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Alleluia No. 1  -  The Light of Christ
I started writing Christian songs in 1971, while I was in college.  I wrote my first song, Alleluia No. 1, rather quickly, in about an hour.  At first, there were only four verses.  I added the third verse while I was preparing for baptism:

We have been crucified with Christ; now we shall live forever

It seems to me to be a central idea of baptism, and I wanted it to be the center of the song (the third verse of five).   The song is often published without all five verses, and I suppose I'm the only person who feels that it hurts the structure of the song.

I was still in college when I wrote The Light of Christ.  These two songs are by far the most widely used of my songs.

1972 to 1976
After college, I wrote Sing to the Lord, which was very popular in the charismatic renewal for many years.   My method for writing songs during this time was that they "just came to me".  I had to feel God's inspiration.

In 1976, with the encouragement of two friends, I switched from writing by waiting for inspiration to treating song writing as a craft.   The first song I wrote this way, Hear, O Israel, was for Bill and  Mary Cavnar's wedding, and I am grateful to Mary for giving me the necessary push.

1976 to 1981
After 1976, I started composing more regularly, working and re-working songs until I felt that they were finished.  During this time, I was very involved in Roman Catholic liturgy, and I set many psalm responses and other liturgical texts.  Some of these have made it into print.   Praise the Lord, O My Soul  and  Proclaim His Marvelous Deeds  started out as psalm responses, but became very popular general worship songs.

After 1981, I was pursuing a career as a computer programmer, and I didn't work on music.  I stopped playing the flute, too, for about a dozen years..

2008 to the Present
In 2008, with the encouragement of Jane Terwilliger (and a few others) I started working on writing again.  It certainly doesn't flow as easily as it did in 1980.   But then, not much does.   I signed up with International Liturgy Publications.   They have started bringing out some of my previously-unpublished songs.