Posts Tagged 'thanks'

Mothers Day song (interactive) … for Messy Church this Sunday

Mother's DayHi!

Here’s a new Mothers Day song … for a Messy Church time our church is having this weekend. I’ve gone boldly and scarily (for you, that is) and croaked out a vocal. It’s right back in the mix.  The singing is purely there to give something of the feel!

I reckon it will work well when we use it, and be lots of fun!  That’s certainly my hope. The plan is prior to singing, we’ll get some words (two syllables each) that describe what we can give thanks for in mothers and all in mothering roles.   We’ll write them down in large letters on a flip-chart, then sing the song through a few times, substituting words from the chart each time.

Meanwhile, there’s also opportunity for:

  • whistling OR “do-do-doing” in the instrumental bits each time
  • using this bit right through the song, as a group from congregation (maybe the mums themselves!) sing it over an over like an ostinato
  • plenty of finger-clicking or clapping
  • lots of fun, thanksgiving and affirmation.

See what you think, and enjoy!!!

backing track

vocal demo (repeat … demo)

Thank you God for Mums      music score     lyrics file

Do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do-do-do
Do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do-do-do

We give thanks
God of love
For the * _________
For the * _________

Thank you God
Thank you God
Thank you God for Mums!


coda: Yeah!

 David MacGregor © 2014 Willow Publishing

* … at the end of each line, insert a two-syllable word OR two-word couplet; eg. Loving, helping, teaching, kindness, fun times, cuddles, smiling, cooking

# … this section could be:
a. whistled
b. sung repeatedly by a small group or section of the congregation

honey, we’re home!


We’re back at our Oxley home, having driven this morning from Coffs Harbour, where we enjoyed some nice accommodation right on the beach – chance to unwind for a few days.


We got back just before 2 this afternoon, the Apollo motorhome having travelled close on 16 000 km since 26 September.  Our share in that was the last 4000+.  I can tell you, it felt like 4000+.

With some sadness, we farewelled, Diana, Tom, Dan and BJ about 6.30 Monday morning, Dan pleasingly getting the ‘battleship’ up to street level in inner-city Sydney.  From there, with the help of the trusty Navman GPS unit and Dale, we managed to get out of Sydney unscathed.  A few hours into our northward travels we decided to press on (600 km in the day) to Coffs Harbour, a place where we’ve holidayed in the past and enjoyed.  It proved a good choice.

The battleship/motorhome is no easy vehicle to drive.  The wheel alignment/balancing is out (sorry, I don’t know the difference, so hedging my bets!) and it starts to shudder when it approaches 100 kph. Anyhow we made it, though it required  really firm hands on the wheel throughout, especially in windy conditions.  Bill Lawry’s “soft hands” might work with a cricket bat with not with this VW motorhome monster.

In tandem Dale (in Yaris) and I drove to the Apollo depot at Nudgee … there by 3.40.


Didn’t leave the place until almost 4.40, anyway … it was nice to drive, the small, comfortable, quiet, smooth-riding Yaris home to Oxley.

Spending the better part of a week with some family has definitely helped me get to know them better … what makes them tick and what challenges them. Mind you, I’m sure it gave them a deeper insight into yours truly.  I hope I came out OK!!

It also helped me know and appreciate the vastness and beauty of this country of mine, Australia.  I’ve been privileged to have travelled extensively overseas – USA (umpteen times), Canada, Mexico, Singapore, England, Scotland, Bali, Spain, New  Zealand, Israel, Palestine, Jordan.  However, something was missing in my travels.  While I had driven much of east-coast Australia and inland Australia, I had never gone to the likes of Uluru.  This final part of our long service leave travels kind of started balancing the travels ledger a bit.

I also gained a fresh love of Australia’s rivers – from the dried up Todd in the Alice, to the beautiful Murray and Murrumbidgee to the wide rivers of NSW like the Clarence, Richmond and Tweed.


So … five days time I’m back on deck at Oxley-Darra UC. I was last in ‘active duty’ there on 25 August – seems a long time ago. It is.  Interesting times lie ahead, for I officially finish up there in just over 3 months, commencing at Wellers-Hill Tarragindi UC here in Brisbane in February.

I’ll be heading back into ministry refreshed, and I thank God for that!!

Of course, just to spice up the times ahead, Dale’s brother Dan and wife BJ will be with us for about 5 days from this coming Tuesday.  It will be great having some more time with them, before they head back to the States.

So … to kind of sum up the last two months, I thought I’d highlight this extended time of leave like this:

most amazing sights
… dead heat between Uluru, Australia and Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

most peaceful time
sitting by the Murray River at Renmark on a Friday morning







most enriching time

… the Charleville/Frontier Services connect mission trip


most satisfying time
… Sydney Harbour walk & cruise with Dale’s folks


most privileged time
… officiating at Mark & Maria’s wedding in Pennsylvania


most inspirational times
everything to do with John Flynn, Frontier Services & the Royal Flying Doctor Service


most pampered time
… everything about the cruise … including time with Glenn & Jan

most needed time
… a time during our Gold Coast week when wonderful friends prayed for us and our family


most poignant time
… driving back to Alice from Standley Chasm and listening to John Williamson sing Eric Bogle’s Shelter

most unusual time
… everything about Coober Pedy


most important time
… the 11 days with “Dad” (Herb) Butrick

most disappointing time
… not writing any new song over this period … but that’s another story … and anyhow, who knows what God has in store around the next corner!


thank you once again


I’m currently on study leave.  That said, it’s a bit of a blend of actual study, reflective reading, sleep, planning, watching a great State of Origin game last night, and especially enjoying the beauty of this part of the world – on the Sunshine Coast, midwinter in Australia.  Dale’s enjoying special time with her family in the U.S.  So – with a full-on past few months and the Uniting Church Assembly in Adelaide just over a week away … this is indeed a great time to get away.  Been reading Max Lucado’s Traveling Light. A wonderful book!

I’m at the Retreat House at the UC’s Alexandra Park Conference Centre. Alex. Park is as close as it gets to being a ‘sacred site’ for me. It’s here back in the 70s and 80s that I explicitly made a commitment to Christ.  It’s here – through year after year of children’s, youth and young adult camps (many which I led) that I not only was able to give expression to a gifting in songwriting, but as I look back – it’s through this special place, that God aroused and then confirmed a call to ministry in me. I am so thankful.

Continue reading ‘thank you once again’

sad, surreal and thankful

Right now I’m numbed.

Lynn, one of our dearest of friends passed away late this morning after a long battle with cancer. Dale and I visited her (and Gary)  just this last Wednesday.  Dale of course flew to the States two days later to be with her Dad and other family members; she lost her Mom in April last year.

I’ve known Lynn all my life – same age, same church, same primary school, same love for music. I could say much. I’ve known Gary for about 40 years.

Spent time with Lynn and Gary last night. Important time, but so hard. I was told then it would be a matter of days. Wasn’t even that; she died 11.20 this morning.   I’m thankful that I was able to take Lynn’s hand softly and thank God for such a beautiful, giving person who shone life, love and God in so, so many ways.  She has been such a special friend, as has Gary and their family.

Two things made it a challenge today:

  • It’s tough with Dale o/s at present … this is time she has so, so been looking forward to, with a road trip with her Dad, sister Diana and brother-in-law Tom coming up in a day or so … half-way across the country where they are meeting up with other family members at Branson, Missouri. (?).  Tough without Dale’s support and love at a time like this.  I know Dale feels likewise.  She’s not back until 13 July.
  • I received the sms from Gary as I rolled up just after midday for the final session of Day 3 of our big DayCamp holiday program. (having been back at home doing worship prep) I was needed – legit reasons – for the final time of singing. Within a few minutes of arriving, Gary texts me and no doubt many others with the news.  The numbing and the tears started.  Tried contacting Dale – had to leave message.  Let our lads know.  Absolutely no reflection on the songleader (she’s a great person) but you can imagine how much I felt like being around 120 kids belting out Pharaoh, Pharaoh.

I just wanted to find the nearest rabbit burrow and hide. I so didn’t want to be there. The numbing increases; too numb to shed much in the way of tears, though knowing me (more “feely” than people realize), they’re bound to come.

Joel, Jeremy and Nathan have been great during the initial aftermath.  Nathan texts me and asks, “Are you OK?”. Jeremy implores me to “Stay strong, stay safe” (even though I feel broken-down right now and perhaps need to be for a while).  Joel offers to help.   They ask what I’d like for dinner- I request a light salad.  Heaviness of food wouldn’t go well with heaviness of heart right now.

So, along with so many others, I find myself in this strange ‘space’ right now.

It’s a bleak time, yet not so bleak that while I can’t easily dismiss the questions like God, why has this happened to someone (and someone’s) so full of life and still so youngno way will it stop me from thanking God for the gift Lynn was to Dale’s and my life … and to so, so many others … and continues to be.

Yes, this time is sad, surreal and thankful all in one. Totally out of context, I find myself musing over the final words of what has long been my favourite movie: Sophie’s Choice. It ends with the lead male character’s voiceover of an Emily Dickinson poem:

Ample make this bed.
 Make this bed with awe;
 In it wait till judgment break
 Excellent and fair.

 Be its mattress straight,
 Be its pillow round;
 Let no sunrise' yellow noise
 Interrupt this ground.

There’s more to it than this, but the final words of the movie are these:

When I could finally see again, I saw the first rays of daylight 
reflected in the murky river. 
This was not judgment day. Only morning. 
Morning: excellent and fair.

Our dear friend and loved one is at peace. Amid our wrenching loss and numbing sorrow and sadness, my Christian faith wants to affirm that life continues for Lynn, in God’s fulness, beauty and richness: morning: excellent and fair.


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