Life has been flipped completely upside-down for many people in Nashville. Over the past weekend, we experienced a crazy amount of rain, up to 20” in some parts. And it all came so quickly that the rivers didn’t know what to do—except to go places they’ve never been before. Places we never imagined they would go.
The center of this picture is where I play softball - you can see the dark roof of the school on the right edge, my house is just above the school.
The devastation is mind-blowing. The effect this flood will have on our economy remains to be seen, but will most certainly be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Many people lost their lives. Thousands of people lost everything in their homes, and even more people are left with a huge mess to clean up. I’m grateful so many people have asked if I needed anything—fortunately the waters receded before they came inside my house. Many people in my subdivision, and our town, are really struggling right now.
Sunday was a bit scary, surreal, crazy, and intriguing as we helplessly watched the water have its way with our street. During one of the breaks in the rain, I stepped out into the street to examine the rising waters. I found a small group of my neighbors talking. I discovered that one of my neighbors was afraid because he couldn’t get out of his driveway, and was running low on groceries. I told him to make a list, and we’d take care of it. One neighbor (whom I had never met before) had a truck and was willing to take me through the water-logged streets to the store, and then insisted on splitting the bill with me. Through the experience of our like-minded mission, I made a friend.
The flood of 2010 has taught me a few powerful lessons:
1) The Church rocks. So many people are quick to judge the church as being a place of hypocrites, full of pious posers. (That’s a whole ‘nother discussion!) But when tragedy strikes, it’s the church that rallies their troops and heads out to meet the needs of the helpless and hurting—to be the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ. So many churches have turned into shelters, relief agencies, and more. At its best, the church is vital to the development and survival of a community. This has been displayed to me this week.
My house on Sunday afternoon
2) Everybody has a story from this flood. And they need to share it. This has shown me that whenever people go through something horrible, you might feel like you don’t know what to do, but the easiest thing you can do is listen. Listen as they recount the details of what they’ve gone through. Anyone can do this, and it helps tremendously.
3) When you have a need, please tell someone about it. Pride says, “Don’t ask for help. You can do this on your own.” Humility says, “Hey, could someone lend me a hand?” Don’t hold onto your need—whatever it may be—tell someone about it. And then experience the power of community as you let someone help you.
The beauty of receding waters on Monday morning
4) Living your life by giving it away to others is the best way to live. This has been a week of people coming together, giving their lives away for the benefit of others in need. It builds friendships and restores hope to the hopeless. Incredible.
We, the people of Nashville, have been forced to go places many of us have never been before. And I’m so proud of what I’ve seen. I’m so grateful to be a part of a community of people that is committed to giving their lives away to help others. When a need arises, people arrive with willing hearts and open hearts—hope personified.
It’s very encouraging whenever I get a notice that another radio station is playing my song. Incredibly enough, the song has jumped all the way up to #3 on the CRW Global AC impressions chart. I’m not completely sure what all that means, except I’m encouraged by it…cause it could definitely be at a lower spot on the chart. It looks like 32 stations are playing it now, which means that even if each station only has two listeners (the DJ and one other person) that means roughly 64 people have heard my tune. Awesome. Thank you for all your support!!
Here’s a complete list of stations playing “Pilgrim Man” as of this week. Please call your local Christian radio station and request it.
(new since last post) WNPQ: New Philadelphia, OH WJFY: Heath, OH WJFZ: Canton, OH highenergyfm.com – Scotland WDOV: Athens WV – internet radioforlife.net: WGGP: Big Pine Key, FL KJAN AM 1220: Atlantic, Iowa KROZ: Hobbs, NM WGLY: Vermont CHSB: Bedford, Nova Scotia WMHR: Syracuse, NY Real Country Radio: Japan WSEW: S. Maine/ SE NH
(previously mentioned) WBYN: Princeton NJ/Allentown, PA KGPS: Kingman, Az. WKBO: Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle WFST: Northern Maine and Western New Brunswick WXML: Upper Sandusky, OH WSWV-AM/FM: Pennington Gap, VA WGMA: Spindale, NC KFLO-FM: Shreveport (sent full version) WLIX FM: Long Island’s Voice of Hope NewCreation internet radio BethelPilotRadio – Bethel College (IN) Joglen Gospel Internet Radio, MD Hope Radio Online: Leitchfield, KY Signs & Wonders Radio – Ashland, VA thecssonline.net: Glendale, AZ EJNM.net: Montreal, Que. WWIP: Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News Word Outreach Radio: Northamptonshire, England
Generic radio liners:
“You are not alone” (:07) – MP3
“Don’t give up” (:04) – MP3
About the song – no music bed (:13) – MP3
About the song – no music bed (:31) – MP3
About the song – w/music bed (:34) – MP3
Encouragement from Prov. 3:5-6 (:17) – MP3
Encouragement from Isaiah 41:10 (:28) – MP3
Mark Smeby Bio – PDF Pilgrim Man Lyrics – PDF Cover Image – JPEG Headshot – JPEG “You Are Not Alone” graphic – JPEG Letter from Robin Robinson, station manager 91.3 HOPEfm – Palatka, FL
re: recent concert experience: “We were impressed with his servant’s heart and desire to serve the Lord in every aspect of his visit.” – read more…
What Others Are Saying… What a track, and what a lyric! Pilgrim Man comes drifting up the road like a welcome wind; plants its feet in the heart of the listener, and delivers its moving message of hope, right to the heart…then dances off in a swirl of praise. Hard to forget. Personally knowing this artist as I do, it is no surprise. This is honest, lived out emotion, from the heart of a man that not only believes it, but wants others to as well. So glad to know him…and this song.
~Brett Beavers, Award-winning Country music producer/songwriter
Once I started listening to “Pilgrim Man,” I couldn’t keep from playing it over and over. Its encouraging message speaks into the circumstances of so many who have traveled the road of life and faced its many difficulties. Thanks Mark, for putting the thoughts of my heart into words.
~Dave Yerry, Vice President Donor Ministries, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
With his latest offering, “Pilgrim Man,” Mark Smeby carries on his tradition of wearing his heart on his euphonic sleeve. The soulful, triumphant lyrics form a solid bedrock for Smeby’s signature earthy vocals. Add in a touch of techno-orchestration (along with a multi-voice choral backing), and you’ve got yet another tuneful heartwarmer from an artist that has obviously mastered the skill of taking the listener along on a very emotional, and personal, musical journey.
~Jefferson Moore, Director/Actor/Writer, Kelly’s Filmworks (The Perfect Gift, Clancy)
I love this song. While t-shirts and slogans say ‘life is good,’ Mark Smeby has written an amazing anthem of hope for those of us who know sometimes it isn’t …and that we all need God’s grace and encouragement to make it through. More than a slogan, this is a beautiful song of truth, encouragement and hope. Who doesn’t need to hear that?
~Jennifer Martin, Worship Pastor, Church of the Redeemer, Nashville