Posts Tagged 'church'

On Purpose … a song for moving forward

On Purpose logo

New song! On Purpose is written for a gathering of 350 or so Uniting Church folk from, around Queensland in just a few weeks time on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. It’s called “synod” and once again, I’m one of the worship coordinators and part of the music team. Peter from our church in Brisbane has a great voice – he sings a great vocal for the rough mp3 demo provided. Thanks Pete!

On Purpose started with what I liked as a chord sequence beginning with an A2 chord (for the musos reading this).

Hopefully it will work … there’s a “Coldplayish” coda too, with a few “wo-oh-oh” bits. Could be fun if people pick up on the idea – you know, hands waving from side to side, folks singing at fine voice.

It’s a while since I’ve written a guitar-based song, so let’s see how this one goes, including connecting with key themes of the five-day gathering.


piano score

On purpose
In service
With Jesus
Spirit/Kingdom called
With passion
With purpose
Lead us, Lord

God in Christ
You call us: be your church
A sign, a foretaste
of your kingdom birth.
“Go, disciple
to the ends of the earth”
Make that difference
for the One you serve

On purpose, in service …

Born of water, spirit
Christ, we’re raised
A holy people called
to sing your praise
Your word, your Word
alive in us always
with joy, love, hope
as we each run your race

On purpose, in service …

Wo – o – o – o …

David MacGregor
© 2016 Willow Publishing



“Hearts on Fire” – Pentecost worship song option

Here’s a Pentecost worship song option for 24 May.
It’s called Hearts on Firescore  lyrics

I wrote it months ago for possible use at the Uniting Church’s next national Assembly gathering in Perth, Australia from 12-18 July. I’ll be there. Haven’t heard back whether they want to use it. I hope they do!. It dawned on me recently, that the song (in my biased opinion) works really well on 24 May as the coming of the Holy Spirit on the infant church is celebrated.  Why postpone it for two months 🙂 !  So I’m making it available for free use.  Just record it with CCLI or Licensing, please, and let me know how it goes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.15.28 am


Inspiration came from many directions:

  • President-elect Stuart McMillan’s thoughts
  • the ancient Christian prayer, commonly used in the Emmaus movement:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

  • especially the words: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created



hearts on fire

God of life, you’re the light that shines
Love afire in these days, these times
Spirit kindling within our hearts
fire of your love
Spirit of welcome across this land
Different we are, yet as one, we stand

With our hearts on fire
With our hearts on fire
Oh … come Holy Spirit,
set our hearts on fire

We long to keep, Lord, your flame alight
Speak for truth, set injustice right
Share compassion in Christ each one}
Reaching out with joy
Living the life that Jesus lives
Living the love as Jesus gives
With our hearts on fire …

Come – be walking God’s holy ground
Come – be sharing God’s hope around
Stoke, O Spirit, our burning light
‘cross this ancient land
So the oppressed, the detained go free
Spirit of God bringing liberty
Set our hearts on fire
Set our hearts on fire
Oh … come Holy Spirit, set our hearts on fire
Come Holy Spirit, set our hearts on fire
Come Holy Spirit, set our hearts on fire

 David MacGregor
© 2015 Willow Publishing

A charge to keep … a story still to be told

Story-TellingTwo months since I last blogged … a lot’s been happening.
Amongst all this, two new songs.

Here’s the first – A charge to keep – written for potential use at the synod meeting of the Uniting Church here in Queensland, Australia this coming October.  David Baker becomes Moderator; this song picks up on aspects of the text in Numbers 9:15-23, on which I understand we’ll draw as community of faith.

At the Lord’s command, the Israelites would march, and at the Lord’s command they would camp. As long as the cloud settled on the dwelling, they would camp. When the cloud lingered on the meeting tent for many days, the Israelites would observe the Lord’s direction and they wouldn’t march … Whether it was two days, or a month, or a long time, the Israelites would camp so long as the cloud lingered on the dwelling and settled on it. They wouldn’t march. But when it ascended, they would march.They camped at the Lord’s command and they marched at the Lord’s command. They followed the Lord’s direction according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

A charge to keep is a song about moving in tune to God; moving in response to the call of God; as people of God fulfilling the saving and life-giving purposes of God.  It’s a “call song”.

It’s also quite deliberately hymn-like and a bit Celtic/Irish in feel. Go the tin-whistle! Maybe my inner Mumford & Sons.   See what you think.


mp3 vocal [C]

A Charge to Keep
(a story still to be told)

1. There’s a song that sounds
There’s a call – resounds
Come and follow, hear my voice
Leave the past behind
One in heart and mind
Move with God – in strength, in choice

Know God’s presence, life
Live God’s Spirit power
Be one people, clear in resolve
There’s a charge to keep
There’s a light to shine
There’s a story still to be told.

2. T’ward a promised land
In God’s grace, we’ll stand
Tell God’s story fresh in these times
As the Spirit gives
We’ve the tools to live
as redeemed,
enlivened by Christ.

Charged to serve you well
from the heart, pray tell
Chosen people
purposed in God
We’ve a charge to keep
We’ve a light to shine
There’s a story still to be told.

3. God you call us on
by your living Word
Grant us courage all to obey
Purpose in our steps
by your Spirit’s breath
Jesus’ voice and heart for today

Called to be your church
As your face on earth
Grow in Christ wherever we be
We’ve a charge to keep
We’ve a light to shine
for the one who sets us all free

We’ve a charge to keep
We’ve a light to shine
for the one who sets us all free.

David MacGregor © 2014

“you are mine” … baptism song VOCAL


A few weeks now since, inspired by the gospel accounts of Jesus’ baptism, I wrote a baptismal song of my own – the lyric throughout the song being in the first-person of God addressing the one baptised.

Dale and I have finally – been offline for two days due to loss of power here in Brisbane – put together a vocal track (in the key of A) for the song.  Gives what I believe is a good feel for the song.

I was thrilled to hear of someone using the song at their child’s baptism this past weekend.

music score
Vocal mp3



you are mine – baptism song score & backing


Back home a week from a delightful week at Hervey Bay. Back with access to my computer and musical gear; which means I’ve now done both a

… for my recently-written baptism song: You are mine.

Dale and I shared it last Sunday in worship (fairly hastily rehearsed, I might add) along with Gerry Holme’s M-M-M-Miracle … a marvellous kids song for anyone unpacking baptism with kids and families.  Both went well.

For what it’s worth, here are the lyrics in their final form.  It’s my deep prayer that this song will find use in worship services on baptism Sundays.  The reality is there does not seem to be much out there. If it is (great!!), but at least in my circles there’s a fairly small repertoire.  The backing eventually moves into a bit of country-tinged groove.  It works, in my totally-biased opinion, with a straight piano backing — along the lines of the intro and the opening chorus.

Keen to get feedback on this one. In the next week or so, Dale and I will hopefully organize a vocal track.


You are mine

“Child, I love you
Child, I claim you
I delight in you
For all time
In my gifting
In your belonging
Child, I love you and
you are mine”

“When you pass through the waters
I’ll be with you
When you walk through the fire
You won’t be burned
Do not fear
You are loved
I have redeemed you
I’m with you always
You are mine”

“Come, find life in fullness
in living water
In my dying, my rising
be renewed
Come, be welcomed
into my living body
My Spirit life and promise
born in you”

David MacGregor (c) 2013
Willow Publishing

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