I suppose lots of people have eventually gotten around to putting their songs down in what once was called an album. When I met Jesus I was 21 and had been playing bars for few months, trying to make sense of my love for music, poetry, and art (I was what once was called a hippie).
I am a season-sensitive soul and I deeply love all four seasons, and growing up in north-central Wisconsin and then in Iowa has allowed me to experience the cold and the warm. A colorful fall day, the stark emotional beauty of ice and snow, the exuberance of emerging plants and grasses in the spring, and the absolute relief of summer. All have been a part of the tapestry of my almost seven decades of experiencing life – both the bitter and the sweet.
In 1981 my little brother was killed in a car accident. This launched me into this series of songs/poems about the seasons of life. They are both music and poetry to me. While they are recording-primitive, they capture one part of my life journey. Perhaps you will find overlap as you use them as audio or written poetry. (The images are from the most awesome ice-storm I ever experienced.)
Click on each title for your royalty-free MP3 🙂
Here is what I wrote:
We begin our journey considering the unique character of life. The seasons continue to tick forward in Time’s clock. There are times of warmth: special friends, meaningful activities, the feeling of being “on top.” There are times of cold: uncertain conditions, bitter disappointment, lost loved ones. There are opportunities to live in peace, there are opportunities for fear.
The cold, The warm – The beauty, the dangerThe time of peace, the time of fear mixed completely with the sounds of silenceWe find Quiet amidst the storm
The winter traveler moving forward – pressing the promise of a destinationFilled with warmth of tasted goodness – plagued by the soreness of his fiber
The frozen cry out from their icy placesThe winter replies to his gnawing questionsCovered footprints in the blowing snowThe winter traveler must move forward – through the ups and downs of the seasonThough the cold seeks hard to take him – Father Winter, leads him home
The cold, the warm, the beauty – The danger, the time of peaceThe time of fear mixed completely – With the ages’ muffled voicesHeralds the springtime…with each new year!
As we weave our way through the paths of life, the gnawing question looms, “Is this all there is?” Those who have been frozen by disaster, hatred, and bitterness are all around us crying out from their icy places. No sooner does a man or woman leave his or her footprints in this life, we find the faithful snows ready to cover all evidence we have traveled here.
Without a hope of a future thaw from the bitter cold, man faces the bleak picture of obscurity. We scurry about in our pursuits, striving to find insulation from what inevitably presents itself to the unoccupied mind. We are for a time. Eternity is forever.
The winter is here, dear traveler. “Covered footprints in the blowing snow…”
Winter TravelerSet One: Winter Traveler – He Comes Home – Insight – Snowflake – Icicle’s DanceLost & Found – When the Leaves are Falling
Set Two: Keep Me Warm – Alan’s Song – Consider Your Ways – Fireside Light – Cold VictoryInto the Meadowlands – He’s a Friend
This tape is for anyone who desires to put serious consideration into the difficult issues of life. This effort is dedicated to my little brother, Alan, whose winter traveling ended not long ago at the age of twenty. It is dedicated to Jesus Christ my Lord who died a long time ago and was raised from the dead. I hope the questions his death posed for me will lead you to consider your own journey more carefully. – David Nadler/River Haven 1982
Dear Friend,You have been given this because someone cares about you very much! These songs were written for a special purpose and for the special people who are willing to listen and think about the issues which are presented.
I am an imperfect songwriter, musician, and person. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I believe I know who does! Open your eyes and heart as you listen to the message of these lines.
We may never meet face to face in this life, but please receive these songs as a letter from someone who knows what it means to be hurt, confused, and afraid of what he sees as the years grind by. May you find the Friend Who has answered all of my questions and quieted all of my fears.
Dear fellow traveler, “The east wind is blowing in a storm…I hear the Master calling.”
Special thanks to Hank for his porta-studio, Ric and Jed for their time in recording, Pete for his bass playing, Dean for saxophone, harmonica, etc., and Paul for percussion. And to Terry Fitzsimmons for his excellent guitar playing that I’m convinced will be a part of my eternal joy in the heavenly orchestra.
Funds for the production of this tape came in part from the Alan Nadler memorial gifts.
He Came Home
We all have our own triumphs and tragedies. Disappointments, difficulties, crises…it is easy to become overwhelmed. It is also easy to single ourselves out as being picked on by God or the cosmos. The idea that we are insignificant can keep us from gleaning profit from our adversity. Each person has the privilege of looking up in the midst of our difficulties and strivings in this life, in order to find hope in Someone stronger than ourselves.
He comes home…he’s all aloneFamily’s gone they’re out the doorHis loving wife, he’s been cut with a knifeHow could she leave him all aloneHe came home…
Look at him…Life’s pretty grimHere today then up in smokeHis heart just breaks, deep breath he takesIs life just one big endless joke?He has no hope. I have no hope. You have no hope…
Then the search begins…can he walk alone?Through the streets of an empty life that was once a homeHe looks within himself takes the books off of the shelfPages through his heart to find a little strength and peace of mind
What can heal a broken man? Take his feet off of the sandYou can look for strength in your own heart – or new life can start!
Why look within? (You’ll never find it)You may get by (but you’ll never get behind it)Pain may go but true problems don’t disappearYou can look for strength in your own heartOr new life can startLook to Jesus… And you can fine a home!
When it is time to search, when we have made a mess of our own lives and are willing to blame no one but ourselves, then we can truly “find a home.” – Matthew 11:25-30
As I grow older the more often it appears that I run up against the wall of my own limited perceptions and perspectives. Early on I was able to “gut it out” and get through most anything. Now as the difficulties multiply and the responsibilities of life increase, I find my own insights can be empty comforters.
Insight – I need a little insightI need a little new light – I need to understandInsight… all I want is insightThings don’t seem just rightPlease help me understand!
Sometimes I hurt insideLate at night, I’m so lonelyOne by one my dreams are attainedOr they float away and I’m broken again
Will the wiser give me insightFrom your years of a long lifeIf you had the time, would I listen anyway?Inside, my heart is breaking insideWhat I am I don’t likePlease help me to become…I am on the run.
Insight, I need a little insight – I need a little new lightI need to understandOutside, things fall around meAll the things that held meThey no longer stand
Do you know my beginningAnd can you see beyond my endingIs my question clear?Can my insight be found here?I am on the run
The question of existence and purpose, life and death, is a difficult one indeed. And where do we turn for insight into this crucial question? To those who are older? To our Peers? To intellectual and theological giants of the past and present? And even if logical hypotheses are formulated and presented, will we even care enough to listen?
Where is the source of your insight? Do you know your beginning, and can you see beyond your ending? Is the question clear?
Slippin’ and a slidin’, down an icy hillYou say you’re goin’ to let it goI hope and pray that you will
Well it’s a snowflake, in a windbreakOn a late night in JulyWhy do you hold on, why don’t you let it go?It will eat up your peace of mind!
So pretty and so delicate, while it’s in your handBut where there’s one there’s anotherSo be careful where you stand
Could be a snowball, that’s gonna make you fallYou won’t stop it if you tryMelt your snowflake, in your windbreakAnd keep your peace of mind!
Rollin’ and a coastin’, I see you markin’ timeYou say it’s gonna level outBut be careful don’t you see…
There is much excess baggage we elect to carry during our journey through this life.There are many reasons and excuses for not believing and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Be careful, don’t you see?
It’s so easy to runIt’s so easy to hide from one anotherTo an icy cold rideIn the midst of the hot sun of summer
And the icicles dance (They don’t take a chance)Hanging in their place (With only cold on their faces)
It’s so easy to freezeIt’s so easy to please all our own wantsTo put our brother asideAnd not open our hearts to one another
To take a break from the stormAnd make a nice home for our shelterTo be safe and warmFar away from the cold of our brother…
We are all winter travelers. We all have needs and desire adequate insight (whatever our reasons). We all have goals to be attained that preoccupy and drive us forward. Or are we going forward?
Jesus said that the true standard of life worth living is love. Care and concern for those around us is true “religion” indeed. It’s so easy to freeze toward others while preoccupied with our own comfort and warmth.
Are you freezing? Are you warming yourself by the fire while others freeze?
I John 4:20, 21
Lost & Found
The Word instructs us about the condition of mankind.Do you see your poverty? Will your fantasy crumble behind the door?
Romans 3:10-12, 18; Revelation 22:10-17
I’d like to take this opportunityTo tell you who I think I amI am a man with lost identityAnd in eternity I have found my legacy
I have risen and I have fallenAnd the night has been outshined by the dayI was lost in a plastic wastelandThen I was able to see…
When a man finds he’s in povertyDoes he really know he’s poor?And can a rich man see his fantasy?The image dies behind the door
You wish to be a man of infamyYou wish to be a heart of steelYou cannot find a lost identityApart from Christ, you will dread your legacy.
When the Leaves are FallingHebrews 3:12-19
Just as the fall season brings the falling of foliage from God’s creation, so, too, the curtain will fall upon the last act of the human race.
“I hear the Master callin’When the leaves are fallin’.”
Love you, want you; need you so badYou are, new life; the best friend that I’ve ever hadI know, my tomorrows; rest in the palm of your handCold winds, are blowing; Him in again…
Hurry, hurry, Don’t delayThe leaves have begun fallin’Soon will be the winter thawI hear the Master callin’
Gather, gather, Don’t delayThe Hour is upon usThe east wind is blowing in a stormI hear the Master callin’When the leaves are fallin’
Wisdom far beyond his years…He’s learned to fear
Know Him, teach Him; Don’t delayThe fields are white the harvest ripeI hear the Master callin’When the leaves are fallin’
Keep Me Warm
Keep me safe, keep me warmKeep me walking through the stormKeep me in the arms of loveKeep me warm
As I wake, and as I sleepI know my heart is yours to keepKeep me in the arms of truthKeep me warm…Safe from harm
Keep me straight, keep me trueUpon your grace, to follow throughKeep me in the arms of loveThat you’ve known too
As I stumble, and as I hurtI know my heart is in your handsKeep me in the arms of truthMay I standKeep me warm!
What do you do when you lose someone close to you?Someone who’s such a part of your life.What do you do when your love is gone from you?How do you fill the void?
Well you cling to the good things and bury the badAnd hope in the life that’s to come‘Cause if Jesus can’t save himYour love never willPut your trust in the Master’s Hand.
As you turn through the pages of memories.And number the depths of your loveAs you deal with sorrows realityRemember the Lord stands above
And not a sparrow may fall off of life’s wall without Him!
Consider Your Ways
Build… Dig a deeper, stronger foundation still!Dwell… panel your houses, while mine is desolate still!Hurry, Hurry, Hurry… ‘til you’ve had your fillIf you ever will!
You know a purse with holes… will never get its fillYou sow much… but there’s not enough for you to be satisfiedYou buy clothes… but they don’t seem able to keep you warm enoughDrink, drink, drink… ‘til you’ve had your fillIf you ever will!
You know a purse with holes… will never get its fillYou look for much… behold it comes to little in your handsYou bring it home… I blow it away because you’re so concerned with your own
Build, build, build… while there’s time for buildin’ still.Take courage in the work of buildin’ by my will!You know a purse with holes… will never get its fill!Consider your ways!Don’t waste your days…Consider your ways!
Haggai 1:1-2:9; Mark 8:34-38
Like a warm breeze, on a cold nightIs the breath of one who loves upon my soulLike firelight, on a cold nightAre the words of a friend along the lonesome road.
It can free me when I’m wearyIt can break my heart of stoneIt can put a thousand friends around meEven when I’m alone
It can take me to the mountain topAnd make my heart with joy to stopAnd gaze into the eyes of firelight!
Like a love kiss, on a sea of blissIs a brother or sister who comes in Jesus nameFor the one who cares, abides in thereHe will wipe every tear and answer every prayer
It brings comfort when I’m lonelyAnd leads me to Him onlyAnd lifts my eyes to theThreshold of my God
The word of a brother in adversityIs worth ten thousand friends to meThe one who cares, and comes in Jesus name!
I went for a walk in a graveyard yesterdayI felt sorry for the ones who were leftAfter all the folks had slipped awayThere was cryin’… there was no comfort thereThere was pain, without a hope… There was sheddin’ tearsAnd the woman was held together by the windWith the strand of life that was leftWhere does one begin?…And the leaves fell upon the warm October ground.
I shuffled by wondrin’ just how I would feelIf the tables were turned that circumstance concealsBut it appeared to me that we were miles awayAs I look at the stone, there’s only one thoughtTo which I cling…
Grave, where is your victory, death where is your sting?When the silver cord is broken, what song will I sing?When the golden pitcher by the well…Lies crushed upon the sandGrave, where is your victory. Jesus where is your hand?
I went for a walk in the graveyard on a winter’s dayThere was another scene of sorrow, to be played upon the snow that dayAs I looked upon the source of the woman’s sorrow and hurtI thanked God for the hope of Jesus Christ my Lord!
…As the snow fell upon the cold December ground!
Into the Meadowlands
I’m walking , I’m sleeping…It’s something more than make believe.I’m straining, I’m floating…Into the arms of something real.
Into the meadowlandsWhere nothing is concealedDarkness has slipped awayAll has been revealed
I’m thirsty, I’m hungry..The promise made comes into view.I’m laughing, I’m crying…He’s breathing life into my heart.
No turning back, along the path…The lonely road is ending soon.The beauty, the meadow…The flowered hearts are now in bloom!
They’ve left the tomb!
John 14:1-31; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
He’s a Friend
When the winter’s comeThere’s no where to runFootsteps are so fewYou see you’ve made it throughAll the time you knewHe’s faithful, ‘til the endOnce again…He’s a friend!
The leaves have all been blownThe ground has turned so coldThe pathways just aren’t clearHand in hand we goDancing through the snowThe fireside is so nearOnce again…He’s a friend!
Man needs God…Revelation 3:22,23
God is available…Romans 5:6-8
Just call upon His Name…Romans 10:8-13
Pride is the only stumbling block…Matthew 18:1-6
Today is the day…Hebrews 4:7-10
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