Sunday, 31 August 2008


As beneficiaries of grace
Enrolled in the illustrious ranks
Of those who come before Thy face,
Our Father, we give thanks.

Initiates of love's design,
Acted upon in love's great ways,
Robed and secured in love divine,
Father, we give Thee praise.

As welcome to Thy residence
And liberated to explore
The splendours of its ambience,
Our Father, we adore.

Saturday, 30 August 2008



A paean,
Eruption of soul and spirit,
Touching the King.

Bursting from silence
I prophesy the Coming One,
The Day Spring.

Stolid, a craftsman, why
Choose me as trustee of
The Holy Thing?

Though the weather cuts
And stones abrade,
Nettles and thorns sting

We glory in our pilgrimage
More than in ease
Or governing

Glad to be encumbered ‑
Gold, frankincense and myrrh ‑
By gifts we bring.

More than an angel
Redeemed, directed, lightened,
I now can sing.

Friday, 29 August 2008



You know the mountains cragged with snow
And all the grandeurs which pervade them?
I know
The One who made them.

You know the tender flowers which grow
Through suns and winds which bloom and fade them?
I know
The One who made them.

You know the mighty rivers flow
Where human works cannot evade them?
I know
The One who made them.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


Seeing a man
Whose hearing and speech were bound
Jesus groaned.

Beside the grave of Lazarus,
Pained by the power of death on human lives,
He groaned in spirit.

Over Jerusalem,
His loved city, audibly,
He wept.

Upon the cross,
Before He died, He uttered
A loud cry.

Into His own,
A raised, risen Man,
He breathed.

We await
His coming, His triumphant

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


The cross of Christ, on which He bore
The sins of all who own His claim,
Displays that God, for evermore,
Has finished with the man of shame
And shows the fulness of God's grace
Which has secured our heavenly place.

The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son,
Propitiation for all sin,
Is witness that the work is done
Which makes us free to come within
The presence of a holy God
To know His love; to give Him laud.

The water from His smitten side
Is witness that His work's complete;
And in each mind that work applied
Ensures for us this world's defeat,
For we may be, while here below,
Made clean, by virtue of that flow.

Monday, 25 August 2008


He's a perfectionist, Uzziel:
Smooth stone clings to smooth stone,
Jointed together. He works slowly
Bringing to masonry
The goldsmith's carefulness.

You can smell it on his clothes,
He is not used to the dust of building,
Yet he works stolidly,
Hananiah the perfumer.
His muscles ache but grow firmer.

Strange to see Rephaiah,
Ruler of half Jerusalem,
Out of his council robes,
Grubbing among the rubble,
Hammer and chisel in hand.

With his house facing the danger
‑Storms and stones and arrows‑
Jedaiah (his wife and children
Cowering in the yard)
Has the greatest incentive to labour:
He builds for strength, not beauty.

I know little of Hattush.
He is a reticent man.
He structured this rampart alone.

Malchijah was not content
‑His own patch established‑
To lounge, watching his fellows
Still struggling at their tasks.
His energy and time
He spent on this wall and tower:
He had his friend Hasshub to help.

Look at those girls!
Shallum, the other ruler,
Having no son
Has his daughters labouring for him,
Measuring, chiselling, carrying:
They are forming a sturdy bulwark.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


Oh what will it be to see Jesus
The Man who enraptures my heart?
I'll gaze on His face
And drink in His grace
And know I will never depart.

In mercy and grace He has saved me
Enduring both darkness and pain;
In sorrow and loss
He died on the cross
That I might have pleasure and gain.

He gives me the sense of His presence
And cheers me with touches of love
But soon it will be
With joy I will see
My Saviour as with Him above.

Oh what will it be to see Jesus
And gaze on His face evermore
To find in that sight
Eternal delight:
To worship, admire and adore!

Saturday, 23 August 2008


By my feet my hammer;

At my side my spear;

Over me blood and water;

In my hand a treasure ‑
A seamless garment.

Friday, 22 August 2008


Father, Thy glory radiating out
Around the vast creation Thou hast planned
Bows us as in its splendid rays we stand;
Removes from us unfaithfulness and doubt.

Only through Jesus can we enter in:
But for His work we would be lost in night.
Now through His work we too are His delight;
The sinless One removed, for Thee, our sin.

In Thine own nature Thou art ever love;
Thou art revealed in Christ, Thy well‑loved Son.
Only as in the worth of that blest One
May we be brought before Thyself above.

To Thee belongs the worship of our heart
For the magnificence of all Thou dost;
Now, to Thy glory, sons, a loving host
Respond for all Thy works and all Thou art.

Thursday, 21 August 2008



She, in her own flesh,
Enfolded the holy thing
Awaiting its birth.

Motherly, she swathed
The Child, lovely to God,
In the warm swaddling bands.

More treasured that gold
She wrapped in her mind
Words, prophecies, actions.

Though she was not among those,
Brother and sister and mother,
Embracing Him in their circuit,

His time come
She stood beside the cross,
The sword entering her soul.

She saw the dank tomb
Enclosing in harsh rock
The linen‑swaddled body.

Proof of His glorified life
Soon she forever enshrines
The Holy Spirit of God.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


With silver, precious stones, and gold
I built a delicate, costly tower;
Chryselephantine work extolled
My Master, to its utmost power ‑
But storms arose ‑ it would not stand
For it was founded upon sand.

Again ‑ but now on rock ‑ I built
An edifice designed to swell
The praise of Him who bore my guilt;
I thought my work had progressed well
But fire demolished all I saw
‑ Since it was wood and grass and straw.

Lord, let me build on Thee alone
According to Thy heavenly plan
And let me be a living stone
Solely for Thee, and not for man;
And if the glory all is Thine
The happiness and peace are mine.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Physicists say the atom
Comprises a nucleus
Surrounded by electrons
Perpetually gyrating,
Minus attracted by plus.

And biologists aver
A nucleus is the germ
Of even the smallest cell ‑
Each part derives from its genes
In structure, function and health.

Astronomers have revealed
A system thirled to the sun
Where planets and comets wheel,
Faster as they are nearer,
As attracted by its bulk.

I also need a centre
To attract my wandering,
Concentrate my endeavour,
Structure me, forge me newly
And, warming me, make me live.

What ideology can
Pivot my life? What weltgeist
Can guide me? None. But one Man
Is able and willing. I
Cling to my Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, 18 August 2008


The Father purposed there should be a bride
As counterpart for His beloved Son.
Soon Christ will have the assembly by His side
As fruit of what God’s counsels had begun.

The Spirit came and works to bring the bride
Into the presence of the heavenly Man;
He decks with treasures God loved to provide
To suit her now according to God’s plan.

The cost was Christ’s - for her He gave His life
Because He knew the joy that lay before;
Faithfully now she acts as comely wife
And waits to be beside Him evermore.

Sunday, 17 August 2008


All that we have, we have in Jesus:
Our access is through Him alone.
He bore ours sins and condemnation,
But now He’s on the Father’s throne.

Saturday, 16 August 2008


The Saviour took the sinner’s place;
And the effect, unmingled grace
Now freely flowing forth.

God shared with Him the greatest height:
And the effect, the Spirit’s might
Now freely flowing forth.

Christ sent the Spirit from above;
And the effect in hearts, God’s love
Now freely flowing forth.

God sees the end of all His ways;
And the effect, eternal praise
Now freely flowing forth.

Monday, 11 August 2008


Grace does what it wills
in line with the nature of
Him who acts in grace.

Trace all your blessing
to the abundant love of
Him who acts in grace.

Base you assurance
on the unchangingness of
Him who acts in grace.

Place all your future
in the unfailing hands of
Him who acts in grace.

Face all that befalls
confident in the care of
Him who acts in grace.

Thursday, 7 August 2008


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.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Oh families of Seth
Forsake weak, mortal man;
Forsake the shades of night;
Come to the greatest light
Since sin's career began -
The Lord is out of death!

He suffered to atone
And bore the weight of sin;
He entered into death
And yielded up His breath.
He rose; He entered in -
The Lord is on the throne!

Though patriarchs remain
Within the graves of Heth
Christ watches every place
Which He will breach through grace:
The One who conquered death -
The Lord - will come again.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


If she had stood
Like a blasted tree
By the shore of the shivering sea

How had she become
Like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with summer fruit?

She had learnt
To swerve no more beneath the knife;

To welcome One Wiser as
He chose to lop
Branch after branch.

More fruit bodied
In its own ripe season.

Monday, 4 August 2008


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.

Sunday, 3 August 2008


"Practice, yes ‑ but practice only
May be repetition of error; understanding
Is required; hand, elbow and shoulder
Must be and must remain in line.
If the hand wavers the surface cut
May be straight but the done work
Will reveal the wavering line. And the mind
Must exclude all else, concentrate
On its one objective, its single achievement."

Saturday, 2 August 2008


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.

Written over the course of a three-day meeting.

Friday, 1 August 2008


Perfection towards God - Jesus portrayed,
The root and fruit, obedience and praise;
Perfection towards man - He would amaze
Men by the wealth of blessing He displayed;
Perfection towards duties - so He made
Arrangements for His mother’s coming days;
Perfection towards Himself - He in His ways
Showed how a saint of God should be arrayed.

And all was evenness, as when a tree
In the best light, and ideal soil grows round,
Presenting the same look at every side;
But He was like this though the soil might be
Dry, and although men’s roughness might surround.
In God alone, in rest, He could confide.