"The Lord, the Stronghold of Our Life"

A new original hymn paraphrase of Psalm 27 by Stephen M. Fearing.

The meter of this paraphrase of Psalm 27 is CMD ( D).  Suggested tunes: KINGSFOLD, ELLACOMBE, and RESIGNATION.

Click here for a pdf of this hymn sung to the tune ELLACOMBE.

The Lord, the stronghold of our life, removes our cause for fear.
God shelters us in troubled times and saves when strife is near.
When light is dim and hope is thin we listen for God’s Word.
Our trust is found, God’s grace is sound, we sing and praise the Lord!

One thing I ask, to seek your home and dwell forevermore.
There beauty lives and comfort gives; your temple I adore.
Upon this place you show your face and fill my heart with mirth.
This song I’ll sing as my God brings each day a new rebirth.

The reason for my strong desire to have you make me whole
Is all around me evil things that test this wearied soul.
The armies shout, their taunts cry out, their threats against me stand,
But by your word, my prayer you’ve heard, they fall at your command.

Be strong, take heart, for God is good and goodness shall prevail.
Our hope is in the Lord, our Light, and God will never fail.
God’s love is pure, our faith is sure, with courage we live on
For we will stand on living land with God, our hopeful song.

Reproduction of this hymn is permitted for congregational use.  Please include the following credit:  ”Text by Stephen M. Fearing | www.stephenmfearing.com.”  If your community uses this paraphrase, I would love to hear how it goes!  Email me at smfearing@gmail.com where I welcome your input regarding this paraphrase of Psalm 27.

This hymn is dedicated to my dear friend and mentor, Michael Morgan, who has inspired me to try my hand at Psalm paraphrasing.  He is the author of Psalter for Christian Worship, a complete psalter of all 150 psalms.  Among his many contributions to hymnody are numerous hymns in Psalms for All Seasons and Glory to God, the new hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  He is Organist Emeritus at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia and is musician at Columbia Theological Seminary.


Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.