Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

Lessons I Learned From the Flood

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.

Pilgrim Man – Introduction Video

Pilgrim Man Hits #3 on Chart

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

"Pilgrim Man" – Update

Thank you to everybody for responding so amazingly to my “Pilgrim Man” tune. This might sound weird, but people are saying things that I have always dreamed of them saying. Does that make sense? I have hoped for so long that people would be impacted by my singing and writing, and so to have those two things combined into one package called “Pilgrim Man” is quite a joy for me. Check this out from Julie Branham, Director of the Nashville Soul Choir:

“It drew me in from the moment I heard the opening pulsing rhythm, like a weary heart beating from a long journey, and then the encouraging words “Pilgrim Man, don’t give up. Though the road may be long and the journey hard…” I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, wondering if this is all that life has to offer, wanting to let go and give up. Pilgrim Man is a song for everyone who needs to know that they are NOT alone on this journey of life. That every day IS a brand new day and the best is yet to come.

There is nothing like hearing a song by an artist who has penned something that they have obviously, personally lived, and then delivered with a passion that is unmistakable.  And, to me, Mark’s voice has never sounded better. Throughout the song, that ‘weary heartbeat’ gets stronger and stronger and then the song explodes into a huge chorus that will surely become an anthem for many who hear and experience it.”

Wow!! Thank you so much, Julie!!

RADIO CHART INFO: It’s a super slow climb up any chart. Slower than I had anticipated, or feel like I can bear at times. I don’t know what’s normal, what’s good, what’s awesome…so I just have to wait and see. Kind of a strange, out-of-control feeling. Is it enough of a success if my song has had a potential audience impression of 48,800? How many impressions or spins is enough? I think I need to answer this question…but for now, I’m unclear — but still thrilled.

Here’s a new role call of stations who have taken a chance on playing the tune:

WFST: Northern Maine and Western New Brunswick 
WKBO: Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle 
KGPS: Kingman, Az. 
WBYN-AM: Lehighton, PA/ Allentown, PA 
WLIX FM: Long Island’s Voice of Hope
KFLO-FM: Shreveport
WNPQ: New Philadelphia, OH
WXML: Upper Sandusky, OH
WJFY: Heath, OH
WGMA: Spindale, NC
WSWV: Pennington Gap, VA
WKBO: Camp Hill, PA
NewCreation internet radio
Joglen Gospel Internet Radio, MD
BethelPilotRadio – Bethel College (IN)
Signs & Wonders Radio – Ashland, VA
Hope Radio Online: Leitchfield, KY
EJNM.net: Montreal, Que.
thecssonline.net: Glendale, AZ
radioforlife.net:
WWIP: Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News 
Word Outreach Radio: Northamptonshire, England

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement!!! Mark

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