As I Lay Dying

Hearts so cold in a world so full, this could be different, this could have been so different.
But oh I suppose, that it’s not all my fault, but when have these hands, that I was given, ever given back?

If I could just slow down, and decide
that for once my life was worth less than a child’s.

Time has judged I have not done so much, no i haven’t loved, but instead been selfish and angry enough to act out on vengeance.
And oh god it seems that I have just been the worst that I have seen, The worst that a person could ever be – and on this my last breath, I have I so little to retrieve.

If I could just slow down, and decide
that for once my life was worth less than a child’s.
If I could turn back time and just be
A better human being, and not me

Oh but it’s coming so close, and I’m so nervous to feel death’s pulse, and taste of sweet kiss, If I could just go, but that would be selfish so maybe I’ll stay…. maybe I’ll stay

But Jesus I wanted to badly to die
But I know if I had it wouldn’t be sacrifice
So I’ll unload this gun that’s in front of my eyes
And I’ll greet the morning with a new view of life

‘Cause Jesus I don’t think I’m ready to die.


The Greater Good

Call me, call me out of desert
Oh summon me forth, into wherever
For I have lost sight of the direction
And while my burdens took flight, I lay entrenched there

Now I see how blind I’ve become to it all
That agony, can be so close to comfortable

Follow me, my life is honour
My solemn duty is to protect her
My blood for the world, Oh what a kindness
If only this thorn, would end the life I live

and now I see how blind I’ve become to it all
That agony can be so close to comfortable
That I’ll ever wanted was two spirits holding on
That sacrifice and paradise could be one

If only I could taste it
If only I could breathe it in
Oh how I would fall
And forget the throne of God
Unless it were the call
That I should give my life for one

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This is probably, one of the more confused pieces I’ve written, but it ought to be that way in a sense. The whole song sits with the question: What is the greater good? How do I participate? Do I separate myself from the world, or am I to enjoy it as others do? What happens when mortal pleasures overcome our will for goodness; or the contrary, when we abandon all and miss out on the joys this life offers us? If anything, this song is meant to show that to my mind, such questions are not simple, and that there is always a balance that must be sought, because too much of one will certainly mean abandoning my God given nature.

Come Alive

Break down the walls
Break down these walls oh saul
Won’t you come in?
Won’t you commit?

Oh your murderous soul,
Is more valued than gold
And your distorted thoughts
Are all that I want

See how blindness will change you now
When you lose your sight, you will gain my life
And all you’ve cherished has been torn down
But in the face love, you have come alive

Carry your cross,
Cause my grace is enough for you
The thorn is not strong
And it won’t last too long

It’s better than death
There will be no regret
And your life will be filled with the peace and the still I have wanted for you

See how blindness will change you now
When you lose your sight, you will gain my life
And all you’ve cherished has been torn down
But in the face love, you have come alive

The scales have fallen to the ground
And with your open eyes, you can see my light
So stand, as millions surround you now
In the face of love, you have come alive

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In this song, I was inspired by the apostle Paul and parts of his story. Before he became the famous apostle, Paul (at the time Saul of Tarsus) was a regular Christian lynching machine. Against all logic, God calls Saul to serve him through Christ, and makes in Saul a new man. Perhaps it’s a conversion story we can all experience, whether we are lost friends, or enemies of God. In the end, if we do surrender ourselves to this Great Love, then we will find a truly rewarding life.

All For Me

I have found that I am so self-absorbed
In what is wrong with me,
And I think that you can do better than this

But over and over you say
That I am yours

And over and over you stay…

I have felt the warmth of your burning love
And still I’ve turned away
Again and again I betray

But over and over you say
That I am yours
And over and over you stay… with me

And all I can say is that you love me
All that I know is that it’s true
You gave yourself to me
Before, I even knew you

I confess that I’ve wanted more of you
And though I can’t excuse the man I seem to be sometimes

But over and over you say
That I am yours
And over and over you stay… with me

And all I can say is that you love me
All that I know is that it’s true
You gave yourself to me
Before, I even knew you

Jesus, Master, Author of salvation
Friend and Comforter, redeemer of the nations
Lion of Judah, your call still makes me sing
Because you, you are my king.

And all I can say is that you love me
All that I know is that it’s true
You gave yourself to me
Before, I even knew you

Yes I must confess that I adore you
You are the very thing I need
And I cannot repay the breath of live you gave me..
All you’ve given me
All you’ve given me

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I wrote this song for a specific event, which is rare for me to do. Usually, I don’t consider such works “mine” in the sense that I have a desire to share them. However, the song is still very much about my perspective on Christ, and the characters here are very much myself, and Him.  

The idea of this song is to explore the insanity inside myself at times. I realize that Christ has done much positive things in my life, but I am often set against him despite that, and on top of it, I become terribly obsessed with what I’m getting out of the whole deal. It’s a selfish way to live with anyone you love, let alone God.

Break First, Die Later

Weep oh soul weep,
let the flood gates come undone, levies broken down
To wail, hear the frail
cry of brokeness complete now

And if there’s tears
If there’s blood
If it’s your veins
Don’t give up

Stay, oh soul stay
Keep at bay the desperate voice that sings the siren’s choice
Of seas in your skies
Bearing down so violently, drowning the chance to breathe

If it’s deep
It breaks the soul
I know that pain
It takes us all

And if there’s tears
If there’s blood
If it’s your veins
Don’t give up

Live, oh soul live,
And breathe the promise of a
King who’s heart is set to
Beat for you and for your
Dreams of wanting more than
Tragedy restored.
His love will care for you
Prepare the fabric

Your being
The very thing
What makes us feel
What makes us think

And yeah it’s deep
It breaks the soul
I know that pain
It takes us all

Oh I’ve had tears
I’ve shed my blood
it’s in our veins
But I won’t give up

The poison’s in
But we won’t fade out
Just hear the call
Scream out loud

Scream out loud

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This song really goes out to anyone who’s seriously dealt with the darkest most negative thoughts we can have – the idea that we should take our very lives away. The primary encouragement in this song, despite it’s somber tone is to express oneself and to “let it all out” instead of trying to contain one’s inner turmoil.  It interludes slightly with that reminder that God is always there for us, and even in the darkest of hours, desires the best for us. We haven’t all been there, but some of us have, and even when you think there’s no one that feels like you, there most certainly is.

 

Oh My, My (Stillness)

Stop
And see what you’ve got
Though your heart’s in your hand
You don’t understand
That you have been robbed

And let go
Of all that you’ve fought
Oh you thought it was good
But you misunderstood
The truth you’ve been taught

And hold on, just a little longer
Stay strong, this’ll all be over soon

Don’t rush
‘Cause I won’t be a promise
Just hush
and listen to the message

Oh God,
I’m sure he said something
You got to keep yourself pure
You got to keep yourself good
You got to love yourself someday

And hold on, just a little longer
Stay strong, this’ll all be over soon

Oh my, my (Oh sweetheart, don’t fall)
Oh my, my (You can’t carry it all)
Oh my, my (Oh darling, just wait)
Oh my, my (In stillness just wait)

Slow down
Don’t run around
I’ve been down before
I’ve rush the door
Trying to break it down

No, take time
And maybe you’ll find
That in God’s perfect plan
You’ve got a hand
in your life

Hold on, just a little longer
Stay strong, this’ll all be over

Oh my, my (Oh sweetheart, don’t fall)
Oh my, my (You can’t carry it all)
Oh my, my (Oh darling, just wait)
Oh my, my (In stillness just wait)

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If you’ve been following my blog, or my life at all, you know that this past year was one of loss, and of growth as well. But it hasn’t just been my story, and I know that others are having struggles of their own. I think we all have some similar lessons to learn and I write this in reaching out to those in need, to my friends and my loved ones, to remind them that at times, it’s best to sit still, wait a bit, and listen. This is also a reminder to myself, and a reflection on my own mistakes, in misunderstanding what it meant to love people, and understanding the essential need to love oneself as well. I think if we’re to spread goodness into this world, we must first bring it into our selves.

Between the Sword and Salvation

We are lead out to the desert’s soul
And in strife we seek to find repose
For our weary, and rest for our heavy layden –
Backs broken on our hope
Could it be we’d end up like the walls of Jericho,
Crashed down by trumpets call?
Yet I do not think it so
Cause He’s saved my body from the flames of devastation
There’s still time for our nation
If we could only hope
Find strength in Him who takes our pain and makes us mighty
Him who makes us thirsty
..for His Love.

Oh God, you weep for us,
In your love we trust
And wait upon the King of Kings
Who in time will bring
everlasting…

Oh it’s not just sticks stones,
Not even swords could break these bonds
Of constant adoration, to the king of all nations
Just hail Immanuel,
For in a little while he’ll fell
The greatest of opponents, our selfish machinations
… and our pride

But Oh God, you weep for us, In your love we trust
And wait upon the King of Kings
Who in time will bring
everlasting…

Here I am, I wait and I will not despair or doubt for he is with me now
Through sand and time, I’ll stay and magnify the Lord of Hosts who leads me to life

But Oh God, you weep for us, In your love we trust
And wait upon the King of Kings
Who in time will bring
everlasting…

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This past weekend I attended an really wonderful retreat that allowed me to think and process. It also gave me hope that my own personal desert isn’t endless, at that at some point, I will be renewed, rebuilt, redeemed. This song is the result of my inspiration from the weekend, which draws on themes from Israel’s exile and their history as articulated by the Tanakh. Always, God kept a place for the remnant, and in time rebuilt His people. I leave the end of the chorus, “everlasting,” trailing, because in my mind, the promise is more than just everlasting life. It is everlasting love, hope, joy, peace, contentment and more.

The Anthem of the Meek

I will not give up… this

There’s a lesson we all must learn sometime about this life. That it’s not whether we live or die, for me wall must die.
Oh, listen dear sisters, listen dear brothers; hear as I speak the words of the meek andthe defeated children, the sons and of daughters of love.

Give us strength.
Set our hearts on fire.
We must not give up.
Raise us up,
So through our love  they will see
We were meant to be

I will not give up.

The dissonant sound of a world that died will not outshine this chorus of angels; won’t you join with us, sing with us?
Join with the choir.  The voices lift higher as we sing one song to carry on the anthem of open, hope-filled prayers of love.

Give us strength.
Set our hearts on fire.
We must not give up.
Raise us up,
So through our love  they will see
We were meant to be

I will not give up.

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A theme appears in a lot of my music – one of internal strife, feelings of pressure and difficulty with life in general. Although I do not think I can claim any real understanding of suffering, I have at least tasted what it despair feels like in the mind. It occured to me, during this latest season, that it is not enough to simply wallow in our undoing, but that we should, as much as possible, rise above it and conquer it.

In writing this, I recalled some of the beatitudes, where you meet a collection of marginalized people who, through Christ, are offered this different kind of life. A life of great victory in their small existence. One of grand purpose, despite their meager disposition. And what is the greatest thing man can do but love?

It is the desperate who pray, the ones who have nothing left, the ones who can hope, beyond hope that there is redemption and new life beyond the boundaries of what merely is now. These meek and lowly ones know how to love, because love, and not any other machinations of man, gives them life and purpose.

 Perhaps I can learn from these, and perhaps we all can, when we learn of love from everyone around us, and from God, and radiate it into the world. Perhaps in love, we can find that all of us have a common purpose.

Substance

Tell me can you see me? Is there something to believe in now?
Cause this vessel is just empty and I can’t see past this…

Decades of slavery hoping that I somehow could change the marks of my birth
But I’m bound to the same haunted hole; with nothing to find
But the memories and mistakes and things I could never take back
Still I swear that none this is me. I swear that none of this is me

Hunting after the substance: just like dream – whisping away like my fantasies.
Nothing static but the fog that covers my sight
So close to capture the one thing I need to be
But my soul just keeps evading me, a spirit that just cannot sleep

Tell me can you see me? Is there something to believe in now?
Cause this vessel is just empty and I can’t see past this…

Complex story, a plot that blows me away, and leads me astray
Like a character who can’t see the satire made of his life
Chasing after the icon that defines my being, it’s all that I am
But I don’t know that….
I don’t know that..
I don’t know who I am

Whoever said that we should see
And know our true identity
I’m sorry, it’s not that easy
As all the years have passed me by
I’m starting now to realize
I don’t know me, I just don’t know me
With every breath I gasp to take
I see the irony of fate
That I’m dying; I was born dying
The time it’s taken me to learn
That all I’ve done is just return
To my lifeless, hopeless, empty self

This is the lot and the hollowness we feel inside
When we don’t have you…

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Lately I’ve been finding myself in a place where it is difficult to determine some of the things that make up the core of my character. Determining one’s beliefs, strengths and weaknesses are difficult things to do – and it is more likely to be a lifelong process. Nevertheless, sometimes I feel like I’ve gotten so far to just return back to zero, and that’s a disheartening thought.

Throughout the piece there exists this constant searching for the intangible soul. This is the “substance” that drives us, makes us human, and gives us heart. The symbols of bondage at the beginning present this idea that when we’re consumed by our sinful natures, finding our souls (and their fulfilment) is especially difficult – almost hopeless. Even though this song speaks of despair – and outright hopelessness, there’s the realization that this is the result of my own distance from God. Indeed, without the touch of the divine, we are hollow.

Quadrality

I am the island. Between myself and the rest of the known world are vast, trackless expanses of wet desert. No one comes to my shores, and the life within them is bound by the endless blue. When the storms come and go, there is nothing to fortify my beaches, no force to rebuild my fauna.

I am the sailor. Across the waters of possibilities I pass. I am the bearer of goodwill, of economy, of life. On my ship, I carry the esoteric and exotic wisdom of far off lands. But in me, there is no rest, and I long for solid ground, a place to call home. I long for the world to bring me herself.

I am the ocean. My shallows teem with life, and my reefs reveal the vivid colors of a world that moves and breathes. But I am a world, beyond borders. My depths are dark, unreachable, unsearchable, unfathomable. I am the cold killer and those who come to me without knowledge of this will perish in solitary graves, and I will consume them.

I am the terra sola. Unique in a family of celestial bodies. I am neither the first, nor the last. I am stable, and constant in my ways. But there is no other like me, and when one looks to the stars, they will say “how rare this small place is.”