Make Firm Our Steps - Audio CD

A release full of musical variety and sweet music.  Styles from folk to latin.  Some music simply with voice and guitar, some with percussion, bass guitar, mandolin and multiple voices.  Some soft and contemplative, others more intense and vibrant.

Turning Thy Face

The quote that begins, "O thou who art turning thy face towards God" has touched my heart many times, and I felt the need to share it with others in a musical form.

Wouldst Thou Have Me

This is a Hidden Word that was put to music for a friend who was attending college and needed a song for a recital. She was unable to use this song, but I enjoy it anyway. My good friend, Ginny Dusseau does the vocals and Rebecca Sopha the piano. Very sweet.

Love Me

This Hidden Word was set to music in the early '70s, shortly after I became aware of the Bahá'í Faith. Intense and direct.

Thou Art The Remover

This prayer by the Báb set to music was almost lost. Thank God I had recorded it on a cheap cassette tape and managed to find it again! It is very calming for many.

Healing Prayer

The short healing prayer set to music in an unconventional latin and upbeat setting. Thinking about people from other cultures drew this musical response forth.

Noble Creation

In 1985, when the Universal House of Justice released the document, "The Promise of World Peace," one issue dealt with jumped out at me - the fact that as long as humanity believes that we are nothing more than "smart" animals with no ability to change our warlike habits, peace will not be possible. The two Hidden Words used here were my response to that document and that issue - hopefully helping people believe in our higher nature.

Man of Two Visions

This Hidden Word called to me when I read it one day, and this intense and active song is the result.

I Beg Thee

A prayer of the Báb, "I beg Thee to forgive me, O my Lord, for every mention but the mention of Thee..." is such a sweet reminder of our place in the world and what we should aspire to.

Remover of Difficulties

This repetitive song is much like chanting to me - it can be used for that privately - came as a chant while I was commuting long distances for work. I would repeat it over and over, calming me for the drive and the upcoming shift.

Make Firm Our Steps

One of my favorite prayers, and certainly something we can all use. The song is simply presented with guitar and voice, but the message is so important, other instrumentation seemed unnecessary.

Remembrance of Thee

This is a sweet and meditative song with two quotations from Bahá'u'lláh - "My remembrance of Thee, O my God, quenceth my thirst and quieteth my heart." and "Armed with the power of Thy Name, nothing can ever hurt me. And with Thy Love in my heart, all the world's afflictions can in no wise alarm me."

My First Counsel

A friend asked me to compose something for a Nineteen Day Feast, and this came to me.

Love Gives Life

A passage from 'Abdu'l-Bahá that practically FORCED me to set it to music. I heard it at a Holy Day, and KNEW that I needed to write some music for it.

This Is A Lamp

A prayer by 'Abdu'l-Bahá - the musical setting is a tribute to Seals and Crofts, two men who have made a very large impact on my life by introducing me to the Bahá'í Faith.

Blessed is the Spot

This song is sung both in Spanish and in English - a quiet and contemplative piece.

Rejoice

As soon as I read this piece music was calling to me. The intention was to create a piece that would be appreciated by African-American friends.

Radiant Heart

This rendition came to me while in the shower! :) I was thinking how I might assist in welcoming people from different faith backgrounds to the Bahá'í Faith, and this is the result.

If Any Differences

I attended a meeting of the assistants of an Auxiliary Board member, and had just recently finished going through a study circle on Ruhi Book 1. The desire to increase my memorization of the Sacred Writings prompted me to set this quote to music.

Unity Prayer

A short prayer for unity - a sweet song reminiscent of John Denver (I was told this by a friend - your mileage may vary)

Loved Ones of the Lord

One of the more complex musically, this song is inspiring and helps us to see what we might become with loving effort and determination.

Know Ye Not

This quotation was set to music in response to racial incidents a few years back. I keep hoping that we will overcome, and this song helps me keep the faith, so to speak.

I Loved Thy Creation

Another Hidden Word set to music in the early '70s - I was about 16 then and was trying to learn songs to sing with Baha'is. I had lots of song sheets, but none with chords, so I determined that I would make up my own songs.

Honor

This is an instrumental with only the Native American courting flute. The title has multiple meanings - to honor the Native American peoples - an attribute of God - and touches me deeply.

The Ancient Beauty - Audio CD

An release full of variation - contemplative, intense, sweet - different musical styles and rhythmic variety characterize this CD. Styles from Latin jazz, to straight jazz, folk to funk.  Some music is simple, with just voice and guitar, some with percussion, bass guitar, piano, mandolin and multiple voices. 

Abandon Not The Everlasting Beauty

"O Friends! Abandon not the Everlasting Beauty for a beauty that must die. And set not your affections on this mortal world of dust."

The Ancient Beauty

This quotation has always touched my heart. "The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage..."

Assist Thy Loved Ones

This prayer was the favorite of a long-time friend and it stuck with me as well. Interesting guitar work on this one.

At All Times Do I Speak Of You

This collaboration with my wife, Becky, resulted in a very tender and touching piece - the loving words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá really show His love for us...

The Candle Of Thine Heart

"O Befriended Stranger! The candle of thine heart is lighted by the hand of My Power..." This song has rich harmony and is quite contemplative.

Cry Out Our Joy

This song is a celebration from the Words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá - "Let us cry out our joy, and lose ourselves in the beauty of the All-Glorious!" Wow!

He Will Come To Your Aid

This quotation is a little like "marching orders" for the day in which we live.

Hear Me, Ye Mortal Birds

This quotation is almost magical in its imagery - one of my long-time favorites.

In The Garden Of Thy Heart

A simple and sweet rendition of the Hidden Word, "O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love..."

Let God Be Your Fear

A quotation from the Ruhi study circle books - was inspired by a friend from Ames, Iowa - Theodore Murdock - whose arts project was this quotation. The chant he created was accompanied by the stomping of feet as we walked around the room while chanting the passage.

Make Thy Beauty To Be My Food

This prayer was a request from my wife, Becky. I was happy to set it to music, and it almost came without effort - God truly blessed me with ALL these songs!

Make Mention Of Me On My Earth

Two quotations from the Ruhi study circle books are in this song.

O My Children!

This one brings tears to my eyes, every time I hear it - very touching.

Praise Be To God

This song came to my wife during Pilgrimage. She stayed up all night repeating it to herself and begging 'Abdu'l-Bahá to help her remember it until she could sing it to me so I could remember it...

Refresh And Gladden

This prayer is one of Becky's favorites and was important in her decision to accept the Bahá'í Faith. I love how it came out - in the beginning, while pouring the heart out to God, it sounds sad or melancholy, but afterwards, becomes more uplifting as the promise of behavior that is powerful and positive comes from the heart.

Round About Whatever Dwelling

This one was great fun during the composing process. I finished the quotation that starts out, "By My Life and My Cause! Round about whatever dwelling the friends of God may enter..." and realized, "Whoa! Blessed is the spot matches this phrasing perfectly!" and thus was born the song.

Thanks Be To Thee

I love prayers for firmness in the Covenant - that's why I did this one! I need it! ;)

There Is No Time To Lose

As soon as I read this quotation in the Ruhi books, I knew I had to set it to music - this one was another piece that just flowed - the gift of the Holy Spirit was VERY clear to me with this song.

Thou Art My Lamp

This one should be fun for people to sing along with and clap and celebrate their love of God.

To The Blind

"To the blind Thou hast given sight; to the deaf Thou hast granted hearing; Thou hast resuscitated the dead; Thou hast enriched the poor; Thou hast shown the way to those who have gone astray; Thou hast led those with parched lips to the fountain of guidance; Thou hast suffered the thirsty fish to reach the ocean of reality; and Thou hast invited the wandering birds to the rose garden of grace." This setting reminds me of Gordon Lightfoot, one of my early inspirations.

Turn Thy Face Unto Mine

This song has a funky beat, incredibly well played Tenor Saxophone and Bass - WOW! I think that this is one of my favorites on the CD.

Wakened In Thy Shelter

A short, sweet rendition of the well-known morning prayer.

Wedding Prayer

This is the wedding prayer that goes, "Glory be unto Thee, O my God! Verily, this thy servant and this Thy maidservant have gathered under the shadow of Thy mercy and they are united through Thy favor and generosity. O Lord! Assist them in this Thy world and Thy kingdom and destine for them every good through Thy bounty and grace. O Lord! Confirm them in Thy servitude and assist them in Thy service. Suffer them to become the signs of Thy Name in Thy world and protect them through Thy bestowals which are inexhaustible in this world and the world to come. O Lord! They are supplicating the kingdom of Thy mercifulness and invoking the realm of Thy singleness. Verily, they are married in obedience to Thy command. Cause them to become the signs of harmony and unity until the end of time. Verily, Thou art the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and the Almighty!

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