== Love God == Delight in Light ==

Friday, June 12, 2020

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Having been teaching myself to play saxophone over the past couple of years, I decided to have a go at recording a cover of a song, so here's "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go" - a beautiful song with beautiful words (the words are displayed in the video as I play)...

Monday, May 18, 2020

Adam & Eve, the Snake and the Fall - and what happened then because of it all...

Adam and Eve, the Snake and the Fall and what happened then because of it all...

It had been a lovely day;
It always was for them;
They’d walked and talked with God Himself,
Just like you would a friend.

And as they snuggled down to sleep,
You’d hear them softly say,
“It’s been so good to walk with God
In paradise today.”

You see, they lived in Eden,
A place of joy and love
All they needed everyday
Provided from above.

I wish that I could find the words
To tell you of that place;
Or walk with you among its trees
And watch your smiling face!

One morning as they went about
Another lovely day,
Just as she walked between some trees,
Eve heard a sly voice say:

“Say, my dear,
Stay, come near;
Speak a while with me;
Shall we chat
Of this and that
Here beneath this tree?”

“Oh,” said Eve, “Hello Snake,
How are you today?
There’s nowhere that I need to be,
So certainly I’ll stay.”

And so they spoke of this and that;
And then of that and this;
Until at last it got to where
That crafty snake could hiss:

“So it’s true –
Is it true?
This God you say is ‘kind’
Won’t let you eat
(However sweet)
Whatever fruit you find?”

“Oh no,” said Eve“He loves us so;
And really is so kind;
We can eat ’most any fruit –
’Most anything we find.

Surprisingly enough, in fact
This tree, in all the land
Is the only tree of all
That has a fruit he's banned

You see, He says that if we eat
The fruit from off this tree,
A fearful thing will come to pass –
For then we’ll die, you see.”

“This tree?
I see
How very interesting;
What neat
Deceit
We’re seeing from this ‘King’!

You’ll die??
My my!
You’re sure that’s what He said?
No, no!
Not so!
You’d be like Him instead!

Oh dear!
No fear!
If you just eat one bite:
You’ll grow,
You’ll know,
The truth of wrong and right!”

“Um, well,” said Eve, “it does look good
I would quite like a taste;
It would, I s’pose, be rather sad
To let it go to waste!”

“In fact,” she said, “to know what’s good –
Well – can that be so bad?
Then I will be as wise as God –
That'll surely make Him glad!”

Her heart was full of butterflies;
She knew it wasn’t right;
But still she went and plucked the fruit;
But still she took a bite.

Now Adam could have intervened,
But though he was right there,
Not only did he not shout, “Stop!”
He also had a share!

But once they’d done that first wrong thing,
A strange new feeling came:
A sadness they had never known:
A sense of guilt and shame.

And as they drooped their heads down low.
All heavy with despair;
They noticed that they had no clothes;
They realised they were bare.

They quickly took some leaves to make
A sort of covering;
As if the presence of some clothes
Would wipe away their sin.

Then came a sound they knew so well:
The Lord God walking near;
But though they’d once have called in joy;
Today they hid in fear.

The breeze was stirring in the trees
As softly God walked on,
And then (as if He didn’t know)
He called, “Where have you gone?”

“We were afraid,” the man replied,
“When we heard You come through:
We’re naked and we have no clothes,
And so we hid from You.”

“You’re naked, hey, who told you that?”
He asked; “What did you do?
Did you eat fruit from off the tree
That I forbade you to?”

Then Adam cried, “It’s not my fault –
Please let me just explain:
This girl you made gave me the fruit;
So she's the one to blame!"

Indignantly Eve cried out “What!
You can’t go blaming me!
The snake tricked me and made me eat
The fruit from off the tree!”

And so the Lord turned to the snake
And grimly said to Him
That he’d be cursed from that day on
For causing them to sin.

But then He turned and said to Eve,
“Because you broke My ban,
You’ll suffer pain when you give birth;
You’ll argue with your man.

And, Adam, you will toil and sweat
You’ll struggle and you’ll groan;
And both of you will have to leave
This garden you’ve called ‘home’”

And so they had to leave that home,
That land of joy and peace;
Their time within that wondrous place
Forever had to cease.

And at the gate, with flaming sword
God placed some cherubim;
So no one ever could come back;
So no one could get in.

From that day on, creation’s been
In bondage to decay;
And all around there’s death and pain
Since Adam sinned that day.

But yet there’s hope, because, you see
It doesn’t end that way;
Another “Adam” came to Earth
To take our sins away.

That second “Adam” is our King;
Our Saviour, Christ the Lord;
That baby born in Bethlehem
Whom angels all adored.

For Jesus came in grace and love
And died in so much pain;
So now, though Adam’s sin brought death,
Through Christ, life comes again!

And one day when He calls me home,
When all my journey's done;
Because God’s love has set me free;
Because of God’s pure Son;

I too will live in paradise –
One better than before
I too will walk and talk with Him
Each day forevermore!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Feeding the 5000 - Video

The feeding the five thousand video is now online on YouTube:

I hope you enjoy/enjoyed the video, and that you are encouraged to see if you can find ways to use your own gifts to serve God - even if your gifts seem "small" to you. Remember that a gift doesn't need to be something that people would consider special or unusual for God to use it.

If you enjoy colouring, you can download a printable Feeding the 5000 colouring page.

You can find the accounts of this even in the Bible in the following places: Matt 14:14-22, Mark 6:34-44, Luke 9:11-17 and John 6:1-13 - it would be great for you to look those up so you can read about it for yourself.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why Are You Struggling There? (Ocean of Love)

Ages ago I wrote this song. It's called "Why Are You Struggling There?" (or alternatively, as my wife prefers, "Ocean of Love"). It's inspired by various personal thoughts and Bible passages regarding the love and salvation that we get when we turn to God.

I wrote the music using an application called "Melody Assistant" but never seemed to quite get around to recording the singing... However, earlier this year my wife and I had a (rare!) spare afternoon alone, so we grabbed the opportunity to record it at last. It's not a perfect rendition, but hopefully good enough for you to enjoy :)

Having recorded it, the next step was to bundle it into a video for YouTube - I considered various options for the accompanying visuals, and in the end decided that it would be fun show the music score as it is being played by Melody Assistant. There are quite a few staves in the music, so you really need to watch it in HD on a reasonably large screen if you actually want to be able to see the notes (and even then it may be a bit of a struggle!). By the way, I can't actually play any of the instruments involved - I just chose ones that sounded nice in Melody Assistant :) - I have no idea if it would be actually possible to play the various parts on real instruments (I suspect not in some cases!).

Anyway, enough waffle - here's the video...

... and here are the lyrics:

MenWomen
My feet were all blistered with hot baking sand,
I struggled on forward through parched, barren land,
I’d used my last strength to press on to the prize,
The fruit of seduction on palm trees of lies.
My journey planned,
Seeking a far, distant land,
Hoping to win the prize,
Aiming for highest skies.
But as I drew near it began to unfold,
That all of the fruit that I once could behold,
Were shimmering mists that had vanished away,
No lakes of refreshment just, dry beds of clay.
But dreams grow cold,
Rainbows just don’t lead to gold,
Hopes dreamed along the way,
Seem to all fade away.
But then, in the midst of my deepest despair,
A voice strong as thunder yet gentle with care,
Swept over my shoulder and sung 'round my head,
It tugged on my heart and my soul as it said:
A lonely tear,
Head hung in weary despair,
That’s where my journey led,
Until a calm voice said:
"Why are you struggling there?
Come – I bring joy, not despair.
Come to my family above,
Come to my ocean of love."
I turned slowly round and I saw standing there,
With face like the sun and with flowing white hair,
The Almighty God; the Magnificent King,
The Ruler of Heaven and Everything.
I turned around to see
The Lamb of Calvary,
The Prince of Eternity,
The King of Kings, the Almighty.
The fire in His eyes and His sword wielding hand,
They filled me with dread and I fell to the sand,
But then on my shoulder His hand gently pressed,
And wonderful calmness and warmth filled my chest:
But when I saw His might,
His dazzling face of light,
I fell to my knees in dread,
But He reached down and tenderly said:
"Stand up there’s no need to fear,
Rise and let Me draw you near,
Sing, your salvation is here,
Dance with the joy that we’ll share."
He lifted me out of that miserable place,
With ruby-red blood He cleansed all my disgrace,
Poured open His heart so that I could be free,
And carried me home to His land ‘cross the sea.
Now free from the desert of endless defeat,
I'm walking in sunlight, but not burning heat,
For gushing and bubbling around at my feet,
Are rivers of love that flow down from His seat.
So friend if your soul longs for meaning and light,
Your heart wants to sing and to dance with delight,
If you’ll stop and listen, if you’ll turn to see,
You’ll hear the same words that He once said to me:
"Why are you struggling there?
Come – I bring joy, not despair.
Come to my family above,
Come to my ocean of love."
"Stand up there’s no need to fear,
Rise and let Me draw you near,
Sing, your salvation is here,
Dance with the joy that we’ll share."
“Come to my family above,
Come to my ocean of love."

 

Saturday, March 02, 2013

On Psalm 23 and Being a Sheep - Video

Some time ago I wrote a poem based on Psalm 23 called On Psalm 23 and Being a Sheep... Well, I'm now excited to say that I have created a video version of that poem!

This is the first video of this kind that I've made, so I'd love any feedback on it - it has certainly taken quite some time to do, particularly as I have a full time "normal" job and a family, so finding time to work on it hasn't always been easy.

As well as just watching the video, here are some suggestions for some fun activities that you may like to try...

  • Read Psalm 23 - The poem and video are, obviously, based on imagining what someone may have been thinking about that psalm, and, after all, he was a little confused about some things, at least at first. So why not look up Psalm 23 in your own Bible and read it for yourself?
  • Colouring page - (or "coloring" page, if you're American!) - I've created a colouring page that you can print out and colour in - then, if you like, you can pin the picture up somewhere so you have a regular reminder of your Shepherd :)
  • Draw your on picture - Rather than (or as well as) printing out my picture, why not draw your own picture of the Good Shepherd?
  • Hide and seek - I've created a little hide and seek game based on the video - there are ten things for you to try to find that appear somewhere in the video. There is also a document with the answers.
  • Hold your own show - Of course, you can share the video with your friends, etc. if you want to, or watch it with them, but why not see if you can hold your own show? You could make some characters and use them to act the story just like I did in the video - as you can see, it doesn't even matter if people can see your hands holding the characters. You could base your show on my poem (like in the video), or you could base it on the actual psalm, or you could make up your own words.

Thanks for watching and God bless :)

p.s. You may also like to read some of my other poems...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Two Things For Christians To Be Sure Of

It seems to me that Christianity is becoming more and more marginalised in Western culture. This means that we are more and more likely to be the target of opposition and/or persecution.

One result of this is that people who see themselves as Christians, but are "nominal" or "half-hearted" about it, are more likely to be forced to make a decision one way or the other - will I stand up for Jesus in spite of opposition, or will I just follow whatever happens to be popular at the moment?

One possible way to "test" whether I am "nominal" or not is to consider two key things:
  1. Do I really believe in God?
  2. Do I have a genuine love for God?
To answer the first of these, think about this: when someone challenges your belief, or presents something that could be considered to be contrary evidence, how do you react? If you react defensively or emotionally, then you should check whether your belief is really founded on a "wish" rather than on solid evidence. Are you genuinely interested in seeking truth, or are you just wanting to protect your belief?

I recommend that you embrace your doubts, investigate other points of view and face the possibility that your cherished beliefs may be wrong. Then you can come out the other side with a much stronger belief that is based on fact rather than on wishing.

To answer the second, consider your attitude towards chocolate (or, if you are one or the few people who doesn't like chocolate, something else that you do like/love). How often do you make excuses to avoid "having to" eat a piece of chocolate? Or do you rather (since chocolate is not really that good for you) make excuses or rationalisations that allow you to eat more of it? Similarly, if there is someone that you really like and love, do you make excuses so you can avoid spending time with them? Or do you look forward to, and seek out, opportunities to be with them?

What about your relationship with God - do you make excuses to avoid interacting with Him? Are you thankful if something comes up that prevents you from attending church meetings?

If so, maybe you don't really love God. If that is the case, then I recommend that you prayerfully focus on learning how to develop a love relationship with Him (rather than one that is based on a sense of duty or guilt). This book that I wrote a while back has some ideas for how to develop a relationship with God that is based on love: Would You Like To Sin More And Still Get To Heaven - but there are also many other resources and people around who will be able to help you develop that kind of relationship with Him.

So in summary, look at yourself and consider the strength of your belief in, and love for, God. If both are strong, you will have a strong foundation on, and connection to, the One who can carry you through any opposition that may come your way. If they are weak, then maybe you should ask God to help you do something about them - after all, failure to do so could have eternal consequences.