Thursday, 31 December 2009

HYMN

Blest Holy Spirit, sent from Christ in heaven
To those who own Him as their Lord and King,
We praise Thee for the power that we are given
To move us, to Thyself, to laud and sing:
Spirit of Jesus, sent from above,
To shed out freely, within our hearts, God's love.

How low the place that Thou, in grace, hast taken
In humble love to help us praise before
Him who, for us, was once alone, forsaken;
Through Thee we now would worship and adore:
Spirit of Jesus, sent from above,
To shed out freely, within our hearts, God's love.


You'll get a tune at:
http://www.hidwithhim.net/tunes/531g.mid

This must be one of my earliest hymns.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

THRONES

(Rev 3: 21)
What worthy accolade can we give
The Overcomer? None; it is beyond us.
But - blessed be His Name - the Father
Has made room for Him on His throne.

He awaits the Father's time, when He
Will take His own throne. There He will reign
One thousand years, the Ruler among men -
Just - as a priest upon a throne.

(1 Cor 15: 20-28)
And when the Son gives up the kingdom
To Him who is God and Father, and is placed
In subjection - will that diminish His glory?
No; it will, rather, glorify subjection.

30/12/09

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

RISEN!

Death could not long within its clasp confine
The glorious Man who is the Prince of Life;
The Righteous One by His inherent right
Stopped and rolled back the ever‑conquering tide;
The Father's glory in its exultant might
Raised Him who is the Father's chief delight.
Death is no foe in this triumphant time
And he who wielded it is undermined,
His kingdom broken and broken too his pride.
The Lord is risen ‑ who lately man reviled;
The Lord is risen ‑ the Victor in the strife;
The Lord is risen ‑ His conquest has sufficed.

Monday, 28 December 2009

GRAVE

If men appointed His grave with wicked men
God intervened to utilise reserves:
Pilate would wonder on hearing Joseph beg
The holy body after a shameful death.
Under God's hand Joseph prepared the best,
Cared for the body in which God was expressed.
In his own tomb which he had hewn himself
He laid that body with loving tenderness;
Had an acquaintance come to Jerusalem
He would have judged that Joseph must be dead ‑
In principle he would have been correct:
For him remained no prospect on this earth.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

THE CROSS

It was for me Christ hung upon the cross;
He made atonement for evil I had wrought
And bore my sins in poverty and loss;
Made sin for me He met God's righteous wrath;
He was my ransom and His own life the cost,
While by His precious blood I have been bought.
He died for me and ‑ oh amazing thought! -
The One who died is in His Person God.
For me He took the curse of broken law,
Reconciled me who otherwise was lost,
Shed precious blood to cleanse from every spot
And lives to be Deliverer and Lord.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

MALEFACTOR

Those crucified with Him reproached Him too,
But one soul worked, God‑guided, towards the truth.
"Father, forgive them ‑ they know not what they do"
‑ Was that the word through which change was produced
So that the thief confessed death was his due
While Jesus was in every action good?
That Jesus was the Lord he also knew
And longed to see Christ's kingdom introduced.
The Lord did not delay the joyful news
That paradise followed what he endured:
But more than that He was the Saviour who
Would be with him, his righteousness secured.

Friday, 25 December 2009

CROWNS

What crowns have they awarded to my Lord
And who was it determined such awards?
Firstly the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns
To grace His head while He endured the cross;
Though innocent of hate they moved in scorn
Coarsely disposed merely to jeer and mock.
Threat nor complaint came from the Lord of all
Though by His word their breath could be recalled.
But finally another crown adorns
The One who brought to God more than He lost.
God has ensured He has His just reward ‑
Glory and honour bestowed on Him by God.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

JUDGMENT SEAT

Earth has not known a more incongruous scene ‑
The Son of God before a judgment seat;
The Righteous One arraigned by wicked priests;
The glorious Lord apparently demeaned;
The crowd at war against the Prince of Peace;
The Just condemned; the guilty man released;
A governor debased to feebly plead;
His gentile wife owning Christ's righteous deeds
While Jews demand their own Messiah's grief.
Within this scene perfection is replete:
The Lamb of God moves humbly to complete
His sacrifice by which we have been healed.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

Where did He spend the hours of that last night?
The Mount of Olives where He had valued life
And with His Father had joy that was divine;
Gethsemane: there His will must collide
With Satan's will to swerve Him from the right.
Yet if there lay before Him hours of strife
And grief more fierce that any can indite
His soul recoiled but Christ would not resile.
The enemy might try each thwart device:
He could not touch the dignity of Christ.
Before fire touched the offering in the types
The water proved the sacrifice refined.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

THE BREAD AND CUP

The Lord desired to be among His own
To give the comfort He only could afford.
Seated at Supper the Master took a loaf
Which, having blessed, before He passed, He broke.
"This is my body", His people often quote
Owning His rights where He had been disowned.
He blessed the cup giving it to denote
The precious blood which shortly would be poured.
Such was the depth of God's sublime resource
To demonstrate love in its broadest force;
Oh glorious giving by which we are restored:
Oh great memorial confirmed by Christ enthroned.

Monday, 21 December 2009

FEET WASHING

Knowing His hour had come, before the feast,
Christ loved His own with love that would not cease;
He was for them a friend and paraclete.
Conscious the Father appraised Him and was pleased
He rose to wash the twelve disciples feet.
How wonderful the glory of the scene ‑
The Lord of glory serving upon His knees.
If Peter jibbed His Master could reveal
The glorious thought each could have "part with Me"
While He regarded Peter as "wholly clean".
What He had done was more than one could speak:
Great love alone educed this means to teach.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

SUPPER

As time drew on the Lord's disciples wondered
Where He would eat the feast as was His custom;
Peter and John selected from the others
He sent to find it and to prepare His Supper.
Simple directions He did not choose to utter
But careful words to prove that they were worthy.
They were to meet a person laden under
An earthen pitcher as necessary turning,
Accepting thus a spiritual adjustment.
Arriving at the house that he would come to
They were to tell the master what Jesus wanted
And he would show them a large room, ready, furnished.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

INVOCATION

Before our vision the time approaches now
When for our lost condition His head must bow!
O Holy Spirit, guide me as I recount
The solemn actions, the holy solemn hours;
Feed me upon it and fill me with its power,
Teach me right feelings and let them be aroused,
And give expression that's lovingly endowed;
Exalt the Saviour increasing His renown,
Expand His glory and let it be announced:
While I inhabit "this tabernacle house"
Pray that Christ's splendour be radiated out
And help in keeping vows that in Thee are vowed.

Friday, 18 December 2009

INFLUENCE

Distressed and storm-tossed seamen found a berth,
And hungry found an answer to their dearth,
Under the influence of the Son of God
Rejected and a pilgrim on the earth.

The savage man sat calmly at His feet;
The stricken woman's healing was complete;
The girl was raised - and given food to eat
Under the influence of the Son of God.

Under the influence of the Son of God
The eunuch went upon his happy way,
The Pharisee was brought from night to day,
And Gentiles yielded to the Spirit's sway.

God will secure Himself a universe
Under the influence of the Son of God
Where His enjoyed affections will immerse
His world, expelling all that is diverse.

12/09

Thursday, 17 December 2009

WIT'S END

"at wit's end you will
find God beyond it - the God
of resurrection"


Picked our from a letter of G V Wigram

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

SATISFIED

When Man and Woman
Were thrust from the garden
The justice of God
Was satisfied.

When Christ walked on this earth
Serving in perfection
The glory of God
Was satisfied.

And when He bore our sins,
Made sin for us,
The righteousness of God
Was satisfied.

Throughout a dispensation
Of the Spirit and of faith
The grace of God
Has been satisfied.

He will rest in His love;
He will exult over thee with singing:
The love of God
Will be satisfied.

Zephaniah 3: 17

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

PLACE

He has gone to prepare
A place.

He will receive us to
That place.

His Spirit brings light from
The place.

He will rejoice to share
His place.

15/12/09

Monday, 14 December 2009

LIGHT

Stars in the darkness -
What heaven's delight to see
Saints active in faith before
The dispensation of faith
Had begun!

Full sunlight!
When the Sun was here,
Perfect in manhood,
Perfect in service,
Perfect in His atoning work.
What heaven's delight!

A filament of light,
This network of saints
Electrified by God's Spirit -
What heaven's delight
In a lucent dispensation!

28/11/09

Sunday, 13 December 2009

HOLY SPIRIT

We know what God has thought
In love, through revelation,
By Thee, blest Spirit.

We find we have been taught
Divine communication
By Thee, blest Spirit.

We see these things inwrought
In spiritual formation
By Thee, blest Spirit.

6/12/09

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Friday, 11 December 2009

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

24/10/04

Jesus has promised
“I am with you all the days...”
And keeps His promise.


Just back from a couple of days working in London - I'll catch up with a few things tomorrow, if the Lord will!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Friday, 4 December 2009

21/10/04

Let me name a few -
Kelly, Chater, Willey, Deck -
Assembly psalmists.


You'll get examples at http://goodteaching.org/hymn/index.php

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

19/10/04

Pure in its whiteness,
Silk-cool, it is redolent
Of motherliness.



Time for a few more "Blessings"; for those who don't know: on my fiftieth birthday I was told to count my blessings - while I still could. So I counted a blessing for every day until my next birthday. If you go to: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/blessings/7098835 you can buy them. Or just email me and I'll send a copy. If you enjoy them please say so on Lulu.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

FROM "TO GISLEBERTUS"

Did I ever go over with you my notion

Of the ideal village, such as will inhabit
The world to come? These are the archetypes
Which would dwell there: firstly, the priest,
For I understand that priests on earth
Will officiate again. Then the head man,
To a Scot, the Laird. Under the shepherding
Of these two will be the ploughman or peasant,
Garnering abundance; the shepherd or fisher,
Folding abundance; and the soldier or sailor,
Wars now over, pensioner of the abundance.
There will be the pilgrim, the village’s journeyer
To Jerusalem – for the nations will flow to it.
Finally the poet, or psalmist, or bard.

From this developed the custom of testing

Persons against the archetypes. King David
Or King Charles, James Graham
Or Jacob – Rosalie, and Marina and me:
We have all been measured against this standard.


And since perfection in manhood is Christ

These have been measured rather against
Him. If He is priest we have to expand the title
To Great Priest, for the quality of His priestliness,
To High Priest, for the dignity of His priesthood,
And for the scope of His service – Minister
Of the holy places. To whom else could belong
The title, Prince of the princes of the Levites!


And He is Lord of all; certainly because

Of who His is in those other dimensions
He is at home in, but because, too,
Of His worth, of His walk and of
His achievements.
He has displayed Himself as Sower – but all
Of the landsman’s crafts have correspondence
In the Lord’s activities; but He has exceeded
By graciously broadcasting seed irrespective
Of the quality of the ground.

As shepherd The Good Shepherd has expended His vigour
For us, and deliberately offered Himself;
As the Great Shepherd has forged through death
A path for us; and as Chief Shepherd engaged
Shepherds for our good.

But who is conqueror

Like Christ? That constrictor death, and that
Venomous serpent Satan both dungen:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro!


Someone questioned my referring to Christ

As a pilgrim. To me a pilgrim is a person
With an objective – and who fulfils the description
As fully as Christ? For He came from the heart
Of God to the cross and pioneered for us the path
From the cross to the heart of God.
But what
Of psalmist? Each production of the range
Of poet and hymn-writer from Pentecost -
And the ancient psalmists and prophets – were makars
At the hand of the great Maker.

"To Gislebertus" was a bit of a blog before blogs had begun. Not all
of the snippets from it are so positive!

Monday, 30 November 2009

MARINA xvi

We saw a trampled shoot, a plinth
Without a column, and a flame
Guttering, one little but a name
Who would not quit her labyrinth.

God saw perfection - only this
Pearl, of this size, could deck the site
He had prepared for His delight
And for Marina's lasting bliss,

Only through working in these ways
Could He impinge with perfect skill
To work this pattern to His will
And gain from us eternal praise.

O depths of riches - what divine
Wisdom and power and love can do
Impels our worship as we view
How God secures His grand design!


July to September 1994.

Thank you, sisters in Christ and brother in the Lord, for your encouraging comments. Time has moved on and new pressures have been faced. And new joys - I posted Barrie's wedding verse on 5 February 2008. He now has a small son.

The verse I used is that used by Tennyson in "In Memoriam"; it is his wife who is buried in the same churchyard, and Tennyson Down is the most prominent hill - falling in a white cliff to the sea - in the area.

For elucidation of vii and xii I may post something tomorrow.

If elegies suit you - have a look at 27 June 2008, and 15 - 18 May 2009.

As for the weather - crisp and frosty here today; rainy much of last week, but no floods in this area. Dumfries and Galloway was bad; ta sound bad English but that's the name of one region. By the way I'm near Edinburgh but the computer thinks it's in Manchester. I'll get Craig to sort this for me next year, if the Lord will, when he comes here to preach.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

MARINA xv

Return to the particular:
There is a grave beside a wall
Near where the waters rise and fall,
Tidally, by the river Yar.

Life has its rising swells of hope
And if these sink in ebbs of care
We normally avoid despair,
Struggle a bit, and learn to cope.

Marina does not have the joy
Of hope, nor does she crave success
And watch its rising happiness,
As the tide bears an air-filled bouy.

Marina does not have to drudge
Bailing the waters from her boat
To keep her ebbing dreams afloat
Until they founder in the sludge.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

MARINA xiv

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform, and yet
It is the will of God to let
His mind be known through prophecy.

If in the detail of His ways
We rest upon His grace and trust
We know His work, in its broad thrust,
Secures a people for His praise.

Standing before Christ's judgment seat
We shall observe the perfect skill
That chastened us to work God's will
When all that working is complete.

He will complete what He begun
And carried on by calm or storm:
It is His purpose to conform
Us to the image of God's Son!

Friday, 27 November 2009

MARINA xiii

An insect moves among the trees
Unconscious of the pollen's power
Conveyed by her from flower to flower
As she pursues the yen of bees.

Seeing the bee a honey guide
Has turned a ratel from its tracks
To rob the honey and the wax
As their instinctive lusts provide.

The pistil, fertilised, transforms -
Seed, shoot and sapling pullulate;
Birds, beasts and insects congregate
In vibrant, interactive swarms.

Again God's detailed work is proved
Through skills we barely understand
Since He has webbed strand after strand
Of life, because an insect moved.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

MARINA xii

And dear Louisa, you have been
The comfort of your mother's heart,
A vivid, loving counterpart
Of shades of what she might have seen.

Yet since you're like a little elf
Grinning at us your impish grin,
Eyes shining out the sprite within,
We gladly see you as yourself.

Plough your own furrow, straight and sure;
Go by the tenor of your way
But as a pilgrim tread, and pray
To keep your mind and motives pure.

Work only for your Lord's renown,
Composing all things for His praise,
Till from Him, as, through grace, you gaze
On Him, you will receive your crown.

Louisa was born about two years after Marina. Whether she would like to be compared to an elf now I doubt!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

MARINA xi

Dear Barrie and Susanna, You
May wonder as the years go by,
Missing that little sister, why
This was the course God would pursue.

God leads His own through many a test
To teach His people that they must
Lean upon Him and learn to trust
The love whose way is always best.

If from known fields where they have been
A shepherd one day leads his flock
Among coarse thistle and dry rock
The fields beyond are rich and green.

And when you have an easier way
Remember still that God, in love,
Observes your pathway from above
Longing to see you trust and pray.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

MARINA x

Dear Sarah Anne, You will, I hope,
Forgive this probing of your wound:
Changing, your sorrow waits, cocooned,
Till God's time gives its glossed wings scope.

Within, where it cannot be seen,
The oyster cradles its own grief
And layer on layer secures relief
In giving to the pearl its sheen.

Go by the north gate and its cold
Into God's house; be restful there,
Till sent out by the south gate, where
Well-watered, southern lands unfold.

The One for whom the north wind blew
In chastening, as proof of grace,
Now, for another time and place,
Is He who sends the south winds too.

Ezekiel 46:9; Song of songs 4: 16.

Monday, 23 November 2009

MARINA ix

Dear Alastair, I trust you will
Forgive my verse's poverty
Since death points up the paucity
Of anything I claim of skill.

But what to you was bitter night
For me was cloud to shade my way;
Even my deepest empathy
Inevitably must be trite.

Though I am poor, One who is rich
Was watching with you in the dark
And from that night He left His mark -
His perfectly embroidered stitch.

He is the One who loves to dote
Upon this product of His own,
Rejoicing in the sweeter tone
And timbre of a well-tuned note.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

MARINA viii

(Rom 12: 2)

The Lord could speak of it as food
But we need chastisement to move
Our stolid hearts until we prove
That in each detail it is "good".

It was "acceptable" to Christ
In concept and in consequence;
In us His Spirit helps dispense
With promptings of our carnal geist.

The perfect Man could perfectly
Fulfil God's "perfect" will; but we
Imperfectly behave, or see,
Until with Christ eternally.

It is "of God" and He is Son
Of God; yet none has borne the cost
To do God's will and save the lost
As Jesus in His grace has done.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

MARINA vii

Tottering forth she would have found
New lands to conquer every day;
And reaping in her fields of play
Have set her feet on firmer ground.

She would have brought her faculties
Within her ego's vassalage;
Like tropes deployed upon a page
She would have been her personal traits.

But, like us, going her own way
She would have trudged the wilderness
Till met by One intent to bless
Who bent her heart and knees to pray.

And as a shepherdess her skill
Might have secured her little fold:
Her fable was more briefly told,
Since this desire was not God's will.

Friday, 20 November 2009

MARINA vi

But how we would have loved to see
Her showing off her infant charms
And chuckling in her mother's arms -
Which God decided would not be.

And how we would have watched her grow
Delighting in the normal child
At whose quaint ways we would have smiled -
But by God's will it is not so.

We might have seen her day by day
Flourish in ease and loveliness
With sparkling graces to express -
But our desire was not God's way.

And woman, ripened to fulfil
Beside a loving husband's side
The features of a graceful bride -
But this desire was not God's will.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

MARINA v

There is no stone to mark the site
At which Marina has been laid
And nowhere is her name displayed
Who went through darkness into light.

Perhaps a stone is barely fit
For one who scarcely lived at all,
Whose character evades recall
Because her death extinguished it.

Perhaps a stone would focus grief
For those who come to view the place
By giving a less vacant space
And thus accord them more relief.

But surely where her body lies
Heaven has pleasure to record
And at the coming of the Lord,
Transformed, Marina will arise.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

MARINA iv

By the lychgate I left the car
And took the trodden pathway round
The old church on its little mound
Which stands above the river Yar.

The Yar had yielded to the tide
But gleamed still in the evening sun;
I saw a white horse and a dun
Graze in the meadow by its side.

Lichen has coloured many stones
Asserting its quiescent life
Round where a famous poet's wife,
Among the many, rests her bones.

And here Marina lies. I stood
To contemplate her early death,
Less than a vanity of breath;
Yet knew God works all thing for good.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

MARINA iii

An apple blossom, fertilised,
Draws moisture from the tree and joins
Cell upon cell while it burgeons
As its genes' plan is realised.

Daily the fruit becomes more lush
Allowing potent sap to fill
Its body forth with good until
The sun imparts its ripened flush.

To satiate my taste and needs
I grasp the fruit and relish flesh
Making my tongue and palate fresh,
But find no virtue in the seeds.

Her body ripened to be born,
But if God chose to pluck that fruit
We have no title to dispute
The deed that left our hearts forlorn.

Monday, 16 November 2009

MARINA ii

Was she not wise to flee a world
Grounded in pain and lapped by tears
After that Eden, strange to fears,
In which her being had been curled?

Why should we mourn that she should miss
This torn earth she need never thole,
Gone from one world, replete and whole,
Into her everlasting bliss?

The watchdog, savaging within
The being it was set to guard,
Conscience, has never pressed her hard
Since she was free from acts of sin.

Yet she required no lesser cost
As shapen in iniquity
Than us who wander from the Way
To Him who came to save the lost.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

MARINA i

Why should I go to view the grave
In which Marina's body lies
Since saint not angel will apprise
Her soul of thoughts the visit gave?

What am I seeking to effect
Since she in shunning paths of night
And going straightway into light
Claimed no respect or disrespect?

And what would visiting achieve
For those who bore the hardest brunt
And still must thole the daily want
Except to make them freshly grieve?

I search for cause or motive; yet
It is through instinct that I know
That it is right that I should go
Simply since I do not forget.



This is the first of sixteen contemplations of Marina, the daughter of friends, who was born while they were on holiday on the Isle of Wight, and died immediately. I wrote this mainly on the island during a holiday there not long afterwards, in 1994.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

IN THE SON

Eternally God
Will have man in subjection -
Even in the Son.

Eternally man
Will have an approach to God -
Only in the Son.

Friday, 13 November 2009

SON

The Son of David, intent
On His way to Jerusalem,
Stood
For a blind beggar’s cry.

The Son of God, bound,
Yet with incisive power,
Stood
Silent, before man’s judge.

The Son of Man, glorified
Before His witness’s vision,
Stood
Ready to welcome His People.

The Son,
Heir of all things,
Set Himself down
On the right hand of the greatness.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

HOPE

I will hear His cry
Calling me away
I will rise
To the skies
Evermore to dwell on high -
Will it be today?

I will see His face
Filling me with bliss.
What delight
In the sight
Of the Man who came in grace:
Where is hope like this?

And I shall be changed
Suited to His love.
As is He
I shall be
As the grace of God arranged,
Home with Him above.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

DOVES

He came in smallness,
Gentle and sensitive,
To be this sacrifice -
The turtle-dove.

And as a dove
Finding rest for the sole of its feet,
The Holy Spirit
Had descended upon Him.

He sees His Bride
In her uniqueness -
His undefiled,
His dove.

And sends His own
Amid the world’s wolves
To be sensitive and gentle,
Guileless as doves.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

LIFE

It is encouraging as we pursue
Our way through scenes of death to know
God has another world of life in view.

Mid this world’s hunger I have amplitude
Of sustenance as under God’s command
To go to Jesus for my seed and food.

There is defence from all that would defraud
God of response and me of joy and peace
Because my life is hid with Christ in God.

There is a flock and, in such company,
The Shepherd leads us to abundant life
Within the pastures of His liberty.

Lifted outwith this piteous world’s malaise
We know affection which surpasses thought
And lift to God a song of gladsome praise.

Monday, 9 November 2009

ALPHA AND OMEGA

*A Man after God's heart,
Who'll do all His will, has been found;
*But man preferred Barrabas,
A thief and a murderer.
*Could there be anything worse
Than to reject God's Chosen?
*Doing everything well
He walked here amid mankind
*Extending all God's blessing
To those willing to receive it,
*Forgiving repenting souls
And showing men God's way.
*Giving their sight to the blind,
And healing those who were ill
*He displayed the heart of God
And Christ, the Son of His love,
*In every step showing
His righteousness, yet His grace.
*Jesus, rejected by men,
Took up the charge against us,
*Kept our souls from God's judgment,
And bore the sins of many.
*Love was displayed at the cross
Which exceeds understanding -
*May every one rejoice
To know so great a Saviour!
*No one will be excluded
Who has faith in this Saviour;
*Prince of peace is His title
And He leaves His peace with us,
*Quietening our spirits
Since He has endured the storm.
*Redemption being needed
He has shed His precious blood.
*Sinners planned a sinner's grave
But God secured a new tomb
*Till the exciting morning
When He arose from the dead,
*Undefiled by death's traumas
And ready to guide His own.
*Victorious He has gone
Above all of the heavens:
*Exalted over all things
He gave, from there, His Spirit;
*Zealously let us give Him
The honour that befits Him!

18/10/09

Sunday, 8 November 2009

GRACE

God chose, in Jesus, to descend
In grace we cannot comprehend
That grace should thus secure God’s end.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

GOD’S ANSWER

Affronted by sin’s intrusion - Eden
Besmirched, Man condemned, death
Let loose, God fell back
On what was better - His plan:
Redemption in Christ Jesus.

Affronted by Man’s sin - Golgotha,
The acme of human evil - willing
Thralls to Satan, God fell back
On what was better - His Son
Raised by the glory of the Father.

Affronted by Satan trenching on
His rights in His house publicly -
Lordship wrested, God fell back
On what was better - the Church,
A bride adorned for her Husband.

Friday, 6 November 2009

18/10/04

Rosie brings to mind
The scripture “on her tongue
Is the law of kindness”.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

15/10/04

The brethren - comrades
In the wilderness, bending
Towards God’s promised land.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Saturday, 31 October 2009

12/10/04

They flow, or they leap,
White on hillsides, dark in plains,
The blethering burns.


A bit of Scots creeps in: a burn is a stream, and to blether is to chatter.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Monday, 26 October 2009

BLOG-FOLLOWERS

For the first time
I write specifically for
You, blog-followers.

For forty years the spring
Has babbled forth - you now
Set your vessels to catch some water.

You gratify me - yet
I fear lest I assume
Laurels crown my writing.

If any gold
Can be panned from my stream
Another has put it there;

If any refreshment touches
Your palate Another
Has settled the silt out.

May salt from the new cruse
Cause that this stream
Bursts with pureness only.


This marks a six hundredth blog - not the hard work of others as it is mainly issuing was was written long before. Thank you all for your interest. Remember I may not now have ready access to your blogs with the occasional comment from you.

To the Lord Jesus be the glory!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

HIS KINGDOM

His kingdom will not cease
To flourish and increase
In righteousness and peace.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Friday, 23 October 2009

GUIDE

If Satan should deride,
Or tempt us in his sleekness,
The Spirit is our guide
To help us in our weakness.

Within is sin and pride,
Outside is sin and bleakness;
The Spirit is our guide
To help us in our weakness.

He's ready to provide
The grace to grow in meekness;
The Spirit is our guide
To help us in our weakness.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

MAN ACCORDING TO GOD

Here where men had displayed
Every feature of shame
Jesus came
And portrayed
Man according to God.

As Christ hung on the cross
That His own might be free
God could see
Mid such loss
Man according to God.

At the Father's right hand
Christ is glorified now;
As you bow
Understand
Man according to God.

Soon the world will behold
God and heaven's delight:
In their sight
Will unfold
Man according to God.

Saints through all Christ has done
Will be blessed and refined
He will find
In each one
Man according to God.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

HEAVEN

Heaven - yes, that is
Where my Saviour lives.

No, not that only
It’s my Father’s home.

Actually, my name
Is registered there.

That is where I have
My inheritance.

Amazing? How amazing!
Love is at home there.

My life? It is hid
With the Christ, in God.

You, also? You can
Share all these blessings.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

LEAVES

The colours of autumn leaves
Are always there - awaiting
Display. On the tree my Saviour
Shone with beauties
That were always there.

Leaves do not fall from
A dead branch. His was a death
Which had life
Intrinsic in it.

Spring has fresh beauty -
Pullulant with life. A Sprout
For beauty and glory
Has sprung forth!


See Isaiah 4: 2

Monday, 19 October 2009

GOTTES PLAN

Wie wundersam ist Gottes plan:
Fur uns - die seligkeit;
Und mehr - fur Gott durch einen Mann,
Die ewge Herrlichkeit.
Jetzt Gottes Herz ist kundgemacht:
Dem Ihm sein Preis und Lob und Macht.




If this doesn't make sense in German I won't be in the least surprised!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

VERSES

What a Friend the sinner has in Jesus
Who will take his burdens all away;
He endured the distance and the darkness
That we might be brought into the day.

What a Lord the Christian has in Jesus
Who is seated on the Father's throne;
From that place He gave the Holy Spirit
And gives grace which cherishes His own.

What a Son the Father has in Jesus
Who was always pleasing in His sight;
Through His worth and all He has accomplished
God eternally will have delight.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

SECOND FAMILY

Jemima
The product of God’s workmanship,
Without shadow of the night
“Beautiful as the day”.

Keziah
Suitable to imbue,
To anoint, a king’s garments,
“Cassia”.

Keren-happuch
Another class of beauty,
Brightness out of sorrow,
“Horn of paint”.



See Job 42: 14

Friday, 16 October 2009

LOVE

In His love for our souls, and God's purpose,
The Lord Jesus came down from above;
And we see at the cross of Golgotha
The intense demonstration of love.

As the witness that Christ is ascended
The blest Spirit has come from above;
And we see in the days of His service
The prolonged operations of love.

As the Father in wisdom's arrangements
Has remained in the glory above
He has welcomed His sons to His presence
As at home in the realm of His love.

We have access through Christ by the Spirit
To the Father, whose realm is above,
And the Father, the Son, and the Spirit
Give the full presentation of love!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

CARE

Because the Father knows my need
And He is always good
He gives the body to the seed
To be my daily food.

All that is needed He will know
Before I ask or think;
He furnishes the rain and snow
To be my daily drink.

At the first moment I could see,
Although yet unaware,
My heavenly Father cradled me
Within a mother’s care.

It is His pleasure to impart
Each instant's needed breath;
He moves the pumping of my heart
And shelters me from death.

Yet if I die His Christ will keep
My body in His sight
Until He wakens me from sleep
To lead me into light.

I thank Thee, Father, for Thy care
Which guards me in Thy love
Until eternally I share
My place with Christ above.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

DISPENSATION

Blest Spirit, since this time of grace began,
Thou hast been diligent that there might be,
On earth, a vessel that the heavenly Man
Could recognise as "Me".

And Thou didst work through the apostle Paul
In patient teaching and effective grace
To form in cities what the word could call
The assembly in the place.

And if, in love and wisdom, God desired
To try His people Thou didst give through John
Teaching to guide whatever ills transpired
And succour to go on.

Following righteousness, faith, love and peace
In separation we will not succumb
To this world's wiles, blest Spirit, but increase
Until the Lord shall come.


24/09/09

Monday, 12 October 2009

07/10/04

Language - not just mine -
Through which men in every place
May praise their Maker.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Saturday, 10 October 2009

05/10/04

It is a blessing -
I’m told - to live on a world
With a liquid core!





But I'm afraid the science of this escapes me now!

Friday, 9 October 2009

04/10/04

The gospel reached me,
But God’s word appeals to me
Lord’s day by Lord’s day.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

03/10/04

Precious in the sight
Of the Lord is the death of
His saints... work completed.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

02/10/04

Reading of earthquakes
I give thanks for a standing
Upon solid ground.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

01/10/04

The seen may not last
But for the moment, through grace,
My eyes taste the light.

Monday, 5 October 2009

30/09/04

“The earth is the Lord’s”
But He gave it in grace to
The children of men.



For those who don't know: on my fiftieth birthday I was told to count my blessings - while I still could. So I counted a blessing for every day until my next birthday. I'll put some in for the next few days (if the Lord will!). If you go to: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/blessings/7098835 you can buy them. Or just email me and I'll send a copy. If you enjoy them please say so on Lulu.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

MARRIAGE

What were the guests wearing?
Each one a wedding garment,
Each one that Best Robe
Which the Father provided.

What did the Bride wear?
Fine linen, righteousnesses
Of the saints
Particular in delicate tracery.

What did the Bridegroom wear?
Ah, the Bridegroom!
“Myrrh and aloes, cassia
Are all Thy garments.”

Myrrh?
Yes, for we will not forget
The suffering way by which
The Bride was won.

Aloes?
From those His people,
Aloe trees
Which Jehovah hath planted.

Cassia?
Kezia, product of the
Second
Which He alone established.

See - Psalm 45: 8; Numbers 24: 6; Job 42: 14; Hebrews 10: 9, etc.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

MAN ACCORDING TO GOD

Man according to God
Is portrayed by the Son;
What a pathway He trod ‑
Man according to God!
He has spread grace abroad
Through the work He has done.
Man according to God
Is portrayed by the Son.

Friday, 2 October 2009

FATHER

FATHER

He whose mercy would not shun
Us who were by sin undone
But who gave His only Son
Is the One we know as Father!

He whose love would bring us up
To His house that we might sup
Gave His Son the bitter cup
That we might be near the Father!

He who did not spare His Own
That God's mercy might be known
Seated Him upon the throne
That belongs to God the Father!

He who strengthens us with might
To make present to faith's sight
Breadth and length and depths and height
Is the Spirit of the Father!

At the end of all God's ways
And these changing years and days
Christ will yield, to God's own praise,
Rule to Him who is the Father!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

SAVIOUR

Dead in trespasses and sins
I lay ‑ till quickened
By the Son of God.

Sin acting,
I was a leper
Until He touched me.

Sin darkening,
I was blind
Until He enlightened me.

Maimed by sin
I staggered
Until He made me straight.

In sins bonds
I languished
But He has loosed me.

He touched my ears
And tongue ‑ that now
I may speak right.

I lived in poverty ‑
He came to share it
And to enrich me.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

NEAR

The word is near
That in the gospel we can preach,
Which casts out fear:
Jesus is Lord and, by His breach
Through death, salvation is in reach.

The Lord is near
His own in testimonial days
With words of cheer
Sustaining them through desert ways
And waking their delighted praise.

The time is near
When Christ the Lord will take His throne;
He will appear
With myriad saints who are His own -
His through His work and worth alone.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

WIDOW

Men saw the rich donating from their riches
And thought them rightly proud of all they'd given;
The priests were glad to see them boost their system
Not knowing yet the time of their dismissal.
But Jesus watched and all their gifts diminished
When Jesus judged the motives of their giving.
He called His own to bring within their vision
The greatest giver, an under‑rated widow
Who had not shirked dispensing all her living.
Though men despised her the widow was distinguished.
True judgment valued the one who men belittled
‑ Some trait of Christ, whose giving was exquisite.

Monday, 28 September 2009

FIG TREE

He came from Bethany where were His lovers
Towards Jerusalem where there was spurning;
In genuine manhood the Lord Himself was hungry:
He saw one tree whose foliage was abundant.
Seeking for figs He found that there was nothing
And solemnly He spoke to it and cursed it.
Quickly it dried up so that the watchers wondered.
The tree was symbol of His own people's dullness:
They saw His grace and felt it was repugnant.
The best of flesh was found to be unworthy
Exposed to One who should have gained their worship.
He spent His strength but their response was nullness.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

TEMPLE

The Mighty One had come within His temple:
None could resist the vigour of His entrance.
He overthrew the seats of the dove‑sellers;
From money changers the house was disinfested ‑
God's house of prayer was hallowed by His cleansing.
The scribes displayed their wicked preferences
And would have gladly destroyed Him or expelled Him.
But children sang ‑ this was what God intended:
That men should know the glory of the Person;
And if their cries related to Christ's splendour
God loved to hear it ‑ it was His intervention.
From babes and sucklings Christ's praise has been perfected.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

JERUSALEM

As Christ advanced to agony and woe
To bear my sins and for my sins atone
God's will ensured some recompense before:
Regally seated upon an ass's colt
Meekly towards Jerusalem He rode
Accompanied by crowds whose voices rose:
In acclamation they honoured and extolled.
They cried "Hosannah!", and thus His status owned,
The Son of David whom God will have enthroned.
They called on Zion to hearken and behold.
Had Pharisees ensured these mouths were closed
God would have drawn responses from the stones.

Friday, 25 September 2009

ZACCHEUS

Ridiculous Zaccheus made himself
Out on a limb because he was intent
Simply to see the Saviour as He went.
But Jesus stopped which he did not expect
And called to him ‑ if climbing up he sped
“How full of speed canst thou imagine when
Our Saviour called he powder'd down again?”
He feared no fall but answered as he heard
And when Christ spoke rejoiced at what He said:
Glad, he prepared a place for Christ to dwell -
“A son of Abraham” his righteousness
Secured a welcome for Christ, at His request.


This includes a quotation from Francis Quarles which I have googled and found here:
http://darbygray.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html .

THE TRIBUTE MONEY

Accosted by collectors of didrachmas
Peter was once again responding rashly
To prove the orthodoxy of Christ's reactions.
Probed by the Lord he found out, as he had to,
"The sons are free" ‑ outwith the world's transactions.
Yet not to give offence the Lord dispatched him
Back to the sea and his accustomed casting
(Though not a net ‑ no indiscriminate catches ‑
Since Jesus knew how strong the sea's attractions).
He would acquire one coin exact in value
From the first fish under God's sovereign action
"For Me and thee", the servant and the Master.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION

Accompanied by three whom He had chosen,
Upon the mountain Christ sought the high remoteness.
And as He prayed in confident devotion
His countenance was changed and shone in glory:
Even His clothes shone as He stood before them;
Elias was with Him and also Moses.
Peter and James and John were soon awoken
To hear of truths to cause them to adore Him.
Even when Peter's words were rashly spoken
The cloud of glory drew its protection over:
Who could compare with Christ? There could be no one:
God has averred His excellent aloneness.


The form is somewhat of my invention. It is based on my, possibly defective, understanding of the Old French laisse. The general principles are:
each stanza had twelve lines;
all twelve lines assonate, i.e. the last stressed syllable has the same vowel sound - full rhymes are usually accidental;
the basic measure is the so-called iambic, unstressed syllable followed by stressed;
each line has five stresses and a break after the second or third stress;
in a substantial minority of lines there is an additional unstressed syllable after the break or at the end of the line, or both.

If these technical details are a distraction, forget them; if lack of them would distract, refer to them.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

FEEDING THE MULTITUDE

As great crowds came to Him Christ was concerned
And spoke to Philip regarding food for them;
Although He was the answer in Himself
The Lord took Philip and put him to the test.
Andrew the finder had found a boy with bread
And two small fish, yet numbers overwhelmed
The feeble faith of all of Jesus' friends.
He took control ‑ all sat at His behest
And having blessed in grace the Saviour served.
None could go hungry if Christ administered:
None could surpass the greater nourishment
Now made available through Jesus' death.

Monday, 21 September 2009

ON THE SEA

In consternation they felt the narrow keel
Buffet upon the billows of the sea.
Where was the Master? And could He help achieve
A safer place, or help assuage their fear?
Where was the Master? They found He was asleep;
Whatever squalls could not disturb His peace.
At His rebuke the raging waters ceased
And at His word the calm became complete.
They questioned in their hearts Who this could be
Whose voice the elements owned as supreme:
Although the Friend who granted them relief
In Person Christ could say "I, I am HE!"

Sunday, 20 September 2009

CORN FIELD

As the disciples followed Him through the fields
The presence of the Lord made them so free
They plucked the wheat and having rubbed the ears
Had liberty to choose the good and eat
The strictures of the carping Pharisees
Were met by Christ who spoke of David's need
And how he took the shewbread from the priest.
Thus Christ announced the message of release
That He had come to foster and to preach,
Which His own rights and sorrows would achieve.
Lord of the Sabbath establishing our peace
He left the Pharisees to taste defeat.

This begins another wave of laises of "Touching the King". Others, of the total of 120, will follow in due course - if the Lord will. They have the tag TTK

Saturday, 19 September 2009

ROCK VIII

For the support of such a grand creation
As God's own house only one Rock is sure
To uphold all God's structure and endure
Attacks and storms ‑ and Christ is that foundation.

There is one glorious pattern which alone
Can gratify God's heart ‑ not a mere plan
From which to measure, but the glorious Man
Who pleased God well: Christ is that Corner Stone.

As patterned on that Man we can be built
As living stones each into his own place,
According to the riches of God's grace,
Freed from the stain and penalty of guilt.

The work continues. Soon God will present
His masterpiece ‑ yet we already know
Enjoyment of it ‑ and that work will show
The Headstone, Christ, its finest ornament!


(End of "Rock")

Friday, 18 September 2009

ROCK VII

Be, become, conform to being,
To me, your rebel, persistent wanderer,
Recurring prodigal, even to me,
A rock ‑ a covert, refuge and strong
Hold ‑ a rock of habitation
Whereunto I ‑ I, myself, who
With the mind serve God's law ‑
May continually, and continuously too,
Till time dissolves out of continuousness,
Resort, like the rock badger,
But a feeble folk ‑ yet exceeding wise ‑
Who make their house in the cliff.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

ROCK VI

Behold, He smote the rock
waters rushed out,
streams overflowed:
how did they doubt
His gladness to unlock
boundless resources yet to be bestowed?

He led them through alone:
He gave them food
from the rich soil;
and soon they could
suck honey from the stone;
while from the flinty rock He gave them oil.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

ROCK V

Yet in experience the Rock can be
A stumbling block; too high for me
I appears to observe and mock my attempts
To scale it: I knock my head against
A flinty cliff; I cannot unlock
Or smite out of it water, oil or honey.

I stumble at the foot of the crag ‑
Enervated, unable to drag my body
From the earth. On crumbling slag I stand
But with any effort I flag; no
Way appears. Into my grazed flesh
Harsh outcrops jag their sharpness.

My desire is directed upward; my soul
Burns like a fire if I weakly
Decline or retire. How make headway
To heights I aspire to? My body
Languishes, muscles ache, arms
Tire, for my flesh outweighs me.

*****
As for my feet, treading miry clay
He set them on a Rock, and He
Established my goings; I called
And he led me to Rock which is higher
Than I; and in the day of evil He
Will set me high upon a Rock.
For who is a Rock if not our God
Who makes my feet like hinds' feet
And sets me on my high places.
Gracefulness and agility superseding
My natural sloth and lowness I
Walk and leap and praise God.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

ROCK IV

With silver, precious stones and gold
I built a delicate, costly tower;
Chryselephantine work extolled
My Master, to its utmost power ‑
But storms arose ‑ it would not stand
For it was founded upon sand.

Again ‑ but now on rock ‑ I built
An edifice designed to swell
The praise of Him who bore my guilt;
I thought my work had progressed well
But fire demolished all I saw
‑ Since it was wood and grass and straw.

Lord, let me build on Thee alone
According to Thy heavenly plan
And let me be a living stone
Solely for Thee, and not for Man;
And if the glory all is Thine
The happiness and peace are mine.

Monday, 14 September 2009

ROCK III

With a deep richness
Recalling blood, the ruby
Glows, warmly as love;

While the emerald
Like ocean over white sand
Shows its pure shining;

Justice, transparent,
Refracting light, adamant,
Embrues the diamond;

Celestial blue,
Nobility beyond earth
The sapphire displays;

No mere stone, the pearl,
Bright as truth out of suffering,
Gleams in uncut white.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

ROCK II

Here were no unconformities:
Each part was ideal in its kind
And in its place. Constant texture
With no fault, fineness of grain ‑
Altogether what He said He was ‑
And without eccentricities:
No erratics, nor conglomerates;
The Same, yesterday and today
And to the ages to come. Rock
On which I can depend.

Yet the attrition of time,
Pressures, ice and fire
More than any other
That Man has undergone;
Not passed through stoically
As a mere rock suggests.
Here the image fails
As every image must fail:
Lamb, Heifer or Dove;
He suffered all He endured.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

ROCK I

Rocks, geologists aver,
Are subject to change. Folding,
Heat, eruption and the slow
Attrition of weather, glaciers'
Long fisting, pressures
Result in unconformities,
Faults, erratics. Not only
Forms and textures alter
But the substance ‑ metamorphic rocks,
Schist, gneiss transformed
By temperature, chemicals, forces.
Each hour what seems most solid
Is reforging on time's anvil.


There is one rock that does not change,
Perfect and constant in its form.
While other splinter and derange
There is one Rock

That cannot alter in the storm.
While thrusting power makes them strange
It does not vary from its norm.

Rocks, overheated, rearrange,
Boil, overflow, cool and reform:
Beyond earth's fiercest fury's range
There is One Rock.

Friday, 11 September 2009

HE LOVED ME

When God in Christ came near to man
According to His glorious plan
He loved me.

When Jesus suffered on the tree
To bear my sins and set me free
He loved me.

When Jesus lay within the tomb
Enduring its oppressive gloom
He loved me.

When He had risen from the grave
Having acquired the right to save
He loved me.

When from the place of power and love
He gave his Spirit from above
He loved me.

And through eternity I'll still
Remember with a deathless thrill
He loved me!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Monday, 7 September 2009

27/09/04

As he visited,
Consoled, gave... my father showed
Traits of the Father.


(with Christ 27 December 1980)

Friday, 4 September 2009

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

24/09/04

How often do I
Leave till last what should be first,
Prayer, a prime blessing?

Monday, 31 August 2009

Sunday, 30 August 2009

22/09/04

Apples are as crisp,
As refreshing, and sharp, as
Fitly spoken words.



Cf. Proverbs 25: 11

Saturday, 29 August 2009

21/09/04

As we walked the woods
Rain rained, sun sunned, wind winded
And nature natured.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

18/09/04

Time for my breakfast -
Time to give thanks to God for
Growing these cereals.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

SWEETNESS

Among computers or washing,
Pens, basins, or branches
There is a Man who will
Bring sweetness.

Among catheters and scalpels,
Even graves and coffins,
There is a Man who will
Bring sweetness.

Among saints and angels,
And the splendours of heaven,
There is a Man who will
Bring sweetness.

Monday, 24 August 2009

LUKE 15

What the shepherd looked for
Was one who would recognise
His voice, one who would follow
His feet, one to enjoy
His pastures, one who was suitable
To be brought to the house.

What the woman sought
Was one who would shimmer to
Her lamp, one who would show
The Master’s face, one to enhance
Value within the house.

And what the father looked out for
Was one who could wear
The best robe with dignity, act
According to the gold ring, dance
Like a son in the sandals. One
With whom, in his house, he could share.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

WONDERFUL...

We know He has done wondrously
And has acquired the right to rule
In righteousness and equity ‑
We know that He is Wonderful.

He gives us wisdom from above
And all the help we ask Him for
Because of His abundant love
Through which He is our Counsellor.

All things He made in mighty power ‑
From craggy peak to grassy clod,
From lofty tree to tiny flower:
We bow to Him as Mighty God.

Millennially His fatherhood
Will warm earth tenderly to assuage
Sin's legacy, and bring in good
As He is Father of the Age.

He makes sin's turmoil in the soul
Of every one who trusts Him cease,
And all the nations, as made whole,
Will own Him soon as Prince of Peace.

Friday, 21 August 2009

ABIDING

God has not been seen;
God has always been:
As I see my brother
And we love each other
God abides in us.

He who owns the Son,
And admires that One,
Loving and confiding,
In God's love abiding
He abides in God.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Monday, 17 August 2009

DELIGHTED

Christ was delighted
At Pentecost
When first the assembly shone
In beauty and unity.

As persecuted saints
Faithfully owned His name
Christ was delighted
To recognise them as "Me".

Through a dispensation
Christ was delighted
To see His stars shining
In the world's darkness.

And today when lovers
Gathered to His name
And responded to His love
Christ was delighted.

(16/08/09)

Sunday, 16 August 2009

THOUGHT ABOUT JOHN (vii)

A man who follows
Jesus
Will continue till He comes.

A man who rests in
The bosom of Jesus
Will be maintained.

A man who leans on
His breast, Jesus
Will sustain.

And He will keep
Till His coming a man
Who enquires from Him.

Friday, 14 August 2009

THOUGHTS ON JOHN (vi)

When there was a select few
You were among them.

With James your brother,
And Peter, the first, you observed
Christ, the resurrection and the life,
Awake Jairus's daughter.

You observed also
The Son of God glorified
On the mountain top.

And the sorrows of
The Son of the man at the press,
Gethsemane.

Andrew joined you three on the mount
Opposite Jerusalem
As the Prophet prophesied.

And with Peter, adjusted
By the man with the pitcher of water,
You went to prepare for what became
The Lord's supper.

With Peter you ran
To find a bare tomb
And you saw and believed.

And in that partnership
You stood by Peter's acclamation,
"In the name of Jesus Christ
The Nazareaen".

You barely mention
Any of these things.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

THOUGHTS ON JOHN (v)

You usually think of John
As a contemplator: one whose mind
Had been moulded by dwelling on
The Word.

Why then was this the man
Who craved a high place
In the Lord's kingdom?

Why was this the man
Whose human zeal thought
To call fire from heaven?

Yet it was a mark
Of the Lord's approval
To call him and his brother
Boanerges.

And Christ accepts
No fleshly zeal.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

THOUGHTS ON JOHN (iv)

Though the Saviour went to die,
First He gave His loved ones rest:
At the supper see John lie
In His bosom, on His breast.

Jesus answered the request
Of the one who drew so near
Where His love had cast out fear
In His bosom, on His breast.

One make then could take that place
But in times of faith and grace
You can be divinely blest
In His bosom, on His breast.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

THOUGHTS ON JOHN (iii)

By the cross of Jesus
Stood one who lay in
The bosom of Jesus.

In the tomb of Jesus
He who stood by the cross
Believed Christ was risen.

The man who had believed
That Jesus was risen
Could proclaim, "It is the Lord".

The one who has recognised
Jesus the Lord was seen
As following Jesus.

He who followed Jesus
Became in the Spirit,
Alone, on the Lord's day.

The one who became
In the Spirit could see
God's work in perfection.

Monday, 10 August 2009

THOUGHTS ON JOHN (ii)

I think that there are few mountains
In John's gospel; after the feeding
Jesus departed again to the mountain
Himself alone; and after contending
For the truth He went to the Mount of Olives.
Yet John was present on the mountain of blessing,
The mountain of transfiguration, of education,
And of assurance. But for him one man
Alone deserved elevation. The words
From the mountain weave through his teaching.
"I write a new commandment to you";
"We have contemplated his glory"; "every one
That has this hope in him purifies himself";
"We will come to him and make our abode
With him." And when God's work is perfected
At last John portrays himself, in the Spirit,
Set on a great high mountain, admiring,
The substantiality of the product of God's doings.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

THOUGHTS ON JOHN (i)

The sea breaks its acolytes
To two kinds; those hardened
To cynicism, and those
Softened to piety.

John drew from it
Resources; until the call
Drew him to Another,
A source of infinite supply.

With others he saw
One supreme over the sea -
On it, walking or sleeping
Or commanding.

John rushed as a partner
To help when the haul broke the net;
He saw
Great fish in a whole net.

And saw too that crowd
On a sea of glass -
He knew the calm
Of love's unfathomable depths.

And he saw a domain
Without sea
Beyond cynicism's corrosion;
Beyond division.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

UNTIL HE COMES

Until He comes
Be faithful to His Name;
The Spirit's guiding as your sword,
Do battle for your absent Lord
Until He comes.

Until He comes
Announce the Master's death;
In deep affection break the bread
And drink the cup, as He has said
Until He comes.

Until He comes
Pursue the path of faith;
Pursue the way of righteousness
Faith, love, and peace that Christ may bless
Until He comes.

Friday, 7 August 2009

GARMENT

Day by day His actions
Wove one seamless garment -
You could not unpick
One shade from another.

Perhaps you could distinguish
Colours of grace, shades of love,
Textures of righteousness - yet never
Unseam mercy from judgment.

But who was weaving?
Each movement in manhood
Consonant with who He is
Was under the Father’s direction -
Woven from the top.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

THE LAMB

Revelation 5 verse 12

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Power, since in weakness He was here,
Upon a cross of shame;
There what no other could achieve
He did,extinguishing death's fear
For those who own His Name.

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Riches, because He came to dwell
Among the meek and poor;
Those whom He came to serve believe
That Jesus has done all things well
To save, and bless, and cure.

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Wisdom because in foolishness
He bore the cross in love;
Thus He is able to retrieve
Lost ones, and finally, to bless
With wisdom from above.

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Strength since, as Samson tore the beast,
He rent death's power away;
That which bereft He has bereaved
And gives us honey as a feast
Out of His victory.

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Honour, when He shall come again
To where He was despised;
No more to bear our sins, or grieve,
He will take up His right to reign
And be adored and prized.

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Glory, and have the highest place
Among the justified;
His sanctified companions cleave
To Him alone since, through His grace,
They too are glorified.

The Lamb is worthy to receive
Blessing because He came to bless
Through ways of grief and shame;
Bless then the One who chose to leave
The heights of heaven, and confess
The glory of His Name!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

16/09/04

A tramp will saunter,
A shepherd stride, a scout dart -
I can be all of these.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Sunday, 2 August 2009

12/09/04

The kindness of God
Has appeared - and has placed me
At the King’s table.


Sorry, got my dates muddled.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Friday, 31 July 2009

Thursday, 30 July 2009

11/09/04

To touch, or to hold,
To feel, feed, knock, write, sign... hands
Have so much to do.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

10/09/04

Wood structures my bed,
My doors, and house - and the cross
Structures Christian life,

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Monday, 27 July 2009

MORE

In the past
Invading and enduring
The recesses of the deep
He has been shown to be
“More than Jonas”.

In the future
He will be displayed
In power and majesty -
“More than Solomon”.

Now
In His charm and beauty,
His dignity of bearing,
His vitality and graces -
“More than beloved”.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Saturday, 25 July 2009

SHEPHERD

Through midday heat and midnight frost
He helped the weak and fed the sound.

He journeyed over barren ground
To find the wandering and lost.

He did not heed the awful cost
That through Him blessing might abound.

Praise shall eternally resound ‑
Oh what a Shepherd, Lord, Thou wast!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Thursday, 23 July 2009

CHRIST

The One by whom the worlds began
Who furnished Earth by what He said
Was found in figure as a Man
Without a place to lay His Head.

By Him on good and worthless ground
The seed, the word of God, was sown
And now for His delight abound
Fruits from good ground for Him alone.

From this world's raging seas He brought
Disciples, sinners born again:
He patiently and gently taught
Till they were also "catching men".

Unending gentleness and care
For those whom men despised as least,
With constant toil for men in prayer,
Displayed perfection of a priest.

And as the perfect Victim too
He met death in the darkest hour,
Emerging as the Victor who
Quelled death and him who had its power.

Ascended high to God's right hand
He sits upon the throne of grace
Acclaimed by all who understand
He has secured their heavenly place.

And as the Chief Musician now
He moves God's service, phrase by phrase,
Touching each harp-string to endow
Eternal, orchestrated praise.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

TIME

In the consummation of the ages
There came - for One who was God -
A predicted, foreseen, time
To be born.

God’s Man, having shown perfectly
Man according to God, moved
Inexorably, and devotedly, to a time
To die.

The days of a desert life
Were, as He spread His grace
In oases of His love, a time
To plant.

Among the rebellious Jews,
Satisfied in themselves,
With sadness, He found it a time
To pluck up that which is planted.

While, when grace is rejected,
And repentance disdained,
He will institute a time
To kill

Now in the day of grace
He, from the Father’s throne,
Presides with joy over a time
To heal.

When Paul advance on Damascus
Against the name of the Lord,
And His people, it was a time
To break down.

When Paul invaded Europe
In all the power of the Lord
And His Spirit, it was a time
To build up.

If at the Bethany tomb,
Surrounded by those he loved,
Death’s influence made it a time
To weep

Yet He now sees, joyfully,
A wife who works for His will
Who sees in the dawn a time
To laugh.

As He came to the holy city,
Amid the apparent triumph,
He alone knew it a time
To mourn,

While as He looks on His spouse,
In character like Himself,
He knows that it is a time
To dance.

And the rejecting city,
Stout against the government of God,
Came, in government , to a time
To cast away stones.

But among the faithful saints
The Lord’s hand worked in might
Initiating a time
To gather stones together.

Souls who turn to Him,
Repenting from their sins,
Are welcomed in a time
To embrace,

But those who reject God’s grace
And the value of Christ’s death
Bring on themselves a time
To refrain from embracing.

He, in His shepherd love,
Uses this dispensation,
In tenderness, as a time
To seek

While those who have known that love,
Seeing their selfish wills,
Learn to come to a time
To lose.

He, in His shepherd love,
Uses the days of storm and trial,
In faithfulness, as a time
To keep.

While those who have known His love,
Seeing in their flesh the works of darkness,
Learn that it is a time
To cast away.

Seeing the ascending Man,
His fresh, and our old, garments
This has become a time
To rend.

Having our treasures with Him
It is, since we need purses
Which do not grow old, a time
To sew.

Led as a lamb to the slaughter
The Lord, in wisdom and grace,
Showed when it was a time
To keep silent.

Risen, and come to His own,
Christ, as revealer of secrets,
Came with joy to a time
To speak.

Seeing His faithful saints
Who keep His word and Name
He rejoices to tell of a time
To love

But as He views the deeds
Of those who despise His claim
Against these deeds is a time
To hate.

When He will come in power,
Conquering and to conquer,
Then it will be a time
Of war,

That He may establish in judgment,
In righteousness, and grace,
Forever and ever a time
Of peace.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

PLAN

Pondering God's plan
What wonder to stand before
Its grand Architect!






I'd better credit my young brother Sam for this thought.

Monday, 20 July 2009

SEEING JESUS

The Baptist as he saw how Jesus trod
Exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God!”.

His faithful martyr Stephen saw Him stand
As Son of Man at God’s right hand.

The Spirit makes Christ’s glory fill our gaze -
We are transfigured by its blaze.

And soon our days of distance will be past
And we shall see His face at last.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

PUNISHMENT

The rich were punished
With metal - brisk swords
Or their own daggers.

The poor were punished
By wood - stocks, rods or
Slow crucifixions:

Christ took part with these.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Friday, 17 July 2009

NICODEMUS

He came by night because he was afraid;
He was afraid lest he besmirch his name:
And yet it was to Jesus that he came.
He came to Jesus and there heard Him relate
God loved the world so greatly that He gave
His only Son by whom we may be saved.
But Nicodemus, unhappy, went away.
Among the Pharisees he bore no weight
Yet still was one of them, not separate
As sin advanced at an increasing pace.
Was he too late? ‑ no, not too late for grace:
At last He came to help at Jesus' grave.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

JOHN

Consciously loved and leaning on his Lord
Who seems to us more spiritual than John?
Yet this was he whose fierce discordant thought
Showed he mistook the spirit they were of;
While his ambition was great enough to cause
Grave indignation and make the brethren wroth.
What changed the man? This was what grace had wrought:
This was what grace and grace alone could form.
Till at the end he lay within the warmth
In Jesus' bosom from whence to draw upon
The power to make him fit to meet the call
To care for Mary from Jesus on the cross.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

PETER

When Jesus first encountered Simon Peter
He saw him as a stone and named him Cephas;
But it took years of Christ's own patient dealings,
With tenderness, and close and careful teaching,
Before there was a sign of stone appearing.
Adjusted by the graciousness that reached him,
Adjusted by rebuke when it was needed,
Adjusted by the Father's jealous speaking,
Peter began displaying rocklike features;
Yet this was he who, like me, being devious
Denied his Lord and learned the grace of Jesus
Which bore him through the time of bitter weeping.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

THE TWELVE

"Have I not chosen you?" the Master said
To His disciples, His own selected twelve,
Before whose choice He prayed one whole night's length;
"Of you one is a devil", He had to tell.
"Mine intimate" and "My familiar friend" ‑
By words like these Judas had been addressed
And with what sorrow the Saviour was oppressed
To see a man, partaker of His bread,
Come with the band, betraying at the end.
As Judas kissed Him Christ did not love him less,
Calling him "Friend" in painful consciousness
That Judas moved towards a Christless death.

Monday, 13 July 2009

MARY

At Jesus’ feet she listened to His word,
Her heart distracted from merely human work;
At every syllable her soul concurred
And, as she heard, profound affection burned.
But when she mourned her brother Lazarus
Down at Christ's feet, prostrated in the dust,
She showed Christ was the one to whom to turn
When grief impinges or when the way is rough.
Experience formed an ointment of great worth
To soothe His feet since Mary had begun
To know within her heart what would be done
Upon the path that led Him to the curse.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

LAZARUS

What better name than “Lazarus our friend”?
Here was a man who knew the Saviour bless
And knew the love of Christ the Lord himself
And Christ's companions, His chosen men.
Yet their affection and care could not divert
The final enemy, the force of death.
Seeing that force with all its dire effects,
Bearing it in His spirit, the Saviour wept.
His resurrection rights moved to attest
He was the Son of God with power on earth.
Lazarus raised was early evidence
The final foe, like all foes, will be quelled.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

MARTHA

When at first Martha served she was distracted ‑
She scurried to the larder then to the pantry,
Ducked out to gather some salad from the garden,
And starting anxious she quickly ended angry ‑
"Dost Thou not care?" she boldly chid the Master
But had from Him a mild rebuke as answer.
His patience worked and through the dire disaster
Upon the family Christ's great compassion
Reforged her spirit to be a greater Martha;
If still she served with undiminished ardour
Her ordered service was not alloyed with rancour
Since Christ, not self, was object of her actions.

Friday, 10 July 2009

OPPOSERS

But there were some rejecters of His words
Who saw His grace and arrogantly spurned
God's way to life, Christ and His moral worth.
Grace is not grease ‑ the Lord did not demur
But faithfully condemned them and their lusts:
He named them clearly, condemned their evil works,
And warned them of their end should they not turn.
Christ came in mercy and many knew His love
Yet to opposers His language was robust
While He gave answers that they could not rebut..
He hid from them the glories of the Son
When they neglected the One who was to come.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

WOMAN (JOHN 4)

She came with needs bearing her water pot;
She came with sins conscious that she was lost;
She came with shame about her guilty walk;
She found a Stranger who understood her lot;
She found a Saviour prepared to bear the cost;
She found a Friend prepared to join in talk:
What collocutors, the woman and the Lord!
What conversations that boldly ranged across
The satisfaction that Jesus spread abroad,
The woman's guilt and all the ill she wrought,
True worshippers and their approach to God,
And the great secret of who the Stranger was.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

WOMAN (LUKE 7)

She came with tears to wash her Saviour's feet
And if her sins were cause for her to weep
So was the coldness shown by the Pharisee;
She came with hair to wipe her Saviour's feet
To show how much His footsteps were esteemed
Though Simon treated the Master as the least;
She came with lips to kiss the Saviour's feet
Because Christ made her happiness complete;
She came with myrrh, to balm the Saviour's feet,
Since instinct told His was a path of grief;
She came to kneel beside the Saviour's feet:
She went forgiven, trusted to go in peace.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

CLOTHING

To be before the face of God
Without the taint of sin
We must be clothed in Christ Himself -
Clothed in the coats of skin.

We cannot come with righteousness
Of which our nature brags
We must be clothed in Christ Himself
And not our filthy rags.

When God desires to celebrate
His dear Son’s wedding feast
We must be clothed in Christ Himself
From greatest unto least.

To be within the Father’s house
Where He in joy may rest
We must be clothed in Christ Himself -
Clothed in the Father’s best.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Saturday, 4 July 2009

THE BIBLE

Through twenty centuries
It, and its theme, Christ,
Have retained their relevance,
Their freshness,
And their resonance.

Friday, 3 July 2009

ONE ROCK

There is one rock that does not change,
Perfect and constant in its form.
While others splinter and derange
There is one Rock

That cannot alter in the storm.
While thrusting power makes them strange
This does not vary from its norm.

Rocks, overheated, rearrange,
Boil, overflow, cool and reform:
Beyond earth's fiercest fury's range
There is One Rock.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

DONE

Seeking to reign where he should serve,
Judging God's Son, through fraud,
Gorging himself in sins, we see
What man has done to God.

They torture good, set evil free,
Flatter, seduce, or ban:
In their depravity we see
What man has done to man.

Blessing since earth was first begun,
Securing His own plan,
And giving His beloved Son -
What God has done for man!

Securing sons who gladly bow
To give eternal laud
We worship, seeing, even now,
What God has done for God!

Nether Stowey

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

07/09/04

The flower’s yellow
Thrusts up, live; the leaves’ yellow
Droops autumnally.

Monday, 29 June 2009

06/09/04

Let David rejoice
With the gorilla - for God
Is his protector.



Compare with "Rejoice in the Lamb".

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

03/09/04

For I bless God for
The National Health Service
In Kit Smart’s1 fashion.

1 Eccentric poet of “Rejoice in the Lamb”

Friday, 19 June 2009

02/09/04

They have died for me -
Sheep, cows, pigs - as God provides
Meat for my table.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

LYING DOWN

Come into infant smallness,
Swaddling love
Laid Him in the manger.

Unnailed from the cross
He was swathed by love
And laid in a tomb.

But before He had been
Love-pillowed
Lying asleep in the storm.

Before He had laid Himself down
In love’s company
To celebrate the feast.

Afterwards, knowing what it means,
He will have His faithful lie down,
For love to serve.

BEHOLD HE SMOTE THE ROCK

Behold He smote the rock:
waters rushed out,
streams overflowed:
how did they doubt
His gladness to unlock
boundless resources yet to be bestowed?

He led them through alone:
He gave them food
from the rich soil;
and soon they could
suck honey from the stone;
while from the flinty rock He gave them oil.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

ABRAHAM

What did it mean to him
When Abraham clave the wood
Of the burnt-offering?

What did it mean to him
When Abraham laid the wood
On his son Isaac?

What did it mean to him
When Abraham built the altar
And piled the wood?

What did it mean to him
When Abraham bound Isaac
And laid him on the wood?

Monday, 15 June 2009

SOUTHERNDOWN BEACH

I wrote a verse on sand
Now lost to tide and wind:
Why should I take that worse
Than all my other verse?
Soon loss will have occurred
To all words but the Word;
None stands the tidal shock
Apart from Christ, the Rock.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

NEWBORN

“Every shepherd
Must feel the same” –

Thus Abel,
Watching the firstling of the flock,
As instinct, trial and error,
Guided to its mother’s udder.

Thus Rachel
As she saw the lamb
Suck the teat’s rich colostrum.

Thus Moses
As he felt the tight belly
Of a minutes-old satiated lamb.

Thus David,
As he heard the ewe murmuring
Her psalm of contentment.

Thus the Good Shepherd
As the man once blind asked avidly,
“Who is He, Lord,
That I may believe on Him?”

Saturday, 13 June 2009

PEACE

God has made peace by the blood of Christ's cross;
By Him now all things have been reconciled.
Out of His anguish, His horror and loss
Peace comes in triumph where sin had defiled.

He is our peace who has broken the wall
Forging diversity into one man;
Coming in love He has preached peace to all:
Formed through this Source we are built to one plan.

He gives His peace ‑ what a wonderful gift ‑
More than the best that this world can provide!
How could we fear with such power to uplift
Hearts to the place where His comforts preside?

As Prince of Peace He will quickly return
Down to this earth to set everything right:
Lord! wake our hearts with desire ‑ let them burn
Till Thou shalt come and secure Thy delight.

Friday, 12 June 2009

ACTS 9

The voice from heaven
Breathed identification
With saints on the earth.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

HIS PLACE

He took me from the mountains
Where I was wont to roam
And laid me on His shoulders
To bear me kindly home:
I had been lost and straying
And He had heard my plea;
He tenderly assured me
"This is My place for thee."

He led me to green pastures
Where I could safely feed:
He brought me by still waters
To answer all my need.
"My Lord, I am not worthy
Of all Thou givest me."
He tenderly assured me
"This is My place for thee."

He led me through dark valleys
Where all seemed dank and dim;
Where shadows pressed upon me
Although I was with Him;
Though fears arose within me
And made me long to flee
He tenderly assured me
"This is My place for thee."

So as my path goes onward
Through pleasure or through test
I trust my caring Shepherd
Because His way is best.
And when my way is ended
With Him I will be free;
He'll tenderly assure me
"This is My place for thee."

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

US

Before divine power wrought
Divine affection thought
of us.

In mercy Jesus came
To bear both sin and shame
for us.

Now from His glorious place
He comes to show His grace
to us.

He's gone in to prepare
A place that He will share
with us.

Where He with joy will raise
An anthem to God's praise
by us.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

RISEN

I can’t believe it,
Said the soldier.
All this cash for not telling the truth
When the truth is
I was too scared to know what was happening!

I quite believe it,
Said the priest.
Quash it, lie, bribe
Anything so long as
We don’t have that Man to reign over us!

He is not here,
Said the young man in white.
Behold the place
Where they had put Him.

Do we believe it?
Asked the women.
And what is there for us to believe?
We are seized by fear and questions.

I believe,
Said the beloved disciple.
For the tomb was orderly,
All distinctiveness, as
He would have left it.

He is risen,
Said Mary.
I have seen Him:
He spoke of His Father
As our Father, of His God
As our God.

Now I believe,
Said the doubter Thomas.
Not merely as a believer.
He has made me a worshipper -
My Lord and My God!

Monday, 8 June 2009

WE BOW BEFORE THE TRINITY

Though once afar off enemies
And strangers to sanguinity,
As brought to God and taught to praise
We bow before the Trinity.

According to God's glorious ways
At home in Thy vicinity
To worship to the length of days
We bow before the Trinity.

With every heart and conscience clear
Before God's great divinity,
In reverence and godly fear
We bow before the Trinity.

Men, disparate, may now adhere
In heavenly consanguinity;
As in affection we appear
We bow before the Trinity.

Because of all that God has done
In love a new affinity
Of God and man has now begun;
We bow before the Trinity.

Acknowledging God ‑ Father, Son
And Spirit (in infinity
Three Persons, yet forever One) ‑
We bow before the Trinity.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

01/09/04

It takes time to learn
The blessing in some blessings:
“Crucified with Christ”.