Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Walking with the King

Ten years ago, I became a Christian. This may surprise some of you, but hopefully not all. This song, Walking with the King, touches on a particular aspect of my coming to faith. I had been attending a church as a "seeker". They had an addictions ministry which met every Friday night. On the group's first anniversary, I attended their outdoor barbecue, and then their meeting. During their testimonies, I felt God calling me to love these people: the lost, the broken, the recovering. I did not immediately declare anything, but started attending meetings every Friday night, in addition to church Sunday morning and evenings, and Wednesday nights. Two months later, I took my first communion as a believer, and two months after that was baptized. Soon I became a church member, and became the Secretary of the Friday night addictions group. I would take attendance, record their progress in the discipleship curriculum, lead small group discussions, and occasionally lead the meeting when the Director was unavailable.

For over five years, I would do things that I had not imagined doing before. Going to halfway houses in Aurora, SROs in Chicago, putting people up in motels, inviting ex-cons into my home, letting someone live with us for almost a year. I hope this does not sound like boasting. I was called to do these things, and was emboldened by the Holy Spirit. Love replaced fear. That's what the song is about.

Eventually, the addiction ministry attendance dwindled. Many other things happened in our time there, which I won't go into here. When the addictions ministry shut down four years ago, we decided to leave that church.

I am still a believer. We've attended some other churches in the area. Now we virtually attend a couple of others. We've helped a few people and given to some causes. And we write songs.

Watch a video with lyrics on YouTube: "Watch on". The music is also available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and so on. 

Here are the lyrics, annotated with clickable Bible references:

Walking with the King
I used to walk by the alley
Fearing all the people
Never look a stranger in the eye.
But David walked through the valley
Fearing no evil
He counted on his comfort from on high.

I'd avoid the troublemakers
The losers and the fakers
Walk across the street from enemies.
But the Son sat at dinner
With publicans and sinners
To love and heal and call the likes of these.

I sat in the pew that day
And listened to the addicts pray
Looking for the King
Talking to the King

In the sick beds and the jails
On the streets and the rails
Naked, thirsty, begging for some bread. , ()
The bound and the blind, ,
Broken heart, out of mind, , ,
The stranger and those waiting to be led. ,

His love came and filled my soul
To help make these people whole.
By walking with the King
Walking with the King

His steadfast, perfect love ,
Descends like a dove
Casting out the torment of our fear. ,
He is our strength you cannot shake,
Though earth will move and quake,
Our refuge, very present, always here.

His love made my heart to sing
Freedom for the suffering.
Now I'm walking with the king
I'm walking with the king ...

Lead us not into temptation
Deliver them from condemnation
Renew our faith by inspiration
Restore your light unto our nation.

I'm walking with the king...
(guitar solo) ,
I'm walking with the king...
© 2016 Kier & Cathleen Strejcek

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Room

I wrote a song inspired by the current pandemic environment. However, I am not ready to share it. At first, I felt unqualified to write the words, not having the requisite experience. Then the corona virus touched my family, and I began to feel that the song was a curse. Everyone pulled through and my stress level has reduced somewhat, so I am able to revisit it, and alter it a bit. But it is still not ready yet.

In the meantime, during this shelter-at-home period, I often think of this song, which I recorded with my post-Front-Lines band, Friendly Fire, in 1986. Its imagery is more of a fallout shelter. "The Room" has more minor chords than usual, and an off-kilter guitar solo. The drums at the end suggest bombs and tension. Bruce Gomez, keyboardist with The Front Lines, used to call me "Dr. Doom" due to the dark subject matter of many of my old songs. His nickname, on the other hand, was "Go-Go." As usual, I think the weak link in my songs is my singing. It just seemed like the best way to get my songs done was to sing them.

Listen to "The Room" on YouTube:

Carmen, Curt, Kier, and Mark perform as Friendly Fire at the Cubby Bear, Chicago, May 13, 1987 (Photo: Suzanne Plunkett). 

Curt, Kier, Mark, and Carmen of Friendly Fire, 1987 (Photo: Inglehart).
You can learn more about Friendly Fire, The Front Lines, and other bands I've been in at