Posts Tagged 'life'

Come Out, Lazarus!


I simply couldn’t find a good children’s ministry song about Jesus’ raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44).  Couldn’t. So … I wrote my own.

Of course, that narrative is a bit problematic for me. The perennial (and unavoidable) question is: why didn’t Jesus Christ attending to an ailing, dying Lazarus pronto.  Jesus’ response to the disciples (v11) is: “ Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

Not sure how well that would have washed if that was me.  Jesus healed many at their particular point of need and with immediacy.  Why not, especially with a best friend, this time around?  I have no really easy answers to that, I confess.  Life is like that.   Some questions perhaps best remain unanswered.

Jesus’ words to a grieving Martha in v. 25 are of course, memorable:

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

So, in writing a kids’ song, it’s the verse 25 aspect I chose to focus on.  Messing around with rhythms on GarageBand for iPad, I randomly selected the “hip hop machine” rhythm.  Time for a change from folk-country-rock 🙂 I built the song around it, with lots of off-beat clapping throughout.

Continue reading ‘Come Out, Lazarus!’

bring your peace, Lord … the vocal

small-wooden-pier-on-the-calm-lake-4978-706Dale’s just recorded a wonderful vocal for my new song Bring your peace, Lord.

Check it out: vocal mp3

score   lyrics

Cheers – David

bring your peace, Lord

small-wooden-pier-on-the-calm-lake-4978-706A new song …  coming out of some demanding times … life is full of its challenges right now. I’m preaching this Sunday on the death and raising of Lazarus. Issues of death and life are all around me.  My Christian faith reminds me that it’s in the letting go … the losing … the giving-up … the dying (in all its connotations), we find new life. Trusting is the challenge.
In the wee hours of this morning, unable to get back to sleep, I sat with warming cup of tea in hand, seeking calm to my spirit.

Eventually back in bed, I sought slumber.  Unfortunately that did not come.  What did come was a song out of left field.  note: I will often recall a song in my head as I try to find sleep – often a worship song.

Suddenly, Hard Times (Come again no more)- Stephen Foster’s poignant song from the 19th century came to me.

It’s amazing how a song I had never heard sung before has come my way this past year or so; versions by Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor. The chorus goes like this:

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

That triggered something. I started praying. Fresh words came.  Simple words of longing – longing for God’s peace, hope, love and life. I pray this for “Mike”, as I shared in recent posts. For me it’s bound up in God’s shalom.  So Bring your peace, Lord is the result.  It’s meant to be very sparse in its accompaniment, but earnest in its longing.  I guess this song more than most comes out of where things are for me at present, as “Mike’s” health fades more and more and other challenges present themselves. I know that God above all offers me, offer us each one what this song-prayer seeks.


Bring your peace, Lord   lyrics  score
Bring your peace, Lord
Bring your peace, O Lord
Peace again
Peace in the hard times
Peace in the pain
Bring your peace, O Lord
Peace again.

Bring your hope, Lord …

Bring your love, Lord …

Bring your life, Lord …          


David MacGregor    © 2015 Willow Publishing



As I’ve just blogged, there’s another song … which perhaps cheekily I’m putting out there. Along with others, I’ve been invited to write a song for a special gathering of Christians here in Australia later this year.  I won’t say any more about this right now.

There’s something about the imagery and meaning of Christian baptism; the reality that in this sacrament, we die to Christ, before rising (literally/spiritually) with Christ through the waters of baptism … renewed in God through Jesus Christ; gifted and empowered by the Spirit.

For me, through our continual engagement, in baptism, with Christ’s dying and rising that we journey deeper into the life of Christ; into God’s story.  As we do, we find our story … individually and as commissioned, gifted community in Christ. In our baptism, we are thus called and commissioned as disciples of Christ – to celebrate, sorrow, rejoice, serve, learn, seek justice and build community.  And that’s just a start.  Here’s the song.  Dale and I have put together a vocal demo … admittedly a bit dodgy here and there.  I hope you’ll look beyond (dare I say, deeper than) that.

There’s potential for a bit of an echo thing happening through all but the last line of the refrain.  That could work well … male/female,, alternating halves of congregation. song leader/congregation.

Grace and peace,

music score
mp3 vocal[G]

journey deeper

  1. In the seeking is the finding
    In the learning we all gain
    In the living is the growing
    by your grace like morning rain
    In our gathering is Spirit
    In our sorrow we all pain
    In our worship we will hear your voice
    the call to life again
    So we journey
    Journey deeper
    Join your story
    Find your life
    God of loving
    God of promise
    We find our story
    Shine your light
  2. Working arm-in-arm for justice
    Finding Christ there in the least
    There with God’s refreshing Spirit
    sharing faith and life and peace..

As community in Jesus
may we  journey as God calls
Through the wellspring of your mercy deep
We’ll rise as first we fall

So we journey …

David MacGregor
© 2014 Willow Publishing
* alternative: “We find our stories”

you are planted


Just back from our annual Church Camp – at Luther Heights campsite at Coolum, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  A weekend well-spent in Christian community.  My colleague Ken helped us explore the theme: God grows us where we are planted. We used Louie Giglio’s Symphony presentation and also The Tale of Three Trees in this exploration.

I did something unusual for me. Apart from bringing some song booklets, I quite deliberately did not do any advance Sunday camp worship planning.  Yesterday, as we were encouraged to share in a particular craft activity, I struggled with how best to respond to Ken’s invitation.  I guess, I was keen not only to unpack the sense that we are wonders of God’s creation, each unique; but also to personally reflect on what it means to grow where God has called and placed me in ministry.   What does it mean to grow … I kept pondering. Tried writing a song … too forced.

Then … as I was heading to my evening slumber, I reflected how it would be good to begin Sunday’s camp worship with something akin to the old-fashioned ‘charge’ – as someone is commissioned for ministry.

The phrase: You are called kept coming to me as I lay down for the night. Surprisingly I slept and not-surprisingly (for that’s how I’ve often sensed God’s hand in things), this phrase and the words which were to follow started rolling off my iPad keyboard and fingers upon rising.  I was keen to inject a sense … remembering this was the church family camping together … of We are called.  So I did.

I offer this to you.  Perhaps you can use in somewhere, sometime.

You are planted
Planted with promise
Planted with hope
Planted with love
With all the potential
God has invested in you
For God is love

You are planted
enriched by the gifting;
the gifting God’s Spirit
has infused in you
Gifting that helps grow each other
gifting to shared in building
a brighter, more peaceful world
a world in harmony with God
Gifting that points
to the hand of the Creator
that gives glory to God
God who is love

You are planted
Planted for a purpose –
many purposes:
To love
To grow
To be fruitful
To praise
To take in every bit of goodness,
life and light
the Creator promises to pour into you
God who is love

You are planted
depending on God who is life
Apart from God
you ultimately can do nothing
so, we abide in God
In God we live
and move
and grow
and have our being, in
God who is love

We are planted
Planted as community in Christ
Commanded not only to grow
but commanded to love
God and neighbour 24/7
Planted – to share God’s economy
in which we each are gift
in which we each grow
learning … living …
blessing … respecting
enriching … blessing one another
as chosen people
as called people
as saved people
as planted people
as people of God:
yesterday, today, forever, in
God who is love
as planted people
we want to grow
We want your life – life overflowing
We want to make a difference
We want to be the people
you call;
you plant us to be
However, with

Tending God,
send our tender,
struggling shoots Godwards
deep into your kingdom life
our life growing in you
n you …
God …

David MacGregor
© 2013

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