This is a place for me to share and document personal interests such as music, technology, and other writing. Please enjoy; I love to receive comments and hear back from you! And if there is something you'd like me to record or a tech question, please let me know! For more of an overview, see the "Who Am I?" and "Ministry Passions" tabs above.

Remember This Gift

This is the fifth of my efforts in the "12 Song Challenge," a group I joined in 2020 to encourage songwriting. The prompt for May was "communion songs." I looked to Paul's passage on the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11 for the lyrics.



Remember This Gift
1 Corinthians 11:24-26

This bread is my body, broken for you
This cup is my blood, a covenant new
Do this and remember
Do this and remember
Do this and remember me

Whenever you eat it, this bread of Life
Whenever you drink it, blood shed for you
You tell out the Lord’s death
You tell out the Lord’s death
Until he shall come again

This is the gift of God
For the people of God
This is the gift of God
Remember this gift!

Hope in the Wait (Psalm 13)

This is the fourth of my efforts in the "12 Song Challenge," a group I joined in 2020 to encourage songwriting. The prompt for April was "solace and hope" - spurred in part by the challenges of COVID-19 around the world. I chose to adapt Psalm 13, which cries out "How Long?!" to the Lord.



Hope in the Wait
Psalm 13
How long? How long? How long?
(O) Lord, how very long?
(My) heart is not so strong
(To) keep me hanging on

(But) I will trust in love
I find joy in peace
I will sing for grace
I’ll hope in the wait

Do you even hear me?
And do you even see?
The others mock and tease
Rejoicing at my tears

(But) I will trust in love
I find joy in peace
I will sing for grace
I’ll hope in the wait

We will trust in love
We find joy in peace
We will sing for grace
We’ll hope in the wait

Bless Us With Peace

This is my third effort in the "12 Song Challenge," a group I joined in 2020 to encourage songwriting. At the first of each month, the organizers provide a prompt. For March the prompt was "Lenten Themes." I adapted the words from Psalm 118:24-29. The context is the "Hosanna" of Palm Sunday (which comes from Psalm 118).



Bless Us With Peace

O Lord, we ask for you to save
Lord, bless us with peace today

This is the day, Lord, yo have made
With joy and gladness we do pray

Blessed is the one bearing your name
We sing your blessing from this place

O Lord and God, giver of light
You ask and give the sacrifice

We thank you good, eternal Lord
Love given life forevermore

You Are Our Good Shepherd

This is my second effort in the "12 Song Challenge" - a group I joined in 2020 to encourage songwriting. At the first of each month, the organizers provide a prompt. For February it was to write a congregational worship song as a "theme song" for your church. I chose to use the theme of "Good Shepherd" - it is the name of our church after all! I also picked up one of our key phrases, written on the picture wall right inside the doors of the church: "ordinary people; extraordinary God."



You Are Our Good Shepherd – Robert Austell

You are our Good Shepherd - extraordinary God
You lead us, your children - ordinary people
You lay down your life - showing us true love
You are our Good Shepherd - Shepherd of the Sheep

May we see
Where you move and work
May we move
Joining in with you
May we be
Light against the dark
May we love
Love in grace and truth

Rachel's Prayer

This is the first of my efforts in the "12 Song Challenge" - a group I joined in early January to encourage songwriting. At the first of each month, the organizers provide a prompt. For January it was one of the scripture or themes connected to Epiphany. I chose to write about the grief around the Herod's slaughter of the innocents in Matthew 2:16-18. I focused on the reference to Jeremiah of Rachel's weeping for her children. I also picked up on God's words of hope in Jeremiah. My hope is that this could be a congregation song and prayer of hope for those who are grieving a loss. As I started writing about Rachel's grief, I chose imagery of wind and waves (of grief and tears) and tapped into the story of Jesus calming the wind and waves when his disciples were fearful in a storm in Mark 4.



Rachel’s Prayer – Robert Austell
Matthew 2:18; Jeremiah 31:15-17; Mark 4:39

Rachel’s tears: cruel channel through my skin
Comfort gone, what seemed safe lost again

Peace, my breath, my tears
Calm the sea and sky
No more cause for fear
Hope and light, please rise!

Rachel’s breath: whistling wind of the night
No more hope, dark blots out dwindling light

Peace, my breath, my tears
Calm the sea and sky
No more cause for fear
Hope and light, please rise!

God of love, God of mercy, even as we turn away
God of love and compassion, Ever dawning, hear me pray

Peace, my breath, my tears
Calm the sea and sky
No more cause for fear
Hope and light, please rise!