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.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

SHEPHERD

Being no hireling He did not run away
And by His love, because He kept the faith
The mauling wolf was finally outfaced;
What was the cost? The Shepherd has been slain:
The sword of God against Him was awake.
Risen He works, showing the young His care,
Healing the sick, pursuing those who stray,
Leading the healthy where they may safely graze.
Lord, help me, as Thy sheep, discriminate
Thy Shepherd voice from voices that are strange;
Guide my thrawn feet far from iniquity
Into the flock of those enjoying grace.


"Thrawn; twisted: wry: cross-grained, perverse" according to the dictionary. Sometimes I need a Scots word to express myself properly.

Friday, 21 October 2011

SHEPHERDESS

(for Rosemary)

Around us are our tender flock
Within this howling wilderness;
Under the shadow of the Rock
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

As shepherds must we'll guide their feet
Amid the desert's brokenness
To where the gentle grass is sweet:
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

We'll keep them near the water's flow
Whilst all around is barrenness;
While by its glassy streams they grow
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

Teach me, as Rachel must have taught
Jacob, to heed their tenderness
In case the lambs are overwrought:
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

A greater Shepherd guides above
Our ignorance and bruckleness;
Under the shelter of His love
Care for them with me, Shepherdess.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

SHEPHERD

Lord Jesus, Thou art the Good Shepherd
Who laid down His life for the sheep;
That joy might be known
By all of Thine own
Thy sorrow was bitter and deep.

Lord Jesus, Thou art the Great Shepherd
Whom God brought again from the dead;
Since Thou art alive
Thy flock now may thrive
As skillfully nourished and led.

Lord Jesus, Thou art the Chief Shepherd-
The first place in all things is Thine;
When Thou dost appear
And we are drawn near
Thy love will unfadingly shine.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

VOICE

He did not speak in the tempest,
He did not speak in the fire;
He did not speak in the earthquake,
He was not speaking in ire.
He spoke - and His ransomed saints rejoice:
He spoke in a soft and gentle voice.

To saints the Saviour has ransomed
He speaks in accents of grace;
It touched the hearts of lost sinners
And pierced their hard carapace.
He speaks and His folded sheep rejoice
Having learned to discern their Shepherd’s voice.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

SHEPHERD

Struggling through the biting winds
He visited
Those about to perish.

Through harsh thorns and clogging mud
He sought
That which was strayed away.

In chilling nights and cracking rain
He healed the wounded,
Fed the sound.

He is the worthy shepherd
That does not leave his flock.

Monday, 17 October 2011

SHEPHERD

Jesus, Saviour, since I am
Just a tiny helpless lamb
I would trust alone in Thee;
Keep me safe and care for me.

Lord, supply me where I lack,
If I wander lead me back
To the shelter of Thy fold,
Safe from danger storm and cold.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

LAMB

Sometimes the owner
Gives the shepherd a lamb
For himself.

And how that lamb is feted,
Cherished and nourished,
With the acme of
The shepherd’s skill.

I am
The shepherd’s lamb,
Lord Jesus.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

HAIL, SOVEREIGN LOVE

Hail, Sovereign Love that formed the plan
To save rebellious, ruined man!
Hail, matchless, free, Eternal Grace,
That gave my soul a hiding-place!

Against the God that rules the sky,
I fought, with weapons lifted high,
Despised the mention of His grace
Too proud to seek a hiding place.

Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place.

But thus th’ eternal counsel ran,
Almighty Love, arrest that man!
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place.

Indignant justice stood in view;
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew,
But Justice cried with frowning face,
"This mountain is no hiding place!"

Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And mercy's angel-form appeared;
She led me on with placid pace
To Jesus as my hiding-place.

Should storms of sevenfold vengeance roll,
And shake the globe from pole to pole;
No flaming bolt could daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hiding place.

On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
That must have sunk a world to hell;
He bore it for the chosen race
And thus became their hiding-place.

A few more rolling suns, at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan's coast.
There I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious hiding place!

Jehoida Brewer
1752-1817

Thursday, 13 October 2011

ZACCHEUS

Methinks I see with what a busy haste
Zaccheus climbed the tree. But, O how fast
How full of speed, canst thou imagine (when
Our Saviour called) he powdered down again!
He ne’er made trial if the boughs were sound,
Or rotten; nor how far 'twas to the ground.
There was no danger feared. At such a call
He’ll venture nothing, that dare fear a fall.
Needs must he down, by such a spirit driven;
Nor could he fall, unless he fell to Heaven.
Down came Zaccheus, ravished from the tree;
Bird that was shot, ne’er dropped so quick as he. 


Francis Quarles (1592-1644)

Bringing you an old favourite! 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

LITTLE CREATURES

There are four little creatures
And they are very wise;
The Proverbs names their features
Which no one should despise.
We’ll think of them and then we’ll see
Lessons from them, for you and me.

The first one which would rather
Work when it can - the ant -
Eats what it worked to gather
In winter when it can’t.  
So let us work to gather food
And when it’s Christ it will be good.

Rock-badgers are the second
And nobody should mock
- However weak they’re reckoned -
Because their house is rock.
We will be safe from beasts which roam
While Christ, the Rock, remains our home.

The locusts have none leading
As king in all their bands,
But while they’re wisely feeding
They go about in bands.
Young friend, so very much depends
On having Christians as our friends!

The last beasts we must ponder
Are lizards, tiny things,
Who still are free to wander
In palaces of kings!
Jesus, our King, in all His grace,
Invites us to His heavenly place.

God made these little creatures
    To show us how to live;
Let’s gather from those teachers
    The lessons which they give;
And, lastly, learn this from them all:
God helps us best when we feel small.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

THE END

And then the end;  when even death is quenched,
The great bereaver  ultimately bereft,
All enmity,  perpetually dispelled
And God has rendered Him  His recompense
As under Him  all things are subjected;
Thus we will see  this final excellence
When He gives up to God  the kingdom then
And He, the Son,  is subjected Himself:
So in the sight  of all the universe
God’s ultimate  will grandly be expressed -
In Him God’s purpose  finds its eternal rest:
God all in all,  supreme and immanent.


And this closes my last file of verse. It's been 1 ,261 - including a few duplications.  I don't think many read the first one - so we're into repeats now, along with anything else I feel like posting.  Grace be with you all, and thanks to all who have followed. To God be the glory!

Monday, 10 October 2011

TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Help me, Spirit of Jesus,
To know the heavenly path;
Touch me, move me, and lead me
Up to that glorious Man.
Open my heart to hear Him
And be the strength of my hand
Guiding, tending and teaching.

Guide me, O Spirit of Truth
Into the truth each day:
"He shall announce it to you",
Jesus has promised His saints.
One whom the world must exclude
Thou, in Christ's saints, dost remain
Making the things of Christ new.

Comforter, here at Christ's wish
Bringing Christ's words to remembrance,
Open our minds to God's will,
Whilst in His saints forever;
Here Thou dost joy to assist
The Master's orphaned brethren,
Bringing us savours of Him.

O Spirit of the Father,
May we, through Thee, be strengthened
To have God's scheme in vastness
Before our apprehension;
To know Christ's love which passes
In its transcendent blessing
All human understanding.

Give us more fully to know "One body and one Spirit";
Under Thy power keep us close,
One Spirit, we drink into!
Now Thou hast found Thine abode,
And gift which Thou hast given
Renders the body full-grown.

We praise Thee, Spirit of God,
Recognising Thy service;
We praise for what Thou has sought:
All that God has found precious;
We praise for what Thou hast brought,
Gracing God's holy presence;
We praise for what Thou hast wrought!

How could men on earth furnish
Homage fit for Thy presence?
What Thou art is above us
Far in height as the heavens.
Thus as led by Thee, humbly,
Recognising Thy Person,
Holy Spirit, we worship.

This concludes my series of contemplations of the Holy Spirit.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

16/07/05

More and more and more - 
Counting my blessings they are
More than I can count!



This finishes the series of blessings from my 50th to my 51st birthday.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

THEIR GOD

The Father’s heart of love has been made known -
And God Himself has been made known through grace
Because it is His will to be made known
In one great Name as Father, Son and Spirit,
One God yet each one personally God
And if God chooses to reveal Himself
How could that be within the comprehension
Of those He has created? But He made
Creatures with the capacity to know,
Creatures with the capacity to praise,
Creatures with the capacity to worship.
Awed by the God who has revealed Himself
Men formed in love, men acting for God’s pleasure
Worship the God whom they can call their God.









This concludes the contemplation in blank verse which I named "The Sacred Things".  The files are closing.

Friday, 7 October 2011

15/07/05


Lastly mention Chris
Because she encouraged me
To count my blessings.



My sister, who suggested counting my blessing while I still could!  That takes me to 365 blessings.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

TO A BABY DAUGHTER

My little daughter,  you know no language yet -
Forgive me then  while I expatiate
With this new composition  didactic verse
Using a style  I've borrowed from Old French.
It's no new wisdom  which I have to dispense
But you may find  it's helpful none the less.

Your life is an adventure  and you'll explore
Though you may not  wander from pole to pole.
Never, my daughter, repose in what you know
But always be a person  who pries and probes -
Through wind and rain,  like a keen Viking, row
Until you land  on you own Vinland shore.

Plough your own furrow  and always plough it straight;
Do not divert  to someone else's way;
Broadcast good seed  and then, with patience, wait -
Anything good  will grow in months, not days;
When it is ripe  harvest before the rain
And for the future  be generous with you grain.

Allow the time  occasionally to wander
Across the hills  or by the babbling waters;
Perceive the boredom;  the glory and the horror
Within all nature - slow slugs or leaping horses,
Ravenous shrew  or deft fish-killing otters.
Let each one halt you  and give you cause to ponder.

Fish just to meet  your own and other's wants
But not for pleasure - a sport which God abhors.
Both good and evil  will come within your trawl:
Discriminate - don't keep and swallow all.
Although winds blow  and bucking billows toss
Persist until you can  relish what's caught.

To be a poet  would do you little good
And whether I would like it  I am not sure.
There's poetry in life  as you will prove -
In every movement  a subtle rhythm moves,
In every word  a fertile tension broods;
And every object  is image for a mood.

I know that you  will never be a queen
- But you must rule  within yourself at least;
Only by self-control  can you be free.
Be careful not to watch  all that you see;
Be careful not to heed  all that you hear;
Your heart is the most precious  thing that you keep.

Philip had four  daughters who prophesied -
If he was fortunate   can't decide!
So, little one,  prophesy if you like
But you must pray  from your depths to God's height,
Must find the answer  to darkness in God's light,
Must find in Jesus  the purpose of your life.

My little Rosalie, I'll soon have ended:
I'm sure you think  I've been too long already.
To tell the truth  you don't seem interested
In being wrapped  in archetypal vestments.
I guess it's nearly time  that you were bedded,
A so good night  and may God add His blessing.

Written 15 October 1984; so I must remind her off it!
I think this finishes the "Family" file; the files are getting empty now.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunday, 2 October 2011

11/07/05


Mercy gave me free
Recovery, grace let me
Drive a Mercedes.



A small celebration of a car breakdown on holiday in Wales!

Saturday, 1 October 2011