In the classic sense, “For His Good Pleasure” is a collection of program music pieces (sound tracks) composed as settings for specific scriptures or messages from my heart. I have always struggled to find words to express the passions of my heart. However, I hope this music penetrates your spirit with messages far deeper than words. If you find time to “soak in” and allow the music to speak, I pray that you will be blessed..
Wikipedia defines Classical Program Music this way...
“Program music is a term usually applied to any musical composition in the classical music tradition in which the piece is designed according to some preconceived narrative, or is designed to evoke a specific idea and atmosphere. This is distinct from the more traditional absolute music, popular in the Baroque and Classical eras, in which the piece has no narrative program or ideas, and is simply created for music's sake. Musical forms such as Symphonic Poem, Ballade, Suite, Overture and some compositions in freer forms are named as program music since they intended to bring out extra-musical elements like sights and incidents.”
A classical example is “Pictures in Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky who composed the suite as an imaginary tour of the Russian artist and architect, Viktor Hartmann. The music was written to accompany an exhibition of over 400 works of art by Mr. Hartmann and the music was played as the art was being viewed.
While the title of each sound track may provide a glimpse to its message, I have provided brief descriptions and hope the listener will be inspired.
Healing in His Wings
“But for you who revere My Name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” Malachi 4:2 (NRSV)
Following my open heart surgery, I was able to comprehend this passage in a new light even though I know my healing is temporary. I know that God intervened so that I might be alive today. I am extremely grateful for the rejuvenation I feel and the new season I have been given. But this passage has a much more profound meaning.
Ann and I lost our 18 month old son in a drowning accident 30 years ago. While the pain subsided over time, we are forever marked by our loss. Christopher was in the hospital for 10 days before passing away. We pleaded with God for Christopher’s healing because we know we serve a God that does heal. But God finally showed me that I was holding on to death, not life. Even though I pleaded with God, His answer never changed. During the weeks that followed our son’s passing, I cried out to God, “Why did you not heal my son?”. Then I heard Him answer “I did…, I did my son”.
Take Me Safely Home
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7 (NASB)
While I have attempted to add lyrics to this song, the title is the hook line of the song, “Take me safely home”. There is a hymn, “Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing”, with the words “prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love”.
This song is my prayer to finish my life’s course in a manner that truly pleases Him.
Hannah’s Song (both a purpose and a message)
“Train up a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
Ann (my wife) and I look for moments to challenge or inspire our grandchildren according to the gifts that God has given them. In the year preceding my heart surgery, I wrote a piano piece for my granddaughter, Hannah. She showed a natural musical talent but was struggling with practicing her piano. With an understanding of her technical ability, I wanted to encourage her to pursue her gift. The piano piece was designed to inspire her, to expand her harmonic understanding and challenge her musical expression.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. “ Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
The message is about those discords in life that become the turning points for great beauty. For those musical theory buffs, the song begins with a dissonant chord that resolves and later uses abrupt “common tone key changes”; all pointing to the unexpected events God can use to create something new in us to bless others if we let Him. If we cling to Him through those painful experiences of our lives, God promises to take those discords and create something truly beautiful in His time.
Springs of Living Water
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me…from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38. (NASB)
The Father’s Love
“The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” John 16:27 (NIV)
I wrote this song over 30 years ago. The song is in the style of an old romantic movie theme. I played this piece for all of my daughters’ weddings and was fortunate to have performed it again for my wife in Le Jules Verne Restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris for our 25th wedding anniversary. This piece has duel messages. While the romanticism of this composition is about my love for my daughters and family, it is truly about our Father’s love for us.
Joy after the Storm
“.. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5b
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy”… Psalm 30:11a
Storms can help us see more clearly. He has the power to transform loss to peace, mourning to joy, even fear to exhilaration. After the storms we gain new freedom when we allow His Joy to change us. In those times we are better able to identify the things that should be cherished while letting go of things that should not be valued as they once were.
Where Honor Stood
"No one can have greater love than to give his life for his friends." John 15:13 (NLV)
I have visited places where men and women have courageously sacrificed their lives for others. Each time I have a deep sense of holiness and great introspection as I begin to grasp the enormity of their sacrifices and pondered the events around those sacrifices. This is a tribute to men of honor and their great sacrifices.
Faithful to Save
“But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears…. He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.” Psalms 18:6 & 16 (NLT)
There are moments where I have felt distressed and cried for His help and have experienced His faithful rescue. While this composition was never meant to have words, there is one melodic line near the end of the piece after the orchestra drops out leaving just the piano and a clarinet where the melody implies the words, “My God is Faithful to Save”.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
While the melody is not the same, I have taken words from the hymn to apply to this melody.
Great is Thy Faithfulness,
Great is Thy Faithfulness,
unto me, unto me
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
Thou changes not, Thy compassions, they fail not.
God of Wonder
but the wonder I see is always new.
To Dance for His Pleasure
“For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation” Psalm 149:4 (ESV)
This was the fifth piece I wrote for the album. The melody came to me early on a Monday Morning shortly after I awoke. I immediately began writing and tracking this composition as it came to me, and I gradually began to envision its balletic story line. The orchestration… everything… came so smoothly that I knew He was leading me at every step. This piece was composed, orchestrated, recorded and mixed in 5 days from start to finish. On the third day, I was overcome with deep emotion as I truly felt His pleasure. Suddenly I understood what the title of the album must be and why I must complete it.
In my mind I envision a storyline of 4 seasons in a woman’s life who loved to dance: First as a young girl, then as a young woman, next as a middle aged woman, and finally as an elderly woman who reflects back on her life. For each season, she dances for her Heavenly Father to the best of her ability with total abandonment. But of course there is a significant change in both her skill and strength that corresponds to the struggle of each season in her life. Yet at each season she grows in a deeper understanding of His favor as she dances for His Pleasure.