Friday, 30 December 2011

GIVER

He gave Himself to ransom me,
He gave His life that I might live,
He gave in grace that I might see,
He is a Man who loves to give.

He gave me life, He gave me light,
He gave me righteousness and peace;
He gave me grace and power and sight:
He gives me joys that will not cease.

He gave His Spirit from above,
He gave adornment to His bride:
He gave me love - He gives her love
And gives a place at His own side.

He loves to give, He loves to bless:
His grace flows towards me like a river;
My heart goes out in thankfulness
That through His gifts I learn the Giver.






I don't need to put a name in, do I?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

MARY

Why wife to a carpenter? Although
The royal blood pulsed, the rights
Of monarchy existed, you husband
Crafted in wood; each day's labour
Used energy, skill and mind. Nothing
Derived from you or him imbued
That Child of whom you were mother.
But it pleased God in His ways to choose
The ambience you both provided; righteousness
Of your unwilling‑to‑expose husband,
Subjection of your spirit, soul and body.
You observed perfection in childhood,
Pondered signs and growth, retained
Thoughts, memories and affection till
You could act as repository to His church.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

THE SUPPER

We gather, Lord, to call to mind
Thyself and all Thy worthiness;
Thou hast secured all God designed
For those whom He desired to bless;
Our souls and spirits lifted up
We break the bread, we drink the cup.

We gather, Lord, till Thou shalt come
As testimony in the scene
When, mid this world's opprobrium
Thy death and sufferings have been;
Our souls and spirits lifted up
We break the bread, we drink the cup.

We gather, Lord, unto Thy Name
In fellowship that will not cease
United in the single aim
Of righteousness, faith, love and peace
Our souls and spirits lifted up
We break the bread, we drink the cup.

We gather, Lord, to furnish Thee
With opportunity to show
Thyself and all Thy love whilst we
Remain in pilgrimage below:
Our souls and spirits lifted up
We break the bread, we drink the cup.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

LIGHT

There had been lamps
In the gloom; but John
Came as a burning and shining light.

Then came the dayspring. Christ
Visited, shedding light to His people
Cowering in death's shadow.
Most closed their eyes.

Light cannot be contained:
Wide-eyed Gentiles
- Centurions, needy women -
Came to the light.

Sunset fell, and what glory
Streaked the sky, despite
That sundown!

The world, sunk in the darkness
That it prefers, has not seen
That full light again.

His own have His secret,
The Morning Star,
In their hearts.

They await
The Sun of righteousness,
The cloudless day,
The healing rays.

Meanwhile He leaves us
As lights in the world.

Meanwhile His church,
In her serene progress,
His heavenly body, reflects
Him.

Monday, 26 December 2011

GLEANINGS

Among God’s ancient chosen race
Who always tended to rebel
One came to show the heart of God,
Whose title is Emmanuel.

“God with us”, to express God’s love,
To show His constant will to bless,
To bring a humbled nation back
And to fulfil all righteousness.

The poor in spirit were His care,
Hungerers, those who mourned, the meek,
And all whom human pride despised;
Such were the ones He came to seek.

He listened to His Father’s voice
Each morning from the time He woke,
And His disciples came to know
The Father of whose grace He spoke.

The children God had given Him,
Under His word and touch, began
To grow in grace and thus display
The features of the heavenly Man.

He praised His Father that though He
Was One the nation might despise
The Father had revealed to babes
What had been hidden from the wise.

If Israel despised His rights
And thus blasphemed the Father too
The Gentiles were embraced to share
In concepts which were wholly new.

For He was minded to secure,
To His great cost, the entity,
Unnamed as yet to men, which would
Delight Him to eternity.

But Who was this who in His grace
Among the needy humbly trod?
The Father sovereignly revealed
It was the Christ, the Son of God.

Into a world of sins and ills
One who was God in Person came,
And His assembly can be built
On the confession of His Name.

Yet if that joy for Christ and God
Will merge as a celestial whole,
It meant His suffering and death,
It meant the anguish of His soul.

Those who are faithful to His Name
Through this can be victorious
As conscious of the present love
Of Him who came as “God with us”.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

THE LOVE OF JESUS

O Lord, Thy love’s unbounded,
So sweet, so full, so free;
My spirit does Thee homage
Since love has reached to me.

I see in all Thy pathway
As here to heal and bless,
In glorious demonstration
Thy love for righteousness.

And heaven was delighted
As God the Father saw
One who, in spirit, uttered
Oh, how I love Thy law!”

I see in every footstep,
As moving to fulfil
All that must be accomplished,
Love for Thy Father’s will.

How Thou didst love His purpose -
Willingly Thou didst go
Till all thing should be finished
Through toil and pain and woe.

For Thou didst love Thy Father
And daily didst rejoice
As wakening each morning
To hear the Father’s voice.

And Thou didst love the brethren
Thy Father gave to Thee -
We hear Thee pray concerning
Those Thou hast given Me...”

Thy love for Thine assembly,
Thy helpmate and Thy wife,
Led Thee to give up all things,
Even Thy precious life.

For where was love more vivid
Than on Golgotha’s tree?
Love that was undiminished,
Love that has made me free.

Love that will last for ever,
Love that surrounds me now,
Love of a Man in glory,
Love that has made me bow.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

THE SAVIOUR

Oh praise the Saviour for His love
Which made Him take on blood and flesh,
As come from realms which are above,
To bring men back to God afresh.

Love brought Him to a world of sin
Which held men in captivity;
He worked in grace to bring men in
To righteousness and liberty.

Love led the Saviour to the tree
To bear sin’s judgement and atone
That sinners might be just and free,
Secured by Christ to be His own.

Victorious through all He endured
He sits upon the throne above:
We sing, as those He has secured,
Oh praise the Saviour for His love!”

Friday, 23 December 2011

RIGHTEOUSNESS

The sun darkened:
There, at Golgotha,
Righteousness was accomplished.

The sun risen:
In the garden, testimony
To accomplished righteousness.

The sun in its firmament:
Accomplished righteousness
Celebrated in ascension.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

From PROGRESS

But where God wished a sanctuary
He quickly found idolatry
As Israel's fervour failed;
Though you may have the greatest light
You need still to maintain its height
For it will be assailed.

The time was long, the bondage sore,
The word occasional before
Recovery came in;
Oh Christian soul, do not relax
For joys will wane and sorrows wax
As you make way for sin.

For when the conquest would restart
God found a man after His heart
Who would do all His will;
As Christ in beauty fills our view
Abundant blessing will ensue
Through what He will fulfil.

David, through all life's storms and calms
Distilled experience into psalms
For God's unending praise;
And Christ now, as He moves and tends
Our souls wakes worship which ascends
In anthems that we raise.

Affection and affliction shared
In the material prepared
For what his son would build;
Love answers love to bring us near
While suffering shapes how we appear
So that God's house is filled.

See the resplendent house unfold,
With all its plenitude of gold,
Which Solomon has made;
See the grand place that Christ has wrought,
Formed by the persons He has brought
And sumptuously arrayed.

The ark that graced the desert sand
And led them in the promised land
Is finally at rest;
Christ is before the Father's face,
Appreciated in His grace,
And in Him we are blest.

Trumpets and singers in accord
Proclaim the glory of the LORD:
The house fills with the cloud;
Now glory fills the courts above
And sons praise with united love,
Reverent, but uncowed.

Let hallelujahs now resound
Unto the LORD for He has crowned
The work He had begun;
Praise Him by whom all was conceived,
And now the matchless deed's achieved,
Determined, dared, and done.

END

The final two lines have been taken from "A Song for David" by Christopher Smart

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

ASK FOR A SIGN

Isaiah 7

"Ask for a sign" the prophet told the king;
"Ask for it in the deep or in the height."
King Ahaz sneered "I will do no such thing".

How great the sign of Jonah to incite
Wonder at God's unfathomable ways,
Bringing one man through darkness into light!

How great the sign of Solomon's great days,
His splendour and the wisdom which God gave
To rule His people and to bring Him praise!

There is a greater sign now in the grave,
Its depths and darkness entered for His own
By Christ that to the utmost He may save.

There is a greater sign now in the throne
Where Jesus sits, acclaimed at God's right hand,
Whence all the power of heaven may be known.

If you touch depths you cannot understand
Remember what your Lord endured for you
That heavenly power might be at your command.

If you reach heights, with Jesus in your view,
And know relationships in which to bask,
Remember all the depths which He went through.

"Ask for a sign" ‑ God longs for you to task
His willingness and nature ‑ knock! seek! ask!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

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”.

Monday, 19 December 2011

TO BATHSHEBA

Your first husband morally greater,
All ways a mighty man, your loss
And your dead child led you to value,
Especially, peace, your son Solomon;
Jealously you protected his interests,
Provoking your enfeebled king to grant
Immediate access to the throne.
Skilfully you chose subtle allies,
Priest, prophet and the commander
Of the king's bodyguard, men
Fitted by a great king's service
To inaugurate the new regime.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

THE ARK IN THE TEMPLE

All God's inheritance is richly blest
Since, in the temple Solomon prepared,
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Round it a system God chose to invest
With glory which will never be impaired
‑ All God's inheritance ‑ is richly blest.

It led the way in every storm or test
But now, past all the trials which they shared,
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Since God's great wisdom knew which way was best
And He was there beside them as they fared
All God's inheritance is richly blest.

His people praise the Lord with joy and zest
As, while His lasting triumph is declared,
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Because God knew the object of their quest
Before they ventured, and in all things cared,
All God's inheritance is richly blest;
The Ark of God is finally at rest.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

SOLOMON

Almighty God  - give judgments to the King
And He will judge  according to Thy will!
He will do justice to those whom sin afflicts:
By righteousness  peace will flow from the hills;
He will descend  as a delicious smirr
While grace and truth  will both be flourishing;
Kings of the earth  will render precious gifts
And all mankind  will own His rulership.
Each day He shall be blessed:  and He shall live
While corn shall pullulate  from fertile tilth
Even upon  the mountain’s loftiest ridge:
Seeing His glory  let all the people sing!

Friday, 16 December 2011

TO SOLOMON

You had them all ‑ the ivory throne
With guardian lions; the palace of the house
Of Lebanon; vast revenues of gold;
Widespread domains and exotic embassies;
Each day's thirty oxen, its hundred sheep,
Harts and gazelles; a splendid palanquin
Enhanced by your sixty swordsman escort;
You had them all ‑ but not these only ‑
To probe a matter, the glory of kings,
One sword for wisdom and for justice,
Solutions to enigmas, three thousand proverbs,
With your own ascent to your God's house,
And desire and skill for songs and psalms ‑
All the accoutrements of monarchy.

And of these songs one only was the Song of Songs,
Depiction of love and beauty, the incomparable ode
To rapture of love, loveliness, cruel jealousy ‑
The symbols apt in their sensuousness, apt to love,
Apt in their spirituality ‑ breathed through the love of God.

Not gardens only, nor beds
Of spices, interested you ‑
You knew the value of tillage:
"He who tills will be satisfied
With bread"; "Manual labour
Will increase wealth"; "Truth
And mercy will attend those
Who plough good". These were
Your kind of adage. But,
Did you follow your own advice?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

CHRIST AS THE TRUE SOLOMON

In the subversion of man,
Satan and death;
In the promotion of another
Manhood, Lord,
We see wisdom.

In the assembly,
An administration of blessing,
Where Thou hast a dwelling
We see
The house that Thou hast built.

The food of Thy table!
What variety we have in Thee:
An oblation, a passover,
Peace-offering,
Fresh ears, baked loaves -
All to our taste.

Persons of another marque
From worldlings, in dignity,
Act as children of wisdom
Portraying
The deportment of Thy servants.

We can appreciate
As the angels can
The all-various wisdom of God
In the order of service of Thy servants
Which the Chief Musician ordered.

In their needs - Christ
For coats of skin;
In their testimony - Christ
For armour;
In their privileges - Christ,
The Best Robe:
What apparel for Thy servants!

Men who have had
A vine before them,
Who have admired its growth,
Relished the lush grapes,
Their wine for God,
Are Thy cupbearers.

But what an acme
Of grandeur, a zenith
Of accomplishment, what
An ascent:
Lord, Thou art He who leads
Many sons to glory!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

EBED-MELECH

I’ll tell you of a happening
When Zedekiah was the king:

God sent His prophet to condemn
The wicked in Jerusalem,

While just outside the city gate
They saw the Babylonians wait.

That army was God’s punishment
For sinners who would not repent

And disobeyed when called upon
To serve the king of Babylon

Which was what Jeremiah taught
When he explained Jehovah’s thought.

The wicked men who hated it
Put Jeremiah in a pit.

The prophet thought; “This place is dire -
I’m sinking down into the mire!”

But while he found his prospects dim
His God was looking after him.

Now Ebed-Melech was the man
Whom God selected for His plan.

He went to see the king and said,
“If he’s left there he’ll soon be dead!”

The king replied, “Without a doubt
You must pull Jeremiah out”.

The Ethiopian found some rope
And soon gave Jeremiah hope.

“Just put some rags beneath each arm
So that the ropes will do no harm.”

Then Ebed-Melech and his friends
All started pulling at the ends.

Soon he was rescued, safe and sound:
He gladly stood on solid ground.

Thus Ebed-Melech pleased the Lord
Who shielded him against the sword.

Monday, 12 December 2011

COMPASSIONS

If your way is fresh and bright,
If your way is dank and strange,
If you move from gloom to light
His compassions never change.

Though the way ahead seems dark,
Though the foe seems to prevail,
Or you’re buoyant as a lark
His compassions never fail.

When oppressions press the brain,
When you need a heavenly Friend,
When your heart is full of pain
His compassions never end.



Written during the illness of my sister-in-law Liz: with Christ 12/12/2005 (aged 41)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

ALLELUIA

Alleluia to the Saviour!
Bless the glorious Name of Jesus;
Come before His throne with gladness,
Do Him homage for His greatness.
Everlasting praise will echo
For the Firstborn of creation,
God's anointed Priest and Prophet,
Heaven's Centre of affection,
Israel's Monarch and Messiah,
Judah's Prince and Sprout of Glory,
King of kings and Prince of princes,
Lord of lords and Head of all things!
Men of every tribe and nation,
Nurtured in that splendid kingdom
Open wide their mouths in anthems
Praising Jesus their Redeemer.
Queenlike His beloved assembly
Raptured by her Bridegroom's beauty
Sits upon His throne beside Him.
Thousands upon thousands bring Him
Universal acclamation;
Victory is accorded to Him,
Worshippers are bowed before Him,
Xenia presented to Him:
Young and old in happy chorus
Zealously sing - Alleluia!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

THE LORD IS IN CONTROL

Though raging billows roll
And winds are contrary
Fear need not fill us with dismay -
The Lord is in control,

Should iron pierce your soul
Or catch you in its gin
Help is at hand, and Hope within -
The Lord is in control.

Should your boat nudge a shoal
Or shudder in a squall
Trust in the One who made them all -
The Lord is in control.

Friday, 9 December 2011

HAND

Lord, keep me underneath Thy hand
Secure from harm;
Without Thee I cannot withstand
Storm or alarm.

Lord, keep me underneath Thy hand
Guided by Thee
Finding as under Thy command
Thy path for me.

Lord, keep me underneath Thy hand
Both warmed and blessed
Where in Thy love I understand
The way that’s best.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

JOTHAM'S PARABLE

The trees resolved that they should choose
Their own anointed king -
A king they would not dare refuse
To serve in everything.

Asking the olive they began:
No, I will not forsake
My oil which honours God and man
For my own title’s sake”.

The fig-tree they asked secondly:
I will not leave fruit
And sweetness for a king’s display
Which will not contribute”.

Thirdly, they spoke unto the vine:
I have new wine to please
Both God and man, so I decline
To wave above the trees”.

But finally they asked the thorn:
Have confidence in me;
Rest in my shade. But if you scorn
Fire will devour each tree”.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

AT THE INN

“When I was blind and poor
And only Christ could cure
He heard my anxious cry
And did not pass me by.”

“Wounded and torn by sin
Both outside and within
Without Him I would die -
He did not pass me by.”

“I climbed within my tree
To hide but still to see:
He saw me hidden high
And did not pass me by.”

“The night almost opaque,
We glimpsed upon the lake
A figure drawing nigh -
He did not pass us by.”

“So if you are in need
Christ listens when you plead;
His mercy will reply:
He will not pass you by.”

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

PARABLE

“My pain is great, my wounds are sore,
My life bleeds to its end.”
“I’ve come to care for you, to pour
Oil on your wounds, my friend.”

“I faint, I feel my spirit pine:
My soul is reft by strife.”
“My friend, I’ve come to pour you wine
To stimulate your life.”

“I have no shelter, can’t begin
The journey to my home.”
“I’ll bring you safely to the inn -
There is no need to roam.”

“I lie within a world of harm
And cannot be released.”
“My friend, I’ll bear you on my arm
To set you on my beast.”

“My money and my goods are lost;
I cannot pay a fee.”
“Do not despair, my friend - the cost
Has all been borne by me.”

“Out of this inn what shall I do?
When I am gone - what then?”
“The innkeeper will care for you
Until I come again.”

“My Friend - how I shall miss your face!
Why must you go away?”
“I’m going to prepare the place
Where, with me, you shall stay.”

Monday, 5 December 2011

PARABLE

The vital water, silting and moistening,
Compounds the good ground.

The fecund seed, broadcast on the earth
Clung in the good ground.

The theivish birds jibbed at the nets
Shielding the good ground.

Roots writhed down, toward the procreant water
Imbuing the good ground.

Toward the sun sprouts pullulate
Out from the good ground.

Master, garner the mellow fruit
From your good ground.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

HIM WHO LOVES US

O all ye ransomed throng
Life up your joyful song:
Honour and praise belong
To Him who loves us!

He washed our sins away
And saved from Satan’s sway:
Lift a fresh song today
To Him who loves us!

He made us share His feast,
Made each a royal priest:
Let praises be released
To Him who loves us!

Consciously loved by Him
Whose glory will not dim
Let constant praises brim
To Him who loves us!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

JEDUTHUN

God heard amid His fresh creation
His angels’ shouts of celebration.

He had in His premeditation
A greater cause of celebration.

When Christ brought in illumination
That gave God cause for celebration.

Because of reconciliation
God bids us join His celebration.

Christ in His place of elevation
Is centre of God’s celebration.

Christ’s men by grace and derivation
Will cause eternal celebration.

Friday, 2 December 2011

IDOLS

Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him;
Joyful choose the better part!

Idols, oft they won thee, charmed thee,
Lovely things of time and sense;
Gilded thus does sin disarm thee
Honeyed lest thou turn thee hence.

What has stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty,
But the sight of peerless worth.

Not the crushing of those idols
With its bitter void and smart,
But the learning of His beauty
The unveiling of His heart

Who extinguishes the taper
Till they hail the rising sun?
Who discards the garb of winter
Till the summer hath begun?

'Tis that look that melted Peter,
‘Tis the face that Stephen saw,
‘Tis the heart that wept with Mary,
Can alone from idols draw;

Draw and win, and fill completely,
Till the cup o'erflow the brim,
What have we to do with idols
Who have companied with Him?

Ora Rowan 1834-1879

Thursday, 1 December 2011

LOVE

A Saviour’s love has taken up my case
That one who had been captive should be free;
A Bridegroom’s love has claimed and cherished me,
And held me in the warmth of His embrace.
A Father’s love has lavished on me grace,
Riches and blessing, and has given me
The status of a son that I might be
For His eternal praise before His face.
The Spirit’s love has acted in my soul
And shed abroad God’s love within my heart;
Thus in the church He touches every part
And in uniting love makes all one whole.
The love of God has been so full shown
That now the God of love Himself is known.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

COMPLETE

The work of Christ is so complete
God sets Him forth, a mercy-seat,
Where God, in grace, and man can meet.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

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.

Monday, 28 November 2011

HOME

OH! bright and blessed scenes,
Where sin shall never come;
Whose sight my longing spirit weans
From earth, where yet I roam.


And can I call my home
My Father's house on high?
The rest of God, my rest to come,
My place of liberty?


Yes! In that light unstained
My stainless soul shall live;
My heart's deep longings more than gained,
When God His rest shall give.


His presence there, my soul
Its rest, its joy untold,
Shall find, when endless ages roll
And time shall ne'er grow old.


My God the centre is;
His presence fills that land;
And countless myriads, own'd as His,
Round Him adoring stand.


My God whom I have known,
Well known in Jesus' love,
Rests in the blessing of His own
Before Himself above.


Glory supreme is there,
Glory that shines through all;
More precious still that love to share
As those that love did call.


Like Jesus in that place
Of light and love supreme;
Once Man of sorrows, full of grace;
Heaven's blest and endless theme.


Like Him! O grace supreme!
Like Him before Thy face!
Like Him - to know that glory beam
Unhindered, face to face!


O love, supreme and bright,
Good to the feeblest heart,
That gives me now, as heavenly light,
What soon shall be my part!


Be not to me, my God,
As one that turned aside
To tarry for a night, and trod
His onward path. Abide


With me as light divine,
That brings into my breast
Those gladdening scenes e'en now as mine,
Soon my eternal rest.

[1867]

John Nelson Darby 1800 - 1882

Sunday, 27 November 2011

WEALTH

When I was as impoverished as a beggar in a ditch
The Son of God came up to me, raised me, and made me rich;
He gave me treasures far surpassing all that I had lost
And told me in His grace that He Himself had borne the cost.

When I came to the Father, impecunious and distressed,
He welcomed me, He kissed me and He clothed me in the best;
He took away the filthy rags worn from the distant land
And gave me sandals for my feet, His ring to deck my hand.

The Holy Spirit has the wealth of heaven in His care
Available for all the saints who own Christ Lord to share;
He decorates and dignifies the features of the bride,
Then helps her grace the place that she will have at Jesus’ side.

Now unto God who made us rich, whose giving is immense,
There rises our responsive praise, our nard and frankincense;
To Him who is the source of all we gladly bow the knee
And willingly acknowledge “of Thine own we give to Thee”.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

THE WAY


He came from the heart of God
And perfectly here He trod,
With God as His sole resource,
A sinless and blameless course
Which honoured the Father’s name -
Yet led to the cross of shame.

And newly there runs since then
A way from that cross for men,
Blood-sprinkled and purified,
Who live since their Saviour died;
A way that is clear and broad
That leads to the heart of God.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

HOW MUCH I'M LOVED


On me, God’s grace has beamed;
By blood, I am redeemed;
To me His kindnesses have streamed:
How much I’m loved!

For me, the Saviour died;
For me, was crucified;
And now, for me He’s glorified:
How much I’m loved!

He suffered to atone,
But now, upon the throne,
He cares for me, with all His own
How much I’m loved!

He has prepared the place
Before the Father’s face
Which we will share, through boundless grace:
How much I’m loved!

Though here the world outside
Should raise an evil tide
With me, He says, He will abide:
How much I’m loved!

And as His word may be
Abiding now in me
Increasingly He’ll make me see
How much I’m loved!


Mybe I'll sing this to you one day!   Safely home now.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

HE LOVED

He loved, though I was sinful;

He loved, when I was lost;
He loved, when I was needy;
He loved, to His great cost;
He loved when left out, knocking,
He loved, when brought within;
He loved me by the wayside,
He loved me at the inn.

He loved me though I wandered;
He loved, as I returned;
He loved, when my love faded;
He loved, when my heart burned;
He loved, despite my weakness;
He loved, despite my will;
He loved, through joy and sorrow;
He loved - He loves me still!

He loves, though we are faithless;
He loves, although we fail;
He loves when times are easy;
He loves, when storms assail;
He loves us in the battle;
He loves us in God’s house;
He loves us as His brethren;
He loves us as His spouse.

 
 
GReetings from Mumbai!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

NOW HE LIVETH

Once the Saviour suffered for us,
Scorned, rejected and denied;
For our peace and our redemption
Then upon the cross He died;
Now He liveth
Raised, ascended, glorified.

With His work for God accomplished
Christ is on the Father's throne
Who was once in grace and mercy
Here upon the earth unknown
Now He liveth
Giving impulse to His own.

When upon the earth He succoured
Men, the poorest and the least,
All the power of heaven's glory
Could not fully be released;
Now He liveth
Bearing us as heavenly Priest.

Once the Holy Spirit hovered
Sensitive to earth's constraints
But because Christ's cross and glory
Overwhelmed all sin's restraints
Now He liveth
In true companies of saints.

From the glory Christ delighted
To deliver to His own
An occasion of remembrance
Centred in Himself alone:
Now He liveth
Making His affections known.


Greetings from Coimbatoire!




Wednesday, 9 November 2011

THE HOUSE OF GOD

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!


I've been reminded of this by interest in building meeting rooms in Andhra Pradesh.  Greetings from Chennai now.

Monday, 7 November 2011

GLORY

Lord, Thou wast there before the worlds began
In realms of love beyond the mind of man;
The glory that subsisted before time,
Ineffable, eternal and sublime

Belongs to Thee.

Lord, Thou wast here, descended to fulfil,
In grace and patience, all the Father's will:
The glory of a well-beloved Son
By whom the Father's will was fully done
Belongs to Thee.


Lord, Thou didst die, the spotless Lamb of God,
An Offering whose savour spreads abroad:
The glory of a perfect Sacrifice
Whose precious blood God's heart will always prize
Belongs to Thee.


Lord, Thou art crowned upon the Father's throne
Imparting power and wisdom to Thine own:
The glory of the Firstborn from the dead
Who is the body's, the assembly's Head
Belongs to Thee.


Lord, Thou wilt come to reign upon the earth
Dispelling tumult, conflict, plague and dearth:
The glory of the Ruler of all things
Who is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings
Belongs to Thee.



Greetings from Secunderabad!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

THIS MAN

(Micah 5: 5)

If you are thirled to sin

And longing for release
Open your heart to let Christ in,
"And this man shall be Peace".

Temptations may assail,

Or doubts within increase:
Trust in the One who will not fail:
"And this man shall be Peace".

Soon He shall have His Bride

Without one taint or crease,
To reign in glory by His side
"And this man shall be Peace".



Written 09/02/2007 - in Indian airspace! - This time tomorrow I'll be in Indian airspace again!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Sunday, 30 October 2011

THE KINDNESS OF GOD

(Mephibosheth)


Marred; weak; afar; with the opprobrium
Of the rejected race... to catalogue
My blemishes would take too long; in sum
Encompass all in three words - “a dead dog”.
Mercy has reached me; grace has brought me near;
Kindness has given me a prince’s seat
And riches; perfect love has cast out fear:
The King Himself has made my bliss complete.
So if He is rejected in this world,
And the rebellious challenge has been hurled:
“We will not have this Man to reign”, should I
Follow that trend? Surely I must deny
Myself, and, till my Sovereign comes again,
Live in the consciousness that “He must reign”.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

HISTORY

As I thought of man I felt the fact
Piercing my veneer of quiet and tact
To the softness under my carapace
That I would do any horrendous act
But for my time and by God's grace.

Murderously I would have crept
"To extirpate the thievish sept"
Within Glencoe the gloomiest place
Without a murmur as they slept
But for my time and by God's grace.

My red star bright I would have thrilled
To see my enemies the Polish spilled,
In Katyn Forest's hidden space,
Into the sodden trench and cruelly killed
But for my time and by God's grace.

Straggles of Jews would have known my hate
As I thrust them through the oven's gate
Cursed for their feebleness and their strange race
Facing my cruelty in wild spate
But for my time and by God's grace.

I would have been a modern weaver
Of patterns of death no old believer
In savage myths would dare to face
Killer of innocents tugging my lever
But for my time and by God's grace.

I would have called "Crucify
The Man is worthy that He should die!"
I would have struck blows on His face
And sealed His rising by the lie
But for my time and by God's grace.

Friday, 28 October 2011

ACROSTIC PSALM

1.Abundant mercy has answered my need;
Abundant grace has given me a home.
2.Blessing was in God’s heart for wilful me;
Blessing is in my heart, put there by God.
3.Come to the earth the Saviour showed mercy,
Mercy is free since He went into death.
4.Death was the dominant power against me;
Love has acted to break that dominion.
5.Every day pressure surround man’s pathway;
Saints are succoured by great loving-kindness.
6.Faith gives us access into God’s favour;
Love gives us favour in the Beloved.
7.Grace has given me a place in glory –
Glory will accrue to the God of grace.
8.Heaven is my home through the Lord’s goodness –
How can I count His manifold blessings?
9.I was going astray like a lost sheep:
His goodness has led me to repentance.
10.Just as I am He poured mercy on me;
Just as He is He brought me into grace.
11.Kindness of God wished to make me at home
As David wished to bless Mephibosheth.
12.Love never fails, love is patient and kind;
And Jesus Christ never fails to show love.
13.Many waters cannot quench love, Christ proved;
The love which triumphed is now free to bless.
14.No one can challenge God’s rights in mercy
Nor cavil at the actions of His grace.
15.Outstretched arms are towards us in blessing;
Underneath us are everlasting arms.
16.Perilous seas cannot overwhelm me
Since I am buoyed by god’s loving-kindness.
17.Quietness pervades the people of God
Who rest in the Lord’s goodness and favour.
18.Redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus
We glory in the grace that redeemed us.
19.Sustained daily by His loving-kindness
We wait for redemption of the body.
20.Travellers on crooked paths find straight roads
As accompanies and protects them.
21.Unworthy of life since we were sinners
We have received mercy through Jesus Christ.
22.Victory appertains to Him alone
But grace allows us to share it with Him.
23.Worthiness belongs to Jesus alone
But love allows us to share it with Him.
24.Xenophobic Jews and Greeks are made one
For love at the cross smashed the middle wall.
25.Youths and maidens faint and the old languish
But God in His kindness revives us all.
26.Zealously sing praise to God and the Lord
By whom we have blessing, favour and love.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

GRACE

On you, through grace, good seed was cast -
So hold it fast!

Grace covered all your sinful past -
So hold it fast!

Nail grace as standard to your mast
And hold it fast!

God's grace will lead you home at last -
So hold it fast!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

GRACE

If Grace rowed to me
in my struck brig
I found that Grace
had watched for me before.
If Grace had set the light
to my distant ship
Grace set the fire
for my rescued self.
When I turned my back
on the sun
Next morning there it was
blazing in my face.
Before Grace nursed me
to good health
It was Grace whose scalpel
had wounded me.
When grace upon grace
pulsed through my arteries
It was Grace which held
the syringe.
If Grace fed me richly
in the Father’s house
Grace in the far country
had brought my famine.
Though Grace gave me rags
in the far country
Come into the Father’s house
it clothed me richly.
While Grace made me know sonship
in the Father’s house
Grace had seen, in the far country,
me as a son.
After Grace comforted me
when I was sad
Grace preserved me
when I was happy.
If Grace provided a repast,
free of labour,
Grace taught me how to hunt,
to flay and to cook.
Since Grace guided me
in sowing
Grace helped me
in harvesting.
How right that when Grace
paid dearly for my ransom
Grace should acquire me
as its bondman.
As it was Grace that filled me
with the new wine
It was Grace that created
my new skin.

Monday, 24 October 2011

GRACE

Grace sometimes was the sunshine
Embracing with warmth.

Grace sometimes was the rainfall
Driving me homeward.

Grace sometimes was the rainbow
Spectral with promise.

Sometimes grace as a shepherd
Led me to green pastures.

But grace sometimes was a judge
Admonishing me.

And often grace was a nurse
With pills or pillows.

Grace always was a witness
To the heart of God.