Let God Drive

I have the best intentions;
I long to do all that pleases God
And yet I fail to do what I mean
And do what I mean not to do.

It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
For He alone knows where I’m really going.

If backed into a corner,
I may admit that I have done wrong,
And yet I tell God what He should do
To make things work out right for me.

It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
For He alone knows where I’m really going.

It’s hard to want what God wants;
Even Christ Himself didn’t like to suffer,
But He cried, “Not my will, but Yours.”
Lord, help me to pray that prayer, too.

It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
It’s time to jump into the back seat and let God drive,
For He alone knows where I’m really going.

About this Song:
If these words remind you of several vastly different Scripture passages, you’re on the same page I am.

In Romans 7:19-20, the apostle Paul says, “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” That’s from the NIV translation.

Here’s the same thing from the Easy-to-Read translation: “I don’t do the good that I want to do. I do the evil that I don’t want to do. So if I do what I don’t want to do, then I am not really the one doing it. It is the sin living in me that does it.”

No matter which translation you prefer, Christians can relate too easily to what Paul is saying. Just because we’re saved doesn’t mean we’ve lost our sinful nature. We truly don’t want to sin, yet we still do. We won’t get rid of that sinful nature until we die.

But with God’s help, we can keep it under control–under better control, anyhow. The closer our walk with Him–the more willing we are to put Him in the driver’s seat of our lives–the more we’re able to do the good we want to do and avoid doing the bad we don’t want to do.

The other passage referred to here is Matthew 26:39 & 42. Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. The human side of Jesus would have much preferred to avoid the physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering he faced the next day. He said, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” (That is, may I be spared from the coming agony?)

In verse 42, He prayed a second time. “My father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it. . .”

Ah, but I’ve purposely omitted the most important words in both verses: “Yet not as I will, but as You will” in verse 39 and “May Your will be done” in verse 42.

As today’s lyrics suggest, Jesus was acknowledging that He wanted God the Father to be in the driver’s seat–regardless of Jesus’ personal feelings on the subject.

Because Jesus was both God and man, He was born with a sin nature–just like you and me. But He did what the apostle Paul was never able to do: He stayed in such close contact with God the Father that He never let his sin nature take control. Not once. Jesus never sinned.

You and I will never stop sinning. But the closer we get to God–the more we put Him in charge of our lives–the less sinning we’ll do.

If you’re not a Christian, you probably still have problems making yourself do what’s right sometimes–and doing what you know is wrong at other times. You’d be amazed how God’s presence in your life can affect your intentions and your ability to carry through with them.

Please leave a comment if this song has spoken to you in any way…or my comments about it.

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.

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 Control, Driving, Good Intentions, Sin, Submission | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Loves the World So Much

God loves the world so much
That He gave His only Son
So that the world through Him
Might be saved.
Yes, God loves the world so much
That He gave His only Son.

God did not send His Son
To condemn the world,
But that the world through Him
Might be saved.
Yes, God loves the world so much
That He gave His only Son.

About This Song:
“God Loves the World So Much” was the second song I ever wrote–sometime in the latter 1960s. The lyrics come from John 3:16-17, Bible verses familiar to every Christian and  undoubtedly our most beloved Scripture.

If you’re like me, you memorized the King James Version translation:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

I recently bought an album that contains the very familiar John Stainer arrangement of that Scripture. Even though I’m not fond of the Early Modern English the King James version of the Bible was written in, it sounds beautiful in the Stainer choral arrangement.

As I always do when writing songs based on Scripture, I reword them my own way, making every effort to remain true to the intent of the original. However, one choice I consciously made with this song was to say “God loves”–present tense–instead of “God loved.”

While God sent Jesus in human form only one time, His love is past, present, and future. Hence my preference for “God loves.”

Non-Christians often question how a loving God can “condemn the world.” That’s the result of sin, something that happened because God wanted human beings to have free will, and every one of us sins. Nobody is “good enough” on his own to meet God’s standards.

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.

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 Bible, God's love, John 3:16, John Stainer, King James Version, Salvation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yesterday’s Dirt

When I get up in the morning,
I jump into the shower.
I turn the water on full force
And lather up some soap.
Then I commence to scrubbing
From my head down to my toes,
So I won’t keep on wearing
Yesterday’s dirt.

Yesterdays’ dirt was something awful;
I was really quite a mess,
And I wondered if I ever could get clean.
But when I’d finished bathing
And the dirt all washed away,
It’s amazing what a little soap can do.

Then I slip off to some quiet spot
With my Bible in my hand,
So I can listen to the Lord
And see what He wants from me.
I immerse myself in God’s love
And scrub off with His truth;
Forgiven, I am free
Of yesterdays’ dirt.

Yesterday’s dirt was something awful;
I was really quite a mess,
And I wondered if I ever could get clean.
But when I’d finished bathing
And the dirt all washed away,
It’s amazing what the love of God can do.

Don’t ask me why I go to bed
Before I’ve had a shower.
I know I would sleep better clean
And wake up more refreshed.
But sometimes it seems harder
To do things the easy way.
Lord, don’t let this become
“Yesterday’s Dirt.”

Today’s dirt is something awful;
I am really quite a mess,
And I wonder if I ever can get clean.
But when I finish bathing,
I know the dirt will wash away;
It’s amazing what the Love of God can do.

About this Song:
I hope the words to this song have left you smiling. Maybe even laughing. I mean, who but me would write a song about taking a shower? (Unless you’re old enough to remember Bobby Darin’s hit from the fifties, “Splish Splash.”) Or even use showering as a metaphor for something else?

Yet the message is quite serious. The dirt I’ve described is guilt. The shower itself is the overall process of seeking and receiving God’s forgiveness. The soap we scrub with is His love. The water is His willingness–His desire–to forgive us. And the resulting cleanliness is freedom from guilt.

You probably caught that part, though.

The real importance of this message is that we so often–too often–wallow in our guilt for a period of time before we finally turn to God rather than come to Him when we first became aware that we’ve sinned. We could have “showered” then without suffering unnecessary guilt and enjoyed His forgiveness and the freedom from guilt all the sooner.

Have you been postponing this kind of shower for something you’ve done? It’s not too late, you know. Please feel free to 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.

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 Cleansing, Dirt, Forgiveness, Guilt, Shower, Soap, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Will You Leave Behind?

When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Precious memories for your friends and family
Or relief that you’re no longer there?
Will the faith you’ve shared bring them comfort
Or your hopelessness cause them more grief?
When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will your words continue to encourage
Or the harm they’ve engendered linger on?
Do your sermons tell of God’s Kingdom
While your actions point the other way?
When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will the good you’ve planted grow like flowers
Or the problems you’ve sown spread like weeds?
Is your life well invested in others
Or will your influence die at your death?
When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you expire, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Meager savings that soon will be used up
Or all the riches of the least child of God?
Will you leave debt for things that don’t matter
Or your witness to what God paid for you?
When you expire, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

About this Song:

There are two songs I want sung at my funeral–other than some favorite hymns. Chi Coltrane’s “Go Like Elijah.” I doubt that Chi, who has no idea who I am, would have any interest in coming to sing at my funeral, even if she’s still alive at that time. So I’ll have to leave a CD where Kathleen can find it.

The other song is this one. And I doubt seriously that Kathleen would be emotionally up to singing it, so I once spent a number of hours recording a CD of this song for future use.

This song was a challenge to write. Among other things, I was hard pressed to find and fit synonyms for “die” into the song’s rhythm in the second, third, and fourth stanzas.

But that’s not really the point, is it?

We’re all going to die, and each of us will leave some sort of heritage behind. Some people will barely be missed. The death of others will even be a relief. How sad.

As Christians, however, we have the chance to leave so much more than material goods. If our lives are filled with love, kindness, consideration, generosity, and so many other virtues than I can begin to list here, we will continue to live in the memory of others in a good way.

But how would we feel if all we knew that all we would be remembered for was hatred, nastiness, selfishness, violence, or any of an endless list of other negative characteristics?

Very few people are remembered throughout the centuries. Probably only the very best people–and the most wicked.

But why should we waste the opportunity to be remembered approvingly for as long a time as possible? It’s up to each of us as individuals, isn’t it?

Your comments are always welcome.

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.

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 Death, Despair, Family, Hope | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Eyes Can See?

What eyes can see?
What ears can hear?
Who can imagine all the
Good God has for us?

No eyes can see,
No ears can hear,
No one can imagine all the
Good God has for us.

About This Song:

“What Eyes Can See?”
seems almost too simple to call a song rather than just a chorus. And perhaps it is.

But Isaiah 64:4 inspired it, and that gives it a lot of validity.

The Good News Translation says,

No one has ever seen or heard of a God like you, who does such deeds for those who put their hope in him.

and the Contemporary English Version says,

You are the only God ever seen or heard of who works miracles for his followers.

I like what The Message says:

Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.

I honestly have no idea what translation I adopted my wording from, but the verse–and consequently my song–says something I believe in quite strongly.

God is unlimited in the perfect gifts He desires to give His children. If I can’t begin to comprehend the vastness of His attributes, how can I pretend to imagine all He’s able to do for each and every one of us?

I can’t even explain why He chose to spare my life when I was in the eighth grade, in a coma with acute viral encephalitis. But He did. He could have left me in a vegetative state when He brought me out of it, but He didn’t. I’m as normal as I could ever hope to be.

Has He done something special in your life–something inexplicably wonderful? Could you have imagined that He would ever do something like that? 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.

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 Ears, Eyes, God's goodness, Imagine, Isaiah, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Come Believing, Lord

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of Light,
And as I go my way,
Help me to shine.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of Strength,
And as I go my way,
Help me be strong.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of Truth,
And as I go my way,
Help me be true.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of love,
And as I go my way,
Help me to love.

I come believing, Lord,
That You’re the God of life,
And as I go my way,
Help me to live.

About This Song:
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I like to write songs about God’s attributes–and about how He is the source of whatever goodness we have.

If you have any doubt about that, look at the low moral condition not just of the United States, but of the whole world. More and more, “progressive” world citizens are denying the existence of God. In the process, they are also eliminating the codes of conduct based on God’s Ten Commandments and inviting everyone to do his own thing, because they don’t believe any kind of behavior is actually wrong.

Hmm. Tell that to the failed abortions that have survived the torture they went through.

I make no apologies for being a Christian or for believing that God’s way is the only right way to live. He is the only source of light, strength, truth, and love. And ultimately of life itself.

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 Dependence, Life, Light, Loyalty, Strength, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Just Some Miracle Worker

Christ was not just some miracle worker
Whose magic died with him,
For Christ is still alive and he changes the lives
Of those who believe that he came here
To die for their sins,
Came to die for their sins.

But this world is far too ready when it
Comes to accepting Christ as man and nothing more.
But this world is quite unsteady when it
Comes to accepting Christ as God in human form.

Christ was not just some man out of history
Who changed B.C. to A.D.,
For Christ stepped out of time to make room in eternity
For the world if the world would only believe,
If the world would believe.

But this world is far too ready when it
Comes to accepting Christ as man and nothing more.
But this world is quite unsteady when it
Comes to accepting Christ as God in human form.

Christ was not just some radical peasant
Who was crowned with thorns King for a Day,
For Christ has a kingdom that is not of this world.
I don’t know where it is,
But I know that I’ll see it some day,
I’ll live there some day.
Some day.

About This Song:

You may have seen me mention that I wrote a rock opera–The Identity of Divinity–many years ago to “straighten out” the theology expressed by Jesus Christ Superstar at the peak of its popularity.

My work, which was presented by a dedicated team of friends, students, fellow church members, members of local bands, plus a few people I hadn’t even known before (more than fifty people were involved), played to several hundred approving members of the community.

I can’t recall whether I wrote “Not Just Some Miracle Worker” for that rock opera or whether I’d written it previously and decided to use it in The Identity of Divinity.

Nonetheless, this song really emphasizes the fact that Jesus isn’t someone who existed at one point in time but not now. And the fact that–even though He was fully human–He was also fully God.

That’s why Christianity differs from the other so-called world religions. Christianity isn’t a religion at all. Our salvation doesn’t depend on pleasing God or trying to appease Him. None of us is good enough to do that.

Christianity is a relationship. Christ is the mediator between us and God Himself. If God the Father is the Judge, then Jesus serves as our lawyer. Not to claim that we’re innocent, but to remind His Father that He (Jesus) had already endured a horribly unjust death sentence just so we wouldn’t have to.

Do you have that kind of relationship with God through faith in Jesus? I hope so.

How about leaving a comment?

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 Belief, Christianity, Miracle Worker, Miracles, Relationship, Religion, The Identity of Divinity, World Religions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment