Reflections on a cool week in summer

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Cool summer weather,
Is welcome, though strange.
We open the windows,
The air off, for a change.

The pool is quite cold,
The crowd is quite small.
We shiver, but swim.
Is this summer or fall?

The dog loves the weather,
He’s at home in the cold.
The rest of us dread
The weather of old.

Next week will be warmer,
The heat will renew.
Enjoy this small break
Before our summer ensues.

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Psalm 6, Versified

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For the choir director. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Lord, keep me safe from your anger,
Don’t punish me in your wrath.
God, hold me up in your mercy,
For I’m too weak to follow your path.

My bones quake in agony,
I cry out to be healed.
My soul burns in anguish,
How long must I wait afield?

Lord, you are my salvation.
Turn and deliver me.
Your love unfailing I long for,
And your merciful face to see.

Among the dead no one praises.
No corpse can call on your name.
No songs are heard from the casket.
The graveyard is ever the same.

I am grown weak from moaning,
I flood my pillow with tears,
My eyes grow weary from sorrow,
I cannot face all of my fears.

The Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has accepted my prayers.
Flee, you evildoers,
I follow the Lord who cares.

My enemies are in anguish,
The all are put to shame.
They turn back in their fear,
But I will praise your name.

Psalm 5 (Versified)

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Hear my words, Oh Lord!
I weep, for help I cry.
Oh Lord, my God, My King,
Hear my voice and draw nigh.

In the morning I call,
At dawn I offer my prayer.
I wait and wait for your help,
For I know that you are there.

You hate all evil.
Wicked men run in fear.
The proud kneel before you,
Humbled when you are near.

Those who lie and do wrong,
Those who cheat and steal and kill,
You hate with a burning fire,
Destroying them as you will.

But by your great love I come.
In reverence I bow down,
In your temple, your house,
Wherever you may be found.

Lead me, Lord, I pray.
You know what is right.
My enemies pursue me,
But I walk in the light.

They breathe out lies,
Their heart is filled with hate.
Declare them guilty, O God!
Banish them to their fate.

Rejoice, those who take refuge,
Singing ever in praise.
Hide them under your wings,
Let them sing your name always.

Surely you bless the pure,
Around them put a force field.
They sing for joy to you,
With your favor for a shield.

The King of the Earth and the Sea

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(To be sung to the tune of Ada. That is the other tune for the song “Redeemed”.)

The King of the earth and the sea,
The Lord of the wind and the rain,
Who rules o’er all that might be,
Is now and forever the same.

He reigns, he reigns,
He reigns in heaven on high.
The world he holds in his fingers,
He reigns over ocean and sky.

He came to the world in a manger.
He lived, learned, he laughed and he grew.
To mankind no longer a stranger.
His word will make everything new.

He came, he came,
He came to dwell on the earth
His presence will light up the darkness,
And give to us all a new birth.

He died that the world might be free,
No longer to sin be a slave.
Open in your eyes and you’ll see,
The price of the gift that he gave.

He died, he died.
He died to bring life ever more.
His blood shed to ransom your pardon,
That your soul in heaven might soar.

He rose that world might behold him,
To see him in glory and light.
To show that the grave could not hold him,
And, like him, our souls can take flight.

He rose, he rose,
Death no longer can win.
The grave no more may conquer,
Our hearts are now free from sin.

In heaven, the Lord waits the hour
When back to the earth he will come.
The world waits to see him in power,
The summer we worship the Son.

He comes, he comes,
The world no longer need fear.
He comes, shouting out in his triumph
As we will forever draw near.

Contemplations on Confirmation

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Young men and women
Come forth to take their stand.
Their turn now coming
To serve the Lord in the land.

Have we taught them everything
That they will need to know?
Have we taught them always
What seeds that they should sow?

Every generation
Must set their children free,
To serve, to stand, to follow,
To learn, to love, to be.

Have we given them the gifts
That they will need each day?
Have we given them the love
To support them on their way?

Looking back and forward,
In a never-ending line,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
Support us though all time.

Have we shown our children
That on God they must rely?
Earthly friends may fail them,
But He will hear their cry.

Young men and women
Must hold the torch aloft.
They must lead into tomorrow
And never mind the cost.

We must send them forth,
They must stand and be aware
That God will love them always.
He is always there.

Psalm 4, versified

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When I call, the Lord will answer,
He hears me in distress.
He sends me hope for my prayers
And his mercy is never less.

How long, how long, will men hate me?
And turn my glory into shame?
How long, how long, will they flee you?
Choosing illusions over your name?

The Lord has chosen me,
So I must follow Him.
He listens when I call,
And makes me free from sin.

In your anger, chose not sin.
Always search both heart and soul.
Offer Him gifts from a righteous heart.
Trust in the One who makes you whole.

Many, many, seek for riches,
But I will always seek Your face.
While they rejoice in wine and grain,
I will revel in your grace.

I will sleep and be assured
That I will rise to serve again
For with You I dwell securely,
Fearing nothing that comes from men.

Psalm 3, Versified

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One of the annoying things about the Psalmists is that they are not always what twenty-first century people might consider to be properly reverential and worshipful, with the proper decorum. It was bad enough in Psalm Two, when the psalmist just wanted God to shatter the enemy nations like clay pots with an iron rod. In Psalm 3, however, the psalmist seems to take positive delight in asking God to punch his enemies in the jaw, and break their teeth. I laughed out loud when I read that, and all of the versions I read said basically the same thing, though exactly where God was to punch the enemies sometimes changed (Always somewhere on the face, though it could be jaw, or cheek, etc.)

Psalm 3

Many, many, are my foes.
Many, many hate me.
Many triumph o’er my woes
And say that God’s against me.

But God is here, he is my shield.
He gives me joy and glory.
I will not fear, for he wields
A sword renown in story.

I call Him and He hears me
He answers from His Hill.
I sleep and he protects me,
I awake in comfort still.

I will not fear the thousand,
Though they are on every side.
I will not fear the thousands,
For God with me abides.

He’ll punch their jaws and break their teeth,
He will deliver me.
He’ll make all the wicked come to grief,
And bless His people free.

Psalm 2, Versified

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This one was rather difficult for me to write. I’m afraid I’ve been infected by the PC vision of the age, which makes “God is Love” his only attribute, and ignores the fact that God may be angry, and indeed, may have a perfect right to be angry.
The Kingdoms rage, the people shout.
What on Earth could this be all about?
Kings and rulers plot and plan
Against their Lord, and the Son of Man.

Cast off His bands, break His cords.
Nothing can make them follow the Lord.
The Lord in his Heaven sits and laughs
As if they could resist His wrath.

For God set His Son on Zion’s hill,
God made Him His heir, to follow His will.
The world is His, with an iron rod
He shatters the nations that won’t turn to God.

Let the kings learn wisdom on Earth,
Not be the target of God’s mirth.
Celebrate his rules, with fear.
Tremble as His Son draws near.

Worship the Son, bow before Him.
His anger burns, let all adore Him.
His wrath may in an instant burn,
But blessed are they that to him turn.

Psalm 1, Versified

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I’ve decided to try to go through this year and “versify” Psalms, as a devotional exercise. My goal is to complete one psalm a week, but considering that it took me three weeks to get through Psalm 1, that may be pushing things somewhat. Or you could say that it only took me one hour, after I switched the tune I was trying to write to.

Based on Psalm 1
To the tune of “O Worship the King.”

The man who loves God,
How blessed is he!
To follow God’s path
Continuously
To stand in the judgment,
To sit in the throng
Which worships the Saviour
All the day long.

The man who loves God
Will grow like a tree,
With leaves that are green,
With fruit abundantly.
God’s love flows like water,
Alive in a stream,
That waters the roots,
And keeps the leaves green.

Not so are the wicked,
They’re like the dry leaves,
That blow in the wind,
That blow on the breeze
Their ways are forsaken,
Their pathways are dim.
For all roads shall perish
That lead not to Him.

Writer’s Block

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With my pen in my hand,
I glare at the page.
“Why won’t the words come?”
I rant and I rave.

When I do other things,
Thoughts flow in by the score.
But when I pick up a pen,
They flee out the door.

And the ideas I grab
Are so thin and so weak,
Instead of those bold thoughts
I was trying to seek?

All my bright dreams
So quickly disperse,
And I’m stuck with this poem,
For better or verse.