Presence


The presence of my shepherd is my peace.
His goodness to me day by day, my song.
His love for me bids all my worries cease.
He over ev’ry enemy is strong.
I lack no needed thing, for he is here
In deepest darkness as in brightest light.
Amid my enemies, I do not fear,
For God, my father, watches through the night.
No storm or sword or snake can separate
My soul from the Almighty’s sov’reign grasp.
This body may decay, these doubts berate –
Still I remain within my father’s clasp.
True life is life lived at the shepherd’s side.
I make it thus my aim to there abide. 

The Gift


The greatest gift of all was born –
The gift of Christmas presence:
The God-man facing scorn and thorn
To save the sinful peasants.

Unto a race which cried for blood
Christ Jesus came fulfilling
The Father’s plan foretold in flood,
Worked out in Christ’s own killing.

But death of son meant death of sin.
The devil was defeated.
Christ’s rising brought new life to men,
And God will not be cheated.

So let the Gospel ring this year
In ev’ry celebration,
And speak with joy to ev’ry ear
Of peace to ev’ry nation. 

Temper

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These fleeting frustrations can fill me with fury;
The littlest loss can produce a lament.
Please pardon this person so lost in the flurry;
Prevent me from spurning this chance to repent.

Let not limitations incite my impatience.
Impertinent thoughts – let them perish from me.
For I am a man unaffected by penance,
Provoked by the splinters I happen to see.

Yet you have forgiven my vilest offenses.
You made me a son though I spit in your face.
God, break down my barriers, dash my defenses,
And teach me to live by your mercy and grace.

Let me learn to better reflect your perfection.
Let sanctification reach every part.
Let my life bear witness to thy great salvation
As patience and peace rule my critical heart.

Fear of the Lord, part 1

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My eyes behold a sight so terrible
And lovely I cannot but stand in awe
And dread at knowing now what others saw,
The truth perceived in part through parable.
The Lord of all that is, in love and wrath,
Has ev’ry right to rid his world of me.
And I, now seeing him, do suddenly
Abandon all excuses for my path,
This road which led me to my own demise.
I am a sinful man deserving naught
But righteous condemnation without end.
Yet now I hear a spotless lamb’s last cries,
And now I learn my worthless life is bought,
And now I know that Christ has called me friend.

Christmas

The king was troubled in his soul
As news was told of kingly birth.
He spawned a plot to keep control,
Consumed with thoughts of his own worth.
But even in his selfish ploy,
He could not stifle heaven’s plan.
Despite the sons he did destroy,
He did not stop good news to man.
For God so loved the world…
For God so loved the world…
From long ago the Lord has said
That he would send a saving son
To stand upon the serpent’s head
And bring new life to ev’ry one
Who followed after Adam’s way
In breaking heaven’s holy law.
Messiah came to bring the day,
To rescue men from sin and flaw.
For God so loved the world…
For God so loved the world…
Though earth was lost in darkest night,
The souls of mankind dead and still,
The darkness saw a holy light
It did not, will not, cannot kill.
Now gone: defeat, despair, and death,
For hope and life and peace he brings.
He fills our lungs with living breath.
With triumph, ev’ry voice now sings:
For God so loved the world…
For God so loved the world…

Paradox

Counted righteous, yet we sin
Broken, but He lives within
Dying daily while we live
We are paupers, yet we give
Owning, but cannot afford
Wealth belonging to the Lord
Rich beyond all human dreams
In the desert finding streams
Walking from the state of death
Lungs of dust inflate with breath
Weakness shows a deeper might
Faith replaces eyes for sight
Hope endures when hope has died
Tortured souls in peace abide
Counting joy the deepest strife
Dying Son; eternal life

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Security

Though through the darkest valleys I
May pass in my pursuit of thee
I will remember thou art nigh
And call to mind your love for me

And though my path be wrought with pain
From broken hopes and shattered dreams
I will find joy in you again
And rest in you by peaceful streams

And though the sorrow may increase
Beyond all limits I perceived
You are for me a constant peace
The Lord in whom I have believed

Though weakness and despair abound
As mortal flesh its limits reach
In you, my strength afresh is found
As I your aid do now beseech