Big strong tree

One of my early children’s song was inspired by a verse from Hosea 14 where God likens himself to a tree.

“Israel, have nothing to do with idols. I, the Lord, am the one who answers your prayers and watches over you. I am like a green pine tree; your blessings come from me.”


The original Hebrew word for “pine tree” is sometimes translated as fir tree, cypress tree or juniper. And the word “green” is variously translated as “evergreen”, “luxuriant”, “flourishing”, “growing”, “glorious”.

What a beautiful picture for God, who watches over us and makes our lives fruitful, if we put our trust in him.

by Irene Bom (from Shepherd King Project)

Lord, You are like a big strong tree
And You help us live fruitfully
Lord, You are like a big strong tree
And You help us live for You.

1. You are like the dew
You make us all blossom like the lilies
You are like the dew

(Repeat chorus)

2. You are like the vine
We will grow if we live in You
You are like the vine

(Repeat chorus)

3. You are like the stream
You fill us up with life-giving water
You are like the stream

(Repeat chorus)

The First and Last


I wrote this song in 1999, but it really came into its own last year, more than 20 years later – sung in church as an encouragement to my congregation during lockdown, and accompanied on the ukelele at the bedside of someone who was dying. Now it’s my privilege to share a recording of this song with you, with my friend, Margriet, singing harmony.


by Irene Bom

These are the words of the First and Last
The one who came, who died, who rose again
These are the words and the words are true
These are the words of Jesus to you.

I know, I know what you’re going through
I know, I know ’cause I’ve been there too
And be sure my love will carry you
all the way, all the way through.

These are the words of the First and Last
The one who came, who died, who rose again
These are the words and the words are true
These are the words of Jesus to you.

Fear not, fear not, there’s no need to fear
Fear not, fear not because I am here
And be sure My love will keep you strong
every day, all the day long.


Vocals: Irene Bom and Margriet van Overbeeke


This song is inspired by Jesus’ words to the church in Smyrna, as recorded in Revelation 2:8-10.

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know … Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. … Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.


It’s a boy

(Photo: Irene Bom)

A Christmas greeting in the form of a song, recorded with my friend, Margriet, on backing vocals and percussion. You’re welcome to sing along.


by Irene Bom

1. Sing a song, a song of joy
Come along to see the boy
A baby boy who from heaven came
Emmanuel, Emmanuel is His Name

Emmanuel – God is with us
Emmanuel – God is with us
Emmanuel – God is with us
God is with us – Emmanuel

2. Shepherds heard the angels sing
Bringing news of a baby king
So they went without delay
To see the baby in a manger where he lay

(Repeat chorus)

3. Wise men came from afar
They were led by a star
They brought him gifts, gifts of joy
Gold and myrrh and frankincense for the boy

(Repeat chorus)

Extra Extra
Musical notation for Emmanuel.
More Christmas songs for all ages.

Through the rise and fall

(Photo: Irene Bom)
Here’s a song from my collection, one I wrote almost 20 years ago when some friends were going through a major crisis in their immediate family.

Now, as the whole world is reeling from this pandemic, may the words bring you comfort and these truths keep you anchored to Jesus – the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).


by Irene Bom

Yesterday, today, forever Jesus is the same
All may change but Jesus never
Glory to His name.

He’s the same through the rise and fall of nations.
He’s the same, whether I believe or doubt.
He’s the same through all the changing seasons,
And His faithfulness and mercy won’t run out.

Yesterday, today, forever …

You can find notation for this song here.
For more songs, check out

Rise up


Here’s a song I’m working on – based on Isaiah 40:31. The song might yet morph into something else. Meanwhile, I hope this version offers you some solace and encouragement.


Those who hope in the Lord (version 13-04-2020)
by Irene Bom

Those who hope in the Lord
shall renew their strength
They shall rise up like eagles.
They shall run and not grow weary
They shall walk and not faint
They shall rise up like eagles.

Did you know?

The ancients gave the symbol of the eagle to John’s gospel, for his writings help us to ‘rise up with wings as eagles’, glimpse things of heaven and hear what is God’s heart for us and for the world.


Turn to the light

Rotterdam at twilight  (Photo: Irene Bom)


Here is a prayer inspired by Phos Hilaron — the earliest Christian hymn (outside of the Bible), dating from the 3rd or 4th century. Known as the “Lamp-lighting hymn,” it was traditionally sung as the evening lamps were lit.
May this prayer, inspired by those ancient words, give us words and inspiration as we to turn to God, our Gladsome Light, especially “in times of stress, fear, and grief, in times of blindness, temptation, danger, and perdition”.


Twenty-first Century Phos Hilaron

O God, who is light in the darkness,
      we pray for those among us who in the night hours work their shifts,
            or those who labor in places where light is dim.
Be for them and for us protection in the dark.

O God, who is the bright morning star,
      we pray for those among us who grieve the loss of loved ones,
            the tarnishing of innocence,
            the failing of health,
            the flight of security.
Be for them and for us a sure defense and the promise of a new day.

O God, who is sight to the blind,
      we pray for those among us whose eyes are clouded,
      who are blind in soul, mind, or body.
Be for them and for us both courage and sight.

O God, who is strength to the besieged,
      we pray for those among us who are beset by temptation,
            those who are in danger,
            those whose enemies are close and whose help seems far away.
Be for them and for us a present fortress against our foes.

O God, who is salvation to the lost,
      we pray for those among us who have never found your way,
            or who, having found it, have strayed from your path.
Be for them and for us the beacon that guides safely home.

O God who is comfort to the fearful,
      we pray for those among us who live in fear of threats real or imagined,
            whose lives are torn by war,
            whose thoughts are confused by mental illness,
            whose souls and bodies are ravaged by abuse.
Be for them and for us consolation and surety against anxiety.

Give us wisdom, O God, to turn to you in times of stress, fear, and grief,
      in times of blindness, temptation, danger, and perdition.
Grant us patience to wait for you,
      and courage to be strong in your might,
            through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

~ posted on the Brummhart Publishing website

Phos Hilaron in word and song


Circling the globe

WHO website article on corona virus


With the corona virus circling the globe, causing such havoc and loss of life, here’s a prayer in song form that I hope will minister to you.



by Irene Bom

In the stillness, search my heart, O God
Help me turn and mend my ways
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
set my heart ablaze

In the stillness, help me hear your voice
Tend my faith, so it may grow                          (revised)
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
feed my hungry soul

In the stillness, shape my heart for love
Give me hope when things go wrong
In the stillness, come, Lord, come
be my strength, my song

This song was written as my March entry for the 12 song challenge organised by



Circle me, Lord
a firm favourite

3 Prayers for endings and beginnings
for a time such as this – the end of an era

Theme: Shelter under His wings
[prayer sheet]

Bright and beautiful

(Photo: Irene Bom)


Did you know? Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn, “All things bright and beautiful” (published in 1848), was inspired by the words, Maker of heaven and earth, from the Apostle’s Creed. I’ve included the lyrics and a video below.

But first, an intergenerational story of creation (Genesis 1-2) from the Kairos Canada website told in gestures and words. May it brighten up your day.


The Story of Creation

In the beginning, the world was dark, and there was no shape.
(Put hands over eyes and shake head “no.”)

God moved over the water.
(Move arms left to right in front of body.)

Then God spoke and said, “Let there be light.”
(Cup hands around mouth.)

And there was light!
(Arch hands over head like you are making a big sun.)

And God said, “This is good!”
(Make a “thumbs up” sign.)

God separated the day from the night.
(Push arms away from sides of body.)

God separated the heavens from the earth.
(Push one arm up and one arm down vertically away from body.)

God separated the water from the land.
(Push arms away from front of body as if pushing something away from you.)

And God said, “This is good!”
(Make “thumbs up” sign.)

God made plants to grow.
(Squat down, put hands and arms together over your head, and slowly stand upward and reach high.)

God made the stars at night.
(While hands are still high over head, open hands and fingers wide, and wiggle fingers.)

And God said, “This is good!”
(Make “thumbs up” sign.)

God made the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air.
(Put hands together, fingers closed, and move them like a fish tail swimming; then put arms out at sides and flap like a bird.)

And God said, “This is good!”
(Make “thumbs up” sign.)

God made animals on the land.
(Let children imitate different animals they know–bunnies hopping, dogs barking, etc.)

And God said, “This is good!”
(Make “thumbs up” sign.)

Then God made people in God’s own image.
(Smile and point to self, then look to heavens.)

God said to the people, “Take good care of my world!”
(Point finger and shake it in front, as if shaking it at someone.)

And God said, “This world is good!”
(Make “thumbs up” sign and have all say “This is Good!”)

~ posted on KAIROS Water Worship Service and on re:worship



All things bright and beautiful
by Cecil Frances Alexander

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flow’r that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.


From the blog

Prayer sheet: Part of creation
A new nature
Summer-friendly spiritual practices

Theme: Rejoice in the Lord always


This prayer sheet is inspired by a recurring theme in Scripture: the phrase, “Rejoice in the Lord”.

For personal use or to share.

Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross.
S.D. Gordon

Continue reading “Theme: Rejoice in the Lord always”