For His Own Sake

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2014 by partainwordsandmusic

There are some songs that you get pregnant with and you can’t help but finally just to let it out. This is one of those songs. Whether through my own life or through the deep suffering of dear friends, I have been working through this aspect of our walk with Jesus. What does it mean to love the almighty God when he allows calamity? What should we expect in this life? After spending much time in the word and prayer, after trying to teach these truths to myself and those around me, this song comes and it sums up one of the largest truths that has emerged during this season. That I do not love God for what he does for me. I love him for who he is alone. That is what it means to really love. He is worthy of my love, my strength, my devotion and honor. And it is not just that I am obliged to give my everything to him. I want to. In fact, there is nothing I want more than to give my all to my God. This song was recorded live in worship on Palm Sunday.

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Vocals: Nathan Partain, Katherine Green, Kyle Ragsdale
Guitar: Nathan Partain
Violin: Wes Lackey
Accordion: Corinn Gove
Bass: Joe Wheeler
Percussion: Brian Allee

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For His Own Sake            (Listen/Download)      (Chord Chart)

I have seen the bright birth of the morning,
I have worked through the sweat of the day.
I have laughed as the summer rains poured down from heaven,
and I’ve harvested oceans of grain.

I have worked and I’ve worked and had nothing,
I have prayed and I’ve prayed but no rain,
I have lost to the fire, storm and locust,
And woke up to find all my land left in shame.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

I have made the mistake that my blessing,
Means the favor of God on my ways,
And thought every hardship, his anger against me,
And cried out in darkness for grace.

Now I know that his kindness is steadfast,
He has anchored my soul in his peace,
So that suffering is now just the pangs of my hunger,
to know the embrace of my King.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

I have learned that this world is not truest,
There’s a hope held securely beyond,
And since Jesus has suffered through my own destruction,
I entrust my all to my God.

I have seen deepest loss bring rejoicing,
Seen a mother with her stillborn sing praise,
I have seen those abused and those ravaged by sickness,
Through tears and in anguish give thanks.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

Your Beloved is Ready

Posted in Offertory on January 27, 2014 by partainwordsandmusic

PANO_20131224_203048Here is a song I wrote for Advent last month. I wrote it in an effort to depict the church as she really is in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I wanted to describe the beauty of her holiness and the intimacy of her love and relationship with her God. It was meant to entice and draw the Lord himself toward the one he died for, as if he needed someone to remind him of his beloved, his delight and joy. It was meant to be a vision for us, to remember who we are as the church and what it looks like to shine like stars in the depraved generation so that we might also yearn to be this beautiful for our Savior. It was also meant to be another sung-prayer added to the thousands of years of prayers that the church has cried out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” It was recorded live during worship on December 8th.

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Vocals: Nathan Partain, Kyle Ragsdale, Andrea Homoya
Guitar: Nathan Partain
Fiddle: Kipp Normand
Mandolin: Shawn Collins
Banjo: Kyle Edgell
Washboard: Elyce Elder
Bass: Rob Meyer
Percussion: Brian Allee

Photograph: Jamie MacGregor

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Your Beloved is Ready     (listen/download)     (chords)

She has saved her whole heart for you Lord,
She has kept her eyes pure for you Lord.
She has waited and waited, while her hungers were raging,
To taste only the love of her Lord.

She has set her delight in you Lord,
She has stayed all her thoughts on you Lord.
She has stilled her desires, all her tossing and straying,
She has put all her hope in you Lord.

You have washed her for the day of her wedding,
Promised yourself, by your Spirit abiding.
In the earthquakes and war, Lord, can you hear her singing,
Her arms are raised high, she is radiant, she is holy,
Your beloved is ready.

She has shut out the greed of her soul,
Scoffs at scarcity, rotting and mold.
She has given so freely, to the mean and unworthy,
She’s so loved that she cannot withhold.

She surrendered her fight for control,
She has waived every right that she holds.
She wiped out all the debts that she’d demanded from others,
Cause she knew that she’d owed so much more.

You have washed her for the day of her wedding,
Promised yourself, by your Spirit abiding.
In the earthquakes and war, Lord, can you hear her singing,
Her arms are raised high, she is radiant, she is holy,
Your beloved is ready.

She has torn up her murderous laws,
Her comparing and searching for flaws.
But you’ve made her so humble, holding others so highly,
That her joy has been filled to the full.

She took off her pretense for you Lord,
She confessed all her shame to you Lord.
She came out of her hiding, to be know so profoundly,
She’s so free she can dance for you Lord.

You have washed her for the day of her wedding,
Promised yourself, by your Spirit abiding.
In the earthquakes and war, Lord, can you hear her singing,
Her arms are raised high, she is holy, she is radiant,
Your beloved is ready.

The Lord will Provide

Posted in Offertory, Rewritten Hymn on August 28, 2013 by partainwordsandmusic

Here is a John Newton hymn (1775) that I rewrote a while back. While I was writing the tune and especially the refrain, I had a picture in my mind of the people of God going through hard times. I saw them traveling from one place to another on pilgrimage or on the run, weary and in need and I wanted to put a song in their mouths for their encouragement. I also wrote it with a call and response type refrain in mind so that the worshiping community would be repeating to themselves the promise of God’s help rooted in his action of purchasing us through the death of his son.

I recorded it in my office and Rebekah Osborn joined in with harmony.

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The Lord will Provide       (listen/download)     (chord chart)

The birds, without garner or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn to trust God for our bread.
His saints what is fitting shall ne’er be denied
Just as long as it’s written, “The Lord will provide.”

Though troubles assail us and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite,
Just one thing secures us, whatever betide,
His Spirit assures us, “The Lord will provide.”

Leader: And this promise remains,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: Through all ages unchanged,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: In all our want, in our pain,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: Faithful through all of our days.

When Satan assails us to stop up our path,
And courage all fails us, we stand but by faith.
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart glad’ning gospel, “The Lord will provide.”

We’re told we are weak, and our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek we never shall obtain,
But when such suggestions, our graces have tried,
This answers all questions, “The Lord will provide.”

Leader: And this promise remains,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: Through all ages unchanged,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: In all our want, in our pain,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: Faithful through all of our days.

No strength of our own and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Savior’s great Name,
We run to this strong tow’r and for safety we hide:
For the Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.”

When life sinks apace, and death is in view,
The word of His grace shall comfort us through,
Not fearing or doubting, with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, “The Lord will provide.”

Leader: And this promise remains,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: Through all ages unchanged,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: In all our want, in our pain,
People: Our Lord has redeemed us, Our Lord will provide
Leader: Faithful through all of our days.

Love is a Gift but It’s not Free

Posted in Offertory on June 13, 2013 by partainwordsandmusic

This is a song I wrote for an offertory during worship in late March. It came out of a season where, as a community, we were dwelling on the immense cost of real relationship, what the overused-misunderstood word “love” means and what was spent for God to “love” us through his son. Most of our relationships are surface. Unfortunately, even some of our relationships that are supposed to be our closest, relationships we think are deep, can remain somewhat surface for our whole life. To really know someone, to see their true beauty and their irreparably deep brokennes, to accept them even when they cannot love you well in return or even when to love them is to endure pain, this is completely amazing. It is almost nonexistent among humanity (although we get glimpses of it from time to time) but this is what the word “love” means. This kind of love can never be earned, it must only be received but it is never free. It comes at immense cost to the giver.

I recorded this in my office last month.

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Love is a Gift but It’s not Free       (listen/download)      (chord chart)

Love is a gift, but it’s not free.
Love gives and gives until it bleeds.
Love doesn’t try to even keep it’s dignity,
Love is a gift, but it’s not free.

Love is so simple, but it’s not easy.
Love is forgiveness before apology.
Love, bruised and beaten, moves toward its enemy.
Love is so simple, but it’s not easy.

Love, I need you.
Love, desperately.
Love, I cannot reach you.
Love, come for me.

Love is so gentle but its not weak,
Love crushed the head of Depravity.
Love marches steadfast in the flood of entropy.
Love is so gentle but its not weak.

Love, I need you.
Love, desperately.
Love, I cannot reach you.
Love, come for me.

Love is a savior, Christ Jesus my King.
Love took my judgment on the tree.
Love traded splendor for my vulgarity.
Love is a savior, Jesus my King

Love, I need you.
Love, desperately.
Love, I cannot reach you.
Love, come for me.

Emmanuel, Part II

Posted in Offertory on May 30, 2013 by partainwordsandmusic

So this song is harder for me to post and requires a bit more explanation. It draws from the second half of the Beatitudes in the gospel according to Luke where Jesus gives not just the “Blessed be” but also the “Woe” (Luke 6:24-26). Jesus is saying that in his kingdom everything will be different. The poor will be rich and the rich will be poor. The cast out will be brought in and those who are now accepted will be cast out. The hungry will be satisfied and the fat will waste away. But the other scary thing about this is that the woes in this sermon are for the religious. He is warning the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the sanhedrin, the chief priests.

This song was originally written for Palm Sunday in 2012. Its seed was the image of the children who were calling out to Jesus, “Save us!”, as he rode into Jerusalem. They were begging for relief from the rule of the Romans who taxed and raped and split apart families. And Jesus’ silent answer to them was, “No. Not yet.”. He instead came to save them from Satan and from their sin so that they would be safe no matter what the Romans did. In fact he also wanted to save them from the righteous reformers (the Pharisees) as well. He wanted them to have a relationship with God as their Father. Not just a reciprocal business transaction. He wanted to give them a relationship of love, not one driven by fear or threat. He was going to save them from hypocrisy and adopt them into his family. He was going to die for them, rise for them, reign for them, intercede for them, prepare a place for them and then come again to deal, once and for all, with the Romans and the Pharisees.

And he is coming back.

He is not going to leave the abusers in this world forever unchecked. And when he comes, Emmanuel – God with us, the whole mechanism of the world with its fear and danger, with its molesting and trickery, with its false prophets and self-righteous, he is going to bring the whole thing down in judgement into a chest high river of blood until all the earth is still and the new heavens and the new earth come to their fruition with the beautification of all things in Christ. And those little children crying “Save us!” will be shouting “Hallelujah!”

And there will be peace forever.

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Emmanuel, Part II       (listen/download)      (chord chart)

He comes to raise the meek and make them reign,
While the arrogant drown in a river of their own blood.
He comes to set the lowly on their thrones,
While the proud strewn out naked in the dust.

He comes to bring the whole machine to an end,
To suddenly spill the over-brimming glass,
With the cries of his children still ringing in his ears,
He turns their foes to ash.
The hour of favor is closing, soon breaks the day of wrath.

He comes to make Peace a city where his people dwell,
While bloodthirsty scoffers are eaten by their very own words.
He comes to bring the orphans into his home,
While the rich and fat and greedy lie covered with flies.

He comes to bring the whole machine to an end,
To suddenly spill the over-brimming glass,
With the cries of his children still ringing in his ears,
He turns their foes to ash.
The hour of favor is closing, soon breaks the day of wrath.

Today is the day the Christ Jesus awaits,
Though his eyes never close over all the depraved.
For a sentence has fallen on all he has made,
Built for love but instead cannot help but to hate.
Now this season of harvest is starting to fade,
While the impartial arm of God’s judgment is raised,
Hear His plea echo out into every place,
“Come take my life for yours, turn to me, receive grace!”

He comes to wash the sinners with his blood,
While the righteous in anguish are clawing at the walls outside.
He gathers all his adopted in his arms,
And throws their infected garments into the fire.

He comes to bring the whole machine to an end,
To suddenly spill the over-brimming glass,
With the cries of his children still ringing in his ears,
He turns their foes to ash.
The hour of favor is closing, soon breaks the day of wrath.

Emmanuel, Part I

Posted in Offertory on May 23, 2013 by partainwordsandmusic

This is a song that I wrote for Advent this year and finally got a chance to record it last week in my office.  This song focuses on the incarnation and what it means for Jesus to come and live as one of us and how that changes our lives with a new calling to extend his life on earth.

Next week I will post Emmanuel, Part II which I wrote for Palm Sunday.

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Emmanuel, Part I      (listen/download)     (chord chart)

He comes to be the Word that all words are judged by.
He comes to be the Light that all lights are seen by.
He comes to be the Blood that all debts are paid by.
He comes to be the Word that all words are judged by.

Emmanuel

He comes to bring some rest to the heavy laden.
He comes to gut the one who abused his children.
He comes to burn all memories of Satan.
He comes to bring some rest to the heavy laden.

Emmanuel

We beheld him, we have seen God’s face.
We have touched him, God with us remained.
We received him, we believed
In his name,
In his name,
In his name.

He comes to lift our heads to proclaim his witness,
He comes to dwell in us to reflect his radiance,
He comes to send us out, his incarnate presence,
He comes to lift our heads to proclaim his witness.

Emmanuel

When he comes again then we will be always with him.

I have so Little Faith

Posted in Offertory on March 14, 2013 by partainwordsandmusic

This is an offertory I wrote back in December for worship during advent. Each year I struggle to try to understand and express the incarnation of God: how unthinkable and appalling it is, how strange it is, how I wish I could have known Jesus on earth and how I long to see him in his glorified body and how I have a hard time believing. So why am I posting this Advent song so close to Easter? (other than the fact that I am just running behind in life) We are about to celebrate as a global church, Jesus dying a real death, not just a spiritual one, for our sake and Jesus rising in his physical body from death. Jesus was intimate with us, walked through our pollution, got it in his lungs and on his face and hands, and then redeemed it on the cross to make all things new. He know reigns in his physical human body in the heavenly realms. He did not just save us and shed his flesh. He continues to share humanity with us as he lives to intercede for us.

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I have so Little Faith       (listen/download)       (chord chart)

Lord can I touch you, I want to feel your embrace.
I want to hear you, say just about anything
I long with Moses and Elijah, to see your Day
But I have so little faith.

I want to ask, there’s so much I need explained.
I want to fall down with weeping and kiss your feet.
I long to lean on and let you hold all of my weight.
I have so little faith.

O God, now man, you give me hope,
You breathe my breath and touch my sores.
You hear me call, “I am unclean!”
Yet here you are, with me.

I want to love you, O God, you know the truth,
How I have hated and traded my Lord for filth.
I have not wanted to wait here for you in my pain.
I have so little faith.
I have so little faith

O God, now man, you give me hope,
You breathe my breath and touch my sores.
You hear me call, “I am unclean!”
Yet here you are, with me.

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