Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Reflections: Easter Gleams

Easter Gleams

Let us no longer call the grave
A cold, dark place;
For He whose grace
Brought Him to earth our souls to save
Hath laid His head
Among the dead,
And light into the tomb hath shed.

Let us no longer fear to die;
For He once slain,
Who rose again,
And hath ascended up on high,
With mighty blow
Hath felled the foe,
And in His dying laid death low.

Mourn we our loved and lost no more,
They are not dead;
With Christ their head
They reign in glory on that shore
Beyond the skies,
Where nothing dies,
And songs of triumph ever rise!

-Robert Marshall Offord

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Reflections: The Weeping Saviour

The Weeping Saviour

Jesus weeping! Sinner, see;
Watch His tear-drops as they fall;
Lo, He sheds these tears for thee,
Slighting still His loving call!


Jesus weeping! Can it be
That He sheds these tears for me?
Lord, I yield, I yield to Thee.

Jesus bleeding! Sinner, see;
On the cross behold He dies;
Sinner, it is all for thee,
This is love's own sacrifice.


Jesus bleeding! Can it be
That He sheds His blood for me?
Lord, I yield, I yield to Thee.

Jesus pleading! Sinner, see;
Pleading at His Father's throne;
There He intercedes for thee,
Makes thy worthless cause His own.


Jesus pleading! Can it be
That He intercedes for me?
Lord, I yield, I yield to Thee.

Weeping, bleeding, pleading, see!
Shall He call thee, yet in vain?
Let thine heart now softened be,
Do not thou such love disdain.


Jesus, Jesus, can it be
That so much Thou lovest me?
Lord, I yield, I yield to Thee.

-Robert Marshall Offord

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Reflections: The Soul's Lament

The Soul's Lament

It was my sin, Lord Jesus,
That nailed Thee to the tree;
It was my guilt that 'pressed Thee
In sad Gethsemane.

My soul on Thee relying,
In Thy death findeth life,
And peace I have eternal,
Through Thy most bitter strife.

Thy blood secures my pardon,
Thy darkness gives me light;
And I, since God forsook Thee,
Find favor in His sight.

Yet do I sin, Lord Jesus,
As though no grace had sought,
As though by blood most precious 
My soul were never bought.

Sure, heaven beholds in wonder
A love so rich as Thine;
Sure, hell must see astonished
A sin so base as mine.

Cannot Thy cross, Lord Jesus,
My evil heart restrain?
Or hast Thou borne its anguish 
And died for me in vain?

'T is not enough to pardon
For more than this I pray;
I crave a holy hatred 
Of every evil way.

Lord Jesus, by Thy dying
I to my sin would die,
And with Thee, Saviour, rising,
No more in bondage lie.

Lord, I would bring as captive
Each thought to saving love;
So may a life of service 
Precede the life above.

-Robert Marshall Offord

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Reflections: The Bread And Wine

The Bread And Wine

How rich the story which they tell-
The broken bread, the wine outpoured-
Of grace that saves from death and hell;
Of love, the love of Christ the Lord!

Through cruel bonds He sets us free,
Through dreadful gloom to gladness brings;
He dies in shame upon the tree,
Outcast, to make us priests and kings.

Can ever soul redeemed forget
How much He bore for love of us?
Sure, none may hope to pay the debt
To the dear Lord who suffered thus.

'Mid thoughts of joy our tears are shed,
We bless Him for the blood He spilt,
Yet mourn the sin that bowed His head;
His was the shame, but ours the guilt.

By this His own appointed rite
Do we His love commemorate,
Recall that sad betrayal night,
The garden's woe and Calvary's fate.

E'en while is spread before our eyes
The broken bread, the wine outpoured,
The pierced form we recognize,
And joyful cry, "It is the Lord!"

Sweet mystery of love divine,
True meat and drink by which are fed
Our hungry hearts - His blood the wine,
His body broken is the bread.

-Robert Marshall Offord 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Intro To Easter Reflections: Following Jesus

I have a wonderfully ancient book of poetry that I picked up for a few bucks in October 2003. I found it in the basement bookstore of a Christian coffee shop in Allendale, New Jersey called Holy Grounds. The copyright on this book is 1895. There is an inscription in the front dated 1983, the year I was born. It reads, "To Betty- My dearest sister in the Lord.- God filled the, the earth with beauty the day he created you. My love be with you in Christ Jesus. Barbara". It's pages are brown and tattered and the binding threatens to undo itself each time it is breathed upon.

Still, this is the 2nd most treasured book I own. If my house were ever to catch fire, I would have this tucked under my arm, along with my Bible, as I tossed my children through a window to safety. Yes, it's that dear to me. My wedding albums, my family recipes, everything else would be left behind. But not this book. (It used to reside in my safe until I realized that it never gets read when it's in there.) What could it possibly be, you ask?

Heart-Song, (2nd Edition), by Robert Marshall Offord. 

I began creating a list of books that have been very influential in my life last night. This book got pulled off the highest shelf on my tallest bookcase. I leafed through it this morning savoring the beauty of the words this man lovingly penned about our Savior and was filled to bursting, once again, with overwhelming joy and excitement at the wonder of the Gospel!

Since Easter is almost here, and many of these poems are so beautifully splendid and appropriate (not  necessarily only for the Easter season, for it is always good to meditate on that wondrous thing Christ accomplished on the cross), I am compelled to share them with you. 


Following Jesus

Man of Sorrows, mighty God,
Thou the path of life hast trod, 
And each step we take, we meet
Imprints of Thy sacred feet.

Sad indeed Thy lot in life;
Cruel foes and ceaseless strife,
Pain and persecution Thine,
Man of Sorrows, Lord divine.

When did soul such burden bear
As once wrung from Thee the prayer,
"Father, if it so may be,
Let this cup now pass from Me"?

Yet we hear Thee in Thy grief,
Borne to yield our souls relief,
Saying, O thou burdened One,
"Not My will, but Thine be done"!

Thine for us the cursed cross, 
For our gain such direful loss,
From what burden shall we shrink?
Or what cup refuse to drink?

Welcome aught our Father sends,
Since with all such grace He lends!
Welcome e'en the chast'ning rod
In the loving hands of God.

-Robert Marshall Offord

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Good Cure-All After Watching The News

The Lord Will Not Forsake His People

Psalm 94

O Lord, God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, shine forth!
 Rise up, O judge of the earth;
repay to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner,
and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people!
Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge—
the Lord—knows the thoughts of man,
that they are but a breath.

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
and whom you teach out of your law,
to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
those who frame injustice by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.