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.


 

     

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 God's Word(s), Rain, Snow, Water | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Psalm 40 (Part Three)

What can I offer You, Lord,
That You don’t already have?
What can I bring to You, Lord,
That’s not already Yours?

What would please You more
Than for me to read Your Word
And to listen for Your voice
And to answer, “Lord, I’m Yours”?

Your Word is all I need, Lord,
To teach me how to live.
Help me to understand what it means,
So I can obey.

What would please You more
Than for me to read Your Word
And to listen for Your voice
And to answer, “Lord, I’m Yours”?

What can I give to You, Lord?
Here I am; I’m Yours.

About this Song:
Part Three of my songs from Psalm 40 is based on verses 6-8, probably from the Good News Version of the Bible, which I used most often during that period of time:

6 You do not want sacrifices and offerings;
      you do not ask for animals burned whole on the altar
      or for sacrifices to take away sins.
   Instead, you have given me ears to hear you,
    7 and so I answered,
         Here I am;
      your instructions for me are in the book of the Law.
 8 How I love to do your will, my God!
      I keep your teaching in my heart.

Verse 6 reminds me of another Scripture, Hosea 6:6.

I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me.

Verse 7 reminds me of Isaiah’s response to God’s call in Isaiah 6:8.

8 Then I heard the Lord say,
         Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?

   I answered,
         I will go! Send me!

Next Wednesday will bring this series of songs from Psalm 40 to a close.

Comments are always 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 God's Word(s), Obedience, Offering, Pleasing God, Psalm Forty, Psalms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm Forty (Part Two)

Happy are those who trust in You, Lord,
Not in the false gods of this world;
So many gifts You’ve given,
I can’t name them all.
Lord, there’s no one else like You.
Lord, there’s no one else like You.

About this Song:
Part Two of the songs from Psalm 40 is short and to the point. It’s based on verses 4 and 5:

4 Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
5 Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

I’m the first one to admit that the Scripture expresses the idea better than my song. I didn’t make any effort to deal with the reference to “the proud.” Neither do I refer to the things God has planned for us.

But it does focus on three of the basic ideas from those two verses:

  1. Unlike those who trust in false gods, those who trust in God are happy
  2. God’s gifts are too numerous to be counted or named
  3. God is incomparable; no one is like Him

“Psalm Forty (Part Three)” is coming next week.

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 False Gods, God's Gifts, Happiness, Psalm Forty, Psalms, Trust | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 40 (Part One)

Lord,  I was sinking deep;
There was no hope for me
Until You heard my prayer for help
And picked me up and rested me upon a rock.

Lord, You picked me up
And put me on a rock
Where I can sing
A song of praise
For all that You have done,
All You’ve done.

Lord, on this rock I stand
And sing a song of praise
To thank You for the way You guide me
And to thank You for the many gifts You give.

Lord, You picked me up
And put me on a rock
Where I can sing
A song of praise
For all that You have done,
All You’ve done.

Lord, may this song I sing
Be heard by everyone
Who needs to be told all about Your love
And goodness and to put their trust in You.

Lord, You picked me up
And put me on a rock
Where I can sing
A song of praise
For all that You have done,
All You’ve done.

About this Song:
Early in 1985, Dr. Don Runion, the pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, preached a four-part series on a portion of the fortieth Psalm. I can’t recall whether “From the Mire to the Choir” was the name of the first sermon or of the whole series, but it was a catchy title–one I didn’t need to write down to remember. Don did such a terrific job that I felt led to write a song based on each of the four sections he covered.

Just as Don preached only on the first eleven verses, I limited my song set to the same ones.

I was about to insert the appropriate lyrics beneath each of the verses listed below, but then realized I couldn’t. Although the song matches the whole content of the first three verse of Psalm 40, they don’t match stanza to verse.

Here are the verses I used for this song:

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

King David must have been in humongous trouble. “Mud and mire” makes me think of quicksand. Not something someone can necessarily get out of without help.

But he didn’t start this psalm of praise by complaining about the “slimy pit” and the “mud and the mire.” He began by acknowledging God’s response to his cries for help.

Isn’t God’s help more important than the problems He helps us with?

God didn’t simply set David on solid ground again. Solid ground might have been at the same level as the top of the pit.

Instead, he set him on a rock. And a rock would be elevated–especially if it was so large that David couldn’t have climbed up on it by himself. Apparently it formed a natural pulpit.

Not a pulpit for preaching, however, but for composing a new song and singing praise to the Lord for His miraculous intervention in the midst of David’s otherwise insoluble problem.

But wouldn’t you know David realized that his song had an evangelistic function? “Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

Shouldn’t that be the desire of every Christian musician–to write songs that show what God has done in their lives, to stand on the rock where God has placed them, and to use those songs to “preach” God’s Good News to everyone who will listen?

We’ll look at Psalm 40 (Part Two) next Wednesday.

If you’d like to share any thoughts about Psalm 40, please leave a comment.

 

     

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 Don Runion, King David, Mire, Psalm Forty, Quicksand, Rescue, Rock | 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.


 

     

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 Anger, Patience, Poverty, Proverbs, Solomon, Wealth, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment