The sailors in Jonah’s boat

(Jonah chapter 1)

The sailors, frightened in the storm,
found idol-gods dead, deaf to cries.
The real, true God they had not known,
and guilty Jonah sleeping lies.
What God d’you worship? – Jonah speak!
– his God, he told them was not weak.

His God, he said, had made the sea,
the land, the sky, and taught his Word,
but disobedient Jonah, he
his God’s chastisement had incurred.
They from the storm would be set free
by throwing Jonah in the sea.

A God who speaks? A powerful God?
who teaches, judges, rules the waves?
Must they throw Jonah overboard?
– surprising will of One who saves.
They had to trust he would not blame,
and great their reverence for his name.

Their boat to land they’d tried to bring,
but could not, for the storm increased.
So now they called, and sought this King
to be from any guilt released.
At once the raging sea was calm,
and God saved Jonah too from harm.

Tune: 88 88 88 eg Melita by J B Dykes (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)
of Savina by (tune of ‘And can it be that I should gain’)

Father Precious

Not just a jolly image
who’s bringing gifts galore
(guffaws that shake his rib-cage
ring out around the store),
but one who is a Father
all year to give what‘s good
– not toys but help to better
live now the way we should:

A Father for all seasons,
knows all we’ve ever done,
does not excuse our treasons,
but beckons us to come
confess, receive forgiveness
for Jesus forged the Way,
his Father’s grace be given us
for deeds and words each day.
Tune: 76 76 D eg Nettleton (American Folk Tune) (also used for 87 87 D eg ‘Come Thou Fount of every Blessing’)

The Craftsman’s Character

Autumn flowers, sheaf of wheat,
garden veg and tins of meat –
all reminders of God’s power
– he designed the fruit and flower,
formed their structure, every cell,
and each active organelle.

Awesome is the human brain
How much more can God retain!
vast his knowledge, presence, sight
understanding, skill and might
and he knows what’s wrong, what’s right,
shines into confusion, light.

Intellect that could declare
what’s occurring everywhere,
tells us of his plans to bring
judgment on disease and sin,
offered grace, redemption bought –
listen, heed his message taught.

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13,14
Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Psalm 95:8

Tune: 77 77 77


Superb, and sympathetic

On Psalm 113
We praise the God transcendent
who dwells beyond, so high
above the stars, resplendent,
but notices a sigh.

In every place his greatness
with awe and praise proclaim;
tell always that his goodness,
delights to save from shame.

He cares for those lost, helpless,
who feel their desperate need,
hungry for grace, and fruitless,
those longing to be freed.

This could not be invented
– One infinitely great
who’s willing and committed
to be compassionate.

He must be disappointed
at folly, mess and sin,
and yet Christ was anointed
redemption full to bring.

We serve our saving Saviour,
we worship him who served,
we’ll soon be where for ever
contentment full’s reserved.

Tune: 76 76 D eg Morning Light (tune of ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus’)

God’s law and gift

The prophets and the law
were teaching long before
about true holiness,
salvation from sin’s mess
– much needed grace that God will bring:
accept and honour Christ the King.

How deep the love of God
within the Trinity:
the Father loves his Son
so deeply, and yet he
sent him to earth to teach and save:
listen! receive the gift he gave!

Tune: 66 66 88 eg Gopsal, tune of ‘Rejoice! the Lord is King’

A perfect Father

An understanding Father
who’s tender, gentle, kind
encouraging, rebuking,
maturing heart and mind.

He’s infinitely tender,
he’s infinitely strong,
he’s infinitely awesome,
and I’m his royal son.

Not weak and not uncaring
of foolish things I do;
he’s just and strong and righteous,
and helps me to pull through.

He is the Finest Master,
I want to serve him well.
He’ll teach and bless, support me,
and with me ever dwell.

Tune: 76 76 D tune of ‘O Sacred Head sore wounded’ or Ewing, tune of ‘Jerusalem the golden’

Knowing that God is Real

God is real – how can we know?
Skies and flowers his prowess show;
Christ, the Son, came here, revealing,
showed his Father’s love appealing,
justice, power,  rule and wisdom,
mercy, love and coming kingdom;

raised from death, and now preparing
for our coming to him, sharing,
sending witnesses throughout
all the world to teach about
who he is, inviting all
for his mercy, love to call.

In his time upon this earth
from his birth and through his death,
showed that we may speak and pray –
God in heaven hears what we say
of our heart needs and desires
– he himself our prayers inspires.

77 77 77 eg Dix (tune of ‘As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold’)

on Psalm 46 especially verses 10,11

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. on Psalm 46 especially verses 10,11

Kingdoms fall, and despots rise,
men do evil, truth despise;
uproar, angry storm and war,
lives are pressured more and more.

God is at his people’s side,
in their hearts he will abide.

His the victory will be,
one day all will bow the knee,
violence halted, wars will cease,
earth will know a reign of peace.

God is at his people’s side,
in their hearts he will abide

Don’t forget that he is God:
Christians – he will keep his Word,
rebels – while it’s not too late
stop! repent, his Day await.

God is at his people’s side,
in their hearts he will abide.

Tune: 77 77 77 eg tunes of ‘Rock of ages’ and ‘When this passing world is done’

Productive Word

As rain comes down on earth
and causes plants to grow,
God’s word accomplishes the things
he’s saying will be so.

Th’eternal God reveals,
declares his mind, decrees:
he spoke – and light and life were born
with supernatural ease.

Christ stood before the tomb,
told Lazarus to come out,
though four days dead, his life returned:
Christ’s call and power don’t doubt.

His gospel promise heard
can open up the mind
to understand, and truth believe,
with power his peace to find.

When Israel groaned as slaves,
God’s promise clear they heard –
he’d rescue them from Egypt’s land:
he then fulfilled his word.

When exiled far away
in Babylon, God said
he’d bring them back in seventy years,
and that is what he did.

He promises to come,
renew this damaged earth;
we know his promises have power
to bring their plans to birth.

Tune: SM  eg Franconia by J B König  (tune of ‘Blest are the pure in heart’) or Trentham by Robert Jackson or Carlisle by Charles Lockhart (tunes of ‘Breathe on me, breath of God’)  or Venice by W Amps (tune of ‘When God begins a work’)

As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10,11

God’s Wisdom

(Romans 11:33–36)
Oh, the riches of God’s wisdom,
– deep and infinitely wise;
perfect knowledge, rich and splendid:
who can fully realise
how profound, complete his judgements,
how unsearchable, how wise? –
ways that we can never fathom:
God of glorious surprise!

Who has known his mind, or counselled
mighty Lord, omniscient King?
Who provided for Jehovah?
He supplies the gifts we bring.
Sovereign God is no man’s debtor –
Source, Sustainer of the skies;
giving breath, and life, and mercy:
glory be to God so wise!