Category Archives: songs of encouragement

Reach for the Sky

This song was written in the first year that we came to New Zealand but took longer to finally get recorded! It captured some of my feelings around leaving ‘old familiar places, faces’ and the fact that ‘now we’re worlds apart, learning to trust our hearts’.  However, we all have life to live, dreams to follow and new roads to head down. After all, today’s the day to reach for the sky!

It is our usual crowd playing along: Ian and Simon on guitar and Simon playing bass.



This song was written in response to a friend who lost both her parents in quick succession. I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion for her which was not so much from me but how I felt God felt for her and about her. This was one of those plop-on-the-page songs. I feel it is a song that is for so many of us on the journey of life. Some of us have parents that have encouraged us and others (for whatever reason) have not. This song expresses my feeling that my Father in heaven knows, understands and sees our ‘child’ hearts – those deepest longings, fears, desires, questions – and loves us!! Just loves us!! If you ever wondered if anyone cared, despite the circumstances of life – a resounding ‘yes’ is what I hope you feel through this song!

Journey of the Heart (Gill’s Song)

This song was written for a friend of ours who worked at the same school as us in Taupo. She had had quite  a few complications getting into New Zealand with regards lots of red tape. She is a delightful person with an open heart and beautiful eyes. This was written for her for her farewell with the Science department of which her and Ian were part of, when she had to make a journey back to Ireland for family reasons.

Ian is on guitar, Simon on bass and I am on piano and flute.

Breathe (Julie’s Song)

This song was written a few years ago but is dedicated to a beautiful friend of mine. Her and I talk a lot about ‘breathing’. I love our deep and meaningful conversations that we manage to have in the business and demands of our teaching jobs. In the mish-mash of our lives we sometimes crowd out the very things that give us life and hope and give our lives a sense of well-being. As a result, we end up living our lives in a smaller manner than that for which we were designed. “Breathing” can take many forms: it can be in quiet moments, celebratory happenings, family gatherings, artistic expressions, being truly who you are.

Life is too short to live small. Besides that, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the most expressive, creative, free, extravagant, generous beings that I know. As I relate more and more to them I want to live like they do. I hope this song encourages you to breathe.

There are two versions of this song – a studio version and a live version with Embers.

You Are Coming

While thinking and praying for Ngaruawahia (open the food pits) recently I discovered that the history of Ngaruawahia is actually a love story that brought two tribes together. The thought came to me that the King of kings was coming over the mountains to embrace his people. The sweet fragrance of love is His love, a love that cannot be measured. The classic love story. And we are invited to a feast (Ngaruawahia, which means open the food pits).

Bring on the feast!

Lazy Day

“…..I get the comforting sense it will, just really be You and me, me and You, just us two, free to shoot the breeze and say our say….on this lazy day”. I wrote this song expressing the way I would like to spend my time conversing with God, surrounded by His creation and exclusive one on one time. It does mean putting aside time to do this, and to be honest, in this day and age it remains a constant struggle to quiet the thoughts in my head and the business of my life and not only say what I think and feel, but to let Him have His say as well!

I am still on my mission of learning to ‘breathe’. This word seems to keep appearing in my songs in various forms e.g. waiting, standing still, breathing, breathe. I am much better at doing and need to rest more in being.

This is a live version of this song which we played at Nivara Lounge (a bar lounge in town) in Hamilton together with Ian, Simon and Cheryl who make up Embers. We did a bunch of originals and other songs by other artists e.g. Sting, Crowded House, Seal, etc whom we love to sing as they capture something of the rumour of worship and life.


Chasing the Wind

I wrote this song when I was literally at a crossroads surrounding a job and where I should be and where I would fit in. Whenever I am at that particular place (this was certainly not the first time and most likely will not be the last), I often wonder if I am just chasing the wind or whether it is the Holy Spirit leading me on or sometimes both. It takes some measure of discernment on my part as to the way forward, especially when the way is not fully clear and at times can seem impossible. However, God is ever patient, for which I am entirely grateful.

This song started off with an acoustic feel and then I decided to take a different tack with it. It was recorded over several months as I tried to decide what to do with it (crossroads?).

Fave musicians: Ian on the many guitar tracks – sometimes I think he thinks this is an opportunity to have as many guitar tracks as possible! I have to say, that once he laid the first guitar tracks for the opening of the song, I changed my mind about the feel and sound of the song – so thanks, Ian! Simon, on the hollow body Epiphone, for the great guitar solo, which kind of makes the song for me. The usual loops and sounds are from Logic Audio. One day there may be a drummer on the horizon – just fussy since I have played with just so many awesome drummers. You know who you are!

Ask for the music if you would like it.



Wandering Life

This song was written some time back, but had no bridge, which I felt it needed. As sometimes happens in songwriting, the song sat in one of my song writing books and when playing through it one day, the bridge came to me and so it was back to the recording of the song and finishing it off.

This song is actually for a young friend of mine, who has not had the most straight forward of lives. I often wonder how some people make it through when the odds are stacked against them.

Funnily enough, the recording of this song at this time also coincides with our son making some major decisions in his life, and the way forward. Sometimes one has to breathe and wait……

It is the usual crowd playing with me – Ian on all sorts of guitars, Andrew on 12 string, Simon on bass. I am always grateful for all their input. I love it when it starts off with just piano and vocal and becomes something else when everyone else gets to play.

This is you (Bethany’s song) – Studio version

Here is the studio version of ‘This is You (Bethany’s Song)’.  As I said on the live version, I wrote this for Bethany a while back, but wanted to do the song justice by having other musos play on it. On this version, Simon is playing bass, Ian is on acoustic guitar, I am playing keys and the special guest is Ashley B from England, but originally from South Africa who happened to be visiting us with his dear wife, Tas. Ashley is playing all the haunting electric guitar stuff (multiple tracks) and I am so grateful and feel privileged to have him play on one of my songs. Thanks Ash! It means more to me than you know as you have been with us through many experiences and we so loved having you and Tas here in NZ. There is nothing like doing things with good friends.

Once more I programmed the drums with some help from Ian. Now if only we could have some of our drummer friends come play here with us! You know who you are. Have to say, we have only played with fantastic drummers and have been spoilt for life.

This is for you, Betha!

For Your Pleasure

Php 2:13  for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.

Another John Wordsworth masterpiece, with a little help from his friends. The chorus was written by Simon and bv’s by Cheryl. Inspired by John’s meditation on the above verse in Philippians.

All for His pleasure!