Certain Hope Reliable

Unfounded hope,
a rotted rope,
to hold in stormy sea,
a cobweb frail
to no avail –
a hope as weak as me.

Oh, why deny
a God on high,
the God his Son disclosed?
a God who’ll teach,
and all can reach,
before whom all’s exposed.

His power clothed earth,
and conquered death –
only the meek reach out
who know their need
to trust and plead:
of hope secure they shout!

Tune: CM eg ‘Amazing Grace’

Who knows … ?

The meaning of life –
before any strife
was ever on record,
ill-word ever heard:
life’s Origin, Source
knew its purpose, of course,
for he had created, concocted
for perfect contentment,
fulfilment,
satisfying work,
no drudgery to shirk;
was grieved when bad choosing
meant misery, losing
that sense and that sight
of meaning and purpose, sad plight –
but then gave directions
a fix-it book, and help-line
– no queueing, ‘put-on-hold’ time –
but warned of ‘solutions’
that mangle,
‘cowboy’ repairers who wrangle –
whose bungles he’ll sort out, untangle.
The Designer’s Instruction Manual
can save from the scrap-heap,
give new-life whose vigour he’ll keep
(expectation, direction anew,
though problems persist,
while temptations exist),
identify spam,
guide out of a jam,
direct to smooth running,
and strength for the shunning
of grit that will hamper
or act as a damper,
can scan, oil and test,
supplying the zest –
for after all,
He knows best.

Screwtape’s three-pronged strategy

– with indebtedness to C S Lewis

Let them think that God’s remote
– to him they do not matter,
and so they need not give much thought
to get to know him better.

Let them think there is no God,
there’s nothing else but matter,
and human wisdom has evolved
to understand things better.

Let them think there is no code,
that morals do not matter,
with no restraint, experiment,
and think they’ll feel much better.

Do anything to keep from thought
of God, who walked this earth,
by miracle had human birth,
revealing God to whom we matter,
and showed a way of life that’s better,
a God who is and was and shall be,
and soon will change this world of tragedy;

keep them from joy, discarding mutiny.

The Great Flood

Catastrophic flooding, pouring, pushing,
40 days and nights still raining,
water underground emerging, rushing
sediment stirred up by crushing
rocks and soil and vegetation,
then engulfing
many creatures, fossilising
by pressured hardening
before there could be
damaging scavenging:
patterns petrified in stone:
footprints, feathers, bone;

Message had for long been known,
foretold to warn,
the refuge built, prepared,
but many chose to scorn,
refuse the offered ark;

such flood as this had been
would nevermore be seen
– the promise of the rainbow;
– but lesser floods may come and go,
and everyone of us face death,
but not this vast destruction of the earth;
so while we’ve breath,
we must not live as they did
in wickedness and violence,
rebelliousness, and malice,
corruption, misery, and lovelessness.
Be ready for the transient grave,
submissive to the pardoning God
who for eternity can save.
“On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 7:11

Has healed, can heal, will heal

A leper, ill, distressed, unkempt;
Christ had compassion, not contempt:
he touches – no contamination,
but, cleansing flows from him to heal
the leper – decontamination
from all he had to bear and feel.

A man so paralysed had friends,
who heard that Jesus heals and mends
trouble, sickness, disability:
they brought him close to the vicinity
where Jesus was instructing
and through the roof they lowered him
But first he pardoned, and some sneered,
‘God only can do that!’, thoughts jeered.
But Jesus then his power displayed,
authority to sins forgive,
by healing this paralysis:
and one day all that is amiss
he will put right, his kingship show,
but now trust and much blessing know,
and ask he pardon all you owe.

The Defeat of the Archetype

A spirit of the Great King’s court,
had mutinied, sedition taught,
and sought to cause much trouble, fear,
amongst the subjects; he would steer
them from the rule and care so kind,
and make them of rebellious mind;
but soon they found their master new
a harsh slave-driver, monster too
– the only way they could be freed
was if the King’s own Son agreed
to take him on, fight to the death,
– the guilty then could have new birth,
be freed from this tyrannical rule,
and realise they’d each been a fool,
and glad to find they could return,
receive acquittal none could earn
and what is more, the battle won,
he lives forever, their Saviour-Son.

What is a church?

(not a building)
That place of stone with vaulted ceilings high,
and spire that points up to the sky
may sober and subdue our mood,
but will not of itself give warmth and food
to help our spirit’s sadness,
or lift our hearts in gladness,
and worship to the King.

If there, or in a country hut
there gather those whose joy is great,
(and love), to pause and listen to a liberating word,
then that can touch us, spirits helped and stirred.

That ‘church’ word doesn’t really mean a place,
or building, but the people drawn by grace
to follow, hear and worship and believe,
– the people, family who choose to leave
the path that walks away from Him,
and everywhere they go they praise their King.

and when they meet together on this earth,
their company will always be a place of worship and of worth.

“Greet also the church that meets at their house.” Romans 16:5
“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those every where who call on the name of our Lor Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:2

Freedom!

Freedom from oppression,
cruel domination,
manipulation, exploitation,
– universal greed for gain;
freedom from the pace and stress, –
peers-pressuring excess;
freedom from imprisoning chain,
and from all ill-health, and pain;
freedom from my guilt and shame,
self-convicting, well-earned blame.

Freedom from the pull of habit,
– want to quit, but cannot snap it:
paradox, that strength for progress
comes with heavenly bonds of service:
quickened aptitude,
grace and gratitude.

Some have had to fight, with gun,
those who kill, enslave and maim;
some have had to flee, and run
to a place where once again
they their families may feed,
worship God, with godly creed, –
from coercion, and the greed,
of those power-abusers, freed.

Perfect freedom: coming kingdom,
perfect law, and no-one poor,
never crime, nor aggravation,
universal full submission
to that perfect legislation;
harmony, and satisfaction.

The Great Delusion

“Everyone believes it! – it must be true!”
“Scientists have proven it!”
– No!, that they cannot do!
some may feel that it fits quite well,
and quite determined now to tell
you that it must be so,
– “the missing facts we soon will know” –
they say.
But many know the evidence,
fits very well, and makes good sense,
with words of God that he made all,
but then withdrew some good control,
when people he’d created chose
to live rejecting his good laws.
There now will one day have to be
removal of all wickedness,
and then his skill supreme we’ll see,
as all is healed, works perfectly.

So, what’s concluded, who’s deluded?
Their theory makes no demands,
[– keep fit, no morals, no commands],
– an easier life? but is it true?
God says we all are in his view,
and he’s amazed, amused, and sad,
that many think that he is bad    ,
– in kindness, he will urge, provide,
and welcomes all who will decide
to search him out, and swallow pride.

Building Philosophical houses of cards

In days of yore they trimmed their wood,
creating idols that looked good,
but nowadays we realise
a lifeless doll no help supplies.
Instead we sift ideas, build
a house on sand, with bubbles filled,
which cannot last, or satisfy
not now, nor soon, nor when we die.

An edifice may stand awhile,
but soon will be a rocky pile,
if not on lasting pillars founded:
false notions disappoint, confounded.

The truth that claims it will not fail,
must not give transient appeal;
and never crumble, bear all stress,
worthy of trust, not just a guess.

For human words are all so fallible,
but words from God are wholly credible.

But some are angry, and can’t see
why if he’s God, he won’t decree
at once the things they feel he should,
that seem to them so very good;
they do not feel that he can be
a help to those in agony,
nor see the need for this delay
before all evil’s swept away,
and we all meet him on his day.

Their choosing to believe, or not,
won’t change the facts if true, a jot
Will they just toss it in the waste,
without investigative taste?