Welcome

Having a heritage of deep-rooted mountain and Indian, life's survival was only through sustaining grace.  Being thankful for everything and having little, except hope in a loving God, created a simple faith as a child.  A life's story unfolds when you can look back and see God in everything and every breath that you take.

No self-pity, no remorse, and no envy of other lives; I count it an honor that a loving God would take my life so personally as to make me who I am today.

As I look forward to each new chapter of my life story, you can too.  Merely, being reminded that no life story is complete until God is allowed to be the author; and no life story is finished until God closes the book - no matter how distorted you feel that story has become.

For me, that story is a song; there has always been a song, usually in the darkest of nights.  What God freely gives, it is our desire to freely share with those who at this given moment in time may only need to hear and know; you are not alone.  God's love is so, so simple - simply there.

 

What once were considered the “hard times” may have been the best of times; we just did not recognize it. The world has become oh-so-complicated that every moment forward creates a yearning to take one step back in time.

Nostalgia, vintage clothing, and rustic antiques becoming fashionable once more let me know that I am not alone in sensing that I somehow do not belong in today’s society. There is a longing for the deep-rooted simple faith (I believe it was called old-time religion), basic simple life, and a simple anticipation for Christ to return and mend a world far too gone to be restored by mortal men.

I find myself woolgathering about tent revivals, homecomings, and all-night gospel singings – where you “dressed for the occasion” because you were going to God’s place. This was my life for most of my young life. Whatever problems were going on in the gathered lives were seemingly forgotten for a little while. These folks knew something about taking your burdens to the Lord and leaving them there. I may have not been able to explain the passion, but acknowledged it as feeling that I would one day want to feel again.

However, those times were not always wonderful; quite the contrary. And, you learned quickly how to distinguish the genuine from the fake. The fake fall fast and hard, while the genuine will simply carry on, no matter what the road conditions are on their journey. For a long while I blocked out portions of my church life to disassociate from the shame and humiliation that was surely brought to our Heavenly Father. Being very shy and often sitting alone on the back row, I remember quietly observing those proclaiming to personally know everything about God and who apparently had first-hand communication from Him on a regular basis. I also remember thinking -“Yuck, that’s a Christian” – because for the most part, they were really unpleasant folks. The price of God’s son on Calvary was far too high a price paid, to in turn be sold out for prosperity and a few moments of prominence. I never wanted anyone to look at me in that way, and more importantly, I never wanted to embarrass God.

Nevertheless, the genuine knew, even way back then, that this “feeling” had to be comparable to what a Christian would feel just before the final homecoming – an eager anticipation of sovereignty without a visible proof. Or as in the words of the Bible: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1” An out-of-this world homecoming and eternal singing lies just ahead for the hopeful Christian. There will be no mistaking the real return of a risen Christ when we shall see Him face to face.

What an amazing God to design a venue where the saints gone long before will stand with those in the present day – and neither will be uncomfortable telling their story or singing in familiar accord around the throne of God. It will not feel strange to sit at the marriage supper putting faces with the names of those recorded in the Bible. Loved ones will pick up right where they left off as if they had only left yesterday. As we behold the face of Jesus; I can only conceive that this feeling will liken to our meeting at Calvary where He lifted me up and made me who I am.

So until Homecoming, we pray that something in this music will take you back, remind you of from where you came, restore your faith, and revive the realization that for all things that may have changed – One thing will forever remain unchanged…

Richard Putnam, one of the most talented people in the music business. A great musician, music arranger, producer, and friend from the beginning of this part of the journey; www.bigfeat.net.