Posts Tagged 'grace'

Your love will follow

Hi.

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
Shalom, 
David

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

TAKE … with vocal

Hi
A few days back, Dale added her nice demo vocal to my song, Take, written a few weeks back amid an unexpected 36-hour two night retreat.  I just needed time out … with God, with the scriptures, with myself, and my favourite sort of place, the beach.  Too much was happening around me (none of it, in and of itself, “bad”) Simply too much attention being given to future things – in ministry, retirement, travel, family, health, well-being.  Not enough living in the “now” … in the moment.
So, I wrote this song, as shared previously.  I had resolved I would not write a song while away.  I guess God and I had other ideas.  It is how I’ve journaled over the years.

Blessings,
David

Here I am, open,
Take every part
Take all I am, Lord
Mind, soul and heart
Grace wash all over me
Hold me … within
Take all I offer
Renewing … begin.

Shine out your light, Lord
On spaces so dark
Make known your presence
When life’s pulled apart
There in the struggles
Enough is enough
There is your freedom
Your beauty, your touch

Live in each moment
Rejoice in the now
Consider the lilies
This moment, this hour
“Come to the water
Be thirsty no more” (0, to)
Find you each morning
to welcome, adore

Mmm …
mmm …

“Come to the water
Be thirsty no more” (O, to)
Find you each morning
to welcome, adore

© David MacGregor 2019

TAKE – RECEIVE – LIVE IN THE MOMENT


Interesting times.

Not quite a week ago, I woke in the wee hours of the morning.  I was having an epiphany. Why was I so anxious, unsettled, stressed, fatigued?   Not that in most cases things were going badly.  By-and-large, the opposite. Good, even great things happening … or going to.  That was the problem, as I reflected.

So much my life (Dale’s too) was being impacted by future considerations: soon-to-be church amalgamation, retirement (early 2021) planning, Dale ostensibly finishing up in a few weeks, health and family considerations, travel plans for 2020 and 2021, ministry in 2020. I could go on.

I’d lost sight of some wisdom from a member of my previous congregation: to live in the moment; to make the best of the time and space I am currently in, or at most the day ahead – to rejoice and revel in that moment.

So … with Dale’s encouragement, and with the help of a presbytery self-led Heart-to-Heart self-led retreat resource, I went away for two nights. Yes, to the beach.  That’s always done it for me.  Via scripture, silence, waves crashing and much more, I calmed.  I settled.  Still a huge work in progress, I began living in the moment.

I had quite consciously resolve to not write a song while away.  Yet a song came … coming amid and out of my time away.  The song is called TAKE.   Check out the YouTube video above.

 

I Facebook-posted:

Went offline recently. Needed to. Things had become too much. Used a self-led retreat provided by presbytery. (Thanks heaps, Jenny Tymms​). Best 36 hours I’ve had for a while. A lot of sitting, praying, doing nothing, reading scripture, swimming with soothing water all around me, listening to the waves crashing on the shore, reflecting on what God might be saying (or not saying). Needing to start living in the moment (to0 much thinking about “future stuff” … ministry, retirement, family, travel, health), building firmer foundations, pondering what I need to let go of, realising God’s grace is sufficient. Hadn’t planned to write a song, but yes, I did. This is probably NOT a congregational worship song. 🙂 It’s called TAKE.

Here I am, open,
Take every part
Take all I am, Lord
Mind, soul and heart
Grace wash all over me
Hold me … within
Take all I offer
Renewing … begin.

Shine out your light, Lord
On spaces so dark
Make known your presence
When life’s pulled apart
There in the struggles
The wrestling, so much
‘Enough is enough’
There is your freedom
Your beauty, your touch

Live in each moment
Rejoice in the now
Consider the lilies
This moment, this hour
“Come to the water
Be thirsty no more” (0, to)
Find you each morning
to welcome, adore

Mmm ….
mmm ….
“Come to the water
Be thirsty no more” (O, to)
Find you each morning
to welcome, adore

© David MacGregor 2019

Shalom,
David

Without Love – two songs long – now with vocal

Hi. I preached on love a few weeks ago … love, compassion, respect, empathy, listening, grace, love some more … a few weeks back, the Sunday after our church in Tarragindi (Brisbane, Australia) voted to amalgamated into one congregation across four communities come 1 January 2020.  The vote was not unanimous but clear-cut.

My ministry colleagues and I felt clearly and passionately that pastoral care for, with and among our communities was/is paramount.  So I preached the “Sunday after” primarily on John 13:31-35

We connected also with Paul’s teaching on agape self-giving love … from Colossians 3 “Clothe yourself with Christ” and also his famous “love passage” in 1 Corinthians 13.

Amid a 36 hour time-out to do some intentional reflecting on the 2020 landscape and especially what it might mean for worship, yes – I wrote a “love song”, based on verses and themes from 1 Corinthians 13: Without Love.

At the time, I was really happy with it.   Some ways I still am, but in retrospect, and prompted by some loving, constructive feedback, I can see that song’s shortcomings -melody a bit too predictable, lyrics that were a bit forced.  I parked the song.

Two days later, yes – put it down to the Spirit, a new totally-different “love song” (once again based on 1 Corinthians 13) has been written – major key, same bridge, far more of a paraphrase … and so on.  I got great feedback!  Once again, I called it Without Love.

score.   lyrics. mp3 vocal

Dale’s just recorded a nice vocal track.

David

Without love
I’m no more than a noisy, old cymbal
Without love I’m no more than a banging door
Wisdom is nothing if love is gone
Who am I without love at all? Continue reading ‘Without Love – two songs long – now with vocal’

Overflow, Lord

Hi.

I’m sharing something other than a song (though no apologies for when I do that Mindful of this Sunday’s RCL John 12:1-8 passage where Mary devotedly anoints the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume, I’ve written the following, as either a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer/post-sermon prayer. Feel free to use.

 

BTW, I’ve always loved an early Matt Maher worship song Overflow.  It’s there as a video clip after the prayer.

David

OVERFLOW, LORD

overflow, Lord
Overflow, Lord
Overflow
Lord of life
Lord of love
indescribable
Uncontainable
Love at its highest,
deepest, widest
Extravagant
Over-the-top
A holy love.

Overflow in me
Overflow in each one of us
Overflow in the full power
of your mercy and love
Touch every crevice
Every resistant, shameful
corner of our being

Overflow in us, Lord
Deluge us
Overwhelm us
With your love beyond imagining
Love you offer us profoundly
“Life-changingly” in Jesus
Love that transforms
Love that forgives
Love that renews
Love that never holds back

God of the overflow
We come to you
Repentant
Humbled
Yet loved
And loved again
Overflow in us, Lord
Transform us in Jesus
Transform us by your Spirit
Transform us
by your creative hand, O God

So we might love you
Worship you
Be your difference-making disciples
Lord
Come
Overflow
Overflow
Overflow


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