As Jesus Loves

Who is blind, one who cannot see,
Yet seeks to care for those in need?
Or one who claims to see,
But never looks beyond himself?

Who is deaf, one who cannot hear,
Yet heeds the cries of those in pain?
Or one who claims to hear,
But listens only to himself?

Who is lame, one who cannot walk,
Yet takes the hands of those who’re lost?
Or one who claims to walk,
But never goes outside himself?

Refrain:
How blind are those who will not see
The needs that Jesus sees!
How deaf are those who will not hear
The cries that Jesus hears!
How lame are those who will not take
The hands that Jesus takes!
But how blessed are those
Who love as Jesus loves.

About this Song:
The three stanzas are quiet and reflective. The refrain comes only at the end, and it’s much livelier.

And here’s a secret about how I kept the stanzas straight while memorizing this song. The three conditions–blindness, deafness, and lameness–come in alphabetical order. To keep the lines straight within each stanza, each second line has a word that begins with the same letter as the condition mentioned in the line before: see, seeks; hear, heeds; lame, lost. And the supposedly sighted person fails to look “beyond himself” while the person supposedly able to get around fails to go “outside himself”–another intentional alphabetical choice.

Not accidents, I can assure you. I’m too well aware of the limitations of my memory.

I’m aware of my other limitations, too.

Joyce Richards, my former mother-in-law, suffered for years with what was first diagnosed as ALS: Lou Gehrig’s disease. When her condition quit deteriorating–and she continued to live–the doctors said maybe this was the slow-developing kind.

But they really didn’t know.

Even though they had ruled out other degenerative diseases, they still couldn’t be sure. She ended up having to use a motorized chair and a specially equipped van, but she didn’t act like a handicapped person. At least not during the time she was part of my life.

She was a giving and caring person–and she didn’t hide her faith, not even from her favorite Jewish physician.

I’m not sure what sparked this song, but I’ll always think of it as Joyce Richards’ song. For she was physically lame, yet always taking the hands of those around her in the most giving and unselfish ways.

Yet how many Christians think of themselves as righteous–while failing to see or respond to the needs of others; while failing to hear and answer the cries of others; while failing to reach out and assist those who need their help?

I’m guilty–too often–of failing to “love as Jesus loves.” I may care enough to pray, and that’s important. I may cry over the needs of others, and that’s good.

But how often am I willing to get a little dirt on me through hands-on assistance? Not often enough.

So whenever I sing this song, I’m preaching to myself. But I’m also setting up a goal: to gain the blessing that comes from loving as Jesus loves.

Your comments are always welcome.

You can find a free lead sheet of this song in the drop down box found on 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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No Song Is Unworthy

No song is unworthy to be sung to the Lord
If God lives within you, making your life sing for Him.
Sing for Him, sing for Him, sing for Him.

No tune is less than beautiful to sing to the Lord
If your life’s in tune with what God wants your life to be.
Wants you to be, wants you to be, wants you to be.

No rhythm is unsteady to be sung to the Lord
If your life’s in rhythm with God’s heartbeat of love.
Heartbeat of love, heartbeat of love, heartbeat of love.

No words are less than poetry to sing to the Lord
If your life sings of the Word who is making your life sing.
Making you sing, making you sing, making you sing for Him.

About this Song:
A number of years ago, I was feeling rather down about my singing and songwriting, and I wrote this song to convince myself that what I was doing was important to God, even if it didn’t matter to anyone else.

I wrote a harmony part for it and have done duets with various people on mission trips overseas (everywhere from Wales to Australia) as well as locally with my wife. I’ve also enjoyed doing private duets with such (much better) singers as Janet Roller, Angela Hunt, and Jane Herlong. Incidentally, Jane was so gracious she emailed me to thank me for letting her sing it with me.

Note the logical progression of the lyrics. It goes from “song”–the song as a whole–to the various components: tune, rhythm, and words. I always consider words to be the most important part of a song. Because of that fact, perhaps the fact that I have a blog like this shouldn’t surprise you.

The recording of this song on the second drop box down here has me doing both parts. I don’t normally do it quite that slowly, and it’s really hard to blend with myself. About this recording, perhaps I should simply say that “No recording is unworthy if it’s the best I can do without someone else’s help.”

You can find a free lead sheet of this song in the drop down box found on the Lead Sheets tab under my picture at the top of this page.

Comments are always welcome.

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 Lyrics, Rhythm, Songs, Tune, Words, Worth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

 

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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

 

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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