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

Check out this original song I wrote and posted on my new YouTube channel, “Marriage and Schizophrenia: Eyes on the Prize”  I was inspired to write this song after learning the story of an American soldier who won the medal of honor and lived to tell the tale.  Mr. John Basilone.  His wife Lena was incredibly inspiring as well.  Check out their story some time.

 

Warriors Love

A Simple Quote 

Schizophrenia often feels like a war of attrition. To win this war I often tell God, “You know, if you don’t carry me right now…I’m not going to make it.”
My wife and I spent two years writing a book together.  It took two more years to edit it and produce it.  After that was done, our book was published through Westbow Press.  I reluctantly joined the social media game to promote our story and quickly learned that our story was buried in a world of words.  Our book continues to sell at a steady pace and we are featured in bookstores and libraries across the country…though the number is relatively small in the world of publications.  If you have been impacted by mental illness, I believe our book would be a worthy read.  We cover a multitude of mental health issues.  Yes, schizophrenia is the star but my wife has had and continues to battle anxiety/depression.  

Check it out on Amazon 

Marriage and Schizophrenia:Eyes on the Prize

Cheers