Category Archives: Demos

Psalm 129: We Won’t Stay Down

Psalm 129 gives us a scrappy underdog who just happens to have a protective older brother on the wrestling team. (In this case, the scrappy underdog is Israel and the older brother is God.) I don’t know about you, but … Continue reading

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Psalm 128: Bless Us, O Lord

The Psalms are full of images and ideas that are anachronistic to modern readers. Psalm 128 promises men who fear the Lord that they’ll enjoy fertile wives, lots of children, and a peaceful Jerusalem. It is fair to ask: What … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: Wait for the Work of the Lord (Psalm 127)

We have a strange relationship to work. Some of us are workaholics. (Or have a “good work ethic,” if we want to sound more pious about it.) Others are “working for the weekend.” (Or working toward a retirement of lounging … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: Tears and Joy (Psalm 126)

Psalm 126 is full of joy. In fact, it uses the word four times in a mere six verses. But this is not an easily earned joy; it is the joy of people who have known tears but have been … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: Everlasting Peace (Psalm 125)

I’ve already written music for Psalm 125 twice: “Those Who Trust” from my 2017 Adopt-a-Psalm program and an arrangement of Amorese/Zemuner’s beautiful “All Those Who Trust” in 2013. But this is a new series and it calls for new music! … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: Our Help (Psalm 124)

I’ve actually set Psalm 124 to music twice before. The first time was “If the Lord Had Not Been on Our Side,” a Gospel-style choral anthem with narrator that is now published by GIA. The second time was “If God … Continue reading

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Psalm 65: We Praise You, God, in Silence and Singing

I was honored that Bethany Cok and Josh Parks asked me to compose music for their wedding. I’ve played with Josh many times before at Church of the Servant, Calvin University, and in the St. Sinner Orchestra, so it felt … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: Have Mercy (Psalm 123)

Psalm 123 presents a number of challenges, foremost is its use of slave language to describe our relationship to God. No matter what it may have meant to Hebrew worshipers, I just can’t imagine singing of slavery in a morally … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: Let Us Go! (Psalm 122)

Psalm 122 is full of exuberance at the mere thought of going to church. That’s hard to imagine in our day and age (at least before COVID-19), but the Israelites were in a different context. For them, God was present … Continue reading

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Pilgrim Psalms: My God, My Guide, My Guard (Psalm 121)

The next Pilgrim Psalm is 121. This is a beautiful Psalm of protection that begins with the words, “I lift my eyes up to the hills.” I already have two songs based on this Psalm: “My Keeper” and “Lift Your … Continue reading

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