Category Archives: Music

Late Night Anyone?

So…I was kind of being a jerk last night…well…not kind of…I was.  But, my wife loves me and we can’t stay mad…oooeyyy goooeeeyyy mushy stuff. I think we’ve all been there?

About 11:30 this came out. I love it when a song comes quickly. Not a finished product at all…but here it is so far. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Still – By Jesse Peterson (If the audio player isn’t working)

Audio Player –

Recorded it this afternoon using the onboard mic on my IMac. Quick and dirty…no retakes. Added a little synth but thats all. Took about 30 minutes so forgive any pitch or timing mistakes. I wasn’t looking to make anything professional.

Lyrics below. Peace.


This pain I feel
I know its real
it’s growing deep inside
A dull drumbeat
Of hearts asleep
I cannot clock its time
The words cut deep
to my soul
But…still I love you
Still I love you
Still I love you…
The words I speak
Feel harsh and bleek
I say them anyways
With draining pow’r
I mark this hour
As one I will regret
My words cut deep
To your soul
We say words that
Make no sense
Act in ways that
Breed intense…ly
broken memories

It’s country baby…

So…I facebook’d (if that’s a word) once about writing a country song and Jeff Eberhardt called me a liar.

Well, it’s true…I was not writing one then…but today, one chorus popped into my head. So there Jeff…I am not a liar 😉

It’s not genius, but I did a VERY quick recording on my IMac. No special setup…just used the microphone on my Mac.

Check out what 30 minutes on the computer gets you and have a good laugh.

Love you all!


Getting a body check…

“I can tell you have a pastors heart Jesse. I can tell that you love people. I see how people respond to your sincerity and honesty. But when you got on stage and began to lead worship…I felt like I had whiplash. Who was this guy up there…is what I kept thinking?”

The above statement is from a pastor whom I trust. He was speaking to me with honesty and concern about how I led worship in his church. I can honestly tell you that I had absolutely no idea this would be his reaction. Until this point…I really didn’t know how he thought the weekend went.

I was so thankful for his honesty though. He wasn’t belittling me…or putting me down. He was speaking out of concern for how I led. Really…he had just spent the 30 minutes prior to that building me up and encouraging me. Reality is…it was so true. I came into this church one weekend and with all the energy I could muster…I grabbed them and dragged them to the throne of God…rather than trying to be transparent and truly lead them there.

Since that weekend…and after hearing his heart…I am reminded of why I am a worship leader. For years, I was told to keep it short…focus on the music and leave the talking to the preacher. I had 15 minutes to bring them from the streets to taking communion. I continually felt the pressure to push through and do all I could to bring about a great set.

I had honestly forgotten what it was like to allow space in a worship set. To connect with the group I was with…establish credibility and simply open the doors for them to walk through. Instead…I had focused my energy on hurdling as many of them as I could.

His comments helped me to remember how I was as a young leader. I needed the reminder to open my heart to the people. I needed the reminder and the permission to allow space for God to move. I will be forever thankful for his thoughts and encouraging words.

It’s great to get honest advice and feedback on how you lead. As a worship leader, continue to be open to criticism and underestimate praise…because even if it goes well…it still had nothing to do with you 😉

God Bless. Jesse.


This is an amazing compilation of artists courtesy of Kirk Franklin…it makes me cry. The message is beautiful and true…disaster or not. It moves me…hope it finds you well today.

Song help…

I’m stuck with the song and would love your help…would you take a listen?

Trust In You – Click on the link and it will open in your default audio player

One night…this chorus came into my head and I can’t get it out. I like writing worship songs with the idea that it will be a corporate expression so I choose words like “we” instead of “I.”

I can’t figure out yet how a verse would go and the idea behind the song is about trusting God when things don’t seem right…in the good and the bad…we trust God.

I know…it’s short…so…I am looking for suggestions:

  • Is this a bridge or a chorus?
  • Any chording thoughts for a verse?
  • Got any lyrics laying around that might work?
  • Any other thoughts or suggestions?


D                      G                A7sus   Bm7
We will trust in You, You are all we need
                D/C#    G                    A7sus   D
You’re the King of Kings, We will trust in You

The song comes from Psalm 20 and Isaiah 8: 11-18.

Thanks for the input! Jesse.

Learn how to prepare…it will make you better

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
– Lucius  Seneca
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Fanklin

My jaw dropped a little. I wanted to be upset…problem is…he was right. He had just told me a truth about my life and I had to seek the reality of it. Sitting for lunch with a good friend is often how these moments take place and this time…it would change my life…and my goals.

“Jesse, you have so much natural and raw talent…but you take it for granted. If you were to actually set your mind to this and put in some effort…you would have a bunch of friends willing to jump on board…but I’m not sure you are willing to work hard enough.” Yeah…maybe you can understand now why my jaw dropped…just a little.

We were talking about a CD project and I was offering up my many excuses as to why I haven’t done one in a while. Problem is…he wasn’t so far off in many aspects of my life. In school…I hardly ever did homework…never really had to work at it because it just came naturally. With music…I never dug deep enough or worked through all the theory because it wasn’t all that important to me…besides, music theory is rough.

There are many areas of my life where my preparation did not meet my dreams. I had always been hoping that someone would take a large stake in my life and drive me towards doing something great. I hardly picked up the guitar unless I needed to. I sang without practicing correct breathing and strained my neck. I hoped my experience would be preparation enough even when I knew it would not be. I never wanted to work hard enough to achieve something great.

I have come to understand just how important it is to prepare. Working diligently through chord progressions, scales and applying discipline to my writing. I want to make another Live CD…I want to write a book…I would love to teach or lead at a conference someday…and none of these things will be handed to me. I have to prepare for them…so that when opportunities do arise…I am ready.

Do you prepare each week or even each day for something great? The amazing talent Michelangelo said this of his art: “If the people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.” It takes hard work and practice. Michelangelo most certainly had a gift…he did not rely on it simply as a rite of passage…he prepared.

Jerry Rice is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history and most could not keep up with his workout routine. Karl Malone and John Stockton would stay after practice to run extra miles on the treadmills. Eric Clapton even talks about spending hours at a time with his guitar…just going through the licks.

Big or small…are you preparing yourself for something great? Do you work hard to be ready? After this conversation with a great friend…I know my perspective has changed quite a bit.  I pray God gives you the tools and the desire to prepare…so that next time you are presented with an opportunity…you might just be…a little better.

Blessings. Jesse.

Find your passion…it will make you better

Life is action and passion; therefore it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of the time, at peril of being judged not to have lived.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I got to watch the movie, “This Is It.” Not the greatest movie I have ever seen…but I was moved. Not by the man…his awkward interactions or speeches…but by his passion. He danced in practice because he could do nothing else. He sang from his heart because he could not handle less. It was as if he could not contain himself…even when he wanted to. His passion was to dance, sing…and perform.

I’m often made the butt of jokes for my dancing when I lead…but I can’t help it. My feet just want to move and I can’t make em stop. Once I put on my white kicks and step into leading worship…my passion for it cannot be contained. My excitement for the moment cannot be controlled.

I used to stand still…contain my feet and emotions while leading until one night in the Staples Center. I watched Dave Matthews play his heart out and his feet followed. I know…it’s awkward for a white boy…but we have to. Dave’s passion for the audience and his music could not be restricted…and the results were a twisted face and shuffling feet. If Michael and Dave can’t help it…neither can I.

I am not using either one of these men as examples of healthy individuals…I am simply offering my opinions of what makes them move. What causes them to create and devote their life to a few moments on stage.

Passion is awkward, uncontainable, and the only piece that keeps moving me forward. It’s what wakes me up from the bed in the morning and causes me to act. One French novelist wrote, “Passion is universal humanity. Without it…religion, history, romance and art would be useless.”

Times where I am not following my passion are times in my life of confusion. I have a restless spirit and seem to complain more often than not. I retreat to areas where I am not bothered…stay away from hard conversations…and essentially shut down the one thing that makes me unique…my passion.

D.H. Lawrence talked about passion saying, “Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” When your passions are unleashed…you cannot stop your feet from moving…your mouth from singing…or your heart from believing.

Be careful though…to let your passion alienate people and turn them off to the message God has sent you with. Vincent Van Gogh is defined as one of the premier painters who ever lived and his passion for art is evident in his brush strokes. Yet, while he lived…his paintings were worth very little. He had very few friends and his life ended in a tragic mess of sorrow and grief. He is now revered for his gifts…but when he was alive, he was a disturbed soul.

Learn to unleash your passion and live within it. Allow God to mold it…define it…and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination because in ministry…living outside of your passion leads to complacency. Passion cures the stirred soul and unleashes it to care for God’s people.

I pray that your passion is unleashed today. I pray that it is not seen as tragic, or revered after you have lived. I pray your passion is spread across the generations and causes your soul to stir for His calling in your life. In the words of Ice T, “Passion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place.”

Peace. Jesse.