Jay Witham

Country Gospel Music and Bible Teaching

Country Hymns CD Release – June 2017

Photo: Country Hymns CD

Country Hymns

There have been a lot of changes in Christian music over the past couple decades.  A large portion of the market today includes Contemporary Christian Music and my preferred genre of Christian Country Music, or Inspirational Country Music, is growing in popularity all the time.

I have released several albums over the years and I always try to include a couple hymns on each project …  and it seems that the hymns always bring the most compliments.  I must admit, when I wake up in the middle of the night, the hymns are the songs that are on my heart.  They have an immense capacity to minister and they are soothing to the soul.

With that in mind I have dedicated this entire “Inspirational Country” album to just a few of the great hymns of the faith.  I pray they will be a blessing to you as they have been to me.

Songs include: Tell Me the Story of Jesus, Near to the Heart of God, Sheltered in the Arms of God, How Big is God, Jesus Paid it All, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Where Could I Go, Amazing Grace, It is No Secret and How Great Thou Art.

Just A Cowboy And His Guitar CD

IT’S HERE!  “Just a Cowboy and His Guitar” is now available at all of my live concerts and in selects stores in the Cambridge, NY area.  The Title Song is a tribute to the “Cowboys” and “Cowgirls” who share the good news of Jesus Christ in word and song.  Also included is a song entitled “If We Never Meet Again” (this side of Heaven) which is dedicated to the memory of my precious daughter-in-law Terri Ann Witham (1968-2012) who recently succumbed to a four year battle with Ovarian Cancer.  I’m excited about this most recent project … I think it’s the best one yet!  May God bless it richly and may it be a blessing to those who listen to Christian Country Music.

Just A Cowboy And His Guitar

I am making plans to head back to Tennessee to record my next CD.  The musicians are being scheduled and I am praying that we can be in the studio the last week in July.  The title song for this CD will be a song I wrote called, “Just a Cowboy and His Guitar.”  (Fitting, don’t you think!)  There’s a lot of great songs that will be included … almost a sequel to the last CD, “Old Favorites”.  The title song, as well as “The Last Cattle Call” will include some yodeling (a first for me on a professional recording).  I’m hoping to get my dad to harmonize the yodeling with me … that will be a real treasure.  I will post more information as it becomes available and I covet your continued prayers for this ministry.

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: When Two Worlds Collide

Just three weeks ago today my Mom when home to be with the LORD!  It was a bittersweet experience as those of us who were with her at the time witnessed the most peaceful transition I have ever observed in my 37 plus years of pastoral ministry.

That night as I lay in bed talking with the LORD and thanking Him for his unchanging faithfulness, and praising Him for taking her to Heaven, a thought suddenly came into my head … “What if it isn’t true!”  Immediately I knew where that thought had come from and just as quickly I dismissed the thought as an invasion into my heart and mind by the enemy of my soul!  Satan, or one of his vast minions, had projected a doubt into my time of worship and praise!  I quoted from scripture, “LORD, I believe; help thou my unbelief!”

That quote is taken from Mark 9:24.  The setting is taken from an event associated with the Mount of Transfiguration.  Jesus and three of His disciples, (Peter, James and John) were descending that mountain when they witnessed the remaining nine disciples in a heated discussion with some local scribes (experts in the law).  Jesus approached the scribes and said, “What are you arguing with them about?”  I love the way that Jesus so often comes to the defense of His own!

Suddenly a worried father came up to Jesus and explained, “Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” (Mark 9:17-18)

“And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”   (emphasis mine) (vv. 21 – 24)

I want to point out that the boy had been tormented by this demon from childhood.  Can the children of a believer suffer in anguish over demonic activity? Can demons cause children/young people to cut themselves and mutilate their bodies, even attempt to kill them?  Let the Scriptures answer that question as indicated here and in the life of that Godly man, Job!

This, dear friends, is what happens when two worlds collide … the world of faith and the world of doubt!  It can happen to any believer, often when least expected.  And the doubt is often projected by the Accuser of the Brethren (Satan).  Christian, that doubt does not represent your heart toward God … it didn’t come from you!  Rather it was strategically planted by the one who has a vested interest in the demise of your faith … the one who has declared war against you (Revelation 12:17).

One of my favorite songs, recorded on my latest CD, is God on the Mountain.  The second stanza says,

“You talk of faith, when you’re up on a mountain, but talk comes so easy when life’s at its best.  But it’s down in the valley of trials and temptations, that’s when you’re faith is really put to the test.”

I recently read President George W. Bush’s book, Decision Points.  In it he talks candidly about his faith and he addresses this issue of faith and doubt.

“Surrendering yourself to an Almighty is a challenge to the ego.  But I came to realize that struggles and doubts are natural parts of faith.  If you haven’t doubted, you probably haven’t thought very hard about what you believe.”

“LORD, I do believe.  Help my unbelief!” was the cry of that troubled father.  His honesty is refreshing, don’t you think!  It’s an awful feeling to be a parent and helplessly watch your child goes through any kind of sickness.  I don’t think there is any feeling as desperately passionate as a parent who cannot help their child.  I’ve been in that position and it tested my faith!

It is not God’s intention for us to have doubt and unbelief.   But when we do, it certainly is not His intention for us to stay there.  However, He can use it for His honor and glory and He can use it to strengthen our faith.

“But the God on the Mountain is still God in the Valley

When things go wrong, He’ll make them right.

And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times

The God of the Day is still God in the Night”

In Memory of a Lady

Below is my son Robert’s letter to his Grandmother:

Grammie: In memory of a lady

Dearest Grammie,

The last time we were able to visit was in May. You were at home, in your own bed, watching birds and flowers outside in your little garden. You told me of the recent flowers that your children had bought for your garden. I saw almost no one else on that 30-minute visit toCambridgebut, by God’s mercy, I did see you. Aunt Cheryl also had the wisdom, perhaps the foresight, to take a photograph of us together. That photograph is now my favorite. Several hours later, as I was on my way back to Montana, I received a phone call and learned that you had been readmitted to the nursing home. I will forever treasure the memory of our visit that spring day.

I have spent the past few days wondering what to write. You were one of my biggest fans as a writer. It was you who encouraged me to continue with my first novella,Treasure Mountain. You were also the first to read the manuscript when I finished, actually you were one of the few ever to read it, and you still managed to find something good to say about what was surely the worst fiction you ever read. You also scoured every newspaper that has published my work to be sure you missed not a word of my writing. How could I do other than to say goodbye for now in writing.

I have struggled to write this letter because no amount of words will do justice to what I wish to say. Your life was too excellent to reduce to several hundred words. Several thoughts do stand out to me though, so I offer them here.

You are one of the best people I have ever known. I don’t know that I have ever heard anyone say a bad word about you. You taught me by your example what it means to live as a good person.

You and Bumpa had a promising career in music and entertaining. I remain certain that you would have gone far and been wealthy and famous. You discovered a higher calling though, and you taught me by your example what it means to forsake all for the sake of conviction and living out what you believe.

You taught me what it means to live a life of influence through service. You have loved others, served others, and had a profound influence on more people than I could ever hope to influence.

You lived a life of integrity and character in a world where these are not common. You taught me what it means to live with character and integrity as defining values.

You taught me to laugh, and to be quick with a witty response. I enjoy making people laugh. You would have been proud of the one-liner I pulled at work on Friday.

Your life also was marked by grace and poise. In trying to define this it occurred to me that you are a lady. You lived your life with such class that I just cannot think of a better term. I have known many good women in my life, each of whom have different strengths and traits. None of them are as much of a lady as you are though. You will always be the standard in my mind when I think of a lady.

You also taught me to love God and the Scriptures. I love the Scripture that reminds us we do not grieve as those who do not have hope. I do grieve your passing terribly, but I also have hope. I also love the psalm which reminds us that precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of one of His saints. I may mourn that you are no longer with me on this earth, but God rejoices that you are now with Him – which is much better.

The power of a life lived well cannot be overstated, but it can be appreciated, emulated, and celebrated. Thank you, Grammie, for living well. I love you, and I look forward to the day when we meet again and you can take your firstborn grandson for a nature walk through heaven. Until that day, I will treasure the memories we share and continue to celebrate you for there is no one like you.

Love, Robert

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