Because He Is Lord

How happy are those who worship the Lord with their songs
And live in the light of His presence!
Because He is Lord, they rejoice always,
And they sing of His everlasting goodness.
Yes, they sing of His everlasting goodness.

How happy are those who trust in the Lord with their hearts
And not in their own understanding!
Because He is Lord, they rejoice always,
And they sing of His ever abundant mercy.
Yes, they sing of His ever abundant mercy.

How happy are those who strive to live within God’s will,
Convinced that His plans all prove perfect!
Because He is Lord, they rejoice always,
And they sing of His never failing kindness.
Yes, they sing of His never failing kindness.

How happy are those who worship You, Lord, with their songs
And live in the light of Your presence!
Because You are Lord, they rejoice always,
And they sing of your everlasting goodness.
Yes, they sing of your everlasting goodness.

About This Song:
“Because He Is Lord” was inspired by three different Scriptures…

Psalm 89:15-16
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
(NIV)

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
(NIV)

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
(NIV)

When’s the last time you had a complex plan work out exactly the way you intended? It does happen sometimes, but–more often than not–even the “best-laid plans” encounter little glitches along the way.

God’s plans are perfect, though.

“What?” you ask. “If His plans are so perfect, why isn’t my life perfect?”

To answer that, we need to look back at the Garden of Eden. Life was perfect–until Adam and Eve sinned. God had to expel them from the Garden, and their lives ceased to be perfect. Because they failed to remain in God’s perfect plan.

Throughout the Bible, God promised His people–not just the Jews, but everyone who trusts in Him–that He would take care of them. But if they strayed, they brought imperfection into their lives.

Hmm. We all sin, though. Where’s our hope?

God’s mercy is far beyond my ability to comprehend. When we confess our sins and ask His forgiveness, we place our lives back under His control. That won’t necessarily make them perfect from a human perspective, but we can rest assured that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s all the assurance I need. No wonder I love to sing about God’s goodness.

A PDF lead sheet for this song is not available. However, if you think this song might prove useful for your needs, please Contact Me at my website to make a request for it. I can’t promise to honor your request, but I’ll do the best I can.

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

Best regards,
Roger

                 

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Posted in God's goodness, Happiness, Light, Perfect Plan, Trust, Uncategorized, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

You can find a free lead sheet of this song in the drop down box found on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page.

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

Best regards,
Roger

     

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Posted in Disasters, Free will, Pain, Prosperity, Suffering, Wicked People, Wrongdoing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Jesus Loves

Who is blind, one who cannot see,
Yet seeks to care for those in need?
Or one who claims to see,
But never looks beyond himself?

Who is deaf, one who cannot hear,
Yet heeds the cries of those in pain?
Or one who claims to hear,
But listens only to himself?

Who is lame, one who cannot walk,
Yet takes the hands of those who’re lost?
Or one who claims to walk,
But never goes outside himself?

Refrain:
How blind are those who will not see
The needs that Jesus sees!
How deaf are those who will not hear
The cries that Jesus hears!
How lame are those who will not take
The hands that Jesus takes!
But how blessed are those
Who love as Jesus loves.

About this Song:
The three stanzas are quiet and reflective. The refrain comes only at the end, and it’s much livelier.

And here’s a secret about how I kept the stanzas straight while memorizing this song. The three conditions–blindness, deafness, and lameness–come in alphabetical order. To keep the lines straight within each stanza, each second line has a word that begins with the same letter as the condition mentioned in the line before: see, seeks; hear, heeds; lame, lost. And the supposedly sighted person fails to look “beyond himself” while the person supposedly able to get around fails to go “outside himself”–another intentional alphabetical choice.

Not accidents, I can assure you. I’m too well aware of the limitations of my memory.

I’m aware of my other limitations, too.

Joyce Richards, my former mother-in-law, suffered for years with what was first diagnosed as ALS: Lou Gehrig’s disease. When her condition quit deteriorating–and she continued to live–the doctors said maybe this was the slow-developing kind.

But they really didn’t know.

Even though they had ruled out other degenerative diseases, they still couldn’t be sure. She ended up having to use a motorized chair and a specially equipped van, but she didn’t act like a handicapped person. At least not during the time she was part of my life.

She was a giving and caring person–and she didn’t hide her faith, not even from her favorite Jewish physician.

I’m not sure what sparked this song, but I’ll always think of it as Joyce Richards’ song. For she was physically lame, yet always taking the hands of those around her in the most giving and unselfish ways.

Yet how many Christians think of themselves as righteous–while failing to see or respond to the needs of others; while failing to hear and answer the cries of others; while failing to reach out and assist those who need their help?

I’m guilty–too often–of failing to “love as Jesus loves.” I may care enough to pray, and that’s important. I may cry over the needs of others, and that’s good.

But how often am I willing to get a little dirt on me through hands-on assistance? Not often enough.

So whenever I sing this song, I’m preaching to myself. But I’m also setting up a goal: to gain the blessing that comes from loving as Jesus loves.

Your comments are always welcome.

You can find a free lead sheet of this song in the drop down box found on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page.

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

Best regards,
Roger

     

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No Song Is Unworthy

No song is unworthy to be sung to the Lord
If God lives within you, making your life sing for Him.
Sing for Him, sing for Him, sing for Him.

No tune is less than beautiful to sing to the Lord
If your life’s in tune with what God wants your life to be.
Wants you to be, wants you to be, wants you to be.

No rhythm is unsteady to be sung to the Lord
If your life’s in rhythm with God’s heartbeat of love.
Heartbeat of love, heartbeat of love, heartbeat of love.

No words are less than poetry to sing to the Lord
If your life sings of the Word who is making your life sing.
Making you sing, making you sing, making you sing for Him.

About this Song:
A number of years ago, I was feeling rather down about my singing and songwriting, and I wrote this song to convince myself that what I was doing was important to God, even if it didn’t matter to anyone else.

I wrote a harmony part for it and have done duets with various people on mission trips overseas (everywhere from Wales to Australia) as well as locally with my wife. I’ve also enjoyed doing private duets with such (much better) singers as Janet Roller, Angela Hunt, and Jane Herlong. Incidentally, Jane was so gracious she emailed me to thank me for letting her sing it with me.

Note the logical progression of the lyrics. It goes from “song”–the song as a whole–to the various components: tune, rhythm, and words. I always consider words to be the most important part of a song. Because of that fact, perhaps the fact that I have a blog like this shouldn’t surprise you.

The recording of this song on the second drop box down here has me doing both parts. I don’t normally do it quite that slowly, and it’s really hard to blend with myself. About this recording, perhaps I should simply say that “No recording is unworthy if it’s the best I can do without someone else’s help.”

You can find a free lead sheet of this song in the drop down box found on the Lead Sheets tab under my picture at the top of this page.

Comments are always welcome.

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

Best regards,
Roger

     

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Posted in Lyrics, Rhythm, Songs, Tune, Words, Worth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Such Good News

Tell your family and your friends that God is real.
Tell your neighbors all around that God is real.
Tell each person you encounter God is real.
Can you keep such good news to yourself?

Tell your family and your friends that God is good.
Tell your neighbors all around that God is good.
Tell each person you encounter God is good.
Can you keep such good news to yourself?

Tell your family and your friends that God is love.
Tell your neighbors all around that God is love.
Tell each person you encounter God is love.
Can you keep such good news to yourself?

God loves us so much He sent His Son
To conquer sin and death; the victory’s won.
He gave us that good news to share.
Let’s tell the world how much we really care.

Tell your family and your friends that Jesus lives.
Tell your neighbors all around that Jesus lives.
Tell each person you encounter Jesus lives.
Can you keep such good news to yourself?

Tell your family and your friends that Jesus saves.
Tell your neighbors all around that Jesus saves.
Tell each person you encounter Jesus saves.
Can you keep such good news to yourself?

God loves us so much He sent His Son
To conquer sin and death; the victory’s won.
He gave us that good news to share.
Let’s tell the world how much we really care.

Let’s show the world how much we really care.

About This Song:
In the early 2000s I went on a two-week mission trip to Jibou, Romania. The folks at the Baptist church there were so nice.

As we went around to minister at other churches in that vicinity, I learned that the Jibou church had planted most–if not all–of the other churches. That’s what I call spreading the Word.

At the end of our trip, I recall sitting in the back of the van as we drove to Budapest, Hungary (nearest airport). I was thinking about how evangelistic the members of the Jibou church were, and the idea for this song started to form.

I’d like to believe that singing this song and sharing it on this blog are two ways to share the truths of the Gospel with my family and friends, my neighbors, and everyone I encounter.

This is a good song to teach other people to sing, and you can add verses almost endlessly.

You can find a free PDF lead sheet (chords, melody, & lyrics) for this song on the drop down box at the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page.

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

Best regards,
Roger

 

     

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Posted in Family, Friend, Good News, Jibou, Neighbor, Romania, Sharing, Sharing God's Love, Telling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Words

God’s words are like the rain and snow
That fall on dry, thirsty ground,
So seeds can be planted and crops be grown
To bring forth a plentiful yield.

As the Word of God goes around the earth
And drenches dry, thirsty hearts,
It never comes back to Him again
Till it’s done all He wants it to do.

About This Song:
If you do a search in this blog for a song called “A Special Rain,” you’ll find it’s based on the same Scripture this one is based on, Isaiah 55:10-11.

10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
(NIV)

Truthfully, “God’s Words” is a total rewrite of “A Special Rain.” Same tune, same chords.

I didn’t notice until long years after writing the original song that I’d ignored the part about God’s Word not returning to Him empty; “void” is probably the more familiar wording.

Overlooking that had totally changed–or at least weakened–my interpretation of the Scripture. The fact is, the sharing of God’s Word produces results. Maybe not immediately.  But eventually.

My wife and I have shared God’s Good News–His Word– with some people who’re very special to us. People we’ve been praying for for years. Does that mean their salvation is assured?

Whoops! Now I’m guilty of trying to put my own spin on the Bible. If I read the Scripture passage correctly, the fulfillment of God’s Word depends on His specific purpose. His purpose is often different from ours.

I believe Kathleen and I need to keep praying for those people, though. But we also need to pray for God’s will–His purpose–to be carried out.

To see, print, or download a free PDF lead sheet of this song, go to the Lead Sheets tab on this blog.

Your comments are welcome.


 

     

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

Best regards,
Roger

 

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Psalm 40 (Part Four)

At the assembling of Your people together, Lord,
I will sing glad songs of salvation.
Good news like that cannot be kept a secret;
I’ll not be silent till everyone knows that
You are the giver of eternal life.
You are all faithfulness,
You are all loyalty,
You are all love.

At the assembling of Your people together, Lord,
I will sing glad songs of salvation.
Good news like that cannot be kept a secret;
I’ll not be silent till everyone knows
You are the Lord of everlasting life;
Your faithfulness keeps me safe,
Your loyalty keeps me sure,
Your love makes me strong.

About this Song:
Today we look at the last of my songs from the first eleven verses of Psalm 40. I was working from the Good News Translation:

9  In the assembly of all your people, Lord,
      I told the good news that you save us.
      You know that I will never stop telling it.
10 I have not kept the news of salvation to myself;
      I have always spoken of your faithfulness and help.
   In the assembly of all your people I have not been silent
      about your loyalty and constant love.
11 Lord, I know you will never stop being merciful to me.
      Your love and loyalty will always keep me safe.

One thing you’ve probably noticed is that although I tried to capture the truth of the Scripture, I elaborated on the Psalm much more in this song than in the other three. Something else you may have noticed was the treatment of verse 11, which is different from what you might have expected. Instead of putting that verse into its own set of lines, I worked faithfulness, love, and loyalty into each of the two stanzas. I didn’t specifically say anything about mercy, but I think it’s implied.

The last four lines in the second stanza parallel those in the first stanza:
1.
You are the giver of eternal life.
2.
You are the Lord of everlasting life;

1.
You are all faithfulness,
2.
Your faithfulness keeps me safe,

1.
You are all loyalty,
2.
Your loyalty keeps me sure,

1.
You are all love.
2.
Your love makes me strong.

By the way, I’m currently creating lead sheets for the four Psalm 40 songs. I hope to have them available at the Lead Sheets tab within the next day or so if you’re interested.

Your comments are welcome.

 

     

Links you might be interested in:

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

Best regards,
Roger

 

Posted in Good News, Psalm Forty, Psalms, Sharing, Sharing God's Love | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment