New Album Song BackgroundPosted: November 14, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
In this video I sing a few bars and share background behind some of my favorite songs on the new album, “wait for the lord my soul.”
Give it a listen on all music streaming platforms or digital download. If you like it please pass it along!
Here’s a link to various places to find it:
Let Me Rest (second posting)Posted: November 7, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment
This past summer I was asked to help teach a class at a conference for church leaders on training and investing in the next generation. There are different approaches and opinions when it comes to this topic in the family of churches I’m a part of (and in Christian churches in general).
One of the things I chose to talk about was when Jesus describes himself as a leader/trainer (using rabbinical language which the use of the term “yoke” denotes), he called himself “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt 11:29). This is something I feel we missed in our church leadership for a long time. Instead we had an ethic of being “forceful men,” a complete misinterpretation of the passage a few verses earlier (Matt 11:12; NIV translation has since been updated). To confess our sins as I see them, I feel that too often we were not like Jesus in our ministry training. Good was done in the name of Jesus but often we missed his character – gentle and humble in heart, self-giving, foot-washing. Jesus was concerned with SOUL-LEVEL spiritual health. Not simply behavior modification. Jesus’ leadership keeps first things first. Holistic. Spiritually/emotionally healthy.
I want rest for my soul. I want those I lead to have rest for their souls. This song reflects my own desire to follow Jesus, to rest in his presence, to learn from his leadership and character. [Below is the recording from my new album. I also posted a live recording of this song a few years ago here, shortly after writing it.]
Nothing Else (1996 Album)Posted: October 17, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Hey there, happy Monday! If you’re interested to hear some of the tunes I was writing in my late teens and early twenties, my first album is now available on streaming services. These songs were written over the five or six years leading up to 1996 when I recorded this in a campus recording studio. Many of the songs still stand up well and some of the synth programming and the Alesis HR16 drum machine still sound great, I think.
The title track, Nothing Else, comes from psalm 73, one of my favorites psalms as a teen (still is, actually). I related so much to the struggle of the psalmist with envying the world at times, yet when “entering the sanctuary” gaining an entirely different perspective of how wonderful it is to belong to God:
I’m always with you
You take my hand, you’re walking with me
You’ll take me with you, in glory
Whom have I in heaven, heaven but you
And being with you I desire nothing else.
Let me know what you think of the album!
Go for Excellence – Interview with Travis MoorePosted: August 23, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Travis is a great songwriter, producer, and worship leader (part of the Denver Church of Christ). We talk about his current projects, how he sees the relationship between faith and art, has some great advice for worship ministries (especially in small churches): Go for excellence, have a good work ethic, play to your strengths, and create a culture where it’s fun! Get yourself out of the way. Here are relevant links to our discussion:
Travis Moore Website: https://www.travislmoore.com
Wild Goose Chase: https://songwhip.com/wildgoosechase
Always on My Mind: https://songwhip.com/aomm
Tuff Tuff: https://www.instagram.com/tufftuff.music
Denver Church Quarantine Worship Videos: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDTLwuAmVj9wZGID94yn1kC_Al2xerqbc
Ties to the Light music: https://songwhip.com/tiestothelight
This Beautiful Truth by Sarah Clarkson
Yebba Tiny Desk Concert (warning: some explicit lyrics)
Prayers for UkrainePosted: February 28, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment
We are of course all praying for our many dear brothers and sisters at this dark hour. This is a video of us singing “Be with Me, Lord” at a leadership conference in Kiev years ago. As I watch this now it brings tears to my eyes thinking about how much the Russian and Ukrainian brothers in the Kingdom love one another so dearly, and how the “Beasts” of worldly powers seek domination via violent means. Praying desperately for peace. Praying for our Lord to be with our brothers and sisters and to hear their prayers.
The second verse is in Russian. I jumped in with these great Russian and Ukrainian musicians and it’s a mix of local and American singers on stage. The bulk of the audience was singing the whole thing in Russian (there were about 5,000 people there).
More than ConquerorsPosted: February 7, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Hello everyone and happy Monday! I mostly share original songs on this blog but once in a while I might share one by another artist. This is one our church loves to sing by Rend Collective. I have written before about having different kinds of songs at church (like guy-type songs) besides deep and intimate worship ones (which I love). I believe a good worship service has a good mix of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs–different styles, upbeat and joyous and well as down-tempo and introspective. This is one of the upbeat, fun, party-at-church ones! Sunday should be fun as well as spiritually meaty, in my opinion. And banjo helps.
Wait for the Lord My SoulPosted: January 31, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Hey everybody, happy Monday! Wanted to share a new worship song I wrote this past year while in quarantine, called “Wait for the Lord My Soul.” The lyrics are taken from Psalm 130. This was our second time singing it with the church, and yesterday it was fun to have Alex lead it instead of me (first time I sang it was on our livestream a day after writing it). What a blessing to hear the voices singing it now in person.
We are just beginning an eight-week season as a church going through a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and a companion book Day by Day. Learning to wait, to be still, to trust in God’s forgiveness and salvation are coming up again and again in the materials we are going through. It’s hard for me to slow down, to breathe, to even spend two minutes in silence (as we are doing several times a day). I just want to do and do, go and go, keep producing, keep busy —tempted to value myself by what I get done. Yet I serve a God who rested —he knew when to say enough, when to stop (inferred by the very word Sabbath). The words of this psalm and new song are helping me to learn to stop, slow down, teaching my soul to wait for the Lord.
WAIT FOR THE LORD MY SOUL
(based on Psalm 130)
Wait for the Lord, my soul
Wait for the Lord, my soul
Like the morning
I put my hope
in Him, in Him
Redeem me from
my sin, my sin
His Name, His love
His word, His word
We cry, we hope
We serve, we serve
Israel, put your hope
in the Lord
For his love never fails
Will redeem our sin
We wait for him
We wait for him
WAIT FOR THE LORD MY SOUL
D/F# G2 / Bm A
D/F# G2 / A
Em / Bm A
Em / G A
F#m7 / GM7 / Bm7 / A
GM7 / D A / Em / Em
A / break
Up to Now You Wondered WhyPosted: January 10, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Hey everybody, happy Monday! Hope you had a great holidays. Yours might have been marked with sickness, like ours. I ended up with Covid myself and stuck in quarantine for a few days. Thankfully my symptoms were mild and I spend some time making some simple music videos for some of my Ties to the Light songs (and one for my daughter Cora). I thought I’d share one today called “Wonder Why.”
Songs like this I try to keep kind of general enough in lyric for people to be able to own them and apply them to their own life and situation. But I’ll share with you guys a bit more detail. In this case the song was inspired by a specific campus conversion story. The person was praying that God would show them his way and his people (it’s it so cool how often that is part of people’s stories). They looked out their window and literally saw a sign for where the church was meeting. They came to church, studied the Bible and became a disciple of Jesus.
I love the idea that God allows different things in our lives to lead up to decision moments — turning points that make all the difference for the rest of our lives. Even difficult things, failures, or hardships… “life led regrets up to this moment.” God is there all along –in countless lives and spiritual journeys. God knows every heartbreak, hears every whispered prayer as we go through the ups and downs of life. If only everyone would turn to him. If only everyone would recognize, as this person did, “Love was looking out for you all along.”
New Song: All of My Heart Belongs to YouPosted: November 29, 2021 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
Hey guys happy Monday! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Wrote a new song over the weekend, thought I’d share with you. Some of you are songwriters, and others are interested in the process of songwriting so I thought I’d share how this one came about since it just happened. This was one where the whole song just kinda pops out in like 1/2 and hour of working on it and I love those ones! (Other times its week or months of working on something and I still don’t like what I’ve got!). This is not a great recording of the song, I made it right after I wrote it, and my living room guitar happened to be in DADGAD tuning, kinda low key for me, but whatever – I’m trying to be less filtering of just sharing creative stuff out there. So, here’s how the song came about.
Sat morning I was listening to Taylor Swift’s album Folklore in the background while I was reading (I’m a big fan of that genre, love Bon Iver who helped out). The song “August” has these chord changes on the chorus that shortly after were rolling around in my head. The sentiment of the song (and a lot of Taylor’s music) is sad to me: the instability of dating relationships in the world, the pain of breakups (not meaning to be judge-y or anything but just listen to her songs). I was contemplating what an amazing thing it is to have a relationship with the Creator – he never lets me down. He’ll never ever break up with me. He deserves all of my heart. And the chorus melody and lyric just came to me (both together), “all of my heart belongs to you” –really catchy, kind of similar vibe and sentiment to the song “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.” Then the melody for the verses (which you could hear is pretty influenced by the Taylor Swift song) and lyrics for the verses I just took down right as the melody was coming. Then for the bridge I wanted something kind of climbing, something kind of similar to like the bridge in “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” since the song was already sounding a bit like that one, and I really like how the bridge turned out and sets up the final choruses.
Anyway, I share these influences and song similarities because long ago I was a composition major in college for a time and had this view about music (and art school in general can have this idea) like I had to come up with something totally original, totally new, never been done before. So that caused me to be tentative, self-censoring, afraid to just make art. Thing is, does anything truly original even exist? Everything is a re-mix (see this Ted talk with that name)! Don’t be afraid to have songs you hear inspire new songs (or things you read art you see, etc)–don’t plagiarize, but allow your influences to be contributors to new art. That is godly gardening—as I have spoken about elsewhere—using already existing materials and weaving/shaping/molding them into something new and beautiful that glorifies our Maker. Anyway, if you have a thought about music or art or the creative process feel free to drop a comment below!
A world divided
Storms and violence
Fools deny the truth
Meet me in silence
Still my soul
Make me whole in you
**All of my heart belongs to you**
In your story
For your glory
Ever more we
See you shining through
Hope and freedom
Life and kingdom
Love and meaning
All is found in you
**All of my heart belongs to you**
All these other things
Asking for my love
Not where I belong
Will never be enough
But loving you is like clean water
Take me down into your river
Where you are I wanna be there
On into forever
**All of my heart belongs to you**
Hallelujah! Forever, an Anchor for My Soul!Posted: November 22, 2021 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
We recently had a marriage retreat with quite a few couples in attendance from various congregations of the LA Church of Christ (a network of a bunch of ICOC churches in the LA area). We had close to 500 people there and it was so fun and amazing to hear that many people sing (especially after so much social isolation)!
This opening medley of three songs was focused on our security in God – “a mountain, firm beneath my feet,” “forever God is faithful,” an “anchor for the soul.” The first two songs are written by a couple of my church songwriting “mentors,” Brenton Brown and Chris Tomlin. (Both write songs that are simple, easy to sing for congregational participation — something I most often aim for with my worship songs.) I hope this song medley in the key of G reminds you of God’s ever-present faithfulness and fills you with Gratitude on this Thanksgiving week!