Pastoring…A Costly Call

PJ preaching bw

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.”

 

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”

 

Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break

“Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break” Free with order over $50.00

 

The song featured here was written when our children were very young and is on our Christmas CD titled, Coming Home For Christmas. You can order the entire CD here at our site or you can download only the song (see below).

The idea for the lyric came on December 26th when Steve was in the middle of repairing a Christmas gift we had given one of the kids just 24 hours earlier!

So…what are some of the gifts that kids can’t break? We listed a few in the song. For an expanded look at the gifts that will last a lifetime you can order a copy of the book, Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break at our web store.

 

 

 


Gifts Your Kids Can’t Break

I walk for miles, upon and down the aisles…it’s a holiday routine

To find that special plastic, I know it seems a little drastic

But how I love that Christmas morning scene

 

When the kids tear through the wrapping, and they smile and look so happy

But somehow by the end of the day

We find the kids in tears and what we thought would last for years

Has to be repaired or thrown away

 

Where are the gifts kids can’t break

That will be there tomorrow when they awake

Whatever it costs, whatever it takes, that’s what I want to give

Something that will last as long as they live

Where are the gifts, kids can’t break

 

We can use December as a reason to remember there are gifts that really stand the test of time

Like a home that is a place where it’s warm and where it’s safe

And smile don’t even cost a single dime

Teach them how to love their neighbor, and the value of their labor

And how to say “I’m sorry” when they’re wrong

How to act out on a date, and tell them why we celebrate

The One we sing about in all those Christmas songs

 

These are the gifts kids can’t break

That will be there tomorrow when they awake

Whatever it costs, whatever it takes, that’s what I want to give

Something that will last as long as they live

These are the gifts, kids can’t break

They’re guaranteed to last, as long as they live

These are the gifts, kids can’t break

 

Words and Music:  Steve and Annie Chapman