O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Born Again?

Here is my arrangement of the Christmas song, O Little Town of Bethlehem:

“O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today”

Those lyrics of the song remind me of what Jesus had to say about being born again. Ever wonder what it means to be born again?

John doesn’t start his Gospel talking about Christ’s birth like some of the others, but begins by talking about someone else’s birth.

Yours. And mine.

Right there in the first chapter he is talking about you and me:

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

The good news is that if you have believed and accepted Jesus, you have been born again. God has seen to it. It is done.

That’s great news for a lot of fearful souls who doubt their salvation because they aren’t currently living out the truth of the new life they’ve already been given. Thank God that our salvation is based not on our performance but on the performance of Jesus on our behalf (and “as us”).

what is born again?Jesus continues on this theme a couple of chapters later in a conversation with Nicodemus. Here is some of that convo (By sheer “coincidence” I happen to be listening to that same convo from the Gospel of John movie right now! The movie was playing in the background):

“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” John 3 NLT

More Good News!

You will begin to live out the new life you have been given when you give up believing all the enemies lies and begin again to believe the Gospel (the Good News) that you are God’s child and God’s children don’t make a practice of sinning:

“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” 1 John 3:9 NLT

So I’m sure that many of you reading this want to become a child of God. You recognize that you need to be born again and are asking, “How can I be born again? I want in.” Yes, I would too.

Believe and accept Jesus as your Savior. Talk to God about it. Tell him that you want to know him (knowing him is the very definition of eternal life! See John 17:3) Read the Gospel of John to grow in your understanding and relationship with Jesus. Or watch this amazing film of the Gospel of John brought to life. This is Amazing:

If you have believed and accepted Jesus, then God’s Spirit has already begun the work.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT

Isn’t that amazing?

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG

So what is the work he has for you to do? Ask him about it. He will lead you into His perfect plan for you.

Here is an article where you can learn more about being “Born Again”!

A Song for You, Cover of an Alexi Murdoch Song

It could be argued that it is pointless (or even worse) for an artist to do a cover song of someone else’s song unless you can sing or play it better or add something pleasantly unique. Well if you ever listen to the original you will see that this is not the case. So why did I bother covering this song? Well because the words move me. It described me. I can relate to it so perfectly. Besides, it was a fun challenge to learn to sing it well and play that new arpeggiated picking pattern.

I’d warrant that Alexi wrote this for himself as he understands what it is like to feel lost and hurting and endlessly distracting yourself from the pain in your heart.

There is something beautiful in feeling that pain, recognizing the struggle we are all in and just being honest with and having compassion on ourselves.

So here’s my cover of Alexi’s poignant song:

So today I wrote a song for you
Cause a day can get so long
And I know it’s hard to make it through
When you say there’s something wrong

So I’m trying to put it right
Cause I want to love you with my heart
All this trying has made me tired
And I don’t know even where to start

Maybe that’s a start

For you know it’s a simple game
That you play filling up your head with rain
And you know you’ve been hiding from your pain
In the way, in the way you say your name

And I see you
Hiding your face in your hands
Flying so you won’t land
You think no one understands
No one understands

So you hunch your shoulders and you shake your head
And your throat is aching but you swear
No one hurts you, nothing could be sad
Anyway you’re not here enough to care

And you’re so tired you don’t sleep at night
As your heart is trying to mend
You keep it quiet but you think you might
Disappear before the end

And it’s strange how you cannot find
Any strength to even try
To find a voice to speak your mind
When you do, all you wanna do is cry

Well maybe you should cry

And I see you hiding your face in your hands
Talking ’bout far-away lands
You think no one understands
Listen to my hands

And all of this life
Moves around you
For all that you claim
You’re standing still
You are moving too
You are moving too
You are moving too
I will move with you

And you really should hear Alexi Murdoch sing it:

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing


Sing along and pray this prayer put to music, from our album Reflect Hymn:

Download this song (and more!) for “Name Your Price” Here: www.reflect.bandcamp.com or you can visit here and learn more about our efforts to get this album into nursing homes.

Reflect Hymn-150x150Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson (1757) Robert Robinson was what you would call an “unruly child.” At only eight years old his father died, and he was raised by his loving mother. In spite of Robert’s intellectual giftedness, he had a penchant for mischief. Robert’s mother sent him off for an apprenticeship when he was only 14, but once he got out of the home his life got worse. Instead of working and learning, Robert chose drinking, gambling, and carousing with the wrong crowd. Caught up in his reckless life, Robert and his friends decided to go to an evangelist meeting one night just to heckle the preacher, George Whitfield. Sitting in that meeting however, Robert felt as if the preacher’s words were meant for him alone. He couldn’t shake the feeling that God wanted him to surrender his life and serve him. When he was twenty, Robinson gave his life to God and entered the Christian ministry. At the age of 22, he wrote the song “Come Thou Fount,” for his church’s Pentecost celebration. It was written as his own spiritual story — a story of pursuing pleasure and joy, and only experiencing it when “Jesus sought me.” Millions of believers can relate to Robinson’s testimony — “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,” and the glorious testimony, “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!”

Interested in more behind the song? Check out this video!


Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I lay my life before Thee, Hither by Thy help I come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God
He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood

Oh to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above

Words and Music by Robert Robinson and John Wyeth
Public Domain

A Song for the Awakening

This is one of my favorite new songs I have written. I was in Sturgeon Bay and had some time between concerts and so I stopped in at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. They have this amazing foyer that they have opened up during the week as a coffee shop. They provide cookies and muffins and coffee and you donate what you’d like or want… if you can. They play Christian music and it is really quite nice! (Great idea for your church too!)

Anyways as I was driving there I sensed that I was going to write a song. It was meant to be and somehow I knew it. And then, wow, it turned out so well, I couldn’t be more pleased!


LYRICS & Chords:

You Make All Things New

You make all things new, You make all things new
Like the dawn breaking after the night
You make all things new, You make all things new
We are drawn to your beauty and light

We are made a new creation, as we receive your salvation
You’ve come down, and live now in us
Now One with our Creator, partakers of your Nature
You conform us to your Son
With your love, ohh, ohh…
In your love, ohh, ohh…

Chords: Bbadd11 Abadd9 Cm7 Eb/G Fm11
Just like the wildflowers springing from the desert
When the autumn (latter) rains fall to the earth
Your sons and your daughters will rise with love’s power
When your presence drenches your church
With your love, ohh, ohh…
With your love, ohh, ohh…

We are made a new creation…

You make all things new, You make all things new
Hopeless souls by your blood are reborn
You make all things new, You make all things new
Broken lives in your love are restored
In your love, ohh, ohh…
In your love, ohh, ohh…

Daniel Lovett 2016 © Reflect Worship Music

More About the Next Great Awakening!

What can I say? I can’t pretend to know anything more than you do about the mysterious ways of God. The Awakening (I suppose it’s something of a spiritual Enlightenment) and/or a lack thereof is, I suppose, the ebb and flow of God’s Holy Spirit. He knows the perfect time to release more of the awareness of His Presence and when to refrain and blind our minds (because we aren’t ready, and it’s usually for our own good). There is a “time for everything” as Ecclesiastes says.

Well I believe the time is Now! At least I hope it is.

An Awakening can be a messy and confusing time. Ever read church history books about the Awakenings of the past? Whenever there is a move of God’s Holy Spirit I guarantee there will also be the witch hunters, the skeptics, the antagonists. Manifestations of God’s Spirit and our egos (or demonic) reactions to God’s Spirit are often misunderstood and even condemned by the most “respected theologians” among us.

I have also become aware that there is a HUGE “Truth” movement in what you might call the New Age world that many are calling an “Awakening” as well, but my question is, can you have an Awakening without Yeshua – who is the Way the Truth and the Life? How can you have a truth movement without Mr. Truth Himself?

Well, there is so much about this subject that could bury our minds in confusion – which is exactly what the enemy wants. What the enemy doesn’t want is for any of us to get alone like I am about to do and seek God.

“Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.”
~ Isaiah 55:6-7

Old Rugged Cross

Ever notice how when your singing a Hymn at church that the third verse gets skipped in a four verse Hymn? Well, I am rebelling against that trend by skipping the first verse instead! Or sometimes I’ll just sing every other line just to keep people on their toes! Or skip just the last line in the last verse and end on a dissonant chord… just to mess with people. Sometimes I like to sing it backwords in French and just stare back at people when they give me weird looks.

like this weird look
like this weird look

Can you guess which verse got skipped this time? And tell me, do you even like this song?

Download this song (and more!) for “Name Your Price” Here: www.reflect.bandcamp.com or you can visit here and learn more about our efforts to get this album into nursing homes.

Reflect Hymn-150x150

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

More about the song’s history found here!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Hymn

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God

Today I share a few thoughts and the song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. This is the absolutely brilliant and fun to play Kathryn Scott version. She adds a Chorus and some musicality you’re sure to enjoy. Here ’tis (song begins at 4:30 – but preamble is worth the listen!):

Download this song (and more!) for “Name Your Price” Here: www.reflect.bandcamp.com

How to be God’s Friend

Tonight has me thinking about what a gift it is that God invites every one of us into friendship with him. How close does God want to be? What is our part? How do we get in on friendship with God? First of all we must open the door!


I love how my NLT translation puts that verse:

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20

Sharing a meal together as friends… with Jesus! Is that something that you are interested in? Yea, me too. So lets simply open the door and let him in!

Next, to be a good friend to God means trusting him and loving others. This, of course, is adapted from the passage of Scripture where Jesus says:

“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14 NLT

The surrounding context (surrounding chapters) inform us that his commands equate to trusting him and loving others.

Here is the immediate context:

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

14You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 17This is My command to you: Love one another.” John 15

For heaven’s sake don’t ask yourself, “what is the most loving thing I can do for or say to this person right now”. I guarantee you will get that one wrong nine times outa ten. Instead, ask God! Chances are if you are flowing with him, the most loving thing will just flow naturally because you are filled and flowing in the Holy Spirit and he has poured the love of Papa into and through you.

Our mission in life:

“Love the person you are with in the moment”

Living in the perfect will of God is as simple as this.

Ellie sings "her song", Keep You Safe, by JJ Heller

there is no fear in loveToday is Ellie’s birthday. Born on 5/5/10, dedicated to God on 10/10/10 (the same day she said her first words). Elisabeth means “dedicated to God”.

So, we decided to record “her song” today and share it with you. This was playing in the hospital room as she entered the world.

I love how this song, “Keep You Safe”, can also be heard as if our Father God were singing it to us. Well, that’s how I like to think of it.

He is Perfect Love and his love will remove all fear from our lives as we let it in. He is your Good Shepherd and will keep you safe and quiet your heart. I pray you experience His profound love for you today!

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 (Berean Bible)

Gift of Music for Hospice Care

Meet Lani Leary. She is in Hospice work. I came across her story today and felt compelled to share this because who wouldn’t her story relate to? Who of us won’t one day have to deal with the death of a loved one? One day almost all of us will be intimately acquainted with the process. Lani can bring some comfort and preparedness to our hearts for when that time comes. Give it a listen:

We are all going to die (unless we aren’t). This doesn’t have to be a scary or lonely thing to go through at all. One of the most moving things I have ever done is to supply our music to bring comfort to those who are in their final moments.

I remember once how I felt led to play “I’ll fly away” at the close of a concert and later learned how at that very moment someone was transitioning into glory down the hall. Or how the many times I have played “Amazing Grace” or “How Great Thou Art” at the bedside of the dying.

Once I walked into a room of a woman surrounded by family at the very moment the woman left her body and I was able to encourage the family with the above mentioned songs.

I remember playing our song “Come Lord Jesus” (among others) on the first day of Spring in 2015 for a man of God named Danny Betters a few hours before he passed on. I later played this song at his “celebration of life” gathering.

All amazing moments!

Note to Hospice Care Workers:

We want to take this opportunity to reach out once again to those angels who are faithfully serving in Hospice care. We want to make sure you know that our Hymn CD’s are a free gift that we trust you will find useful in your holy work.

Please visit this link to download our albums, “Reflect Hymn” and “Reflect Amazing Grace”!

Top Ten Modern Wedding Songs

top ten wedding songsCatherine and I (Daniel) are publicly announcing that we are offering our services to Northeast Wisconsin to perform at Weddings and Wedding receptions. This has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of our musical career thus far and if you are planning a wedding, we would love to perform or entertain at yours.

As I was researching popular modern wedding songs as I was putting together our Wedding Singer Page at our website I realized that I already knew and have performed many of these songs already. Here is my list compiled from several other references with a strong dose of personal preference thrown in. (As a seasoned songwriter myself I thought you’d appreciate my insight).

I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)

This is just a really great wedding song on so many levels. I can see why and how it has become so popular.

Love Never Fails (Brandon Heath)

Song based on 1 Corinthians 13 and the brilliant idea that God is Love.

Feeling Love for the First Time (Daniel Lovett)

Of course as the maker of this list I have to promote our own original love song you are sure to enjoy! This reflects our own budding romance and captures some of those feelings you have when you look into the eyes and are in the arms of the one you love. May your love never grow cold!

The Luckiest (Ben Folds)

This song sounded SO sweet when we sang it at a recent wedding. Of course, for time’s sake we only sing the first verse and chorus (which is the best part of the song anyway!)

I Won’t Give Up (Jason Mraz)

Such a talented songwriter and performer, this song by Jason Mraz is so much fun to play and has amazing lyrics and melody.

Thousand Years (Christina Perri)

This song often moves me to tears. Christina Perri is gifted by God on so many levels and I truly appreciate the gift this song is to the world.

Giving it all to You (Haley and Michaels)

Again, I suppose it goes without saying but Catherine and I are meticulous when it comes to capturing the nuances and beauty of these songs. This is a gem.

This I Promise You (Ronan Keating)

What a great wedding song

All of Me (John Legend)

And finally:

Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)

Do you agree with this list? Let me know in the contact form some of your favorite wedding songs! And don’t forget to download a few of our worship songs on the right hand side of this website!

 Notable mentions:

Way Back Into Love (from the movie Music and Lyrics)

Somebody Loved (the Weepies)

Such Great Heights (Iron and Wine)

Here We Stand