I Can Do All Things

I can do all things,
I can do all things,
Not on my own,
But through Christ who strengthens me.

If I should walk on the water
Or move a mountain to prove my faith,
Such power would accomplish nothing at all
Unless as an act of love.

I can do all things,
I can do all things,
Not on my own,
But through Christ who strengthens me.

If I love the Lord my God,
I’ll love my neighbor as I love myself;
I’ll feed him and I’ll forgive him,
And I’ll turn the other cheek.

I can do all things,
I can do all things,
Not on my own,
But through Christ who strengthens me.

About This Song:
I’ve never been physically strong, but that hasn’t stopped me from doing a number of things I couldn’t have done on my own.

Years ago, in Toowoomba (Queensland), Australia, I refused to let the rough terrain above keep me from climbing Tabletop Mountain to enjoy the sights from the smooth, flat, grass-covered surface at the top. I believe God helped me make that climb. And that’s just one example.

But challenges often require something other than physical strength.

God led me to make several career changes over the years–always to something better than the one before. But making changes is scary…unsettling. I not only couldn’t have found the new positions on my own, I wouldn’t have had the courage to make the change without His help.

“I Can Do All Things” is based on several Scripture passages, including Philippians 4:13…
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (GNT)

and 1 Corinthians 13:1-3…
1  I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2 I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good. (GNT)

And let’s not ignore Mark 12:33…
And you must love God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength; and you must love your neighbor as you love yourself. It is more important to obey these two commandments than to offer on the altar animals and other sacrifices to God. (GNT)

1 Corinthians 13 really emphasizes the importance of love–and the fact that love is the most important thing God gives us and allows us to share with others. I couldn’t agree more.


 

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in 1 Corinthians 13, Accomplishments, Change, God's Help, Love, Mountains, Strength | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Strength Alone

My strength alone cannot compare
With power God gives to me through prayer.
I draw fresh power both day and night
To walk by faith and not by sight.

My batteries need charging, Lord;
My power’s running low.
My will is bending to itself;
Without You, I can’t go.

My charge has drained since my last prayer
While doing what I would.
Lord, plug me in and fill me up.
Help me do what I should.

My batteries need charging, Lord;
My power’s running low.
My will is bending to itself;
Without You, I can’t go.

About This Song:
God gives each of His beloved human beings a certain amount of physical and mental strength, and some people have more than others. He expects us to use the resources He’s provided us with.

But our resources are limited. Sometimes they run out.

I can’t speak for you, but all too often I don’t have enough strength to face the daily challenges of life on my own. “My Strength Alone” isn’t good enough.

I find that praying for God’s help is like plugging a battery charger into an outlet in order to give run-down batteries a fresh charge. To return them to useful condition. In effect, to give them new life.

Do you find yourself running out of strength sometimes? Are you having difficulties keeping up with the demands of life?

Plug into God’s unlimited resources and let Him provide the strength you need.

 

 

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Batteries, Power, Prayer, Recharge, Strength | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Foundation Has Settled

The foundation has settled;
Now let it grow.
We’ve been safe inside our building,
But outside we must go.
Inside, we’re warm and loving,
But outside our love must show.
The foundation has settled.
Let us grow.

About This Song:
Sometime during the early 1980s, the First Baptist Church of Easton (Maryland) celebrated its 25th anniversary. As part of the preparation for the celebration, members submitted theme ideas. “The foundation has settled; now let us grow” won. I took the liberty of writing this song from the winning  theme.

New churches are apt to be vibrant. The members are excited.

But as they settle into a routine, the excitement often diminishes.

So this song–and the theme it’s based on–is a reminder that Christians can’t afford to sit on their laurels. The world outside the church is lost and needs their loving outreach.

 

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Anniversary, Church, Easton, Foundation, Growth, Love, MD, Outreach | 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.

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:
Have I ever mentioned that I wrote a rock opera–The Identity of Divinity–some years back 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, and even a few people I’d heard of but didn’t actually know yet, played to several hundred approving members of the community.

I can’t recall whether I wrote “Not Just Some Miracle Worker” for my 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 just someone who existed at one point in time but not now. And even though He was a man, He was also fully God. Believing those two things takes a lot of faith.

No other world religions claim that their founder was divine…or that he’s still alive. And Christianity isn’t a religion, anyhow. Our salvation doesn’t depend on pleasing God. 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 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.

 

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Belief, Christianity, Heaven, King, Miracle Worker, Miracles, Religion, The Identity of Divinity, World Religion, 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 had watched him die.
They’d 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,
And his spirit will live with you evermore.”

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 more back in the early days of my song writing. And this particular song falls more distinctly into a folk-like style than some of my more recent songs.

While Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to believers following his ascension, I don’t believe any of the Gospel accounts of the women in the garden had the angel(s) saying anything about that. Otherwise, I believe this is consistent with Scripture.

I hope you had a blessed Easter. Please leave a comment if this song has spoken to you.

 

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Angels, Dawn, Death, Despair, Easter, Jesus, Jesus' Resurrection, Resurrection, Tomb, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nobody Else

Who else is as wonderful as Jesus?
Nobody else, nobody else.
No one is as wonderful as Jesus.
He’s the only Son of God.

Who but Christ would die to pay for our sins?
Nobody else, nobody else.
Only Christ would die to pay for our sins.
He’s the only Son of God.

Who but Christ could rise from death in victory?
Nobody else, nobody else.
Only Christ could rise from death in victory.
He’s the only Son of God.

Who but Christ will come back to take us home?
Nobody else, nobody else.
Only Christ will come back to take us home.
He’s the only Son of God.

About this Song:
Unlike the Bible, which never changes despite the wide variety of translations available these days, my song lyrics aren’t set in stone. Occasionally I realize there’s a better way to say something or–in this case–something I should emphasize differently.

“Nobody Else” used to have three additional stanzas after “Who else is as wonderful…?” and no matter how appropriate “loving,” “merciful,” and “selfless” were in describing Jesus, I had done what authors are supposed to refrain from doing: I was telling, not showing.

Although I quickly grew tired of that song as written in 2010, it took six years for me to feel led and to find a way to improve it.

In 2016 I deleted those three stanzas and let the remaining ones show how wonderful Jesus was by pointing out that He died for our sins, rose from death in victory, and will come back again at the end of the age to take us home to Heaven.

“Nobody Else” is a pleasure to sing now. It helps me celebrate in a very personal way just how wonderful Jesus was…and still is.

If you’d like to say something about this song, I’d love for you to leave a comment.


rosagus

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Jesus' Death, Jesus' Resurrection, Jesus' Second Coming, Jesus' Uniqueness, Mercy, Resurrection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Father in Heaven (The Lord’s Prayer)

Our Father in Heaven, holy is Your name.
May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Lord, give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive.
Lord, turn us back from temptation’s door,
And keep us safe from the Evil One!

Our Father in Heaven, holy is Your name.

About This Song:
The Lord’s Prayer is one of the Scriptures Christians are most familiar with.

But I wonder how often we forget the fact that Jesus used it to teach His disciples how to pray. It was a model for them to use, not one for them–or us–to necessarily use verbatim.

While I think it’s possible to actually pray the Lord’s Prayer rather than simply repeat it by rote, I also think it’s extremely hard to focus on each element of Jesus’ words while trying to pray that way.

That’s one reason I chose to set Jesus’ prayer to music and to rephrase it my own way. Not out of disrespect for Jesus’ words, but because I needed to say it the way I could better pray it.

What about you? Do you pray The Lord’s Prayer as if the words are yours? Or do you get caught up in repeating word after familiar word in a way that’s almost meaningless–or at least impersonal?

Maybe you don’t want to pray the way I’ve reworded this prayer for my song, and that’s fine. But you can dig out the meaning of each section of the prayer–I won’t attempt to get into that here–and express it your own way. And show that you’ve learned something from Jesus’ model prayer.

We don’t see many specific examples of Jesus’ prayers in the Bible, although we see a number of references to His praying. But I’ll bet He didn’t use the model  prayer as a mold from which to copy His prayers.

rosagus

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Jesus' Teaching, Lord's Prayer, Model Prayer, The Lord's Prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment