Yesterday morning at my church, our prelude was an instrumental piece entitled “Hosanna (For Two Percussionists)”. My colleague Andrew Cote composed this piece for Palm Sunday this past March, and is one of the guys playing the song in the video below. The other guy is Joseph Connell – the drummer at my church for the last 25 years! I love these guys.
Andrew describes the piece this way:
When I began working for Truro Anglican Church in 2016, I began a tradition of writing a percussion duet for myself and our percussionist, Joseph Connell as a call to worship for our Palm Sunday services. This piece is an attempt to capture the energy of the crowd welcoming Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.
Here’s a rough iPhone video of the song from yesterday.
It’s been almost a month since I last contributed anything helpful on Worthily Magnify, and that might be the longest stretch of non-posting since I started this blog in 2009. It’s been a very full summer for me, including several additional ministry things going on (I’ll share more on those later) and a seminary course through RTS’s online campus which I finished last week.
To dust off the blog a bit, I’m just going to share a little song I wrote for “Genesis Arts Camp” that we’re hosting at my church these week for about 200 kids. We need something fun and peppy to start off our sessions with, so for that purpose, “Hey Everybody” was born:
A few weeks ago, my colleague and friend Andrew Cote wrote an instrumental piece for string quartet to be used as the call to worship at our church’s Easter services. He entitled it “Triumph of the Resurrection”. I love it – and here’s the live recording from our Easter 11:30am service.
A few weeks ago I wrote a song called “O God of Perfect Holiness”, and wanted to share the free chord chart, lead sheet/choir parts, and video below.
The song was written for one of our services where I wanted something that focused us upward on God’s attributes of holiness, faithfulness, righteousness, gentleness, tenderness, and loveliness, in contrast to our sinfulness. It’s a simple four-verse modern hymn.
The lyrics are:
O God of perfect holiness
Seated high above
What ocean-depths of faithfulness
And sacrificial love
That all of our iniquities
Were placed on Jesus’ head
So we, who once were enemies
Are now his heirs instead
Oh God of perfect righteousness
True in all your ways
What kindness in your promises
What all sufficient grace
That you would send your Son
To live and die upon the cross
That through his victory he would give
That victory to us
O God of perfect tenderness
Who welcomes sinners home
What Father-hearted gentleness
In Jesus you have shown
And we will spend eternity
With angels and the saints
Who day and night forever sing
His never-ceasing praise
Oh God of perfect loveliness
Who made us from the dust
Who saved us from our wretchedness
In you we place our trust
And now to him who sits upon
The throne and to the Lamb
Be blessing, honor, glory, power
I’ve always loved the text to the old hymn “He Giveth More Grace” by Annie Johnson Flint, and the story behind it too. Annie endured incredible physical suffering throughout her life, and clung to God’s inexhaustible grace through it all. This hymn is a profound acknowledgement of the heaviness and burdens of this life – and a wonderful proclamation of the great power of God, and His generous grace in Jesus Christ that are available to us.
I wrote a new melody for this hymn a few years ago, and since then I’ve been amazed at how these lyrics have blessed people who have heard and/or sung it.
Below you’ll find a video of me singing the song, along with links to a free chord chart, and lead sheets as well. I hope this song is a blessing to you!
Several weeks ago, I saw that our September sermon series was going to focus on the generosity of God. As I was thinking what song of response would work one Sunday, the closing words of an old hymn came to my mind: “for out of his infinite riches in Jesus / He giveth, and giveth and giveth again”. I looked up the hymn, entitled “He Giveth More Grace” and was struck by the text:
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace
When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision
Our God ever yearns His resources to share
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure
His power no boundary known unto men
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again
This hymn was written by Annie Johnson Flint. She was orphaned by the age of 6, and became so crippled by arthritis that she couldn’t walk. Her arthritis prevented her from becoming a pianist like she had hoped, so she became a poet, and when she couldn’t open her hands to type, she would use her knuckles on the typewriter. An amazing story.
What I love about this hymn is the way it presents God’s generous grace. It can never be exhausted. It can never even begin to be exhausted. It is utterly and completely boundless. This is the kind of good news our congregations need to hear. This is like water in a barren desert.
I didn’t know the original tune for this hymn, so I took that as an opportunity to write a simple melody and arrangement. We sang it this past Sunday at my church and judging from all the questions and emails I got about it, it struck a nerve with people and was a blessing.
I’m sharing the rough demo with you, as well as a chord chart, since my guess is that if your congregation doesn’t know this hymn, they might be affected by the truth it proclaims just like mine was.