Runaway Clay

by Michael Stalcup

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This album is both a meditation on Jesus' story in Luke 15:11-31 and a worshipful response to the God who, in my own life, graciously pursued me and bore my shame so that I could be reconciled to Him. His grace was and is my only hope. To Jesus Christ be the glory!

"From demon sloth and pleasures raw,
Or demon toil and pride of law.
The pathway home from either place
Is opened by the word of grace."
-John Piper

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released July 4, 2015

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Michael Stalcup Bangkok, Thailand

Christian. Husband. Father. Missionary. Poet. And occasional closet musician (literally).

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Track Name: What Was Mine
Well, I finally got my way.
I had waited for this day:
“So long!
I know the way; I’m gone.”
Left with a fortune to my name,
Finally had the guts to say,
“I’m through!
I don’t need you or your rules.”

It felt so good
That day when I left you behind,
On my way with what was mine.

I lived like I wanted and
What the world offered to me
Made me feel so alive and free,
But silently
I’d lost my fortune in a year;
All I had, all I was, had all disappeared
And the fear, it pierced me.

It felt so good
That day when I left you behind,
But here I was alone in the cold,
Starving, scared, a pitiful picture of life,
On my way with what was mine.

Popped balloons litter the floor;
I’m emptier now than before.
What does my freedom mean
But this slavery?
Memories of home
Make me wish I had stayed so long ago.
Home, home, home…

As I walk back to your home,
I'm so weak, my clothes are torn;
You’re there,
And I bow to avoid your stare

But words I’ve rehearsed a hundred times
Get no further than your smile;
I rise,
And look into your eyes,

And there I find
That I've finally left it behind;
Freedom comes with your embrace;
Love and sorrow
Have never been so intertwined,
As you touch my face
And slowly say,
"Son of mine."
Track Name: All These Years
I remembered the day he left for so long,
How that son of yours told us both to die
But you went right along
And gave him money for his wrongs.
He blew it all as fast as he could
On alcohol and sex, like I knew he would.
Our family name could never bear such shame;
That’s why he’s good as dead to us
And that’s how it should stay.

But I tried every day to make things right
And to be the perfect son in your eyes;
I fight, slaving for you day and night,
But it’s clear now that you don’t love me.
Isn’t that right?

Now how dare he show his face
And beg for hire as a slave –
The nerve to think we’d take him back
When his life is such a waste;
Choices have their consequences
And his choices have been made;
Your parting grace was a mistake
But his folly put him in his place,
Serving food to filthy pigs,
A job of terrible disgrace,
But a fitting end
To any filthy man who lives that way;
But father, look me in the eyes
And answer my complaint:
Instead of turning him away
You throw a party in his name,
While you never bothered
To take the time to celebrate
All these years I’ve worked for you,
So careful not to disobey.
Listen to me when I talk to you!
Don’t you remember
The day he cut himself off from you?
And we all knew what you ought to do
But you wouldn’t listen,
Like you were missing some marbles too.
And now this squanderer, this shameful one,
You welcome like your only son;
You justify the wicked
While forgetting I’m the perfect one!

Well, I tried every day to make things right
And to be the perfect son in your eyes,
Dead tired slaving for you day and night,
But it’s clear that you’ll never love me.
Well, fine!

But I tried every day to make things right
And to be the perfect son in your eyes;
I’d die slaving for you day and night,
But it’s clear that you’ll never love me.
Isn’t that right?
Track Name: Ever Still
Stumble through I strive,
Wander though I will,
Ever still, you are faithful;
You are faithful.

Jesus, lover of my soul,
You're the author and perfecter of my faith
And so I know that nothing I could say or do
Could take away or add to what you've done,
So I run, with my eyes on you and,

Stumble though I strive,
Your hand will hold me fast;
Wander though I will,
Your love welcomes me back;
And nothing I could say or do
Could take away or add to what you've done,
So I run to you.

And I will fall, I will fail,
But to your cross it will all be nailed;
May my hope no longer be
In what I do, but in your love for me.

I will fall, I will fail,
But to your cross it will all be nailed;
May my hope no longer be
In what I do, but in your love for me.

I stand amazed at your constant grace,
How you pour your love out
Over all our days.
I stand amazed at your constant grace,
How you pour your love out
Over all our days.

Your hand will hold me fast,
Your love welcomes me back;
Ever still, you are faithful.
Your hand will hold me fast,
Your love welcomes me back;
Ever still, you are faithful,
You are faithful.
Track Name: Deep Waters
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer;
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of our praises,
And I am saved from my enemies.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters;
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
For the Lord delighted in me.
Track Name: The Old Rugged Cross (feat. Christie Stalcup)
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me,
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
‘Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
Track Name: Your Compassions
Lord, your compassions are new every morning and I wake in your grace;
Help me desire to rest on your promises and to learn your ways.
I cry out to you: Please don’t leave me here,
Broken by my fears, broken by my fears.

Lord, your compassions are new every morning and I will sing your praise;
Help me to find your glimmer of hope even in the darkest place.
I cry out to you: Please don’t leave me here,
Broken by my tears, broken by my tears.

I will hope in you, I will wait on you,
For you promised me everything;
I will seek your truth, I will follow you,
For you are my God, my King;
And I'll sing when I lay in the darkness: Don't leave me here!
And as I follow you, you make everything new.
You make everything new.

The sorrow may last through the night,
The sorrow may last through the night,
The sorrow may last through the night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Oh, you make everything new!

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