Just As I Am (A Steve Fisher Cover)

I get haunted by songs. I pity those who don’t. I have no idea how they make it through the day. The songs that stay with me, the earworms every morning, these get me through life.

Recently, I’ve been haunted by a song from my friend, Steve Fisher.

One night when I was at Kerrville this year, I journeyed up the hill with the express intent of finding Steve to say “hi.” I found him about where I thought….sitting outside with a few friends, in the middle of the RV row.

We got to hang out for a bit and sing some songs.

Along with everybody else in the Kerrville world, Steve knows I’m a minister. And so, at a certain point, he said, “Oh! I’ve got a song for you…”

And he played me his song, “Just As I Am.”

It’s an amazing song. Steve just might be our greatest living Texas songwriter. At least that’s my view.

And one of the things that makes his songs so great is that they’re deceptively simple. He doesn’t get too cute with the rhymes…just the right words, just the right amount of syllables, in just the right places.

This song, for example, is amazingly simple yet complex. It’s really an incredibly deep theological song, for those with the ears to hear.

At the risk of being overly simplistic and dualistic, there are two major kinds of theological views out there in the world today.

Fear based.
Love/Grace based.

This song is a powerful expression of the latter. When he got done playing it for me, in his baritone voice, he asked me what I thought.

So, I showed him my tattoo. My tattoo which reads “Fear Not.”

Love/Grace based theology is right there within all of the great religious traditions, and most certainly within mine. It just gets drowned out in our culture by the loud, fearful voices.

But love and grace don’t generally shout.

They will whisper to your soul, though. And they inspire some beautiful songs.

Thanks to Steve for allowing me to record this one, and for writing a song I wish I’d written…EF

Advertisements

Posted by

Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s