It’s my oldest brother’s birthday!

In honor of my brother’s 47th birthday, I printed off the words to several familiar hymns and contemporary christian songs that remind me of him and the good ole’ days when we all still lived at home.   I found these at  If you like this kind of music, visit that site and when you click on a song title, a new window pops up with the words and it plays the song for you right there!   I spend time on this site often and sing along- my own little worship time. . . . ..  . .it’s wonderful!

Anyway, on with honoring my big brother. . . .

  1. Old Time Religion– this song reminds me of the pianist we had at church growing up.  Lamoille was her name and she could pound those keys with the best of them!  Lamoille played two ways- loud and loud!
  2. One Day at a Time– If I remember right, this song was performed by the Gaithers back in the day.  It was written by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson in 1980.  I don’t remember Marijohn but I do remember Kris Kristofferson.  He was in there just prior to the “christian rock” days bringing new music to the gospel realm.  A great artist and a great song.  It reminds me to slow down. 
  3. Our God Reigns– This was one of many of my favorite church camp songs.  Church camp reminds me of my brother.  He was a counselor at camp at the same time that I was a camper (that’s what 10 years difference in age will do for you!).  I thought I was soooo cool because my brother worked there!  Anyway, Our God Reigns, was one of the songs we sang during worship time and in the camp choir- most times it was just the chorus but it was still an awesome time of worship that I will never forget!
  4. For Those Tears I Died– circa 1972.  If you know this song, you know it was one of the up and coming contemporary songs that changed Christian music.  It’s the story of coming to Jesus and coming to understand His purpose in your life.  Thanks to my brother and so many of his friends,  many many kids (myself included) came to know Christ at church camp- came to understand that Jesus died for their tears. . . . .
  5. Friends – 1982  Those of you reading who know me personally and knew me back in the early 80’s, know why this song is here.  This song was at the top of the Contemporary Christian music charts and was one of the songs that jumped over onto the pop charts for a time.  It was played at my brother, Andy’s and if I remember right, my brother, Tim’s funerals.  I was able to sing this publically with a friend once since 1986- around 1989 -during those crazy “I don’t care” teen age years and have not been able to sing it completely since then.  This song is special- it holds many memories- it will remain sacred in our family for generations to come.
  6. There is Power in the Blood– I could not believe it when I read that this song was written in 1899!!  I could have swore it was one of the verging into contemporary music pieces!  When Lamoille played this at church when we were little, our little country church in the “wildwood” boomed with praise and worship.  We sang this song loud and proud- without hesitation!  It is completely amazing that a song with such beat and strength was written in 1899. . . . . . .
  7. My Tribute– performed most famously by Andrae Crouch, an African-American singer who brought African- gospel to masses of all color and was respected in all realms of music.  When I was 10ish and Doug was 20ish, Andrae was popular.  Contemporary music wasn’t well known in the midwest yet.  Doug brought this style of  music home with him and would play it on our family piano.  The music Doug came home from college singing was music like I had never heard in church before.  It was cool!
  8. Burdens are Lifted at Calvary–  This song was not sung often growing up but I do remember hearing it.  It is a true, honest reminder to come to Jesus and I like it.
  9. Learning to Lean–  This is another one that surprised me when I read when it was written- 1976!!  I thought it was an old hymn!!  I remember singing this song and feeling a little bit like Laura Ingals.  It made me feel like I was singing a simple repetition song from colonial times, sitting in a tiny church with a potbelly stove to keep warm by!  I recall Doug playing and singing this one at our family piano too!
  10. When the Roll is Called up Yonder–  Now if this one doesn’t make Doug think of Lamoille, our pianist- I don’t know what will!  The piano keys just danced when we sang this one at South Amboy Church.  Everyone was on their feet singing as loud as they could.  I remember being able to pick out the individual voices of many folks who were singing- our parents especially liked this song!  It was written in 1893 and is an amazing hymn!!

Those were the days, back when I was 10ish and Doug was 20ish.  I idolized the ground he walked on!  He brought cool music back home from college, brought interesting people to our home for holiday meals,  always had some sort of escapade or fiasco to accompany his visits back home.  I remember one story – he had borrowed a friends car to drive home for a visit.  When he stopped to put gas in the tank, he realized that the gas cap had to have a key to unlock it and Doug did not have the key.  He drove home on fumes and made it.  Dad and Tim helped him pop the cap off and he had to drive back to college with a rag stuck in the opening. . . . (at least that’s how I remember the story!) 

Or another story-   Doug brought one of the foreign students home on several occasions- I forget, was his name John?  John watched my mother trim the fat off the ham she had prepared.  When she went to remove it from the serving platter, John stopped her and asked her to keep it on the platter- in his country the fat was a delicacy and something special to be served!

I also remember when Doug was in the singing group from college, New Creation.  Now that was waaaaaaay cool!  About a half dozen college kids invaded our home and they all loved to sing!  I was that little sister who got to hang out with them. . . . .

Or when Glen and Jean were the music leaders at camp.  They were friends of Doug’s and I was one of the few campers who knew them outside of camp.  It was like I was on the inside track of cool. . . . . . .

Anyway- Happy Birthday, Earl the Pearl!  Your little  sister still has stars in her eyes after all these years!  Thanks for being such a positive influence in my life!


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