Perfect Peace

When I feel like running away
From all the things that keep troubling me daily,
I fall at the foot of the cross
And bathe in God’s perfect peace.

As God’s love floods into my soul
And washes those things that keep troubling me so,
I watch as they shrink in His hands
Till they seem so harmless.

I no longer feel like running away;
Troubles are real, but they look small in God’s hands.
When I place my life in His care,
He gives me perfect peace.

As God’s love floods into my soul
And washes those things that keep troubling me so,
I watch as they shrink in His hands
Till they seem so harmless.

I no longer feel like running away;
Troubles are real, but they look small in God’s hands.
When I place my life in His care,
He gives me perfect peace

About This Song:
I recall when a dear friend was undergoing an immense amount of pressure. She had to temporarily step back from her official responsibilities to keep from going off the deep end. She wasn’t running away, though; she was just taking time to “fall at the foot of the cross and bathe in God’s perfect peace.”

What about you? Do you have any problems that make you feel like giving up and running away?

If you take them to God expecting Him to magically solve them for you, you may be disappointed. But be assured He wants to give you a sense of peace about them.

You recall the old spiritual “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”? In hands that are full of this world’s troubles, how much smaller your problems look in comparison.

Your comments are 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. 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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Paddlefoot

As I got into the car on a Saturday morning,
I chanced to turn the CB radio on,
When I heard a female voice asking local information
About how to find a particular place in town.
When no one answered her, I knew that I must try;
Though in a hurry, I somehow couldn’t count the cost,
For I realized I’d been there once myself;
I know how it feels to be lost.

I know how it feels to be lost,
I know how it feels to be lost,
I know how it feels to be lost,
I know how it feels to be lost.

So I spoke into the mic and I asked her location,
And I told her to stay where she was for a while,
And I started off on my mission of mercy
With a hurried and worried smile.
But I’m so bad at giving directions,
I had her head just spinnin’ around;
So instead I led her to her destination.
I know how it feels to be found.

I know how it feels to be found,
I know how it feels to be found,
I know how it feels to be found,
I know how it feels to be found.

About this Song:
Many of you–maybe most–are too young to remember the Citizens Band radio craze that was popular during the early seventies, but it seemed like everyone had a CB radio in the car; many people also had a base station at home. Not only did these radios provide a great means of communication during those days before cell phones, they also provided a wonderful social outlet for many of its users.

My wife of the time and I were among the CB crazies, and we took it seriously. So it’s not surprising that I would have turned the car CB on when we started out to breakfast one Saturday morning. We were living in Easton, Maryland, at the time.

A lady trucker who identified herself by the handle Paddlefoot was on her way from Atlanta–or at least she was from Atlanta–to Waverly Press there in Easton. I knew where it was, but I couldn’t think to tell her over the air, so I found out where she was and asked her to stay there since we were just a couple of minutes away.

I’m a whole lot better at putting things in writing than I am using spoken words, and my attempts to tell Paddlefoot how to reach Waverly Press in an eighteen-wheeler were getting worse and worse. I finally just told her to follow me. We led her there without any problems.

My wife had a pamphlet of Scriptures from Christian Women’s Club in her purse, which she gave to Paddlefoot in an effort to explain why we had gone out of our way to help her.

This song was a lot of fun to do way back then, but with CB radio being so passe, it would be almost meaningless now–even with all the explanation I’m giving you. Nonetheless, I thought I’d share it today because it tells a good story and teaches a good lesson.

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 Atlanta, CB Radio, Lady Trucker, Paddlefoot | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Flame that Never Goes Out

God’s love is a flame that never goes out.
God’s love is a flame that never goes out.
God’s love is a flame that never goes out.
God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out.

A match–once struck–very quickly dies down.
A match–once struck–very quickly dies down.
A match–once struck–very quickly dies down,
But God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out.

A lighted candle soon expires.
A lighted candle soon expires.
A lighted candle soon expires,
But God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out.

A fireplace burns till the wood is all gone.
A fireplace burns till the wood is all gone.
A fireplace burns till the wood is all gone,
But God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out.

A lantern glows till the oil is used up.
A lantern glows till the oil is used up.
A lantern glows till the oil is used up,
But God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out.

A flashlight lights while the batteries last.
A flashlight lights while the batteries last.
A flashlight lights while the batteries last,
But God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out.

God’s love is a flame that never goes out.
God’s love is a flame that never goes out.
God’s love is a flame that never goes out.
God’s flame never goes out, no,
God’s flame never goes out

About This Song:
Every once in a rare while, a song or book idea comes to me in a dream, and this song is one of them.

I dreamed I was at a church business meeting when somebody passed around a disposable lighter with the Broadman (the old name for Lifeway Christian Stores) insignia on it. Apparently to consider as an advertising gimmick. As unlikely as Broadman was to use a tobacco-related item that way, it was equally out of place for consideration at a church business meeting. Definitely a strange dream.

When I woke up, though, I couldn’t help thinking about the temporary nature of a disposable lighter. It does its job–but only as long as the fluid lasts. God’s love never runs out, however–no matter how many people it touches or how often.

All I had to do was come up with a variety of flame- or light-producing items to contrast with the permanence and dependability of God’s love. The first four stanzas were the original ones. Years later I added the lantern and flashlight stanzas. I’m no longer considering an additional stanza that would go something like, “The sun keeps shining till its gases burn out.”

This song isn’t complicated, but it’s both fun and (I believe) theologically accurate, even though it’s not as directly Scripture-based as many of my songs. It should make a good song for children.

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 Broadman, Children's Song, Dream, Flame, God's Endless Love, Lifeway | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lord (Who) Never Stops Loving Me

What good can I do?
What good can I say
That’s good enough to
Pay the Lord for loving me?

There’s nothing I can do,
There’s nothing I can say
That’s good enough to
Pay the Lord for loving me.

What bad can I do?
What bad can I say
That’s bad enough to
Keep the Lord from loving me?

There’s nothing I can do,
There’s nothing I can say
That’s bad enough to
Keep the Lord from loving me.

Well, what then can I do?
What then can I say
To thank the Lord
For loving me?

I’ll do everything I do,
I’ll say everything I say
In the name of the Lord
Who never stops loving me,
In the name of the Lord
Who never stops loving me.

About This Song:
Those lyrics are pretty simple, but they express some very basic Christian theology. Basic, but extremely important.

How many people believe they’re good enough to “earn” their way into heaven? Quite a few, I’d guess. They fail to recognize that we’re all sinners and even the best of us doesn’t deserve God’s love.

Jesus is the only way to reach God. Not even the Mother Teresas of the world can make it to heaven without faith in Him as their personal Lord and Savior.

And how many people–not just those locked up in prison–reject Christianity because they don’t believe God can possibly forgive them for their sins. Ironically, their ultimate rejection of Him is the only sin He can’t forgive.

As hard as it is to believe–it might even rub us the wrong way–God loved  Hitler, Stalin, and Jack the Ripper–as much as He loves each of us. Regardless of their horrendous crimes, He would’ve forgiven them if they had turned to Him in faith and repented of their sins.

So we can’t be good enough to pay God for our salvation, and we can’t be bad enough to keep Him from loving us. What CAN we do?

We can be God’s loving, obedient children. Faithful in our gratitude for what God has done in our lives and continues to do daily. And we can share the Good News with others.

What about you? Do you think you’re good enough on your own or do you recognize that God’s forgiveness is necessary for everyone, no matter how good a person he or she may be?

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 Actions, Badness, Forgiveness, Goodness, Gratitude, Hitler, Mother Teresa, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Younger Son

There was a man who had two sons,
And the younger one said to him,
“Give me the portion of wealth which will be mine,
So I may enjoy life while I am young.”

Then he packed his bags and headed off,
Wasting his whole wealth in every wicked way.
When there was nothing left, he lived by feeding hogs
And gladly would have eaten what they left behind.

Then he thought about his father and his home,
And he repented of all the wrongs he’d done.
So he packed his bags and headed home, a servant hoped to be.
But his father was so forgiving he restored him as his own son.

About this Song:
If you’re familiar with the New Testament, you undoubtedly recognize this song as Jesus’s parable of The Prodigal Son. Although He told the story much better than I can, I’ve done my best to boil the basics down into something more succinct than in any of my other songs. I hope it captures the essence of what Jesus was teaching: We can never sin so badly that God won’t forgive us or welcome us home again–just as a human father would welcome back a wayward child–if we return to Him seeking forgiveness.

I’ve heard sermons that claim this parable is actually about the older brother–the son who stayed home and didn’t stray–but I don’t agree. I think the older brother was jealous of his younger brother from start to finish. After all, unless I’m mistaken about how things worked in biblical times, the younger brother wasn’t entitled to any of his father’s money anyhow; it should all have become the older brother’s at the death of their father. So the younger son was–in effect–stealing from his brother.

Judging by the way the older son reacted to his father’s celebration over his  brother’s return, he was still jealous.  And unforgiving.

So I still believe the parable is all about God’s love and forgiveness.

Sin is anything that separates us from God. So–as the Scriptures state so clearly–“All we like sheep have turned away” and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Nobody is good enough to be friends with God. Not without faith in Jesus as God’s son and repentance of our sins.

As Jesus made so clear in this parable, God is waiting for you, ready to forgive. Don’t put it off if you haven’t already made that commitment.

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 Forgiveness, Forgiving Father, Jealous Brother, Jesus' Teaching, Parable, Prodigal Son, Repentance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Lone Angel

In these days of great darkness,
The righteous are not spared.
Though they’re on mission for their God,
The dangers are quite real.
Sometimes the Lord assures them
That He’s still in control
By sending one lone angel forth
To lead them through the storm.

‘Twas in the midst of chaos,
A bullet struck her head;
Unconscious for a moment,
She lay still upon the ground.
Her husband rushed to help her;
The bleeding would not stop.
A friend helped get her to the car,
Their passports left behind.

A man stepped through the chaos,
A stranger to them all.
He knew this lady would die soon;
Her life was in his hands.
He led them to the clinic
By many twists and turns.
The precious moments that he saved
Helped get her there in time.

The doctor said the bullet
Had passed right through her head,
And it had done no damage,
Though it glanced against her skull.
He said, “You are hard-headed.”
She laughed. “Like those I love.”
While friend and stranger went back for
The passports left behind.

When their friend turned to thank him,
The stranger was not there;
Though this was in an open place
With no place he could go.
They said, “We’ve seen an angel
Sent by the Lord today:
He’s come here just to help us
And remind us of His care.”

In these days of great darkness,
The righteous are not spared.
Though they’re on mission for their God,
The dangers are quite real.
Sometimes the Lord assures them
That He’s still in control
By sending one lone angel forth
To lead them through the storm.

About This Song:
Around Christmas we’re apt to think about angels. The Bible usually portrays them as messengers. For example, an angel told Mary she would become the mother of Jesus. An angel told Joseph not to reject Mary for her pregnancy because God was the father. Angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.

But angels in the Bible aren’t limited to Christmas. Neither are they limited to being messengers, as we see in this song.

“One Lone Angel”  is based on a news article written by Robert O’Brien and published by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) a number of years ago. It’s an accurate rendering of Robert’s article. The incident took place during fighting in Albania, where Burt and Debbie Ayers served as CBF missionaries.

The “friend” who helped Burt was an unnamed Mennonite missionary. The stranger who saved Debbie’s life was–who knows?

Not everyone believes in angels. But it’s difficult–in my case, impossible–to read this story or consider the words of the song and deny that something quite supernatural occurred that day. If you don’t believe it was an angel, please share your explanation in a comment.

The Ayers don’t have any other explanation.

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 Albania, Angels, CBF, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Friend, Life Saving, Missionary, Stranger | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Two Friends Walk Together

When two friends walk together,
When two friends walk together,
When two friends walk together and one falls,
The other helps him up.

But when someone walks alone,
When someone walks alone,
When someone walks alone and he falls down,
There’s no one to help him up.

If a rope has several strands,
If a rope has several strands,
If a rope has several strands and one strand breaks,
The others will hold fast.

When I’m walking with the Lord,
When I’m walking with the Lord,
When I’m walking with the Lord I need not fear.
He will not let me fall down,
He will not let me fall down,
He won’t let me fall down.

About This Song:
I always associate this song with my father. The week he died, he fell in my parents’ bathroom and wasn’t able to get up. My mother couldn’t lift him.

She called me and I rushed over from work, but he was too heavy for me as well. So we called the paramedics, who had no problem putting him on a stretcher and transporting him to the hospital.

The song–like many of mine–is based on Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
(NIV)

At first glance, that Scripture doesn’t sound “religious.” Those verses express truths that don’t appear to have anything to do with faith or God.

Yet the Scriptures–and consequently my song–have always seemed Christian.  Even before I added a new final stanza a few years ago (twenty-seven years after first writing the song), using an idea not based on Ecclesiastes.

As a whole, I think the lyrics describe the ultimate in Christian unity and fellowship: when a Christian helps to lift a fallen brother or sister; when a church as the body of Christ cannot be broken by the failure of one weak member.

So it’s not surprising that I view the second stanza as a sad reminder of the hopelessness of people who aren’t part of a church fellowship and have no one to depend on. Therefore it’s ultimately a call to be on the lookout for the fallen who may not even be part of the church fellowship–and to be willing to help.

Willingly. Without counting the cost.

I feel certain that–in the context of biblical history–verse 11 doesn’t have any sexual implications. But I preferred not to use it in my song rather than chance having someone snicker when they heard it.

Is there a time in your life when you’ve needed someone to lift you up? How about sharing a comment?

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Church, Ecclesiastes, Falling, Fellowship, Friend, Helping, Lifting, Rope | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments