Fully Alive

by Bryan Sirchio

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1.
Ohio Sunset 02:52
Fully Alive from Fully Alive. Fully Alive Words & Music by Bryan Sirchio I want to open my heart a little wider Let Spirit in a little deeper Love with a Love that’s on fire And be fully alive There is a phrase…that comes to us From the Church father… Irenaeus The Glory of God…is a human Fully alive…fully alive! Chorus Jesus proclaimed…good news to the poor Hearts that are broken…will all be restored Christ said it’s time…for Jubilee Perfect release…everyone free! Chorus How does a rose…open its heart? And give this world…its beautiful art Encouraged by Light…warm on its being It casts fear aside…and opens up wide… Chorus Note: 3rd verse was drawn heavily from the Sufi Mystic poet Hafiz’s “It Felt Love”
2.
The "Speech That God Martin Luther King Jr. Killed" from "Fully Alive" album. The Speech That Got Martin Luther King Jr. Killed Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio There’s a time when silence is a form of betrayal So began Martin Luther King Jr. at Riverside Church 1967 was the year. He spoke truth about the war then so clear That less than one year later Martin Luther King Jr. was gone, and that’s why some people say that… This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed Prophets who challenge the powers are silenced still Just think of Jesus in the temple, when he overturned the tables How the powers got together, and said we’ve got to stop him while we’re able and… This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed He said every war waged is fought most and paid for by the poor Poor folks of color are on the front lines of this war disproportionately War drains human skills and money like a huge demonic suction tube Money spent on war instead of raising up the poor is unjust and cruelly misused He said, how can I tell angry black folks to march peacefully When power trying to change things through violence is all their eyes see? How can I make the cause for non-violent action, which I believe is how real social change will happen Without speaking first to the greatest purveyor of violence in our world today—my own government— The USA—I can’t be silent This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed He said I speak to you today as a winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace The prize commissioned me to work for wholeness for the entire human family This is a calling that takes me beyond all national allegiances As does the meaning of my commitment as a Christian and to the Christian ministry He said, sometimes I marvel at those who ask why I speak against the war Could it be that they don’t know the good news of God’s Love is for everyone? That means communist and capitalist, all races and all tribes Revolutionaries and conservatives alike It means I speak in the name of the One who loved his enemies so much he died for them This is our burden and our privilege when we’re bound by loyalties deeper than nationalism We’re called to speak out for victims of our nation and those it labels “enemy.” And when I try to understand their point of view, and all the terror and injustice they’ve been through It seems to me in this case America’s on the wrong side of history This is the speech that got Martin Luther King Jr. killed He said, this war has got to stop now—yes this madness must cease He said, I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of our enemy He said, I speak as a citizen of the world for the world stands aghast at the path we’ve taken He said I speak as one who loves America, and who cares deeply for our troops He said its time for us to undergo a true revolution of our values And say that war itself as a way of settling differences must come to an end For a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on the military Than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death Chorus
3.
The "Perfect Church" from "Fully Alive" album. The Perfect Church Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio Intro: Another Sunday morning, I guess I’ll go to church But God I don’t mind saying, “I’m tired of always searching for a fellowship That’s everything it’s supposed to be I’m sure you know exactly what I mean… Well worship at the perfect church is always well attended Every Sunday looks like Christmas Eve They never mess with pledge drives and the babies never cry And the preacher keeps the sermons short and sweet And no one ever minds giving a new idea a try And everybody lives that “Golden Rule” The older members smile when the youth group makes a mess And the teenagers think singing hymns is cool! The perfect church, that’s all I’m looking for I’ve shopped around but haven’t found what I’ve been searching for All I’m asking for’s a little “heaven on earth” Show me a perfect church The perfect church won’t be embroiled in controversial issues Yet stands for social justice loud and clear It uses all its money to fund missions to the poor And buys a brand new organ every year And at the perfect church there won’t be any hypocrites No gossip, and no petty arguments All committee meetings will be organized and brief And church lasts 60 minutes or less Chorus Bridge: I want a church where sermons touch my heart and stir my intellect Where everything they say or sing’s theologically correct Where members live their faith with such extreme integrity They even give God thanks when strangers take their favorite seat Well some folks say that there will never be a perfect church As long as human beings are involved But God I do believe I’ll find that perfect church someday ‘til then I’ll spend my Sundays playing golf! The perfect church, that’s all I’m looking for I’ve shopped around but haven’t found what I’ve been searching for I’d like a nice historic building with cutting edge technology How ‘bout Augustine on a 10 ft. screen online liturgically? The perfect church, I’ll bring my friends I’ll moderate I’ll pass the plate I’ll tithe 25 percent! All I’m asking for’s a little “heaven on earth” Show me a perfect, show me a perfect Show us a perfect Church
4.
I Am Welcome 04:09
"I Am Welcome" from "Fully Alive" album. I Am Welcome Words and Music By Bryan Sirchio It’s kind of complicated, but sometimes it’s easier to love another than to love myself It’s not that I feel worthless, or that I’ve no self-esteem It’s that I know my own shortcomings all too well It’s funny, ‘cause if someone told me what I just told you I’d quickly tell them, man there’s nothing you could ever say or do That could take away God’s crazy, relentless love for you And even though my head believes that that’s the truth… My heart sometimes won’t listen to my best theology It’s like the grace I love to sing about is meant for everyone but me So Spirit, come and find me—I think I’m needing to relearn That my place at your Table is not something I must earn (‘cause…) Chorus: I am welcome I am welcome I am loved just as I am (repeat) When I think about Jesus I’m amazed by all the ways Jesus welcomed those folks thought were lost or wrong You’d have to know his culture to catch all the subtle ways Jesus told those who’d been excluded that they belonged I wonder what it felt like to look into Jesus’ eyes And to feel completely naked, yet to have no need to hide Oh Christ I know you know me, and so I’m looking now at you Let me see into your eyes and know its true (that…) Chorus Bridge: Some of us have skeletons in closets that often haunt us And some have been put down so much we’re convinced even God couldn’t want us But here’s the bottom line—the deepest truth about our lives Is revealed as we embrace these simple words… Chorus: I am welcome, I am welcome, I am loved just as I am I am welcome, you are welcome We are loved just as we are. O Spirit burn this Truth into our hearts.
5.
"100 People In A Room" from "Fully Alive" album (Note: These stats were from about 2000 and are to some degree outdated, though the basic picture remains the same. Contact Bryan Sirchio at bsirch@sirchio.com if you would like more information on the original study the song is based on). 100 People In One Room Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio (Based on a study by Dr. Lucille Pearson of Clemson University) If the world were 100 people gathered in one room An awfully blurry picture would snap right into view It’s easier to see the direction things must move When the world’s 100 people in one room If there world were 100 people in one room… 57 would be Asian 21 would come from European nations Just 14 from the entire Western Hemisphere The other 8 would be from Africa 70 would be what we call people of color 30 would be what we call white And of the 100 in the room at least 75 Would have no place to sleep tonight No home of their own to sleep in tonight Chorus 70 would not know how to read 30 at most will ever have the chance to learn to write 33 would call themselves Christian 67 embrace another way to seek the Light 80 of the 100 are severely malnourished Suffering from hunger and disease Of the 100 in the room there would only be 1 Who has a college degree Only 1 with a college degree Chorus Bridge: Half of all the wealth in the world Would be in the hands of 6 people And all 6 of these would live in the USA If the world were 100 people gathered in 1 room Would we quickly see the disparity and do what’s ours to do To help the dream of God become a dream that’s real and true For every single person in the room If the world were 100 people in one room Blessing and Light for every person in the room If the world were 100 people in one room
6.
"Inside The Whale" from "Fully Alive" album. Inside the Whale Words and Music by Bryan Sirchio Jonah heard God call and tried to run away Confronting Ninevah was not Jonah’s plan A Amazing what a couple days inside a whale can change Whales are where we hear the call and stop drifting away And could it be, grace is so amazing That in the end it’s impossible to fail Could grace mean, nothing’s ever wasted Including time we spend inside the whale There have been some times when God has called my name And just as Jonah did, I’ve tried to sail away Been swallowed by some whales until my running was complete Truth is there are things I’ve needed whales to help me see Chorus Bridge: And sometimes God it’s not that I am trying to run away It’s just that I’m not sure it’s you I hear So thank you for the time you knew I needed to believe the Voice was yours Sometimes it’s taken me years Jonah finally did what Yahweh called him to Even though he took the less efficient root But maybe that’s why this whale of a tale still speaks to me ‘Cause I have not reached where I am today too easily Chorus
7.
"Jesus Was Not An American" from "Fully Alive" album. Jesus Was Not An American Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio Let me start with an overdue apology To some veterans of foreign wars I’ve known In my attempts to be a man who stands for peace I regret some of the arrogance I’ve shown Looking back sometimes I wish I’d kept my mouth shut And met you in some human place, beyond who’s right or wrong And listened to you speak of what can still bring you to tears And honored what you’ve lived with all these years And maybe then you could also listen To why I sometimes say the things I say As a man who’s trying to walk with one we call the Prince of Peace Sometimes I’m called to cut against the grain And I know this is hard for some to hear But Jesus was not an American And when the nations rage And the gears of warfare grind Jesus weeps for the victims on every side There’s a tale Hasidic rabbis sometimes tell About that day when Moses parted the Red Sea The day that thousands of Egyptian soldiers drowned As the Hebrews all escaped from slavery And they say that all the angels in the heavens Broke out in celebration, they danced and laughed and cheered But then one of the angels stopped and asked Arch Angel Michael Why is God not celebrating with us here? Then Michael said, “God is not here with us… God’s in way too much grief to celebrate In fact God’s heart is broken, and God’s alone now weeping tears ‘Cause thousands of God’s Egyptian children drowned today Chorus (…is not American) Bridge And I’ll gladly pray for God to bless our troops But the love of Christ crosses all borders and boundary lines So I’ll pray for troops of every land and I’ll pray most fervently For the innocent defenseless whose lives are torn apart When policies are reckless and so-called smart bombs Are not so smart…and I know… Chorus (…is not North American)
8.
The Diamond 04:44
"The Diamond" from "Fully Alive" album. The Diamond Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio My son asked me if he could use the diamond from the ring I’d given to his mom when I asked her if she would marry me The diamond that my grandpa gave my grandma That she had worn for over 50 years At first I was surprised that my son wanted that same gem His mama gave it back to me when she and I came to an end Our marriage lasted for 23 years, in case you’re wondering I’d say the blame was mostly mine But she and I are friends now, although that took some time And she and I agreed how it would be so good and right If our beloved son could give that family gem its luster back again And all I know, after all these years Is Grace is so amazing it can make an old stone shine And stories we thought always would be sad Love can still reclaim and rearrange the end The jeweler who appraised the diamond said, “I’ve got bad news… This diamond has been damaged; it’s been chipped 2 times, here, I’ll show you And as I looked I smiled and thought to myself, How perfect—I mean metaphorically One chip for his mama’s heart and one for my heart too Symbols of our less than perfect lives and all that we’ve been through God knows how much it hurt but I’m amazed now How the Spirit used it all to grow our hearts And it makes me think about a line that Leonard Cohen wrote A verse I find myself returning to, here’s how it goes “There’s a crack in everything…that’s how the Light gets in” Chorus Bridge: So son of mine this gem is yours to give to your bride now Don’t worry if you add a chip or two Thanks for all the ways your love brings healing to us all And thanks for making this diamond brand new Chorus My son asked me if he could use the diamond from the ring I’d given to his mom when I asked her if she would marry me The diamond he will soon give to his love I hope she wears it for over 50 years I pray she wears it for over 50 years
9.
"The Nightingale And The Rose" from "Fully Alive" album. The Nightingale and The Rose (Based on a short story by Oscar Wild) Words & Music by Bryan Sirchio Once there was a young student who loved a young woman so much He asked her if she would accompany him to the ball She told him, well, yes, he could take her—if he’d bring her a deep red rose To match the new gown she just bought at the fashion mall So the young man went out to the garden, but every last rose was white He sat down and started to cry And then a nightingale flew by What’s wrong said the nightingale? He said, “I can’t take my love to the ball” ‘Cause I need a red rose and all of these roses are white So the nightingale talked to the bushes, and said, “My friend here needs a red rose” And then one bush said, “Well, I do know of one way—a red rose could grow” What’s that said the nightingale? And then the bush said this… If you press against my sharpest thorn, and sing your sweetest song And let your life’s blood flow into my vine Then you’ll change my very nature And my flower will instead, of being a white rose—it will turn to red So the nightingale pressed against the thorn, and sang its most beautiful song And as it sang out the flower began to change But the redder that flower became, the soften the nightingale’s song And in just a few moments the nightingale’s life was gone In the morning the student returned to the garden and found the red rose Then he cried out with joy and took the rose to his love and said come on Let’s go dance at the ball! But she said, “Oh—didn’t you know? Another man’s asked me to go. And he brought me expensive jewels— And everyone knows that jewels cost more than a rose Then she tossed the rose in the road, where it was crushed by a passing coach Then the student went back to his room, and said, I think I’ll take up philosophy ‘Cause it seems to me, philosophy is safer than love… I offer no interpretations—my words would just get in the way But if you don’t mind, I just need to say… Precious Nightingale, your song is sweet to me And I stand amazed at how you pressed against that thorn And the rose you give this world is what I treasure most of all And yes, I will go with you, to the ball
10.
"To All Sacred Truth" from "Fully Alive" album. To All Sacred Truth Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio I had a dream that a whole lot of holy ones that we’ve heard about in history Were gathered ‘round One Table and they were sharing Sacred Truth They were swapping favorite verses from teachings they’d be given And there was not a single trace of an argument over anything about religion And they were breaking bread and they were passing a Cup And they were talking ‘bout the justice and the peace and the love That runs through every vision that flows from the wisdom of the One The first one to speak was Mohammed And he was quoting from Hadith 32 He said, “There shall be no doing harm nor reciprocating harm” –he said it again, He said, “There should be no doing harm nor reciprocating harm” And then the holy ones spoke with one voice, they said Amen! Amen! To all Sacred Truth we say, Amen! Next up was Hebrew King David Quoting Psalm 34, verse 17 He said, “The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its might it cannot save” “The was horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its might it cannot save” Chorus Round and round these holy ones all shared their sacred wisdom There were animists, and indigenous, and there were men and there were women There were some I could not recognize and some I could not hear But the Truth and Love that unified them all was crystal clear And they were breaking bread and they were passing a Cup And they were talking ‘bout the mercy and the grace and the love That runs through every vision that flows from the wisdom of the One And just before I woke I saw Jesus He was deep conversation with two Sufis Then all at once the three stood up and there by Jesus’ side Were the Sufis poets Hafiz and Rumi Then the three started dancing, perfect step, perfect time And got that whole table singing Matthew 5, verse 9 “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they’ll be called the children of God” “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they’ll be called the children of God Chorus
11.
"All Shall Be Wel" from "Fully Alive" album. All Shall Be Well Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio The mystic Julian Heard words centuries ago That’ve stood the test of time And that are good to know Jesus appeared to her In the midst of a long dark night And spoke these words to her And they changed her life All shall be well, and all shall be well And all manner of thing shall be well Talking heads sell the news By staying in the minor key Scandal and tragedy If it bleeds it leads Yet there’s a Storyline That’s always gonna be good news So good it almost seems That it can’t be true Chorus When life feels tangled up And everything's one big mess When you’re all tossed around In the brokenness There is a deeper Truth Much deeper than the pain and fear When all is said and done One thing’ll be clear Chorus
12.
"No Planet, No Problem" from "Fully Alive" album. No Planet, No Problem Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio I was watching Morning Joe one day on MSNBC October 28, 2014 I caught a great interview with rocker Graham Nash He’d written a book about his rock n’ roll past He talked about his music with Crosby and Stills He mentioned Neal Young and his awfully strong will He spoke of Joni Mitchell and the romance they had And how he loves her still Someone asked him what his music’s going to focus on now He said he’d just composed a song about Michael Brown They talked about Ferguson and when they were done They said “Of all the social issues what is your number 1?” He said, “It’s global warming, and saving the earth We’ve got to deal with climate change for all that we’re worth Then Mika said, “Of course that issue’s got many sides” But Graham just smiled and replied… No planet, no problem No planet, no problem There’re other issues and it’s urgent that we solve them but No planet, no problem Well you can find that interview and watch it for yourself He talked about the Kock brothers using their wealth To purchase politicians and scientists too Just to make some more money, “How much can they use?” He said, “We’ve got to get the money out of our politics I’m sure the Koch brothers also love their grandkids Well over 90 percent of scientists now agree Our grandkids will pay for our short-sighted greed and… Chorus Bridge: Then Morning Joe and Graham played guitars And Graham sang “Teach Your Children well Their fathers’ hell will slowly go by Don’t you ever ask them why If they told you you would cry So just look at them and sigh”… Well sometimes it’s hard to get my head around climate change It’s easy just to push the conversation away And I’m weary of the way the issue often gets framed In polarizing, special interest, close-minded games It’s time for us to find another way to sit down And have the conversations we need to have now To even have a chance of slowing this runaway train down Chorus
13.
"Your Happiness" from "Fully Alive" album. Your Happiness Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio If I tried to count the things I love about you I don’t believe I’d ever quite complete the list And if there comes a day when I must live without you When I remember you, I know I’ll think of this It’s not your kindness, though I love how kind you are It’s not your thoughtfulness although I sure do love how far You tend to go, to make sure your loved ones know The special way you hold us in your heart But of all the things I love about you baby I think there’s one thing I have learned to love the most It’s your almost always constant happiness The way you fill each day with smiles and playfulness In this world of so much sadness and brokenness and pain Just to be around your gladness reminds me of the countless ways I’ve been blessed, and one of the best Is your happiness Mother Teresa used to say as each day started The last thing people who are down and troubled need Is for us to walk around all heavy-hearted The poor don’t need us to confirm their misery A smiling face or two might be the thing God needs To enact some kind of miracle that sets someone free And all I know, is that wherever you go Your joyful spirit brings a healing Light Chorus Bridge: And baby I know you’re human too We all have our own shades of blue But I’ve never seen you stay down for long… If I tried to count the things I love about you I don’t believe I’d ever quite complete the list And if there comes a day when I must live without you When I remember you, I know I’ll think of this Chorus
14.
In "God's Hands" from "Fully Alive" album. In God’s Hands Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio We can’t see into tomorrow Can't guess what we’ll go through All we know about the future Is that God will be there too And we can trust that we’ll be given All we need to face what comes And know that God will be there For all of our loved ones (so…) Let’s just rest now in God’s hands ‘Cause in those Hands everything’s alright There is a peace that’s beyond all circumstance In God’s Hands There’s no reason to be anxious As long as we stay here Rooted in this present moment Where the one thing that is clear Is that God is right here with us And God will never go away And when God’s presence is enough That’s when fears begin to fade (so…) Chorus Bridge: So in God’s hands let’s place all our insecurities All the fear and ambiguity In the things that can’t be known Peace like a river starts to flow When everything’s in God’s Hands And we let go So just let go We can’t see into tomorrow Can’t predict what we might face All our faith tells us for certain Is that God will give us strength And that God is our provider Our source of security And though there may be painful moments In the end we’ll all be free We’ll all be free (so…) Chorus
15.
Fully Alive 04:04
"Fully Alive" from "Fully Alive" album. Fully Alive Words & Music by Bryan Sirchio I want to open my heart a little wider Let Spirit in a little deeper Love with a Love that’s on fire And be fully alive There is a phrase…that comes to us From the Church father… Irenaeus The Glory of God…is a human Fully alive…fully alive! Chorus Jesus proclaimed…good news to the poor Hearts that are broken…will all be restored Christ said it’s time…for Jubilee Perfect release…everyone free! Chorus How does a rose…open its heart? And give this world…its beautiful art Encouraged by Light…warm on its being It casts fear aside…and opens up wide… Chorus Note: 3rd verse was drawn heavily from the Sufi Mystic poet Hafiz’s “It Felt Love”
16.
"The Witness of Rufus Jones" from "Fully Alive" album. The Witness of Rufus Jones Words & Music By Bryan Sirchio About a 100 years ago, a Quaker man named Rufus Jones Authored over 50 books I know this because I just looked him up on the internet using Google.com Which was linked of course with Amazon So I bought Rufus Jones’ biography Got a hunch it’s gonna speak to me But right now, the only words I know that were written once by Rufus Jones Were found last year by a friend of mine On the wall of a Quaker school in Palestine My friend sent them out in a Christmas card And when I read the words, well, they hit me hard They rang true in the same way that babe in the manger does Rufus Jones wrote… I pin all my hopes on quiet processes And small circles in which Vital and truly transforming events take place (repeat) But…In this violent world of ours --clashing principalities and powers Market fear like they market soap Loud and clear we’re told our hope Lies only in the hands of those who will kill in order to impose What we claim we need to be secure These are dangerous times for sure And yet a circle seems to gently say, there is only us—there’s no we and they And those words sent out by that friend of mine Are still hanging on that school wall in Palestine Between bulldozed homes and suicide bombs The witness of Rufus Jones lives on And rings true in the same way that Christ on the cross still does Chorus

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released May 4, 2015

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