He Knew The Lord

Al Jaynes on 090612

Al Jaynes

On October 16th our long-time friend, Al Jaynes, made his journey home to heaven at the age of 81. All who knew and loved him will sorely miss his encouraging smile and his inspiring words he’d say each time we saw him.

47 Era

Era and Al Jaynes

Especially inspiring was his love and devotion to Era, his sweet wife, throughout their 60 plus years of marriage. As a victim of Alzheimer’s disease, Era was faithfully cared for by Al until she went home to be with the Lord only three months earlier.

Al was also the loving father of one daughter and son, Gini and Wade.

When Annie and I got married in 1975 we went to Al & Era and asked them, “If ever there is something we can’t work through as a married couple, can we come to you for guidance?” Being the loving servants they were to folks they quickly agreed to be our help in time of need.

A few years ago as we sat at a dinner table with Al and Era, he asked us, “Why did you never come to us for advice with the stuff you couldn’t work through.” Annie smiled and said, “Because we never had a problem we couldn’t work through!” I added, “But we hope the offer still holds!”  Al returned a satisfied smile and assured us the offer was still good.

As a husband, Al was indeed a worthy example of how to do marriage right. The way he tenderly tended to Era as she progressed through her struggle with Alzheimers was an illustration to all of us what it means to keep the “in sickness and health” part of the marriage vows. God knows our culture could sure use a lot more men like Al Jaynes.

Saying farewell to someone as dear as our brother brings a lot of sadness indeed. However, there is one thing that brings comfort to all of us when the waves of the reality of his absence washes over us. That source of comfort is mentioned in the song featured in this post.

In addition, the kind of life that Al Jaynes lived challenges us all to ask an extremely important question…Can we leave the same comfort in the hearts of those we love that Al left for us? May God help each one of us to be able to answer a confident, Yes!

 

“He Knew The Lord”

Today we told our brother goodbye

Sad are the tears that filled our eyes

But there is a comfort deep in our souls

When it comes to our brother one thing we know

 

Cho…

He knew the Lord

He called Him friend

And we have no doubt

The Lord knew Him

They were not strangers

When they met on that shore

O what a comfort it is to know

He knew the Lord

 

Someday I know my turn will come

When I’ve gone my last mile and my race is run

When my family gathers Lord let it be

What we said ’bout our brother, let them say about me

 

(Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music, Inc/BMI)

“He Knew The Lord” is available only as a free download at this website.

Mom’s Apple Wisdom

Knowing how much influence that friends can have on a person’s life, my Mother looked for a way to illustrate that character-building truth to my sister and me when we were quite young. This video tells how she successfully accomplished such an important parenting goal.

    If this video contains wisdom that you want to pass on to others, especially the young ones, please send a link to this page to them.

 

(The song, “The Friends You Keep,” is available at this time only as a part of this You Tube video. If you’re interested in getting a download of the song only, email us at the address found on our “contact” page)

Tangled Web

We’ve heard about yet more husbands and wives who are connecting with “old flames” on the internet and making decisions that have destroyed their families. For that reason we revive this post.

If you are being caught in the dangerous trap of the internet web, take a listen to this song, or if you know someone who could use this important warning, please pass it along.

Also, if you want to send this message to a friend on CD, it is now available at our music page on the recording, “You Have My Word.”

Thanks,

Steve & Annie

The Two-Word Question

The Two-Word Question

When Steve and I moved into our little Inglewood neighborhood in East Nashville, TN in 1977, we had no idea what the Lord had prepared for us. All around our little house, built in the early 1950’s, lived the best people in the whole world.  One of those exceptional people was Mary Williams.  She lived three doors down from us.  Although she passed away several years ago, I think about her very often.

Rosecliff house backMary had been a widow for quite a few years when we met her.  When our children came along, they too grew to love her.  They enjoyed going down to see her and would often take her flowers (which they had picked from her carefully manicured flower garden…I don’t think she liked that…but she never complained.)

One evening while Mary was at our house eating dinner with us, Steve asked her, “Mary, what do you miss most about John?”  She paused for a moment and seemed pleasantly lost in her thoughts. Then she smiled as she said, “Oh…that’s easy!  John used to ask me a little two-word question that I truly loved to hear. It let me know how much he loved me.  I can’t tell you how much I miss hearing those two little words.”

Of course we were totally curious about what the two-word question was that meant so much to Mary and when she told us, we both instantly knew that God had spoken encouragement into our marriage through our widowed neighbor. While I was moved by hearing about John’s simple, yet deeply loving question, Steve was especially impacted by it. He heard some great advice about how, with two simple words, a husband can show his wife how much he cares for her.

Nearly twenty-five years later while talking again about Mary’s visit that evening and what she had said about John, Steve realized what a great song idea it was. That’s when the song featured in this post was born.

I hope this lyrical tribute to John’s question, as shared by his sweet Mary, will mean as much to you as it does to us.  Someday we’ll get to tell Mary again how much we appreciated her friendship and we’ll also get to personally thank John for the influence he had on our marriage.

What If?

Mary said, “There’s a lot of things I’ve missed about John

In these fifteen years since he’s been gone

Lord knows it’s a mighty long list, if I had to choose just one

He used to ask a question, sometimes I hear it when I’m all alone”

 

“He’d say..

‘What if… we go out to dinner tonight?

What if, we take a walk in the full moon light?

What if we go take in a movie, just me and my best friend?’

Oh how I wish, I could ‘What if?’

With John…one more time again”

 

She said, “It’s funny how a question

Can hold so many answers…more than I’d ever need

I never had to wonder, I never had to ask did he care about me

I feel sad for the women who never knew a man who understood like mine

That love is a diamond and if you’re going have it you gotta to spend some time”

 

“He’d say, ‘What if, we go out to dinner tonight?

What if, we take a walk in the full moon light?

What if we take a ride on the Harley, just you and me in the wind?’

Oh how I wish, I could ‘What if?’

With John…one more time again”

 

“He’d say, ‘What if, we go out to dinner tonight?

What if, we take a walk in the full moon light?

What if we go look at antiques, just want to be with my best friend?’

Oh how I wish, I could ‘What if?’

With John… one more time again”

Words and Music by: Steve Chapman; Times and Seasons Music; BMI

“What If” is found on the CD, “That Way Again”

What Do I Do When I’ve Morally Failed? (David’s Song)

“What do I do when I’ve morally failed?”

When we are asked this question we always point to David’s response to moral failure that is recorded in Psalm 51. First, when Nathan the prophet helped David see that his adulteress actions with Bathsheba were sinful, he didn’t deny it. Instead, he “owned it.”

As difficult as it might have been for David to admit his sin, it was the first step to experiencing God’s forgiveness. With an awareness of his wrongdoing weighing heavy on his heart he was more willing to cry out to God for His mercy.

The words of repentance that came from David’s mouth were formed deep in his heart. They echo in the scriptures today for any of us to use who have come to grips with our sin. Thankfully, a songwriter named Mike Hudson captured those words as well as the emotion in them in his song we recorded called, “David’s Song.”

If you are struggling with guilt as a result of moral failure, let David’s cry be your own. Learn the chorus of this song and sing it each time a wave of guilt comes and tries to drown your spirit in guilt. Most important, may God impress on you that He has already answered your prayer. Forgiveness for sin of any kind was accomplished through the cross, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus. It is available right now. Accept it, thank Him for it and rejoice in it today!


“David’s Song”

In the spring of the year when kings go out

For fighting and for fame

Trumpets split the dawn

And the women waved, the children cheered

As the army marched away and I the king stood looking on

 

Have mercy on me O God, according to your steadfast love

According to your great compassion, blot out my many transgressions

And wash away all my iniquity, cleanse me from sin

 

In the cool of the night, when sleep should bring

An ending to the day

I climbed the palace stairs

And from my roof I looked below

And I would not look away from the woman who was there

 

Have mercy on me O God, according to your steadfast love

According to your great compassion, blot out my many transgressions

And wash away all my iniquity, cleanse me from sin

 

I sent for her, she came to me, I brought her to my room

Though she another’s wife

The night was sweet as we embraced, though passing much too soon

Then the day came like a knife

 

Oh God, why was I so hard hearted, why I was I so willing to give in

Please hold on to me, help me hold on to you

Don’t let me fall like that again

 

Have mercy on me O God, according to your steadfast love

According to your great compassion, blot out my many transgressions

And wash away all my iniquity, cleanse me from sin

 

Mike Hudson/Shepherd’s Fold Music/1983

From the CD, “Finish Well” / Steve & Annie Chapman/S&A Family

 

 

 

You Have My Word

“I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.” Psalm 89:34


You Have My Word

You have my heart, its yours alone

You have my soul till time is gone

But there’s one thing of greater worth

I give it now, you have my word

 

You have my word, I promise you

Long as I live I will be true

Your love is more than I deserve

I give it now, you have my word

 

You have my hopes, and all my dreams

You have my years, all that remain

Still there’s one thing of greater worth

I give it now, you have my word

 

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

The Ships Are Burning

DSC_1571In 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. They were committed!

In the 1900’s, on March 29th, 1975, we landed on the shores of holy matrimony. To seal our commitment to one another, we did what Cortes did. We burnt the ships…and we don’t regret it in the least!

It’s been an incredible 43 years together! 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                       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

 

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.

Wedding processional

1975
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

The Ten Commitments of Marriage-Part 1

Wedding Day 1975

Wedding Day 1975

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.

    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.

 

   

Here are the first five for you to consider. We’ll post the remaining five next week.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.

1. I will esteem my spouse above all other human relationships.  I will look for ways to serve and bless my spouse.   While I value and treasure others, my husband/wife will be my primary focus and I will be careful to keep his/her needs as my main concern. (Friends, parents, organizations, children, church family, etc…might be an important part of my life, but no one will take the highest place that my spouse holds.) 

 

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

2. I will put the needs and desires of my spouse above everything else.  A job, career, material possessions, ministry, reading, television, football, hunting/hobbies, antique-ing, sewing, etc… are useful and may add pleasure to my life, but I will not allow any of these things to take preeminence over my relationship with my spouse.

3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

3. I will not talk critically or defame my spouse’s name or reputation to others.  I will speak only in a positive way, take every opportunity to affirm and build up my spouse privately as well as publicly.  I will not call my spouse ugly names, verbally attack their character or denigrate them in anyway.

 

4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or your maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

4. I will reserve quality and quantity time with my spouse.  While we may work six days a week, we will reserve time each week to renew our love and commitment to one another.  This time will be used to keep our family united as well as our marriage.  Our children need times of refreshing with out the stress of responsibility and work. In order to do this, I will make the effort to plan meals and fun times that will be enjoyed by all.

 

5. Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

5. I will show respect and honor to the extended family of my spouse.  I will participate in family dinners and gatherings with joy, cooperation and genuine love…because this blesses my spouse.

 

We are confident of this one thing, if you live your life obeying God’s original 10 Commandments, both your spiritual and physical life will benefit. If you apply them to your marriage you will enjoy a prosperous, healthy and fulfilled marriage relationship…and who wouldn’t want that outcome!

Mother/Daughter-in-Law Survival Guide | Part 1

 

Annie and Lilian Chapman

Annie and Lillian Chapman

Steve and I returned home from spending Thanksgiving weekend with his parents, my in-laws, P.J. and Lillian Chapman.  As we drove the eight-hour trek from West Virginia back to Tennessee, I was reminded, once again of how truly blessed I am to have a wonderful relationship with my mother-in-law.  Sadly enough, I know this advantage is not true for everyone.

Some of you are facing the possibility of many hours together with your in-laws.  In a nutshell, you dread being with people you are supposed to love but really don’t like all that much.

In the book, The Mother-in-Law Dance, I offer some practical ways to build a mutually satisfying and lasting relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.

This week I will offer three things a mother-in-law can do that will help avoid discord between her daughter-in-law and her son’s family. The insights below are adapted from my book, “The Mother-in-Law Dance / Can Two Women Love The Same Man and Still Get Along” available in the book section at this website.

(Next week, I will share three things the daughter-in-law can do to honor her husband’s mother and help keep Harmony in the Home.)

 For the mother-in-law…

  • Be flexible, not pitiful

There are a lot of demands on our adult children’s time.   While I value being with my children as much as any mother, I’ve decided I will not put additional pressure on them by requiring them to fit into my plans.   What does that look like?  It means the Chapman Thanksgiving dinner, for example, may be the week before the actual holiday or even the first week of December.  Or it may mean that our Christmas celebration is on the 18th instead of the 25th.

While this may seem unfair, and sometimes it feels that way, my ultimate goal is to make life for my children easier and less stressful.  Of all the people and situations in their lives that make it difficult, I don’t want to be one of them.

So, may I be so bold as to offer some of you moms a gift idea for your adult children?  How about giving your kids a guilt-free holiday?  If you are like me, it will cost you a lot to do it, but it may be just the gift they were hoping for.

  • Be careful to stay inside your boundaries

Like a beautiful river that gives pleasure and joy to a community, the same water source can bring destruction and sorrow when it leaves it bank and encroaches on the surrounding areas.

In a similar way, a mother-in-law is a wonderful asset to a family.  She can bring wisdom and help that is beneficial to her son’s family like no one else can.  However, when she steps over the line by interjecting her thoughts, opinions and presence without an invitation to do so she can do great harm.

Keep in mind, the same expressions of love that make an incredible mother to small children (the desire to nurture, guide, instruct and carefully watch over her young) are the same actions and attitudes that make a terrible mother to adult children.

  • Be encouraging with your words

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The truth of this proverb is especially applicable when it comes to the Mother-in-law/Daughter-in-law relationship.  Affirming your daughter-in-law with positive words and an encouraging attitude will go along way to helping your son and his family to want to be around you.  The old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” is true, but of course who wants to catch flies.  Also keep in mind that honey also attracts bears.  But I digress.

If you are ever tempted to have a heart to heart talk with your daughter-in-law in order to point out her faults or to correct something you find unacceptable…Please don’t do it!!  As a rule, the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is such that no good can come out of that kind of conversation. If you must express yourself, then tell your son and let him deal with it.  The following poem says it very well…

Power of Words

A careless word may kindle strife

A cruel word may wreck a life

A bitter word may hate instill

A brutal word may smite and kill

 

A gracious word may smooth the way

A joyous word may light the way

A timely word may lessen stress

A loving word may heal and bless

(Author unknown)

 

Do you have any practical advice you can share that has helped you in your relationship with your in-laws?  Feel free to leave a comment or prayer request so other’s can share in your wisdom or your burden.

If you know someone who could benefit from this information please share this web page with them. Thanks!

Annie Chapman