Archive for February, 2011

Christ shows his face … full piano score


For those interested in a full piano/leadsheet score for my song: “Christ shows his face” – written in the aftermath of the Brisbane/Queensland floods, and written in part as a tribute to each and every volunteer who for me, showed the face and heart of Christ, I’ve just done one. When Dale and I find the 25th hour of each day, we’ll put together an mp3 of this. Cheers … just wanted to get this out.

download score


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it is well with my soul … really?


I’m a bit perplexed.  What’s new, you ask.  You see, I’ve just listened to a new recording of the classic American folk hymn: It is well with my soul.   This version has an extra chorus (a bridge really) written by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding from Hillsong Church.  Their addition is consistent musically and theologically with the original.  I hasten to add that this is all for the purpose of raising funds for the official Queensland government flood-relief appeal.   This is NOT a piece of Hillsong-bagging, let me be clear! I’m in no way questioning the writers’ or Hillsongs’ intentions. I commend Morgan, Fielding and Hillsong for what they are seeking to do with this song. It’s just that I struggle to sing it right now.

Have a listen to the song (recording is from Hillsong, I’m sure the visuals are not, but it gives you the lyrics) …

This is a song that has wonderful memories for me.  I recall being in Nashville in mid 2009 for a family reunion of Dale’s U.S. family.  We went to the Grand Ole Opry – as you do.  The absolute highlight was a near-acapella rendition of the original version by Alison Krauss, backed by folk-country singers, The Whites.  It was real goosebump stuff. I’ll remember it the rest of my life.

In that context and at that time, my spirit found itself singing along. In fact, soaring!  All things considered, things were well with my soul.

Fast forward 18 months, and I’m not so sure I can say that.   Almost a month on from the Brisbane/Queensland floods, in which we and our community were so personally embroiled, can I say “It is well with my soul”?

Sorry – I can’t.  No – it’s nothing to do, as far as I’m concerned with a lack of faith.  I have a very sure sense of God’s presence, comfort and love with me.  Nothing’s changed there.  It’s just that I feel unsettled within myself.  Currently, things are not well with my soul.   Will things improve?  I have no doubt they will.  Lots of patience and understanding (already there!) from those I love and who love me will help — along with my church family and beyond.  The scriptures day in, day out remind me of God’s steadfast love. I’m happy to sing something like Great is Your Faithfulness OR The Steadfast Love of the Lord OR John Bell’s We Cannot Measure How you heal at the moment, just not It is well

I rest in the confidence that God never gives up on me — or any of us for that matter.  And if the song is about the future hope we have in Christ, well I’m in full agreement.  But can I sing that right now?  Could I have my congregation sing that song (with or without the Hillsong addition) this Sunday?  Others might think – no problems.  Currently I can’t.

Now – this is where I’d welcome your thoughts.  Have I got it wrong?  Am I being too hard on myself?  Am I so focused on lament, that I’ve lost sight of the hope that is there right now – and that’s what the writers are on about?  Am I struggling with a lyric (ie in the choruses) that is just-too-bordering on triumphalist?

Tell me.

By the way – I bought the song off iTunes.  And – who knows – down the track I may well find myself singing it both privately and within the community of faith.  Just not now.


For the purpose of reflection and respectful debate, I post the lyrics …

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river
Attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot
You have taught me to say
It is well
It is well with my soul

My sin oh the bliss
Of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross
And I bear it no more
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord oh my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well
It is well with my soul

You are the rock
On which I stand
By Your grace
It is well
My hope is sure
In Christ my Saviour
It is well with my soul

© 2011 Hillsong Publishing (Admin. by Hillsong Publishing (Australia))Ben Fielding | Horatio Spafford | Philip Paul Bliss | Reuben Morgan 

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