Friday, 31 July 2015

THE HOLY SPRIT (iii)

Eleven men were standing
Beside the fervent preacher;
But - he'd denied the Master!
How could they stand with Peter?
The Spirit's power commanded
New courage and fresh speaking
Transforming all their actions.

What kind of men were needed
To do the menial business?
Men who we filled, like Stephen,
With wisdom and the Spirit.
His service superseded:
Towards God's people, Israel,
He preached God's last appealing.

And such a man was Philip
Who, having served at tables,
Soon was evangelistic -
Directed to the waste-land
He listened to the Spirit
And preached the Christ as Saviour
Until he was uplifted.

The Spirit had selected
A "son of consolation"
From Antioch's assembly
To join with Paul's campaigning -
Subject to Him, their service
Towards those of the nations
Was powerful and effectual.

After he was forbidden
To speak the word in Asia,
Sensitive to the Spirit
Of Jesus, Paul first waited;
Then came the westward vision
And Europe was invaded
To spread the Saviour's kingdom.

Imprisoned for His Master
The great apostle listened
(Unwillingly laid fallow)
To promptings of the Spirit.
As living in their grandeur
He told in His epistles
God thoughts in all their vastness.

While on the Isle of Patmos,
Becoming in the Spirit,
John saw again his Master,
If in a changed condition.
He thus was undistracted
To hear of God's provisions
To settle Earth's transactions.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

THE HOLY SPIRIT (ii)

"The Holy Spirit shall come
Upon thee", the angel said:
Conceived by power from above
In wonders no words can express
The One now known as the Son
Embarked on no path on earth
Unless the Spirit's power worked.

To be baptised in Jordan
Jesus had faithfully come;
After He left the water
Heaven acknowledged His worth:
In form as with a body,
Fashioned as that of a dove,
The Spirit came upon Him.

Then towards the wilderness
The Son of God was driven,
As the Holy Spirit led,
To force the devil's kingdom;
Satan's promptings were dispelled:
Inditings of the Spirit
Must repel the devil's strength".

"I, by the Spirit of God",
He told them, "cast out demons".
Who had the right but the Lord
To exercise His freedom?
Being the Man that He was
The meek, dependent Jesus,
Showed, by the Spirit, God's law.

By the eternal Spirit
He offered Himself to God;
Even that greatest giving
Was dependently performed;
Dying for us, as living,
He must, by the Spirit, accord
Truly with man's condition.

Having brought to them His peace
The Lord as a risen Man
Sent His own forth as in-breathed,
The Spirit within their hearts;
Out of death He did not cease
To use as He gave their charge
Holy Spirit in each deed.

Ascended at God's right hand,
Being the Man that He is,
His primary manward act
Was to establish this link -
The Spirit was sent to hearts
Formed to receive such a gift
To promulgate Love's commands.

Monday, 27 July 2015

THE HOLY SPIRIT (i)


Over the waste and the depths
Hovered the Spirit of God,
Mourning the ruin and dearth,
Longing for life to respond;
Out of the chaos of Earth,
Something would answer His call:
Something would breathe with His breath.

A few selected servants
Gave a place on which to be:
A Samson or a Jephthah
Could not furnish lasting peace.
In even David's fervour
Rest could not be complete:
That needed Someone perfect.

But He could rest on Jesus
Sublimely and entirely;
There He could dwell in freedom
After His years of striving:
If that strife had been ceaseless
As Jesus moved towards dying
That Dwelling-place was peaceful.

Then the Holy Spirit came
Down from the ascended Man;
On the Pentecostal day
Many hear the heavenly blast
And beheld the tongues of flame.
Christ enthroned at God's right hand
This descending predicates.

Now within suited persons
Secured for God by the Lord,
He has acquired a dwelling
Replete with what He has sought;
Each is a holy temple
To show the God of glory
Being a home forever.

Now within the Assembly
Brought to the Lord by Himself
He can distribute blessing
Out of this place of His rest;
Here in peace he can relish
Growth of the Bride He indwells,
Fit for Christ to cherish.

Till as result of His work -
Making her suited to Christ,
Helping her savour His love -
She will conform to God's mind;
Joining their voice in one word
Spirit and Bride can unite,
Calling for Jesus to come.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

HOLY SPIRIT

But who has shown the Bride the worth of Christ
And led her to appreciate His grace?
Who makes His presence a reality
And quickens us, and strengthens us, and helps?
The Holy Spirit whom the Father sent.

Considering the Spirit’s patient work
In service to the Lord and to His bride
We honour Him; considering the end
He has achieved we bow; considering
The glory that is personally His
Although He has descended in His grace
We worship, And considering the love
Which motivates His industry, we love.

And He is with us in the Father’s house
Because He is the Spirit of God’s Son
And Spirit of adoption.  He has cried
Within us “Abba, Father” and thus taught
Sons how to speak - and given power to cry:
Give thanks to Him for making sonship real!

And for us to have access to the Father
Is a great wonder - we approach through Christ
And would not wish to come apart from Christ;
While we are strengthened by the Spirit’s power
And could not come without the Spirit’s power.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

PASSOVER

Outside is the blood
Smeared on the doorposts; inside
They feast on the lamb.

Friday, 24 July 2015

EARTH

Hewn forms; formations sculpted
Into grand beauties or grotesque grandeurs;
Softer mouldings ‑ curves and slopes,
Green with life; and the dark oceans
And white waters surging without
And springing within; crags, plains,
Swamps, meadows, savannahs, deserts,
Earth comprises. For man, carved
Arena of his actions, evoking
God's operations. God's flood
Clearing one scene conforms rock,
Water and soil to freshly construe
A place for the sons of men to be:
A place for the Son of God to effect
Purposes of God conceived outwith
Time, sin, earth and man.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED

Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe on God, believe also on me.  In my Father's house there are many abodes; were it not so, I had told you: for I go to prepare you a place; and if I go and shall prepare you a place, I am coming again and shall receive you to myself, that where I am ye also may be.  John 14: 1-3.

                              I

Let not your heart be troubled God reminds,
Our life is hid with Jesus Christ on high.
So, brethren, let us shake the ties that bind
Us fast onto things that can’t satisfy.
Our tears and sufferings may drag us low,
And make us feel devoid of hope or song,
But Jesus left us here a while to go
Prepare the perfect home for which we long.
Let’s hold onto this hope, though comes the rain.
Our Savior’s hands will soon remove our tears.
The memories of our trials won’t remain,
Just joy and bliss through endless, endless, years.
So put on joy for trials will not stay,
And live for Christ until this blessed day.


© Rachel Svendsen 2014

                            II

"Let not your heart be troubled", Jesus told
The eleven as He girt them for their grief:
Knowing their faith in God He could unfold
That He would be their Object of belief.
He told them, "In the Father's house there are
Many abodes"; He would prepare a place
Distinctly ours, above the highest star,
Where we shall be before the Father's face.

"I go", He told them, and the going meant
The cross, the tomb, the garden, and the throne;
He came alone; but through the way He went
The Christ our Lord did not remain alone.

For, taken from the scene where we have grieved,
It is unto Himself we are received.

David C Brown


                               III


Always there comes this parting of the ways
The best is wrested from us, borne away,
No one is with us always, nothing stays,
Night swallows even the most perfect day.
Time makes a tragedy of human love,
We cleave forever to the one we choose
Only to find ‘forever’ in the grave.
We have just time enough to love and lose.

You know too well this trouble in our hearts
Your heart is troubled for us, feels it too,
You share with us in time that shears and parts
To draw us out of time and into you.
I go that you might come to where I am
Your word comes home to us and brings us home.


Malcolm Guite

I was interested to see these reactions in sonnets to John 14.  Links to the other writers are:
http://rachelsvendsen.com/2014/11/11/sonnet-john-141-6/
https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/let-not-your-hearts-be-troubled-a-new-sonnet/

I have received Rachel Svendsen's permission to post here, and assumed that of Malcolm Guite.

Monday, 20 July 2015

CLOTHING

Marred by rebellion, which God loathed,
And cast out by their sin
Adam and Eve still go out clothed
By God in coats of skin.
So though we all display sin’s taint
By habit and by birth
We may go forth without restraint
Clothed in the Saviour’s worth.

The younger son was steeped in wrongs
God could not but detest -
The Father shows where he belongs
And clothes him in His best.
And thus repentant sinners find,
Though consciously undone,
God’s every act towards them is kind -
He clothes them in His Son.

Though merely human goodness drags
The priest’s clothes in the mire
God substitutes for filthy rags
His festival attire -
Outwith the range of Satan’s barb
We stand before God’s face
In pure and splendid priestly garb
Made suitable through grace.

The elders sit around the throne
Each clothed in robes of white,
Secured by God to be His own
And dwell with Him in light:
All thought of variation past
Through Christ they are complete;
They bow before the throne and cast
Their crowns before His feet.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

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.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

AUNTIE LIZ

Dear Ingrid, you will never know
Your dear old Auntie Liz,
You’ll have no chance for her to show
Her sparkle and her fizz.

You’ll see her figure and her form
Fixed in a photograph
But you will never hear her warm
Reverberating laugh.

You will not have the chance to share
The days when she is glad;
Nor need to join with us in prayer
In days when she is sad.

You will not laugh along with her
At her own quaint behaviour;
His grace has taken her to where
She’s with her Lord and Saviour.

The One who promised He would keep
Her safe from fears and harms
Has gently nestled her to sleep
Within His tender arms.

Dear Ingrid, in this world of sin
To travel without scathe
Trust in the Lord she trusted in
And imitate her faith.


Written shortly after my sister-in-law's death - when Ingrid my granddaughter and her great-niece was tiny.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Blest Spirit, we delight to chart
Thine operations in God's ways,
Spreading God's love within our heart,
Evoking thus responsive praise.

Thy power, blest Spirit, is displayed
In quickening those who are elect
And forming, till there is portrayed
"Love in the Spirit" in effect.

Coming on Jesus as a dove,
Or coming on Christ's church to be
With us, exemplify Thy love
And move our hearts in love to Thee.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

THE LORD OF GLORY

(To Cwm Rhondda)

As I see the Lord of glory
In His lowly service here
Showing that the grace of heaven
In Himself was drawing near
He must increase,
I must decrease:
He who walked in lowly grace
Well deserves the highest place.


As I see the Lord of glory
Bearing wrath without relief
On the cross, enduring for me
This unmitigated grief
He must increase,
I must decrease:
He who touched the depths in grace
Well deserves the highest place.

As I see the Lord of glory
Seated on the Father's throne
With salvation undertaken
And secured by Him alone
He must increase,
I must decrease:
He who serves us there in grace
Well deserves the highest place.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

FAITHFUL GUARD OF ISRAEL


Faithful Guard of Israel
From my soul great joy doth well:
Thou dost know the grief that rolls
On our feeble Christian souls;
Oh, our Guard without repose,
Without slumber, smile on those
On whose souls thy help arose.

See how anguish and distress
As surrounding us oppress:
Daily is the path more fraught:
Help preserve what Thou has taught;
Death will be victorious
- And our sight see nothing thus -
If Thou dost not stand with us.
 
Jesus, Thou with Jesus' name,
Helping us as Jesus came,
Help us now with Thy strong hand,
Deftly aid a helpless band:
Build around us thy great wall,
That our enemy may pall
And before Thy face may fall.

May Thy Father's powerful arm
Shelter us from every harm;
Manifest to us Thy might
Which we hope for day and night;
Scatter evil by Thy sword
Till all men with one accord
Recognise Thee as their Lord

Others trust in their own might,
To have luck, to be a knight.
All Thy Christians trust in Thee
Who their Help wilt ever be.
Let us not be drawn away,
Help and Counsellor each day,
Watching us in every way.
 
Thou art now a Man of war,
Champion we are waiting for,
Shattering the sword and spear,
Making bow's might disappear,
Setting chariots on the pyre,
Setting human hearts afire
Till Thy triumph is entire.
 
Thou as the true Prince of Peace
From distress will bring release;
Through Thy dying to atone
Peace with God again is known.
Give us peace mercifully!
We will answer joyfully,
Praising Thee eternally.

Reposting of my attempt at a translation (with help of our friend Google).

Saturday, 11 July 2015

IDOLS

1 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.

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

3 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.

4 Not the crushing of those idols,
With its bitter void and smart;
But the beaming of His beauty,
The unveiling of His heart.

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

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

7 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?

Miss Ora Rowan (1834-1879)

Thursday, 9 July 2015

BANQUET

(Exodus 12)
Foremost, He served me
Lamb, the passover - but balanced,
With the unleavened bread,
And herbs: bitters.

(Exodus 16)
A profusion, honey-sweet,
Like oil-cakes, fine
Manna. But
I had to gather it.

(Numbers 13)
Tastes of the land
He gave grapes,
Figs and pomegranates.

(Leviticus 3)
And the company!
For He shared with me
Peace-offerings: cattle
And sheep and goats ...

(Leviticus 2)
The food-offering too
He shared; but had His own
Special portion. But such fineness
To sustain me as a priest!

(Joshua 5: 10)
Again He plied me
With the food never
To be forgotten,
The passover.

(Joshua 5: 11)
 Lastly, from His land where
He made me at home,
Store-corn, risen life
Garnered for Himself.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

WALKING

"What God did not find
In Adam in the garden
He found in Enoch."

This is a pick out from Ministry of J Taylor Vol 25 P89

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

GLORIFYING

How Jesus dignified
The manger that He graced!

How Jesus magnified
The cross that He endured!

How Jesus glorifies
The hearts He dwells in!

Monday, 6 July 2015

TO A REPENTING SINNER

You would not have Him reign
As King, alone;
When He shall come again
You'll share His throne.



Another found in the drawer!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

JUBILATE

God is good;
  God is kind;
    God is great:
Praise His Name;
  Find His help;
    Celebrate!

God is wise;
  God is light;
    God is great;
Know His love;
  Sing His praise;
    Jubilate!

God is just;
  God is true;
    God is great;
Drink His grace;
  Taste His love;
    Mark each trait!



This is one I'd forgotten that I found when tidying a drawer!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS XIV

Blessed are all who have their trust in him:
Blessed ye poor, for Christ shall do you good;
Blessed ye hungry, Christ shall be your food;
Blessed ye weepers, though today seems grim
He'll bless you till the cup o'erflow the brim;
Blessed ye persecuted when pursued:
He will give grace with which to be embrued
And blessing's river in which you may swim.

Blessed with eternal blessings may we bring
Our tribute to the One by whom we're blessed
And may His Name and glory be confessed
By saints of elevated pedigree
Who now, and to eternal ages say,
"I love the Saviour since He died for me!"

Friday, 3 July 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS XIII

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
The psalmist says, and so I love to see
His words, yet what the Spirit caused to be,
Inevitably delicately phrased;
And when he tells of Thee, I am amazed,
Lord Jesus, while his words apply to me,
But as for me I will confide in Thee,
While I see moral worth keenly appraised.

I will behold thy face in righteousness
And until then, when blessings are unmixed,
My heart is fixed, my God, my heart is fixed
And I sing psalms though things are bright or dim
For I confide in Christ, who came to bless:
Blessed are all who have their trust in him.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS XII

There is in love a sweetnesse readie penn'd
Copie out only that, and save expense:
So I attempt to write without pretense
Letting love give what it may choose to send.
Love is the goal; love is the way we wend
And we are Christ's and He our recompense. 
So, to see love where it is most intense,
Up to Mount Olivet my soul ascend.

"Sonnets are full of love", and so I love
The sonneteers: but, knowing this I pray
That ways shall not distract me from the Way,
But may my heart perpetually be raised
To love the Man upon the throne above:
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A CROWN OF SONNETS XI

Extol in various languages the Lord
Who has come near to us in all our need
And in His Father's throne will intercede.
Persons once alienated, who abhorred
The words of God, and consequently warred
Against His preachers and His truth are freed
From follies that idolatry decreed
To join words to His glory in one chord.

For I love words, and love to play on them:
But since I am fantastic and absurd
My words require subjection to the Word;
Since He is the Beginning and the End
For wordsmith who serve His Jerusalem
There is in love a sweetnesse readie penn'd.