Sabbath

A day of rest to muse upon your place before your God,
Where you have fallen short and where you’ve gone back on your word,
The many blessings you’ve received you clearly don’t deserve
That fill your heart with gratitude and new desire to serve.

Appreciate the love he shows so far beyond our own,
Recall the recent struggles through which your soul has grown,
Look back upon the path you’ve trod, the progress you have made,
Broaden your horizons to see those that you can aid,

Realign your compass if you see you’ve gone astray,
Deal with a nagging problem that has worsened every day,
Take the time to reconnect with loved ones you’ve ignored,
Put an end to enmities your soul cannot afford,

Gain the wisdom others had to pay a high price for,
Make connections that had never come to mind before,
Free yourself to concentrate, to learn, to grow, to soar,
And look towards the One we rightly worship and adore.

Fortitude

True fortitude has always been the strength to feed your family,
To survive when all around are giving up on life;
Facing trials as they come with one eye on eternity,
Despite your pain and troubles, staying faithful to your wife,

Staying grateful when the hard days come and stretch out into weeks or months,
Knowing that the things you have are more than you have lost;
Not giving in to promises of easy wealth and influence,
Taking time before you sign to truly count the cost;

The strength to listen to a friend,
Admit what you don’t know,
Seek the truth together
In a way that you both grow;

Tell the truth when it still hurts
And gaze at your own flaws;
Revive a habit left inert
That points to higher laws;

Clarify a vague unease
To see what can be done
To stop a creeping vile disease
Before its course has run;

Rectify a thoughtless act,
Redeem a broken soul;
Lead them back into the light
With fresh and healthy goals;

Laugh at unfounded, nagging fears
That held your heart in chains
When their true nature has appeared
And you can breathe again.

Stand strong against each foe and woe,
Defend the light you’ve grown;
Be more than just an outward show,
And know you’re not alone.

Blinkered

Blinkered

Far below the crashing waves
Of what things seem to be,
Are powerful currents that will change
The course of history.

Far above the petty schemes
Down on this squalid earth,
Is a realm where all can see
Which acts have lasting worth.

So much more is happening
Than we can ever grasp;
How much broader will our vision be
When we near our final gasp?

What lessons will the Teacher grant
Before our weak hearts fail?
What glimpses can we share with Man
Of what’s beyond the veil?

What part of heaven can we bring
To life in our own homes?
What connects us to our kin
Besides our chromosomes?

Who will we turn to as our guide
Through turbulence and doubt?
In which good soul can we confide
And know they won’t walk out?

How can we be a solid friend
To those who need our care?
Be faithful with the gifts He sends
And keep them in your prayers.

He Sees

He sees you when you triumph,
He sees you when you fail;
He knows what keeps you up at night,
He knows what makes you pale.

He sees the stands you choose to make,
He sees the threats you flee;
He knows the promises you break,
Wisely or foolishly.

He knows your every flaw and yet
His love is undeterred;
He still came down to pay our debt
And share his living word

That brings new hope, lifts up our eyes,
Outshines our brightest dreams,
Shows us when our old self dies
We’re far more than we seem.

Great heavenly realms stretch out above
The limits of this world,
Where we can taste his full, pure love
Through gateways made of pearl.

When Our King Calls Us Home

Another song I hope to record one day:




When Our King Calls Us Home.
 
Our squabbles over pottage bowls,
That we disguise as higher goals,
Are worthless when our life unrolls
And our King calls us home.
 
The bitter words we spoke in rage
Can haunt us when we reach old age;
We’re grateful for a fresh, new page
And long to be called home.
 
Kindness shown in little ways
Will sparkle like the sun’s pure rays
When we’ve reached the End of Days
And Our King calls us home.
 
The treasures that we store with Him,
That far outweigh our sufferings,
Will cause our hearts to soar and sing
When our King calls us home.
 
When troubles come and blows we take,
When we feel our hearts will break,
We grow in glory for His sake,
Until He calls us home.
 
So now I make a daily choice,
In the chaos and the noise,
To listen for that still, small voice
When my King calls me home.

Perception

Perception

You might think you’re just a tiny speck within a raging storm,
A thousand different voices screaming at you to conform,
To give up hope, blaspheme your God, and join the vicious mob;
Or stand aside, at least, and let them do their hatchet job.

Defeat is unavoidable, what difference can you make?
What kind of fool would stand there when the dam’s about to break?
Then time itself stands still and you are swept before the Throne,
And He reveals you are in fact a vital cornerstone

To peoples you have yet to meet, besides the ones you know,
Your influence, for good or bad, eternity will show.
A thoughtful act can redirect a life that’s gone astray,
Bring broken souls back from the brink, unfounded fears allay,

Give strength to those so weary from fighting the good fight,
Grant the lame the grace to dance, give back the blind their sight,
As they perceive the holy war that’s waging for their hearts,
Step out from the audience and dare to play their part

In the thrilling drama that decides so many fates,
And takes them in directions they cannot anticipate,
Drawing others heavenwards with every step they take
Along the narrow path, leaving blessings in their wake.

Winter Musing

I wrote most of this this while on a walk yesterday:

Winter Musing

When snowy fields at sunset have turned the world to gold,
Remember truths you must pass on before your heart grows cold:
An empty soul cannot be filled with momentary joys;
A broken heart cannot be fixed with parties, tricks and shiny toys.

Don’t entertain yourselves to death, but reach for higher things,
You do not need to be struck blind or hear an angel’s wings
To witness glory all around in little acts of love,
Appreciate a kindness shown when push has come to shove,

Let the lonely child know there’s a place where he belongs,
Offer words of hope to those whose faith is not as strong:
When darkness overwhelms you and your path is all but gone,
The shadow’s but a passing thing, and you are not alone.

The one who knows your heart and pain,
Who knows your will to rise again,
Who calls the storm cloud and the rain,
Is closer than you know.

So lift your head up strong and proud,
And when before the madding crowd,
Be not afraid to shout aloud,
“In His steps I will go!”

Should they choose to run you through
For staying faithful, pure and true,
Then heaven’s door will be in view,
And joy will overflow.

Boogie Woogie Gospel

My apologies for the long silence and the low quality of this production; lockdowns and heavy workloads and other factors have conspired to frustrate my efforts to produce something more worthy of those who follow my efforts, and I was restricted to using stock music instead of a commissioned accompaniment as I planned. Still, I hope at least some of you will find it enjoyable and uplifting.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present Boogie Woogie Gospel, inspired by the joyful stylings of Dr K, otherwise known as Brendan Kavanagh.

Boogie Woogie Gospel

The world we live in changes with bewildering speed,
With people ungrateful, hateful, jealous, bitter indeed.
Well, as God is my witness, this musical business
Is just the dose of joy that your soul really needs.

You don’t know me, so don’t throw me and my message away,
Come up near now, so you’ll hear what I’m trying to say.
Be rid of the darkness in your heart,
Turn yourself around with a whole new start,
And start a joyful life on this beautiful day.

A long time ago, a man played a dangerous game,
Brought hope to the poor, the outcast, the sick and the lame;
The corrupted elites looked down on the streets
With jealous fury when the people called out His name.

He’s so holy and so wholly different from them,
Bringing healing, revealing a radical change.
He took their thorniest questions and evil suggestions,
And wowed them with his wisdom, winning every exchange.

Embarrassed by their failure, they saw him as a deadly threat
To their power and position, and so they plotted his death.
They paid one of his friends to betray him,
So they could take him in secret and slay him,
But he used their evil plan to pay all of our debts.

He chose to be tortured and die the way that we deserved,
‘Cause he came to this world to save us, and not to be served;
He offers us life abundant, where our worry and fear are redundant,
Up in his Father’s house, he has our places reserved.

After everything that he’s done for all of us,
I’d say he fully deserves every bit of our trust,
So put your life in his hands,
He’ll give you the strength to stand,
And lead you faithfully to the Promised Land.

————————————————————-

Musical accompaniment: Boogie Woogie Bed by Audionautix, in places cut and pasted, at the end slowed

People Filled with Fear

This is a song that I wrote in April in a doctor’s waiting room, and one that I hope will soon become very dated. It is sung approximately to the tune of ‘When Daddy Let me Drive’ by Alan Jackson.

People Filled With Fear

Sitting in a room of people filled with fear
Don’t want to let their masks slip or get too near.
Everyone so closed off, it’s no way to live;
Welling up inside me, I want to reach out and give

A little gleam of hope, a little glimpse of truth,
There’s more to life than dying once you lose your youth.
You were made to love, you were made to thrive,
I’m determined to be joyful every day that I’m alive,
There’s no need to despair now, the Father is in charge.

So when the news is scolding us that we’re all doomed,
Remember that our Saviour didn’t stay in his tomb.
Whatever life may throw at us, we have at our side
The mighty Lamb of God who chose us as his bride;

We are filled with hope, we all know the Truth,
We’ve found a secret greater than the fountain of youth.
There’s no need to run, there’s no need to hide,
We have founts of living water welling up inside,
So be bold and courageous, with the Spirit as our guide.

Did You Know? Is Now Released

As promised, here is a recording of the song I sung to my wife on our nineteenth wedding anniversary, attempting to make it as romantic a moment as possible. I dressed up smartly and had flowers and chocolates waiting for her by her favourite armchair when she came home from her sign language lesson, her brother was hiding upstairs with his car parked around the corner so she wouldn’t notice him being there. As she was looking at the flowers, he came down the stairs strumming the guitar and I began to sing:

You can also listen to the song via the major streaming services, as well as purchase the song for download on amazon, itunes and other online stores.

Did you know?

Did you know, when you go,
In my heart you leave a hole?
My life isn’t full without you,
You’re worth more to me than gold.
When you smile, for a while,
I feel like I can fly;
It’s like heaven’s doors are opened,
For you I’d walk a hundred miles.

My heart is ever open
To you, my precious one;
Every time I bring you joy
It is the greatest prize I’ve won.
The day you said you were mine
I truly came alive;
I can’t imagine how to live
Without you by my side.

All the stars, with their cars,
And their hotel rooms and bars,
Are just wandering empty souls,
They don’t have half the joy that’s ours.
I’m so blessed to possess
A companion on our quest
To raise our children strong enough
To cope with every test

My heart is ever open
To you, my precious one;
Every time I bring you joy
It is the greatest prize I’ve won.
The day you said you were mine
I truly came alive;
I can’t imagine how to live
Without you by my side.

Yet here you are, my shining star,
I love you just as you are.