The Goodbye Song

There’s no need for us to say goodbye;
There’s no reason for sorrow or tears.
There’s no need for words of farewell,
For we will be together soon.

About This Song:
Some years ago I belonged to a church that hired a summer youth worker.

To lessen the load on any of the members, he stayed a few days in each of a number of homes, including mine. Poor fellow. I don’t even remember his name now.

In fact, the only two things I remember about him are the mustard that mysteriously appeared on top of the toaster one day–and the times we started using the stereo, only to find he’d left it cranked up at full volume.

Nonetheless, his presence in my home and in the church had been a blessing, and I wrote “The Goodbye Song” as a farewell tribute to him. (Incidentally, I grew up believing that “goodbye” is not an actual word. I still believe that, but am using it because I believe most people do now.)

One of these days, I want to use this song in my church’s nursing home ministry. We’re not shy about talking about death. After all, for Christians it’s the doorway to something SO much better than what we experience here on earth.

No matter how long a lifetime–or how short–any of us has, no one lives very long in comparison with eternity.

And one of the things we have to look forward to is the reunion with friends and family who’ve gone on before.

If you’re interested, a free lead sheet for this little song is available here.

     

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Best regards,
Roger

 

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When You Close Your Eyes in Prayer

What do you say when you close your eyes in prayer?
What do you tell God when you call upon his name?
Do you say, “I love You, Lord, for being who you are”?
What do you say when you close your eyes in prayer?

What do you say when God knows just who you are?
What do you tell Him when He sees inside your heart?
Do you say, “I’ve done wrong, Lord, and I want to do right”?
What do you say when God knows just who you are?

What do you say when God knows the words you’ll use?
What do you tell Him? He already knows your needs.
Do you say, “I thank You, Lord, for all you do for me”?
What do you say when God knows the words you’ll use?

What do you say when your thoughts distract your prayers?
What do you tell God when the words refuse to come?
Do you cry, “I need help, Lord. I can’t live on my own!”?
What do you say when your thoughts distract your prayers?

About this song:
Years ago I was introduced to the concept of ACTS, an acronym that represents the four elements of prayer:

  • Adoration: praising God for who He is (and not for what He’s done for us)
  • Confession: admitting our sins to God and asking His forgiveness
  • Thanksgiving: thanking God for His many perfect gifts
  • Supplication: asking God’s help for ourselves and other people as well

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think many Christians concentrate on asking for God’s help–and for the things we want rather than necessarily what we need. At times, we’re all probably guilty of that.

In my prayers, I try to focus on adoration. The very fact that God is not only somewhere “out there” but lives inside us listening to us is worthy of adoration–and praise.

I strongly believe that if we were to spend more of our prayer time thanking God for His “every good and perfect gift,” we wouldn’t have time to pray selfishly.

I wrote this song in 1990, basing it loosely on the ACTS principle. It’s very slow and prayerful and–I hope–thought-provoking. You may download the free lead sheet here.

One really nifty thing resulted from this song. Jeff Ferrier, the pianist in the local Gospel Chickenhouse house band and a wonderful musician, took a recording of me singing “When You Close Your Eyes in Prayer” with guitar accompaniment and wrote a beautiful two-voice arrangement with piano accompaniment.


     

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 ACTS, Adoration, Confession, Gospel Chicken House, Jeff Ferrier, Prayer, Supplication, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Days, Hours, Moments

I could spend my days
Just singing songs of praise
Unto the Lord who’s set me free.
I could spend each hour
Just singing of His power
And of the love that’s lifted me.
I could spend each moment
Singing of my atonement
And the hope Christ Jesus brings.
I could spend my time
Making songs in rhyme
For the Lord of whom I sing.

About this song:
I’m not sure what inspired this song originally, but it turned out to be an exercise in rhyming. You’ll notice that the ending words of each pair of sentences rhyme: “free” and “me”; “brings” and “sing”.

But there are also internal rhymes within each sentence: “days” and “praise”; “hour” and “power”; “moment” and “atonement”; and “time” and “rhyme”.

So the reference to “making songs in rhyme” is actually about writing this song.

The line about “And of the love that’s lifted me” should bring back memories of the old hymn, “Love Lifted Me.”

Believe it or not, I really struggled with the atonement line. Should it be “my atonement” because I’m talking about God making me “at one” with Him? Or should it be “His atonement” because He’s the one who’s done it? I’m still not totally sure, but I don’t think God will punish me if I’ve made the wrong choice.

I purposely started with the longest period of time–days–and then worked my way down to the shorter time spans, days and then moments.

To listen to this sing, go here, scroll down to the drop down box of songs recorded on the Yamaha, and select “Days, Hours, Moments.” A free lead sheet is available here.

As always, 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 Days, Hours, Moments, Praise, Rhymes, Singing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make a Joyful Noise

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord;
Praise Him with the joy of your salvation.
Praise Him with the joy of your salvation,
And make a joyful noise,
Make a joyful noise,
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord;
Praise Him for His every perfect gift.
Praise Him for His every perfect gift,
And make a joyful noise,
Make a joyful noise,
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord;
Praise Him for His every answer to prayer.
Praise Him for His every answer to prayer,
And make a joyful noise,
Make a joyful noise,
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

About This Song:
Trying to identify the various verses from the Psalms that comprise “Make a Joyful Noise” would be like trying find specific grains of sand at the beach.

I did an online Bible search for “joyful noise” since that’s definitely a biblical reference. Just for the heck of it, I did my search in the King James version–the original 1611 one–and found the following verses…

Psalm 66:1
Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Psalm 81:1
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Psalm 95:1
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalm 95:2
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psalm 98:4
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psalm 98:6
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.

Psalm 100:1
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Thanksgiving is many months away. Nonetheless, what better time than now to “make a joyful noise” of praise to God?

That seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? What do you have to make a joyful noise of praise to God about today? How about leaving a comment.

 

     

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

Best regards,
Roger

 

 

Posted in Gifts, Joy, Noise, Praise, Prayer, Psalms, Salvation, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Only Hope I Have

God’s love and mercy never fail;
They’re fresh as every brand-new day,
Sure as every sunrise.
God helps those who place their trust in Him
He is the only hope I have.

I know how it feels to be punished by the Lord,
Locked in His prison, with no hope for release,
Thrown into such darkness that each day seems like the night,
And choked by the poison of my own bitter thoughts.

Then in my depression, hope returned.

God’s love and mercy never fail;
They’re fresh as every brand-new day,
Sure as every sunrise.
God helps those who place their trust in Him
He is the only hope I have.

About This Song:
The really depressing part of “The Only Hope I Have” is based on Lamentations 3:1-18. I’m including only verses 7-9 here, but take my word for it (better yet, look it up yourself in the Bible), the rest of it is depressing, too…
He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.
(NIV)

The transition from depression to hopeful comes in Lamentations 3:19-21…
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
(NIV)

When hope comes in this passage, it’s like a blackened sky that fireworks have suddenly brightened like daylight. Here are verses 22-25…
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,  to the one who seeks him;
(NIV)

All of us go through tough times, and I doubt that many of us have been totally free of depression. Depression can be crippling. Dangerously so at times.

Don’t some of us tend to blame God for the bad things in life?  Although God is big enough to listen to those accusations without growing angry, He’s really not to blame.

The free will God endowed each of us with has resulted in sin, and sin has brought about suffering and death.

But no matter how deep we sink into depression, those of us who’ve become God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ still have hope. If we examine God’s Word closely, we find all kinds of promises God has made to provide for His children.

He may not do it in our time or our choice of ways, but He’s always faithful.

What earthly father fails to provide what’s best for his children? That sometimes means allowing them to suffer the results of bad decisions and wrong words and actions.

Can’t we expect even more from our Heavenly Father and put our hope in Him to fulfill His promises?

 

    

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 Depression, God's Promises, God's Provision, Hope, Lamentations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Special to God Almighty

I am special to God Almighty,
For He made me in His image,
And He always wanted me to be His child.
Long before the start of earth time
God planned my life in detail;
He knew everything I’d ever be and do.

In my mother’s womb God formed me;
He handcrafted all the pieces,
And He made sure each part fit in place just so.
As I grew there in the darkness,
I remained safe in His watch-care
I developed just as God Himself designed.

Now that I’m born and grown up,
I’ve begun to call God ‘Father,’
For I know I’m who I am because I’m His.
God knows all my deepest feelings;
He knows what I will think next.
He knows what I’ll say before one word is formed.

I’m surrounded by things I don’t grasp,
While God understands them clearly.
Can I ever hope to understand the Lord?
Where is there that He can’t find me?
Can the night hide me from His eyes?
What’s more special than His constant love for me?

About This Song:
“As I Come Singing” is based on Psalm 139. If you’re not familiar with it, let me just share that it’s one of pro-Lifers’ key passages–and probably one of abortionists’ most hated.

Here are just a few verses from it in the New International Version. . .

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Often when I pray I thank God for making me exactly the way He made me. That’s a lot better than griping about my face or my hair or my height or my weight.

It’s also better than wishing I had the talents this person or that one has.

God intended for me to be the person I am. That should be enough not just to satisfy me, but to make me be proud and make me want to live up to God’s highest expectations of me.

Do you feel that way about yourself?

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

 

 

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Posted in Abortion, God's plan, Pro-Life, Psalm 139, Psalms, Satisfaction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

As You Would Have Other People Do to You

As you would have other people do to you,
So you must do to them.
So you must do to them.

Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you.
Bless those who would curse you,
And pray for those who would abuse you.

How can God’s love reach out through you
If you love just your friends and family?
Even the least of all men
Gives to those who would pay them back.

Love your enemies; ask for nothing in return.
Then they’ll know you are God’s children.
Don’t ask back for what you’ve given them.

Let them see you living by the
Kind of love you’re giving away.
As you would have other people do to you,
So you must do to them.
So you must do to them.

About This Song:
“As You Would Have Other People Do to You” comes from Luke 6:27-28 and 31-35. . .

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
(NIV)

Jesus’ outlook on how to treat other people is quite different from the way we’re too often inclined to do it. Sometimes we’d rather say, “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.”

Hmm. But Jesus’ words put a different spin on that. An incredibly more positive one.

Do you love your enemies? I’m happy to say I’ve never had but one or two, but they gave me fits. Being civil to them–much less kind and loving–didn’t come easily.

But you know what I forced myself to do?

I prayed for them. On a regular basis. I didn’t pray for them to change. . .to become more likeable. I simply prayed for God to bless them. I tried to be sincere in praying that. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I didn’t.

I’m not sure those people ever became good friends, but my opinion of them changed for the better. Maybe I did learn to love them. At least a little bit.

With a large dose of God’s help.

Is there someone in your life you’d rather not pray for? Check with God. Maybe He wants you to pray for them.


Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

 

Roger

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