Tuesday, 31 March 2009


God’s wisdom first provided it;
God gives the power that’s requisite;
And through His grace He makes us fit.

Monday, 30 March 2009


We saw a trampled
Sapling, a columnless plinth,
A guttering flame.

He saw perfection;
Only that pearl, of that size,
Would suit His setting.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


Lord Jesus, Saviour, serve us
Mid sins that might infect us,
From which we might receive ill;
And make us really free;
"Preserve us;
Protect us;
Keep us from evil;
Help us to walk with Thee."

The last four lines were the constant prayer of an aged saint, week by week in the prayer meeting.

Saturday, 28 March 2009


Your life lies in front
like a wide open door,
With so much to see
and so much to explore:
Are you ready to go,
Imogen Jo?

You've a dad and a mum
who will keep by your side,
But you'll only be safe
When you've Christ as your Guide
Are you ready to go,
Imogen Jo?

Although Ingrid and Arwyn
will help when life's tough,
You need Jesus as help
when the going is rough:
Are you ready to go,
Imogen Jo?

Though the path may be rough
and the way may be long,
If you've Christ in your heart
you can go with a song:
Are you ready to go,
Imogen Jo?

There's a way that seems good
with its tinsel and gloss
But the way that is safe
is the way of the cross:
Are you ready to go,
Imogen Jo?

Friday, 27 March 2009


Help me, Lord Jesus, to provide
The wood offering - to maintain
What is for thy service, without
Pretension, to dependably
Supply unmemorable and
Unsung effort. As others have
Laboured, their names now known only
To God, make me expendable,
Reduced to ash. As Urijah
Would not act for his own comfort
If the Ark and God’s people were
In the fields, even if it meant
His death. As Naboth of Jizreel
Would not abandon his father’s land
Whatever the cost - even if
It meant his death. As Christ’s bondman
Paul spent and was spent, night and day,
That God’s service should continue,
That God’s testimony remain,
Even to the point of his death.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Go up to the mountain and bring wood
That the house of God may be built;
Long since should your sloth have been eschewed,
With your selfishness and your guilt.

Go bearing your axe to hew down trees
That the house’s beams may be strong.
Your vigour will not regret your ease
As you quit the place of your wrong.

How long will you sow but will not reap,
Have your gains in bags full of holes?
The house of your God lies waste, a heap -
Rise, for benefit of your souls.

Go, find there is wood to bear each weight,
There is wood whose scent is refined,
And wood to be carved to decorate
Till God’s house accords to His mind.

How soon will your blessing have accrued!
God will give your singing a lilt:
Go up to the mountain and bring wood
That the house of God may be built.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


To make the Ark required acacia wood:
A supple wood, well able to endure
And thus to bear the testimony through.
The copper altar required acacia too
To bear the fire and all the heat produced
That God’s delight should daily be ensured.
But this wood also standing as it was hewn
Formed boards by which the tabernacle stood
Since only this in all its strength conduced
To form the tent which God Himself would choose.
One kind of Man could be before God’s heart:
Suited to God within His inner Man.
Only the Christ could be the perfect Ark,
One kind of Man in sufferings and charm
Clears the approach by which we may advance
To God’s abode where we may boldly stand.
One kind of manhood alone is consonant
With Christ Himself and God can rest in that.
Men after Christ now have their heavenly part
Which will remain when death and sin are past.


You may know the interpretation
Of each passage. But for a moment
Think of it like this - each one
Clung to something of Jesus; whether
In peace or war, whatever they confronted
They clung to Him. Oh! let me follow their
Example, cling to Christ if in conflict,
Lean on Him in worship. And if we
Can speak of one who will keep us
Without stumbling, how are we sustained?
Depending on our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, 23 March 2009


Benaiah, the soldier,
Could use his staff as a weapon
To wrest the Egyptian’s spear.

David, the psalmist,
Knowing God’s staff and rod
Bore his own staff to the conflict.

Jonathan, gatherer,
Used his staff at the time of his triumph
To harvest honey.

The princes, princely,
Dug with their staves
The well in the plains.

Aaron, the priest,
Was possessor of the rod which
Budded, blossomed, and brought forth almonds.

Moses, shepherd,
Had the staff of God
For authority and supply.

And Jacob, wanderer,
Home at last,
Worshipped on the top of his staff.

Sunday, 22 March 2009


Jehovah showed Moses wood
Without God showing us
We would not discern
The distinctiveness of His Man.

Jehovah showed Moses wood
Not distinguishing the variety
No species can encompass
The distinctiveness of His Man.

Jehovah showed Moses wood
Our bitterness
Would only be dispelled by
The distinctiveness of His Man.

Jehovah showed Moses wood
It has always been His delight
To see, and to bring to our sight,
The distinctiveness of His Man.

Saturday, 21 March 2009


Amid man’s constant grappling,
His insolence and fraud
Christ was a tender sapling
Before the eye of God.

He did not take resources
From man’s domain of dearth -
But drew from heavenly sources
Untrammelled by this earth.

And God’s heart was observant
Of that exotic Shoot,
The One who was His Servant,
Who rendered God His fruit.

Here He was the Succeeder
In God’s eternal plan -
His bearing as the cedar,
Our Bridegroom and God’s Man.

Nations will find Him tender
As He returns to stanch
Their wounds when come in splendour -
“The Man whose name is Branch”.

In power He will have finished
Man’s wilfulness and strife;
Men will taste undiminished
Fruit from the Tree of Life.

Friday, 20 March 2009


Was that too inferential for you?
Perhaps various qualities of wood
- Grains, textures, fragrances, strengths -
Interest or enlighten. History too,
Ancient sources and customs, might provoke
Emotions or thoughts. But that is below
My purpose here: as the cup-bearer
Had a vine before him I have a
Man: His qualities, mien, customs.
The grain always straight, the textures
Beyond man’s apprehension, the fragrance
What delighted God, the strength to break
Death’s power, to bear us through. Name
Once again - Man according to God.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Gopher wood had the capacity
To sustain life’s
Capacity for differentness.

“A vine was before me”
Purple with fruit for

Acacia wood could bear,
Could form unity
And could be borne.

Cypress gave its tone
To the instruments
Made from it.

Fruitfulness was the apple tree
Distinguished among
The trees of the wood.

Excellent as the cedars!
Dignity and stateliness
Amongst the twisted thorns.

What a grand entrance
Was through
The doors of olive-wood.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


The Father brought Him near -
Up to the very brink;
How could He fail to fear
The cup He had to drink?

"He could not wish for, nor fail to fear, the forsaking of God and the cup of death He had to drink." "The Sufferings of Christ", J N Darby

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


As Christ goes out to view
The garden's fruit
To see the verdure of the valley
And find Himself anew
The joys His bride can contribute,
To dally
Blest Spirit it is Thou who dost provide
The dignity and freshness of the bride.

It was a lowly place
That Thou didst take
To bring us thus for God's own pleasure
In the divine embrace
Securing for Another's sake
His treasure
But only since divinity is Thine
Canst Thou accomplish God's supreme design.

We own Thy majesty
And worship Thee
The One by whom the worlds were garnished
Who labours every day
Till every son, drawn near, should be
And suited to the Father, while each one
Knows in his heart the Spirit of God's Son.

Monday, 16 March 2009


Lying, frail bones clear beneath the skin
She's like a tired old tale.

A chattering, clattering plot began
Delighting the evening hearth ‑

Gradually the energy waned,
The words grew slower,

Grey shades loomed from the corners,
Smothering the light,

But still the fire flickers,
The story lisps on.

Now she lies awaiting imprint
In a superior translation ‑
God's illuminated manuscript.

Written a few months before the Lord took her in 1977.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


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!

Saturday, 14 March 2009


The will of God
Was laid upon Jesus
And He
Was able to bear it.

Our iniquities
Were laid upon Jesus
And He
Was able to bear them.

Majesty and splendour
Were laid upon Jesus
And He
Is able to bear them.

Friday, 13 March 2009


Blessed God we thank Thee, for what Thou hast made us:
Sons and priests before Thee now to magnify Thy name.
Jesus is the Centre; now, with Him, we enter ‑
He once, to bring us here endured the shame.

Though complete in power, strength and might and glory
Thou dost now delight to have an answer to Thy love;
Blessing overflowing to Thy saints is showing
Grace to Thine own till called with Christ above.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


In forest darkness,
Under the wilderness glare
Or on the pleasant grasslands,
Acme of strength, He moves,
Breaking straight paths to
The watercourses.

Hearing, beyond the ear of man,
Scenting, beyond the scent of man,
Touching, as man cannot
He senses ‑ superior
In feeling as in power.

His preciousness,
His shining strength,
Intrinsically grand in life
Becomes available
Only in death.

And men collude,
Rulers, soldiers, silver‑touts;
He is betrayed, encompassed,
Who is
"Chief of God's ways".

Job 40: 19 refers to the behemoth as "chief of God's ways.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009



Tonowi, the "Rich One",
Is the Big Man;
By force of personality,
Force of management,
Pig ownership,
Force of glibness,
He tops the tribe.


Out of this form,
Unique walrus curve,
The carver, absorbed,
Will release the object,
Not for the fruit of action, but
For the action:
Art for artists sake.


Land slashed and burned
He defends, slashing
Those enemies alone
Who seek to seize it:
He does not fire
Broadcast; in this
It is he who is civilised.


Mountain bear,
For the sheep sludges through snow,
Traverses torrents, treks yearly
Two harsh migrations.
From the sheep he gains
Milk, cheese, meat, hides and wool:
And his theme of being.


From his well‑tilled plot
Fruit of the ground comes
For lavish giftings,
Feasts, planned long before.
Fame will enhance his
Family when thus
Finest foodstuffs flow.


He is a sharer:
Out of his affluence,
And lack of greed,
He partakes with his kin
In his prey, their prey,
The women's produce,
Giving and friendship.


Pure in walking
In standing, or sitting,
Delighting in God's law;
Pondering it
He, planted by brooks of water,
Giving seasonal fruit,
Is the man who will prosper.

By way of explanation - the first six are human peoples throughout the world. The last is from Hosea 2: 1 a people "having obtained mercy".

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


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.

Monday, 9 March 2009


Since by the cross she pinned it to her God
Her reverent spirit cherub trumpeted
Flies towards the sacrifice her praises led
From her crossed heart death makes no change to living
Then from the eternal soul erupts a laud
Burst climacteric to the blessing giving.

Taken from my baroque period!

Sunday, 8 March 2009


All depends on this:
The Son of God loved me, and
Gave Himself for me.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


Although He had no
Place to lay His head, kindly
He gives me a bed!

Friday, 6 March 2009


Mists, low cloud, wettings,
Sore feet, flashings of beauty -
These are my mountains!

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Thoughts flit and hover -
A pen is a useful thing
With which to perch them.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Mint or curry are
Extreme; taste distinguishes
More subtle flavours.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


Cool clouds drift over
Ponderous with rain for me,
Gravid with mercy.

Monday, 2 March 2009


Wisdom and knowledge
Which is pure and heavenly
Are seen in God’s word.

Sunday, 1 March 2009


When Jesus blessed He did not end at that
But always found some extra touch to add:
Legion He left not only healed but clad;
One blind man saw but also found a path
In which to follow Him who repelled the dark;
Christ raised the maiden then mercifully asked
For food for her to guard against relapse;
The paralytic, before his ailment passed,
Found he was given the secret of God's heart:
His sins forgiven, himself secured from wrath;
Another blind man although himself outcast
Gained knowledge of the glories of the Man.