i want the things you just can’t give me

These are lyrics to “Rich Young Ruler” written by Derek Webb.  The song is basically a conversation between, a man most of us would easily identify with, and Jesus Christ.  The lyrics are good to read, but with the sweet melody it’s a little less striking.

The lyrics from the perspective of Jesus are featured in BOLD.
The lyrics from the perspective of this man are featured in ITALICS.

The main reason I post these lyrics is that they have been haunting me since I heard them.  Too often I have failed in giving up my comforts for the benefits of others, I want the things Jesus just can’t give me.  Too often I place my comfort in the ways I’m living right, using them as an excuse to ignore other areas of obedience. Jesus Christ wants the things we are too stubborn to give Him as well.  There’s got to be a law against other people writing biographical songs about you.

Rich Young Ruler

is so hard to see
when its only on your t.v.
or twenty miles across town

where we’re all living so good
we’ve moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
where he’s hungry and not feeling so good
from going through our trash

He says “more than just your cash and coin,
I want your time
I want your voice,
I want the things you just can’t give me” 
so what must we do
here in the west we want to follow you
we speak the language and we keep all the rules
even a few we’ve made up
come on and follow Me
sell your house, sell your S.U.V.
sell your stocks and your security
and give it to the poor
well what is this?
hey what’s the deal?
I don’t sleep around and I don’t steal
but I want the things You just can’t give me 
I want the things You just can’t give me 
because what you do to the least of these
my brothers you have done it to me

I want the things you just can’t give me
I want the things you just can’t give me

rough week

Last week was a week that I would consider a challenging period of time. Thankfully it seems like all has been mostly resolved, and today, all things considered I am very aware of God’s sovereign hand, working through the struggles I faced.

Lessons learned:

  • Patience, I really should trust in God’s timing, knowing that He controls all
  • Clear communication, how I should relate and communicate with fellow neighbors
  • Humility, how I really don’t know what I’m doing at all
  • Pride, see above, just add, “…but I really think I know what I’m doing”
  • Conflict resolution, how to clearly communicate after an offense

I mentioned how thankful I was to a friend we were talking with yesterday on the way into church, and he said something that I will not forget. After I had mentioned some of the struggles I had, he said, “It kind of makes church a refuge in these times.” Yes, indeed. It is remarkable to think that while a believer’s struggles in life are real, and I would like to re-iterate this point, struggles are real, they have substance, and they are indeed difficult to bear, but we have a refuge.

Our refuge is Jesus Christ, and what a great refuge He is.

Psalm 57:1 (NJKV)

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.

Now having recently read 1 Samuel and in the process of reading 2 Samuel, I find this difficult to even quote, since I am by no means like David, who was running for his life from my father-in-law and the reigning king of Israel. Yet, I know that if God cares for the sparrow, He offers me the same comfort David experienced hiding from Saul in a cave. The refuge that is Jesus Christ extends to us also through the church, where we find our brothers and sisters who remind us clearly of God’s goodness.

I’m thankful that I can experience the kindness of God, even my small difficulties are met with this bountiful grace.

Some highlights from last week would include:

  • Seeing the inner workings of Pecadillo’s 2nd Favorite Place in the World.
  • A reminder of how nice it is to work less than 30 miles away from home
  • Seeing my wife and daughter get very excited trying to choose the perfect pumpkins, only to find that I didn’t have enough cash to purchase all 3 of them. That was the sad part.
  • Witnessing the wedding of an old friend
  • Hearing songs from Derek Webb’s new album, called “Mockingbird” at the Master’s College Saturday. This will be a very very very serious industry changing, provocative record. I really cannot wait.

songs for worship

I’ll post some photographs of the Yosemite trip as soon as I have a chance to. In the meantime, I am posting a link to article on modern songs for worship, which I read from my friend Steven’s blog. I love Issac Watts’ hymns and I wholeheartedly agree with the author of this article.

I love this section: “Watts’ hymns are essentially rhymed theology, and this I suppose is a leading reason that explains why so many of his hymns are absent from our hymnals today–we are not accustomed to theology, and we are not accustomed to thinking.”

Often songs written today are not deep, and the often the ones which contain great lyrical content lack melodic beauty.

The article is authored by the pastor of the Cornerstone Church of Skippack, and it is called Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?

the mystery

Since my last post, I have been wondering why it seemed like I had such a mis-informed iPod.  I wondered why it was failing to accurately list the songs I most often listened to. I was so embarassed about the list, I felt a little like this:  

My lack of faith in yesterday’s top 25 list is highlighted by this sentence:

Lonely People, by Jars of Clay.  I’m beginning to think there are a lot of glitches here.  I don’t even like this song!
I have discovered today that these were the 25 Most Played songs on iTunes.  Not on my iPod.  I was getting scared there for a few hours, and I am sure you were surprised as well.  If only my iPod could tell me what songs I listen to the most you’d see what’s blasting in the car, on walks and during lawn trimming excursions.
I am sorry to mis-inform you.  Especially you Sean, I hope this does not put a damper on the memory of yesterday’s jubilation, where he wrote:
UPDATE (10:56AM): life has gotten better.  I just saw a few of Clyde’s favorite things, including his iPod (note all the DWebb songs) and his Starbucks carafe.  I feel so good it’s like someone’s singing Kum-Ba-Ya over and over in my office.
Shameful justification: The reason my iTunes 25 Most Played list is so limited is because at work I don’t listen to music that much!  The being said, it’s true I love Derek Webb’s music as well as Sandra McCracken’s stuff, but I am relatively diverse in my audiophonic selections.
Currently listening to: Andrew Osenga, song: The Letter

top 25 most played

This may interest some, definitely not all.  I was scrolling through my iPod the other day, looking at the auto-generated Top 25 Most Played playlist and thought it’d be interesting to know what others are often selecting in their audio libraries.  It’s strange, but I was surprised at the list myself, some of the songs listed aren’t even considered a favorite.   I don’t know why I buy new albums, as you can see I listen to only one or two.  This post is embarrassing.

So here’s mine, if you’d like to post your own, 

This may interest some, definitely not all.  I was scrolling through my iPod the other day, looking at the auto-generated Top 25 Most Played playlist and thought it’d be interesting to know what others are often selecting in their audio libraries.  It’s strange, but I was surprised at the list myself, some of the songs listed aren’t even considered a favorite.   I don’t know why I buy new albums, as you can see I listen to only one or two.  This post is embarrassing.


So here’s mine, if you’d like to post your own, 

  1. I Want a Broken Heart, by Derek Webb.  Why is it at the top?  Well apparently it is my favorite song.  I do really like this one both musically and lyrically.   
  2. Better Than Wine, by Derek Webb.  It’s after …Broken Heart so maybe that’s why it’s number two.  Again, musically it is so good, and the lyrics are thought-provoking.  It’s  a love song written from husband to a wife.
  3. I’ll Be Home Soon, by the Normals.   A nice mellow feeling-kinda-quiet tune.
  4. Romeo on the Radio, by the Normals.  Another love song… kind of repetitive chorus, which is typical of an Andrew Osenga song.
  5. What is Not Love, by Derek Webb.  Yes, another Derek song.
  6. Gypsy Flat Road, by Sandra McCracken. Love the bridge for this song, “What was incurable desperate blindness // Has been bound-up from all sides with lovingkindness // Comfort for sorrow, rivers for dryness // Come and drink you who have now money //” 
  7. Springtime Indiana, by Sandra McCracken.   Just Sandra and the acoustic. In her words: A lovesong, of course. Written while driving. Six verses about having nothing to say…
  8. Early in the Morning, by Andrew Osenga.  “The writing of this song lasted about an hour. One of those brilliant flashes of light that can never come often enough, and never do. A late mid-July night that was threatening to turn into an early mid-July morning gave me the idea, based very roughly on the form of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Pastures of Heaven.’ The form was his idea, but the guts of the song is a lesson I’ve been learning more and more in my early days of fatherhood. This life is passing, and it is too beautiful and deep for us to waste it. This is a modified acoustic version of the track that will go on my next record.” <NOTE: If interested you can download this tune for free – here>
  9. Medication, by Derek Webb.  Surprised to see a Derek Webb song?
  10. Lover Part 2, by Derek Webb.  Lover Part 2 is a response to the song Lover from Derek’s album, “She Must and Shall Go Free”.  The original Lover is Derek’s first song written specifically about Jesus.  The song Lover is from the perspective of Jesus.  Lover Part 2 is our response to the original song. 
  11. Mary Picked the Roses, by Andrew Peterson.  The lyrics were penned by Rich Mullins, but never recorded before his tragic death.  The song is all about Jesus, how He is the author of all things. 
  12. Lonely People, by Jars of Clay.  I’m beginning to think there are a lot of glitches here.  I don’t even like this song!
  13. Hello Old Friends, by Rich Mullins.  Rich was a great-songwriter.  Amazingly honest.
  14. My Glorious Hope, by Sovereign Grace Music.  I’m not a huge fan of the way this was recorded, but the lyrics are good…
  15. The Strong, the Tempted and the Weak, by Derek Webb.  Believe it or not, another Derek tune.
  16. Reputation, by Derek Webb.  Written after an “argument” between a husband and a wife.
  17. I Repent, by Derek Webb.  The record company probably hated this title, actually the American church probably hates this title.
  18. Nothing is Ever Enough, by Derek Webb.  About leaving Caedmon’s Call.
  19. Tomorrow is a Long Time, by Nickel Creek.  Penned originally by Bob Dylan.  A nice mellow love song.
  20. Family Name, by Sandra McCracken.   
  21. By Your Side, by Sandra McCracken.
  22. No More Faith, by Andrew Peterson.  Title sounds weird, but this song is about how in heaven we’ll no longer need faith.  Faith and hope will be fully realized, only love will remain.
  23. Clocks, by Coldplay.  I downloaded it because I thought it was cool… Haven’t listened to it in some time now…
  24. Ballad in Plain Red, by Derek Webb.   An 8-bar blues tune.
  25. Now and Then, by Sandra McCracken.  BGVs provided by Derek Webb.

I am very surprised because I thought listened to Andy Osenga’s stuff the most, but my iPod does not think so… I wish I could say my device was biased.  <NOTE: But then again, how could it like Derek Webb more than yours truly?>

simple things

For better or for worse I am often pleased with very simple things. One recent treasure that my wife has given me is this coffee mug/carafe:


It holds about 20 oz of coffee. It keeps coffee piping hot for over 12 hours, and it does not sweat.
This is a prime example of ingenuity at it’s greatest.
In light of the passage below and the message preached on Sunday morning it seems rather trite to post about my coffee mug, but the pleasure of this mug just struck me today as I poured another cup. My wife has to be the most thoughtful gift-giver.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

back home

For my “regular” visitors to the Clyde:Blog you will know that Lisa, Claire and I were on a short vacation, er trip, to the bay area.  I hesitate labeling it a vacation, since the word vacation is a synonym to the word intermission which Merriam-Webster would describe as

2 a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee for rest and relaxation

This trip was indeed a “scheduled period during which activity is suspended”, but some would argue that this employee did not always have “rest.” Readers may refer to the September 10 post but to make sure I am not overstating the truth, we actually had a very easy time with Claire on Saturday evening. She went down in her pack ‘n play without much trouble, and as I can recall we had 6 hours of consecutive slumber.

On Sunday we enjoyed a leisurely drive home, which started from our hotel (which I must say was fabulous) at around 10:00 am. We traveled on to Highway 1, which features a very picturesque ocean and mountain views at every stretch and bend. We stopped in Carmel-by-the-Sea (if the city is called, “Carmel-by-the-Sea” perhaps my town should be called “Saugus-by-the-Extremely Dry Hill” or maybe “Santa Clarita-with-a-plethora-of-Franchises”) for lunch and window-shopping. It our first visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea and we loved it.As usual, as travelers who return home from their journeys, either succinct or extended, it was good to be back home. And verily we still are not yet home.