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Psalms of

Chairo 1


Psalm 19:1–6 niv The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing it hidden from its heat.

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Poems published in Psalms of Chairo were submitted in the 2011 Poetry Competition that sought to honour God through the written word. Poems were submitted in Junior (Prep – Year 4), Middle (Years 5–8), Senior (Years 9–12) and Open Sections. Only winners and highly commended poems have been published.


Table of Contents A Response to Psalm 136 by Isabella Bourke 4 Longing for His Presence by John Hamburg 5 The Ocean by Josiah Dean 6 God by Shabach Remalli 7 Son of Glory by Tom Meredith 8 Raindrops by Tim Rogers 9 The Love of the King by Esther Battersby 10 Journey by Alexandra Whitty 11 Creation by Ben Distefano 12 His Love by Mia Pedersen 13 A Response to Psalm 136 by Chloe Downs 14

Waterloo Bay, Wilsons Promontory, Year 9 Camp

Reflection on God’s Blessings by Janine Howe 16 Everywhere by Miriam Hood 17 Thank You for Me by Hayley Ashdown 18 A Prayer for Patience by Delane Van Heyst 19 The Sea Turtle by Michaela Hamburg 20 Quiet Meanderings by Rachel Williamson 21 The Word by April Beamish 22 Do You Care? by Esther Bowey 23 Untitled by Cassie Van Praag 24 The Master’s Piece by Peter Wolstenholme 25 A Response to Psalm 23 by Claudia Porter 26

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A Response to Psalm 136 He created the icy, cold mountains His faithful love continues forever He made the old, rocky desert His faithful love continues forever He formed the big, beautiful tree carvings His faithful love continues forever He crafted the long, road with the big moon in the sky His faithful love continues forever He invented the curved, sandy mountain His faithful love continues forever He made the yellow sunflowers in the big paddocks His faithful love continues forever He created the sun setting swirly waterfall His faithful love continues forever He shaped the unreal curve with the unreal clouds His faithful love continues forever He formed the yellow spotted sun setting sky His faithful love continues forever He invented the bright and dark green valley His faithful love continues forever By Isabella Bourke Junior Section

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Longing for His Presence Lord won’t you tear the clouds apart – allow my eyes of faith to rest a while that I might gaze upon, the home that I was made for. That I would understand my hurting hammering centre of myself – the ache that longs for that which mortal eyes cannot hope to fathom or imagine. Oh dare I even still myself amidst the bright parade of clamorous things that fill my gaze and keep me ever blind; Yes still myself and allow the moment to permeate my restless living and cause the breath of heaven to enter in and satiate my tears.

Oh God be present to me now and touch this moment that I might be free from past and future for an instant and find my truest self yes in this place. That I might dare to trust the fullness of redemption and expect to gaze upon the searing burnished holiness and touching searching love of my Saviour’s timeless face. Oh dear God our God our Father, please visit us this day, meet our very heart of hearts, some theophanic moment, blind eyes might see, and we would be, your people once again. By John Hamburg Winner of the Open Section

And for a potent instant I would somehow stop and listen for the voice I have been searching for and running from through all my years.

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The Ocean It’s daybreak, the surface reflects the sky, Liquid diamond sparkling in the golden rays. Fish emerge from their homes, As the light cuts through the surface. Midday, the surface a dark green, The fish almost invisible. The eels lurking in the sand, waiting for their chance. Sunset, the water like a desert, A deep glaring orange, The orange turns to pink. Twilight has begun. Nightfall, the moon is up, Reflecting off the waves, The boats brought in, The day is done. By Josiah Dean Middle Section

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From the summit of Mount Oberon, Wilsons Promontory, Year 9 Camp


God He is always with me Through times of joyfulness Through times of sadness He is there every step of the way When I feel like there is no hope He is the one that cheers me on The one who gets me through it The one who motivates me When I have accomplished something I know God helped me do it He knew when I was born I was going to do it He gave me the strength to achieve it At the end of the day I know that God is the only God He has always been there for me He is my rock and my fortress I have and will always trust him By Shabach Remalli Senior Section

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Son of Glory We know you were a carpenter The Bible tells us so A humble earthly teacher Here to tell us what you know We heard of all your teachings Of healings by your hand We know of all your dealings With the sinners of the land Renowned for your compassion The perfect hope you gave The least of all downtrodden Your hand outstretched to save

But where are you now Jesus? Where are you now? Who are you now? A light so bright it dwarfs the sun And in its centre stands The One Adorned in robes more pure than white And armed with everlasting might By Tom Meredith Open Section

Your days with us were shortened Through an act of love so vast Rejected by your Father In your blood your spirit passed

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Sealers Cove, Wilsons Promontory, Year 9 Camp


Raindrops Raindrops although they seem unpretentious Each raindrop quite insignificant Can be gifts from God Red parched earth Not a blade of grass in sight Longing for a single drop of life As the heavens open They shower down onto the earth Bringing Life to all surroundings New life burst forth from the once barren terrain Lime green shoots explode through the stubborn soil Buds emerge on the dehydrated branches Animals appear from the shrubs Bringing their parched young with them All indulging in the oasis provided by the not so insignificant raindrops By Tim Rogers Winner of the Senior Section

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The Love of the King A king would wear a crown, Set with precious jewels and treasure, A king would ride a fine horse too, And have every other pleasure.

He was not proud And was born in a stable He loved and saved the sinners And ate at a tax collector’s table.

A king would live in a palace Guarded by hundreds of guards, With huge grounds and long walls Hundreds of yards upon yards.

He rode no fine horse But walked to many a city or town. He was laughed at and scoffed at, Wild thorns became His crown.

A king would wear rich robes And keep away from the poor A king would have feasts and banquets, Gold, luxury and more.

The soldiers whipped Him and beat Him And did everything they could, To kill this innocent King Who was so loving and so good.

But one King did not. One special King who would love. He came to earth giving up His Kingdom in Heaven above.

He died on the cross and took our place Our sin driving the nail in His hands But though He was buried He rose again And now in victory He stands.

His pleasure was to help To comfort and to heal He fed five thousand people With one little boy’s meal.

Jesus wipes away our tears And we can praise and sing, For He gave His life to save us, The Love of the King. By Esther Battersby Winner of the Middle Section

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Journey You are the voice inside my head Telling me to go on “You can do it!” you say You help me to feel strong All the wrong things I’ve done Are now far behind me The emptiness has gone with it I’ve never felt so free I wonder how I got this far Without you by my side You’ve given me the new start I needed in my life There are still so many questions The answers still untold I know one day you’ll tell me Until that day, for you I’m sold By Alexandra Whitty Senior Section

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Creation Look at all the stars in the sky at night, Look at how they sparkle and shine so bright, Look at all the trees as they swing in the breeze, Look at all the horses running with such ease, Look at all the coral on the ocean floor, Look at all the lions with their mighty roar, Look at all the amazing creatures of the sea, Look at the orang-utan and the chimpanzee, Look at all the bats flying through the night sky, Look at all the owls with their beady eyes, Look at all the snakes slithering through the sand, Look at all the zebras grazing from the grassland. Look at God’s creation, it had no defect, The only way to describe it is perfect. By Ben Distefano Senior Section

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His Love His hand reaches out To let us know he’s there We have the choice to take it Or leave it and not really care

His grace is overflowing Just like a mighty flood He will be our great hero Pulling us from the mud

He’ll guide us along the river And catch us if we fall Hand in hand we’ll walk Passing troubles great and small

He is the highest mountain The lamb who was slain He is our greatest Father And he went through all the pain

He’ll always be there for us Through the darkest valleys Even if we run from Him He will never keep tallies

By Mia Pedersen Middle Section

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A Response to Psalm 136 He made the bushy, leafy trees His faithful love continues forever He created the juicy, yummy fruits His faithful love continues forever He made the crystal, clear waters His faithful love continues forever He created me, I am happy with myself His faithful love continues forever He made the red, beautiful sunsets His faithful love continues forever He created the golden, hot deserts His faithful love continues forever

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He made the green, high mountains His faithful love continues forever He created the cuddly, marked animals His faithful love continues forever He made the wide, brown land His faithful love continues forever He crafted the majestic, flowers His faithful love continues forever He formed the flying, painted butterflies His faithful love continues forever He created the stripy, green grass His faithful love continues forever


He formed the colourful rainbows His faithful love continues forever He made the night sky, with stars and the moon His faithful love continues forever He created the bright, yellow sun His faithful love continues forever He formed the light, blue sky His faithful love continues forever He made the soft, white clouds His faithful love continues forever

He created the different, amazing insects and bugs His faithful love continues forever He made the heavy, grey rocks His faithful love continues forever He formed the beautiful, different landscapes His faithful love continues forever By Chloe Downs Winner of the Junior Section

Mount Feathertop in Summer. Location of Year 11 Camp in Winter.

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Reflection on God’s Blessings What Blessings pour on us O Lord! As precious rain from high above It does us well to count them all And find them brimming with your Love! The cherished gift of life itself Each breath of air, each beat of heart The promise of a dawning day The past behind, a brand new start! Our unique minds to learn and grow To search the corners of Your world From You our talents form and flow As newly budding leaves unfurled. Safe and secure within your fold You call us children, name us heirs Surrounded all about with friends You take the burden of our cares. What joy it is to know You Lord! Our Father! With us all our days! We join with all Creation here To worship You and give You praise! By Janine Howe Open Section

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Thank You for Me Thank you that I have eyes to see the mountains Thank you that I have ears to hear the sound of the kookaburras Thank you that I have a nose to smell the beautiful flowers Thank you that I have a mouth to talk to my friends Thank you that I have legs to run in athletics And thank you for me By Hayley Ashdown Junior Section

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Everywhere A foggy grey blanket, Settles over the earth, Through every drop of rain, Is the love of God portrayed. Instead of bringing joy, These days bring only our complaint. But why do we not see, The beauty hidden deep within? Bright daffodils bring sunshine, And pale pink blossoms, peace, They stand against the vibrant greens, Despite the stormy sky, The thunder laughs for miles, Its rumble deep and low, Harmonised by the wind, As it blows to and fro. Why is it seen as just a threat? Something to run and hide from? Why cover our ears from a symphony? This glimpse of power from our God? Is our aim to break his heart? To daily turn away these blessings? How can we be so blind, As to not see the grace of God, As he holds us even closer, Through every tear streaked wonder?

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No lies could hide the truth, Nor sorrow even sway, The love God gives us day by day, That we only turn away. Breathe in deep the scent of grass, Still wet from morning dew, Breathe out the heavy bitterness, Harboured in your soul. Why share the gloom of rainy days, Rather share the hope it brings, That through the dark of clouds and rain, The Lord is touching lives today. From flowers blooming clean and white, To hearts made pure in his mighty light. From the long shadows of the trees, To distant hearts that won’t relent. God, give new sight to our blinded eyes, Help us all to see, To even on a dreary day, Look for you, We’ll find you, Everywhere… By Miriam Hood Middle Section


A Prayer for Patience While I’m waiting at the doctors, Lord, give me patience. While mum’s on the phone, Lord, give me patience. While the teacher talks, Lord, give me patience. While my brother is in time-out, Lord, give me patience. While I’m waiting for dinner, Lord, give me patience. While I’m waiting for dad in the shops, Lord, give me patience. While I’m waiting for my turn on the games, Lord, give me patience. While I’m waiting for dad to return from his trips, Lord, give me patience. Thank you Lord, for everything. By Delane Van Heyst Junior Section

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The Sea Turtle The water flows around my shell I dive down to my deep sea dell I dance I spin I swish I dive Never am I crying Why should I ever cry or sigh I’m underwater flying. By Michaela Hamburg Middle Section

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Quiet Meanderings Be still oh mind. Heart slowdown In this walk

In doing its duty, it says I am peace. I am calm. I am quiet green. Rest awhile.

Be still. Be quiet. Let the deafening roar fade away.

Take a walk away from the deafening noise.

Silence reigns, In the stillness there is peace.

There is delight in the silence. In the stillness I find the quiet voice speaks. The quiet voice is so audible when I leave the rushing world and

In the pause‌refreshment.

I am still.

Shades of emerald green bring calm. It dazzles, it enthrals.

By Rachel Williamson Open Section

Great Ocean Road, VCE Geography Camp.

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The Word In the beginning there was a word, that word was God. He created the heavens and the earth. He created the lands and the waters. He created birds, fish, livestock and the wild. He gave life to dust. He created man and woman. We created sin. We tore the relationship between man and God apart. We broke our trust with Him in two, yet He still loves us to this day. Even though we forget Him or we turn away from Him, He still loves us for who and what we are. By April Beamish Middle Section

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Do You Care? A girl stands in the street all alone And all you can see are ribs and bone. Dirty feet and scruffy hair, She stumbles thinking it’s not fair. But do you care? The mother holds her child and cries, For they all might just die. No clothes or food, They stand and wonder what they will do. Do we care?

I’ve pretty clothes. And food to eat. My life is really quite complete. A roof over my head, And a nice comfy bed. So as I stop and think a bit, I ask myself Do I care? By Esther Bowey Middle Section

An abandoned baby cries on the street, With no drink or food to eat. It watches people sitting down in nice, comfy seats. And cries from the pain of scabs on its tiny knees and feet. Does anyone care?

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Untitled Little sheep all in the fields do not wander off, For your Shepherd is there to look after you, Just as Jesus looks after us. By Cassie Van Praag Junior Section

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The Master’s Piece The Artist’s brush flows meticulously as he paints his picture He starts with the foundations The shades, the darks and lights The whole picture is built around this foundation It is the heart and soul of the painting Next come the colours, the picture’s characteristics Heavenly colours, never before seen, completely unique Like gems – ruby, emerald, sapphire, corundum, amethyst and garnet Each shard of colour and light comes together to create the final, beautiful masterpiece

These colours are the flair and creativity of the picture They show emotions and feelings This painting has no flaws or imperfections Because it was created by the Master as a mirror image of himself This picture has been painted in finite times But has never been the same It has always been an incredible reflection of an incredible artist This picture is you, and me, and the world… …the Artist looks at his picture and smiles. By Peter Wolstenholme Middle Section

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A Response to Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd I have food, water, I am on right paths Protected in harmony, Praise in the house of God. By Claudia Porter Middle Section

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Acknowledgements Praise and honour to God, our Creator, who has blessed us with words so that we might respond to Him. We also thank God for those who have followed His lead in the creation of this book. In particular, thanks go to Mr John Ballantyne for his idea to give our community the opportunity to express themselves to God through poetry. Thank-you to Mrs Katharine York, Mr Rob Bray and Mr Peter Wells for reading all of the entries and selecting the winners and those to be published. We are grateful to Bennet McLean for the elegant graphic design. For the photographs that support the written word, thanks go to the Beamish family. As for me I have felt honoured and privileged to be involved with overseeing the creative direction of this project. In His service Shelly Beamish Creative Director November 2011

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Chairo Christian School www.chairo.vic.edu.au


Psalms of Chairo