Posts Tagged 'follow'

Your love will follow


Amid these up and down times for us, there are constants. I’ve just mused in our church’s Midweek Musing about “what sustains us”.

The love of Dale and others sustains me.
So does scripture. So does music.
So does the beauty of God’s creation – especially beach and bush.
I could say coffee … and just have

The love, presence of God and God’s prevenient grace sustains me especially – on the bad days, the good and the big in-between. Prevenient Grace is a term I discovered almost 30 years ago, as I began my involvement in the Walk to Emmaus movement.  It’s a term coined by John Wesley as he mused on the dimensions of God’s grace in Christ.   Prevenient grace is grace that woos us, seeks us out, follows us, is ever-present; never lets us go.

Through all of the past many months of change, lockdown, rearrangement and realignment and so much more, I’ve never lost sight of that.

Through a song by New Zealand writer and friend Malcolm Gordon, I’ve recently been reacquainted with that middle-ages piece known down the centuries as St Patrick’s Breastplate.

It’s much longer than this, but lines from it such as these kept ringing in my head

I arise today through
God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to see before me,
God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me ..

Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,

In the wee hours of this morning, this somewhat-hymnlike song came to me

YOUR LOVE WILL FOLLOW   score mp3 backing

Strength to guide and wisdom deep
Lord, your love will follow
Your ear to hear, your word to speak
Lord, your love will follow
Hand to guard, and way to walk
Lord, your love will follow
You are faith and hope and love
Lord, your love
Lord, your love will follow.

Before, behind, around me Lord
With us now, forever
Within, beside, above me Lord
With us now, forever
When I rise and when I rest
With us now, forever
You are faith and hope and love
With us now
With us now, forever

Comforter and Spirit-friend
God, your presence always
In my highs and in my lows
God, your presence always
Christ my hope and Christ my life
God, your presence always
You are faith and hope and love
Lord, your love
With us now
God, your presence always

David MacGregor
© 2020 Willow Publishing
inspired by portions of “St Patrick’s Breastplate

Ride on, Jesus!

When in the States with Dale in late February, I had a retreat day … using an excellent resource by Irene Alexander that my presbytery had made possible . We were encouraged to read one of the New Testament Palm Sunday narratives, reflect on wrote it a wonderful (c) John August Swanson painting, and if we wished, do something creative with our musing. This time, this monologue came to me.
Feel free to use, with attribution.

I share it with you. It’s called Ride on, Jesus!

(C) John August Swanson


Anyone who can draw in this sort of crowd
This sort of adulation
This sort of fervour
Hey, they must be blessed!

A rock star welcome!
Jesus, ride on!

Crowds out in their multitudes
from every crevice in the Jerusalem woodwork
… stonework
to meet you
to greet you
to praise you
to worship you
to check you out

to check out this oddity
this living, breathing, polarising
Captivating conundrum
that is you
the one who rides into town
as Prince of Peace
Not warrior of war and might …
as one who mounts a donkey
as one I’ve heard Peter proclaims
as the Christ, the Lord, the Messiah
as the Son of the living God
as the one … as the one
who soon will be mounted to a cross

as one who says
turn the other cheek
as one who offers
a new commandment to love
as one who rebuts the establishment’s cries
for the cheering to cease
as one who in the middle of this jubilant mayhem
cries out: “I tell you, if they keep quiet,
the stones under your feet will cry out!”

as one who says the last and the least and the lost
will come first
first at the table
first in your new kingdom
of grace, welcome,
hope and life

as one who not only talks about God
but who is God
who not only calls us to holiness
but is holiness
who not only calls us to repentance
but is repentance
who is forgiveness

Jesus, ride on!

Jesus, God
we’ve taken in your teaching
we’ve marvelled at your miracles
we’ve wowed at your wisdom
But how could all this be?

I’m waving my palm branches
My red cloak is laid out as you come by
Red cloaks, blue cloaks, green cloaks
They’re all being waved.
Green – for life and peace
Blue – for something deep in the soul … the heart
Red – well, raising a red flag means
Sit up and take notice
Something’s happening here
Something unusual
maybe even not right
Yes, red flag for me.
This is no ordinary parade
No ordinary welcome.

Forget the soldiers, the scoffers, the skeptics
I’ve heard what they think of you …
nothing but treachery
nothing but blasphemy
nothing but insurrection
nothing but elimination

I can only tell my own story
We can only tell our own stories
When it was all hopeless
You offered my hope

When I was afraid
You offered your presence
When I felt forgotten
You brought me in
Offered welcome
Life in abundance
Life overflowing.

Is that what everyone around me
hollers about?
The latest Messiah
to get us out of our deep mess?
I’ve heard you’ll be tried
I’ve heard you’ll be betrayed
I’ve heard you’ll be ridiculed something shocking
I’ve heard – to be blunt
– they want to get rid of you
once and for all.

But that’s not all I’ve heard
I’ve heard there’s more to you
There always seems to be more to you.
That you promise a response
Like only God can offer
There always seems to be more to you.
You say the taints and torture
A deathly torture, no less
It won’t be the end
No way.
will be just the beginning.

So Jesus
Ride on
You Prince of Peace
Ride on
You healer of hearts

Ride on
You Son of God
… to your future
Not for yourself
To our future
The future of all creation

So Jesus
bring in your kingdom some more
Go to your cross
Go beyond
Save us
Love us
Free us!
Ride on, Jesus!

Ride on
faithful one

David MacGregor
Ash Wednesday, 2020

“(Matthew) Come and Follow”

think I’m rediscovering both my love for writing children’s ministry songs. At a rough guess, a bit under 1/2 of the 350+ songs of mine over the years have been for use with kids. My first published songs over 40 years ago were in that genre. A few months back I wrote Be Strong and Courageous for annual kids club worship service. That was well received. Put it down to the Coldplayesque hand waving 😀

Then, just two days back, as I began reflecting on upcoming kids club (JAFFA Club) teaching on Jesus calling Matthew, a song just came. I know it can sound really smug of me to put it that way, but really, 9 times out of 10, that’s how it happens. I can only put it down to the Spirit.

Anyhow, I felt moved to write a new “Jesus calls” song … an alternative to I have decided to follow Jesus OR the old Sunday School Follow, Follow, I will Follow Jesus; or even the more recent Hillsong Everyday or the still-popular Step by Step.

So, here’s (Matthew) Come and Follow, in simple A-B-A musical form.

I’ve kept it deliberately simple. I wanted two things for the song … well, probably more than that …

  1. A middle section that gave some kid-friendly glimpses into what a life following Jesus can mean
  2. The hope that those singing it swap their own name with “Matthew” and sing of God’s call to them.

I used it yesterday at our Kidspot/JAFFA Club. Pleasingly they loved it!



score. lyrics

Matthew, come and follow
Matthew, come with me
Matthew, come and walk my way

Matthew, come and follow
Matthew, come with me
Hey there – come and walk my way!

Life … a better way there
Love … with all our heart there
Faith … God’s love there ev’ry day
Joy … it’s there for showing
Peace … for sharing, knowing
Jesus; the life, the truth, the way!

Matthew, come and follow …

David MacGregor © 2019 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

keep calling me … extra files


I’m back from leave and found time (amid still much unpacking from our recent move) to create both backing track (with ‘french horn’ melody line) and full music score for my recent song: Keep Calling Me.

Cheers – David

Backing track:

Here are the lyrics once again:

Christ you stand before us all
Christ you come and Christ you call:
leave it all behind and join my journey
Come with me and find your life
Live my love and shine my lightLeave it all behind you,
Come and follow

And you keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
Come and follow

You keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
and I will follow

You beckon us to walk your way
Your kingdom come on earth this day
To lose our life yet find it in the rising
Find it in your love for all
Find it in compassion’s call:
to seek the lost
to whom your grace is calling

And you keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
Come and follow

And you keep calling me
You keep calling me
You keep calling me
and I will follow
You keep calling me
and I will follow

    David MacGregor
           (C) 2014 Willow Publishing

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