Background

December 3, 2017

By Dee Dee Hall

Background Story for the “Verily, Verily” Poem

The following poem was written about an experience of Danny Mack Hall.

As a teenager in the late sixties, he and five other boys ran away from home. One of the boys had an old car that they all rode in. They all piled in with a few canned goods for food, but they forgot to bring a can opener. They were headed to Hollywood, California. However before they got to Hollywood the car broke down. They just left it on the side of the road, canned goods and all. They were subsequently arrested for vagrancy and the parents of some of the boys were notified. These boys received money from their parents for a bus ticket home. However, Danny determined that he was still going to Hollywood.

His friends gave him a couple of dollars and told him good bye and good luck. He hitched rides until he arrived in Hollywood. But he had not money. He was hungry and alone. He later met some other homeless boys and they camped out at night in an abandoned building. In the day, they would make their rounds for food, sometimes getting peanut butter sandwiches at a Christian coffee house, and at other times they would raid the dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant for left over scraps. The Chinese proprietor felt sorry for them and would bring out scraps from off the plates of food and would feed them like stray dogs. “Come, come, the food is good,” he would say. “Come hungry hippies and eat.”

One day, while on the street, Danny heard a street preacher. This young man looked vaguely familiar to Danny. He asked the preacher, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before? Have you ever been in Chicago?” The preacher replied, “Yes, I used to live there.” He had been a hippie and Danny had seen him there, but now he had a different look, a cleaned up look, and a story to tell. He had gotten saved and wanted to share the good news.

He opened up his Bible and started reading several verses out of the book of John. He had a red-letter edition and told Danny, “These words in red are Jesus’s very own words.” He evidently had marked most of the verses that began with the words verily, verily. He proceeded to read them to Danny until Danny had heard enough. “I don’t think I’m ready for that right now,” he replied.

The next day Danny decided that he was done with Hollywood and wanted to go home. He stuck out his thumb and got a ride. The poem will tell the rest of the story.

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Verily Verily

December 3, 2017

By Dee Dee Hall

Verily, Verily

(A Testimony of Danny Mack Hall)

“Verily, verily,” were the two words I heard

The street- preacher speak from God’s holy word.

I was so lost and far from my home,

On the Hollywood street, and completely alone.

 

The very next day, I hitched a ride

And was dropped in the desert with no place to hide

From the two words that swirled around in my head.

I couldn’t remember anything else that was said.

 

But, “Verily, verily.” I say unto you,

“That night was cold, but what could I do?”

With tears flowing down I looked at the sky.

“God, are your real? Do you hear my cry?”

 

As the sun came up I was no longer cold.

Just hot and thirsty and back on the road.

A car passed by and something flew out at me.

Was it money or food? I just had to see.

 

What? A little book of scriptures. Could this be?

Each verse starting with, “Verily, verily???

And then I knew that God heard my cry.

He was hot on my trail. This I could not deny!

 

Later that year my sins got me bound.

In a cold, hard, jail cell this sinner was found.

I was as lost as a sinner could be. Then-

“Verily, verily,” Jesus said unto me.

“I am the Door. I have the key.

If you’re a servant of sin, I’ll set you free.

Ye must be born again for the kingdom to see.

If you really want life, then believe on me.”

 

I cried out to God, there on my bed.
“Send a drop of your blood, so pure and so red.

Cleanse me, save me, please set me free.”

That’s just what He did! “Verily, verily,” I say unto thee.

-Dee Dee Hall

Well, spring is finally here. It has always been my favorite time of year and continues to be so, although now the Month of May will always be a bittersweet time for me. When the May apple plants started pushing up in the woods each spring, my husband would be found among them, looking for Morel mushrooms. They are called “spring chickens” in our neck of the woods. If he had good luck hunting, we would soak them in salt water, then batter and fry them for supper. What a delicacy!

     But it never failed that along with the spring chickens would be a fresh bouquet of Sweet Williams (beautiful blue phlox that grows in the woods) along with some May apples. You know, the little plants that look like umbrellas.  Brother Danny knew how much I loved the Sweet Williams because their fragrance is so sweet!

    Our anniversary was May 26, and  often on our anniversary he would bring  home a bouquet of wild, pink hedge roses, for that is what they decorated the little store-front church with on our wedding day. My sweet sentimental husband! How I miss him this time of year! Today he would have been 66.

    A few weeks ago, I did a bit of foraging in the woods. I came in the house with Sweet Williams, May apples, moss, dogwood blooms and some other spring specimens. I dried them in my silica gel and then when they were ready I arranged them behind the panes of an old window.  I added the verse from Song of Solomon which refers to the rapture.

Song of Solomon 2:10-12

My beloved spake, and said unto me,

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth;

the time of the singing of birds is come …

 

  Now I have a window of spring hanging on my bedroom wall, and I will always think of my sweet Danny when I see the Sweet Williams and May apples.

 

  Just four years ago we spent his last birthday in the hospital. The next week on our 40th anniversary he was taken off the transplant list and a week later he was in Heaven.

I had a dream a couple of years ago that was so real, that I still am not positive that is was a dream. It was so real and personal that I could hardly talk about it to anyone.

   I was outside of my mother’s house, when someone strong and young picked me up and carried me inside to the back room. I then realized that it was Danny. He was healthy. He was tender and romantic. I held him  tightly and didn’t want to let go. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that he couldn’t stay and I didn’t want the moment to end. Then I woke up with such an overwhelming longing that I could scarcely stand it. I had read this script before, I felt like my experience was referred to in the Bible. I then opened my Bible to Song of Solomon chapter three.

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth:

I sought him, but I found him not.

I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets,

and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth:

I sought him, but I found him not.

The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said,

Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?

It was but a little that I passed from them,

but I found him whom my soul loveth:

I held him, and would not let him go,

until I had brought him into my mother’s house,

and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

 

  Never had the Bible come so alive to me. It had just described my dream of Danny. I felt that he had been with me. It was so very bittersweet!

 

And so today I think of him, visit his grave, and wish him a Happy Birthday in Heaven.

 

And as I long for him, so should we all have a longing for Christ, our precious and tender bridegroom to speak these words of love to us:

Arise my love, my fair one, and come away.

 

  Even so come Lord Jesus!

  

In the love of Christ, Dee Dee Hall
May 18th, 2016

 

ACFrOgDuaToPoVnN80sfTAsz1nBtiYT1bh8Wr9kFxqqHplMKHsXr_7tluy_03K8oDpT8weSow0xGyHpvEhwEczTL-W2GD-fTLUVvWXJ3GZpwy2kt3YTA_n4mARUuzJY=I’m excited to share with you all a “new” Danny & Dee Dee Hall CD.  Mom has been dreaming of this project for a while, and thanks to several friends’ hard work and contributions (many many thanks to the Seminole String Band), it finally became a reality this year.

This CD has 19 tracks. It has four songs recorded live (which are my favorite because you can really hear dad’s heart when he was ministering to the church), two audio clips from Dad’s home going service, and 13 more of their most requested songs that were recorded back in the early 2000’s.

Mom and I were going back and forth on what to call this CD. We also were digging through pictures and doing our best to find the perfect one for this compilation of old and new. We finally decided on our last family picture that we all took together. It was Thanksgiving of 2011. Mom wanted to recreate aNorman Rockwell Thanksgiving photo, so there we all are, goofy grins in place, gathered around the feast at the table in our new dining room that dad worked so hard to finish for us all. We were about to hear dad give thanks one more time for his family and friends and all the blessings from the Lord that year. If there was anything dad was good at, it was giving thanks. Finally we had found our picture.

After mom and I decided on the picture, we agreed the only suitable title would be “Thankful Memories.” We are so thankful for all the special memories that we have of our family together, but most of all, of those memories were dad was thankful, where his life, his ministry and his music gave praise and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.

CD Order Form

One Year Ago

May 26, 2014

One year ago it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I wore my royal blue dress, and the kids wore blue kool-aid stains around their mouths.  I watched my nephews  run around and hide behind the headstone. I felt the sun warm my face and saw Claira talk to her Paw-Paw in heaven. We were all there. Our whole family sat on the green, cemetery grass to help mom celebrate her anniversary. As the tears began to steal from our eyes, mom spoke. She said 41 years ago this family was started, and she would have never dreamed of what the Lord would do with them. She told us of how thankful she was for us kids and for dad and the wonderful legacy he left behind. It was beautiful, and I don’t know how she could show so much of her heart and still have so much left.Together we sang a song. Together we grieved.  The Lord smiled on us that day. I think I left a little bit of the pain behind there in the graveyard that day.

Another year has gone by. Another anniversary is here. It is a little easier. The tears still fall of their own accord, but most of the time I can smile through them. I can look back and see the Lord. I can see Him walking with me through the last two years. I can see him binding up my heart, showing me the little patch of light to follow to get through the dark valley. I can see Him asking me to walk a little closer, to know Him a little more. He beckons to step out from the numbing darkness and to see this life in its fierce and cruel beauty. What were the sunrise if not for the darkness? What were the waking spring without winter’s icy blasts? What were my Savior without Calvary’s tree?

Today, as I think back down the path I’ve traveled, this beautiful song rises in my heart…..

  1. Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
    Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!
    Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast;
    Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest”;
    Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest.”
  2. Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
    Naught as an off’ring to Jesus, my King;
    Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
    Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart;
    Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
  3. Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
    Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
    All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
    Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified;
    Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.
  4. Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
    Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
    Through endless ages ever to be
    Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee;
    Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee!

 

 

 

Happy Birthday

May 18, 2013

Dear Daddy,

Happy Birthday. I sure do love and miss you. Right now I’m sitting on an empty beach, on a cloudy morning viewing yellow morning glories with the backdrop of rough waves crashing on the shore. It amazes me how such a hostile sea can be so calming and peaceful. You would appreciate its beauty. I rode your old purple Shwin bike out here to have a few minutes alone. Nathan fixed the inner tube and aired it up for me, so it is ready for more adventures; although it looks a little worse for the wear. I still remember you riding it all the way to church one Wednesday evening. It must have been at least 15 years ago. So many people stopped and asked if they could give you a ride, but your determined, adventurous spirit (or maybe it was just a stubborn streak) made you refuse the rides.

I believe I have a little of that spunk in me. I try to keep it hidden most of the time, but Nathan knows our secret. There are so many things that I have that came from you -a little spunk, a love for bluegrass and acoustic music, an appreciation for the depth and wonder of books. There are also things about you that I wish would develop: an amazing measure of faith, the ability to be a best friend and to give love to everyone that you meet, to minister through pain and suffering, but most of all your drive to never, ever, give up.

You kept going even after your last ounce of strength was gone. I want that mantle, Dad. I don’t want to quit. Like you, I want my last breath (even if it’s in pain) to be spent loving my family and friends. Daddy, I’ve never seen any one so physically weak that showed such mighty strength of spirit. I’m still learning from you.

You would be so proud of Mom. She has that same spirit. Y’all must have been made of out a different type of dirt. I think it must be all used up now. Mom just keeps on going. She has the best attitude. She sure does miss you, but she doesn’t let that stop her from loving people. Your ministry is still going strong. She is encouraging so many with her joy and happiness with her path in life.

We are selling our house. I wish you were here to talk about it all with us. There are so many decisions to make. I sure miss your advice and approval. I know you would be so proud of Nathan. You’ve always loved him. He’s taking such good care of me and Claira.

Claira still knows you. She loves to watch you sing from the campmeeting recordings, and she pointed to your picture when I was at Mom’s house and said, “that Paw Paw” with a big smile. The songs that you sang to her, when I was still carrying her, when she was a fussy infant in her swing, and even in the hospital when you were so weak you would barely talk, are so precious, and I’m so glad that I have some of them recorded. I wish she would be able to know you as she grows, but I am so thankful that you got to meet and love her. I was thinking the other night of when she was born, and how the night turned out so different than we had planned. You and Mom, Nathan, Bobby and Donna were there when I woke up to hear the news that she would be my only precious baby. My support team. My strength. Thank you for being there for me so many times.

Daddy, we all miss your prayers for us. It is so evident that they and your godly advice is gone. They were a solid anchor that kept us grounded. Now we are adjusting and frequently flying about with every wind. But I guess it’s time that we stand up. No longer can we just depend on you to intercede to the Lord for us. We must do it ourselves. I’m ready. Your example has blazed the trail. My wonderful earthly father is gone, but I have a Heavenly Father that cares for me even more, just like He did for you. Thank you for helping me find Him.

I’ve always been Daddy’s girl. You gave me such a strong foundation with your love, approval and confidence in me. We didn’t always have to discuss everything, but I could always feel the love and understanding in the warmth of your smile and the few words you would give.

Although I miss you so much my soul aches and often leaks out my eyes, I know that “As for God, his way is perfect” and I am so glad you are healed and healthy now.

Happy first birthday in Heaven. When I picture you there, I think of you as you are in one of my favorite pictures. I was around Claira’s age, maybe 2 or 3, and you were young and the picture of strength and health. You were squatting down next to me,  your blue lipped little girl, smiling. I know you are  young and healthy again, smiling, thinking of how much we all still love you down here, knowing that in heaven you are not bound by time, and it really will be just a little while and we will all be united.

Looking out on the horizon above the water, as those gray early clouds have broken to let the sun and blue skies in, I am trying to do the same thing. Heaven is just over that horizon!

I love you, Daddy. I’ll see you soon.

Cherish the Moment

February 6, 2013

“It’s Campmeeting Time!”

That how Bro. Bobby always starts out the meeting on Monday nights. We just finished our January meeting a few weeks ago, and, man, there were so many of us there thinking of Danny Hall. We really had a wonderful meeting, and the Lord used  it to really encouraged my broken heart, but it was also bitter sweet. This meeting marked a year since Dad has been at our church.

Dad was so very sick last year at the meeting. I spent most of those nights crying to Nathan and the Lord about how worried I was about him. But being sick never stopped Dad. He made every service; although, several of them he had to leave to go puke up his socks. Tough as nails-that man. He refused to let his body hinder him from serving the Lord. He would stumble back in, weak as a kitten, and carry on with worshiping the Lord (I can just hear his laughing and crying, the “wooooo” that signaled not a train, but the presence of the Lord stirring his heart). Bro. Danny had Mom and Dad sing several times that week, and the Lord touched them immensely. Just Dad walking up on the platform, looking so skinny and frail, was a testimony of God’s grace. It’s amazing how someone can break and strengthen your heart at the same time, but that was always Dad’s way, and that’s what was happening to so many in the congregation that week.

I was honored to be able to play along and sing with them that meeting (a lot of the times I’m in nursery, serving lunch next door, or staying home with Claira and her annual campmeeting bug, but this time I was able to be in on most all of the services). Friday morning God began moving in a quite yet powerful way. Bro. Jones had just finished exhorting on the death, burial, and resurrection of our lovely Lord (bringing out Old Testament truths and pictures like only he can), and we were called up to sing. We first sang “My King’s Apparel” and then “Thank You Lord” and that glory cloud gently continued rolling in. Please don’t think I’m trying to brag on us, because it was all the LORD. As we continued singing, Bro. Leroy Dalrymple was stirred and began what my preacher calls “exhorting.” Dad decided to sing “Happy Grand Reunion” (Bro. Leroy’s favorite). I was struggling the whole way though (aka embarrassingly crying like a baby). My heart was just so full; I was thankful at the Lord’s moving and especially him allowing me to be a part of it, but I was so broken over dad’s condition. My preacher, Bro. Danny, saw me having a hard time and came and whispered into my ear, “Cherish the moment, Carrie.”

It meant a lot then, but over time it’s come to mean so much more:

Cherish serving the Lord with your father, cherish being a part of this old time worship that is now so rare. Cherish the heritage that you have. Cherish the Lord’s touch and seeing with your eyes His power. What better memory could I have with my Mom and Dad than being used of the Lord with them?

“Thank you, Preacher. I’m still cherishing it.”

Stevebrownministries has been such a blessing in recording our camp meetings. Thanks for capturing this for us to enjoy over and over. It’s not quite the same as being there, but it is a glimpse into one of my treasured memories.