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16″ Rainbow trout caught on a #22 midge and released

Last week I went for a little drive. From Cincinnati to Rapid City, South Dakota and back. Just 1,225 miles each way. I visited family and took the opportunity to do a little fly fishing in the Black Hills. I caught a few trout including this 16 inch Rainbow on a #22 Midge on what was going to be my last cast of the day.

The Black Hills are always stunningly beautiful, and with the fall foliage contrasting with the deep blue of the sky, they are even more so this time of year.

Upper Rapid Creek in the South Dakota Black Hills

But, to get to the Black Hills of South Dakota, I had to traverse from east to west the entire state of Iowa. It is difficult to describe the corn fields of Iowa with quite the same picturesque enthusiasm. I’m not saying corn isn’t beautiful in its own way, but 300 miles of it got a little boring.

Somewhere just west of Davenport, I slid in Jerry Jeff Walker’s CD, It’s About Time, a good sing along album, to break the monotony. Track 3 is titled Because of You, a love song to his wife about how their loving relationship changed his life. I thought about that a bit and transferred the idea to how our lives change when we turn to and have a loving relationship with Christ. And, by the time I made it to Sioux City, I had four verses and a chorus written to that tune (there are only three verses in the original song). I’m sharing them with you here. Thank you, Jerry Jeff, for the tune, and thank You, Lord, for the love You give and for the inspiration to write this.

I Love Because of You – Lyrics by Jerry Robinson

I never knew Your love, Lord, all those years ago,
I turned my back on You, and I chose to go alone.
But when I hit the bottom
Some friends brought me to You,
And everything I love now,
I love because of You.

You knew I needed love, Lord, so You gave to me my wife,
A partner for the good and hard times in my life.
You gave us beautiful daughters,
Sons, and grandkids, too,
And everyone I love now,
I love because of You

Chorus
Jesus, You have loved me for all my life,
Your grace and mercy are a love that’s true,
So, I want to thank You
And give my loving heart to You
‘Cause everything I love in life
I love because of You.

There’re a lot of people, Lord, who struggle every day,
There’re hungry and there’re homeless, and those who’ve lost their way.
You say to love our neighbor
‘Cause that’s what good folks do.
So, everyone I love now,
I love because of You.

Jesus, You have loved me for all my life,
Your grace and mercy are a love that’s true,
So, I want to thank You
And give my loving heart to You
‘Cause everything I love in life
I love because of You.

There’s no greater love, Lord, than what You did for me,
You sacrificed Your own life on a cross on Calvary.
Yet, You still sustain me
With Your blood and body, too,
And everything I love now
I love because of You.

Jesus, You have loved me for all my life,
Your grace and mercy are a love that’s true,
So, I want to thank You
And give my loving heart to You
‘Cause everything I love in life
I love because of You.

(I Love Because of You was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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