Our Song in the Night

Here is a song I wrote for my church‘s lenten series on Lament & Hope. It’s a reflection on Psalm 77 and voices a lot of the struggles that our family has experienced in the past year. I think it’s clear listening through it, but the “turn” in the bridge from our struggle and questions to the suffering of Jesus is something we’ve taken comfort in. Nicholas Wolterstorff says it beautifully in his book, “Lament for a Son“:

“How is faith to endure, O God, when you allow all this scraping and tearing on us? You have allowed rivers of blood to flow, mountains of suffering to pile up, sobs to become humanity’s song–all without lifting a finger that we could see. You have allowed bonds of love beyond number to be painfully snapped. If you have not abandoned us, explain yourself.

We strain to hear. But instead of hearing an answer we catch sight of God himself scraped and torn. Through our tears we see the tears of God.”


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O Troubled Soul, Be Still

Finally something new! So much has happened since I last posted something on this site. There are a few hundred entries on our family blog explaining our son’s battle with leukemia, and I wrote up some thoughts about this song there as well, so I’ll just put the lyrics and recording link here.

O Troubled Soul, Be Still

listen to a recording

Be still, O troubled soul, be still;
Fear not, the Father holds you near.
Take up your cross, lay down your will,
And bring him all your fears,
And bring him all your fears.

O anxious soul, lay down your load,
Oh, hear His voice, He speaks to thee,
“Be still and know that I am God,
And cast your cares on Me.
Cast your cares on Me”

O fearful soul, be still, be still,
Be of good cheer; has He not said,
“I will be with you, fear no ill,
I am here, be not afraid“?
I am here, be not afraid“?

O waiting soul, be still, be strong,
And though He tarry, trust and wait;
Doubt not, He will not wait too long,
Fear not, He won’t be late.
Fear not, He won’t be late.

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Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

This has become a favorite at Hope Chapel over the past couple of years. How can you not love “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven…who, like me, his praise should sing”? This is my retuning, although there are lots of other great tunes out there as well.

Recording | Chart

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I Surrender All

Here is a live recording of Judson Van De Venter’s late 19th-century hymn ‘I Surrender All’. This hasn’t been in the regular cannon of songs at Hope Chapel, but it happened to be a very fitting sending song a few weeks ago. We used the slightly reworked lyrics by Caedmon’s Call (most notable change may be in very 2 where they substitute “treasures” in place of “pleasures” so that the line reads “Worldly treasures all forsaken…”).

Recording | Chord Chart

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Blessed Assurance

Here’s a recording of Fanny Crosby’s “Blessed Assurance” from a worship service at Hope Chapel about a month ago. A great reminder that for the Christian, the work is done and “all is at rest”.

Recording | Chord Chart

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New music!

Hello! It has been a long while since I’ve posted anything here, but I’ve got some new music to share with you. First off, I’m going to be participating in a songwriting challenge called 7in7, starting today. For the next week I’ll be writing a song each day and posting a demo recording of it. What a challenge. Here’s the first one: https://soundcloud.com/michaelvanpatter/what-could-be. It’s a little song about living in the present.

Secondly, my band Meager Fare released a 6-song EP in January. You can check it out on our store, or on iTunes or Amazon music.

Third, I’m going to be posting some arrangements of hymns that you’ll know in the coming weeks. They are live recordings from services at Hope Chapel Greensboro and are mostly our versions of some traditional hymns. Stay tuned for those.

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New Christmas record from Hope Chapel

Jesus ComesHope Chapel, where I serve as director of worship arts, just released a Christmas record and you can get it for free here: http://hopechapel.bandcamp.com/album/jesus-came-jesus-comes. I produced and arranged everything, along with my friend (and worship intern!) Griffin Kale. It’s completely in-house, from the musicians and singers to recording, mixing, and mastering. We even had a group of 20 or so folks sing in a stairwell after the worship service one day (you’ll hear them on tracks 1 and 6).

Along with the music, your download will include a PDF with chord charts for all of the arrangements– maybe some of you are still looking for Christmas music to use in worship services this season. Hope it can be useful to you!

I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to email me at michaelvanpatter [at] gmail.com.

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