Category Archives: Congregational Songs

Psalm 84: Blessed Beyond Measure

I’m currently working on a big choral commission for the centennial celebration of Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna, MN. (“Big” as in, youth and adult choirs, handbells and handchimes, woodwinds, brass, strings, timpani, harp, and praise team.) While it is … Continue reading

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Speak Sabbath O’er My Soul (TL Moody)

My second collaboration with TL Moody is a tune for her text “Speak Sabbath O’er My Soul.” What I love about this text is that positions Sabbath as something life-giving that God does for us rather than a teeth-gritting discipline … Continue reading

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“Joy Inside My Tears” at Calvin College’s Chapel

Paul Ryan periodically asks me to speak/sing at Calvin’s chapel. On January 14, 2019 my theme was “Joy Inside My Tears,” in which I explored the paradoxes of the Christian’s emotional life in scripture and song. Just in case you … Continue reading

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Prayer of Jonah at Western Seminary

The first performance of “Prayer of Jonah” took place in December at Western Seminary. The song begins at 27:54 in this video, but the whole enactment of the book of Jonah is well worth watching. The next performance will be … Continue reading

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Is It I, Lord?

My third collaboration with Christopher Webber is a new tune for his social justice hymn, “Is It I, Lord?” The meter of the text is 8.5.5.5 D, which is very unusual. (Unusual, as in “I don’t think it exists anywhere … Continue reading

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Prayer of Jonah

It’s been a good season for commissions, with hymns, choral anthems, and orchestral compositions waiting to be written. But first, this setting of the biblical Song of Jonah. You’ll remember that Jonah was a runaway prophet who was swallowed by … Continue reading

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Many Fields to Plow, piano/organ

It seems that people are clamoring* for a keyboard arrangement of “Many Fields to Plow.” Who am I to say No? What I like most about the keyboard version is that it brings out the flowing nature of the melody in … Continue reading

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Many Fields to Plow (with TL Moody)

One of my great joys is when students become colleagues and collaborators. In this case, one of my songwriting students, Tammy Moody, has a growing collection of “Garden Girl Hymns”–texts that find inspiration in the beauty of both work and … Continue reading

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Holy Spirit, Come, Confirm Us (Brian Foley)

There are lots of songs about the Holy Spirit, but most focus on invocation or sanctification. What I really liked about Brian Foley’s text “Holy Spirit, Come, Confirm Us,” is that he talks about other roles of the Holy Spirit: … Continue reading

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하나님께서 당신을 통해 May the Love of God Spring Up in Your Soul

Calvin College regularly sings a Korean blessing song that is just beautiful. The only problem is that the English translation doesn’t sound much like English! I was talking to one of the Korean worship leaders at Calvin about this and … Continue reading

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