I Come Believing, Lord

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of Light,
And as I go my way,
Help me to shine.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of Strength,
And as I go my way,
Help me be strong.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of Truth,
And as I go my way,
Help me be true.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of love,
And as I go my way,
Help me to love.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of life,
And as I go my way,
Help me to live.

About This Song:
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I like to write songs about God’s attributes–and about how He is the source of whatever goodness we have.

If you have any doubt about that, look at the low moral condition not just of the United States, but of the whole world. More and more, “progressive” world citizens are denying the existence of God. In the process, they are also eliminating the codes of conduct based on God’s Ten Commandments and inviting everyone to do his own thing, because they don’t believe any kind of behavior is actually wrong.

Hmm. Tell that to the failed abortions that have survived the torture they went through.

I make no apologies for being a Christian or for believing that God’s way is the only right way to live. He is the only source of light, strength, truth, and love. And ultimately of life itself.

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Dependence, Life, Light, Loyalty, Strength, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Just Some Miracle Worker

Christ was not just some miracle worker
Whose magic died with him,
For Christ is still alive and he changes the lives
Of those who believe that he came here
To die for their sins,
Came to die for their sins.

But this world is far too ready when it
Comes to accepting Christ as man and nothing more.
But this world is quite unsteady when it
Comes to accepting Christ as God in human form.

Christ was not just some man out of history
Who changed B.C. to A.D.,
For Christ stepped out of time to make room in eternity
For the world if the world would only believe,
If the world would believe.

But this world is far too ready when it
Comes to accepting Christ as man and nothing more.
But this world is quite unsteady when it
Comes to accepting Christ as God in human form.

Christ was not just some radical peasant
Who was crowned with thorns King for a Day,
For Christ has a kingdom that is not of this world.
I don’t know where it is,
But I know that I’ll see it some day,
I’ll live there some day.
Some day.

About This Song:

You may have seen me mention that I wrote a rock opera–The Identity of Divinity–many years ago to “straighten out” the theology expressed by Jesus Christ Superstar at the peak of its popularity.

My work, which was presented by a dedicated team of friends, students, fellow church members, members of local bands, plus a few people I hadn’t even known before (more than fifty people were involved), played to several hundred approving members of the community.

I can’t recall whether I wrote “Not Just Some Miracle Worker” for that rock opera or whether I’d written it previously and decided to use it in The Identity of Divinity.

Nonetheless, this song really emphasizes the fact that Jesus isn’t someone who existed at one point in time but not now. And the fact that–even though He was fully human–He was also fully God.

That’s why Christianity differs from the other so-called world religions. Christianity isn’t a religion at all. Our salvation doesn’t depend on pleasing God or trying to appease Him. None of us is good enough to do that.

Christianity is a relationship. Christ is the mediator between us and God Himself. If God the Father is the Judge, then Jesus serves as our lawyer. Not to claim that we’re innocent, but to remind His Father that He (Jesus) had already endured a horribly unjust death sentence just so we wouldn’t have to.

Do you have that kind of relationship with God through faith in Jesus? I hope so.

How about leaving a comment?

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

 

Posted in Belief, Christianity, Miracle Worker, Miracles, Relationship, Religion, The Identity of Divinity, World Religions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Then Dawned Sunday

Then dawned Sunday, the first day of the week,
When into the garden silently came
Troubled women to anoint the body of their friend,
Who–Friday on a cross–had been slain.

These women had endured his trial; these women watched him die.
They wept as they saw his body torn by pain.
But they never stopped to think–they never realized–
That what he had told them was true:
That they’d see him in the flesh, alive again.

These women approached the tomb in the stillness of the dawn,
When they saw that the rock was gone from the door.
“Fear not,” an angel said, “the one you seek is not dead,
But has risen and lives today;
Go to Galilee; there you’ll see the resurrected Lord.”

Then dawned Sunday, the first day of the week,
When out from the garden joyously ran
Shouting women to proclaim that one who had been slain
Had lived, died, and arisen as God and man.

About this Song:
This is one of my oldest songs–thirty to forty years. I used rhymes a lot in the early days of my song writing; although I seldom bother with them now, look at “Days, Hours, Moments” here to see a drastic exception.

This song also better reflects the folk sound that has played such an important part in my guitar playing and song writing than many of my more recent songs.

Because the Gospels differ in their details about Resurrection Morning, I had to make two decisions: Would one woman go to the tomb initially or several? And would there be one angel at the tomb or two?

I don’t consider the differences between the biblical accounts to be significant; two truthful witnesses may see or experience the same event personally and still describe the details differently. If you doubt that, ask someone who’s close to you to relay something that happened to both of you and see if you don’t start correcting one another almost immediately.

One thing I didn’t like about the original lyrics was I had the angel saying Jesus’s “spirit will live with you evermore” as the last line in the third stanza. I’d done that to make a rhyme, but–unfortunately–that’s not what the angel told the women.

Jesus appeared to His disciples later. When He breathed on them, He said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” But that had nothing to do with what the angel had said.

Poetic license is one thing, but purposely misquoting the Bible is something else. For years I wanted to rewrite that line, but the change was slow in coming. I was limited by the fact that the last word had to rhyme with “door.”

Just a day or two before Easter this year, the line shown in the lyrics above came to mind after I’d already settled on a different new line. I don’t think most people will even notice that it uses a “false” rhyme (door/Lord).

Although this song still doesn’t include everything the angel says, at least it’s biblically correct now.

I hope you had a blessed Easter.

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

 

Posted in Angels, Dawn, Easter, Resurrection, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Crucifixion Now Is Past

The crucifixion now is past,
And Christ is in His tomb at last,
And at the door the stone is fast.

The tumult and the shouting’s done.
His friends have left Him one by one;
To them He seemed a setting sun.

Despair-black is this evening’s light.
There is no star at Heaven’s height
As on an earlier holy night.

There are no angels in the sky.
There are no shepherds standing nigh.
There is no babe in crib to lie.

Just a body killed and torn
From some fishers now forlorn–
A Savior killed who once was born.

Once the Savior’s life was spent,
The temple veil in two was rent.
Darkness on the earth was sent.

About this Song:

Although I can only be sure I’d written the lyrics for this song sometime prior to 1972, when I used it in my rock opera, The Identity of Divinity, I can trace the tune back to the  fall of 1966. I had started taking a college course in 20th Century Poetry, and our first assignment was either to practice reading a particular poem aloud or, if we desired, to set it to music.

I opted for the second choice. I have no idea what the poem was, but fortunately I didn’t forget my tune and chord progression.

You can tell my lyrics are not recent by the way they rhyme. Although I rarely rhyme anymore, I also don’t use words like “nigh” and “forlorn.” Furthermore, since we know baby Jesus lay in a manger, I would’ve driven myself crazy trying to find a one-syllable synonym for manger. Although “trough” would be an accurate substitute, the very sound of that word would have destroyed the effectiveness of the two preceding lines.

The important thing is that this is a very slow and somber view of the situation following Jesus’s crucifixion and how different things were from the joy surrounding His birth. It’s also quite a contrast from the Palm Sunday song I shared last week: “Our King, Triumphant.”

Next week will feature an appropriate Easter song. Look for it next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

Posted in Contrast, Crucifixion, Easter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our King, Triumphant

Come listen, friends and strangers, too;
You’ll never guess what’s happening.
That Jesus fellow’s coming into town.

You know just the one I mean;
He resurrected Lazarus.
That very man is riding up the street.

The crowds are so excited now;
They think he’s our Messiah.
Let’s go and see this new king for ourselves.

You know what the Scriptures say:
There’s nothing to be scared of.
Our king will come upon a donkey’s colt.

The cheers are getting closer now;
Let’s gather up palm branches
And praise the Lord for sending us a king.

Something tells me such a day
Will never be forgotten:
Our King Triumphant, riding into town!

About This Song:
In 1993, when I was still working at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, I was asked if I wanted to share an Easter song at the IMB’s pre-Easter chapel service.

Since I’m eager to share my music anywhere I can, I jumped at the invitation and began working on a new song. Although I recorded an accompaniment to use with it–regrettably, it wasn’t as good as the ones I’m able to record now–the song was well received.

I play guitar in my church’s nursing home ministry and do one solo each week. As close as possible to the Wednesday before Palm Sunday, I use “Our King, Triumphant.” I don’t know whether the residents recognize it from year to year, but the other folks on our ministry team seem to enjoy the annual repeats.

The song is based on John 12:9ff, but also makes reference to Zechariah 9:9…

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Note that the narrator of the song changes between the second and third stanzas. Someone first alerts the people close to him that Jesus is coming. Since word of Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead had probably made the rounds and was still fresh on people’s minds, that proves a good way for the first narrator to identify who Jesus is.

Then the rest of the song shows the reaction of someone in the crowd to the announcement. He listens first with interest (perhaps even with a little skepticism), but gradually gets caught up in the excitement of the event. Even more important, however, he recognizes that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday will probably have special significance for years to come.

As indeed it has.

What about you? Would you have been one of the skeptics or would you have joined in the celebration of the coming King? How about leaving a comment?

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Donkey's Colt, Easter, Jerusalem, King, Palm Branches, Palm Sunday, Triumphal Entry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eternal Life

God loved the world so much
That He gave His only Son,
So everyone who believes in Him will not die,
But have eternal life.

Christ lived a sinless life;
Yet He died a sinner’s death.
His Father reached into the tomb
And brought Him outside alive again.

I know Christ Jesus lives;
He’s given me new life:
A life of hope and joy and peace
And the promise of eternal life with Him.

God loved the world so much
That He gave His only Son.
Won’t you believe Jesus live and died and rose again
To give you eternal life?
Won’t you believe Jesus live and died and rose again
To give you eternal life?

About This Song:
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (NKJV)

It’s no wonder John 3: 16 is the heart of the Gospel message. And that’s why I decided to include it today as the first in a series of Easter-related songs.

I want to share four special songs over the next four weeks, starting next Wednesday. “Our King, Triumphant” is for Palm Sunday. “The Crucifixion Now Is Past” is about Good Friday, contrasting the events of that day with Jesus’s birth. “Then Dawned Sunday” is about Easter itself, and “Not Just Some Miracle Worker” wraps up the Easter season.

The official Easter season, I should say. For Christians, the Easter season lasts all year long.

One of the first songs I ever wrote was John 3:16-17. Then a couple of years ago I felt led to write this one, which focuses only on John 3:16.

I’d never expected it to have four different emphases, though. The first stanza refers to John 3:16. The second is the Easter story in a very small nutshell. The third is what I consider my own personal testimony about what being a Christian means. And the fourth is an invitation to non-believers to consider the truth about Jesus and become believers, too.

Any comments? I’d love to hear them.

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

 

Posted in Crucifixion, Easter, Eternal Life, Eternity, God's love, Invitation, John 3:16, Lostness, Missions, Palm Sunday, Searching, Testimony | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Let Me Share it with You!

When Jesus Christ was born upon the earth,
Son of God, yet fully man,
His Father sent a choir of angels
To announce the good news.

“Glory to God, peace on the earth,
Good will from God to man. Christ is born.”

I’ve heard the Good News; I believe it.
Now let me share it with you.

When Jesus Christ arose from earthly death,
Son of man, yet fully God,
His Heavenly Father sent an angel
To announce the good news.

“He is not here; the tomb is empty.
Christ lives again. Go tell everyone!”

I’ve heard the Good News; I believe it.
Now let me share it with you.

About This Song:
Okay. So early March isn’t during the Christmas season. But that doesn’t make the message of “Now Let Me Share it with You” any less relevant for Believers. Especially now that we’re so close to the Easter season.

God used angels throughout the Bible. Maybe more in the Old Testament, although we may be more familiar with those in the New Testament.

They were messengers. And the messenger-angels in this song–as in the Scriptures it’s based on–announced the best of Good News, Jesus’ birth as a human baby and His resurrection from death.

The first stanza is based on Luke 2:13-14…
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  (NIV)

The second stanza comes from Mark 16:4-6…
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
(NIV)

I wasn’t alive at the time of Jesus’ birth or resurrection. But I’ve heard those stories many times, and I believe they’re true.

And now that I’ve used this song to preach to myself, I’ve also shared that same Good News–at least in part–with you.

What better news have you heard today? Ever? How about leaving a comment.

Look for me again next Wednesday. Better still, subscribe to receive these weekly posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

        

Links you might be interested in:

 

 

 

Posted in Angels, Christmas, Easter, Good News, Jesus' birth, Jesus' Death, Messengers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment