Posts Tagged 'praise'

God, how we thank you … surprise: another praise song!

Hi. I can only put it down to being a “God thing” but here I am, mid 60’s, less than eight months to retirement, have written 400+ songs in my lifetime … and I’m suddenly writing praise songs. 99% of that 400+ have not been praise songs. My previous song a month ago: Make it Joyful! was a praise song too.  What’s happening here?!  Why’s it taken so long.  Has the pandemic journey I’ve been on (i.e. we’ve all been on) drawn something new out of me, alongside affecting me deeply.  I guess it’s a bit of both.  So here’s a new song: God, How We Thank You

leadsheet mp3 backing

In the last week or so I’ve been reminded again and again about not only the place but the necessity of gratitude – showing our thanks, showing how are grateful we are for all that’s good, fruitful, refreshing, life giving for us.

This COVID-19 season has had its moments for all of us … I’m no exception. I’ve found myself melancholic again and again these past months. Yes,I’ve had my up times, let’s be clear, but  I’ve had my share of down times … my well-being and most likely yours has been impacted.

Quite unexpectedly, the songwriter in me has found myself journalling through this crazy season … not so much in words but in one short instrumental piece after another. They’re on YouTube if you’re interested. Occasionally a piece with both tune and words. Probably their short titles say it all: FALL, SACRIFICE, CRAZY, RESTLESS, THE LONG ROAD, RESILIENCE …

Then God’s Spirit prompted me recently about gratitude.

  • When I sat in my front lawn under a sunny blue winter sky, freshly brewed coffee in my hand, I found myself so grateful – thank you God.
  • When I walked through that national park, heard the sounds of bush, air and ocean … I found myself so grateful – thank you God.
  • When I found myself playing that Indigo Girls song with its exquisite harmonies over and over again … I found myself so grateful – thank you God.
  • When Dale and I shared four lovely days with special friends from Cairns … I found myself so grateful – thank you God.
  • When I found myself in stitches such was the banter in a recent church ministry team meeting … I found myself so grateful – thank you God.
  • When I was reminded of God’s amazing, faithful, never-ending love for me in Jesus … I found myself so grateful – thank you God.

In the Bible we find verse after verse about gratitude… about thanksgiving …

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. God’s love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens , keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

One catalyst for gratitude for me was a blogpost from noted Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, called

Give Us This Day Our Daily Gratitude

God was able to use that blog for God’s purposes!
Nadia Bolz-Weber writes …

I swear to God, exercise and gratitude are like, God’s own anti-depressants. In this time of loss and suffering and turmoil, when not one of us is spared of sorrow, this morning I made myself list some things I am genuinely grateful for right now, today, in this very moment. And it made me feel better.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Gratitude

So, the song, based closely on scripture has these lyrics:

God, how we thank You
God, how we thank You
Your mercy, compassion
it never ends
We sing out our praises
Your grace beyond gracious
God, how we thank you
your boundless love

Love ever steadfast
Mercy unending
New every morning
Your way of love
Love ever faithful
calls from me, “grateful”
Lord, be our worship
You are our love

God, how we thank You
God, how we thank You …

David MacGregor © 2020 Willow Publishing

Shalom,
David

Make it joyful!

Once again, playing catch-up to Facebook posting, so here’s a longer version to what I’ve recently posted there.

I don’t write many praise songs.

I’ve often wondered why down the years. Is it because I’m less than praiseworthy in my spirit, somehow lacking in my adoration of God? Maybe. Is it because of my longstanding restlessness about the way so many churches (not only the Pentecostal/evangelical) seem to base so much of their musical repertoire on songs of praise and avoid (or at least fail to recognise) the place of songs of lament, confession, mission, justice, discipleship, community, and so on? Maybe.

Amid this strange and tragic and agitating pandemic season, the melancholy side of me has certainly come to the fore. That’s me. That’s life. That’s been my journey, which I’ve been sharing in song, patient that you are😀

However, I found myself woken in the early hours of the morning yesterday with my namesake’s wonderful words from Psalm 100. Yes, I was surprised. A praise song at 2 am?. Sleepy-eyed … wanting so, so much to get back to sleep, I took my iPhone and noted the chorus words and wrote alphabetical letter names about many of the words so I’d remember the melody.

As it turned out, I actually remembered it when I woke many hours later. Always a good sign for a song if the tune stays with me. This is my hopefully-uplifting take on it.

UPDATE:
Dale and I have just done a multi-part vocal! Eventually I want to score this one in SATB. Maybe choirs could use it. It’s one of the least syncopated songs I’ve written for a long, long time … unusual for me .

Anyhow here’s my new unsyncopated song of praise:
MAKE IT JOYFUL! Hopefully I have.
Enjoy!

score lyrics 
mp3 backing
mp3 vocal [E]

Make a joyful noise to God (make it joyful)
Make a joyful noise to God (make it joyful)
Make a joyful noise to God (make it joyful)
Come worship and be glad!

Come before him with praise, thanksgiving
God has made us and we are God’s
We are God’s people
Embraced in love
Come bless, come bless the Lord

Make a joyful noise to God (make it joyful) …

For the Lord is every goodness
And God’s love is steadfast, sure
From generation to generation
God’s faithfulness endures

Make a joyful noise to God (make it joyful) …
… Come worship and be glad! (make it joyful)
Come worship and be glad !(make it joyful)
Come worship and be glad! (make it joyful)

David MacGregor
© 2020 Willow Publishing
from Psalm 100

I’ve got a song (or three) to sing, O

Hi. Excuse the Gilbert & Sullivan song reference 🙂
It’s a while since I song-posted on my blog. Meanwhile since getting back from North America seven weeks ago, I’ve written three pieces of worship music, posted them on Facebook and YouTube, but until now, not on my blog.  So here goes.   We’ll go in reverse chronological order.

  1. Manger

A short Christmas instrumental which we’ll use Christmas Eve at my church in Brisbane, Australia.  I really struggled to find a not-schmaltzy or overblown piece of Christmas music.  So I wrote my own.

score    mp3

2. Communion

This one arose out of reflecting on the words of institution and thanksgiving during the sacrament, and feeling perhaps it’s time for something quite folky.

score  lyrics  mp3 backing    l

3. Amazing

Dale and I, along with friends Jan & Glenn from Cairns, and often with members of Dale’s USA family enjoyed the most wonderful seven weeks in USA and Canada just a few months ago.  So many highlights. For me, I keep on reflecting on the wonder and amazement of God’s creation – rocky, snowcapped mountains, mountain lakes; desert sands, cliffs; beautiful forests, and yet oceans and streams.   Amazing … perhaps one of the most personal songs I’ve written.  Also one of my few songs of praise.

score  lyrics    mp3 vocal

Enjoy … and by the way, if you wish, “Sing, O …”

David

in worship … new song

Yes, been doing much reflecting on worship these times.

What with attending the Uniting Church’s Transforming Worship conference less than a fortnight ago and our congregation working our way through Malcolm Gordon’s wonderful The Journey of Worship DVD teaching series this month … I just can’t get away from worship.

Nor should I as a Christian. Famously, humankind’s chief purpose is said to be about glorifying God and enjoying God for ever. Got me thinking especially about worship together as community of faith. It’s not just about praise. There’s much more – confession, engaging the world, the sacraments, and then worship that is all of life!

So … I’ve written In Worship – a teaching song of sorts, modulating melodically along the way, but importantly for me, including a chorus/bridge which praises our holy God. Not too many of my songs until now have allowed time for that! Backing track in pipeline. Hope you enjoy the song in your worship.

David

lyrics

score

God, we bring our praise to you in worship
All our joy and thanks for all you are
In your holiness and your wonder, Lord
Take the praise we bring to you

God, we bring our pain to you in worship
All our brokenness, both near and far
Jesus take our sinful, suffering hearts
Take the pain we bring to you

X2 You alone are holy
You alone are holy
You alone are holy
Living, loving God

Lord, we bring our world to you in worship
Jesus’ face in ev’ry troubled soul
Take them deep into your loving heart
God, we trust you make things whole

X2 You alone are holy
You alone are holy
You alone are holy
Living, loving God

God, you feed us deep by word and table
Born of water, spirit we are raised
Open wide our ears; hear again your word
May our mouths declare your praise
… may our lives declare your praise

David MacGregor
© 2017 Willow Publishing

vocal tracks for new songs

be still 2389Yesterday Dale and I put down vocals (well, Dale did 🙂 for two recent songs of mine, both with a country-folk feel. Time to take time and Bless your name forever were written during our recent wonderful break at Hervey Bay and North Stradbroke Island (Straddie).  I loved using my mandolin for the second one and must start playing it more.  As per past post, Bless your name forever is one of those rare praise songs of mine.  The scores of these are in higher keys – just brought down to suit Dale’s voice.  Click the links above for free access to music score.

Feel free to enjoy and use.

Blessings,
David   

Time to take time vocalhttps://dmacgreg1.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/time-to-take-time-vocalc.mp3

Bless your name forever vocalhttps://dmacgreg1.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/bless-your-name-forever-vocal.mp3


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