By Matthew David
By Mrs. Darlene Alderman
By Josef S. Klus
By Matthew David Black

* * * * * * * *

By Matthew David Black to his brother Jeremy Daniel Black
(Sept. 24, 2000)
(c)2000 Matthew David Black, all rights reserved

I know we may have had our ups and downs
I know we have exchanged so many blows
I know at times
I didn't really like you

But I hope you know
now and forever

That I love you brother
I'm proud of you
I'm glad of the man that you are
I'm glad of the bro you are to me
I'm glad of the advice you given me

I know we at times fought
I know we at times cried
And I hope you know

No matter what you may go through
No matter your pain

I'll be there
I will hold your head high
Facing the mountain and sky

I'm proud of you
No matter what
I'll stand by your side

For since the dawn of time
and to the end of time
And for all the time between
I'm your brother and your friend
You are one of my best

Even though we hardly saw eye to eye
Even though we had our fights
Always know down that dark path of life
I'm there and I will be there
Till the end of time

And always know
For today and for your tomorrow's

That I'll always be by your side
Loving you with all I am
For you are my bro and more importantly

You're my best friend.
And I'll always love you
No matter the cost
Forever and more
I'll be by your side

* * * * * * * *

By Mrs. Darlene Alderman
(c) 2000 Darlene Alderman, all rights reserved

I will soar through the air pass the
snow cap mountains.

So bright I was so amazed by the sight.

Then a gentle touch of the Master's hand
said come on your times at hand.

Just as when he said thee words on up to
Heaven on Angels Wings I rose.

I stood upon the streets of gold with walls
of jasper and jewels of old.

As I made my way down the street a bright
light shown as though looking at the sun.

As I turned the corner oh the sight I
saw "as Angel Wings covered the throne."

I heard a voice say to me as I stood before
the throne, you finally have made it home.

* * * * * * * *

By Josef S. Klus
(c) 2000 Josef S. Klus, all rights reserved

Thank God, no one was hurt!

I was actually able not only to walk, but to drive away after a
head-on collision earlier today. Now, I'm soaking my aches in a
hot tub as I write this. The other party was sent to the
hospital, in case, to verify his pains.

God, again, spared my life today. Neither of us went through the
windshield. Firemen only had to soak up spilled radiator fluid in
the intersection. The boastful pride of life had initially
blinded my perspective. Seeing that we both came out okay, my
mind raced to fault, damages, increased premiums, inconvenience,
loss. Forgive me, Lord. Material concerns truly seem
inconsequential, since no one suffered loss of life or limb. Yes,
thank God!

Today, God kept me from harm on the road for the fourth time...
that I know of. I consider this my first true collision. Each of
the other three times, no other vehicles were involved, and even
mine came away unscathed. Other than that, I've only known
fender-benders. One time in college, a guy's unattended car
rolled away and into my parked car. When I first moved to L.A., I
smashed the grill of a hot, red sports car while unparking from a
curve. I made contact with the kind owner to make restitution,
who then later disappeared without a trace before I could
reimburse her. Last year, I bumped into a parked car at a gas
station myself, scratching the brand new car's plastic bumper and
triggering its owner's anger. Earlier this year, I rear-ended
another car in rush hour traffic when the driver short-stopped to
look at business papers his passenger was showing him. Seconds
earlier, I had said to myself, "I gotta get around this guy. He's
an accident to waiting to happen." Despite provoked emotions, I
considered such things minor.

However the three other serious incidents all came midwinter in
the Midwest, and could have certainly been fatal. Providence
seemed to watch over me just enough to save me from physical
damage, yet slap my hand in the process.

During one Illinois snow storm I drove North to Chicago to meet a
long-distance lover who was driving down from Michigan for a
tryst. Along a certain section of I-57, every hundred feet I'd
see a vehicle stuck in drifts to the sides of the road. I stopped
counting at the twelfth car and tired of trailing behind a semi
at 30 m.p.h. that I was using as a wind break. No sooner than I
decided to break file and pass him at 35, I swerved off into the
ditch like everyone else. The Creator of ice, wind, and snow saw
fit for me to not swerve into the eighteen wheeler instead. Then
a non-believer, I paid my thanks by giving a ten-spot to the
pick-up driver who pulled me (an others) out, then met up with my
lover a couple hours late.

The next incident happened when a group of fellow Christians
helped move a family to Spokane, WA. Our cross-country convoy
consisted of a couple guys in the moving van, a few more in the
family van towing a trailer, and a couple more driving the family
car behind. We'd already passed through a dark morning start
where the heavy snow blew vertically, almost hypnotizing the
driver. Then, we followed a surrealistic series of three double-
hitched white semitrailers, behemoths that plodded along a barren
Montana snowscape like a scene out of "Star Wars." Finally, my
turn came to take the wheel of the minivan and to guide us and
the trailer over an inch-thick sheet of highway ice that shone
like golden glass in the late afternoon sun. Not more than 15
minutes in the driver's seat, I felt the U-Haul trailer start to
fishtail. I could see it swing out every now and then through my
side view mirror. Then I saw it try to pass me, backwards,
outside the same window as the minivan joined into the spin. We
did a complete 180º turn without touching either vehicle in front
of or behind us, and slid onto the shoulder passing between the
metal mile markers sticking up every hundred feet along the
roadway, and finished in gully without a scratch. I remained
amazingly calm during the whole event, much to the chagrin of a
couple peers inside. A fourth fellow woke up at that point, to
ask what we were doing facing the opposite direction in the
middle of a snowbed a couple hundred feet off the highway. We
were praising God.

That same winter, weeks later back in Champaign, I offered to
drive my roommates to a Wednesday night service. On a two-lane
highway overpass with concrete walls, I again exercised poor
judgment in choosing to pass a semi. Just after we passed him in
the left lane, I lost control on the ice. I don't know how this
happened--except but by the grace of God--but the car spun around
(again) 180º without touching the truck and stopped facing in the
wrong direction in enough time for traffic behind us in the left
lane to shift to the right lane and, like the truck, just whiz by
us untouched. What could a man do but thank God and sing His
praise that His finger was literally on the situation. My
roommates, for some reason, were rather rattled with me as we sat
watching traffic come at us.

Just earlier this month, I'd mentioned this last, ancient
incident to someone in passing. She replied--in a comment that
seemed all too short--that a protective Father must be watching
over me to save me for a particular work. I guess that thought
came up again today as I walked away once more unharmed. Like it
does when I reflect upon my other near misses as an adult or
being saved from drowning as a child when I was going down for a
third time (with my life literally flashing before my eyes in a
split second). God's calm and peace rode me through the crucial
moment, today, and remind me that He desires for none to perish
but for all to come to eternal life. Including an eternal living
purpose in the here-and-now. Today.

I have no choice but to offer thanks and praise to God. My Loving
Father and Precious Jesus and Blessed Spirit see to it that my
life and living--and every numbered hair and falling sparrow--are
certainly, to Him, no accident.

* * * * * * * *

By Matthew David Black
Edited and being worked on by Jill and Olivia Barkley
(c) 2000 Matthew David Black, all rights reserved
(This song explains that the world needs to know
"Jesus is the Answer")

In a world of pain
In a world of tears
I'm wondering
What I can do here

So I ask you
Questions that need Answers,
"What gives the man the right to leave his wife and children
What gives children the right to kill each other...
Oh Lord,
What can I do here?"

You answer me
You tell me
To be Your disciple

So in your presence
I stand and I say...

I will stand
I will carry the cross of Calvary
I will be a light in the dark
I will hold my candle high
So that the world my know
Jesus is the Answer!

I will stand with You
I will stand against all opposition
So that the world may know that

Jesus loves them
He who died
Heaven's gates are opened wide
He will make us strong
Let his Child come in

(Background sings: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! (2x))


Jesus is the answer
For the World today
Above Him there's no other
Jesus is the Way


I will Stand with you
I will be a light
I will hold my candle high
So that the world may know....

Jesus is the answer! (Background sings: the answer)
For the.......World.

* * * * * * * *

Except where otherwise noted, (c) copyright 1999-2001 Destiny Music, Inc. All rights reserved.