Let me introduce myself…
I’m Liz. I write songs. The songs I like writing the most are the ones that are sung by God’s people. Listening to the saints sing in full voice – be it 5 or 5000 – forms some of my earliest memories, and it still thrills me. I don’t mind if a song isn’t sung perfectly, as long as it is sung with heart. It might be a heart full of joy, or of hope, or of grief, but a good song will give voice to each emotion, directing our hearts towards the Lord Jesus, inspiring us to trust him. That’s what I’m aiming for.
I haven’t always written songs. I used to sequence genes. That was kind of fun, for the first 3,000 base pairs. I don’t know which is more useful, sequencing genes or sequencing chord progressions. I do know that Jesus has poured out on his church a remarkably diverse array of gifts, personalities and experiences, and that no one can function without the others. The scientist and the songwriter each does their work for the glory of God, and God uses them to build his church and bless his world.
I used to teach science too, though I’m not sure I did that very well. God has taught me over time that if you are teaching without love, well, it’s like a clanging cymbal. That’s true of songwriting as well. It’s tempting to write the song that “that person needs to hear”. Some of my earlier songs were a bit like that. Songs do teach – but the ones that teach effectively come from love, first for the Lord Jesus and also for his people. We love because he first loved us.
People often ask where a song comes from. Songs begin in many places – lots of my songs have been written from a particular brief (to suit the theme of a conference for example). However the song begins, I always like to imagine who might be singing the song as I write it, be it the believer with their hands in the air, their hands in their pockets or their hands immersed in the kitchen sink. And ultimately, I pray that I am daily motivated by the picture of heaven in John’s Revelation, where people from every nation sing one song to the Lamb who was slain, who is worthy of praise.
For those who want the facts and figures, I’ve studied science, education, music and theology. I’m really grateful for all I’ve learned through that (and that I studied them at a time when my brain was receptive to learning!). I’ve also learned a lot by being a child of God, a friend of Jesus, a sister of the saints, a wife and a mother, and through many years of facing the daily grind with a mind that can play tricks on me. I’m married to Nigel who has worked as a church pastor and engineer (often at the same time), and I have 4 kids. I love them all deeply, though my love is flawed. I am part of Providence Church, an independent church plant in Perth, Western Australia. I run the music at Perth Women’s Convention, and help run Exalt music ministry conference. Sometimes I moonlight as a cellist in a band. I juggle lots of balls. And often drop them.