill their joy and destroy the plans you have for their lives.  As their parents, we pray that Your divine protection will keep them safe and they will lie down and sleep in peace knowing that You alone, O Lord make them dwell in safety.

  Thank you for the promises found in John 16:33.  “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

 

Sweet Jesus

Storms are raging in my heart

My hope is fading in the dark

Across the waters, beyond the waves

The wind is whispering Your name

 

Sweet Jesus, sweetest name I know

Sweet Jesus, Your peaceful waters flow

Whisper to me, soft and low

Sweet Jesus, sweet Jesus, the sweetest name I know

 

Sweeter than music to my ears

No other name can calm my fears

Beside still waters, I will remain

Quietly whispering Your name

 

Sweet Jesus, sweetest name I know

Sweet Jesus, Your peaceful waters flow

Whisper to me, soft and low

Sweet Jesus, sweet Jesus, the sweetest name I know

 

Words and Music:  Chuck Bentley

Available on the CD, “Love Was Spoken”

Pastoring…A Costly Call

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Pastor Paul J Chapman
(1958)

There have been an unusual number of inquiries about the song “Don’t Unpack Your Bags.” For that reason we are re-featuring this post.                                                                                                                  

              Having been raised in the home of a pastor and seeing what it requires of a life to respond to that calling, we offer the song, “Don’t Unpack Your Bags” at the end of this post.

Pastoring can be a costly call. The price that is paid to fill the pulpit can include a person’s physical health due to the constant, unrelenting work involved. It can also include their emotional health due to the stress related to dealing with everything from apathy to something even worse, that is, the opposers and power-hungry individuals in the congregation.

To all of us who attend churches with pastors, Annie and I want to remind you of something very important… PASTORS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!

They need our prayers, our words of affirmation, thanks, and encouragement. And by all means, they need our prayers for their physical, emotional and spiritual protection… as well as that of their families.

We hope the song, “Don’t Unpack Your Bags,” will remind you to pray for your pastor. If you happen to be a person in the pastorate and the song paints a familiar picture for you, please know that our heart’s cry is that God will sustain you through the field of battle that the pulpit can sometimes become.

If you are the spouse of a pastor whose life is represented in the song, may God give you an extra measure of grace and strength as you stand with your beloved. If you are the son or daughter of a battered pastor, may the Lord protect you from believing that all church members are evil. Believe it or not, there are those who care…and we are two that do.

“Don’t Unpack Your Bags” is available on the CD, “That Way Again.”

 

Faith Of A Few Close Friends

 

One day I had lunch with some friends I had not seen in a while.  We took turns catching up on all that was going on in our lives since we had last seen each other. The energetic banter covered everything from the adorable antics of our grandchildren to disgust with the current political climate.

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In the room that was filled with laughter and lamenting, I noticed one among us was not participating. As I turned to look at her I could see tears forming in her eyes.  Seemingly against her will she began to weep openly.  With all attention turned to her, she quietly began to unburden herself.

She confided that her husband had been out of work for two years and the financial survival of her family rested on her tired shoulders.  She said she felt helpless and emotional paralyzed by the situation. 

 

Spontaneously, we all moved from our seats and gathered around her.  As a group we banned together and began to pray for her.  We were adding our faith to her need; asking God for a divine intervention for her family.

What happened that day reminded me of an account in the gospels about a man who was paralyzed.  He couldn’t get the help he needed on his own but everything changed for him when a few who cared enough about his helplessness to carry him to Jesus.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt helpless and received the assistance of others?  Or, have you been the one to help someone in need?  If so, you will appreciate the song featured in this post.

 

Faith of a Few Close Friends

 

There was a man laying paralyzed

He had no power, no hope in his eyes

He lay there waiting for his turn to die

But a miracle was about to begin

 

Cause all the sudden his bed began to move

They were lifting him up, but he didn’t know who

He could hardly say it, but he whispered, “Who are you”

And they said, “We’re just a few close friends”

 

They took that man to Jesus

He had no faith of his own

But when Jesus saw the faith of a few close friends

He said, “Take up your bed, man, take up your bed and go home.”

 

Now, there are homes filled with children and husbands and wives

Who feel like that man who was paralyzed

They have no hope they will ever survive

But let the miracles begin

 

Let those who are strong, and those who care

Lift them up to Jesus through the power of prayer

Take them to the Healer and on your way there

Don’t forget about that man and his friends

 

They took that man to Jesus

He had no faith of his own

But when Jesus saw the faith of a few close friends

He said, “Take up your bed, man, take up your bed and go home.”

 

S. Chapman  – Available on the CD, “The Miles”

 

Wednesday’s Prayer Guide-Week 8

 

 

“Make them Yours, not mine.”

You, O Lord are Who our children need, and You, O Lord are all  our children need.

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As You gave to us Your Son, Christ Jesus, we give to You our children.  May You cause the light of Your love to shine through them in this dark and sinful world.  Into Your hands we commit our precious children.

 

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said,

‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 

And he said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad,

 and do nothing to harm him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’”

Genesis 22:11, 12

 

We include the following song that highlights a “brave” prayer that Lillian Chapman (Steve’s mother) prayed over him when he was thirteen years old. She still prays this prayer over her son as well as Steve’s sister, Jeannie, and all the grand and great grand children. She prays this because she deeply cares about the eternal destiny of each one…and all of us will be forever grateful for…“Mama’s Brave Prayer.”

One day in my early teenage years, Mama came into my room with tears

She said I’ve put it off too long, what I’ve got to do seems wrong

Next to my bed she fell on her knees, she laid her hard working hands on me

Looked up to Jesus and told Him she cared, that’s when I heard my Mama’s brave prayer

 

“If you see he’ll die a sinner, if you see him trade the right for the wrong

Then all I ask of You, Sweet Jesus, go ahead, right now, and take him on home!”

 

She said amen and the room grew still, I’ll not forgot the fear I could feel

And the moments passed, so have the years, I’m glad to say that I’m still here

Now looking back I can see its true, she loved my flesh and my spirit, too

Now heaven waits us and I believe I’ll be there, and I’ll be forever grateful for my Mama’s brave prayer

 

“If you see he’ll die a sinner, if you see him trade the right for the wrong

Then all I ask of You, Sweet Jesus, go ahead, right now, and take him on home!”

 

Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music/BMI/ Available on the CD, “The Silver Bridge.”

 

 

 

 

Honoring A Wonderful Mom-Sylvia Alice Eckard Williamson

A Mother’s Day Tribute…

 

Sylvia Anne and  Sylvia Alice 1991

Sylvia Anne and
Sylvia Alice 1991

Nineteen years ago, on March 12, 1996, my sweet mother finished her race and went home to be with Jesus. She left behind her loving husband of 52 years (Dad joined her 2 ½ years later, to be friends forever) and six children who absolutely adored her.

 

The only true gift we leave behind for our loved ones is cherished memories. Mom left a lifetime of happy thoughts, funny stories and the knowledge that she loved her family dearly. Remembering Mom leaves me with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

 

After Mom died, nearly every night I dreamed about her.  I can’t describe how terribly I missed her.  Six months after her passing I had a dream unlike all the others.  After telling Steve about it, he wrote the dream experience into this song.

 

If you are suffering the loss of a loved one, I hope this song will encourage you as it does me.  Although death is a thief, it cannot steal the memories or the impact our loved ones have on us.  If we know Jesus, we can look forward to seeing our friends and family again…in a much better place.   

She’d Rather Be with Me

 

Last night, in a dream, I saw my mother once again

Her face was so bright, as the family gathered in

Our favorite spring flower The Hyacinth

Our favorite spring flower
The Hyacinth
Photo by Heidi Beall

What a sweet reunion, all her children at her side

But I thought I saw a far away look in her eyes

 

And I said, “Lord, I don’t understand.  Seems she doesn’t care to stay

In that moment in my heart, I heard my Savior gently say;

 

“Every one she loves down here, and everything she held so dear

They don’t hold her any more.  It’s not like it used to be

She loves you, my child, but she’d rather be here with me.”

 

Then I awoke and realized, she cannot come to where I am

But someday I’ll go to be with her, in that far better land

Now, I can cry tears of joy cause I understand at last

My mother’s in my future, she’s not in my past.

 

“Cause everything one she loves down here

And everything she held so dear

They don’t hold her anymore, it’s not like it used to be

She loves you my child, but she’d rather be here with me

She loves you my child, but she’d rather be here with me.”

 

Words and Music by Steve Chapman/Times and Seasons Music/ BMI/1996

Available on the CD, “That Way Again”

 

I Want To Be Married! (“Is There Someone For Me?”)

I want to thank my dear wife for the unbelievable number of hours she spent gathering and archiving our “vintage videos.” Without Annie I’m not sure it would have ever been done.

As we looked through the recordings that were transferred from old VHS tapes to DVDs we found the performance of the song featured below that covers a topic that is important to a lot of people, that is, the challenge of singleness and the desire for companionship. 

Our original purpose for writing the song was twofold. One, we wanted to come alongside the person who is struggling with whether or not there is that “special someone” in their future and hopefully give them a way to let others know how they feel.  Another reason was to encourage those who are married to be more aware of the how intense the feelings can be in the hearts of those who long to also have a mate.

The quality of the film is not great but we hope the content will be useful for you. Please know that the only place that a recording of this song exists is in this post. Please feel free to forward the link to anyone who might be benefited by it.

Steve


 

Is There Someone For Me

 

I”ve been to the weddings of my new friends

They move out of my life then lonely moves in

Cause it just makes me wonder will it ever be

Will I ever meet that someone who will marry me?

 

Cho…

I’m growing weary in waiting and I’m tired of the fears

That my single days might turn into years

Jesus come and help me come and walk with me

Help me wait till you answer, “Is there someone for me?”

 

Some friends already have sad stories to tell

How their love was mistreated, it didn’t go to well

When I hear how they feel, Lord it makes me afraid

I want to be sure when the choice is made

 

Cho…

 

Steve & Annie Chapman/Little Dog Little Boy Music/BMI

 

Wednesday’s Prayer Guide-Week 7

 

     “Be the shield against their foes…”

We have no doubt that the forces of hell will attempt to claim our children.  For that reason, Lord, we ask You to protect them WP e cover copywhile they sleep and in their waking hours.   Oh!  Loving Father, keep them from eternal harm! Thank You for Psalm 91 that compels us to pray…

May our children dwell in Your shelter and rest in the safety of Your shadow, Oh, Most High. Reveal to them that You are the only refuge and fortress they can trust.  Draw them near You and assure them that You will save them from the fowler’s snare and from all deadly pestilence.  Cover them, Oh Lord and like a little chick running to its mother, let them find refuge under Your wing in times of trouble.  May Your faithfulness be their shield and rampart.  We put them into Your loving care knowing that a thousand may fall at their side and ten thousand at their right hand, but it will not come near to them if they make You, the Most High, their refuge.  Thank You for taking care them.  We know You love them and that You will answer them when they call on Your name. 

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped…”

Psalm 28:7