Contentment or contempt

The showers of blessings refresh grateful souls
– absorbed like the rain when it onto earth falls,
but hearts that are hardened don’t let blessings in –
like ducks’ backs and rocks that just brush away rain.

Contempt for the blessings God’s goodness supplies
will wither the soul, just as greed will despise
provisions provided for needs and relief,
and crave for the coveted things that bring grief.

The children of Israel were tempted to cry,
forgetting the slavery – the different supply
of food they had left there they longed for – distrust,
impatience, ingratitude filled them with lust.

Tune: 11 11 11 11

A ray of clear light …

In the fog all grope and grieve –
needing light that won’t deceive,
truth enlightening muddled mind
shows the pardon we can find.

Born with ease to lie, a skill,
soon improved to trick at will
– what a pointless exercise,
one day grief for all those lies.

Light can hope and goodness build,
prophecies have been fulfilled;
cynicism will not aid,
grasp true hope that will not fade.

Tune: 77 77 eg Buckland (tune of ‘Loving Shepherd of thy sheep)

Good Seed

The seed of God’s truth
falls into good ground,
is watered by thought:
fruit soon will abound.

Grows up to the light then
that triggers growth strong
well rooted, new life, joy
bursts forth into song!

A plant with good fruit,
refreshing and calm,
with shelter for others,
and comforting balm –

God’s kingdom’s still growing
throughout all the earth,
unnoticed, but lasting:
it’s branches spread forth.

Tune: 10 10 11 11 eg Houghton
[Mark 4: 30-32; Matthew 13:31,32]

We need a new earth

There’s wars and violence, malice, lies,
and international tensions rise,
misused resources (blame those guys?)
but no-one’s faultless, fully wise.

However much our world puts right
pollution, wars, can’t clear all blight –
the earth is aging, cannot last,
and all our days are flying fast.

God came as Jesus to our earth:
no doubt about it, or his worth.
He said he’d come to free from hate,
fit for a new earth – trust and wait!

Tune: LM eg Niagara one of the tunes for ‘The Lord is King! lift up your voice’’

Giving is so much nicer than stealing!

Flimsy pleasure – hacking, scamming –
what a waste of mind and skill –
misappropriating talents
given by God to do his will.

Grabbing, greedy, stealing, wasting
other people’s things and time
– til a change to gladly giving
wrought by glorious power divine.

Tune: 87 87 eg Mariners, Traditional Sicilian melody

A question for the accusers

To Jesus they brought
this one they had caught
in breaking the law –
Christ came to restore
those sorry for sin,
so they could begin
a new life with Him,
empowered within.

For her they did not
have care, not a jot,
their aim was to trip
make Jesus to slip,
so they could detect
for law disrespect,
and undermine grace
that covers disgrace.

They all crept away,
for no-one could say
he’d never done wrong
through all his life long.
Hypocrisy, pride
can other sins hide.
The test had spun round –
and what had they found?

He didn’t condone,
nor did he condemn;
his mission to save,
and now can forgive
if guilt we admit
desiring to quit,
rebellion to leave;
repent and receive.
Tune: 10 10 10 10 but can be sung to some 10 10 11 11 tunes eg

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

Heart-felt ‘worship’?

“Worship” can be worthless noise
in God’s ears; he will despise
ostentatious singing vain,
just lip-service brought again –
looks for love of righteousness
helping others in distress.

Some hope that a formal show
when to church, bored, choose to go,
hope it earns a future heaven –
sins acknowledged, sins forgiven
in Christ Jesus is the way,
loving justice, truly pray.

Many things can take my heart,
keeping me and God apart:
tune my lips to sweet aroma,
adoration of the Saviour,
justice rolling like a river,
righteousness pours forth for ever.

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts … Away with the noise of your songs … But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” Amos 5:21,23,24

Tune: 77 77 77 eg Dix (tune of ‘As with gladness men of old’)

He is God, and loves me!

God himself who formed the stars
loves me, truly loves me!
Sent his Son, his dear Son
bearing scorn to save me!
Melts my heart and fires my soul:
loving him, my Lord, my all!

God loved me before the stars
all were fashioned by him.
He will love me beyond time
– sight will swell my praising:
There I’ll fully taste and see
 all his love and majesty.

[Tune: 76 76 77 but can be sung to England’s Lane (tune of ‘For the beauty of the earth’ which is 77 77 77 ) or Liebster Jesu by Johann Rudolph Ahle (tune of Blessed Jesus, at Thy word’’ which is 78 78 88, and needs linking crochets to minims – ie two long syllables, not four brief ones – at the beginning of lines 2 and 4!)]

Peace as far as possible

Seek peace with all, but not with sin
or evil conversation;
respect and friendship try to win,
but don’t condone corruption.

Seek holiness in all your life
or God you will be grieving:
avoid censoriousness and strife –
be courteous, none deceiving.

Be resolute for right, but meek –
without his aid you’ll fail him,
but with his help, though frail and weak,
good will succeed, prevailing.

Christ died upon the cross to pay
our debts for all our failures,
now our delight is in his Way,
he mends our flawed behaviours.

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord”. Hebrews 12:14
Tune: 87 87 iambic eg Dominuw Regit me (tune of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’)

Angry but not praying

They wail in anger, misery,
‘God is unjust’, they say,’
‘He does not help, or care for me’,
and yet, they do not pray.

They’ve strayed aside, not turned to him,
their hearts are far away,
have no concern to leave their sin,
self-centred every day.

Trust many things – they flit and fly,
just like a wandering dove,
on various things they lean, rely,
won’t come to God for love.

“Return, return!” ‘Forgive, Receive
us, we’ll no longer trust
the crumbling helps that fail and grieve –
in grace we’ll be so blest.’
Tune: CM
(cf Hosea 7:11-14; 14:1-4)