To Those Who Win the Victory

To those who win the victory,
God gives the right to eat
From His tree, the tree of life,
That grows in His garden.

Christ is the Way, the Truth, the Life,
The only Way to God.
He is the door to His Father’s fold
And bids lost sheep to enter.

To those who win the victory,
God gives the right to eat
From His tree, the tree of life,
That grows in His garden.

Jesus knocks at the door of your heart
And waits to be admitted.
He would live and work through you
To help you to do all things.

To those who win the victory,
God gives the right to eat
From His tree, the tree of life,
That grows in His garden.

As you seek to run the race,
Problems will distract you.
Keep your eyes upon the prize
And victory will be yours.

To those who win the victory,
God gives the right to eat
From His tree, the tree of life,
That grows in His garden.

About This Song:
These lyrics come from a number of different Scriptures:

Revelation 2:7. . .
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God
(NIV)

Revelation 3:20. . .
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
(NIV)

John 10:7-9. . .
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
(NIV)

Hebrews 12:1-2. . .
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(NIV)

John 14:6. . .
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(NIV)

Philippians 4:13. . .
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Do you remember the Boston Marathon bombings? I do. Perhaps the better question is how we could ever forget them.

I can’t imagine the joy the first few people felt when they crossed the finish line or their terror when they learned about the bombings and realized that the goal they had worked so hard to reach was deadly. If the timing of the bombs had been different, those winners could have been the victims.

Christians will never experience that kind of terror at the end of their “good race.” The path they’re running may be fraught with troubles and even danger–Jesus promised that–but we don’t have to worry about unexpected dangers when we pass over from this earthly life to our heavenly life with God Himself.

And what a grand victory each of us will experience. We’re not competing with one another for the prize. Every Christian will be a winner; in one sense, we’ll all be in first place. That’s the kind of victory I’m looking forward to.

Are you assured of that kind of victory? 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:

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By Faith We Are Saved

By faith we are saved,
But by our fruit we prove that
We’re what we claim to be.
For we cannot be light
If we hide from the world
That is dying in darkness.

By faith we are saved,
But by our light we are known.

By faith we are saved,
But by our fruit we prove that
We’re what we claim to be.
For we cannot be salt
If we lose the taste of love
That this world’s dying for.

By faith we are saved,
But by our salt we are known.

By faith we are saved,
And with hope we endure.
But with love we are everything
God wants us to be.

About This Song:
I dedicated this song to the memory of Mrs. Ed Weldon. Mr. Weldon was my junior college choir director.

The Scripture basis is Matthew 5:13-14. . .
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
(NIV)

Yet it also hints of ideas in 1 Corinithians 13:1-3. . .
1 If I speak in the tongues[a] 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,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
(NIV)

And perhaps a sprinkling of Mark 9:50. . .
50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
(NIV)

While this song doesn’t specifically refer to James 2:14-17, I certainly had that in mind when writing “By Faith We Are Saved”. . .
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
(NIV)

Faith is a good thing. Right?

Faith in God. Faith in our family and friends. Faith in our neighbors.

Yet our neighbors–and even our closest family and friends–will occasionally let us down. As we let them down.

But God never lets us down. He may not always do things the way we want–He has a perspective and a purpose we lack–but He is faithful. Always. Every time. Under all circumstances.

It’s reassuring to know that our relationship with God results from our faith in Him through accepting His Son, Jesus, as our Lord and Savior.

But as the Scriptures this song is based on emphasize, faith ought to result in “works”–doing the things God expects of us. This post would be endless if I tried to quote the appropriate verses.

Suffice it to say that God expects us to be salt and light to the world. If we demonstrate real Christian love to those about us, we will bear the kind of fruit that shows the world that our faith–and the God our faith is in–is real.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

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God Will Provide for Us, Too

Look at the birds of the air, how they’re fed.
Look at the flowers of the field, how they’re dressed.
We need not worry about food or clothes,
For God will provide for us. Yes, He’ll provide for us.
God will provide for us, too.

We are often troubled, but we are not crushed;
Sometimes in doubt, but never in despair.
There are many enemies, but we’re never without a friend.
Though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.

Look at the birds of the air, how they’re fed.
Look at the flowers of the field, how they’re dressed.
We need not worry about food or clothes,
For God will provide for us. Yes, He’ll provide for us.
God will provide for us, too.

God, our Heavenly Father, knows all our concerns;
When we put Him first, He supplies our needs.
What a waste to fret about all the troubles tomorrow brings.
Let’s let God be in charge each day as it comes.

Look at the birds of the air, how they’re fed.
Look at the flowers of the field, how they’re dressed.
We need not worry about food or clothes,
For God will provide for us. Yes, He’ll provide for us.
God will provide for us, too.

God will provide for us. Yes, He’ll provide for us.
God will provide for us, too.

About this Song:
Do you tend to worry? If so, join the club. Most of us–even the most devout of Christians– worry some.

The Scripture passages that today’s lyrics are based on remind us that worry is unnecessary. God is on our side and ready to meet our needs when we depend on Him rather than ourselves.

Matthew 6:25-34 was the primary source for these lyric ideas:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

But 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 makes a significant contribution as well:

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Although the Bible passages are special in their wording, putting them to music enabled me to make the biblical message more personal. And gave me a sermon to preach to myself as frequently as I need to.

How about leaving a comment about worry…

~*~

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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You’re the Railing

Lord, You’re the railing that we cling to,
Climbing up the steep stair steps of life.
Although we pretend to be surefooted,
You know how easily we fall.

refrain
As we climb life’s steps we cling to You.
As we climb life’s steps we cling to You.
As we climb life’s steps we cling to You
That we may not fall.

Rarely do falls bring tears of laughter;
Usually they cause us tears of pain.
Lord, You know that we’re weak and fragile.
We must cling to You so we won’t fall.
(refrain)

Lord, You know all our limitations;
We can’t even see the stairs ahead.
But we know by faith You have no boundaries;
You see far above, beneath, beyond.
(refrain)

Lord, all around are those who’re falling,
Toppling backwards from their heavy loads.
Help us each to take one hand in our hand
And show them just Who THE RAILING is.
(refrain)

About This Song:
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to believe I’m in control of my life. At seventy-two, however, I’m smart enough to know I’m not. I’m fragile and anything but sure-footed, both literally and symbolically.

I believe life is very much like a steep set of stairs–so steep I can’t see more than a step or two above me as I climb.

So trying to live life on my own–without God’s help–is like trying to climb those steps without holding onto the railing. How easily I can fall backwards.

But God is not only a sure support, He’s the only one who sees the steps I can’t see. He knows the problems I’ll face. He knows the dangers. Clinging to Him as a railing doesn’t guarantee that I won’t fall, but at least I’ll have the assistance of the only one who can help me up again, no matter how badly I’m hurt.

Holding on to the railing only takes one hand, though. That leaves one hand free. As a Christian I need to keep that hand ready  to extend to someone else who’s groping for safety.

While I can’t lead that person’s life any better than I can lead my own, I can at least point him or her to my Lord and Savior.

Do you ever feel as if you’re falling down life’s stairs? Do you depend on God’s help? How about sharing 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 Falling, God's protection, Holding On, Railing, Stairs, Steps, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Without You, Lord

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 be all You want me to be.

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t see all You want me to see.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t see all You want me to see.

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

Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t give all You want me to give.
Without You, Lord, without You, Lord,
I can’t give all You want me to give.

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

About this Song:
(NOTE: This is the short version of last week’s song and one of the easiest songs I’ve ever tried teaching a group, because only one word changes from stanza to stanza; note those words in italics above.)

Without You, Lord focuses on how being God-like affects us and what it enables us to do–things we can’t begin to accomplish fully without His help. In our effort to be the people He wants us to be, we will open our eyes to see the needs surrounding us. Then we will do what God wants us to do to touch the lives of others. Consequently, we will give of ourselves–our time, our talents, and our resources. And we will love others because God loved us first. Only with God’s help can we be, see, do, give, and love.

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 Be, Being Like God, Do, Give, God's Help, Love, See | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 thought-provoking. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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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Quench My Thirst, Lord

Quench my thirst, Lord;
Fill my life with things that always satisfy.
Take away my penchant for
Those things that always leave me dry.

Take my doubt, fill me with faith.
Take my dread, fill me with hope.
Take my fear, fill me with peace.
Quench my thirst, Lord.

Take my dark, fill me with light.
Take my cold, fill me with warmth.
Take my greed, fill me with care.
Quench my thirst, Lord.

Take my lies, fill me with truth.
Take my wrongs, fill me with right.
Take my self, fill me with You.
Quench my thirst, Lord.

About This Song:
Do you recall a time you were really thirsty? I mean “about to pass out thirsty.”

I experienced one of those times some years ago while having fun at Kings Dominion (an amusement park near Richmond). I was so out-of-it I barely knew what I was doing, and I wasn’t even up to asking anyone for help. Being there by myself didn’t help.

My next question is what you drank when you were that thirsty. Water, juice, a soft drink?

Not a soft drink, I hope. From what I’ve been told, caffeine dehydrates the body. It might quench your thirst temporarily, but it won’t restore lost water to your body.

Often–too often–we fill ourselves with things that aren’t harmless. Things that hurt us and our relationships with other people. We may not even realize how much we’re gorging ourselves on those things.

They’re not things that satisfy us.

My prayer for you today is that–if you’re filling up on any of the negative things listed in this song–you’ll pray for God to quench whatever you’re really thirsting for with whatever He knows is better and wants you to have.

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 Negative Emotions, Quench, Satisfaction, Thirst | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment