Oh Steubenville

It was the Summer before I started freshman year
I was invited to go on a week-long religious retreat
Thought it was neat that my church sponsored me
Maybe Jesus Christ was who I would meet

A small group including my best friend and me
Got on that jet plane and flew through the sky
And we ended up at a college campus in Ohio
It was then, when I discovered my own why

It was bright green
and it was fun
It was peaceful all around
And I loved
When we sang
I’d close my eyes
And hear the sweet harmony
I knew right then and there
On that glorious grassy hill
I’d remember those moments spent
In Steubenville, Oh, Steubenville…

Met a tall girl there who I really liked a lot
She had bright blue-green eyes and a pixie cut
Her name was Tracy, she was from Toronto, Canada
She held my hand tight and I hoped it was love

We kept in touch by mail after we both got home
But we slowly stopped writing letters as much
And when I started my awkward Freshman year
I started longing for another young girl’s touch

Who I had seen
In PE class
And I saw her
At every Sunday mass
And as we sang
I’d close my eyes
And hear the sweet harmony
I knew right then and there
It gave me a familiar thrill
It was like when I was with my friends
In Steubenville, Oh, Steubenville

It was on a December night out on the road
When he decided to pull over to take a nap
See, he’d been driving all night with a load
And in an instant, something fell into his lap

He was distracted and the ice hit his tires
He swerved, his truck wound upside down
I was asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral
So I flew out there to our humble hometown

We all wore black
I hurt inside
His Dad and Mom
and his little sister cried
But as we sang in harmony
I knew right then and there
I’d find comfort and always will
cherish all those memories we made
In Steubenville, Oh, Steubenville

It was the Summer before my Freshman year
I was invited to attend a week-long religious retreat
Thought it was neat that my church sponsored me
Maybe Jesus Christ was who I would meet
in Steubenville… Oh, Steubenville.

August 5, 2018

Lyrics Notes: In these lyrics, I explore the time I went to a Charismatic Youth Group Conference in Steubenville with a small group of High Schoolers and our Youth Group leaders. In this case, I wanted to add in a couple things. I fell for this girl there from Canada and that was pretty neat but I wanted to add something into the story that kinda brings it all together and the only thing I thought of was to add in a death of someone who went with us. This is a character but it has someone I deeply relate to… and it does reframe what happened on that trip but the idea is still the same and I look to move people and find common themes for people to relate to. It’s kind of a Christian “growing up song.” It is supposed to prompt the listener maybe into calling that person who impacted your life when you were young. Life is too short to not reach out to people who are special to you.

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I’m Inside of You

When you wonder if you’ll make it through
When you ponder the reasons why
When you discover a fault of yours
When you are barely getting by

When you see what lies ahead on your path
and you’re not sure what you’ll do
At every single depressing time in your life
know that I’m inside of you

Waiting to be uncovered
Waiting with bated breath
I’m inside of you forever
Even beyond your death
Hand it all over to me
All your worries and fear
Dig deep within
That’s where I’ve been
Ready to make
those things disappear

When all the pain you felt has gone away
You will doubt me and it will return
but I’ll be there to destroy your thoughts
and soon enough you will indeed learn

Whatever you do and wherever you go
I’ll remain even when you think it’s untrue
It’s not difficult for you to call for help
Just acknowledge I’m inside of you

Waiting to bring miracles to your soul
Waiting to empower you and make you strong
Even when you think you don’t deserve it at all
Know that what comes from within isn’t wrong

I am your song,
so sing me
I’m in your family
and those you don’t love too
Proof you need is
the love you give them
that is created because
I’m inside of you

Proof you need is
the love you give them
that is created because
I’m inside of you.
I’m inside of you…
I’m inside….

2003, Revised – 2018

Where My Heart Comes From

It’s a place
Where a raging river
Sings to the skies
Where everyone
Instead of running –
Flies
Wherever they long
To be – they are
And everyone there
Is a star

It’s a place
Where poetry and songs
Are fully respected
And where, if you die
To self, you’re resurrected
Not one resident there
Is considered foolish or dumb
Where my heart comes from

I’d love to take you there
Come, where it’s peaceful and fun
Close your eyes and hold me tight
Like it, there is none

And your face
Will be recognized
Your dreams realized
Your own heart
Will no longer be numb
Where my heart comes from

Where my heart comes from.

2014

Wholeheartedly

He loves each of us
Wholeheartedly
Without judgment
Without restraint
He knows all of us
Wholeheartedly
By seeing what’s
Underneath our paint

He longs for us to love Him
and to always keep Him near
Wholeheartedly
Without fear

I love you my darling
Wholeheartedly
Without ultimatums
With all I have inside

I know sometimes
Wholeheartedly
I can’t seem to
Get beyond my pride

I long for you to understand
My intentions are sincere
Wholeheartedly
While we’re here

Don’t you follow your assumptions
That I’m hell-bent on losing you
Even when I’m angry and frustrated
My feelings are deeply true

I need you my darling
Wholeheartedly
Without others
In our way
I know deep inside
Wholeheartedly
We’re both changing
Day by day

As long as we both understand
The gift we have year after year
Wholeheartedly
Is a worthwhile frontier

It’s a worthwhile frontier

4/14/2004

Guide Me, God

God, your plan for me hasn’t been easy
How many times do you want me to cry anyway?
I know I haven’t prayed much in the last few years
Is that why I’m having such an awful day?

I can’t pretend I don’t need your help anymore
So my only hope is that you’ll forgive
the fact that it is you I ignored
I just figured I had a life to live

Through my work, I talked to you
I know you listened to every word
And some of the lines you passed through me
were the most awesome things I’ve heard

Today I pray
Guide me God
Guide me home
Guide me God
Guide me home
I’m ready for you, Lord
So humbled and awed
Guide me with your love, God

They tell me to fear you cause you’re at the wheel
And you could let anyone out at anytime
This, I can’t understand, since your son was a man
Why would you take someone in his or her prime?

These questions I have – I don’t mean to offend
It’s just “The way it is” isn’t the answer I need
I was hoping for a more complicated reason from you
Something besides the bible I could read

So give me a sign if you want
I’m open to your huge heart
I’ll give you the glory you deserve

Tonight I write
Guide me God
Guide me to your light
Guide me God
Guide me to your light
I’m capable enough to understand
So please reach out your hand
Guide me with your love, my God
Guide me with your love, my God
Guide me with your love, my God.

1999, revised 2017

True Story: I was on the road, broke as can be. I wrote this lyric and on the way back home from an expediting load at a rest stop, I found $46.00 on the ground. I was fine. It all happens for a reason, kids. It all happens for a reason.