Ruth speaks …

(based on the book, ‘Ruth’ in the Bible)

They came here from Judah,
for scarceness of food
was making life hard.
They were hoping for good
in Moab. I married a son,
and slowly I learned
of the God they had known:
his saving provisions,
but hardships, afflictions
when his people forgot
and assumed that their lot
would always be pleasant
however they lived.
[When they realised they’d grieved
their holy Protector who
loved them so dearly,
and they showed they were clearly
sorry, and properly prayed
he helped and he rescued
and mercy displayed.]

The father, he’d died,
soon Mahlon died too,
and also his brother;
my mother-in-law wondered
what then she should do:
she heard things were better
in Judah, now blessed
with food, so decided
to return, but she stressed
my sister-in-law, Orpah
and I should abide,
stay here, but she prayed
God would kindly provide
us husbands anew.
But now I could see
her faith and her God,
and I chose that they’d be
mine also, and so
I stayed with her, went with her
to help her, we both
would lean on this Saviour,
in life and in death.

*******

Arriving in Bethlehem,
as harvest began,
I went to glean grain
in the field of a man
named Boaz, who proved
to be thoughtful and kind
and ordered protection
and made sure I would find
plenty of stalks
left-over to thresh.
He had heard how I’d
stayed with Naomi
and trusted their God.
She knew him to be
a kinsman-redeemer
who could be allowed to
support us, accepting
me now as his wife,
and buying their family’s
land. And my life
with him has been blessed
and happy, so glad
I found refuge and rest
and a share in God’s care.

Beauty is …

quietness and gentleness,
a personal, warm smile;
wisdom without brusqueness,
discretion without guile,
firmness without harshness,
meekness without weakness,
unselfishness and kindliness,
perceptive service, righteousness.

Testimony to personal release

“O son, you know my life was such a mess,
– brought others, and myself distress;
you know things now are so much better,
since, by God’s grace, I broke that fetter,
and found the freedom for a life
that doesn’t injure children, wife;
and so you know why now I urge
you, – follow his good ways, and purge
away temptations fierce, by grace,
(the things you saw your Dad embrace),
and care for family and friends,
with work, and trust, and make amends
where possible, for wrong, but pray,
– for God’s full pardon none can pay,
procured by Christ on that good day;
and with his Spirit’s help his way
you’ll walk, in freedom, loving all
these precious guidelines, firm foundation.
So study his communication
beneficial, – you’ll not fall,
as I did into deadly thrall.”

based on passages like Proverbs 1:1-19; 4:1-17

Marriage and Christ’s love for his church

(Ephesians 5)
Christ cherishes his church, – what care,
and sacrificial, saving love;
with tenderness, he will prepare
his Bride for life in heaven above:
Love’s mystery of shared delight,
preserving yoke for progress right.

His church with trembling love, and awe,
are glad they have a powerful Head:
they pray, submit, – his rule and law
are wise and good, – they’re safely led:
Love’s mystery of shared delight,
preserving yoke for progress right.

The pattern for our families:
respect, and love, kind leadership,
perceptive help, desire to please,
support with rich companionship:
Love’s mystery of shared delight,
preserving yoke for progress right.

When anxious irritations grow,
and love, agreement drift, then pray
Christ’s precious love to better know,
forbearance, care show day by day:
Love’s mystery of shared delight,
preserving yoke for progress right.

Tune: 88 88 88 Stella (Tune of ‘Leave God to order all Thy ways)

Which girl?

Ecclesiastes 7:26; Proverbs 5:3-5; 12:4; 31:10,26,30 etc.
An oily tongue,
a trap is sprung,
and chains take hold:
a sad tale told,
of hopes destroyed,
ambitions void.

Tongue wise and kind,
from godly mind
by God’s Word taught
to help, support:
no shame, much praise,
and joyful days.

Unselfish Love

Precious love,  a treasure rare,
true concern by those who care,
thoughtful, willing, generous, wise;
powered by grace that God supplies.

In a world so full of greed,
love gives time to others’ need,
cheers and sweetens, easing stress,
stirs up thanks and happiness.

Love brought Christ to earth to save,
toiled in suffering service, gave
all for us, and by his death,
loving hearts have come to birth.

When the way of life is rough,
days are weary, times are tough,
love unsparing we should show,
love reliable must flow.

First, and foremost, every day,
in your home this love display,
living as his Word directs,
loving as our Lord expects.
Tune: 77 77 77 77 eg Maidstone 537 Grace

Expecting …

High expectations — Great efforts!
Expecting a baby to care for and train,
and prayerful for mercy again and again
through long years of effort, delight and concern:
‘Our Father, instruct us and help us to learn.’

Expecting God’s blessing and help in the task,
to penetrate blindness, resistance: we ask
he draw them, and lead as we guide them to see
his marvellous grace, and the judgement to be.

Expecting the problems and pressures that pull,
deceiving, enticing to drift and to fall; –
expecting much work to unmask and expose
the lies of the devil, God’s answers disclose.

Expectant and prayerful for grace from above –
our Father cares for us and those that we love.
He’ll help us to strive in explaining his truth;
– we look for his frequent heart-touch in their youth.

Training children

‘Spare the rod, and spoil the child’:
kids don’t want to turn out wild:
they expect we’ll teach them truly,
curb them when they get unruly.

Sparing punishment when called for
isn’t kindness, – though a hard chore.
Sentence fair, but quick and felt,
is better than when long-drawn-out.

Teach, explain, command and plead:
sensitive to what they need.
Do you sometimes feel worn out,
striving for some turnabout?

Clear instruction, discipline
– more acceptable when young
than just left to selfishness,
guideless in a world of stress.

Words convince, appeal, draw on;
punishments pull back from wrong,
giving time for second thought,
underlining what was taught.

’Teens appreciate concern, –
though they feel we’ve lots to learn!
Pray for something apt to say,
seasoned words about the Way.

Some profess to love the LORD,
– still need training in God’s Word:
dangers, pitfalls  – watch and pray,
teach God’s wisdom day by day.

TV

1) Flashing pictures in the corner
place you in a grander world.
You may feel yourself a loner,
living by the LORD’s good Word.

Pointless chatter buzzing by,
fills your mind, can occupy
pathways made for meditation.
Channels zapped to soothe attention,

and so, the days can drift away,
less time to ponder, praise and pray.

And yet, in moderation,
an aid to relaxation,
– what beauty we can see,
and sometimes drama opens up
our sensitivity
to people’s problems, thoughts and cares;
and news can prompt important prayers.

2) The adverts in the papers,
on the telly, by the road,
seem to want to make us wanting,
seem to tempt us, seem to goad; –
and if we had just everything,
they’d soon make something new.

A challenge to be thoughtful, thankful,
– the kind, contented few.

Destructive lusts

Colossians 3:5-8
Those lusts seductive
to hearts so weak,
are so destructive,
and friendships break,
bring pain, and fracture
relationships,
rupture
good family structure,
make many cross:
society’s loss.

Made new in Christ,
beloved and dear, –
put kindness on,
forgive, forebear
with love, compassion,
and admonition, –
urge from his Word,
to holy living
wise.