Create in Me a Clean Heart, O Lord

You may listen to a recording of this song here.

Create in me a clean heart, O Lord,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Don’t turn me away from Your presence, Lord,
Or withhold Your Spirit from me.
Don’t withhold Your Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation;
Let Your Spirit make me whole once more.

Create in me a clean heart, O Lord,
And renew a right spirit in me.
Lord, renew a right spirit in me.

About this Song
RogerCapped - smallerI have to be honest. Ever since I started writing novels in earnest over the past ten or twelve years, I’ve written fewer songs. I’ve really missed it, though, but I can’t write a new song until God gives me an idea, and He seems to have kept me busier with novels.

At my church’s weekly nursing home ministry one day three years ago, Bob Gearheart presented a devotional that concluded with a group prayer using Psalm 51:10-12. He prayed a phrase aloud, and everyone repeated it after him before he proceeded to the next phrase.

The devotional itself was quite good, but the use of the verses from that Psalm as a prayer–something Bob hadn’t originally intended to do–was especially moving. I couldn’t ignore the feeling that this was a song God wanted me to write.

What Christian hasn’t occasionally recognized that things between him and God aren’t quite right? Perhaps He seems distant. And the relationship with Him no longer seems as joyous and meaningful as it used to be.

How relevant Psalm 51:10-12 is to those problems:

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

King David wrote this psalm seeking God’s forgiveness after Nathan confronted him about his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Bathsheba’s husband.

Hopefully, the things that affect our relationship with God aren’t quite that drastic. Nonetheless, this reminder that God will forgive any sin should be an encouragement. Along with the fact that He’s always willing to restore broken relationships with His rebellious children when they turn to him in repentance.

I felt a special need to remain as true to the biblical version of these verses as possible, but I was having problems with “and uphold me with thy free spirit.” I originally wrote “let Your Spirit set me free,” but that ultimately didn’t feel quite right. I pray that “Let Your Spirit make me whole again” at least fits the spirit of the biblical wording.

I pray that you may use this song in your own time of worship.

You’ll find a free PDF of this brand-new song here.

Feel free to leave a comment, and 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 Bathsheba, Forgiveness, King David, Psalm Fifty-One, Restoration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I Can Do for You I’m Doing for Him

An old recording of this song may be heard here.
Here’s the free lead sheet.

Let me feed you when you are hungry;
Let me quench your thirst when you feel dry.
Let me shelter you when it’s cold outside.
Let me cheer you up when you feel cold inside.

Let me walk with you when you’re lonely;
Let me lift you up when you fall.
Let me show you the love of Jesus:
What I can do for you I’m doing for Him.

Let me love you when you need love;
Let me visit you when you’re in jail.
Let me wash your feet when you enter my house;
Let me clothe you in my very best.

Let me walk with you when you’re lonely;
Let me lift you up when you fall.
Let me show you the love of Jesus:
What I can do for you I’m doing for Him.

Let me forgive you when you have wronged me,
Let me turn the other cheek.
Let me bring you soup when you’re home sick in bed;
Let me listen to your ills, not make you listen to mine.

Let me walk with you when you’re lonely;
Let me lift you up when you fall.
Let me show you the love of Jesus:
What I can do for you I’m doing for Him.

About This Song:
RogerCapped - smaller
Jesus talked many times about the importance of ministry to others. One of His most popular sayings is from Matthew 10:42:

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

But He also talked specifically about ministering to Him by ministering to others. Many of the ideas this song uses come from Matthew 25:40-46:

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

But this passage from Luke 6:29 is also relevant:

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

There are far too many passages dealing with forgiveness to pin a specific one down.

What do you think, though? Is Jesus speaking to you now the way He’s speaking to me? We (individually) aren’t responsible for feeding and caring for the whole world, but our lives touch people who need something from us–whether physical help, encouragement, or simply a listening ear. Are we willing do that much for Jesus?

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

Best regards,
Roger

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Settled Out of Court!

Settled out of court!
My case was settled out of court,
Though I was as guilty of sin
As anyone on earth could be.

But I had to trust my Lawyer;
Trust Him I did,
For I had to tell Him I was guilty,
And I had to tell Him I was sorry,
And I had to place my life within His control,
For I can’t control my own life.

Settled out of court!
My case was settled out of court,
Though I was as guilty of sin
As anyone on earth could be.

I had such a good lawyer:
The very best.
For He was the Judge’s Only Son,
And He talked my case over with His Father
So I wouldn’t have to face His Father’s wrath in court,
For we both knew how guilty I was.

Settled out of court!
My case was settled out of court,
Though I was as guilty of sin
As anyone on earth could be.

About this Song:
Although written in the past tense, this song is actually about the future: how it will be for the Christian appearing before the throne of God following earthly death.

Christians are accustomed to the concept of Christ being the Mediator between sinful, unrighteous man and perfect, holy God. But I believe the image of Christ as a defense attorney who holds the advantage of being the Judge’s only Son is a unique way of looking at the same idea.

We’ve undoubtedly all heard the term “throwing ourselves on the mercy of the court.” This song suggests that–in being redeemed, in turning away from our sins and to Christ–we’re throwing ourselves on the mercy of our Lawyer, who provides the same mercy we will eventually receive from God Himself.

I hope YOUR case has already been settled out of court. If not, Jesus is waiting to receive and forgive you for all of your sins and to bring you into a right relationship with His Heavenly Father. Judgement is not something you need to fear.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

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 Court, God's Mercy, Guilt, Judge, Lawyer, Mercy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Don’t Show that I Trust Him

A very old recording of this song may be heard HERE.
Click HERE for the lead sheet.

I know that this is a chair;
I believe that it can hold me.
But till I put my weight on it,
I don’t show that I trust it.

I know that this is a plane;
I believe that it can fly me.
But till I board to go some place,
I don’t show that I trust it.

I know that this is a pill;
I believe that it can cure me.
But till I put it in my mouth,
I don’t show that I trust it.

I know that this is a map;
I believe that it can guide me.
But till I plan a trip with it,
I don’t show that I trust it.

I know that this is God’s Word;
I believe that it can fill me.
But till I read and feed on it,
I don’t show that I trust it.

I know that Christ is God’s Son.
I believe that He can save me.
But till I let Him live in me,
I don’t show that I trust Him.
Till I let Him live in me,
I don’t show that I trust Him.

About This Song:
RogerCapped - smallerMost people are familiar with the old story about the tightrope walker preparing to walk across Niagara Falls. He asked, “How many people believe I can make it all the way across?” Everyone in the crowd raised their hands.

“And,” he added, “who’s willing to ride on my back?”

No takers.

Hmm. And why not? Not one among those hundreds of people who said they believed that guy could make it across Niagara on a tightrope actually had enough faith to put their lives in his hands.

Aren’t we like that at times, too? We say we believe God is able to do anything and everything. We believe He wants to provide for us and take care of us.

But when something is going wrong, how often do we rely on ourselves when we should be relying on God?

Unless we put our faith into practice, it’s useless.

What about you? Do you simply believe God is Who He says He is–even the Devil believes that–or are you willing to place your life totally in His hands? How about leaving a comment?

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 Chair, Faith, Niagara Falls, Pill, Plane, Tightrope Walker, Trust | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roadmap & Compass

Before I start a journey to a
Place I’ve never been before,
I get out the road map and
I plan how best to get there.

But life’s a different type of trip;
The map’s not mine to look at.
I don’t know where Heaven is,
But God will help me find it.

I’m attracted to God’s love
Like a compass to magnetic north;
God knows where I ought to go;
I’ll follow close behind Him.

Life’s a different type of trip;
The map’s not mine to look at.
I don’t know where Heaven is,
But God will help me find it.

Sometimes I get distracted by the
Things this world considers good.
God comes close, His love calls fresh,
And I resume my journey.

Life’s a different type of trip;
The map’s not mine to look at.
I don’t know where Heaven is,
But God will help me find it.

About This Song:
RogerCapped - smaller
Thank goodness some people still don’t use GPS to find the way to their destinations. Otherwise, the words to this song might seem totally dated.

Where is Heaven? Is it in some dimension we can’t enter or be part of until we die? That’s hard to say.

Hard? It’s impossible. No one on earth knows.

Maybe that’s why I’ve used the same idea in “I Believe It!” The third verse of that song says,

“Heaven is the home of God; He shares it with believers,
Though moving there takes a lifetime to do.
I cannot claim to tell you just where Heaven is located,
But–day by day–I long to see it more.”

God gave us the Bible as the instruction manual for righteous living. But it doesn’t give us step by step instructions for the trip to Heaven. Instead, it tells us that our faith in Jesus is enough to get us there.

The closer we follow His leading, the better. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get distracted and make some wrong turns along the way. When we do, we must draw closer to Him, for He alone knows the way.

Are you on the way to Heaven? Are you counting on God to lead you there? You’ll never be good enough to make it on your own, you know.

Comments are welcome. Please join me here again next Wednesday or, better still, subscribe to this blog to receive posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

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Posted in Attraction, Compass, Guidance, Heaven, Magnetic North, Road Map, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm Eight

When I look up into the night skies
And see the wonders that Your hands have made,
I see the moon and I see the stars,
And I marvel that You bother with man.

Yet You made man to be just lower than angels
And put a crown of glory on his head
And You placed him in charge of the whole earth.
May the wonders of Your ways fill the world.

Yes, You made man to be just lower than angels
And put a crown of glory on his head
And You placed him in charge of the whole earth.
May the wonders of Your ways fill the world.

About This Song:

“Psalm Eight”
is based on these verses…
3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
(NIV)

I normally pray while lying in bed going to sleep. One thing I especially like to do then is praise God for everything He is. He is so far beyond my ability to comprehend, and dwelling on that fact helps me to grow in my faith.

I often say something like, “Lord, I can’t see the night skies from my bedroom, but if I could, I would feel just like the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 8.” I proceed to express my marvel that someone as big as He is could care so deeply about someone as small as me.

No wonder this song means so much to me.

The next time you look into the night sky, let the Psalmist’s words–or the lyrics to this song–flow from your heart as you meditate on God’s infiniteness and our finiteness.

A lead sheet for this song may be found here. I don’t have a recording of it.

Please feel free to leave a comment and come back again next week. Better still, subscribe to receive posts by email.

Best regards,
Roger

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Angels, Man, Night Sky, Praise, Psalms, Wonder, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In His Father’s Love

Jesus, born in a stable,
Didn’t lie and wonder about His holy past.
For Jesus, lying in a manger,
Slept so very soundly in His Father’s love.

Jesus, growing up in Galilee,
Didn’t sit and dream about His holy past.
For Jesus, growing into manhood,
Had a sense of purpose in His Father’s love.

Jesus, out among His people,
Had no time to ponder about His holy past.
For Jesus healed and taught the people
So they’d come to recognize His Father’s love.

Jesus, suffering on His cross,
Could not bear to think back on His holy past.
For Jesus died to give us new life
That’s how much He loves us.
He is His Father’s love.

About This Song:
RogerCapped - smallerI’m the first to admit it. “In His Father’s Love” isn’t based on actual Scripture. It reflects things that make sense to me, though.

Since Jesus was fully human as well as fully God He wouldn’t have been apt to lie in the manger and think. About anything. Babies don’t think. That requires the use of language.

The Bible doesn’t say much about Jesus’ childhood. But it does talk about the incident at the temple when He was twelve. That’s the time when he astounded the religious leaders with His probing questions. Questions which I suspect helped the human side of Him recognize who He was and what His purpose in life was to be.

As an adult, Jesus was always busy teaching and helping others. He apparently used His prayer times to stay in tune with His Father’s will, not to commiserate about what He’d left behind in Heaven. He lived the life of a servant, not the life of the Creator of the Universe.

Even while dying on the cross, Jesus focused on the task at hand: Doing what God the Father wanted Him to do. If He hadn’t been more concerned about us than about Himself, He would have cried out for legions of angels to come rescue Him.

In my mind, this song says it all adds up. Since God is love and sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins, Jesus is truly God’s love personified.

Do you feel the light of His love in your life? Feel free to leave a comment.

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 love, Jesus' birth, Jesus' Death, Jesus' Humanity, Jesus's birth, Jesus's childhood, Jesus's Death, Jesus's ministry, Jesus's Resurrection | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is There a Man Who’s Religious?

A home audio recording of this song may be heard here.

Is there a man who’s religious
And does what he thinks he should?
I tell you unless his tongue’s under control,
His religion’s no good.

The tongue’s such a small thing,
Like a bit in the mouth of a horse
Or like the rudder in a ship’s stern
To keep it on course.

But the tongue’s more like the small spark
That sets the whole forest aflame.
Unlike the wild birds and animals,
The tongue’s never been tamed.

Is there a man who’s religious
And does what he thinks he should?
I tell you unless his tongue’s under control,
His religion’s no good.

About This Song:

In my humble opinion, the misuse of the tongue creates as many problems as anything else I can think of. The apostle James must have thought so, too. He wrote the Scripture I based “Is There a Man Who’s Religious?” on. Check James 1:26, 3:3-4, and 3:5b…

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
(NIV)

What more can I say? The Bible–God’s instruction book for how we humans ought to live–hits the nail on the head this time as well.

The next time you’re tempted to speak in anger or to gossip or say something unkind about someone–I still have those problems, too–think about this Scripture and ask God to help you do a better job of controlling your tongue.

If you have a comment, I’d love to hear from you. Better yet, why not subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss any posts.

Best regards,
Roger

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Posted in James, Religion, Rudder, Tongue, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment