Saturday, 31 August 2013


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.

Friday, 30 August 2013


Unarranged, the sensations
Suck by my senses to
My "faulty sensory perception".

Within, further confusion,
The sense of humour

From the core
The sense of sny

O wretched man that I am!
Who shall deliver me
From this body of death?

If what I need is a Deliverer
What I gain also
Is a Master.

If what I need is an Escape
What I gain
Is also a Lord.

If what I need is a Resource
What I have
Is a Head also.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


A pebble dropped into a pool
disturbs the water in a circle
widening without definite boundary.
Motion displaces air, 

nor can we assign any limit 
to the extent of such displacement.
Earth revolving within space 

carries along with itself 
its own vast atmosphere.

And more or less like each of these, 
personal influence is certain
and is incalculable; 
is a mighty engine inseparable from 
a proportionate burden 
of responsibility. 

None are too great, none too small, 
for this burden. 

St. Paul laid himself out, 
moulded himself, 
spent himself 
to bear it worthily; 
as his own words attest.

"Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
(CGR and DCB)

If I call this a poem of mine - it's a plagiarism: see here!   It is a poem?  Was it before I started?  Does it give a hint of what a modern Christina Rossetti would have been like?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


One step more, and the race is ended,
   One word more, and the lesson's done,
One toil more, and a long rest follows
   At set of sun.

Who would fail, for one step withholden?
   Who would fail, for one word unsaid?
Who would fail, for a pause too early?
   Sound sleep the dead.

One step more, and the goal receives us,
   One word more, and life's task is done,
One toil more, and the Cross is carried
   And sets the sun. 

By Christina Rossetti 
Try A Reading Diary

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


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, 26 August 2013


I will not call for
Pibroch or coronach
This time. This was not
A work part done. The model
Was working and complete -
The testimony of Jesus was testified
To an end. The talents had been
Fully traded. The Master’s
Final touches had touched. “And all
The Trumpets sounded for him on
The other side.”

This was written after the death of Donald, a brother in the Lord, about a year after the death of Scotland's First Minister, Donald Dewar.  This was a reaction to the real gold of the brother.  The quotation is from the second part of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


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, 24 August 2013


For Rosie

We can see ourselves as
A pair of asses

- For each, like an ass, has been
By a perfect Lamb.

A pair -
Not ploughing with
An ox and an ass together.

And like Balaam's
Ready to speak well -
If by a miracle!

Alert for the time
When, specially,
The Lord has need of us;

But bearing, daily,
As we find grace,
Abigail to her Husband.

Friday, 23 August 2013


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.

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Their lighting constrained
To the sparks they had kindled
Men lay in sorrow: when
Christ came they preferred
The flickerings of their caves.
Yet we can know in its brightness
The pure illumination
Of the True Light.

A faithful Creator provided
Food for the journey -
They ate, and lived, and died.
But now the father gives
As a spiritual reality
For lasting life, lasting subsistence,
And lasting satisfaction,
The True Bread.

Once on a fruitful hill,
Dug and relieved of stones
Was planted that unsatisfactory vine,
Israel, bearer of wild grapes.
Now He stand, to God's satisfaction,
Without earthly moisture,
Clusters ripening to grapes,
Christ, the True Vine.

Blind, and unaware
Of poverty and nakedness
How could Laodicea give
Testimony?  The source of eye salve,
Of gold and garments speaks:
What word the Amen asserts!
What can he not introduce
The Faithful and True Witness.

What dignity he has
The reality of every type,
The One who supersedes every
Shadow.  Who has the right
To the key of David? - who
Maintain everything for God
But the One who can call Himself
The Holy, the True?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Out of a camp which He has left,
Where man’s religiousness is deft,
Which does not feel itself bereft,
Go forth to Him.

Into an empty wilderness
Where Satan’s powers cannot oppress
The refugees God loves to bless
Go forth to Him.

Knowing the glory of the grace
Which caused the Saviour to abase
Himself to take the sinner’s place
Go forth to Him.

Not only knowing His strong arm
To save from hazard and alarm,
Enamoured by His worth and charm
Go forth to Him.

Gathered with those who own His claim
And thus are faithful to his name,
Despising the reproach and shame
Go forth to Him.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Lord, we cannot go away -
Thou hast words of life eternal;
Powers both earthly and infernal
Cannot lure us - we will stay.

In each word that Thou dost say
Love is at the very kernel:
Lord, we cannot go away -
Thou hast words of life eternal;

Love that guards us from dismay;
Love from God which is paternal;
Love of saints which is fraternal;
Love which bears us all the way:
Lord, we cannot go away.

Monday, 19 August 2013


I loved my father's story
Of the skilled locksmith
Who, enchained, looked at each link
And declared:
"I cannot escape from these  
I made them myself",

But not the interpretation,
Apt though it was,
That the links were habits,
Binding irretrievably.

Lord, teach me the skill
To forge for myself chains,
That I may inescapably be made
A prisoner of Jesus Christ,
A willing bondman.

For it was love which bonded
Christ to the servant's path, linked
Christ to the cross, held
Christ in the grave.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Guilt was borne by Jesus.

My guilt
Was borne by Jesus.

My guilt was borne
By Jesus

My guilt was borne by

Saturday, 17 August 2013


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.

Friday, 16 August 2013


The words banner forth
Boldly expressive:

The Lord, the Christ, the Son of God,
The Son of Man, the Shepherd.

Substitute "a" for "the" -
And the fabric is grounded,

Like a banner
With no flagpole.

Alone the word "the" is gaunt
As an unused staff.

O Lord, help me to be
A definite article!

Thursday, 15 August 2013


One Person did the Father’s will
And answered to His voice;
Lord Jesus, how our beings thrill
To Thee, the Father’s choice.

But now we know that we are those
Who, ere the world began,
The Father, for His pleasure, chose
For favour in that Man.

So let us choose the Father’s way
In hearkening to the Son
That Christ may give us, in His day,
The accolade “Well done”.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


I am no wandering star
Headlong moving with levity
To destruction.

But I can move in a vast
Elliptical orbit - glowing when near the Sun, cold
When a distant comet
At the fringe of attraction.

Help me, my Sun,
To be a planet ideally
Circling, heat, light and attraction
At their optimum - where grace
Has placed me.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Marred; weak; afar; with the opprobrium
Of the rejected race... to catalogue
My blemishes would take too long; in sum
Encompass all in three words - “a dead dog”.
Mercy has reached me; grace has brought me near;
Kindness has given me a prince’s seat
And riches; perfect love has cast out fear:
The King Himself has made my bliss complete.

So if He is rejected in this world,
And the rebellious challenge has been hurled:
We will not have this Man to reign”, should I
Follow that trend? Surely I must deny
Myself, and, till my Sovereign comes again,
Live in the consciousness that “He must reign”.

Monday, 12 August 2013


From the gnarled bush
Only another thorn: “Away with
This man!”

One quickly-fading leaf
From a dry tree: “I find no fault
In this man.”

But, in the rocks, a miracle -
One perfect bloom: “Have nothing to do with
That righteous man”.

Or from a dying thorn-tree
One tender flower: “This man
Has done nothing amiss.”

A stark tree puts out
One bud - “This man
Was just!”.

It blossoms:
“Truly this man
Was Son of God”.

A plethora of colour
Burgeons - “God has made this Jesus
Both Lord and Christ”.

Sunday, 11 August 2013


Adjusted by Christ’s might in the creation,
Beside the feet of Jesus Peter knelt
Acknowledging the sinfulness he felt.

Adjusted by the Father’s revelation
He found the humble Carpenter who trod
Beside him was the Christ, the Son of God.

Adjusted by severeness of rebuke
He learned that Christ was ready to fulfil,
Cost what it would, the details of God’s will.

Adjusted by the glory of the Father
He heard that no man’s glory might be linked
With Christ since the Beloved is distinct.

Adjusted by the Master’s loving look
Appreciation of his vileness swept
Across his being, and he turned and wept.

Adjusted by the Shepherd’s yen to gather
He came with those whom Jesus folded in
To form a circle Christ could come within.

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Day by day His actions
Wove one seamless garment -
You could not unpick
One shade from another.

Perhaps you could distinguish
Colours of grace, shades of love,
Textures of righteousness - yet never
Unseam mercy from judgment.

But who was weaving?
Each movement in manhood
Consonant with who He is
Was under the Father’s direction -
Woven from the top.

Friday, 9 August 2013


Stopping each time he passed that way to trace
God’s workmanship in river, tree and hill
The poet frequently renewed the thrill
Which toil and worry struggled to efface.
The horses which had pulled and stopped his chaise
Finally pulled his hearse; and they were still
As subject to their absent master’s will
When they arrived at that familiar place.

I have a Master who is absent, too -
In everything that I may say or do
Do those who know He is my Master find
That I am subject to my Master’s mind?
I can be thrilled with Him and can derive
From Him who, though now absent, is alive.

This refers to the poet and novelist sir Walter Scott: the view is here.


Thursday, 8 August 2013


God can seek nothing
in us, but He can give us all,
finding all in Christ.

You'll find these words here in the prose; they're a pick out which I noticed while reading, having the 5:7:5 formation of a haiku.  Not that I'd call it a haiku, and modern western writers claim the title for must looser formation.  But it seems to me that the cadences of the 5:7:5 form have a significant quiddity.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


“Son of the Highest,
He shall be called”:
Now in the glory
He is installed.

Soon from the glory
He will come out
Cheering the faithful,
Banishing doubt.

“Son of the Highest
He shall be called”:
Glories once granted,
Never recalled.

“He shall be Firstborn,
Highest of kings”,
Chief amongst brethren,
Head of all things.

“Son of the Highest
He shall be called”:
God is delighted;
Saints are enthralled.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


Who did the love of God send
As the fulness of time?
His Son.

God's glad tidings are concerning
Our Lord, and
His Son.

That “Abba Father” may resound
God has sent out the Spirit of
His Son.

In His saints God wills to have
The effulgence of
His Son.

The One we await from heaven is
Our Deliverer, and
His Son.

For, who did He not spare?
Own Son.

Monday, 5 August 2013


God chose, in Jesus, to descend
In grace we cannot comprehend
That grace should thus secure God’s end.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


When a perfect Child
Expressed committal to His Father’s business
How much God enjoyed
Being that Father!

As His bosom Son
Walked in the way of His will
How God rejoiced to be
His Father.

And what the Father’s delight
In being the Father whose glory
At the earliest instant
Raised Christ from the dead!

Now with that Son
Sharing His throne
The Father is enjoying
Being His Father.

Now as Christ’s men
Share His place
The Father is enjoying
Being their Father.

And what is His pleasure in saying
“I will be to you for a Father”
To those who follow
The strait path of His will.

Saturday, 3 August 2013


Here where men had displayed
Every feature of shame
Jesus came
And portrayed
Man according to God.

As Christ hung on the cross
That His own might be free
God could see
Mid such loss
Man according to God.

At the Father's right hand
Christ is glorified now;
As you bow
Man according to God.

Soon the world will behold
God and heaven's delight:
In their sight
Will unfold
Man according to God.

Saints through all Christ has done
Will be blessed and refined
He will find
In each one
Man according to God.

Friday, 2 August 2013


No face could be marred
As His because no face was
As perfect as His.

Thursday, 1 August 2013


A bold note from the trumpet  Christ at last                     
Returns; with jubilation sound a blast                     

Voicing all beasts' joy in their lot                                                             
Lorises, gnats, pangolins, hippopot                                                             

A                                                                                         Grand                                                                                        
Rejoicing echoes, loud and resonant,                                                                                       
From antelope, flea, dolphin, elephant,