What Will You Leave Behind?

When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Precious memories for your friends and family
Or relief that you’re no longer there?
Will the faith you’ve shared bring them comfort
Or your hopelessness cause them more grief?
When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will your words continue to encourage
Or the harm they’ve engendered linger on?
Do your sermons tell of God’s Kingdom
While your actions point the other way?
When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will the good you’ve planted grow like flowers
Or the problems you’ve sown spread like weeds?
Is your life well invested in others
Or will your influence die at your death?
When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you expire, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Meager savings that soon will be used up
Or all the riches of the least child of God?
Will you leave debt for things that don’t matter
Or your witness to what God paid for you?
When you expire, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

About this Song:

There are two songs I want sung at my funeral–other than some favorite hymns. Chi Coltrane’s “Go Like Elijah.” I doubt that Chi, who has no idea who I am, would have any interest in coming to sing at my funeral So I’d have to leave a CD where Kathleen can find it.

The other song is this one. And I doubt seriously that Kathleen would be emotionally up to singing it, so I recently spent a number of hours recording a CD of this song for future use.

This song was a challenge to write. Among other things, I was hard pressed to find and fit synonyms for “die” into the song’s rhythm in the second, third, and fourth stanzas.

But that’s not really the point, is it?

We’re all going to die, and each of us will leave some sort of heritage behind. Some people will barely be missed. The death of others even be a relief. How sad.

As Christians, however, we have the chance to leave so much more than material goods. If our lives are filled with love, kindness, consideration, generosity, and so many more virtues than I can begin to list here, we will continue to live in the memory of others in a good way.

But how would we feel if all we knew that all we would be remembered for was hatred, nastiness, selfishness, violence, or any of an endless list of other negative characteristics?

Very few people are remembered throughout the centuries. Probably only the very greatest people–and the most wicked.

But why should we waste the opportunity to be remembered approvingly for as long a time as possible? It’s up to each of us as individuals, isn’t it?

Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

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I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (including today’s), GO HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Best regards,
Roger

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Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder why the righteous suffer,
And I make a mental note to ask God by and by.
But when I get to Heaven and meet Him face to face,
I know I will forget to ask, for Heaven is a perfect place-
With no memories of earthly pain.

Sometimes I wonder why the wicked prosper,
And I make a mental note to ask God by and by.
But when I get to Heaven and meet Him face to face,
I know I will forget to ask, for Heaven is a perfect place-
With no memories of earthly wrongs.

Sometimes I wonder why disasters happen,
And I make a mental note to ask God by and by.
But when I get to Heaven and meet Him face to face,
I know I will forget to ask, for Heaven is a perfect place-
With no memories of earthly woes,
And no memory of earthly wrongs,
And no memory of earthly pain,
And no memory of earth at all.

About this Song:
Do you ever wonder why a loving God would allow people to suffer–especially good people? Or why a righteous God would permit the worst of people to live the happiest and most prosperous lives? Or why God the Creator doesn’t use His powers to prevent  earthquakes and tsunamis from wiping out thousands of people at a time?

People have been asking those questions for thousands of years. As Christians, we should be able to explain that God gave mankind free will because He wanted us to love Him voluntarily. Making us robots would have prevented us from being able to do that. But with free will came sin, and the effects of sin have been with us ever since.

I believe that with all my heart. But I also believe God loved us so much that-even before we were conceived–He planned a way out for us: Salvation  through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He promised us eternal life in Heaven, yes, but also strength and guidance for living the most meaningful life on earth.

But the “most meaningful life” isn’t one that’s free from pain and suffering. We are still subject to the problems brought on my mankind’s sin–not just Adam and Eve’s original sin, but sin throughout the ages. Let’s not forget that God’s forgiveness doesn’t prevent us from suffering the consequences of our own mistakes–and our own sins.

Our problems sometimes aren’t even caused by our own sins, though, but by the sins of other people. Like accidents caused by drunken drivers, for example.

But does knowing and believing those things keep us from wanting to ask God why? Don’t we still want to find an answer that makes it all seem more logical–and more acceptable?

If you’re like me, you’re probably saving up a number of similar questions to ask God when you get to Heaven. I doubt we’ll get the answers there, though, because–if Heaven is truly as perfect as the Bible says–we’ll forget all the questions we have about the bad things that happen on earth.

My theory–my understanding, anyhow–is that we won’t even remember our earthly lives. And we won’t care, because eternal life in our Heavenly Father’s presence is so much better. What a wonderful thing to look forward to!

Do you truly believe that, too? How about leaving a comment to share that fact with the rest of us.

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (including today’s), go here.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out here.

Best regards,
Roger

 

Posted in Disasters, Free will, Pain, Wrongdoing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Night Sounds

I listen to the night winds sigh
Because they know you’re not with me.
I listen to the night winds sigh
Because they know you’re not with me.
And I reach out for you,
But you’re not there.

I listen to the crickets chirpin’
As they wonder where you are.
I listen to the crickets chirpin’
As they wonder where you are.
And I reach out for you,
But you’re not there.

I listen to the night birds singing
As they call out your name.
I listen to the night birds singing
As they call out your name.
And I reach out for you,
But you’re not there.

I listen to the running footsteps
As the moon lights up the path.
I listen to the running footsteps
As the moon lights up the path.
And I reach out for you,
And you take my hand,
And the night’s like the day.

About this Song:
This is the only purely secular song I’ve ever written, and it dates back to the mid-seventies, when my first wife and I were still relatively newly-weds. Her family was visiting, and I had gone to bed while she stayed up talking with them. As I lay in bed, not altogether happy at her not being there, the idea came to mind.

Professional singers Mike and Sally Hendon (they performed together for years as Two’s Company–you may have seen them at the Trappe Family Lodge in Stowe, VT–but are no longer together) later sent me a recording they had made of this song. One thing they had added to the “as they call out your name” line was a plaintive echo of “Debbie, Debbie, Debbie.”

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Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (music, lyrics, & chords) for many of these songs. “Night Sounds” is one of them. Look for it in this drop-down box.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out here.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Help Me, Lord, in Becoming

Lord, don’t let me become satisfied
With what I think I’ve become for You,
But help me, Lord, in becoming.

Lord, You know I can’t match
What You become for me day by day.
Please help me, Lord, in becoming.

Lord, don’t let me become satisfied
With what I think I have done for You,
But help me, Lord, in doing for You. Lord.

You know I can’t match
What You do for me day by day.
Please help me, Lord, in doing for You.

Lord, don’t let me become satisfied
With how I’ve tried to love You,
But help me, Lord, in loving You.

Lord, You know I can’t match
How You love me day by day.
Please help me, Lord, in loving You.

About this Song:
Are you ever tempted to feel satisfied with your service to God?

I hate to admit it, but I am–every once in a while. I think about my church activities: singing in the choir, playing bass on the praise team, and participating each week in the nursing home ministry. I’ve recently begun using my photographic skills at special church events, too. Those are all good, wholesome, need-to-be-done activities that–frankly–take some time and energy I don’t always have a lot of to spare.

On top of that, I write Christian songs and Christian fiction. I bear a much clearer witness to God through my writing than through my meager efforts at sharing His Good News verbally, so I feel that my writing is important for Kingdom purposes.

Surely God is pleased with what I’ve become, what I’m doing for Him, and how I’m trying to show Him my love. Thinking that way is definitely a periodic temptation.

That’s when I imagine God laughing gently and asking how many brownie points I think my activities are worth. And what good I think they’ll do, anyhow. He reminds me that He doesn’t operate on a system like that.

Our relationship is based on the fact that “He is God, and I am not.” He made me in His image, but we are NOT equals. And His “good and perfect gifts” are nothing I could ever afford. He is the Creator of all that is, and I’m one of His creations. He paid a price I can’t even conceive of to make me His child through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

And what parent doesn’t provide good things for his children? God’s gifts are truly the BEST. Better than anything a human parent can give his children.

So, forget thinking I can pay God back for His goodness. I can’t.

I can thank Him, though. By doing my best to obey Him. By trying to please Him. By trying to become the person He wants me to be, by trying to do the things he wants, and by loving Him in every way I can.

Becoming is a gradual process, however, and the wonderful thing is, God knows how incapable I am of becoming anything worthwhile on my own. I have to depend on Him totally.

Yet no matter how often or how severely I fail, He not only forgives me, He also picks me up, dusts me off, and sets me on the right path again. He knows how much–in my heart of hearts–I want to please Him. No matter how often I mess up and need His forgiveness.

What greater desire can a Christian have than to grow closer to God and to become more Christlike in every possible way? Even though it’s a process that takes an entire lifetime to accomplish.

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Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

Free lead sheets are available for many of my songs, including today’s. You may find them here.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out here.

Best regards, Roger

Posted in Becoming, Being Like Jesus, God's Help, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Without You, Lord

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t be all You want me to be.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t be all You want me to be.

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t see all You want me to see.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t see all You want me to see.

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t do all You want me to do.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t do all You want me to do.

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t give all You want me to give.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t give all You want me to give.

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t love all You want me to love.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t love all You want me to love.
I can’t do all You want me to do.
I can’t be all You want me to be.

About this Song:
(NOTE: This is one of the easiest songs I’ve ever tried teaching a group, because only one word changes from stanza to stanza; note those words in italics above.)

Without You, Lord focuses on how being God-like affects us and what it enables us to do–things we can’t begin to accomplish fully without His help. In our effort to be the people He wants us to be, we will open our eyes to see the needs surrounding us. Then we will do what God wants us to do to touch the lives of others. Consequently, we will give of ourselves–our time, our talents, and our resources. And we will love others because God loved us first. Only with God’s help can we be, see, do, give, and love.

A free lead sheet is available for this song. Select “Without You, Lord” from this drop-down box.

You might also be interested in my other blog, “On Aging Gracelessly.” Check it out here.

I’ll be back again next Wednesday with more lyrics.

Best regard,
Roger

Posted in Being Like God, Love | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment