Our Father in Heaven

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

Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive.
Lord, keep us back from temptation’s door,
And keep up safe from the evil one.

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

About This Song:
Only rarely do I abandon the earlier version of a song for a total rewrite, but I wrote my first set of lyrics for this song at least as far back as the 1980s. I wrote the newer version in 2001.  I didn’t change the words much on the italicized part of the lyrics, which I use  as the refrain. Overall, the most significant difference between the two versions is the mention of “the evil one” in the newer one.

To say the least, I didn’t want to change the wording any more from Scripture than I felt necessary. No way I could improve on the way Jesus prayed this prayer.

At the same time, He gave us this prayer as a model. Not necessarily something to be used as is. So perhaps wording it my way is one way of following the model.

You can find a recording of this song on the Listen/Home Recordings page of my website.

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (including today’s), go HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. Go HERE to visit “On Aging Gracelessly.”

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

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Best regards,
Roger

 

 

Posted in As I Come Singing, Lord's Prayer, Model Prayer, Roger E. Bruner | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jonah’s Prayer

In my distress, O Lord, I turned to You;
Down in the world of the dead,
I called Your name.
In the depths of the deepest oceans,
Where the waves crashed over my head,
Lord, I feared You might not hear me,
But You quickly answered my cry.

Lord, I feared You might not hear me;
Lord, I feared You might not come.
But You rescued me from danger;
Let me walk close by Your side.

In my despair, O Lord, I turned to You;
Choked by seaweed that was wrapped around my face,
I could barely call Your name.
At the roots of the very mountains,
Where I felt my life slipping away,
Lord, I feared You might not find me,
But You quickly came to my side.

Lord, I feared You might not find me;
Lord, I feared You might not hear.
But You rescued me from trouble;
Let me walk close by Your side.

About This Song:
When I open my Bible, only God knows what might inspire me to write a song. In this case, I had been reading about Jonah’s adventure in the belly of the whale; you’re free to believe this story is only purposeful fiction, but I believe it’s true. Jonah’s prayer, found in Jonah 2:2-9, really struck me. As human beings, only a handful of people will ever encounter what Jonah did–maybe only Jonah himself.

But each of us has problems that seem so overwhelming we FEEL like we’re trying to survive underwater inside a giant fish. I’m jealous of Jonah. Even in the most desperate of imaginable situations, he remembered to turn to God for help. He had come to the end of his rope, otherwise.

How many of us, however, continue to grapple with the seaweed that’s choking us while trying to free ourselves from situations we have absolutely no control over?

Shouldn’t we turn to God for His help first? How about leaving a comment about sometime when you felt like your situation was hopeless, but you turned to God and He helped you through it.

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (not including today’s), go HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

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Best regards,
Roger

 

Posted in Deliverance, Hopelessness, Jonah | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Better to Be Poor

It’s better to be poor
And have riches in the Lord
Than have vast earthly wealth
And let it ruin your health.

It’s better to eat soup
With your family and your friends
Than eat the finest steak
At the table of your foes.

It’s better to be patient,
For patience can bring peace,
Than always lose your temper
And make bad matters worse.

It’s better to speak softly
When anger fills the air
Than try to SHOUT your LOUDEST
When you wage a war with words.

About this Song:
The biblical book of Proverbs is chock full of King Solomon’s tidbits of wisdom. The four I’ve used for this song are the only ones I could find that fall into an “It’s better THIS than THAT” pattern, and I’ve searched Proverbs numerous times looking for more. If anyone reading this post can find another one, I’d be most grateful.

Proverbs 15:1

New International Version (NIV)
15 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Contemporary English Version (CEV)
15 A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.

Good News Translation (GNT)
15 A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.

Proverbs 15:16-18

New International Version (NIV)
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
    but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

Contemporary English Version (CEV)
16 It’s better to obey the Lord and have only a little,
    than to be very rich and terribly confused.
17 A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred.
18 Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments.

Good News Translation (GNT)
16 Better to be poor and fear the Lord than to be rich and in trouble.
17 Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate.
18 Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.

I’m not sure what translation I based my wording on, but apparently not the three I quoted above. Isn’t it amazing how much difference exists among various translations of the Bible? Of course, some are transliterations rather than new translations–but those often help us get a special feel for the assumed intent of the biblical author.

Does this song bring to mind anything you’d like to share? If so, please leave a comment.

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (not yet including today’s), go HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

SmallGusCover

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Anger, Patience, Poverty, Proverbs, Wealth | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Joy a Man Feels

What joy a man feels
When he’s found the right words
For just the right occasion.

Like apples of gold
In a silver setting
Are words fitly spoken.

About this Song:
Yes, I know this is almost too short to call a song, but that’s okay. It’s still complete within itself, even though I normally use it to preface “It’s Better to Be Poor,” which I’ll post next week. These words come from two Scripture passages: Proverbs 15:23 and Proverbs 25:11. I’ve included those passages in each of five translations below.

New International Version (NIV)
Proverbs 15:23

23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!

Proverbs 25:11
11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.

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Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Proverbs 15:23
23 Giving the right answer at the right time makes everyone happy.

Proverbs 25:11
11 The right word  at the right time is like precious gold set in silver.

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The Message (MSG)
Proverbs 15:23

23 Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! The right word at the right time—beautiful!

Proverbs 25:11
11 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry. . .

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New King James Version (NKJV)
Proverbs 15:23
23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,
And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Proverbs 25:11
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver.

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Good News Translation (GNT)
Proverbs 15:23
23 What a joy it is to find just the right word for the right occasion!

Proverbs 25:11
11 An idea well-expressed is like a design of gold, set in silver.

Isn’t that the goal of all speakers and writers–both secular and sacred–to convey a well-expressed idea? We–most of us, anyhow–wouldn’t waste time trying to communicate unless we either had something worthwhile to say or thought we did.

As a published novelist, I know first-hand what a struggle finding just the right word can be. I not only make frequent use of a dictionary and a thesaurus, but occasionally also use a “flip dictionary,” which allows me to look for words related to a given object. (For example, suppose I wanted to learn what the bathroom on a ship is called. I could look up “ship.”)

I’m reminded of a joke I heard years ago. An apartment building housed no one but music students. All day long, one could walk by and listen to the sounds of people practicing scales–up and down, down and up. But this one future cellist played only a single note. an A-flat. Somebody finally got up the nerve to ask why he played only one note hour after hour while everyone else was playing scales. His response? “I listen to the rest of you–day in and day out–and you keep searching for the perfect note. I’ve already found mine.”

Are you looking for just the right word–or don’t you have anything worthwhile to say? If you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you always have something to talk about, although your “right words” may not always fall on receptive ears.

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Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (not yet including today’s), go HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger

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A Rare and Sweet Perfume

We are called to share God’s Good News
Like a rare and sweet perfume
Whose fragrance gives life,
But if rejected,
It becomes the stench of death.

As we share the news of God’s love,
With its rare and sweet perfume,
We spread fragrance where we go,
Leaving traces where we’ve been.

We are called to share God’s Good News
Like a rare and sweet perfume
Whose fragrance gives life,
But if rejected,
It becomes the stench of death.

Who can truly tell of God’s love
And its rare and sweet perfume?
Only those who’re known by its scent
And by the life it gives.

We are called to share God’s Good News
Like a rare and sweet perfume
Whose fragrance gives life,
But if rejected,
It becomes the stench of death.

About this Song:
This song is based on 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. I got the idea from an old church friend, Mike Motsinger.

Here are the verses in five translations:

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. New International Version (NIV)

14-16In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.
16-17This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No— but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can. The Message (MSG)

14 But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ’s victory procession. God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. 15 For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost. 16 For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life. Who, then, is capable for such a task? 17 We are not like so many others, who handle God’s message as if it were cheap merchandise; but because God has sent us, we speak with sincerity in his presence, as servants of Christ.
Good News Translation (GNT)

14 I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. 15-16 In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death. No one really has what it takes to do this work. 17 A lot of people try to get rich from preaching God’s message. But we are God’s sincere messengers, and by the power of Christ we speak our message with God as our witness.
Contemporary English Version (CEV)

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Have you ever smelled someone before actually seeing him or her? The scent might have been pleasant–perhaps a nice perfume or after-shave worn in moderation. Or it might have been the harshest and most offensive of body odors. Either way, however, you couldn’t help associating that person with his or her smell. If you liked the smell, you were apt to accept that person. Or to reject him or her if the odor was unpleasant.

We’re supposed to figuratively “smell for God,” if I may describe it that way. Sharing the Good News of God’s love is like walking through a room and giving off a pleasing scent that remains behind after we leave.

But not everyone likes the same pleasing scents. Some people are allergic to them. For one reason or another, some of the people who “smell” our sharing of the Gospel are going to, uh, turn their noses up at it. To reject the Gospel message. Because they have chosen eternal death in the process, our sweet smell becomes a scent of death for them, even though they don’t realize it.

Christian, is your smell sweet enough to be appealing?

Non-Christian, won’t you consider the possibility that God’s Good News might be worth sniffing at again?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (does not include today’s), GO HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,
Roger

 

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Without You, Lord (long version)

I’m a rainbow with no colors;
I’m a fence that has no gate.
I am sugar without sweetness;
I’m a knife without a blade.
I’m a house that has no framework;
I am teeth that have no bite.
I’m a can that has no contents;
I’m a forest without trees.

refrain:
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t be all You want me to be.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t do all You want me to do.

I am gold that has no glitter;
I’m a sparrow with no song.
I’m a joke that has no punchline;
I am fire that has no flame.
I’m a book that has no pages;
I’m a table with no legs.
I’m a phone that has no number;
I’m a pizza with no cheese.
(refrain)

I’m a compass with no needle;
I’m a window without glass.
I am mail without an address;
I’m a pill that gives no cure.
I am steel that has no hardness;
I’m a blimp that holds no air.
I’m a door that has no hinges;
I’m a lamp that gives no light.
(refrain)

I’m a camera without focus;
I’m a plane that has no wings.
I’m a map that has no markings;
I’m a clock that tells no time.
I’m a riddle without answer;
I’m an ocean with no salt.
I’m a speech that serves no purpose;
I’m a screw that has no threads.
(refrain)

I’m a jukebox with no music;
I’m a pen that has no ink.
I’m a well that has no water;
I’m a mousetrap with no spring.
I’m a mirror without an image;
I’m a rose that has no scent.
I’m a box that has no bottom;
I am soap that does not clean.
(refrain)

About this Song:
I have a short version of this song, in which only one word changes from stanza to stanza, and I’ll publish that again sometime soon.

Do you recall how Paul begins 1 Corinthians 13, the “Love Chapter”? If not, here’s the NIV translation:

“1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Although my song doesn’t talk specifically about love, it uses a similar pattern of thought. Without God at work in our lives–“Without Him”–we are as useless as the forty items listed in the lyrics.

These lyrics were among my most difficult to write. Primarily because I had such a hard time stopping once I got started!

Not only that. Some of them were hard to describe the “without” part of and remain in the specified rhythm.

I’ve never sung this song publicly, but–should I ever do so–I would do well to omit a couple of stanzas so I won’t find myself “Without My Audience.” It doesn’t need this many to make the point, does it?

Nonetheless, I hope you’ve found them to be thought-provoking. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (not including today’s), GO HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” check it out HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, here’s the Amazon link.

SmallGusCover

Best regards,
Roger

 

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The More Like Him I Grow

God is my Heavenly Father;
He made me who I am.
He wants all that’s best for me;
It’s written in His plan.
His Son is like a big brother
Who guides me as I go.
The closer I walk beside Jesus,
The more like Him I grow.
Yes, the more like Him I grow.

The more I come to love Jesus,
The more I learn about me:
Who I was and who I am
And who God wants me to be.
It’s a lifelong transformation;
The changes seem so slow.
Yet the more I seek to please Jesus,
The more like Him I grow.
Yes, the more like Him I grow.

About this Song:
While I was away on a mission trip to Australia in 1995, my daughter, Kristi, made a profession of her faith in Jesus Christ at our home church; she was eight years old at the time. I wrote this song soon after my return, dedicating it “to Kristi at the beginning of her Christian growth.”

She sang it with me at our church not long after that and again at the Windsor District Baptist Church in Australia on a family trip in 1996. Never has her singing been sweeter.

Not one of us is born an adult anymore than a new Believer begins her Christian walk at full maturity. Our growth into human adulthood takes years, and our growth into Christian maturity is apt to take even longer. As this song states, the growth into being who God wants us to be “is a lifelong transformation.”

Christians don’t necessarily mature equally. But those who “seek to please Jesus” will grow into the kind of people God wants them to be.

If this post has spoken to you, how about leaving a comment?

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom right.

I have free lead sheets (chords, notes, & words) for many of my songs. To see which ones and print or download any of them (including today’s), GO HERE.

“As I Come Singing” isn’t my only blog. If you’d like to see “On Aging Gracelessly,” CHECK IT OUT HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Pastor-Gus-Back-Cover-Small SmallGusCover

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