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Looking Back…and Forward 

Recently I was interviewed by David Welker, a long-time Vineyard pastor in Ohio, USA.  (You can access this video on this right side of this website page).  David asked me some questions about my history in the Anaheim Vineyard and in the whole Vineyard movement.       Looking back on my life always brings up a lot of gratitude and amazement for all the good times.  It reminds me that everything in life is a gift—even the things we work hard to accomplish.  As Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.”

In this interview we talk about all kinds of things, including how God inspires us to write songs, and a few specific stories of the magic (Holy Spirit) of song-gifts.  We discussed how God enables us to work with one another even though we are all imperfect human beings.  It’s essential that our faith is in God, not in one another.  Our of our trust in God, we are faithful to love and forgive one another.

Also in the past month, I spent a weekend at the Mountain Vineyard in Washington State.  My long-time friend JimmyJohn Morris is the pastor there.  We reminisced about stories from the early 90’s—the great expectation we had to meet with God when we gathered at worship conferences. Tony, a lifer at the Mountain Vineyard (and a really good drummer in the worship band) reminded me that it was 1988 when I first visited that church.  A mere 35 years ago!

After all these years, I am looking forward to whatever is coming next.  I believe God is going to bring as season of awe and wonder to the worldwide church in the years to come.  Bring it on, Lord! 

“God is Love” Song Story 

I am inspired to write songs for many reasons.  One way I catch a vision for a new song begins with seeing a need.  I sometimes do music for a dinner outreach to needy people.  It’s one expression of Nightshift, near where l live in Surrey ( 

As we play and sing, looking out over the crowd, you see a lot of abused folks who came from broken homes and have struggled to survive on every level – emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually.  Many of them did not have a safe family of origin.  Home wasn’t a place they wanted to be. 

Seeing this group—a mix of the working poor, wandering teenagers, addicts, sex-trade workers and homeless—inspired me to write, “God is Love.” 

God is Love 

Have you been struck down, have you been bruised 

In danger and so afraid? 

Have you been slandered, hurt and abused 

And you barely have the strength to pray? 

There is a home, there is a shelter, 

There is a hiding place 

Jesus is here, his healing is near you today 


God is love, pouring like a waterfall over you 

Taking all your pain, taking all your bitterness away 

God is love, crashing like a breaker over you 

Darkness and death can no longer hold on to you 

Verse 2 

He’s your defender, he’s your protector, 

Run to the shadow of his wings 

Rest like a baby, in his tender mercy, 

There is healing in his wings 

He is your home, he is your shelter, 

He is your hiding place 

Jesus is here, his healing is near you today 


This is the kingdom, this is the life, 

It’s what you’ve been waiting for 

This is the freedom, this is the love, 

It’s what he has made you for

City of Light 

City of Light is the first track on the Bring Your Healing Love EP.  It’s a reggae tune that I’ve played a lot at Nightshift, a ministry in my city that serves a nightly meal to people in need.  The theme of the song is taken from the book of Revelation, which describes heaven as a shining city:  “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” 

We can experience some the blessings of heaven now – unity among people of all backgrounds, peace, inclusiveness, helping and sharing with one another and celebration.   Seeing a picture of heaven makes us long for the “full meal deal” and it should also make us pray for and work towards bringing heaven now, 

JKA Smith, in his book, You are What You Love,  describes well this concept:   “Christian worship should tell a story that makes us want to set sail for the immense sea that is the Triune God, birthing in us a longing for “a better country—a heavenly one” that is kingdom come (Heb. 11: 16). The biblical vision of shalom—of a world where the Lamb is our light, where swords are beaten into ploughshares, where abundance is enjoyed by all, where people from every tribe and tongue and nation sing the same song of praise, where justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an everlasting stream.”

Bring Your Healing Love - New EP Available Now! 

It is with great joy that I introduce my new 4-song EP called Bring Your Healing Love.  And it is available right here at  Sometime in early December it will also be available on itunes and many other music sites. 

I enjoyed working on this project last summer and I am happy with the end result.  Some wonderful musical contributions were made by a variety of friends.  The song featured on the above video is called Glory be to the Father.   

The lyrics of this tune are taken partly from the Episcopal (Anglican) liturgy that I grew up with in Los Angeles. 

There’s an interesting variety of Celtic rock, reggae, world music and folk rock on this short project.  Hope you like it!

The Joy of a Songwriting Circle 

Mallory Gliko was one of eight participants in our Spring 2017 songwriting circle.   Her lovely song, “In Your Presence is just one example of all the good songs that were shared in our meetings.  (See video of this song on right of this page).  Our circle members were from five different Vineyard churches in the greater Vancouver area, plus our friend from Kelowna, Mark Stokes (via facetime). 

We had a great time, sharing our songs, encouraging one another, critiquing songs, laughing and eating popcorn! 

It was fun to see the songs evolve through our 7 sessions.  It’s a very practical way to learn about songwriting – you hear input on the strong and weak points of your song, and how your song could be improved.   Songwriting “rules” and theory become more clear as you listen to feedback from all the group members.   People really progressed in their songwriting ability through these few months.   By the end of the course, several good songs were revised, re-revised and completed. 

It has been said, “most songs are not written, they are re-written.”  Songwriting circles are a great tool for improving your songwriting skills!

I Love to Write Songs 

I have been enjoying writing songs for over forty years.  I started when I was seventeen years old, right after I met the Lord.  Never dreamed that I’d write so many songs and sing them in so many places. 
I write songs for many reasons:  for my own “musical journaling,” for congregational worship, to bring encouraging messages through song both to the church and the pre-Christian audience. 
In my upcoming video tutorials, I’ll share a lot of my experience and pass along wisdom from many other songwriters and authors. 
Series 2 (coming out in Spring 2017) will include live video interviews with many other songwriters. 
Series 1 of my Songwriting Workshops includes these topics: 
Seven Reasons to Write Songs 
The Gift of Songwriting 
Ten Inspiration Situations 
The Discipline of Songwriting 
Flee Perfectionism 
Dodging the Fame Game 
The Anatomy of a Song Review 
I hope you can take away some helpful thoughts from this series!