Music: Winter Traveler – extant







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.

Winter Traveler

The cold, The warm – The beauty, the danger
The time of peace, the time of fear mixed completely with the sounds of silence
We find Quiet amidst the storm

The winter traveler moving forward – pressing the promise of a destination
Filled with warmth of tasted goodness – plagued by the soreness of his fiber

The frozen cry out from their icy places
The winter replies to his gnawing questions
Covered footprints in the blowing snow
The winter traveler must move forward – through the ups and downs of the season
Though the cold seeks hard to take him – Father Winter, leads him home

The cold, the warm, the beauty – The danger, the time of peace
The time of fear mixed completely – With the ages’ muffled voices
Heralds 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 Traveler
Set One: Winter Traveler – He Comes Home – Insight – Snowflake – Icicle’s Dance
Lost & Found – When the Leaves are Falling

Set Two: Keep Me Warm – Alan’s Song – Consider Your Ways – Fireside Light – Cold Victory
Into 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 alone
Family’s gone they’re out the door
His loving wife, he’s been cut with a knife
How could she leave him all alone
He came home…

Look at him…Life’s pretty grim
Here today then up in smoke
His heart just breaks, deep breath he takes
Is 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 home
He looks within himself takes the books off of the shelf
Pages through his heart to find a little strength and peace of mind

What can heal a broken man? Take his feet off of the sand
You 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 disappear
You can look for strength in your own heart
Or new life can start
Look 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 insight
I need a little new light – I need to understand
Insight… all I want is insight
Things don’t seem just right
Please help me understand!

Sometimes I hurt inside
Late at night, I’m so lonely
One by one my dreams are attained
Or they float away and I’m broken again

Will the wiser give me insight
From your years of a long life
If you had the time, would I listen anyway?
Inside, my heart is breaking inside
What I am I don’t like
Please help me to become…I am on the run.

Insight, I need a little insight – I need a little new light
I need to understand
Outside, things fall around me
All the things that held me
They no longer stand

Do you know my beginning
And can you see beyond my ending
Is 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?

Psalm 139:1-24



Slippin’ and a slidin’, down an icy hill
You say you’re goin’ to let it go
I hope and pray that you will

Well it’s a snowflake, in a windbreak
On a late night in July
Why 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 hand
But where there’s one there’s another
So be careful where you stand

Could be a snowball, that’s gonna make you fall
You won’t stop it if you try
Melt your snowflake, in your windbreak
And keep your peace of mind!

Rollin’ and a coastin’, I see you markin’ time
You say it’s gonna level out
But 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?

Matthew 6:19-24


Icicle’s Dance

It’s so easy to run
It’s so easy to hide from one another
To an icy cold ride
In 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 freeze
It’s so easy to please all our own wants
To put our brother aside
And not open our hearts to one another

To take a break from the storm
And make a nice home for our shelter
To be safe and warm
Far 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 opportunity
To tell you who I think I am
I am a man with lost identity
And in eternity I have found my legacy

I have risen and I have fallen
And the night has been outshined by the day
I was lost in a plastic wasteland
Then I was able to see…

When a man finds he’s in poverty
Does 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 infamy
You wish to be a heart of steel
You cannot find a lost identity
Apart from Christ, you will dread your legacy.


When the Leaves are Falling
Hebrews 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 bad
You are, new life; the best friend that I’ve ever had
I know, my tomorrows; rest in the palm of your hand
Cold winds, are blowing; Him in again…

Hurry, hurry, Don’t delay
The leaves have begun fallin’
Soon will be the winter thaw
I hear the Master callin’

Gather, gather, Don’t delay
The Hour is upon us
The east wind is blowing in a storm
I 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 delay
The fields are white the harvest ripe
I hear the Master callin’
When the leaves are fallin’


Keep Me Warm

Keep me safe, keep me warm
Keep me walking through the storm
Keep me in the arms of love
Keep me warm

As I wake, and as I sleep
I know my heart is yours to keep
Keep me in the arms of truth
Keep me warm…Safe from harm

Keep me straight, keep me true
Upon your grace, to follow through
Keep me in the arms of love
That you’ve known too

As I stumble, and as I hurt
I know my heart is in your hands
Keep me in the arms of truth
May I stand
Keep me warm!


Alan’s Song

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 bad
And hope in the life that’s to come
‘Cause if Jesus can’t save him
Your love never will
Put your trust in the Master’s Hand.

As you turn through the pages of memories.
And number the depths of your love
As you deal with sorrows reality
Remember 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 fill
If you ever will!

You know a purse with holes… will never get its fill
You sow much… but there’s not enough for you to be satisfied
You buy clothes… but they don’t seem able to keep you warm enough
Drink, drink, drink… ‘til you’ve had your fill
If you ever will!

You know a purse with holes… will never get its fill
You look for much… behold it comes to little in your hands
You 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


Fireside Light

Like a warm breeze, on a cold night
Is the breath of one who loves upon my soul
Like firelight, on a cold night
Are the words of a friend along the lonesome road.

It can free me when I’m weary
It can break my heart of stone
It can put a thousand friends around me
Even when I’m alone

It can take me to the mountain top
And make my heart with joy to stop
And gaze into the eyes of firelight!

Like a love kiss, on a sea of bliss
Is a brother or sister who comes in Jesus name
For the one who cares, abides in there
He will wipe every tear and answer every prayer

It brings comfort when I’m lonely
And leads me to Him only
And lifts my eyes to the
Threshold of my God

The word of a brother in adversity
Is worth ten thousand friends to me
The one who cares, and comes in Jesus name!

Matthew 10:24-42


Cold Victory

I went for a walk in a graveyard yesterday
I felt sorry for the ones who were left
After all the folks had slipped away
There was cryin’… there was no comfort there
There was pain, without a hope… There was sheddin’ tears
And the woman was held together by the wind
With the strand of life that was left
Where does one begin?
…And the leaves fell upon the warm October ground.

I shuffled by wondrin’ just how I would feel
If the tables were turned that circumstance conceals
But it appeared to me that we were miles away
As I look at the stone, there’s only one thought
To 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 sand
Grave, where is your victory. Jesus where is your hand?

I went for a walk in the graveyard on a winter’s day
There was another scene of sorrow, to be played upon the snow that day
As I looked upon the source of the woman’s sorrow and hurt
I thanked God for the hope of Jesus Christ my Lord!

…As the snow fell upon the cold December ground!

Ecclesiastes 12:1-14


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 meadowlands
Where nothing is concealed
Darkness has slipped away
All 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 come
There’s no where to run
Footsteps are so few
You see you’ve made it through
All the time you knew
He’s faithful, ‘til the end
Once again…
He’s a friend!

The leaves have all been blown
The ground has turned so cold
The pathways just aren’t clear
Hand in hand we go
Dancing through the snow
The fireside is so near
Once again…
He’s a friend!

Revelation 22:1-5


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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