Posts Tagged 'presence'

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

Be Still

Psalm 46 is undeniably one of the great psalms of the Jewish and Christian faiths. It begins with these words.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Fast forward to verse 10 and you have the psalmist’s memorable words …
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

Many a time … right up to last night, as something quite disturbing was troubling me and I struggled to get to sleep, God’s reassuring words came once again to me. I said them prayerfully over and over: Be still and know that I am God. I sang them … finding myself reworking a short chant-like song I wrote a few years back. Somehow version 1 didn’t have enough “still”; enough “know”.

So here is the new version, Dale providing quite intentionally a subdued background vocal .. .. with a hint of harmony here and there.

Be still
Be still
Be still and know … I am God

words: Psalm 46:10
music: David MacGregor © 2020 Willow Publishing

leadsheet
mp3

Blessings,
David

 

 

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

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.

David

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.

Peace,
David

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

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