Category: Blog

The Song of Your Salvation

The Song of Your Salvation

Well, I have great news, friends! I didn’t miss a month of blogging due to writer’s block this time! Just due to a busy schedule. But, it seems that God deemed it that I should get COVID well after everyone else. So, here I am right before Easter 2022, hanging out at home with COVID. But, at least I’m telling you about a song!

So, about 10 months ago, in the midst of quite a bit of writer’s block, I started trying to mess around and learn some piano. I feel pretty comfortable to move my way around the piano in the key of C now – which is pretty fun to see that 10 months can do that! Maybe in another 10, I’ll have mastered one sharp ;). However, in that time, I started composing a melody in 6/8 that didn’t have any words yet. Come January, I actually had an entire song written on the piano, but with no words yet – that rarely happens to me. Usually ideas come first with a hint of a melody or a lyric line, but then a lot of it gets written together. So, here I was with a song just waiting for words.

The prior summer (when I was composing the melody), I had memorized Psalm 40, and thought it was a great candidate for a song (aren’t all Psalms though?!). In particular, a great candidate for the album I’d love to write where every song will be a Psalm but focused on Jesus as the fulfillment of the Psalm. Because Psalm 40 even gets referenced in Hebrews 10! “First [Jesus] said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’ — though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Wow.

But, this Psalm was very confusing to me at first. It opens with all of this talk of God rescuing the Psalmist, who is David. The beautiful line “He put a new song in me” caught my attention :). He praises God for all His wonderful works. Then, David launches into this quote that gets pulled into Hebrews about how the Lord doesn’t desire sacrifice, so David comes to do God’s will. Then, shortly thereafter, David describes being in great distress again, from enemies, from His own sin, and that he is in a position of waiting again for rescue. So, I’m left wondering: Is this David’s Psalm that gets hijacked in the middle where God’s Spirit gives him a revelation about Jesus…or does this part of the Psalm actually fit in with the Psalm too? I have a pastor friend who encouraged me to see it as a part of the Psalm first, then a revelation about Jesus second. He read this Psalm through the lease that David has made an important discovery. A discovery that many other Old Testament characters would make: God is much more about having a relationship with a person, a person who delight’s in Him and desires to do His will (and perhaps fails and needs rescue in the process) than someone fulfills their sacrificial duties but doesn’t care for Him. And, the truth that we know on this side of the cross is that we could never sacrifice what we need to please God. The other hard truth is that we actually could never delight in Him and desire to do what He wills either. But Jesus.

What a great two words. But Jesus. He is the fulfillment of this Psalm because He is the one who can rightfully show up and say “I have come to do Your will.” He does this perfectly instead of offering meaningless sacrifices…but actually God’s will for Him is to become the sacrifice that can allow us to experience the same relationship with God that He has! Mind. Blown. So, God was so good to give a bridge to this song that highlights all of those ideas.

The rest of the song is tailored after David’s words in beginning and end of the Psalm. Praising God for His rescue and merciful acts, acknowledging that he will need them again. The idea that God put a new song in David struck such a chord in me (haha…all of that was intended) that it became a focal point of the song. The Song of Your Salvation became the title because when left to ourselves, we can’t please God. Any song that I write for my life can never actually right my wrongs or make me who I want myself to be. Only His song can do that. He has to write a song and put it in me. And, super fun, another of the other Old Testament writers that talk about obedience and a right heart being better that sacrifice make it into the bridge!

One last cool moment before I give the lyrics here: I often wondered how David could wait patiently in the pit of mire at the beginning of the song. Whenever I’m in dire straights, I pretty much want to get out of it immediately and complain a lot until I do. But, I think what he meant was: I know that any effort of my own to get out of this will sink me further, so I will wait for the One who can save me. I really think God put some meaningful words together to convey David’s thoughts. Here’s, The Song of Your Salvation

The Song of Your Salvation

I waited patiently/You heart my cry/All struggle is vanity/When you’re deep in the mire/You lifted me from the pit/Set my feet on the rock/Long before I had fallen in/I was known by my God

You put a new song in me at just the right time/Now Your Word within my being unveils my design

Many, Oh Lord, my God, are the wonders that You have done/Great is the song of Your salvation/Within it I find Your desire for my heart’s reply/So, I say, “Here am I”

I offer this invitation/Though it houses a plea/I cannot outrun my sin/Oh, God come and save me

And put a new song inside my soul that I cannot write/For it is You alone who holds the words of life

Many, Oh Lord, my God, are the wonders that You have done/Great is the song of Your salvation/Within it I find Your desire for my heart’s reply/So, I say, “Here am I”

You have opened my ears/You’ve caused me to know/Nothing I give can atone for the sin of my soul/But there is One in whom Your will was done/And by His blood, You bid me to come/How great is Your love/How great is the song/Of Your Salvation

Many, Oh Lord, my God, are the wonders that You have done/Great is the song of Your salvation/Within Him I find Your desire for my heart’s reply/So, I say, “Here am I”

Pilgrim Hearts

Pilgrim Hearts

Here we are, in February, and I think I finished the song that I started over a year ago, about Genesis. Last year, in BSF, I studied Genesis, and I knew I wanted to write a song encapsulating the main idea that I felt kept coming up for me through that study. Well, at least chapters 12-50 of Genesis seem to have the following theme: the patriarchs were promised big promises that they saw fulfilled in part, but still had to trust that God was going to bring the full outcome later, whether in their lifetimes or not. That seems to be our story sometimes, too. Although, the promises God promises us don’t look quite the same as theirs, the idea that we don’t just immediately receive all of them remains true. And, even though we have in some sense a greater gift, the Holy Spirit, we still have to watch, wait, and work with Him as He sanctifies us.

But, as I was pondering these reflections about Genesis, we studied the last few chapters, where Jacob leaves the promise land to go down to Egypt. He knows his family will return to inherit the promise land, but he certainly has been through a lot of hardship. When he talks with Pharaoh (ch 47), he says, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been difficult and few and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” The song then had a focus: trusting God is like being on a pilgrimage.

Several months later, after writing the first verse and a few lines of the next, I was ready through some well known psalms to prepare for worship leading. Psalm 84, usually known for its opening lines (“how lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord Almighty. My soul longs, even faints, for the courts of the Lord”) provided some awesome verses I had never pondered before. Psalm 84:5 says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” I thought this was such a related thought. We need to not have our eyes set simply on the end result, or the promise (although we can be sure it will be fulfilled, since our God is faithful). We need to have our sights set on the journey itself. Because in it God shows up, He walks with us, He teaches us how to live, He begins to open our eyes to the parts of the promise already happening.

I pondered those thoughts for several months. Different pieces of the song were kind of coming together, but it felt a little disjointed. Finally, I knew I had all the pieces, but the chorus kept evading me. I wanted to use the line “hearts set on pilgrimage” because I loved it so much, but I didn’t know how. I would take that line out, bring it back, not have anything to put with it. Just a few weeks ago, the near rhyme came to me:

“Because hearts set on pilgrimage

Find our God is who He says He is

He’s not far; He’s not a destination”

Well, they didn’t come to me just like that, but after a little help from some good songwriting friends, the syllables settled into that. The last line I penned was “He’s not a destination.” That has become the line that almost everyone points out as being the most helpful and profound. And, God dropped it in my lap right at the end. I’m so thankful for that!

So, the writing of this song ended up being a lot like a pilgrimage in a dry season, but I’m so thankful. Here is “Pilgrim Hearts”

Pilgrim Hearts

Here we are just like Abraham and Isaac/Just like Jacob and his sons, oh, here we are/Taking a lifetime to understand a promise /And to learn how to respond with pilgrim hearts

Here we are, just like Abraham in Canaan counting the stars/When the the night sky foretells of greater blessing/Than we have yet to see with our own eyes/We believe our God and walk in stride

Because hearts set on pilgrimage/Find our God is who He says He is/He’s not far/He’s not a destination/He is the very strength within/The hearts set on pilgrimage

Here we are, just like Abraham and Isaac/At the base of Mount Moriah looking up/When we don’t know if we can even pass the test/We will declare the journey is not done/To give in full abandon what He asks of us

Because hearts set on pilgrimage/Find our God is who He says He is/He’s not far/He’s not a destination/He is the very strength within/The hearts set on pilgrimage

Here we are now like Jacob bowing down to Pharaoh/In a foreign land beyond what we thought that God had planned/But, there is more of this God to know /And there is still time to follow

Because hearts set on pilgrimage/Find our God’s who He says He is/He’s not a destination/He is the very strength within/The hearts who seek Him/Our God, ever Present with/The hearts set on pilgrimage

All Things New

All Things New

Well…it seems that through a really dry period of songwriting, God has torn back the veil for a minute. I hope it is for more than a minute, but if it is just a drop of inspiration in this crazy year, I will take it! It has been a busy, hard, and somewhat discouraging school year. That has led to not much songwriting, or time for songwriting, but a lot of longing for songwriting. In a time that I’m longing for things to be different, I feel like God gave me this song for me – but I’ll let you have it too :).

I woke up about a month ago, early December 2021, with strands of a melody, and maybe some words from Isaiah 41/42 floating around about how the former things have come to pass, and the new things have come. I made a voice memo while brushing my teeth, that was quite useless, but the melody stuck with me through that day and the next several, none the less. A few days later, I sat down with my guitar and the chorus arrived almost instantly, from Isaiah 41/42. “Behold the past has passed away. Behold the future taking shape. Our God has begun making all things new! Like rivers in a wasteland, like the sunlight breaking in! Our God is not done making all things new!”

It was really great to have that chorus, but then I wrestled for some time with…well, sometimes it certainly doesn’t feel like all things are new. And it kind of felt right to start the song with a minor chord. But, Romans 8 came to mind out of nowhere. And, it says, even creation is groaning as in the pains of childbirth, waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. It certainly feels like a long period of waiting if Paul wrote that and here we are. But, at the same time, groaning in labor to give birth holds promise. It isn’t like we are groaning as a loved one deteriorates and then dies… it isn’t an ending. This painful stretching into something different – it is a beginning!

Then, my bro preached a sermon on what God’s plan is and how far reaching it is – he brought up 2 Peter 3 which says, “God is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, wanting all to come to repentance.” So, if this newness is slow – it is for OUR good (echoed by Romans 8!). God could make all things new without our repentance…it would just end in our destruction. And, fortunately/unfortunately, He will one day do that very thing. Those who have found newness of life through repentance and by Jesus’ righteousness will find not only themselves, but a world made new. Until then, we only see the glimpses of what He is doing, but can trust that he has justified us, is sanctifying us. So, this newness is here, but it is also coming. Kind of like the kingdom of heaven. Which I like to talk about.

So, maybe this song will make the new album. Maybe it won’t? But, either way, here it is!

All Things New

My soul, do you despair within me?/ Then come with all creation wait / If you listen, you can hear the groaning / Of a world in labor pain

But, oh, my soul, this is our hope

Behold the past has passed away / Behold the future taking shape / Our God has begun making all things new / Like rivers in a wasteland / Like the sunlight breaking in / Our God is not done making all things new

My soul, take notice of the slowness / Our God has chosen to use / He longs for all to find repentance / The means of making all things new

And oh, my soul, this is our hope!

The old has gone, the new has come! / This is the promise of our God / Every seed that has sprung up from the soil of His love will recreate the blessing of all things new

Heralds of the Savior Come

Heralds of the Savior Come

Hey there! It has been a while. Turns out that when you release an album, go on a tiny tour, and then start teaching the first normal school year you’ve had in two years, it really puts a damper on songwriting! So, it has been a pretty dry season regarding inspiration, but I’m hopeful that I’m coming out of it!

However, as a result, I have been trying to stretch my instrument muscles, and I have been working on playing the piano in the key of C and G by chord charts and by ear (not using sheet music). That has been a challenge, as well as fun, and this new song is a result of it!

I wrote a Christmas song a very long time ago called “Silent Son” and it was a pretty little song about Jesus’ birth narrative and how full of awe it made the characters and should make us. But, it didn’t really have any stand out moments or ideas. And, to me, that was sad because in the Western world with all its Christmas celebration, I think the biggest thing we do is lose the wonder of what God really did that night. So, I knew I wanted it to be better.

Fast forward through a couple of rewrites, it was still pretty, kept a few of the same words, a few different ones, but I had a tag ending that I really liked “Let us with the shepherds run to declare the angels’ song. We the poor, imperfect ones are now the heralds of the Savior come.” I liked this idea, but got some feedback that this sounded like a separate song or idea. So, I decided to scrap half of the song and turn it into a song about primarily the shepherds, and how they are the unlikely heralds of Jesus. The angels, for reasons we don’t know or can’t understand, were only sent to the shepherds. Then, the shepherds were the ones who went, saw, and speed the news to everyone who would listen. But, isn’t that just how the kingdom of God works now? For some reason, Jesus saw fit that a motley crew of mostly blue-collar workers (for an Western equivalent) would be given the good news of His Kingdom and spread it. And who am I? Who are we? We are now the unlikely heralds of our Savior Jesus. So, even though I don’t explicitly say in their lyrics that we presently are His heralds, it is my hope that we are drawn into that wonder ourselves.

I spent a lot of time in Luke 2, as you can imagine. In order to put the focus on the shepherds, certain elements had to be cut. But, it is my hope that we also keep the wonder. A lyric that didn’t make it (it sounded a little bit cheesy, but mainly didn’t fit the main idea) was “He’s everything we’ve ever dreamed and so much more – Oh Gloria!” Can you imagine being the shepherds, seeing this baby and knowing without a doubt (because an entire angel chorus just declared to you) that He IS the Messiah you and your ancestors have waited for for HUNDREDS of years?! I’d run the streets with the news too – at least I certainly think I would! But, here is Heralds of the Savior Come!

Heralds of the Savior Come

Hear the story, so much left untold / Of the glory in a stable cold / The angels, they sang of a love / Far beyond their star filled lungs

From the hillsides outside of Bethlehem / The wide-eyed shepherds ran / Would anyone believe heralds such as these?

“Gloria,” they said, “They angels sang to us! Glory in the highest and peace on earth to men.”

What a wonder, what a mystery / That the shepherds were given eyes to see / God’s glorious majesty / Clothed in humanity

“Gloria,” they said, “They angels sang to us! Glory in the highest and peace on earth to men.” / “Gloria! This is the angels’ song! Yet we the poor imperfect ones are now the heralds of the Savior come!”

“Gloria,” they said, “They angels sang to us! Glory in the highest and peace on earth to men.” / “Gloria! This is the angels’ song! Yet we the poor imperfect ones are now the heralds of the Savior come!”

Sheep Among Wolves

Sheep Among Wolves

I’m hoping to jump back on the song a month blog train, but we’ll see where I get! I’m currently down in studio listening to this song being produced! I wrote this song about 4 years ago. It is a song heavily influenced by teaching, and my desire to see kids grow and develop. An even deeper desire in some is to see them walk out of destructive lifestyles and habits. But, even though I don’t doubt the fact that I have influence, there is so much that is not up to me. I can try to reach out and help change a life, but 1) Jesus is the changer of stories, and 2) an individual has to decide for themselves.

At the same time, God calls us to be his hands and feet in the world, and sometimes we can feel so powerless in that. So, I’m thankful that God brought to mind the images in Scriptures. For instance, Romans 8 says we are like sheep among wolves, yet we are still more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Or, we are weak vessels, jars of clay, but this is so that no one can mistake the greatness in us as us, but know fully that it is Him living through us.

The cry of the song, however, is this cry that says, “God, convince me of that!” If we are such weak vessels, sometimes it is so hard to see that He is actually working, actually moving, actually changing us and others. He is not required to show us that He is working, or to encourage our hearts, but He does do so. And we are always welcome to ask for these things from our good God :). So, that is what the song is! In the midst of the hard grind of teaching, mentoring, discipling (or whatever it is that you do!), we can ask our God for evidences of His work and trust that He is at work!

Sheep Among Wolves

All these burdens I can’t carry/ In a world that’s out of reach/ This classic tale of imperfection leaves a taste that’s bittersweet

And I wonder, is it worth it? All this striving forfeit?

I am searching for my purpose/ Can these hands even make a difference? / ‘Cause it’s harder to be courageous when it feels like there’s nothing changing/ Can You make it easier to believe that You’re with me?

As each day begins uncertain/ I’m still holding onto dreams/ That I’ll rewrite at least one story, but I have no guarantees

So I wonder what I’m made of when I’m never quite enough

I am searching for my purpose/ Can these hands even make a difference? / ‘Cause it’s harder to be courageous when it feels like there’s nothing changing/ Can You make it easier to believe that You’re with me?

Is our gospel veiled? You tore the veil / Is the darkness vast? You light the world/ Like sheep among wolves, yet we remain brave

So when there’s nothing changing, make me courageous

I am searching for my purpose/ Can these hands even make a difference? / ‘Cause it’s harder to be courageous when it feels like there’s nothing changing/ Can You make it easier to believe that You’re with me?

All I’ve held onto was never mine to save/ Got nothing left now but this fragile jar of clay that holds a surpassing greatness so that no one can mistake it but for Your light alive in me

Living Room Memories

Living Room Memories

I am going to be a part of the songwriting conference hosted by Sara Groves and Art House North in August. For the first time, I am participating in their songwriter prompt session. So, about two weeks ago, I was given the following prompt. Write a song 1) starting with a question, 2) using only 3 chords in the chorus, 3) mentioning a specific room in your house, and 4) addressing someone you haven’t talked to in a long time.

So, this isn’t necessarily the deepest song I’ve ever written, but it came pretty fast, which hasn’t happened in a while. I also wasn’t sure I was going to be able to write something with a prompt in less than a month, but I was, so that is fun!

Maybe not the best grammar, but the chorus just came in a matter of minutes. It is about the good memories that songs inspire, even years later. And, about a good friend who we hadn’t gotten together in a very long time, but when we did, we sang the songs from years earlier, and it both made a memory and brought old memories back to life. All the random capitalized words refer to favorite mutual songs that my friend and I have. All the references are are either Needtobreathe or Mat Kearney, which we got to see in concert, in case you are curious.

Living Room Memories

Where have you been? It seems that life has dealt a heavy hand // Will you sing with me again? We’ll travel back in time; You pick when

I may not be your Brother, but let me be your shelter

Oh, how it fills my soul singing songs from six years ago/You and me on my windowseat making living room memories, yeah/I’d cash in all my daydreams for the return of your company

An economics text held in the couch for years, sweet evidence/Of the place you always sat doing homework eating peanut M&Ms

Give The Conversation one more play, you know I can stand the rain

I’d play them all again tonight in a City of Black and White/Yes, I know it’s a Hard Love, but we don’t Be Here Long

Emma’s Song

Emma’s Song

I have thousands of kids. Not biologically, obviously. But, between my attachment to camp kids back in the day, my experiences in Alaska, and my love for my students in Greenville, IL, there is just a lot of heart felt moments for a lot of kiddos. This time of year always pulls at the heart strings as well, since it is graduation time 🙂

This song was a song I wrote earlier this year for a kid of mine. She loves ballads, and somehow still loves listening to my music (and, if you are reading this, you well know I don’t write many ballads). She struggles with a lot of fears and inadequacies. I have wanted to write her a song for some time, but it takes a while to find the right words. One morning, near the end of the summer, I woke up and this entire chorus was already in my head. I heard a voice in me say, “Get up! You need to write this down!” It took several more months (until almost Christmas) to write the rest of the song, but I see the chorus as a gift from God. Words straight from his mouth to her heart. The bridge has some imagery from Isaiah and is probably one of the most fun chord walk-downs I’ve done! Emma: this song is for you!

Emma’s Song

In the silence, your thoughts are so loud/You’ve been trying all by yourself to sort them out/Can I tell you something once told to me when I needed a truth to sing?

You don’t have to be perfect to be you/Where you see a defect, I see a miracle of His deliverance already proved/You don’t have to be perfect to be new

You’re staring at some childhood photographs/Dare you ask, ‘Who’s the carefree girl smiling back?’/Though you have yet to feel the same, you are brave when you walk this road of grace

You don’t have to be perfect to be you/Where you see a defect, I see a miracle of His deliverance already proved/You don’t have to be perfect to be new

Can a wound forget the past? Are there streams in this wilderness?

Can a barren wasteland be more than countless grains of sand?

Can it reach full bloom?

You don’t have to be perfect to be you/Where you see a defect, I see a miracle of His deliverance already proved/You don’t have to be perfect to be new

Behold, He is making all things new! All things new

The Order of Melchizedek

The Order of Melchizedek

Wow – it has been about 7 months since I’ve written a new song to post on the monthly song blog. But, COVID teaching and releasing an album…all the things. Those things get in the way of songwriting. Who knew?

But, this one was a fun one to write. After writing a song with Mephibosheth in it, why not write a song about Melchizedek? There’s actually more Biblical chapters about Melchizedek, but we really have no idea who he is, really. He is a king back in Abraham’s day, known to be “king of Salem,” which modern scholars believe could be Jerusalem. We know he is also a priest. He just shows up on the scene, blesses Abraham, and Abraham gives him some of his wealth. The end.

Or so you think…then David, in a Psalm that seems to be more of a Psalm of prophecy than anything else (especially since most of David’s psalms are quite different), he shares that there will be a king, who is also a priest “in the order of Melchizedek.” So, not like the Levites, but like this mysterious guy who shows up and seems greater than Abraham.

Fast forward to the New Testament. Just when you think this isn’t amounting to much, the author of Hebrews focuses in on these ideas for several chapters. There is only ONE worthy to be both priest AND king after Melchizedek…and it’s Jesus! No other king could handle the role of priest. No other priest could be both the perfect sacrifice and the mediator. Only Jesus brings complete salvation through the ONE sacrifice of Himself. And Melchizedek, as a priest and king, foreshadows Jesus. He is priest and king in the same historical place that Jesus will reign forever (Jerusalem). The mystery that surrounds him makes him even more like Jesus.

So, when challenged to write a song, I knew it couldn’t be just about Melchizedek…there’s not enough of his narrative. But, to point to Jesus-that was a fun song to write. I don’t know if it will ever get any air time at a concert or in studio. But, if you get to hear it, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

The Order of Melchizedek

He came out of nowhere without family ties/The first mediator of God the Most High/Setting the precedent as the lone archetype/Greater than Abraham; Larger than life

He set the table with the bread and the wine/But the name Melchizedek was the preeminent sign/Even king David said there was one next in line/And everything points ahead to Jesus Christ!!

He’s priest forever in order of Melchizedek/He reigns with righteousness from His throne in Jerusalem/The greatest has come to the least of us/He has sworn and will not change His mind!/He’s a priest forever in order of Melchizedek

Now every priest who came from the house of Levi/Made atonement day after day that could never suffice/But Jesus completely saves through one sacrifice/All who approach by faith for all of time

This ancient king, shrouded in mystery/Pronounced the blessing extending forward through time /To the Great High Priest who is our King of Peace Our sin’s sure defeat, with His head lifted high

Mighty Is He

Mighty Is He

Wow, friends! It has been 6 months since I’ve been able to post! I was having a friend (none other than the infamous Lauren Schwaar who plays piano for this song!) rebuild my website. I was also in the midst of finishing this second album and trying to get it out to you all!! This is the last song I hadn’t written a blog post about.

This is because it is this song was rewritten only a month before I took it to Nashville! I wrote this song originally in high school. I was given a verse calendar by a friend, and one day the verses were Psalm 93:3-4 “The seas have lifted up, Oh Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice, the seas have lifted up their roaring waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty.” I looked up the Psalm and it was only 5 verses long, so as a junior in high school, I wrote a song! It was mediocre in melody for the verses, but the chorus was pretty neat and echoed vs. 4 of the Psalm.

Then, I realized I really wanted a Psalm song to go on the new album. I am saving quite a bit of my Psalm songs for a potentially future album, but this one just felt like it should go – but it really wasn’t a strong song.

At the beginning of this BSF year (Bible Study Fellowship), my teaching leader Vicki gave a doctrine talk about God’s Sovereignty and Kingship over all creation, and as we were reading Genesis 1 also read Psalm 93. In this midst of her talk, all I could hear in my mind was a new verse to this song: “The Lord is king, he reigns: even at the beginning his Spirit rested on the waves…” and the hope was born in me that this song COULD make the new album. What a fun time it was to dwell on all the ways God has controlled the chaos of the waters from creation until now.

I then needed a new bridge as well once the new song structure started to take shape. Praise to God after all the reflections on how he controls the water, the song just COMES ALIVE! It begins with his control over the waters at creation as he calms chaos and calls order into being. Then, it heads into how he controlled the waters for His people, a symbol that He watches over those who fear Him and seek His face. And then it brings it full circle to Jesus, who calms the storm, and also calms the storms that rage within us. And, as a good friend once told me, all Psalms find their culmination in Jesus! And is this not so true? From the Lordship he displayed over creation, to His Sovereignty over all things, to the ways He physically controlled water while He was fully man and fully God here on the earth: He is the fulfillment of this Psalm!!!!

And this Psalm turned into a wonderful jam session with my good friend Lauren, and a student of mine, who, 17 at the time, was the same age I was when I originally wrote the chorus. She is a senior, headed to U of I in the fall, and does some radically awesome background vocals. I hope you enjoy it! As I write this blog post, you’ll be able to hear the song in 6 short days 🙂

Mighty Is He

The Lord is King; he reigns/Even at the beginning His Spirit rested on the waves/Oh the strength and majesty/ That are His to tame the waters now and in every age

The seas have lifted up/They’ve lifted up their voices/The pounding surf it calls/Out from the shore

Mighty is the thunder of the ocean rollers/Mighty are the breakers of the sea/But the Lord on High, He is mightier than these/Oh, so mighty, so mighty is He

The Lord is King; he reigns/He established the world and His throne from all eternity/Oh the strength and majesty/That are His to set into place the ocean’s boundaries

The seas have lifted up/They’ve lifted up their voices/The pounding surf it calls/Out from the shore

Mighty is the thunder of the ocean rollers/Mighty are the breakers of the sea/But the Lord on High, He is mightier than these/Oh, so mighty, so mighty is He

When we come to the waters/When we stand with our feet on the shore/With the faith of our fathers/We’ll see a way where there was no way before/When skies grow darker/When we fear that there’s no solid ground/He walks on the water/At his word all tempests bow

Mighty is the thunder of the ocean rollers/Mighty are the breakers of the sea/But the Lord on High, He is mightier than these/Oh, so mighty, so mighty is He

Pillar of Fire

Pillar of Fire

As expected: the start of school was insane.  So, I missed September’s post!

But, I’m hopefully headed to the studio THIS WEEKEND with my girls in my discipleship group to make another awesome addition to album 2!  The song I’m about to share date 5-6 years ago, but it is a good one!  I’ve always had it in mind to put on the Old Testament album.  It is called “Pillar of Fire” and is referencing the pillar of cloud that led the Israelites through the wilderness during the daylight, and the pillar of fire during the night.  

This song was written in the midst of a really long bout of illness (not anything super serious).  I had a common cold, turned strep, turned bronchitis, etc.  I was new enough to teaching that I just took meds and kept going.  Then, my dad put me on bedrest over Thanksgiving break, and I spent the next two months going to bed at like 7:30.  It was a bit crazy.  But, during those times, I penned the start of the song: “The night is long, my eyes are tired…searching for the glimmer of light on the horizon…can you blame me?”  I thought that might be part of a chorus, but then at some point when messing around on my guitar, the chorus just came unexpectedly, and I knew that was the verse.  The chorus says, “Oh pillar of fire, I’ve heard your stories of rescue and ransom for all my life.  Oh pillar of fire, will you come be my song, be my anthem within this night?”  

I think that we need to remind ourselves of the power of the stories we hear about God’s faithfulness.  The Israelites were called to do that, and I think we are too!  Especially when things are hard, or not as we expected them to be.  And, there is so much to be said about having His Presence with us in the middle of the darkness.  I think we have strength we wouldn’t have on our own, to walk through it, because He is with us.  That’s the cry of this song.  I’m excited to hear how it turns out!
 Pillar of Fire
The night is long, my eyes are tired
Searching for the glimmer of light on the horizon
Can you blame me?
When my fight is gone, when hope runs dry
Am I standing in the Presence of Life?
Do You walk in the nighttime?
Can You save me?
Oh, Pillar of Fire
I’ve heard Your stories of rescue and ransom for all my life
Oh, Pillar of Fire
Will You come be my song, be my anthem within this night?
Burning bright, bright, bright

Can I be honest?  I have a frail heart
That’s still afraid to walk through the shadows:  I battle the fear 
That I’ve been left here alone
With steps so small, I feel like I’m falling behind
Tell me I can hold to the promise that You are constant
And I am never on my own

Convince me You are here
Darkness with You near
Is better than the dawn
You are my song