Songwriters Showcase

Songwriters Showcase

Grassroots Christian songwriters

Richard Matthews

Biography

Hi I am Richard Matthews, a christian songwriter. I have been a Christian all my life but it has only been during the last 15 years that my faith in God has really developed. My passion for God has allowed me to express my creativity in song. I have been writing Christian songs for the last 8 years and have also shared my songs in a few concerts in 2007.

As well as write songs, I also lead the worship in the services at my local church, Argyle Community Church in Reading and play trumpet, piano, keyboards and sing. I am married with 3 lively children and have a job in insight consultancy in London. When I do get some time, I enjoy playing my PS2 or Wii, sport and DIY.

If you do use a song in a church service or concert, please let me know. I would love to hear how it goes! Feel free to check out my website at www.freeandforgiven.com or contact me at mail@freeandforgiven.com

Featured Songs

A Ray of Hope mp3 (4.14mb)
A ray of hope in a world of darkness This song was written at the end of 2001 for Christmas and was a reflection on the events since 9/11 and a response to what people had been feeling all around the world. During late 2001, there was a real sense of darkness in the world. 9/11 changed the course of history. In the bible, it talks about darkness and light a number of times and despite the darkness that was felt in 2001, there was, and always is, a ray of hope in Jesus. John 1:9 states,"The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." This light was Jesus. Jesus describes himself in John 8:12 as, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Whatever things we may face or whatever world events might occur, we can be confident that God is always with us. He is our hope when things appear dark or hopeless.
Gods got a plan for me *, mp3 (2.55mb) Chords (img), Chords
This song started while I was travelling on a plane to Finland (I have actually found air travel a good time for writing songs – perhaps it is because I have a greater opportunity of time for God to speak to me!). God loves each of us and we are all equally special. He also has a unique plan for our lives, one which was formed before we were born. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) We are all sinners and this separates us from God and the plan he has for our lives. However it is not all doom and gloom! Because Jesus was prepared to take on all human sin and die in our place, it means we can experience Gods love and his plan through faith in Jesus. “God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That is why he sent Christ to make us what we are.” (Ephesians 2:10) We can grow in our faith and remain on Gods plan by regularly listening to him. He speaks through the bible as well as through prayer. If God is providing the direction for our lives, we can have real hope for the future. He will be with us to fulfil his plan but it does not mean we will be free of suffering, hard times or pain. Our purpose is to continue being faithful day after day, year after year.
Hes my King mp3 (4.71mb) Chords
At the front of my church, we have the sign that says "Jesus Christ is Lord". Just four words, but four words of truth with great power. I was reminded of those words as I read Phillipians 2:9-11. "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." These words really inspired the writing of this song and especially the fact that one day everyone will acknowledge Jesus as Lord. On the day of judgement, it will not just be those who love him who profess these words but also those who have not chosen to believe Jesus as Lord in their life. This is a worship song which gives the praise to Jesus that is due his name. There are many words in the bible to describe Jesus and some of those are used in this song: 1. King/Majesty...We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16 2. Lord of Lords...until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time-God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 1 Timothy 6:14-15 3. The way, the truth, the life...Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 4. Saviour...But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 5. Son of God - Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31 6. Perfect sacrifice - because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14)
Holy is the Lord mp3 (4.65mb) Chords
Holy is the Lord God is a Holy God - absolutely pure, set apart from all that is sinful and evil. We read in Ephesians 1:4 that “Long before he laid down earths foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.” (The Message). Unfortunately as we are sinful people, our sin blocks our relationship with God and ultimately as we are sinful (and unholy) we deserve death. The good news is that God sent Jesus to come and die as our substitute and offers his forgiveness as a free gift. We have to respond to receive this gift – asking Jesus to be our forgiver and Lord of our lives. We are then transformed by his Holy Spirit (which is God living within us) and acceptable in his sight - "Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault." 1 Colossians:22 (New Living Translation) We can also look confidently to the day we will meet him when we will be completely holy and transformed. "But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." 1 John 3:2-3
I want to tell the World mp3 (3.47mb) Chords
As a church during late 2002/early 2003, we studied a book called "Becoming a contagious christian", which has the aim to help everyday christians share their faith confidently with their friends. This really challenged me. One thing that particularly stood out for me was that all people, however good or bad, are loved by God and are all equally valuable to him. Therefore we should do everything possible to save those who do not know Jesus - not ramming the Good news down their throats - but showing that both we and Jesus care for them. We should let our friends know by what we say and what we do that they matter to us, regardless of whether or not they agree with the Christian message. The song says in the chorus, "Help me be courageous, make my faith contagious. Be my strength, be my hope in all I do. Give me opportunities, release your power through me. I want to be fully reliant on you."
Jesus we celebrate your life mp3 (3.67mb) Chords
This was the first song I wrote and performed. In 2001, when I was writing the song, we had just started a Worship Leaders group at our church and we were aiming to push "Passionate Worship" as a key area of our church strategy. This song looks at worshipping God from three perspectives - Jesus, the Father and the Spirit. Worshipping God is not just something for Sunday mornings. We are called to worship Him 24/7. Romans 12:1 states "Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering." (The Message bible)
Much more trust mp3 (3.82mb)
When I wrote this song in 2002, I felt extremely weak and unwell and didn’t know quite what had hit me. I have always been a driven person and had pushed myself to a state of exhaustion from overwork in the job as well as the church. During this time, I was also responsible for organising and running a special service aimed at non-Christians on Trust and was determined to continue doing this despite not wanting to get out of bed! Trusting God was very much on my mind and for the first time in my life, I felt my own strength to do things was in question. In Matthew 6:30, it says, “If God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, will not he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!” Proverbs 3: 5-7 also gives some good advice. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart. Do not try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for Gods voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he is the one who will keep you on track. Do not assume that you know it all. Run to God!” God puts us through trials in order to test our faith and take it to the next level, bringing us closer to Him in our difficulties. This experience in my life was tough (it took almost 5 months to diagnose my illness) but I felt that my faith grew during the waiting as I became more and more dependent on God. I realised that in my weakness, God could do some special things, one of them to change me to have a stronger reliance on Him in my life.
My God how wonderful mp3 (5.56mb) Chords
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). Just looking at what has been created can truly take our breath away. God created it for our enjoyment. In Isaiah 40:26, it says “Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And he counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away." Despite this amazing sense of awe and power, God is interested in each one of us and he desires for us to know him and be close. As David writes in Psalm 139: 14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Our response should be to praise Him daily for the good things he provides for us, far more than we deserve. To say God is an awesome God is definitely stating the obvious, yet for many people, it often feels easier to completely ignore God from their lives than to recognise Him as someone truly wonderful and to be worshipped. There is a lot we do not understand in this world but we need to be people who are searching to find a real meaning to life, one that has eternal benefits. “We do not yet see things clearly. We are squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it will not be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We will see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Safe in your hands mp3 (4.68mb) Chords
This song was inspired from reading a number of the Psalms. The writers in Psalms were extremely honest in telling God how they were feeling and we should take the same approach. He is interested in every part of our lives whether we are happy or sad, angry or confused. The writers experienced many states and emotions and much of this is recorded in the Psalms. Sometimes they needed to offload their feelings to God; other times to cry out for an answer; many occasions where they wanted to thank and praise God for the good things that had happened in their lives. In this song, despite all the many trials and sufferings we may be going through such as pain, loneliness, weakness, sadness etc., God always hears us and we are never alone in our struggles. He is always close to us and we are safe in His hands. His love surrounds us whatever we are going through. He pays great attention to each of us, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! (Luke 12:7) One of my fears used to be flying but I gave that fear over to God. Beforehand that time I used to feel matters were out of control and there was nothing I could do once we were up in the sky. However, I came to know that my God was a big God who had made the universe and who was more than capable of looking after my safety. This song is dedicated to my grandmother, Dorothy Todd, who found great comfort in the words of the song during the time she was ill.
The lord is my Sh (0.04mb)
In 2002 in the lead up to Easter, our teaching series on a Sunday morning was all about Jesus and why he had come into this world, humbled himself to die and to rise from the dead. It was based on the writings of John Stott who had been asked to write his thoughts on the “Incomparable Christ” at the turn of the Millennium, identifying exactly who Jesus was and is. “There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” (1 Corinthians 8:6). Jesus was and remains God. He came humbly to this earth with a clear purpose – knowing he would take on all human sin and Gods anger to provide a bridge back to God. This was both a real and sacrificial love. “Christ gave up his life for us.” (1 John 3:16). Jesus could have been a King on this earth but that was not the Fathers will for his life. Instead he chose to suffer jeering, beatings and ultimate death and separation from God to fulfil what had been prophesised many years before. “He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.” (Isaiah 53:5). We can be saved and forgiven if we admit we are a sinner and wish to turn away from doing wrong things, believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead and by accepting Jesus leading for our lives. “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) As we grow in our faith for Jesus, we should act in the same way as He did for us by acting as a living sacrifice - humbly serving those around us through love. We also look forward to that day when we will meet him. “We are already Gods children, and we cannot even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” (1 John 3:2)
The Lord is my Shepherd mp3 (0.04mb) Chords
On one occasion as I was starting to write a song, I had the word "shadow" come into my mind. I could not think where I had come across this in the bible but after a bit of searching, I remembered that there was a reference to a shadow in Psalm 23 (verse 4). "Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" I then set to work penning a version of Psalm 23 in modern language and the words and music came together in the space of an hour (which is very unusual for writing songs!). This Psalm is set in the context of difficulties but the writer, David, is close to God and realises that in all situations, even death, he has God by his side and therefore needs to fear nothing. When we have a close relationship with God and are walking the path he intends for our lives, we have less personal control of where we are led and concede a greater reliance to God. This to some seems a crazy situation. Why would you want to give up control of your own life direction? However by relinquishing personal freedom, ironically you are freer to enjoy what God intended. God gives us the peace and security to get through the everyday difficulties of life because the God who made us is far better at knowing what is better for us than we do!
You gave up glory mp3 (5.73mb) Chords
In 2002 in the lead up to Easter, our teaching series on a Sunday morning was all about Jesus and why he had come into this world, humbled himself to die and to rise from the dead. It was based on the writings of John Stott who had been asked to write his thoughts on the “Incomparable Christ” at the turn of the Millennium, identifying exactly who Jesus was and is. “There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” (1 Corinthians 8:6). Jesus was and remains God. He came humbly to this earth with a clear purpose – knowing he would take on all human sin and Gods anger to provide a bridge back to God. This was both a real and sacrificial love. “Christ gave up his life for us.” (1 John 3:16). Jesus could have been a King on this earth but that was not the Fathers will for his life. Instead he chose to suffer jeering, beatings and ultimate death and separation from God to fulfil what had been prophesised many years before. “He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.” (Isaiah 53:5). We can be saved and forgiven if we admit we are a sinner and wish to turn away from doing wrong things, believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead and by accepting Jesus leading for our lives. “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) As we grow in our faith for Jesus, we should act in the same way as He did for us by acting as a living sacrifice - humbly serving those around us through love. We also look forward to that day when we will meet him. “We are already Gods children, and we cannot even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” (1 John 3:2)

Contact

Email: mail@freeandforgiven.com

Website: http://www.freeandforgiven.com