Monday, 30 September 2013


Each knew the Lord.

One lived on the consciousness
Of the mercy
By which he had been retrieved;

One dwelt in the knowledge
That God had chosen her
Before the world was;

One was formed
In the graces found
In Jesus Christ;

And one in the glories
Of all established
In Christ Jesus:

In these distinctions
Star differed from star
In glory.

Sunday, 29 September 2013


It moves in
Inexorable dignity,
A strong runner
Who delights to run
From dawn to dusk.

It has the aura,
The rights,
Of a bridegroom.

Nothing escapes
The munificence
Of the splendour of its shining.

Saturday, 28 September 2013


There are recesses,
Crannies, shades

Outwith there are
Shadows, mists, wynds,

Thy word is a lamp.

Friday, 27 September 2013


Ye were once darkness,
But now
Light in the Lord.

Ye are not in darkness,
For all ye
Are sons of light and sons of day.

Ye appear
As lights in the world.

Ye are the light of the world.

Thursday, 26 September 2013


We will not see it,
Will not need it
Nor wish it
When night has gone.

But now it cheers
Sight and soul and heart
Till day arises.

When dark darkens,
If clouds cloud,
Lift yourself to admire
The Morning Star.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


All earthly life depends
On light
Fusing, infusing, suffusing.

All earthly life depends
On warmth

All earthly life depends
On order
Informing, forming, conforming.

Light warmth and order
Centre in,
And emanate from,
One Sun.

Monday, 23 September 2013


Let there be light
God said
And from that light
Genesis could begin.

Distinctions could be distinguished:
Day and night;
Earth and heaven;
Earth and sea;
Earth and plant.

Yet before animal
Could be animated, or man
Could be man

The particularity of the great light,
Manifested lordship,
Must be revealed.

Sunday, 22 September 2013


The Light appeared
- The Light of the world -
But cottages, synagogues, villas
Were shuttered or blinded.

Yet, through mercy, a few
Shutters were rotted, blinds
Were frayed: glimmers
Pierced gloom.

Householders peered at the glow,
Loosened curtain or wood.

Cautiously, tenderly
Some souls
Moved to the doors, slid
Quietly into
The full blaze of the Sun.

Saturday, 21 September 2013


I cannot get enough of Jesus -
He is enough to overflow my heart
With all His loveliness and goodness,
With blessings He is longing to impart.

I long to see Him come in glory,
And long to be forever near my Lord,
Knowing His loveliness and goodness,
And having Him as blessing and reward.

But things of time still catch my fancy
Distracting me from Jesus and His grace,
Shading His loveliness and goodness
By putting clouds between me and His face.

O Holy Spirit, help me in my thinking,
And help me thwart the work of flesh and sin
That more His loveliness and goodness,
May fill my view, that Christ may dwell within.

Friday, 20 September 2013


I am plucked
From the swelling sea
Through the long arm
Of His mercy.

I am carried
Through the wilderness
To His own house
By the strong arm
Of His grace.

I am embraced
Into His house
By the warm arm
Of His love.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


He is the true Light, who enlightens me,
Exposing the ubiquity of sin,
But bringing saving grace to set me free
From sin's demands without and wiles within.
The Greeks concocted par-boiled platitudes;
The Sadducees served spreads the flesh would crave;
The Pharisees hid leaven in tart foods:
Christ, the true Bread, is what the Father gave.
Secured by mercy and supplied by grace,
Attached to Christ through love that is divine,
It is my privilege to have my place
Abiding as a branch in the true Vine,
While in His realm of peace, or ours of strife,
Knowing the true God and eternal life.

Keep thinking on these things: Philippians 4: 8.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


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
Mid 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, 12 September 2013


In the Father’s house
All in normal, and nothing
Is ordinary.

Off to Holland for a few days - post again next week, if the Lord will.

You deserve a break!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


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

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


I can’t believe it,
Said the soldier.
All this cash for not telling the truth
When the truth is
I was too scared to know what was happening!

I quite believe it,
Said the priest.
Quash it, lie, bribe
Anything so long as
We don’t have that man to rein over us!

He is not here,
Said the young man in white.
Behold the place
Where they had put him.

Do we believe it?
Asked the women.
And what is there for us to believe?
We are seized by fear and questions.

I believe,
Said the beloved disciple.
For the tomb was orderly,
All distinctiveness, as
He would have left it.

He is risen,
Said Mary.
I have seen him:
He spoke of His Father
As our Father, of His God
As our God.

Now I believe,
Said the doubter Thomas.
Not merely as a believer.
He has made me a worshipper -
My Lord and My God!

Monday, 9 September 2013


He came from the heart of God
And perfectly here He trod,
With God as His sole resource,
A sinless and blameless course
Which honoured the Father’s name -
Yet led to the cross of shame.

And newly there runs since then
A way from that cross for men,
Blood-sprinkled and purified,
Who live since their Saviour died;
A way that is clear and broad
That leads to the heart of God.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


(Numbers 13: 25)
Found by searching
These figs - with the grapes,
And pomegranates -
Are fruit of the Land.

(Judges 9:10,11)
Whatever surrounds,
Observe in the fig-tree
Determination to produce
Its sweetness.

(! Kings 4: 25)
Security without anxiety:
Throughout the land dwell
Every man
Under his vine and fig-tree.

(1 Chronicles 12: 40)
Food on asses and camels,
Mules and oxen:meal,
Fig-cakes, raisin-cakes ...
Joy's hospitality.

(Proverbs 27: 18)
Who keepeth the fig-tree - 
Digging about it, labouring,
Putting dung - as reward
Shall eat the fruit thereof.

(Song of Songs 2: 13)
The winter chills,
The chill works
Within.  Sun revives;
The winter figs mellow.

(Isaiah 37: 21)
Even for an irruption
Of vileness from within
The plaster of figs
Provides healing.

Saturday, 7 September 2013


The love of God sought
Persons for it to love, and
Made them loveable.

Friday, 6 September 2013


Wie wundersam ist Gottes plan:
Fur uns - die seligkeit;
Und mehr - fur Gott durch einen Mann,
Die ewge Herrlichkeit.
Jetzt Gottes Herz ist kundgemacht:
Dem Ihm sein Preis und Lob und Macht.

I visited Germany once and managed to put this together.  It's meant to say something like , How wondrous is God's plan: for us - the bliss; and more - for God by one Man the everlasting glory. Now the heart of God is made ​​known: to Him be glory and blessing and power.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Egypt’s water - the first we knew -
Turned to blood
At the twirl of a staff.

Glad were we when the Red Sea’s water
Left the Egyptian shore
Irretrievably cut off.

Bitter were we till Marah’s drink
Was transformed for us
By cast wood.

Fertility greeted us,
Seventy palm trees,
At the twelve springs of Elim.

We murmured, but it was the Rock
Which was smitten; the Rock
Which gave water.

And the Rock was willing
To follow; to serve water
At the lawgiver’s request.

After our wandering years
At last we could wield staves
To dig the well.

The last water, Jordan, dashed
Hopes; till the ark
Championed our passage.

We have been brought to a good land,
A land of waterbrooks, of springs,
And of deep waters,
That gush forth in the valleys and hills.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Blessing and love and mercy moved
In each touch of the Saviour’s hand;
God’s heart of grace towards men was proved
In ways that they could understand.

Each movement of the Saviour’s feet
Brought Him to men at God’s behest
That all God’s will should be complete
And all God’s people should be blest.

He showed such kindness in His face
To men for whom He had been sent:
That one who loved, and drew on grace,
Through one look hastened to repent.

His face was beaten with a rod;
His hands and feet were nailed to wood:
Perfection thrilled the heart of God;
Men saw the zenith of all good.

Risen He showed pierced feet and hands;
His blessing hands displayed His love;
Now all the glory worth demands
Shines in His face in heaven above.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013



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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

Feb - Jul 1998