Samples    Lyrics    Credits

"Beyond the Stains" refers to the fact that despite life's difficulties, we're able to rest our struggles, sadness, our past and future on the shoulders of Christ. Throughout all of life, I believe His love for us allows us to move beyond all of the stains that life leaves upon our souls.

This CD took about five months to record, but sat on a shelf for several months waiting for enough money to have it professionally done. The majority of the songs reflect my experience in Cleveland, which had alot of difficult moments. The rest of the songs were written near the end of my time at Michigan State. The CD was "released" on March 27th, 2001, a full eight months after it was finished being recorded.





Summer Sun (3:27)

You’re just like all old friends, so comforting to see again
But awkward because you seem so out of place
But I’m glad that you came back because the world was starting to turn black
Which it may become again once you leave
So I will wait down here for time to move again
And this smile to slowly fade away
These moments come and go but they leave a mark upon my soul
And sometimes my Lord Jesus lets it cry
But He pulls me from on high to the sun that’s in the winter sky
To stay up there until darkness comes again
I know we’ve overcome when you imitate the summer sun
Displaced by all your peers, far away…

Notes: Written in the middle of winter, but the sun was bright as if it was a warm summer
day. This and "Disappear" are the only upbeat songs on the whole CD. At the time, I was pretty proud of the key change from the chorus to the second verse, giving the song more of a
"sunny" feel.

Westwood (6:19)

Westwood is heartache, to search for sometimes
When the storm is looming, when you thought all was just fine
This time is yours and it’s mine
You’ll know it when you see it, in front of your eyes
The pain hides in a corner, your heart can do nothing but smile
It may only last for a while
So Lord won’t You break me down?
Lord, won’t You take this crown of pride and swing me around, just like a child?
Westwood is elusive, it comes from behind
And before you know it, you notice that it’s saying goodbye
It’s useless to stop and ask why
The sky is all around you, the clouds are alive
The season smiles sweetly, it’s leaving, though it just arrived
Living a memory lie…
Westwood is a fable, a heart in the hands
Of someone that is able to make you cry on command
I didn’t think that they’d understand
Because it’s so hard to be so fragile and yet so free
You never gave up on me, please don’t tonight…

Notes: A street near my first apartment in Cleveland, Ohio. Written about my desire to
control my life, when I know full well that Someone else knows better than I do. It took forever to get all of the lyrics written. The chorus melody was inspired by a Backstreet Boys song.
Don't tell anyone.

October Winter (4:28)

The trees are laden with the burdens of the day before
They remain quiet in the calm, following the storm
They are examples for nobody, except for one
Who wants to follow Jesus, and wants to know God’s only Son
But October Winter fades into my soul
There are a thousand, (million) things, but this one takes control
As Jesus smiles at me with His eternal Grace
Somehow I turn away, to see the pain of October Winter’s face
She just smiles, she maybe thinks, and then she turns away
All this time she doesn’t know that there might be more to say
But if he would take the time to stare into her deep blue eyes
He'd see her Savior, let her go, and then he’d realize
And now goodnight has come, the day has just gone by so fast
And throughout all of this, my heart is still just a season past
And so I lay to sleep, and God is calling out my name
He says, "She’s fast asleep, and everything will be OK"
But October Winter fades into my soul
There are a thousand things, but Jesus takes control
And as He smiles at me with His eternal Grace
Somehow I turn away, to see the pain
But I still see the pain
The pain upon His face

Notes: A summation of the three most outstanding things about life for me in college; a season, a sweetheart, and a Savior. How cheesy! I can still remember playing the verse guitar line over and over again at my church one Friday evening, falling in love with it.

Silverfeet (4:17)

Barren street, Silverfeet walk until they must stay still
In a daze, unfamiliar place
But the air doesn’t care, one more time it will take me there
It will take me there
The Holy One has seen me run, trying to catch up to the breeze
So He waits as I chase some fate
I turn around, and on the ground the final leaf has fallen there
No one else cares
Chorus 1
The playground was a lie until with open eyes
I finally got to smile
A season comes, autumn goes, but it’s never far behind
Though sometimes I wish it was
Over there, an empty stare, a little boy waving at me
In a leafless tree
Chorus 2
The playground is alive but only when I get to sigh
Inside my Savior’s eyes

Notes: Inspired by the longing for home, after spending several years away from it. The strange three part round to close the song was a last minute idea. And no matter what I make up, I really don't know what the title means or where it came from.

One of One (5:41)

All that it does is stare at me, this painful horizon
And far away, one mystery stays its peaceful companion
And it never fails, it never fades though I can’t seem to find it
So Jesus, He comes and offers me a gentle reminder
And how was I to know that one day, I would become one of one?
I know some day we’ll play in a world beyond the stains
Indeed, we’ll flee from everything that has ever plagued your eyes
Here inside
Amidst this sea of eyes looking down, I could see nothing
Until I looked up and saw you there, with eyes fixed upon me
And so this dance began with Grace, enough for one and one
We’ll laugh and we’ll cry and we’ll smile for as long as we’re given
And how were we to know that one day, we would become one and one?
And how were we to know that one day, we would become one of one?

Notes: I was blessed to be able to watch, firsthand, the dating relationship of a good friend become engagement and marriage. I'm usually too selfish to write about other people, but this was an exception. I'd like to write more songs with the "echoey" lead guitar line that pops up at the beginning and end of the song.

Silent Smile (3:55)

One day, some time, you and I should take a walk somewhere beyond our eyes
And start back when our hands were smaller and we prayed for the other
Instead of just you and me
And I can feel the silent smile, though it never stays
And I can see the bright blue through the clouds, you could see it if you were here
Every season has its chance to turn and run from all you’ve got inside
But time will go and they will fail, but Christ will call and we’ll be past it all
All the hope within this mire could never do a thing without You, Lord

Notes: A personal favorite of mine that didn’t turn out nearly as well as I had hoped. Likely the best guitar solo I've ever come up with. Also probably the worst harmonica playing ever. My dishwasher could play harmonica better.

Today (3:43)

Waiting for the calm before the storm
Bliss will fade, you will be delayed
But I hope that the smile on your heart never finds a way to depart
So what do you think of the sky today?
But the spring shadows linger, and something’s missing from this scene
I know tomorrow will be different, but first tomorrow has to be
Across these fields and cityscapes, One Love never hesitates
Even on this lonely April day, I know God is not far away
Friends sometimes will fade without a sound
And this heart dies a lonely demise
But I pray that you never look down through the air
And see that smile ignore your lovely stare
And wonder what they think of the sky that day
Maybe the clouds won’t float away this time
Seasons will fade, you will be delayed
But somehow it’s always been this way
I long and hope, and it’s still called today
For a while there were other things to say…

Notes: An open letter to my future wife, though shes probably never seen it as that! Written on a very sunny April day, overlooking a bunch of people playing frisbee. No bass, no guitar overdubs, no vocal harmonies. Probably why it's a bit more boring than the rest of the disc. :)

Shoreline (4:38)

Down by the shoreline, down where my fears will never end
There my heart and God will collide and the moons reflection will always shine
But I am (still) awake, and these thoughts have stayed
Forever and a day, or so it seems
Wash all the windows and clean the windowsills tonight
Because I will light these candles here, and I will sleep beside the light
Lord, all I want is You, so break my heart in two and throw the pieces far away
From my dreams
Lord, all I want is You, so break my heart in two and throw the pieces far away
From my dreams

Notes: Written at a very difficult time in my life. As simple as the guitar solo is, it's also one of my favorites. I think the ending signifies the dark, Florida night on which the song was written.

Disappear (4:25)

Stillness never asked me, sitting on the doorstep waiting for a sign
And as I walk away I’m staring at the sidewalk most of the time
But somehow realize as these fields fade
That not all is lost, we’ll see God someday
But you’re so silent there and you don’t have to go
In fact I wish that you would stay
But I can’t make you change, and we will anyway
So I won’t even try, I’ll just sit and watch you fade as you say goodbye
A thousand conversations, how much understanding, our hearts are sleepy-eyed
And throughout all of this I know that you’ve been asking, "Why have we tried?"

So look around, you’ll see me there, I will return your fading stare
So embrace this horizon and all that it’s withholding, we are never alone
So here’s one of those days, even though I’m on my way, I wish I was already Home
I can’t make you change and we will anyway, so I’ll just sit right here
I’ll just watch and hope and pray, as you disappear

Notes: Written at the same time as "Shoreline". Does that make any sense? It took me many millions of takes to get the opening guitar line right. Musically inspired by "I Will be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and "The Freshman" by the Verve Pipe.

Coda (4:54)

It always starts when I walk by, but seems to be a waste of time
These silent roads that used to be, before I started memory
Standing outside your window right now
Midnight sighs and Silverfeet know how
To leave this place, a smile erased
And nothing ever could replace
The tender pain and the skylight rain, and the final breath that now has been in vain
The candles sitting on the sill have always been silent until
They feel the betraying breath that leads to their untimely death
Lord, I’ve always wanted You to stay
But life and time and sin are never far away
And from down here, Your Words are clear
But when clouds are in the atmosphere
I fade again, though we’re still friends, so hold my hand until forever ends
The shadows come and go these days and I slow down to catch the waves
Because when I do I can move on from the stains that were here all along
And so descend my faithful friend, maybe sometime we’ll meet again
But until that day, from far away, I’ll long for all the joy that you display
It always starts when I walk by…

Notes: Another song about missing home. The third verse was actually the first part of the song written. Seems like I play guitar harmonics whenever I can't come up with any guitar solo at all, (Summer Sun and October Winter also suffer from this).

Preprise (1:57)


Notes: Really just a random song piece that I had recorded in the hopes of turning it into a real song. It's what I had anticipated "Something Blue" to sound like.






Dad, Mom, Donnie and Natasha – For your love.

Dave Jones – For being my spiritual brother and musical confidante. Now it’s your turn!

Matt and Julie – For your friendship and prayers.

GCNO and South Baptist – For being amazing places for me to grow spiritually.

Chris, Jamie, JJ, Neil, and everyone from Cutting Edge – For your support and love.

Dave and Michelle – For your encouragement and your song.

Sara D. and all those who have – Thanks for asking.

Jesus Christ – For Heaven and this life.


All vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitars, drum programming, and harmonica on "Silent Smile" by Eric Frederickson.

Director of Photography – Joe Albin, (Thanks for everything man!)

All songs written by EJF.

Thanks to Kelly Lovelace for the beautiful cover!