‘When I Went to Heaven’ Liner Notes

Looking for the lost along the road, then kicked to the curb himself.

Continue reading (below the lyrics) for a little more on the story.


This is one of the oldest songs in my catalog. Although the music and lyrics seem very simple, there’s a bit more to it than meets the ear.

Video available online: 11/2/16 home studio demo

When I went to heaven
I gained entry to the holy city. I found the house of God.

I did not fit in
I looked the part, knew the sacred texts, and pushed the right blood through my veins. Yet my own people want nothing to do with me.

So I went to Oakland
I am happy by the well, in the villages, teaching on the hillside. I walk with the people.

Saw my favorites in
Sounds like “saw my favorite sin.” Both phrasings meet the same end: adopting the worst of the orphans and bringing them into refuge.

I think you need to go and chase them
Move along now, they said. Go play your little games out there in the mud.

They threw me out the door
Yes, I’ve been rejected.

They said I’d be broken
Yes, I’ve been reviled.

I came back for more
But I’ll be resurrected.

I know the sun chase rays
From the eastward to the west

Not half as hard as I could chase you
“If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.”

You know I understand
“The student is not above the teacher.”

And when they push you
“When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next.”

I’ll comfort you
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

In my hand
Here’s another song: I’m in his hands

‘When I Went to Heaven’ Liner Notes

‘Oh Whenever’ Liner Notes

A loudly sung bedtime lullaby. You can continue reading a few notes about specific lines (below the lyrics)


 This song was written almost entirely under the cover of darkness. It started as a super loud parody of a bedtime song, but it took shape very quickly and never had a chance to get any quieter. It is by far the most requested song in my household’s bedtime playlist.

Video available online: Oh Whenever – 1/4/17

Got to go to sleep and dream
Let’s teach our little ones the value of a good rest. Let’s bless them with sweet dreams and a sense of security in the world around them.

My old best friend Sam
I really did have a childhood “best friend” named Sam once. He wasn’t kind to me, and belittled me. When I think about him I remember how hard it can be to be a kid. What can I do to make it better for others?

Take a look inside, check the attitudes I hide
A nod to introspection. Let’s be honest with ourselves and honest with others.

You see me for all I am
I see you for what you can be

It’s a job of the guardian to encourage potential in those under our care. They can’t do that for us. They can only see us for the truth of who we are in our word and deed. But we can see and believe in the hope of their future, and we can help them get there.

Whenever paper touches pen
We’re writing stories in their hearts with every interaction. I also really like the wording and melody here.

With these eyes of mine, the life there begins
A reminder that they are watched over with loving, life-giving eyes.

I see opportunity to believe
We model faith to others. Let us never forget that high and sacred calling.

Make it in, say it for you, shout it out
We take every opportunity to help write the brightest future into the stories of their lives. This is pure love.

You are not alone
Answering the deepest fear of many a childhood. A promise. A blessing.

Unwritten lyrics
At the end of the 2nd stanza, the line:

Be. Oh, come on, be you.

At the end of the song, a brief instrumental, followed by:

At night I’ve got to go now
Got to go to sleep
And when I dream, I dream of you

‘Oh Whenever’ Liner Notes

Love and Rough Waters

Two commonly used signs of inclement weather approaching:

Red in the morning, sailors take warning
Red at night, sailors delight

If you see a ring around the moon
You’ll likely see it raining soon

Relationships are tested by resolve in rough waters. Blessed are they who see the storm approaching and don’t turn back. Blessed are they who sail many seas.

storm is brewing
waves are crested
love is better
when it’s tested


Love and Rough Waters