Colors of the Heart

My new CD The Andrew Downing Trio Colors of the Heart is now available on eBay as a two for one deal with the book Marriage and Schizophrenia Eyes on the Prize.  $15 free shipping.  The arts are a major role in my battle against schizophrenia. Music and writing provide a release and source of positive energy.  The music on this cd is a blend of jazz/blues/funk , all instrumental. I think you will enjoy it.  If you want a signed copy of the book please let me know. Use the link below to find this deal,

Thanks for your support!!

Andrew

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Marriage-and-Schizophrenia-Eyes-on-the-Prize-Book-Andrew-Downing-Trio-CD-Jazz-/222819474242

The harder the better?

Recently in my life I have come to appreciate my faith in Christ in a new light.  My son James has struggled a great deal with asthma and fails to respond well to inhaled medications.  While he has suffered with this ongoing problem for almost four years, I continue to suffer from the side effects of my antipsychotic medications.  650mg of Seroquel and 1250 mg of Depakote is a mountain I’m not capable of climbing on my own strength.  I have a few friends who take antipsychotic medications and they cringe when they confirm just how much I take every day.  With my sons struggles added to my own battles, I have renewed a deeper faith in Christ.  In the mundane experience of less trauma, I tend to coast a bit in my relationship with God.  Prayer sessions are shorter and scripture reading happens less.  Recently the heaviness of life has overwhelmed me to a beautiful place.  Chapter 22 of the book of Revelation.  I don’t need to read it anymore to travel to this place of justice.  This heavenly place can be my constant source of joy even in the midst of extreme pain.  It has become a major part of what I classify “my God thing”.  Nobody can mess with my God thing!  I pray you find yours.  Start with the basics of Christian belief…the Nicene Creed.

There is a beautiful numbing character that the light of this place brings.  I have not always been allowed to tarry in this revelation.  True belief in its existence has opened this door for the rest of my life and I have noticed that when things are harder I travel there more.  Leading me to believe that harder is better. Don’t think I don’t prefer better but man the presence of God can be thick in the midst of great turmoil.  I have experienced no greater joy than the full presence of God.  It’s my absolute duty to share what I have experienced, just like a doctor better share a definitive cure to cancer.  Peace to all of you out there reading this. I have planned to post more song lyrics but I’m obsessed with my new fiction book that I’m writing right now.  

Andrew

Circle View 

Perspective makes all the difference in the world.  What if we could see through a lens that allowed us to see the past, the present and the future all at the same time?  God can, but humans can’t, at least for a prolonged, consistent amount of time.  Humans almost completely see the world from a linear perspective: beginning and end.  We are aware of many notches on a timeline but see everything with a beginning and end.  It is very easy to get trapped in misery with this limited point of view.  In the spirit of wanting others to suffer less, it is my prayer, my desire that the reader of this short writing considers the possibility that there is a way to temporarily see beyond beginning and end.  This gift is incredibly difficult to develop but possible.  When I see this world of suffering through the view of the eternal God, Christ, I am able to see beyond and before my struggles while I am suffering.  Being able to momentarily leave this world to the realm of heaven, I gain a perspective that is free of time.  Time can often be our enemy.  Through devotion to prayer and scripture reading, we open a door into a world that is not governed by time.  I know many of the people reading this have probably been hurt by Christianity or this chaotic world that seems unjust.  Please give Jesus another try.  People will fail you, this world will fail you but God will never fail you.  Remember, death and destruction are only a footnote, a short season in light of eternal bliss .

Andrew

Hand of Grace 

With the struggles of a fast paced life that often drains our ability to love and be loved, I need to be reminded that I can still choose to be gracious…even though I feel anything but gracious.  In this song I wrote, I express my plea to God to help me be an authentic light and tangible help to those who are deeply hurt.  I know what rock bottom feels like and never want to kick anyone who is down. I would prefer to be a drink of cool water to the broken instead of a punch to the gut.  Oh, if I could actually be this as much as it is needed!!  We are all one step from disaster.  We are all way more alike than we think sometimes.

V1- You are the way, the truth and the life -yes you are, yes you are—make my hand, make my words—less afraid, less afraid—help my heart, freely give grace—give grace, give truth

Ch1–Make my hand, be the cross—and freely give your love—make my words transform the lost

V2– In the face of trials and pain—may my eyes shine your light—to those who feel wrecked—may my words bring truth and grace

Bridge- In the face of fear- In the hour of loss-May my hand extend your grace—In the face of chaos-In the hour of pain-May my hand extend your cross 

You are the way—the truth-the life- may my ways match your life

Thank you God.
Thanks for reading 
If you enjoy learning and want to experience how God, a host of other coping skills, and compassionate people helped mend my broken mind, a mind lost to insanity, (schizophrenia) check out Marriage and Schizophrenia: Eyes on the Prize – on Amazon.  Kindle version is only 7 dollars.  You can also learn about anxiety and depression, as told through the eyes of my faithful wife Stephanie 

Thief of the Night 

I wrote this song this past week.  It’s been a tough stretch watching loved ones suffer from mental health problems. The main inspiration for this expression has been the awesome grace of Christ but also the uncommonly brave Martin Luther.  Martin Luther’s religious views of the great tragedy we have all come to feel, suicide, have been an incredible sense of comfort and added depth of understanding.  He associated suicide with robbery, instead of a sin worthy of eternal hell fire.  He suffered great ridicule by voicing his interpretation of grace.  The cross of Christ is often reduced to man made formulas of salvation that steal the comfort and restorative power of the cross.  “Forgive them father, they know not what they do,” are words that defy conventional human perspectives and offer hope to the most hopeless situations.  Its my desire to pass on this comfort and healing to the reader today.

Verse 1: A man walked out all alone —on a road unknown—suddenly dark shadows came—he lost his mind and left this time—

Chorus 1: Forgive them father they know not what they do—shades of gray give hope to the cold black truth

Verse 2:  Only God knows the heart of man—He alone see’s the final plan—the man who took his own life— was held hostage by evils knife 

Chorus 2:  Forgive them father they know not what they do—shades of gray give hope to the cold black truth—

Verse 3: An empty soul walked all alone—far beyond the blessed road—lost in the dark he missed the sign— he lost his mind and left this time 

Chorus 3: Forgive them father they know not what they do-shades of gray give hope to the cold black truth— the thief in the night lost the final fight—Justice will win in the end 
Thanks for reading,

Andrew

Even the Rocks Cry Out

Here are the words to a song I recently wrote.  Expect to see a flood of lyrics on my word press site.  I have always enjoyed writing.  Writing has been a constant source of creativity in my life for the last twenty years.  Unfortunately, most of those writings were either thrown away, lost or deemed worthless by me.  Truth be told, I probably still feel they are worthless but I can’t stop writing.  Now that I’m familiar with technology and social media, I finally have a data base for my futility.  Thankfully, I don’t find my joy or stability in the future of my creativity.  It merely serves as a source of work.  Work creates an appetite and brings greater enjoyment to down time.  Whatever that is. 

Verse and Chorus 1:  In a culture disillusioned – from the failures of men- even the rocks cry out—In a room darkened with doubt- where believers cease to believe- even the rocks cry out-in the silence, the rocks cry out—You can’t silence my hearts pulse- You can’t darken heavens glow 

Verse and Chorus 2:  From the moment I saw the stars- I knew there was a God- Somehow I let men take Him away- Somehow I lost my child like faith- Thank God the rocks cried out- Thank God believers reached out

Verse and Chorus 3:  Corruption can’t steal this faith- men cannot explain it away- Love forever changed my ways- my heart must cry out- you can’t silence my pulse- oh death where is your sting now 
Thanks for reading,

Andrew

    

Original Lyrics and Music 

Here is another original song I wrote and recorded.  “Highest Joy”. This song explores the turbulence of life and how quickly a great moment or day can turn into a difficult circumstance.  God has been my answer to the consistent threat of suffering.  In good times and bad, the presence of God has been a constant source of transcendent joy.  I have learned to constantly turn my thoughts towards heaven to live a stable, anchored life that has the ability to stand tall in the face of adversity.  

Highest Joy” By Andrew Downing

Original Music and Lyrics by Andrew Downing

Here is an original song I wrote and performed.  It’s a hard world to stay one hundred percent honest.  Its easy to get distracted and find yourself in a position you would rather not be in.  Even with great faith, people need to stay vigilante to the very end.  Faith should never be an excuse to do wrong or an easy way out when wrong is done.  Stay true.

“Stay True” by Andrew Downing