Tuesday, 31 March 2015

DAVID

Before the exploit
God saw a character of manhood
That he could designate
"A man after my heart".

Seeing his subject spirit,
His faith, and his delight
In God's pleasure, he was "a man ...
Who shall do all my will".

When the exploit came
The beauty within him,
The excellent qualities,
Shone with a fresh sheen.

The giant defeated,
He became a centre of attraction
As others awoke to a glimpse
Of God's view of the man.

Features and actions
Glimmer forth the light
Which blazed forth in the Root
And Offspring of David.

Monday, 30 March 2015

RUNES

(Eve)
This beauty, replete, rare,
Is Woman.

(Rebecca)
Both in the willing and the working,
Captivating.

(Leah)
If not the first
This was the fecund love.

(Acsah)
Full of zest and thirst,
She springs with agility.

(Abigail)
Her soul bound with mine in
The bundle of the living.

(Shulamite)
Gracefulness and dignity,
Embrue each footstep.

(Woman of Worth)
More valuable than rubies
This woman I have found!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

VICTOR

If Satan offered natural resource
In face of Christ's apparent need of food
The Lord displayed that He had amplitude
Because the word of God was His recourse.
If Satan proffered next the world's resource
It and its power were readily eschewed
Since a dependent Man gladly pursued
A way that owned God as His only source.
Religiousness was Satan's last resource
In imitation of what God found good
But for the Lord, whose spirit was imbrued
By faith, this last temptation had no force.

So Satan left Him for a time - and found
The tide of grace was sweeping his domain;
So when he challenged Jesus yet again
It was with force, the power of death, and fear.
He could not understand One who was bound
By love with which force could not interfere.

The altar's horns were of itself; it stood
Four-square; it bore the heat; and God had seen
Under the copper was acacia wood.

Friday, 27 March 2015

ACCOMPLISHED RIGHTEOUSNESS

Despite man's sanctimonious gloss
And actual wickedness
The Lord of glory, on the cross,
Accomplished righteousness.

Since Christ did all He had to do
To free God's heart to bless
His resurrection witnessed to
Accomplished righteousness.

Because the Father saw how great
His Well-beloved's success
Christ was caught up , to celebrate
Accomplished righteousness.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

JEHOVAH IS MY SHEPHERD

The wolves circle; eyes
Of lions peer through the scrub.
A bear's shadow looms:
Jehovah is my Shepherd.

Mire here; there a treachery
Of scree; I probe the peat,
Scud on poor footing:
Jehovah is my Rock.

Clouds shadow; shadows
lengthen; night edges
Over the horizon:
Jehovah is my Light.

Sin wars against me; Satan
Attempts to entangle me;
Terror on every side:
Jehovah is my Fortress.

Sins assail me; closely
Satan presses me; how
Stand or withstand?
Jehovah is my Shield.

Held; above the battle,
Glimpsing His glimpses
Of man's trite warfare:
Jehovah is my high Tower.

In my place of safety
Enfolded, I can exclaim
Joyfully: Jehovah
Is my Strength and Song.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

JEHOVAH IS MY STRENGTH ...

Beloved, join the ransomed throng
Who sing in jubilation,
'Jehovah is my strength and song
And He is my salvation'.

Toward heaven where they all belong
They sing in celebration,
'Jehovah is my strength and song
And He is my salvation'.

Their faith in God has made them strong
To sing in exultation
'Jehovah is my strength and song
And He is my salvation'.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

JEHOVAH IS MY SHIELD

Despite the rigour of the darts
That Satan's forces wield
I have the peace that God imparts:
"Jehovah is my shield".

Despite the rage of wind and seas
Whose heaving billows shock
I am secure, yet on my knees:
"Jehovah is my rock".

Though Satan rails at me - or charms - 
I shall reach home at length
As held by the eternal arms:
"Jehovah is my strength".

And as I journey to the place
To which I now belong
having the benefit of grace
"Jehovah is my ... song".

Saturday, 21 March 2015

THE MAN

Outcast and downtrodden
Were drawn in and uplifted
By the compassionate Man.

Sorrows, sinfulness, rejection
Bore on the spirit
Of the suffering Man.

Yet beyond man's sight, God
Delighted in the lineaments
Of the heavenly Man.

Man's coarseness roughed Him up;
God's justice smote Him,
The crucified Man.

But God ensured by His servants
The care of the body
Of the incorruptible Man

Till as sign of God's favour
His brethren beheld
The risen Man.

Heaven acclaimed,
As He passed through in triumph,
The ascended Man.

Lord Jesus, come!
Our hearts are longing for Thee,
The coming Man.


Friday, 20 March 2015

CARRY

He and He alone
Can carry His people through
With grace for each hour.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

ASCENT VII

Tearlessness ‑ He will preside
Where not cheeks only but eyes
Will have received God's personal attention;
There, Minister of the Sanctuary, He,
Sweet Psalmist of Israel will orchestrate
Response. Under the King's direction
Instruments He has made will answer
To long years tautening and tuning,
To provide God what He first desired:
Amid the praises of His people ‑ a home.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

ASCENT VI

Peerlessness ‑ whether the descent
To the lower parts of the earth, whether
Ascent above all heavens;
Or simply child, man, carpenter,
Preacher and sufferer, not one
Can compare: how rightly therefore,
His worth proved, He has the place
We could not give though knowing He
Deserves it ‑ accommodated on the Father's
Throne, coronated in His affections:
And among His brethren, those equipped
To surround His glory, refracting
To the magnification of His splendour.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

ASCENT V

Fearlessness ‑ our Hero went
The downward track, face set
Steadfastly; unencumbered by
A great man's armour He advanced
Against both death and its wielder
In the name of God whose ranks they defied:
By death death has been wrested
Into His victorious hand. Shielded
By the Conqueror's shield, defended
By His sword, victors by His victory
We cleave to our Deliverer.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

ASCENT IV

Blamelessness ‑ what these hands
(Blessing, healing, suffering) did,
What the pure heart felt, what
The descendent mind thought, perfected
For priesthood, ascent to the mount of God,
A stance in His holy place. Hands
Filled, consecrated, from God to men,
To God from men He served ‑ to what
Extent? By the eternal Spirit He,
Spotless, offered Himself to God.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

ASCENT III

Tirelessness ‑ season after season:
Ploughing the clogging soil (smelling
Freshness of clods); sowing good seed
Broadcast, tending, daily
Enduring that day's work, sustained
By the joy lying before, the vision
Of gold grain rippling in the breeze,
Foresight of the glory of the harvest.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

ASCENT II

Selflessness: always the sheep,
All wanderers and all in need,
Brambled, fallen, or sickening,
Occupied His days. Touching,
Searching and healing He cared for them;
Whatever the distance, the hour, the depths,
Like the urgent benighted fisher
He was on call and on duty. Tenderly
He bore the lambs; patiently
Led the sheep; constantly was door
To their fold: both in metaphor and fact
He laid down His life for the sheep.

Monday, 9 March 2015

ASCENT I

Homelessness: Adam's condition,
Ousted from Eden, He took part in
From His moment of birth. A beast has its earth;
A bird its nest; even the sun its tent;
He had nowhere to lay His head.
He must pass by foot the land's length,
Becoming wearied, requesting refreshment,
His feet roughed by shards of stone.
Though always purposefully advancing to that ultimate  
Homelessness; friendlessness  
That through anguish for men He should secure
Never to be lacked, God's concept of home.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Thursday, 5 March 2015

DAVID

A man went to the valley of trees
Lordly face like a sword-edge.
Goliath might scorn, Goliath might spurn
Loud as wolves his howls of disdain.
Ardent man, sapient man, distinctive man
David had pierced bear and lion.
Harsh in the skull he would drive his stone,
Accurate, brash weapon on brow.
At his feet the shield-lord bowed humbly,
Fleet Philistines, hero-wrenched, fled.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

ANNA

On the prison lines
Queued to solace through small gratings
The barred, one woman -
Her soul stretched thin between
Inside and outside - discovered
The poetess. Her suffering asked,
“Can you describe this?” Knowing
The muscularity of description, the poetess,
Russian to Russian, woman to woman, said,
With the boldness of simplicity, “Yes, I can”.


Once in a while the verse is not specifically Christian; this relates to Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966).

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

VINES

A vine was before me,
Said the saint.
It budded and it blossomed,
Its clusters ripened into grapes
And the fulness of the vintage
Was all for God.

I went down into the garden,
Said the Bridegroom,
To see if the vine budded,
If there was something
Fresh, in response to Myself.

Should I leave my new wine,
Said the saint,
Which cheers God and man,
The product of His sunshine,
His husbandry and pruning?

I will go out and savour,
Said the Bridegroom,
Of the clusters of the vine
And the best of the wine...

That floweth straight,
Said the bride,
To my Beloved.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

ENOCH

How many realised as Enoch trod
A separate way through earth's fresh thorn and thistle
It was because his was a walk with God?
Did such a path of faith make sinners bristle?

God gave the word to answer men's complaints,
Resounding to us still from Jude's epistle:

The Lord will come with myriads of His saints!