He gave himself for all …

1 Timothy 2:1-6

Some own there is a god –
his character, by whim
they draw, and see no need of Christ
to make their peace with him.

So much now stifles thought,
distracts, and numbs the mind
with music’s beat, many don’t try
life’s destiny to find.

He pinpoints where we’re at,
and where we’re heading to,
and how to reach the better goal,
what to believe and do.

One mediator given:
God wants his church to tell,
and so we need to pray for peace,
live lives that please him well.

When worldly views surround
the church must not then slide
but by their life and words, attract
towards the Saviour’s side.

We pray for all who rule
that peace and quietness
enable more to come for grace
and live in godliness.

For God can overrule
guide leaders fallible
to bring stability that makes
our witness possible.

Tune: SM

Harvest hymn

Fresh green of spring, when blossoms spread,
and bees passed round the pollen shed;
fruit set and swelled – corn, apples, berries,
and currants, beans, pears, damsons, cherries;
sustaining food is also found
at end of summer underground –
potato crops, and carrots, swede,
all help provide for winter’s need.

However good our gardening skill,
and diligence in work, we still
depend on sunshine and on rain
– we can’t the weather’s course ordain.
When harvested, the bounty stored,
we should give thanks with voice outpoured,
and live for him the life he gives,
share as we can, unselfish lives.

We may be glad when others share
if we have lack, and they’ve to spare
– such times remind to wait and pray,
this life is brief, the coming Day
is vast, prepare with contrite heart,
receive the Life Christ can impart,
though much supplied, this world can’t last
and soon the struggles will be past.

Tune:  DLM ‘Ye banks and braes’

The beginning and end of tears

This world, when all was brought to be –
the beauty, wonder we still see
was not yet marred in any way,
with no frustration, till fall’s day.
He who had mutinied, and lost
his place among the heavenly host,
became God’s enemy, until
an end to all his plans of ill.

So when God made the universe,
this Satan schemed, earned judgement’s curse;
he tempted Eve to doubt, rebel,
and so to sin and hurt she fell.
Could not for ever live like this,
their world and they were now amiss,
though still supported, all would groan
until salvation wrought, made known.

Christ came to pay the debt,  he will,
soon come again, and all fulfil,
and meanwhile hear now, heed his call
and friendship, like before the fall,
you can enjoy with God, and when
he comes, returns, a world that then
will have no damage, and no fears,
with happy work, no death, no tears.

Tune: LM or DLM ‘Ye banks and braes’

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’)

New church, devoting themselves to …

They (those converted at the Day of Pentecost, when Peter preached) devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

New life, a fledgling church
in love, together bound.
They’d seen their guilt, rebellion, sin,
then God’s forgiveness found.

Baptized, they joined his church,
adopted, with new kin,
devoted to their Saviour’s Word
to grow in pleasing him.

Blest fellowship with all
who know Him, old and young,
the rich, the poor: all care and share –
God values everyone.

They love to meet to keep
remembrance of his death,
break bread his cov’nant to proclaim
‘til he returns to earth.

Delight to meet to pray
requests together raise,
the whole church asking God to bless,
unitedly they praise.

Devotion’s strength may lapse –
distracted by your cares?
or in your busyness, your love,
grown cooler, unawares?

Give thought to how you came
to be reborn, made new,
devotion rouse to Him who has
done wondrous things for you.

Tune: SM eg tune of ‘Blest be the tie that binds’

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’

A friend of God?!

A treasured prize invaluable
– it should seem quite incredible
that God, Creator, holy, pure
could friendship want, desire, endure
with us – but it is so, we’re filled
with awe, and startled hearts are thrilled.

Religions fear a wrath they must
somehow appease if it is just,
and never could conceive, or dare
hope such a Being would, could care
for friendship – that would seem absurd,
until Christ’s victory is heard.

The access he has opened, and
now beckons, calls with love’s command
to all who hide: to come, receive,
repent of sins, draw near, believe.
Have you desired, asked him to be
your special Friend eternally?

For then you’ll taste that friendship warm
enjoyment in the calm and storm
in sharing, comforted – intend
to always please your Father, Friend,
and value friendship of all who
walk with him on this journey new.

James  2: 23 Abraham believed God … he was called God’s friend.

Tune: 88 88 88  eg Sussex Carol (tune of ‘On Christmas Night all Christians Sing’)
or eg Stella (tune of ‘Leave God to order all thy ways’) or Melita (tune of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’)

You will answer my prayer

Hear me, O Lord, I look to you
– the tasks before me I can’t do
unless you help, and come to me –
and yours the victory will be.

Your enemies and mine lurk near,
but you, my call will always hear.
Instruct me that I may display
your truth, your light, your life, your way.

Give me an undivided heart,
and cleanse me, keep me set apart
– confusion’s mire surrounds, they need
a beacon to life’s Rock to lead.

Prosper eternal plans of good,
and help me do the things I should.
Lord, comfort me, that they will see
that you, the King show grace to me.

see Psalm 86

Tune: LM

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.

Feelings or Facts?

Appealing bells,
sensuous incense,
awe-inspiring spires,
enchanting chanting
thrilling, enthralling:
surface magic and excitement;
high ceilings lift aloft,
thoughts drift,
mellow spirit glowing –
yet from these little learning,
that in the knowing
can gird the mind
when in the cold of daily grind,
groping, groaning, hurt and blind.

Relaxing, fragrant, ‘bubble-bath’,
escape awhile, refreshment –
perplexing thoughts
unreached, untouched
untaught, unsatisfied,

until

hear words of truth
– though these may not caress, allure,
they enter aural gate unlocking light
producing courage to endure
distress,
and satisfying mental sense,
intelligence.