Sowing Seeds of Love

A farmer sows his seeds, and they fall everywhere.
Some seeds die where they land, but some will multiply.
Some seeds fall upon the path and some on rocky soil;
Some seeds choke among the thorns, but some fall on good ground.

God’s children scatter seeds of love with all their words and ways.
Some people do not listen; some do not understand.
Some follow, yet they soon turn back–from worry or for wealth.
But some show they’re God’s children now by sowing seeds of love.

About This Song:
This song is based loosely on Matthew 13:3-8 and 19-23, Jesus’ familiar Parable of the Sower. Here are the relevant verses:

3. A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

19 “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
(NIV)

You’ll notice I referred to this story as the Parable of the Sower, which is the heading the NIV uses. And that makes sense. After all, the farmer sowed seed that fell on all of those different kinds of soil.

Different kinds of soil? Hmm. Maybe that’s why some translations call this the Parable of the Soil. I think that makes more sense, because the story really isn’t about WHO sows the seed. It’s about WHERE the seed lands.

If I understand correctly –Jesus explained it pretty simply to His disciples–those who preach God’s Word share it with all kinds of people. Some will reject it outright. Some will accept it for the moment and then fall away. Others will really take it to heart and let it change their lives.

If you’re a Sower of God’s Word, don’t be discouraged that your message won’t reach or win everyone. Jesus had that problem, too.

If you’re not a believer, what kind of soil are you?  Are you receptive to God’s message of love?

Please leave a comment if this song has said something to you.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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:

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God Keeps His Promises

When we make promises, sometimes we break them
And hurt the people we love the most.
But God’s not like that. He’s always truthful.
He always does the things He says He’ll do.

God keeps His promises; He is so faithful.
We need not worry; He keeps His word.
He is our Father; we are His children.
He always gives us what He knows we need.

About This Song:
Ever since I started writing Christian novels–ten or eleven years ago–I probably haven’t averaged one new song a year. I can’t simply set out to write a new song. I need a catchy idea–often a single line–to start with. God shares those with me only periodically.

At my church’s nursing home ministry one Wednesday, Pastor Chadwick presented a devotional about the dependability of God’s promises. One point really got my attention. When people question our word and our truthfulness, it hurts. They’re accusing us of lying.

So how much more it must hurt God when we His children don’t accept His promises without question. We react as if He was lying. Or incapable of keeping His promises. How foolish we are to do that.

He’s proven his dependability time and time again. He’s never let one of us down. He may not always do what we want Him to do, but each of His children knows from personal experience that He truly loves and holds each of us in His hands.

Why should we doubt Him–His intentions or His abilities?

That devotional thought solidified in my mind as “God keeps His promises.” When I first wrote the words, the stanzas were reversed. When I changed the order, I kept the original title. It summed up the whole meaning of the song in those four words.

As you can see from the lyrics, I ended up not dwelling on how we upset God by our failure to take His promises seriously enough, but on the fact He always keeps His word. As opposed to the fact we often fail to.

The melody turned out to be very basic. I often spend weeks trying to work out a tune, but this one came so easily I almost worry whether I’ve accidentally copied something I’ve heard elsewhere but don’t remember or recognize.

God is faithful, though, and I prefer to believe He wanted to bless these lyrics by inspiring the tune and having me offer the completed song to the director of my church’s preschool choir.

How are you at keeping promises? Do you sometimes break them, no matter how hard you try not to? God forgives us for that.

But we’ll never need to forgive Him for broken promises. He always keeps His word, and I count on that in every part of my life. Do you? If not, you’re missing out on something special.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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:

 

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Yes, He Does!

God wants me for his child. Yes, He does!
He loves me as His own. Yes, He does!
He wants what’s best for me. Yes, He does!
He provides all I need. Yes, He does!

God does such wondrous things. Yes, He does!
He gives me light and life. Yes, He does!
He gives me air to breathe. Yes, He does!
He gives me sleep at night. Yes, He does!

God forgives all my sins. Yes, He does!
He soothes my hurting heart. Yes, He does!
He finds me when I’m lost. Yes, He does!
He lifts me when I fall. Yes, He does!

God wants me for his child. Yes, He does!
He loves me as His own. Yes, He does!
He wants what’s best for me. Yes, He does!
He provides all I need. Yes, He does!

About This Song:

I wrote this song in 2011 for one of the children’s choirs at church. Unfortunately, it turned out to be too complicated. (It has some clapping at places that keep the singers on their toes.) Nonetheless, it expresses things (the best I can) from a child’s point of view.

Far too often, we adults overlook the significance of being a child of God. Just as we tend to place a greater emphasis on earthly life than we do on eternal life after earthly death.

I’m adopted. The couple I consider my parents brought me home from the hospital–just as if I had been born to them. My daughter is adopted, too. Even though we didn’t get her until she was five months old, we became the only parents she knew.

I loved my parents, but they’re both dead now–and living with our Heavenly Father. How much better to focus on my sonship with God than on my sonship with them. As His adopted son, I’ve come under the watch-care of the strongest, most powerful–yet most loving–power in the universe.

He knows every detail of my life–past and present. He not only knows the hairs of my head, He knows where each one I’ve lost over the years has gone.

Like any normal human parent, God wants what’s best for me. Unlike even the best of earthly parents, though, He’s able to provide it.

Yet He knows better than anyone else–far better than I know–what’s good for me and what isn’t. He gives me everything I need and more, yet He never spoils me with things that would hurt me or come between Him and me.

I could go on, but you understand what I mean. The song says it all.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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 Adoption, Children, God as a Father, God's Family, God's Gifts, God's love, God's protection, God's Provision | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Till I Place My Life in His Hands

Christ went to a wedding,
And when the wine had run out,
Nobody else knew just what to do.
He asked that six large stone jars
Be filled up with plain water;
When they tasted it,
The water had turned to finest wine.

He turned ordinary water into extraordinary wine;
Nothing is too commonplace for God to use.
I can never know what kind of wine He’ll make from me
Till I place my life in His hands.

Jesus had been preaching,
And the crowds were getting hungry.
Only five loaves and two small fish could be found.
He took that food and blessed it,
And thousands ate their fill.
Twelve baskets full of crumbs were left when they were done.

He turned meager bread and fish into a feast to feed a crowd.
Nothing is too everyday for God to use.
I can never tell what type of feast He’ll use me for
Till I place my life in His hands.

Jesus had been walking,
When He came upon a blind man,
One who’d been sightless ever since his birth.
Christ made a spittle mud mask
And placed it on the man’s eyes.
On rinsing them, that man found he could finally see.

Christ turned worthless dirt and spit into a cure for sightless eyes.
Nothing is too unclean for God to use.
I can never tell whose eyes I might turn to the Lord
Till I place my life in His hands.

About This Song:

 

Twenty-five years ago, Ron Crawford, my pastor at the time, preached a sermon one Sunday from John 2:2-10.

 

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so,
and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Then he preached on Mark 6:35-44 the following Sunday:

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[a]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
(NIV)

Both sermons had to do with God’s ability to use the plainest, simplest, most seemingly unusable materials to perform the most extraordinary miracles.

Three years ago I came across the familiar story from John 9:1-7:

As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples questioned Him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We[a] must do the works of Him who sent Me[b] while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
After He said these things He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. “Go,” He told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.
(HCSB)

While turning water into the finest wine, creating a feast to feed thousands from a little boy’s lunch, and using dirt and spit to cure a blind man are major miracles, the fact that God not only wants to make us His children but allow us to participate in the family business–reaching out to others and loving them in our Father’s name–is pretty amazing, too.

None of us is up to carrying out our assignment as Christians on our own. We all need God’s help to become the people He wants us to be. But that kind of help is readily available. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Viewed from a different perspective, “God doesn’t call the enabled. He enables the called.” And each of us is called. The question is whether we’ll respond to the call and allow Him to enable us. He isn’t going to assign the same tasks and talents to each of us, but He’ll give us what we need to do our part in advancing His Kingdom on earth.

What do you think? Will you allow God to turn you into something miraculously useful in spite of your weaknesses? That should be the prayer of all of God’s children.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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 Blindness, Bread, Compliance, Feast, Fish, God's plan, Miracles, Ron Crawford, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Praise the Lord, Oh My Soul!

Praise the Lord; how my heart sings!
Let my whole being praise Him.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

Bless the Lord; let my life sing
Of His great loving kindness.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

God forgives me for my sins
And heals all my diseases!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

Long He’s kept me from the grave;
His love and mercy clothe me!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

God provides such perfect gifts;
He helps us soar like eagles!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

About This Song:
I have a lot of favorite songs among the several hundred I’ve written, but this is one of the most fun to sing and play. If you’re a musician, I highly recommend downloading and/or printing the lead sheet here. Note that the asterisks indicate a single hand clap. That can be tricky to do. I tap on the guitar with my fingertips rather than clap.

If you think this song sounds like something from the book of Psalms, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Check out Psalm 103:1-5…

1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(NIV)

As usual when I’m writing based on Scripture, the wording is apt to deviate from the Bible. But I do my best to keep the meaning intact.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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 David, God's protection, God's Provision, Praise, Psalms, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He’s Not Finished Yet

I’m like clay that the Lord is making something from, (3x)
But He’s not finished yet.
No, He’s not done.

He takes pleasure in making something good from me, (3x)
But He’s not finished yet.
No, He’s not done.

God keeps molding me till I am the way He wants, (3x)
But He’s not finished yet.
No, He’s not done.

I can’t tell what the Lord is making out of me, (3x)
But He’s not finished yet.
No, He’s not done.

I’m like clay that the Lord is making something from, (3x)
But He’s not finished yet.
No, He’s not done.
He’s not finished yet.
No, He’s not done.

About This Song:
When God made the world, the earth was “void and without form” (Genesis 1:2). But He took that void and gave it form and substance. As if he were a master potter creating a work of art out of nothing.

As if that wasn’t sufficiently amazing, He created man from the “dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). Another work of art from the Master Potter. The “crown of creation.”

But when Adam and Eve brought sin into the world through the misuse of free will, they became cracked vessels. No longer the works of beauty their Maker had intended. And no longer able to function the way He had intended.

But God demonstrated His love for His broken creation throughout the Bible. Time after time He demonstrated His desire to restore His broken human vessels and make them beautiful and useful once more.

The prophet Jeremiah understood:
“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in His hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”
(Jeremiah 18:3-4, NIV)

So did Isaiah:
“Yet, O Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
(Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

Isaiah also said, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?”

Each of God’s children is a work in progress. We’ll never be complete until we reach heaven. Unlike a flawed piece of clay, however, we have a choice about letting God work on us. If we resist Him, we’re apt to be unduly miserable. But if we view the process as a good and necessary thing–no matter how unpleasant it seems at the time–we can be sure God will turn us into something far better and more useful than we can do on our own.

I’m glad God’s not finished with me yet. I’d hate to think I’m already the best I can be.

What about you? Your comments are welcome.

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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 Adam & Eve, Art, Brokenness, Clay, Creation, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Potter, Sin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Wish I’d Been Living

I wish I’d been living when Jesus was born.
If I’d been an angel, I’d have joined in their song.
If I’d been a seeker I’d have followed the star.
But I wasn’t born yet, though I follow Him now.

refrain
I wasn’t born yet; I couldn’t be there.

Christ died for my life; I’ll live for Him now.

I wish I’d been living when Christ was a kid.
If I’d been His neighbor, He’d have been my best friend.
If I’d been his rabbi, I’d have marveled at all He knew.
But I wasn’t born yet, though He’s my best friend now.
refrain

I wish I’d been living when Christ was a man.
If I’d heard His sermons, I’d have savored each word.
If I’d been His disciple, I’d have fished hard for men.
But I wasn’t born yet, though I listen to Him now.
refrain

I wish I’d been living when Jesus was killed.
If I’d been His witness, I’d have told how good He was.
I’d have offered Him water when He said, “I thirst.”
But I wasn’t born yet, though I’m His witness now.
refrain

I wish I’d been living when Christ rose from death.
If I’d been with the women, I’d have shouted, “Praise the Lord!”
If I’d been with Thomas I’d have said, “Help me believe.”
But I wasn’t born yet, though I believe now.
refrain

I wish I’d been living when Christ rose through the clouds.
If I’d been there watching, I’d have cried, “Lord, come back soon!”
If I’d been in Heaven, I’d have said, “Lord, welcome home.”
But I wasn’t born yet, though I’m watching for Him now.
refrain

About This Song:

I’ve written songs about Christmas and I’ve written songs about Easter. I’ve also written songs that are about both of those special events.

But this song goes miles further. It originally covered only the time from Jesus’ birth to His resurrection. But a few years ago I felt inspired to add the final stanza to cover His ascension back into heaven.

This subject is interesting to speculate about. What kind of relationship would each of us have had with Jesus if we’d been alive two thousand years ago and known Him in person?

Surely we would have recognized Him as the Son of God–the promised Messiah–and been the most faithful and supportive disciples of all. We wouldn’t have betrayed Him or let Him down. That’s what we’d like to believe, isn’t it?

But–as the song reminds us–we weren’t alive then. We can’t go back in time. We can’t know what He would’ve meant to us–if anything. So the only important thing that really matters is what kind of relationship we have with Him now.

  • Is He living through us or do we live as if He’s long dead and gone?
  • Is He our best friend or someone we’re embarrassed to acknowledge we know personally?
  • Is He someone we talk with on a regular basis or someone we turn to only when times are tough?
  • Is He the prime model of how God wants us to live or just an excellent preacher, teacher, and story teller?
  • Is He the only way to God or just one of many?

I can answer those questions for myself, but I can’t do it for you. Is your relationship with Jesus real?

Free lead sheets (lyrics, tune, and chords) are available for many of my songs. Click on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page to see whether one is available for this song. Videos for many of my songs, some recorded at home and some at our church’s nursing home ministry, can be accessed at my website, RogerBruner.com, under the Listen tab.

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 Ascention, Birth, Christmas, Easter, Jesus' birth, Jesus' Death, Jesus' Humanity, Jesus' Teaching, Jesus's Resurrection, Preaching, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment