Category Archives: Demos

Psalm 56: O God, in Mercy Look to Me (Carlill)

I came back again to Adam Carlill’s Psalms for the Common Era, this time his version of Psalm 56. This Psalm is a plea for mercy when being hotly pursued by enemies. Have you ever felt like David did when … Continue reading

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The Peaceable Kingdom

This song started its life a few years ago at the Christmas songwriting retreat that produced Refugee King, Jesus Be Enough, and Tiny King. The page of sketches had “Peaceful Revolution” scribbled at the top, a phrase I still like. … Continue reading

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Psalm 53: Fools Deny Their God within Them (Carlill)

I returned to Adam Carlill’s excellent Psalms for the Common Era to get his take on the difficult Psalm 53. This Psalm (and its nearly identical twin, Psalm 14) is full of rancor, claiming that foolish humans are godless, corrupt, … Continue reading

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Psalm 6: Lord, My God, Do Not Contend (Carlill)

A few weeks ago, a friend recommended Psalms for the Common Era, a collection of 150 Psalm versifications by Adam Carlill. It is a lovely collection that strikes a fine balance between faithfulness to the Hebrew texts and singability for … Continue reading

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I Will Not Let You Go

What do you do when your pastor decides to preach on Genesis 32:22-31? Sure, the story of Jacob’s late night wrestling match with a stranger (man? angel? God?) is a common Old Testament story, but there simply aren’t a lot … Continue reading

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#5 (piano miniature)

In 2019, I started a series called Piano Miniatures. I had planned to write 14 short pieces, each with a corresponding meter (i.e. #7 would be in 7/8 time). I finished four of them, and ever since, a lonely sketch … Continue reading

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By Blessed Wounds (T.L. Moody)

Tammy Moody wrote a lovely text about trusting God to be a good father rather than a vengeful or cruel one. She and I have discussed the fact that using the image of God as Father is quite out of … Continue reading

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Ask the Complicated Questions (David Bjorlin)

It seems that Dave and I grew up in similar church contexts, where easy answers were dished out with as much relish as jello salad at a Sunday potluck. Unfortunately, those easy answers overlooked the subtleties of real life, used … Continue reading

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Build a Longer Table (David Bjorlin)

I met Dave Bjorlin at a Hymn Society conference in 2018 in a late-night chat among HS night owls. “Good guy,” I thought. What I didn’t know is that he’s an excellent hymn text author. GIA recently published a collection … Continue reading

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Psalm 134: Bless the Lord!

The biblical Songs of Ascents, and my Pilgrim Psalms song series, conclude with Psalm 134. It is a fitting conclusion, with the people blessing God and God blessing the people. I could have written a simple scripture song that rhymed, … Continue reading

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