19 Replies to “Embracing Mercy”

  1. One thing I remember people saying to me is that they appreciate when I ask how they’re doing and mention their loved one because it means I’m remembering them, too. Like your friend said, sometimes you feel like others have forgotten that person. My mother-in-love I’m sure we’ll be talked about for a long time. She was a big part of the church and the last few years they’ve really missed her. She was still able to do prayer meetings on zoom. The things we’re going to miss are her phone calls, texts, just being able to visit her and all the birthday/anniversary/graduation, etc. cards with all her underlining that she did. We teased her for that, but we’re sure going to miss that.

    And I love that song, You Don’t Leave Me Lonely. Didn’t realize what the story was behind it. It’s true, in the beginning, that you don’t know what to say, and the best thing is just to be there for them and listen.

    I finally found the lyrics to The Hands of Jesus that I mentioned, that was written by my father-in-love. I was looking for the music for it, but couldn’t find it. I might find it someday. Anyway, what’s the best way to get it to you?

    Thanks again for your nutshells.

  2. having lost our son in 2011 may have been the hardest day in my own life. he was my step-son and i knew his lifespan would be short when i came into this marriage – he was born with duchennes muscular dystrophy. he still lived to be 26. but i hold on to the joy he brought others and our family. i speak of him often because i know it is helpful to my wife because she still grieves deeply over him even after 13 years. the beauty is he knew Jesus. the shy kid wanted to get healed so he could preach not realizing he was preaching the whole time. in the end, he realized his healing was coming on the other side. at his memorial service one person after another got up and talked of coming to the Lord because of Richie’s testimony. they, in turn, have led others to the Lord. God’s purpose for us continues long after we’re gone.

    the song always had deep impact on me and now that i know the story of Joel, it makes it all the more special. thank you for using your talents for the His kingdom – even when you don’t think they’re deep – God does what He does.

  3. Man, thank you for sharing the story of these songs. “You Don’t Leave Me Lonely” is the song I used for my youngest son’s funeral.
    I had been a fan of your music for a long time, introduced my kid’s to it (forced them to listen as I controlled the music in the van), took them to see you in concert, but it wasn’t until Noah died that I truly became an ardent follower of you and your music.
    Noah committed suicide at the age of 12. He was a kid who made a decision and went for it without thinking what could come next. The day after he died, I thought about this song, and went to my pick up to listen to it on my stereo. I only had “Mercy” on cassette tape, so I was forced to fast forward till I could find the song.
    I listened to the song over and over for probably 30 minutes; to the point that my family came looking for me because they didn’t know where I had gone.
    I’m reminded of Noah every time I hear this song, it is probably my favorite song of all time. Thank you, Bryan, for sharing your gift, and helping to make this dad’s time/memories with his son more valuable.

    1. WOW.. I don’t think I knew this part of your story!! or maybe it didn’t kick in when you might have said? Thanks for your comments DF and of course your steadfastness in pushing my individual songs!

  4. Ecclesiastes 7:2-3 King James Version (KJV)
    It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
    We have a lot of this at the moment.
    Sometimes just being there is a comfort. We’ve spent time with families that have lots loved ones here . You can’t even turn on the television without hearing a strong of a fallen soldier or someone killed… We say stop them. “My you feel no more sorrow”. Also very empty line. Especially since this world is nothing but sorrow and going to hell in a hand basket.
    We definitely need grace from God….

    1. true that.. thanks for the scripture references too can’t remember reading it. Sorrow yes, but it’s also why we lean in to others who have gone thru it and overcome. death is nothing in God’s world apparently

    2. Yes, we need (but don’t deserve) God’s grace every second of every day. At times of sorrow, disillusionment or searching for significance I often play “I’ll Not Forget You”, “Faithful to You” (doesn matter what you’re going through) and “After This Day is Gone”.

  5. I have been around a long time now. I agree with you, hearing the common phrases I feel sometimes is just said because people do not know what to say. It is rough time. Thank you for sharing these Nutshell Sermons.

  6. This was a great LP, but the 1 CD I burned up more than 1 time was Blue Skies. That one got me back to Jesus as I was leaving an ugly divorce. Are you going to do any podcasts on Blue Skies?? Or did I miss those here somewhere. Love you brother!!

    1. Hi Tim yes of course I started the stories in 1970 with the Jesus movement, working my way forward slow revival is next and then if I remember correctly will be Blue Skies.. I too went thru a divorce

  7. Really love that picture of you in that iconic building. I honed my counselling skills working in a bar to put myself through my education. Can relate.
    As for feeling hopeless counselling others, validating someones traumatic story, perhaps that noone else has believed, is very powerful. We cannot have all the answers, no matter how experienced and quualified we are. Love all those songs you refer to.

    1. I really really appreciate your encouragment .. half the time I wonder if I’m completely off base LOL counseling has been a life saver for me.. I had to Re Learn a lot of stuff

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