Friday 31 July 2009


And there’s Rosalie
Who, through all her disguises,
Is a blessing too.

Thursday 30 July 2009


To touch, or to hold,
To feel, feed, knock, write, sign... hands
Have so much to do.

Wednesday 29 July 2009


Wood structures my bed,
My doors, and house - and the cross
Structures Christian life,

Tuesday 28 July 2009


No sea is so calm,
So deep or blue, as today’s
Cloudless dome of sky.

Monday 27 July 2009


In the past
Invading and enduring
The recesses of the deep
He has been shown to be
“More than Jonas”.

In the future
He will be displayed
In power and majesty -
“More than Solomon”.

In His charm and beauty,
His dignity of bearing,
His vitality and graces -
“More than beloved”.

Sunday 26 July 2009


If God has settled
Good and evil, then He can
Settle everything.

Saturday 25 July 2009


Through midday heat and midnight frost
He helped the weak and fed the sound.

He journeyed over barren ground
To find the wandering and lost.

He did not heed the awful cost
That through Him blessing might abound.

Praise shall eternally resound ‑
Oh what a Shepherd, Lord, Thou wast!

Friday 24 July 2009


There is a mind in
The Deity which has scope
Beyond human mind.

Thursday 23 July 2009


The One by whom the worlds began
Who furnished Earth by what He said
Was found in figure as a Man
Without a place to lay His Head.

By Him on good and worthless ground
The seed, the word of God, was sown
And now for His delight abound
Fruits from good ground for Him alone.

From this world's raging seas He brought
Disciples, sinners born again:
He patiently and gently taught
Till they were also "catching men".

Unending gentleness and care
For those whom men despised as least,
With constant toil for men in prayer,
Displayed perfection of a priest.

And as the perfect Victim too
He met death in the darkest hour,
Emerging as the Victor who
Quelled death and him who had its power.

Ascended high to God's right hand
He sits upon the throne of grace
Acclaimed by all who understand
He has secured their heavenly place.

And as the Chief Musician now
He moves God's service, phrase by phrase,
Touching each harp-string to endow
Eternal, orchestrated praise.

Wednesday 22 July 2009


In the consummation of the ages
There came - for One who was God -
A predicted, foreseen, time
To be born.

God’s Man, having shown perfectly
Man according to God, moved
Inexorably, and devotedly, to a time
To die.

The days of a desert life
Were, as He spread His grace
In oases of His love, a time
To plant.

Among the rebellious Jews,
Satisfied in themselves,
With sadness, He found it a time
To pluck up that which is planted.

While, when grace is rejected,
And repentance disdained,
He will institute a time
To kill

Now in the day of grace
He, from the Father’s throne,
Presides with joy over a time
To heal.

When Paul advance on Damascus
Against the name of the Lord,
And His people, it was a time
To break down.

When Paul invaded Europe
In all the power of the Lord
And His Spirit, it was a time
To build up.

If at the Bethany tomb,
Surrounded by those he loved,
Death’s influence made it a time
To weep

Yet He now sees, joyfully,
A wife who works for His will
Who sees in the dawn a time
To laugh.

As He came to the holy city,
Amid the apparent triumph,
He alone knew it a time
To mourn,

While as He looks on His spouse,
In character like Himself,
He knows that it is a time
To dance.

And the rejecting city,
Stout against the government of God,
Came, in government , to a time
To cast away stones.

But among the faithful saints
The Lord’s hand worked in might
Initiating a time
To gather stones together.

Souls who turn to Him,
Repenting from their sins,
Are welcomed in a time
To embrace,

But those who reject God’s grace
And the value of Christ’s death
Bring on themselves a time
To refrain from embracing.

He, in His shepherd love,
Uses this dispensation,
In tenderness, as a time
To seek

While those who have known that love,
Seeing their selfish wills,
Learn to come to a time
To lose.

He, in His shepherd love,
Uses the days of storm and trial,
In faithfulness, as a time
To keep.

While those who have known His love,
Seeing in their flesh the works of darkness,
Learn that it is a time
To cast away.

Seeing the ascending Man,
His fresh, and our old, garments
This has become a time
To rend.

Having our treasures with Him
It is, since we need purses
Which do not grow old, a time
To sew.

Led as a lamb to the slaughter
The Lord, in wisdom and grace,
Showed when it was a time
To keep silent.

Risen, and come to His own,
Christ, as revealer of secrets,
Came with joy to a time
To speak.

Seeing His faithful saints
Who keep His word and Name
He rejoices to tell of a time
To love

But as He views the deeds
Of those who despise His claim
Against these deeds is a time
To hate.

When He will come in power,
Conquering and to conquer,
Then it will be a time
Of war,

That He may establish in judgment,
In righteousness, and grace,
Forever and ever a time
Of peace.

Tuesday 21 July 2009


Pondering God's plan
What wonder to stand before
Its grand Architect!

I'd better credit my young brother Sam for this thought.

Monday 20 July 2009


The Baptist as he saw how Jesus trod
Exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God!”.

His faithful martyr Stephen saw Him stand
As Son of Man at God’s right hand.

The Spirit makes Christ’s glory fill our gaze -
We are transfigured by its blaze.

And soon our days of distance will be past
And we shall see His face at last.

Sunday 19 July 2009


The rich were punished
With metal - brisk swords
Or their own daggers.

The poor were punished
By wood - stocks, rods or
Slow crucifixions:

Christ took part with these.

Saturday 18 July 2009


The goodness of God
Leads men to repentance, and
Leads into blessing.

Friday 17 July 2009


He came by night because he was afraid;
He was afraid lest he besmirch his name:
And yet it was to Jesus that he came.
He came to Jesus and there heard Him relate
God loved the world so greatly that He gave
His only Son by whom we may be saved.
But Nicodemus, unhappy, went away.
Among the Pharisees he bore no weight
Yet still was one of them, not separate
As sin advanced at an increasing pace.
Was he too late? ‑ no, not too late for grace:
At last He came to help at Jesus' grave.

Thursday 16 July 2009


Consciously loved and leaning on his Lord
Who seems to us more spiritual than John?
Yet this was he whose fierce discordant thought
Showed he mistook the spirit they were of;
While his ambition was great enough to cause
Grave indignation and make the brethren wroth.
What changed the man? This was what grace had wrought:
This was what grace and grace alone could form.
Till at the end he lay within the warmth
In Jesus' bosom from whence to draw upon
The power to make him fit to meet the call
To care for Mary from Jesus on the cross.

Wednesday 15 July 2009


When Jesus first encountered Simon Peter
He saw him as a stone and named him Cephas;
But it took years of Christ's own patient dealings,
With tenderness, and close and careful teaching,
Before there was a sign of stone appearing.
Adjusted by the graciousness that reached him,
Adjusted by rebuke when it was needed,
Adjusted by the Father's jealous speaking,
Peter began displaying rocklike features;
Yet this was he who, like me, being devious
Denied his Lord and learned the grace of Jesus
Which bore him through the time of bitter weeping.

Tuesday 14 July 2009


"Have I not chosen you?" the Master said
To His disciples, His own selected twelve,
Before whose choice He prayed one whole night's length;
"Of you one is a devil", He had to tell.
"Mine intimate" and "My familiar friend" ‑
By words like these Judas had been addressed
And with what sorrow the Saviour was oppressed
To see a man, partaker of His bread,
Come with the band, betraying at the end.
As Judas kissed Him Christ did not love him less,
Calling him "Friend" in painful consciousness
That Judas moved towards a Christless death.

Monday 13 July 2009


At Jesus’ feet she listened to His word,
Her heart distracted from merely human work;
At every syllable her soul concurred
And, as she heard, profound affection burned.
But when she mourned her brother Lazarus
Down at Christ's feet, prostrated in the dust,
She showed Christ was the one to whom to turn
When grief impinges or when the way is rough.
Experience formed an ointment of great worth
To soothe His feet since Mary had begun
To know within her heart what would be done
Upon the path that led Him to the curse.

Sunday 12 July 2009


What better name than “Lazarus our friend”?
Here was a man who knew the Saviour bless
And knew the love of Christ the Lord himself
And Christ's companions, His chosen men.
Yet their affection and care could not divert
The final enemy, the force of death.
Seeing that force with all its dire effects,
Bearing it in His spirit, the Saviour wept.
His resurrection rights moved to attest
He was the Son of God with power on earth.
Lazarus raised was early evidence
The final foe, like all foes, will be quelled.

Saturday 11 July 2009


When at first Martha served she was distracted ‑
She scurried to the larder then to the pantry,
Ducked out to gather some salad from the garden,
And starting anxious she quickly ended angry ‑
"Dost Thou not care?" she boldly chid the Master
But had from Him a mild rebuke as answer.
His patience worked and through the dire disaster
Upon the family Christ's great compassion
Reforged her spirit to be a greater Martha;
If still she served with undiminished ardour
Her ordered service was not alloyed with rancour
Since Christ, not self, was object of her actions.

Friday 10 July 2009


But there were some rejecters of His words
Who saw His grace and arrogantly spurned
God's way to life, Christ and His moral worth.
Grace is not grease ‑ the Lord did not demur
But faithfully condemned them and their lusts:
He named them clearly, condemned their evil works,
And warned them of their end should they not turn.
Christ came in mercy and many knew His love
Yet to opposers His language was robust
While He gave answers that they could not rebut..
He hid from them the glories of the Son
When they neglected the One who was to come.

Thursday 9 July 2009


She came with needs bearing her water pot;
She came with sins conscious that she was lost;
She came with shame about her guilty walk;
She found a Stranger who understood her lot;
She found a Saviour prepared to bear the cost;
She found a Friend prepared to join in talk:
What collocutors, the woman and the Lord!
What conversations that boldly ranged across
The satisfaction that Jesus spread abroad,
The woman's guilt and all the ill she wrought,
True worshippers and their approach to God,
And the great secret of who the Stranger was.

Wednesday 8 July 2009


She came with tears to wash her Saviour's feet
And if her sins were cause for her to weep
So was the coldness shown by the Pharisee;
She came with hair to wipe her Saviour's feet
To show how much His footsteps were esteemed
Though Simon treated the Master as the least;
She came with lips to kiss the Saviour's feet
Because Christ made her happiness complete;
She came with myrrh, to balm the Saviour's feet,
Since instinct told His was a path of grief;
She came to kneel beside the Saviour's feet:
She went forgiven, trusted to go in peace.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Monday 6 July 2009


To be before the face of God
Without the taint of sin
We must be clothed in Christ Himself -
Clothed in the coats of skin.

We cannot come with righteousness
Of which our nature brags
We must be clothed in Christ Himself
And not our filthy rags.

When God desires to celebrate
His dear Son’s wedding feast
We must be clothed in Christ Himself
From greatest unto least.

To be within the Father’s house
Where He in joy may rest
We must be clothed in Christ Himself -
Clothed in the Father’s best.

Sunday 5 July 2009

Saturday 4 July 2009


Through twenty centuries
It, and its theme, Christ,
Have retained their relevance,
Their freshness,
And their resonance.

Friday 3 July 2009


There is one rock that does not change,
Perfect and constant in its form.
While others splinter and derange
There is one Rock

That cannot alter in the storm.
While thrusting power makes them strange
This does not vary from its norm.

Rocks, overheated, rearrange,
Boil, overflow, cool and reform:
Beyond earth's fiercest fury's range
There is One Rock.

Thursday 2 July 2009


Seeking to reign where he should serve,
Judging God's Son, through fraud,
Gorging himself in sins, we see
What man has done to God.

They torture good, set evil free,
Flatter, seduce, or ban:
In their depravity we see
What man has done to man.

Blessing since earth was first begun,
Securing His own plan,
And giving His beloved Son -
What God has done for man!

Securing sons who gladly bow
To give eternal laud
We worship, seeing, even now,
What God has done for God!

Nether Stowey

Wednesday 1 July 2009