Archive for January, 2011

great worship night – Chris Tomlin excels!

Me again,

Dale. myself and as it turned out, five others from our church joined a crowd of 2000 or so at Citipointe Church, Brisbane last night for what proved a wonderful night of Christian music and teaching – it was great being able to worship God there.

I’ll get to Chris Tomlin soon, but the other musicians/speakers were excellent too. I was impressed with Parachute Band from across the Tasman.   I found their presentation, lyrics and overall approach much-more-resonating for me than the wall-of-singers approach which I find increasingly disconcerting with much of the Hillsong stuff – though I unashamedly (though quite selectively) use some of Hillsong’s music. With the Parachute material, I found a stronger justice edge, and certainly a greater use of inclusive language for people. An impressive set, with Living Rain and Mercy standout songs, and some brilliant visuals.

I have Louie Giglio’s Indescribable presentation on DVD and that’s basically what he shared – with local variation, noting the impact of the Queensland floods.  He too was excellent, though he could have been just as effective (perhaps moreso) if he spoke for about 2/3 the time. A great communicator with a God-given compelling message.

Giglio’s spot was in the middle of one of the best sets of worship song music I think I’ve ever been part of. Yes – Chris Tomlin with a superb band.  Yes, he did most of the ‘hits’, though they weren’t used as hits at all; rather – conduits for worshipping God.

I’ve been wanting to use his recent Our God for some weeks. Last night’s rendition was superb – in fact, bookended the show:

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power our God our God

I look forward to using it at church – might even try the cool strings/synth bit at the start.

What impressed me was that not only was Tomlin himself worshipping as he sang & played, but he came across as a really humble, unpretentious communicator.  He basically let God do the talking through the songs. He came across with great servant integrity

Songs like:

Holy is the Lord
Jesus Messiah
How Great is our God
Sing, Sing, Sing
God of this City
Amazing Grace (my chains are gone)
Your grace is enough
I lift my hands

… and probably a few others.

What a great night – one to be remembered. And thanks to M. for making it possible for us.




And if our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against

the message of the cross

This Sunday I’m preaching on 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 – part of Paul’s teaching on the Cross of Christ

foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God

There is of course and endless repertoire of “cross” songs out there.  This Sunday I’ll use (via a Youtube/Songs of Praise) Graham Kendrick’s wonderful Meekness and Majesty.

Yet – as I’ve worked on my sermon these past days, a song emerged.  I’m really happy with it.  Words and leadsheet link are below. Stylistically, think the same groove as my Not ashamed from years ago (written at the time of NCYC 1991!).  At Dale’s encouragement, I’ve managed to insert something about Christ’s resurrection in the bridge – a sort of ‘building’ and ad lib repeated thing.  Some of the other cross songs have for me – some suspect theology or are just too soppy.  I hope this one’s not – please tell me if it is.

Blessings, David

the message of the cross

Tell out the One who died
The Christ, the crucified
Your pow’r, your saving grace
Your death, our life
Foolishness for worldly eyes
Pow’r for all who live your life
This is the message of the cross

For all of us being saved
it is your power
In speaking out your truth
we’re fools for some
The wisdom of the world
in you comes crashing down
For on the cross
It’s all been said and done

Your foolishness is wiser
than our wisdom
Your weakness
is stronger than our might
You choose the weak and foolish
so to shame the strong
Christ there upon the cross
You set things right


There on the cross
you died for us, you save us
There from the grave
You bring your risen life
(repeat ad lib)

David MacGregor leadsheet
© 2011Willow Publishing


song update – “Christ shows his face”


Typical me – posted a new song (check previous post) without doing an adequate proof of the score.  So – go to the previous full post where the latest lyrics (only minor changes) and the melody (now in “D”) can be found.




Christ shows his face … a flood reflection


Long time since I last posted. Combination of post-Holy Land acclimatization, everything Christmas, helping out at NCYC 2011, beginning a holiday at Hervey Bay, coming home prematurely because of Brisbane River floodwaters entering our house, moving back into our home just two days ago and finally getting power restored just two hours ago.

This has been an incredibly draining time – and that’s without the massive hardship and loss experienced by so many.  It was SO hard being stranded for those days at Hervey Bay, yet unable to get back to Brisbane due to flooded rounds between there and Brisbane.  I reckon it’s been some of the hardest few weeks of my life.

We had no option – from afar – to leave the evacuation of our home (either to the top story OR the church OR friends’ places) to an incredible armada of folk from our church, longtime friends and of course Joel and Jeremy back at the ranch. Like so many others, I find myself not starting the year anywhere near refresh.  I feel totally drained.

I was taken by a Facebook posting by radio station 96.5 FM’s Billy Diehm last weekend.  Billy was asked basically, “Where was God in all this?”.  His marvellous answer was loosely along the lines of: God was there in every volunteer, every emergency services worker, every SES worker. So true.

So – the song that had been ‘coming’ for weeks finally poured out yesterday – Christ shows his face. Lyrics and leadsheet link below.  This song is dedicated to all of those “face of Jesus” folk these past weeks, and especially those who ministered to us.  And by the way, the photo here is of Oxley-Darra UC folk who two Thursdays ago (flood-peak day) got to the streets on some trucks and distribute over 400 bags of ice AND heaps of bread.  How overwhelmingly compassionate and kind is that!



Christ shows his face

Christ shows his face
when lives are pained
weary hearts are breaking.
shows God’s grace
while troubles rise,
past foundations shaking

Every smile
Every hand
Every soft embracing
Christ shows his face
when lives are pained,
hope is hard, displacing

Christ shows his face
in thirsting souls
When hunger’s met with feeding
When nakedness for all to see
is met with love, with clothing

Offered rest
Offered home
Offered hope’s new morning
Christ shows his face
when all seems dark, the
light of Christ keeps shining.

Christ shows his face
in community
extending past their comfort
Sharing steadfastly as one
Self-giving for another

Every smile
Every tear
Every soft embracing
Christ is found
when all seems lost, when
When love’s true heart
When love’s true hope
When love’s true light keeps shining.

© David MacGregor 2011
Willow Publishing

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2010. That’s about 14 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 48 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 99 posts. There were 139 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 23mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was March 28th with 80 views. The most popular post that day was Sing Hosanna … new song for Holy Week.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for alpha and omega, jackson browne, deeper, we cannot measure how you heal lyrics, and music.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Sing Hosanna … new song for Holy Week March 2009


You are Alpha, Omega … new song April 2010


Songs of sadness & sustaining February 2009
1 comment


Jesus, Jesus is risen … an Easter song March 2009


we go in peace to love and serve March 2010

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