My Best Buddy, Bill Mack...

 

Perhaps the most meaningful song I recorded in the seventies was Bill Mack’s “Clinging To A Saving Hand”.  Its words would certainly minister to me throughout my life, resurfacing in my heart with each life “assignment”.  Its writer would resurface in a most profound way soon after my daughter, Barbara, moved to Heaven in 2000.  

Bill wrote me a beautiful letter not long after Barbara moved to Heaven, offering me words of comfort.  Soon to follow was a message from Bill on my voicemail one day.  Bill’s strong voice conveyed love and encouragement, with a closing, “I promise you’ll be hearing from me”.  That statement sank deep into my heart.  I believed him, but felt an awe and wonder that Bill would “throw me such a lifeline” all the way from his home in Texas to my home in Alabama.  That lifeline of hope spanned many miles and many years between us, and it was real. 

        I’d recorded Bill’s “Clinging To A Saving Hand” when I was only 14 years old.  I’m so thankful to have sung those precious lyrics and look forward to singing them once again on my upcoming gospel cd, which will be available in October 2005.  This song has ministered to me more than ever in recent years as I have survived by doing just that, clinging to my precious Savior’s saving hand. It reminds me that my Savior had trials and tribulations while walking on this earth, and that I should expect to have them, too.  It also reminded me that God is with me in all things.  He is there for me to cling to Him, depend on Him, and trust Him.  God is in control and I am confident that He works all things for good.  He has the bigger picture.  He doesn’t make mistakes. 

        Bill Mack is largely responsible for the national charting of my version of, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.  He played it often over WBAP in Ft. Worth, Texas, in the 70’s and still plays it over XM Satellite Radio, Channel 171, Open Road.  Bill has given me a home on Open Road, including me in “his family”.  It is here that I have been offered a safe haven to share my faith; Barbara’s move to Heaven and her organ donation; my recent breast cancer battle in 2003/2004; all in an effort to “do my purpose”.  Bill has given me back “much of myself”, understanding my desire to sing and make a difference in someone’s life while doing so. 

Bill understands my urgency to offer hope and encouragement to others amidst their adversity.  He understands my “assignment” and has continuously given me inspiration for my journey.  Through Bill, God has enabled me to persevere toward my purpose, which is to make a difference for Jesus with the “pieces” He has given me to work with.

I am most honored to have written liner notes for the back cover of Bill Mack’s autobiography, Memories From The Trenches of Broadcasting.  In the Second Edition of Bill’s book, printed in December of 2004, he has included a chapter near the end titled, “Faith”, where he tells a bit of my story.  In August, 2005, the audio version of Bill's book was released.  It includes over 8 hours on 7 CD's, told in Bill's voice.  I'm honored to be included on disk 7 with the "Faith" chapter.  It also includes a DVD with over 250 photos.  To order your copy, go to www.billmackcountry.com.  

This precious man has been more than a source of strength to me as he has deliberately and continuously uplifted and inspired me, amidst my deepest heartache.  I am eternally grateful for the “straight from Heaven gift” that Bill Mack has been to me.  He is truly one in a million.  That golden voice is surpassed only by his heart and soul that gives without ceasing to others.   I am so very blessed to know Bill Mack and with all my heart, I aspire to be like him; for Bill Mack is so...like HIM.

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