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Let the weak say, I am Strong

I went to Church yesterday, and halfway through, Liesl comes up to me and says “I think they’re doing your song for the songsters message.” Indeed they were, the Songsters message was my arrangement of “Let the weak say, I am strong” by Rueben Morgan. Thanks to not being able to sing (would be too tough for me to get up there with my knee) I instead headed up to the sound desk at the back to record it on my phone.

This wasn’t exactly a complete performance, as there is actually a violin part at the beginning. However, I did write it so that if a corps didn’t have a violin player (which, to be honest, there would be more corps without any musicians than corps who have a violin player), it could still be performed and have the same effect.

I’m really pleased with this arrangement. I think that within it all, every part has beautiful lines that are just a pleasure to sing. Of course, the sopranos have most of the melody. But the lines that I’ve written, particularly the Tenor and Basses are just beautiful. It’s a bit hard to hear in the recording, but the Basses have this great line in the chorus which provides a fantastic grounding to the chorus, while the Tenors get this lovely moving part. I’m also really impressed by the dynamic change in the final couple of lines, which I think provides a real lift to that final line, “Jesus died, and rose again.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll hope to get a few more out soon.

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Count Your Blessings

At the end of a Songsters rehearsal last night, I was asked from a musical perspective what I think of the Songsters. The Songsters is the Salvation Army choir, and it’s very different to any choir I’ve sung in before. However, there is a wealth of music there that fulfills me Musically, Lyrically and Spiritually. Continue reading Count Your Blessings

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Teach me

Biblical Truth

  "Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

  "Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.

  "Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

  "Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.  "Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

  "Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.

  "Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance— isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

  "These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

  "But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards."

  When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.

Matthew 7, The Message Continue reading Teach me