Personal, Church, and Society

‘We long for you and loving grace,
each morning need your strength to face
the day that lies ahead whatever
may come our way, we would endeavour
to walk with you our Help and Guide
indwelling, and there at our side,
and when encountering distress
please save us in our helplessness.

‘Oh, fill your church with righteousness,
repentance for its waywardness,
give wisdom, valuing your Word
to bow in awe before you, Lord.
What treasure ours when you we own,
but in our times so few have known
this sure foundation that they need’ –
available, his presence heed.

Tune DLM

“Oh, LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. … he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:2, 5b, 6

Captured for Freedom!

I’m bound to my Lord, so now I am free! –
I’m free of the hold, the old misery
of gripping temptations, sin’s harsh slavery:
a servant of Jesus has real liberty!

I’m free to delight in flowers and song,
enjoying Christ’s love, to whom I belong,
and free of frustration, greed, jealousy gone:
this pleasurable service in him has begun!

I’d thought myself free to live as I please
with no obvious crimes I’d enjoy life of ease,
but then I felt aimless, and empty, no peace –
I didn’t feel happy, and longed for release.

We’re all needing boundaries – just like a child,
and peace with the Father, to him reconciled,
and that brings empowerment to quit what’s defiled,
and in all life’s troubles, he’ll walk by my side!

Tune: 10 10 11 11 eg Houghton

Ignoring God when life is easy

It is so easy not to bother
when life is pleasant, easy.
not give a thought at all to wonder
‘Is there a God who sees me?’

But when a tragedy comes sweeping
with death and suffering, crying,
why do so many turn to blaming
the God they’d been denying?

If he’s omnipotent and sovereign,
all this he is allowing,
but love divine that’s strong, supporting
those trusting him are knowing.

So in such difficulties, maybe
some rouse to seek him, waking
to turn from negligence and folly,
their mutiny forsaking.

Tune: 97 97

God’s Only Restorative

No solution to our problems
if God’s answer we despise,
try to modify his message
with inventions vain and lies.
He sent Jesus, holy Saviour
dying for us on the cross
so we may not face the judgment;
if we shun him, huge our loss
.

It’s no service to our neighbours
if we preach philosophies
that don’t tell of Jesus dying
on a cross there to appease
righteous judgment on our failures,
bear the consequences full
so that we may know forgiveness:
urgent message meant for all!

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

Tune: 87 87 D

Out of the overflow of the heart …

Whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are true,
pure and just and admirable –
fill your mind to say and do
what you know would please your Saviour
– mind will influence behaviour.

Core and cause of sin and failure
is the private life of thought.
Discipline – desire direction,
not in tasteless musings caught.
Need the Holy Spirit dwelling
in us, purity instilling.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praise worthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Tune 87 87 88 (can be sung to some 87 87 77 eg Irby (tune of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’)

Benefitting from being thankful

Thanksgiving crowds out selfish pride,
and quietens your fears,
and quickly it will override
anger, and selfish tears.

Thanksgiving turns your thoughts again
from grievances and grief
to look to others’ needs and pain
and seeking their relief.

The world suggests to empty all
your worries from your mind.
We pass them up – on God we call –
his guarding peace we find.

Tune: CM

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hears and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6

When I am afraid …

Sometimes you see I am afraid
because of things in stories said,
remembering silly things I’ve read:
And then Mum says, ‘Well, have you prayed?’

Sometimes I’m stupidly afraid,
but even then I’m glad I prayed.

Sometimes I know my frights aren’t real,
but still I panic, fear feel,
aware that troubles truly come,
real perils lurk for everyone.

The only answer I can see
is if I fear what cannot be,
and if I fear some dangers real –
to Jesus I must make appeal:

He can protect from everything,
He can protect in everything,
He’ll cheer me up and safely take
me through all dangers real or fake.

He understands my frightened mind,
and I will always feel and find
he’s at my side and in my heart
protecting – peace he can impart.

Tune: 88 88 88 eg ‘Sussex Carol’ (tune of ‘On Christmas night all Christians Sing’

Ingatherings

The harvesters have gathered crops
to fill the factories, barns and shops
with food for everyone of us
and we should pray with thankfulness.
     All safely gathered in once more
     to eat, enjoy, or safely store.

Christ said one day he will return
and all his followers gather in
– those who already passed through death,
and those still living here on earth.
     All safely gathered in with him
     for his new earth that’s free from sin.

And when the books of what we’ve done
are opened, then we all each one
will know we’ve failed, but in his book
of those with sins forgiven he’ll look –
     That Book names all who did receive
     his gift of life, on him believe.

And what a gathering there will be
of all who love the Saviour, he
with them, a busy, happy life
with harmony, no pain or strife.
     All safely gathered there begin
     that blest eternity with him.

Tune: 88 88 88 eg ‘Solid Rock’ by W Bradbury

On to fifty!

Perseverance hand in hand
through the ups and downs unplanned,
disappointments, joys, all shared,
always knowing we have cared
for each other, understood
when we don’t do what we should.

Note the passage of the years –
‘paper’, ‘crystal’ … each one shares
benefits of loyal vows –
each year quickly comes and goes …
‘silver’, ‘ruby’, on to gold –
look back, view the years unfold.

See the One whose presence held
in our differences, to weld
foolish, wilful souls to one
purpose, ’til the journey’s done,
strengthened so we’d complement.
help each other trust, repent.

Tune: 77 77 77

Like Sheep

Wandering far for lusher grass,
sheep cannot give thought
to the bogs and pits they pass
where they could get caught.

Need a Shepherd to control,
where they drift and roam,
and we too can vaguely stroll
where temptations come.

With compassion, Jesus saw
the harassed crowd in need.
Shepherd wise with truth to help
safely lead and feed.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36,37
Tune:75 75