Head of His Class


There are those, the favoured sons

Who are admired by everyone

Like Tarsus’ Saul meant for things great

Who the Rabbi Gamaliel did educate

Saul entrusted with the Council’s mission

After being granted the High Priest’s permission

This man of many talents – that seemed to have all

Need just one more thing – Salvation’s call

And so the man ‘head of his class’

Learned the lesson that the first should be last

And his life was in a moment reshaped – converted

When Jesus – His lordship over Paul was asserted


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Based on today’s sermon

From The Bottom Lifted

Joseph in the dungeon deep

The prodigal with just swill to eat

Peter in tears because of denials made

And all of us when lost and afraid

When we are at bottom and can fall no more

He will lift us and on us mercy pour

For He too knows of depths descended

He journeyed there so we can be mended


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Genesis 37-50; Luke 15; John 21

Be Not Troubled

With a heart not troubled

With a spirit relieved

Assured in the promise

Of blessings to receive

For a place is prepared

To which to go home

As a child of God

Before the throne


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Thank you pastor Vince for the message from John 14

Of Millstones and Tent Pegs


A millstone or a tent peg

Seemingly an innocent device

But one that are mighty

In the hands of a godly wife

For those that are puffed up with their own import

The humble with divine assistance their ambitions shall thwart

Ordinary people and ordinary things

Are mightier with God’s help than earthly kings


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Judges 9:53 and Judges 4:21

Such A Time As This

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Many people have looked down on the book of Esther, or even questioned its place in the canon of scripture. This rests on the fact that God is not directly named or even referenced in the text. But many rabbis over time have come to the book’s defence saying that “the fingerprints of God” are all over it.

Today’s piece will not be an exhaustive study of the book, but will focus on one of those finger prints.

In Chapter we find that Esther’s kinsman,  Mordecai, has discovered the minister Haman’s plan to have the Jews killed. He covers himself in sackcloth and ashes, and fasts and mourns the arrival of the edict’s enforcement. Esther, who has recently been elevated to the status of a Persian queen hears of Mordecai’s actions and sends to enquire about what it all means.

Her servant is told of the edict, and of a request from Mordecai for her to use her status to plead for mercy for the Jews of the land. In response Esther notes (verse 11) “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death . . . .”

Mordecai replies in verse 13, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

The abbreviate the rest of the narrative, Esther after fasting and prayer takes the risk, and approaches the king. She is spared and indeed uses her influence, and some clever manoeuvring to achieve deliverance of the Jews, and to bring about the downfall of Haman.

You might have noticed that I have highlighted the “such a time as this” passage. It is an interesting parallel to a passage in the New Testament. The Jewish people are condemned to perish. There is little, if any hope for their rescue by any ordinary means. Yet, Mordecai calls into question the nature of Esther’s elevation. Is it a coincidence that Queen Vashti falls from Xerxe’s favour, and that Esther is selected to succeed her, just as this crisis arises for God’s people? Is not God’s fingerprint there?

The wording is also important: “such a time as this.” May I suggest that Esther is a type or parallel to the Messiah. All humanity was facing condemnation because of sin. We are condemned to perish. There is little, if any hope of rescue by any ordinary means. “But, when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4: 4-5).” We “in the fullness of time” (Such a time as this) were sent a deliverer, Jesus.

Esther’s deliverance of her people was a foreshadowing of humanities deliverance by Jesus. The book that bears her name is an important testimony of how God works. Sending salvation at an appointed time. Let’s not question this book, but marvel at God’s fingerprints instead.


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Shepherd At The Gate

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Like the shepherd at the gate

He knows who is missing – who is late

He is prepared in the wilderness to tread

To seek the lost lamb – homeward to be led

And when all are in the fold secure

He will watch and guide them till they are mature


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Matthew 18: 10-14; John 10

King of Life

It is Easter-time again

With chocolate bunnies and marshmallow hens

But forgotten by many and remembered by few

Is the greatest miracle – God did do

For with the sacrifice of His Son

And following resurrection eternal life was won

For the grave – it could not hold

The King of Life – risen – as it was foretold


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Idol

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And they gathered round

Their sacred idol

It seemed to me

To be rather idle

Despite rituals and blood that flowed

It seemed that Baal

No interest showed

At last the prophet of the Lord

Doused his offering with water

Till it overflowed

And when he prayed

The Lord responded

And Baalists were smitten

Their ways confounded

I Kings 18: 26f


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Give Us A King

Guided and protected by the power unseen

They still insisted on being given a king

To be like all others

Not set apart

Living by image and not by heart

Are we much different than those of old

Sadly I think not, if truth be told

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I Samuel 8