Posts Tagged 'presence'


Power-of-His-PresenceWell, a first for me.

I’ve finally – 10 years after first writing it – done music score for a piano piece called Presence. Thanks Peter Nelson (a songwrite attendee back in February) for the motivation for doing so.  Score and recording are attached.  They probably don’t exactly match up, but that doesn’t matter.

I recall the song just ‘coming’ around the time of writing a worship song: That the world might know you.  We used that one at a Uniting Church Queensland synod.

With Presence, I recall a moment when I was struck by the graced life of God with me – I wanted to bask it in – abide in this love forever.  I hope the song conveys something of that to you.


piano score



in your presence

IMG_2708 Here’s a new song!

It was born as I took an early-morning beachwalk at Mooloolaba during a couple of days R&R straight after May’s Queensland UC synod meetings.  Beachwalks always ‘do it’ for me.  It was a special God-time … a kairos moment.  I just knew God’s presence with me, as the water lapped my feet; as the sun rose over the ocean horizon.

Not only did I know it or sense it, I had this wonderful delight in it.  God’s hope and peace were with me.

Well, some song possibilities started coming, both in lyric, melody and chord sequence.  Took some time to nail it, though. I ended up writing this song: in your presence as my response to God’s enduring presence with me through the challenges of these times.

Yes, it is a worship song, but alongside this, it’s also deeply personal. I invite you to reflect on the words, listen to the mp3 with Dale’s lovely vocal and if you wish, use it in your worship space … whatever that means to you.


In your presence      mp3 vocal   music score 

Sure as the sunrise
day follows night
Lord I delight in your presence
You promise: be with me
though mountains will rise
Lord I delight in your presence

As far as the waters
so cover the seas
Your mercy, your promise
will be there for me
Your love never ceases
Remains steadfastly
Lord I delight in your presence

When life is crumbling
Foundations give way
Lord there is hope in your presence
Strength for tomorrow
and joy in today
Lord there is hope in your presence

As far as the waters …

Through all the turmoil
and pain cruelly borne
Lord there is peace in your presence
Beyond comprehension
Yet fresh as new morn
Lord there is peace in your presence

As far as the waters
so cover the seas
Your mercy, your promise
will be there for me
Your love never ceases
Remains steadfastly
Lord, there is peace in your …
There is hope in your …
There’s delight in your presence

David MacGregor
 © 2013 Willow Publishing



There’s a certain irony, yet poignancy behind this post – and the song associated with it.

I remember around Christmas receiving a message (Facebook or Twitter – can’t remember) encouraging me, amid my need to meet deadlines and various expectations, to “live in the now” … or words to that effect; in fact, to embrace it, and enjoy it and welcome it for what is offers, and for what God can reveal of Godself amid it all.

well, that’s stuck with me. Fast-forward a few months, and three things are very much present with me:

1. the request that I lead our congregational leadership team meeting tonight with devotions. I sense the Spirit leading me to use a brief reflection excerpt I came across from Richard Rohr back in February. It was adapted from Rohr’s Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer as was called God-Awareness. It began with these words

The contemplative secret is to learn to live in the now … when we’re doing life right, not means nothing more than it is right now, because God is in this moment in a non-blaming way … But there’s nothing to hold on to when we begin to taste the fullness of the now.  God is either in this now or God isn’t at all. This moment is as perfect as it can be.

2. Meanwhile, a dear friend is struggling big time with health issues at the moment.

3. Somehow, through all of this, and the list of “reminders’ I typed into my iPhone an hour ago, a little instrumental piano piece that first came to me almost 10 years ago, came to me again.  I have never recorded it – in either audio or music score form.  That is, until now.

I’ve decided to call it Presence    mp3 track

… my recognition of God who is certainly yesterday, certainly tomorrow and forever, but also today … in fact, right now.  I gave up trying to get it note-perfect, realising that throws it all back on “me” … what I can do … what I can try to perfect.  So, in all its imperfections and certainly mine, and with points 1 and 2 (especially 2) in mind, I offer it to you.  It’s taken 10 years to even get it in audio form … who knows when/if a music score will emerge.

That’s not the point.

Grace and peace,



A friend recently sent me this poem.  It said a lot to me … maybe it will speak to you too.


When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother\’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I\’ve never understood
Why this is so

Bur there\’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow

For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.

\”Music\” by Anne Porter from Living Things: Collected Poems. © Steerforth Press, 2006

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