Trust God when everything seems to go wrong
when lifes dark shadows shut out our song
God is there in the darkness as well as the light
so walk on by faith and not just by sight.
Sometimes dark clouds overshadow the sun
but raindrops then fall and new life has begun
as we need the rain to refresh the earth
so clouds are a blessing and not a curse.
If clouds never came and the sun always shone
the earth would be dry and all beauty gone
so be glad for the dark days, they soon pass away
but they are working a blessing you'll see one day.
Avril J Bell. April 2002
The Church, Walking With The World
The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shore of time-
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.
"Come, give me your hand," said the merry World,
"And walk with me, this way!"
But the good Church hid her. Snowy hands
And solemnly answered, "Nay,
I will not give you my hand," she said,
"And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way of eternal death;
And your words are all untrue."
"Nay, walk with me but a little space,"
Said the World with a kindly air;
"The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there;
Your path is narrow and thorny and rough,
While mine is flowery and smooth;
Your lot is sad with, reproach and toil,
While in rounds of joy I move.
The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.
My way, you can see, is a broad fair one,
And my gate is high and wide;
There is room enough for you and for me,
And we'll travel side by side."
Half shyly the Church approached the world
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World grasped, it and walked along,
And whispered in accents low,
"Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I have gold and pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair."
The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.
"I will change my dress for a costlier one,
Said the Church with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave in their place,
Beautiful satins, and fashionable silks, And roses and gems and pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.
"Your house is too plain," said the proud
"I will build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine."
He built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold;
Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held ,
And the World and his children were there,
Laughter and music and feasting were heard
In the place that was meant for prayer.
There were cushioned seats for the rich and gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.
"Your preachers are all too old and plain,"
Said the gay World with a sneer
"They frighten my children with dreadful tales,
Which I like not for them to hear.
They warn of judgments- and fire and pain,
Of doom of the darkest night,
And speak of a place that should not be,
Mentioned to ears polite.
I mil send you some of a better stamp;
More brilliant and gay and fast,
Who will show how men may live as they list,
And then get to heaven at last.
The Father is merciful, great, and good,
Tender, loving and kind,
Do you think He would take one child to heaven!
And leave another behind?"
So she sent for pleasing and gay divines,
Deemed gifted and great and learned,
And the plain old men who had preached the cross
Were out of her pulpits turned.
Then Mammon came in supporting the Church,
And rented a prominent pew;
And preaching and singing and floral display
Proclaimed a gospel new.
Then fair and festival, frolics untold
Were held in the place of prayer,
And maidens, bewitching as sirens of old,
With worldly graces rare,
Thought up the very cunningest tricks,
Untrammeled by gospel or laws,
To beguile, and amuse, and win from the World
Some help for the righteous cause.
The angel of mercy flew over the Church,
And whispered, "I know thy sin!"
Then the Church looked sad and earnestly longed
To gather her children in.
But some were out at the midnight ball,
And some were drinking in gay saloons,
So she quietly turned away.
Then said the' World in soothing tones,
"Your children mean no harm,
Merely indulging in innocent sports."
So she leaned on his proffered arm,
And smiled, and chatted, and gathered flowers,
And walked along with the World.
While countless millions of precious souls
O'er the fearful brink were hurled.
"You give too much to the poor," said the
"Far more than you ought to do.
Though the poor need shelter, food, and clothes,
Why should that trouble you?
And afar to the heathen in foreign lands
Your thoughts need never roam-
The Father of mercies will care for them.
Let charity stay at home.
Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
And horses and carriages fine;
Roses, and jewels, and dainty food,
And rarest and costliest wine;
My children just dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win,
You must do as they do, and walk in the way
That they are walking in.
So the Church drew tightly the strings of her purse,
And gracefully lowered her head,
And simpered, "I've given too much away,
I will do, Sir, as you have said."
So the poor were turned from her door in scorn;
She heard not the orphan's cry;
She drew her beautiful robes aside
As the widows went weeping by.
Her missions treasuries beggarly pled,
And Jesus commands were vain,
As half the millions for whom He died
Had never heard of His name.
Then they of the Church and they of the World
Walked onward hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.
Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,
"I am rich and in goods increased;
I have need of nothing and naught to do
But to laugh and dance and feast."
The sly World heard it and laughed in his Sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside--
"The Church has fallen, the beautiful Church;_
And her shame is her boast and her pride."
The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame;
And a voice was heard at last by the Church,
From Him who sat on the throne,
"I know thy works, and how thou hast said
"I am rich" but thou hast not known
That thou art poor and naked and blind,
With pride and with ruin enthralled.
The intended bride of a heavenly groom
Is companion of the World.
Go, humble thy heart and confess thy sin,
Let shame now cover thy face,
Or else--alas--I must cast thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.
Matilda C. Edwards
The Cross Of Jesus
He left His Fathers home above
where all was harmony, peace and love,
and to this sinful world He came
to set us free from sin and shame.
But most did not receive Him
Kings and rulers knew Him not,
but He came as promised to Bethlehem,
and a manger of straw was His cot.
Angels announced His heavenly birth
and sang praises in the skies above,
but not for Himself did He come to earth,
but to suffer and shed His blood for us.
He hung upon that cross in pain,
humbled, nailed to it's rugged frame.
He could have had an angel train
to bear Him up to the heavenly plain.
And in the darkness hanging there,
the agony was hard to bear,
His hands and feet the nails did tear,
but people watching did not care.
Let Him come down from the cross, they said
He raised people from the dead.
He worked miracles and thousands fed
from a small basket of fish and bread.
He could have left that wooden cross,
but oh, at such tremendous loss
abandoned us to a dreadful fate
but no, His love was far too great.
He would rather bear the pain alone
and for our sin and shame atone
than take the smooth and easy road
to take Him back to His Father God.
Forgive them Father, was His cry
as drew on His hour to die,
His heart of love was broken by
the scorn of those who stood near by.
Six hours He hung in agony and pain
that He for us eternal life might gain,
despised, rejected, once our Saviour came,
but next time He as King will reign.
Not as a baby to Bethlehem's manger,
nor to His people a total stranger,
but as Friend and King, our Saviour will come
to take us back to His heavenly home.
From the gloom of this world with it's sin and it's woe
He will take us all home who have chosen to go.
Won't you come dear one, the offer is free
of love, joy and peace for eternity.
The Great Physician
One day when I was ill in bed
feeling so sick and with pain in head
I prayed, O God just heal me now,
just touch me please, I feel so low
Then came a thought into my mind
The Great Physician, He is so kind
If He were here on earth below
just like He walked those years ago
He would never turn one soul away
who came to Him for health that day
He'd touch them and they'd be made whole
be it physical ill, or torment of soul
So I just imagined my Lord was there
right by my side to answer prayer
You are the Great Physician I prayed
reach out and touch me as I'm laid
I felt His presence, although in pain
and knew I'd soon be well again
songs of praise just filled my mind
and precious promises from Him so kind
The Great Physician was so near
no need for further fret or fear
I knew that He would take my case
the best Physician that I could face
Renewed by His Spirit with inward peace
although the pain had still not ceased
comforted that He had taken control
my will was His now, body and soul
The Great Physician does what's best
and soon I felt a lot refreshed
His healing touch had taken place
All praise and thanks for your love and grace
Avril J Bell Dec. 2001
Jesus is a Friend for all our needs
He is always there to help us and to lead
He will be our strength and guide
and will walk right by our side
For He's promised not to leave us all alone.
Take your burdens to His Throne
you need not bear it on your own
His Spirit, He will comfort and relieve
if we will only trust Him and believe
For He's promised to supply our every need.
So do not be discouraged or despair
Jesus hears our cry and answers prayer
come and all your problems bring
you'll have joy and peace within
and He's promised to be with us to the end.
Avril/ J. Bell. * Nov. 2001
Lord take my hand and lead me through these dark and fearful days
Give me hope and comfort and guide me in Your ways
I know not what the future holds but help me to be still
leaning on Your promises, help me to do Your will.
Fill my heart will praise to You for all Your love and care
and help me to be thankful that You my burdens bear
Forgive me for my failings and sins when I do fall
and take away discouragement, help me on You to call.
Make me Lord a blessing to those who are lonely and sad
help me to share Your Gospel that others may be glad
Fill me with Your Spirit, may I Your witness be
to show something of Your Glory of You living in me.
On These Things
Just think on the things that are honest and true
and you will be uplifted and happier too
Think on the things that are wholesome and pure
your thoughts will be the finer, you can be sure
Think on the things that are lovely and good
you'll be surprised how many if really understood
Think on the things that have a good report
so much we could find that are not of this sort
Think on the things that are just and you will find
that other faults and wrongs are left far behind
It really does no good to think on all that's bad
when there is so much to uplift and make us glad
So if there be any virtue and there be any praise
think on these things and they'll brighten up your days.
Based on Philippians. 4. 8-9
Avril. J. Bell. * Nov. 2001
The Lost Sheep
good and faithful Shepherd leads and guides His sheep
He is loving, true and gentle and will their pathway keep
but sheep they tend to wander and stray away from the fold
and into paths of danger, they find they are lost and cold.
A sheep is lost and injured, alone, helpless and weak
exposed to all the dangers, unable to homeward seek
He cries, but no one hears him, far away from the fold is he
as darkness gathers around him and all but shadows he sees.
But wait - someone is calling, is calling the sheep by name
the voice is his own good Shepherd coming to seek the lame
He's coming to seek the lost one, He knows and hears his sad cry
and will not rest till He find him and save him lest he die.
Soon the strong arms of the shepherd reach down to the lone lost sheep
and lifting him up on His shoulders He gently carries His sheep
He goes on his way rejoicing, the sheep that was lost now found
restored, loved and forgiven, now safe and homeward bound.
Avril. J. Bell. * Oct. 2001
there any answers to the problems of this life
Why do we have such sadness, suffering and strife
We're born, we live, and then we die. What purpose we may ask
surely there is more than this and life was meant to last.
do have all the answers in God's holy book
Come with me now and we'll just take a look
When God made the world it was perfect and pure
He made Adam and Eve, they were sinless - secure
spoke every day face to face as their friend
It was His plan that this never should end
all of God's creatures were happy and free
in this beautiful world He intended to be.
test was all that they had to face
one tree that God had said not to taste
but one day in weakness they took of that tree
what sadness that day changed their destiny
gave our first parents the benefit of choice
Oh how they wished they had heeded His voice
God warned them that Satan could tempt from that tree
but no other place in that garden could he.
the day that you eat you will surely die
oh why did we touch it, we hear their sad cry
All was now changed from their pure sinless state
death would be part of their lives - too late.
sorrow and heartache, shame and with fear
they hid from their God who loved them so dear
but God came and sought them to tell them a way
a price would be paid by His own Son one day
the death of this sinless One could pay the price for sin
only then could the human race be reconciled and win
God's only loved Son would become man by His birth
and live human life on this poor sin cursed earth.
would suffer and die for us all so that we
might have pardon for sin, and so set us free
but death could not keep Him, He was God's Son
He would rise from the grave - the victory won.
back to His Father in heaven He would rise
and be with Him always, what praise fill the skies
We now can have access to God through our prayers
and have hope for our future and calm for our fears
down through the ages sin has grown worse
Satan has sway for a time through the curse
but we're not left alone, God is watching - aware
He sees all our heartache, sorrow - He cares
can come to our God through our Saviour His Son
forgiveness and cleansing for sins we have done
we'll have new life and victory and peace deep within
even though all around us be darkness and sin.
heaven our Saviour has prepared us a home
and all who'll accept Him He'll gladly say come
He's coming in glory in clouds of the sky
we'll be caught up and changed in a twinkling of eye.
earth with its sin will soon pass away
be cleansed with God's fire and made new one day
A perfect new world God will make once again
free from all sorrow, death, heartache and pain.
signs all around show Christ's coming is near
if we give Him our lives we have nothing to fear
He loves us wants to be with us forever
and nothing will part us again - No Never.
J Bell * Jan 2001
Our Future Home
Think of a land where no sickness or pain
No sorrow or heartache will rise up again
No death or destruction or famine will ever
Be part of our lives in the future forage
We cannot imagine what God has prepared
Or how much He loves us and how much He cares
Of glories in heaven and mansions so bright
Everywhere beautiful scenes to delight
Beautiful flowers perfume the clean air
Butterflies and birds their colours so rare
Waving green grasses and tall lofty trees
All blowing softly in heavenly breeze
New things to learn and music to play
New heights to aspire, day after day
Health in abundance, new life forever
Nothing will hurt or destroy, no never
The lion and the lamb will lie down together
Peace and contentment between them forever
All God's creatures are happy and free
Birds fly and sing their sweet melody
Pure crystal rivers and streams that run by
Reflecting the colours of land and sky
Unsurpassed beauty all meets the eye
Peace and contentment, never to die
But more than all this Jesus is there
This is the land He went to prepare
He's coming to take us back to His home
To share all these glories with all who will come
He paid a great price to free us from sin
And all who accept Him can freely come in
He will usher us in, and our voices will sing
Praise to our Saviour, Redeemer and King
Avril J. Bell, Wales - January 2000
Son of God
When Jesus was born He was laid in a manger
angels were there to protect Him from danger
He lay with the beasts on His humble bed
with Mary and Joseph in a cattle shed
Angels appear to some shepherds that night
O, what a wonderful glorious sight
they sang glory to God and peace to all
salvation has come in that lowly stall
No earthly palace for this child of a King
wise men their treasures to Jesus they bring
the King of the universe has come to earth
as a tiny babe but royal by birth
Jesus grew up and became a man
He came to fulfil His wonderous plan
He died on the cross for you and me
to cleanse us from sin and set us free
Jesus rose up from the grave where He lay
He came to this world to show us the way
now He's in heaven with His Father above
longing to come for His people - what love
Won't you accept the dear Saviour today
He'll take all your sins and wash them away
His coming in glory is soon, don't delay
be ready and faithful for that glad day
Avril J Bell * Nov 99
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