Tuesday, 31 August 2010

PROGRESS IV

Remember as you have to fight
The treacherous Amalekite
Moses' uplifted hands;
Though flesh is struggling to deter
Your soul's advance, remember where
Your Intercessor stands!

Not only was a better sphere
In mind - but that you should be near
Through all the LORD has wrought;
Not only did the Lord give grace
To bring you to a better place -
It's to Himself you're brought.

Israel, that, in holiness
To Him, you brave the wilderness
God gladly will record;
Christian, espoused, a virgin chaste
That you have followed in this waste
Is pleasing to the Lord.

Despite the terrors that you saw
When challenged if you'd keep the law
You readily concurred;
Enamoured by the truth of how
Christ died you gladly made a vow
That you would keep His word.

But Israel, through bitter days
You will discover all God's ways
Beyond you to fulfil;
Young Christian, in God's ways you must
Find there is nothing you can trust
In self to do God's will.

But as you bow to God in awe
Learn that the focus of the law
Concerns the Hebrew slave;
Consider love's avowed intent
Which bound Christ Jesus till He went
To cross and death and grave!

In lands of plenty or of dearth
Ensure an altar made of earth
Is raised for sacrifice;
Be diligent in all your days
That God is served as both your praise
And supplications rise.

And if your altar is of stone
Ensure it's formed from that alone
Unmarred by human skill;
One overcame death and reproach -
Through Him you must have your approach
Apart from human will.

Monday, 30 August 2010

PROGRESS III

But, moving in the wilderness,
You find the water bitterness
Until God shows you wood;
How bitter to your unchanged taste
To find your passage through this waste
Till Christ is understood.

Knowing the God whose healing balms
Move now to Elim's seventy palms
And plenitude of springs;
Knowing the Lord heals sin's complaints
Enjoy, among His fruitful saints,
The life His Spirit brings.

To meet your need He will supply
A food descending from on high
To help you as you move;
Christ's graces in humility
Will give you growth and energy
As you must daily prove.

It tastes like coriander seed
And honey-cakes, yet worms will breed
Unless you eat it fresh;
Dwell upon Jesus and His way
On earth - and do it every day
Or you allow the flesh.

If you are suffering from thirst
See the abundant waters burst
Forth from the smitten rock;
Because Christ bore the stoke for you
Life in the Spirit comes to view
Which flesh can never block.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

PROGRESS II

When from the land of toil and woe,
Under God's hand you safely go
When Moses speaks - take heed!
Trusting in something greater than
The sin and wilfulness of man
Follow where Christ shall lead.

You shall not leave the place by stealth
But clearly laden with great wealth
Egyptians give to you;
Young Christian, onward, leave this place
Unburdened, and enriched by grace
For all that will ensue.

Though Egypt's troops are swift and proud
Because your shelter is the cloud
They cannot snatch you back;
The world may claim you as its own
But He through whom God's grace is known
Will guard you from attack.

See Moses lifting up his rod
And, through the providence of God,
The Red Sea's bed is dry!
See, Jesus in His victory
Has made, despite our enemy,
The way by which to fly.

Sing to Jehovah now, since He
Threw horse and rider in the sea
And vanquished all your foes;
Oh praise the Saviour who has wrought
A work to save, though you were caught
By sin's constraining woes.

Sing - He who gave you liberty
Will bring you to His sanctuary
Upon His holy hill;
Sing - He who saved you by His grace
Will bring you to His holy place
According to God's will.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

PROGRESS I

This is a work in verse in 100 stanzas. Since that is a bit indigestible I will split it over the next week or so. It gives two histories, the first three lines of each stanza being from Israel's history, and the next three lines from the history of a soul, drawing upon that. Its like two stories that rhyme with each other. I had in mind the way in which some psalms and other biblical poems have a parallel between halves of verses:
I will bless Jehovah at all time;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.


O Israel, as you groan and cower
Beneath the lash of Egypt's power
The LORD has heard your cry;
O sinner, in the thrall of sin
Through deeds without and guilt within
The Lord has heard your sigh.

Jehovah, who has heard your pleas
Now urges you that you should seize
And take yourself a lamb;
The Lamb of God who heard you plead,
Comes - grasp the Man who knows your need,
In person the I AM.

Upon your doorpost you must smear
The blood to shield you as you fear
Jehovah's judgement-sword;
To save you from God's wrath you must
Have precious blood in which to trust,
The blood of Christ the Lord.

God sees the blood and passes on -
But in your dwellings feed upon
The lamb that's roast with fire;
The Lamb whose blood has met your need
Is now the One on whom to feed
To nurture and inspire.

And eat it with unleavened bread
And bitter herbs, as Moses said
Under the LORD's command.
Before the Lord with contrite heart
And with a longing to depart
From evil, called one, stand.

Shod for the journey take your way
From Egypt's bondage in array,
In order, yet with haste;
Go with a purpose that is new
Through faith, for what was life to you
Will now become a waste.

Friday, 27 August 2010

13/01/05

Although Winter grips
Green sprouts between his fingers -
Snowdrops are coming!

I'm afraid I've got out of kilter with the seasons.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

11/01/05

When all else has failed -
When we have failed - the Lord will
Act for us Himself.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010

06/01/05

Conifers - spruce, pine,
Larch, fir, burgeon in Scotland's
Mild and moist climate.


We'll have a few more from my year of counting blessings.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

GOSPEL

This is God’s beloved Son,
Hear Him;
God gave judgment to this One,
Fear Him;
Knowing all that He has done
And the triumph He has won
Sinner, seeking mercy, run
Near Him!

Be a sinner saved by grace
Through Him;
In your life give Him the space
Due Him;
He is ready for your case -
Mustered to a heavenly race:
There upon the highest place
View Him!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

GOD’S WORKS

Oh praise God for His mighty works
For He has made both sea and land;
He shaped and beautified the Earth
In might men cannot understand.

Oh praise God for His detailed works -
The webs of colour in the flower,
Glimpses of colour on a wing,
Or shades of rainbow in a shower.

And praise God for His tender works
As here in Christ to touch man’s need,
To heal, to comfort and to raise,
To bless, to bear, to calm, to feed.

But praise God for His mightiest work
In raising Jesus from the dead -
By power which works in strength towards
The church, for which Christ is the Head.

Monday, 16 August 2010

BELOVED

The Name “Beloved”
Is, through God’s grace, the measure
Of our acceptance

Sunday, 15 August 2010

GIVING

He could have given the mountains, the forests, the lakes or the plains;
He could have given the cities, the kingdoms, or all their pelf;
He could have unleashed the tempest, or wakened the force of the rains;
They were His to do as He wished with. But He didn’t - He gave Himself.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

POURED OUT

The One by whom Man’s course began
And through whom Man has breath
Because of, and in love for, Man
Poured out His soul to death.

Now grace can overcome sin’s power
Like an advancing flood
Since Jesus, in that solemn hour,
Poured out His precious blood.

Ascended then to God’s right hand,
Acclaimed by heaven’s host
He thought of all His lovers and
Poured out the Holy Ghost.

He is in heaven but His name
Is loved by saints in light -
This is an ointment, they exclaim,
Poured out for our delight.

Friday, 13 August 2010

CLOTHES

Though your wedding clothes
Will shine for one day the Best Robe
Will shine forever.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

SAYINGS

“He shall be great” the angel said
Before His birth and drawing near;
Now risen, Victor from the dead,
He shall be great.

“Behold the Man” the Roman said -
Greatest since all this world began,
Proclaimed though His disciples fled -
Behold the Man!

“The Lord is near” the apostle said,
Encouraging through toil and fear;
They relish, who hold fast the Head,
The Lord is near.

“Lord Jesus, come” the bride says now
Engaged in His encomium;
His saints cry, as their spirits bow
“Lord Jesus, come”.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

COMFORTERS

The poor woman at
The well, the thief on the cross,
Were Christ’s comforters.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

STANDING

The One who is the Lord of all
Stood still to heed a beggar’s call.

He stood because of men’s deceit
Before a Roman judgment seat.

But how His peace and love were known
As Jesus stood amidst His own!

They found His care had gone before
When He was standing on the shore.

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

Sheaves now, as product of His grief,
Bow down to His one standing sheaf.

Claiming His rights He soon will stand
Upon the sea and on the land.

But now He loves to see His bride
Standing in splendour at His side.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Sunday, 8 August 2010

ONE MAN

(A Rondeau)

God’s heart desires that all should know
He is distinguishing one Man,
According to His glorious plan
Which finds an answer here below.

Before Christ’s service here began
The heavens opened up to show
God’s heart desires that all should know
He is distinguishing one Man.

God will have no one other than
His Christ, to whom now praises flow
Because He plumbed the depths of woe:
Delighted with the course Christ ran
He is distinguishing one Man.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Friday, 6 August 2010

GARDEN

He came to the garden
Which the perfection of His skill
Had planted; yet there was a blight
On the ground, a frost in the air;
Sin was in the garden.
Yet He gave promises of life.

He came to the garden
- Was its name oil press or winepress? -
And there was fruitfulness to God
From a Man whose perfect life
Met its denouement there.

She came to the garden,
Darkness around, winter in her mind;
He found her
And noonday light and summer sun
Pierced her and embraced her.

He came to the garden -
His enclosed garden
And the valley was verdant,
The vine budded,
The pomegranates blossomed.
The love and life of the garden
Transported Him.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

HOW GREAT

How great is His mercy! - when we were still lawless,
He came to redeem us from hell;
He came as the Lamb who was perfect and flawless -
The Lord has done everything well!

How great is His goodness! - He heals all who need Him
In grace more than humans can tell;
He comes now as manna for all those who heed Him -
The Lord has done everything well!

How great is His beauty - His charms and His graces
Delight all the hearts they impel
To be near Himself to enjoy His embraces -
The Lord has done everything well!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

04/01/05

Have you seen by faith
Christ in the presence of God
As our great High Priest?

Monday, 2 August 2010

Sunday, 1 August 2010