A Witness Between Us

Sing to the Lord; let’s make up a new song.
Sing to the Lord; let’s make up a new song.
Sing to the Lord; let’s make up a new song
As a witness between us that He is our God.

Sing of His love and sing of His goodness. . .
As a witness between us that He is our God.

Sing of His mercy and His forgiveness. . .
As a witness between us that He is our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord;
Sing of His infinite greatness.

Sing of His power and sing of His presence. . .
As a witness between us that He is our God.

Sing of his truth and sing of His wisdom. . .
As a witness between us that He is our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord;
Sing of His infinite greatness.

Sing to the Lord; let’s make up a new song. . .
As a witness between us that He is our God.

About This Song:

What Christians sing is a witness to others of what they believe. And sometimes that involves the creation of a new song. To be God-honoring, it doesn’t need to have professional potential or adhere to the rules of good musical composition. It just needs to be sincere–from the heart.

I made this song repetitious on purpose–to enable people to sing along with it more easily.

The basic idea comes from Psalm 98:1. . .
Sing to God a brand-new song.
He’s made a world of wonders!
He rolled up his sleeves,

He set things right.
(MSG)

and Joshua 22:34. . .
Reuben and Gad named the altar:
A Witness Between Us.
God Alone Is God.
(MSG)

The rest of the lyrics come from various Psalms and name many of God’s attributes. If you can think of any  I should consider adding–at least as optional stanzas–please Contact Me and let me know.

This song seemed complete for a number of years. But then a new idea came to mind and I  needed to add something. The little bridge that’s in italics: “Sing a new song to the Lord; Sing of His infinite greatness.”

Finally this song had something to break the potential tedium of the repetitious stanzas. I don’t know about other people, but I enjoy singing this song more with the addition of the bridge, even though–unlike a refrain–it only appears twice in the song.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in God's Attributes, God's goodness, God's love, Joshua, Psalms, Singing, Songs, Witness | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blessed by the Past

We’ve been blessed in the past by the Saints who’ve gone before us,
Who in times of tribulation showed theirs was a living faith.
But the future is our challenge, for in days of wealth and leisure,
Will we show a lonely world that God is love?

We’ve been blessed by the past, but will we embrace the future?
When the Lord asks, “Who will go for me?” how will we answer Him?
Will we stay safe in our churches and drop coins into the offering,
Or will we respond to Him, “I’m yours; send me!”?

We’ve been blessed by the past, but when we embrace the future,
We will prove to be a blessing if we show our faith is real.
When we sacrifice our wealth and when we sacrifice our leisure,
We will show a lonely world that God is love.

About This Song:
A number of years ago, one of the Baptist associations in Virginia held a song writing competition as part of the celebration of a significant anniversary, although I can’t recall which association–or even which anniversary.

The theme was “Blessed by the Past.” I honestly thought that was a pretty weird idea–something I ordinarily wouldn’t have been interested in. But it seemed like a worthy challenge.

Months after the event at which the winning song was shared, I sent email to the association office. My song hadn’t won the contest, and that was okay, but what had become of it?

When I heard back, the contest coordinator apologized for the fact my song had somehow gotten lost–and consequently had not been considered.

I didn’t have much choice but to shrug off my frustration. Nothing they could do to make amends.

Have you ever put your best efforts into something you wouldn’t ordinarily have done? Something that seemed like the right thing to do, only to have your efforts ignored–or perhaps to have the project backfire on you? Then you can relate.

Yet as I look at these lyrics, perhaps my decision to write them was my way of telling God, “I’m Yours; send me.”

I believe God sometimes calls people to go somewhere or do something  to test their obedience. God’s asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac comes to mind. God didn’t want Abraham to actually kill his son, but to prove that he put God first. So God was able to prepare Abraham to do what He really wanted.

Let me change directions.

American Christians are currently under attack from the federal government, homosexual organizations, abortionists, atheists and non-Christian religious groups, and who knows how many other special interest groups that represent things Christians cannot biblically accept or endorse. And in some cases they are things Christians must actively oppose.

We may well be facing times of tribulation. Are we prepared to sacrifice our Isaacs to show that ours is a living faith in a loving God–a loving God who teaches us to “hate the sin, but love the sinner”?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Anniversary, Blessings, Future, Past, Persecution, Song Writing Competition, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kiss My Hurting Heart

Like a child who’s tripped and fallen down,
And he cries out for his mama’s help,
Still sobbing till she tends his wounds
And kisses all his hurts away,

So I find that I, too, sometimes fall
And I cry out for my Father’s help.
Lord, come and make things right once more
And kiss my hurting heart.

Kiss my hurting heart, Lord, kiss my hurting heart.
Make things right once more. Lord, kiss my hurting heart.

Like a child who’s wandered out of sight
And she cries out for her daddy’s help,
Still sobbing till he takes her hand
And kisses all her fears away.

So I find that I, too, often stray
And I cry out for my Father’s help
To come and put me on the path
And kiss my fearful heart.

Kiss my fearful heart, Lord, kiss my fearful heart.
Put me on the path. Lord, kiss my fearful heart.

Like a child who breaks his favorite toy,
And he cries out for his momma’s help,
Still sobbing till she fixes it
And kisses all his grief away,

So I find that I, too, often break
And I cry out for my Father’s help.
Lord, come and make things whole once more
And kiss my grieving heart.

Kiss my grieving heart, Lord, kiss my grieving heart.
Make things whole once more. Lord, kiss my grieving heart.

About This Song:
When I was still working at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, we had chapel services every Wednesday morning. One Wednesday, missionary couple David and Chanelle Acton presented a very moving devotional–one that inspired me to write this song.

One thing a good parent does is to kiss his or her children when they hurt. Perhaps it’s a physical injury. Or fear of being separated in a large store. Or grief over losing or breaking a favorite toy.

A good parent not only wants to make the child feel better, but to deal with hurts in the appropriate way. That may involve actually kissing a child’s boo boo, reaching out to assure a child that she’s safe, or making a valiant effort to repair a broken toy.

But God is the best Father of all, and when we’re hurting, He wants us to reach out to Him and ask Him to kiss our hurting hearts. But that requires us to have the humility and dependence of a child.

Are you willing to humble yourself and call out to Him that way in your times of need? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

 

Posted in Hurt, Kiss, Lostness, Parental Love, Toys | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Independent As Cats

We’re as independent as cats,
And we lived our lives on our own
Till we meowed at God’s door
And Jesus Christ took us in,
Took us in, took us in.

Jesus bandaged all of our wounds,
And He made His house our new home.
Ignoring we were just strays,
He treated us as His own,
As His own, as His own.

Though we love our Master so much,
We’re still independent as cats.
We run and play under foot
And paw at fish in the tank,
In the tank, in the tank.

When He calls us, we may just yawn;
When he pets us, we may jump down.
We nip His toes as He sleeps
And we knock plants from the shelf,
From the shelf, from the shelf.

We sun in the window and watch
All the strays Christ wants to bring in;
Then we slink off and we sulk,
Because He loves them all, too,
He loves them, too, He loves them, too.

We’re as independent as cats,
And we lived our lives on our own
Till we meowed at God’s door. . .

About This Song:
This song is one my most unusual ones. I mean, the very idea of comparing ourselves as Christians to stray cats who’ve found a perfect home. How insulting!

And it’s not as if Christians are actually God’s “pets,” either.

But if you get past those objections, I think you’ll find some pretty apt points. Before becoming Believers, we stray and live our lives our own way. Once we become Christians, we’re assured of a permanent place in Heaven, where we will live under God’s eternal care and protection. Not to mention having His loving care while we’re still living on earth.

But do we always behave? Do we always do the things God expects of us? Do we always show our appreciation of Him? Do we always treat Him with the love and respect He deserves?

Not me. No matter how good my intentions, I’m like the apostle Paul, who wrote that in spite of his desire to do good, he still ended up doing bad things.

We should rejoice whenever another sinner comes into God’s family. While we’re not apt to act like Jonah, who griped at God for saving the people of Nivevah after he preached there rather than destroying them, we sometimes feel that way when some really evil person claims to have become a Christian. We don’t want to believe it and we don’t want him or her to be our equal in God’s sight.

A novel I read recently pointed out that each of us is God’s favorite person. He doesn’t love anyone more–or less–than He does anyone else. So there’s no need for jealousy.

There’s more to think about in this song than you possibly thought at first. Please feel free to leave a comment.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Cats, God's love, God's Provision, Heaven, Independence, Jonah | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beggar

I was once a beggar in my soul,
Just looking for a fuller kind of meal,
When another beggar found me and said,
“Let me show you where you can get your fill.”

Then he took me to the House of God
And he gave me some of God’s Living Bread,
And I never felt so satisfied inside
Until from God’s table I was fed.

Then I exclaimed, “Can such a feast be free?
There must be something that I should do to pay.”
Then he explained, “You can’t pay the price God paid,
But you can thank Him by giving His love away.”

So if you’re a beggar in your soul,
Just looking for a fuller kind of meal,
Let me take you to the table of Living God,
Where you can always get your fill.”

About This Song:
I can’t claim that the portrayal of Christians as beggars showing other beggars where to get food is original, but I’ve long thought it an excellent extended metaphor.

I don’t know much about homeless people or beggars regardless of my church’s yearly outreach to a group of homeless men, but I can’t imagine many of them would be willing to help a fellow-beggar unless he or she had a source of food that was sufficient for both of them.

But God’s table is big enough for everyone. Everyone in the world. The Scriptures state  clearly that God doesn’t want anyone to be left out.

The question for us Believers is whether we’re thankful enough for God’s provisions–especially our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ–to willingly share our faith with others. And sometimes to share from our abundance of material possessions as well.

Would you like to share a comment? I’d love to hear from you.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

 

 

Posted in Beggar, Bread, Feast, Good News, Salvation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sing Now of Your Salvation

Give thanks to the Lord,
For He is good;
His love never fails.
Keep singing these
Words of praise to Him,
If you know He’s saved you.

If you’ve ever been so lost
You couldn’t find the way
And wandered far and wide,
But you asked God for help
And He put you on the path,
Sing now of your salvation.

If you’ve ever been at sea
When storm winds struck your ship
And you were sure you’d sink,
But you called out to God
And He brought you safely home,
Sing now of your salvation.

If you’ve ever been bound up,
Entangled in your sins,
Or weighted down by guilt,
But you cried out to the Lord
And He set you fully free,
Sing now of your salvation.

About This Song:
Today’s song is based on various parts of Psalm 107. I’ll only include the first three verses and the last one here. . .

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south. . .
43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
    and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
(NIV)

I saw the greatest quote a few years ago, although I couldn’t tell you where it originated. “Asking a Christian not to talk about Jesus is like asking grandparents not to talk about their grandkids.”

I get slightly jealous when I hear the testimony of someone who had needed rescuing in the worst kind of way from something unimaginably horrible and made a complete change of lifestyles on becoming a Christian.

That doesn’t describe me. I grew up in a fine Christian home, and I was a placid and obedient child. No drastic changes needed when I made my profession of faith in Christ.

But my story only begins with salvation. I’ve encountered  significant storms since then–an incurable illness that could have left me a vegetable; the loss of a three-day-old baby; divorce; downsizing from a job I’d been at almost nineteen years. And those things weren’t the only ones I’ve needed to be rescued from; I did some things later in life that I wasn’t very proud of and learned things about myself I didn’t like.

God has helped me deal with all of those things. He’s rescued me from each one.

No wonder I wrote a song based on Psalm 107. I know how good God has been to me, and–although I can never repay Him for any of His blessings–I can “keep singing these words of praise to Him.”

What about you? Has God rescued you from something you’d be willing to share? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Resue, Salvation, Smiling, Thanks | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Seed Planted by the Lord

I’m like a seed that was planted by the Lord;
I was warmed and watered by His Word until I finally came to life.
My roots reached ever deeper as I thirsted for God’s Truth,
And my stem stretched through the dark soil towards God’s sunlight up above.

And when I broke through the surface of the earth,
I reveled in the freshness and thought that’s the best my life could be.
But when I started to grow, I realized I’d just begun,
And I couldn’t even tell for sure what type of plant I was.

For at that stage, I looked like just any plant;
I could have been a tree or vine, a food or weed, a springtime flower.
But God knew who I was and He attended to my growth.
Now I show that I am His plant when I bear His fruit of love.

About This Song:
Have you ever planted a garden but forgotten to mark which seeds you planted where? I have.

Waiting for the seeds to germinate and break ground was hard enough, but I found that several of the things I’d planted looked amazingly similar when they first pushed their way through the earth. Those little leaves all looked alike to me. Which plants were which?

As the plants continued to grow, I started being able to tell them apart. Some grew upward. Others vined and spread out along the ground. So there was no mistaking a zucchini plant for a watermelon vine–or vice versa. But the most distinguishing feature was yet to come.

Once those plants flowered and started to bear fruit, all doubts about what was what flew out the window. Cantaloupe didn’t grow on a watermelon vine and tomatoes didn’t grow on a zucchini plant.

Every Christian is a seed God has planted. The Lord does everything necessary to nurture our growth. As baby Christians, our identity won’t be fully identifiable until we start to bear God’s fruit by sharing His love with other people.

Are you one of God’s seedlings? I hope so. How about leaving a comment?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

 

Posted in Fruit, Garden, Love, Nurturing, Planting, Seed | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment