The Skies Reveal God’s Glory

The skies reveal God’s glory;
Without speech, without words,
Each day tells the next day
About the wonders of God.

Like a ready runner,
The sun moves across the sky,
And–where its light shines–
Some of God’s splendor is seen.

There is no place where the sun doesn’t shine,
Where it doesn’t shine–
Or where God’s wonders cannot be seen.

The skies reveal God’s glory.

About This Song:
I used to visit a website for photographers. It had the the most unlikely name, The Ugly Hedgehog. The participants were an interesting mixture of novices, professionals, and every degree of experience (or inexperience) in between. Certain subjects showed up frequently in the pictures they post. Among the most popular were hummingbirds and eagles.

I didn’t always take the time to look at each day’s posts, though. But I always took time if I saw “sunrise” or “sunset” in the subject line. Those are, in my humble opinion, the two most beautiful times of day, and a photographer who could capture one of them even half-way adequately deserved recognition.

So it’s no wonder I would be so fond of Psalm 19:1-6. . .

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.
(NIV)

1 How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
    How plainly it shows what he has done!
2 Each day announces it to the following day;
    each night repeats it to the next.
3 No speech or words are used,
    no sound is heard;
4 yet their message goes out to all the world
    and is heard to the ends of the earth.
God made a home in the sky for the sun;
5     it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom,
    like an athlete eager to run a race.
6 It starts at one end of the sky
    and goes across to the other.
    Nothing can hide from its heat.
(GNT)

I love the images the psalmist uses in these verses–especially the one about the skies “announcing” God’s glory without the use of speech or words. Also noteworthy are the comparisons of the sun to a “happy bridegroom” and an “eager athlete” who’s ready to run a race.

Just as no camera can perfectly capture the beauty of a sunrise or sunset–some do come close, however–I can’t say anything else about this passage. It speaks for itself.

Does this song say something special to you? How about leaving a comment?

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 Athlete, Bridegroom, God's Glory, Skies, Sun, Sunrise, Sunset | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All My Godless Ways

Two rough-hewn wooden structures tell so much about our Lord:
The manger where the baby lay and the cross on which He died.
Though God Himself, Christ chose the birth of every mother’s child
Though God Himself, Christ chose the death that no one on earth would choose.

Each rough-hewn part of who I am wants to tell about Christ, too:
The very words I try to speak and the deeds I try to do.
Though earthly man, I chose rebirth to become a child of God;
Though earthly man, I chose the death of all my Godless ways.

Though God Himself, Christ chose to become human;
Though human, I’ve become a child of God.

Each rough-hewn part of who I am wants to tell about Christ, too:
The very words I try to speak and the deeds I try to do.
Though earthly man, I chose rebirth to become a child of God;
Though earthly man, I chose the death of all my Godless ways,
Of all my Godless ways.

About This Song:
If you’ve been following this blog for a while or you’ve gone back and looked at some of the previous posts, you may have noticed my fondness for combining Christmas and Easter ideas in one song. Today’s song is another one.

I hope my comparison of Jesus’ birth as a human baby and the Christian’s rebirth as a Child of God is thought-provoking. And that the comparison of Christ’s voluntary human death and the voluntary death of the Christian’s sins is thought-provoking as well.

Some animals grow into adulthood rapidly. We have a miniature dachshund puppy who’s grown now. In many ways she still looks like a puppy. Yet I can look back to what a difference a month or two made when she was young in seeing the transformation into a  fully grown dog.

Although we can see the changes in people, too, they take years to reach physical adulthood–and even then some of them aren’t fully “grown up.”

Growing into maturity as a Child of God is similar. Except it takes even longer than maturing physically. We won’t mature spiritually–not fully–until the end of our earthly lives.

Sometimes I imagine God getting frustrated with me for the slowness of my growth, but then I think about His fondness for children. Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me.”

God doesn’t expect instant changes or huge spurts of spiritual growth, but He doesn’t want me to get stagnant, either. So I prefer to think of Him as cheering me on each time He sees any sign of growth. Even the tiniest one.

A Christian can grow frustrated if he looks at what he wants to become and and frets over how far he is from the goal. Better to look backwards at where he started and note the progress he’s made.

If you’re a Christian, are you growing? If you’re not a Christian, wouldn’t you like to have God as your heavenly father, encouraging you to live the most meaningful life possible?

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 Christmas, Cross, Death, Easter, Growth, Human, Manger, Rebirth, Wood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Cups?

How many cups of cold water shall I give in Jesus’ name
To thank Him for each drop of blood He paid for me?
God didn’t count what it would cost to give His life;
Let me not count what it will cost to give Him thanks.

How many loaves of fresh bread shall I give in Jesus’ name
To thank Him for each teardrop He has shed for me?
God didn’t count what it would cost to give His love;
Let me not count what it will cost to give Him thanks.

It doesn’t matter whether I am successful
In the ways this world views success;
But if anyone has been touched by God’s presence in my life,
Then it matters what I do in His name.

How many pieces of clothing shall I give in Jesus’ name
To thank Him for each raging storm He’s calmed in me?
God didn’t count what it would cost to give His peace;
Let me not count what it will cost to give Him thanks.

How many words of kindness shall I speak in Jesus’ name
To thank Him for each perfect gift He’s given me?
God didn’t count what it would cost to give His Best;
Let me not count what it will cost to give Him thanks.

It doesn’t matter whether I am successful
In the ways this world views success;
But if anyone has been touched by God’s presence in my life,
Then it matters what I do in His name.

How many cups of cold water shall I give in Jesus’ name?

About This Song:

Steve Henson is a friend who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. (I haven’t heard from him in a  while, so I hope he still does.) He told me what a tremendous Christian his father had been, and I ended up dedicating this song to him.

The inspiration comes from Mark 9:41. . .

Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. (NIV)

and also from Matthew 25:35-45. . .

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
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. (NIV)

Did you know the Bible cautions us not to be weary in doing good things? See Galatians 6:9. . .

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (KJV)

However, if I read that correctly, it doesn’t say we should stop doing good things just because we’re tired. (Do we stop carrying out good parenting practices just because our kids have worn us out? Tempting, but no.) We should persevere in spite of fatigue.

Whoops! There goes my excuse for sitting back and taking it easy. I was born tired.

You know what else that verse means–at least to me? There’s no such thing as giving enough cups of cold water or feeding enough hungry people or visiting enough people in prison or doing any of the other things the Bible tells us to do. We should just keep doing them.

God didn’t count the cost when He sacrificed Jesus for our sins. Even though we can never do enough good things to pay Him back for that, neither can we ever thank Him sufficiently.

Do you ever get weary doing good things? What keeps you going? How about leaving a comment?

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 Bread, Cold water, Gratitude, Kindness, Thanks, Weariness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Balm Song

I need not fret. I need not worry.
God’s love is the balm that calms my soul.
Why be concerned about tomorrow?
My life is in God’s loving hands.
Why be concerned about tomorrow?
My life is in God’s hands.

I’ll sing of God’s love,
And I’ll sing of His compassion.
I’ll sing of His concern for me.
I’ll sing of God’s care,
And I’ll sing of His provision.
I’ll sing of all He does for me.

I need not fear. I need not be anxious.
God’s love is the balm that calms my soul.
Why be concerned about the future?
My life is in God’s loving hands.
Why be concerned about the future?
My life is in God’s hands.

I’ll sing of God’s love,
And I’ll sing of His compassion.
I’ll sing of His concern for me.
I’ll sing of God’s care,
And I’ll sing of His provision.
I’ll sing of all He does for me.

About This Song:
Watch and listen to this song here.

Because I have a limited number of songs, it’s my custom to look back three or four years or something to re-post. I always review and update the “About This Song,” and occasionally I’ll have something to update about the song itself.

But this song is a very special exception because I shared it when it was brand-new in December of 2019. Not long ago at all.

Why re-post it so soon? Two reasons.

In December we weren’t yet in the midst of the worldwide coronavirus crisis which has made numerous  people around the world fearful, worried, and desperate for hope. But we’re in the midst of that now.

I hope each of you is already a Christian and that you are relying more fully on God’s promises than ever before. I also hope you’re having opportunities to share  that hope with others.

The second reason I’m re-posting this song is it’s not exactly the same song it was in December. I’ve added a refrain.

I wanted you to have the complete song.

In the midst of chaos, I find so much hope in God’s promises that I can’t keep from singing. I sing of His love, His compassion, and His concern for me personally. And I sing of His care, His provision, and everything He does for me.

If you’re already aware of some of the various ways God has given you hope in this life-threatening season, why don’t you download this PDF of “The Balm Song” and sing it to celebrate His goodness.  Click here to open the PDF. Feel free to sing along with the video.

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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When I Walk with Him

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Nothing is impossible when I walk with Him.
When I walk with Him, yes, when I walk with Him,
Nothing is impossible when I walk with Him.

Though the night is dark, I know I won’t get lost.
Jesus lights the way ahead when I walk with Him.
When I walk with Him, yes, when I walk with Him,
Jesus lights the way ahead when I walk with Him.

Though the path is steep, I know I won’t fall down.
Jesus takes my hand in His when I walk with Him.
When I walk with Him, yes, when I walk with Him,
Jesus takes my hand in His when I walk with Him.

I am not afraid of what tomorrow brings.
Jesus whispers words of hope when I walk with Him.
When I walk with Him, yes, when I walk with Him,
Jesus whispers words of hope when I walk with Him.

About This Song:
Since I started writing novels years ago, I haven’t written as many songs as I used to. Maybe one every year or two.

I’ve frequently wanted to write a new song, but it’s not something I can just decide to do. I have to have a God-inspired idea, usually in the form of a first line or two that really grabs me and speaks to my heart.

Sometimes the idea comes while reading the Bible. Other times it comes from a sermon or devotional I’ve heard. And some of those song ideas simply come out of nowhere–right from God to me, I suppose you might say.

This song started with the Scripture that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” A possible tune came to me almost simultaneously, and I was on my way. Or so I thought.

But I didn’t actively work on it anymore at the time, and that was unusual.

For some reason I started imagining the Little Lambs (youngest children’s choir) at church doing the new song. But it was simpler and had a totally different tune. That’s the version I felt led to finish.

The director of the Little Lambs thought learning all four stanzas would be too much for her youngsters, so we decided to go with three–and have somebody sing one of them as a solo if it was used at all.

So they didn’t use the first stanza–the one the song was originally inspired by. But that’s more of an adult concept, anyhow. Not getting lost, not falling down, and not being afraid are all concepts that kids and adults alike find relevant.

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 Children, God's Leading, Hope, Light, Lostness, Reliance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Called to Celebrate

Sometimes we’re called to work the fields.
Sometimes we’re called to work the fields.
Sometimes we’re called to work the fields
And sometimes to clean the stables.

Sometimes we’re called to till the soil.
Sometimes we’re called to till the soil.
Sometimes we’re called to till the soil
And sometimes to mend the fences.

Sometimes we’re called to sow the seeds.
Sometimes we’re called to sow the seeds.
Sometimes we’re called to sow the seeds
And sometimes to feed the livestock.

Sometimes we’re called to pull the weeds.
Sometimes we’re called to pull the weeds.
Sometimes we’re called to pull the weeds
And sometimes to store the silage.

Sometimes we’re called to gather crops.
Sometimes we’re called to gather crops.
Sometimes we’re called to gather crops
And sometimes to remove dead trees.

And when the harvest is complete.
And when the harvest is complete.
And when the harvest is complete,
We’re all called to celebrate it.

About This Song:

I was getting ready to go on a mission trip to Wales in 1993–right at harvest time. So it seemed appropriate to write this song to use there.

It’s inspired by 1 Corinthians 3:6-9. . .

6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
(NIV)

and by 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. . .

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
(NIV)

The primary goal of a farm is to grow and harvest crops to eat and to sell. That requires a variety of activities, some of which don’t have a direct connection to the harvest. Yet without people performing all of those tasks, the farm wouldn’t function well and the harvest would be poor. Perhaps even nonexistent.

As the body of Christ, the church consists of different members playing different roles, all of which are necessary to keep the church functioning. While the primary task of the church is to harvest souls into the Kingdom of Heaven, not every member plays a direct role in every harvest. Yet without each person’s part being carried out faithfully and thoroughly, the harvest would be a major disappointment.

But when someone walks forward to make a public profession of faith in Jesus, does anyone fail to rejoice just  because he or she didn’t play a part in that person’s decision?

Not in my church. We may not all actively perform “crop-related” tasks, but that doesn’t keep us from rejoicing over each and every person we see enter the Kingdom.

~*~

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 Celebrations, Fields, Harvest, Serving Jesus, Sharing, Sowing, Various Tasks, Workers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the Manger to the Cross

My life is a journey,
Yes, sometimes a hard journey, Lord,
From the manger to the cross,
From the manger to the cross.

From my birth as a child of God,
From my birth as a child of God
To the death of my old self
To the death of my old self.

So Christ can come alive in me,
So Christ can come alive in me
And make me like Himself,
And make me like Himself.

My life is a journey,
Yes, sometimes a hard journey, Lord,
From the manger to the cross,
From the manger to the cross.

About This Song:
Strange as this comment may sound, I wrote this song to share at a New Year’s Eve gathering some years ago. Stranger still, I can’t remember why I thought it was appropriate. I simply did.

Nonetheless, the imagery of the manger and the cross isn’t something to take lightly.

Christ was born as a human child. I’ve been born as a child of God because of my faith in Jesus. So I’ve had a “manger experience.”

And Jesus died an earthly death, just as I need to put my natural, sinful ways to death. That process, my “cross experience” began taking place at the time I became a Christian.

Did you notice the word “began”? I’ll never be perfect until I die and reach heaven. So my life is the “long journey” from the beginning of becoming Christlike to the time I truly achieve it.

Are you on that journey? How about leaving a comment?

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 Cross, Journey, Life, Manger, New Years, Perfection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment