Friday, 2 June 2017

Are we computers?

Are we computers?
I learned a new word this week,
The meaning of which I had to seek.
Paraclete is the word,
Of which I’d never heard.
I looked it up, on my computer,
A green bird it said, with a big hooter.
Predictive text, had changed the letters
I tried again, hoping for better.
This time, success, I’d found what it meant
Counsellor, Advocate, that Jesus sent.
I typed the word out, it went red on my screen
The computer did not know what the word means.
I reflected on this, and found it poetic
That a thing of this world, just wouldn’t get it,
Because the Comforter - when you think of it - is in essence

In place of Jesus physically, His spiritual presence

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Tree and the Wind

There was once a tree standing near a beach. It longed to see a world , but it couldn’t reach.

And it talked to the wind, as it weaved through its’ leaves.

“Oh how I would love to be free” exclaimed the tree 

“But I am rooted to the ground, and no way out can be found, 

for me to explore the sea”

And the wind in its love for the tree replied “I can take you outside. 

I can set you free, to be more than a tree, Come join with me”

The tree agreed, and at once it was freed. 

The wind spoke out, and from his lips, the tree became a beautiful ship.

And the wind said come, let’s see the world. And the tree said “Gladly, it’s sails unfurled.

The wind filled the sails, and land slowly paled…

Back into the distance.

The wind and the tree, they sailed the seas. Without a care, in everything they shared.

But then one day as they lived this dream, the tree saw a boat driven by steam. 

“Let us go talk to the boat” said the tree.

And lovingly the wind blew and agreed.

As they approached, The boat looked down at the tree.

And said you’re a strange thing, You are not like me.

How do you move, how do you know where you’re going?

The tree said “I go where the wind is blowing.”

The boat replied, “Oh really, that does sound odd,

What you need is a rudder” he said with a nod.

“A rudder, can help, and you can steer,

It will give you control, and take away fear”

The tree gave it thought and said “Good idea”

Then boat asked “How do you control how fast you go”

The tree said “The wind looks after me with a blow” 

The boat replied “Controlling your speed, is a must, you can’t go relying on a winds gust”.

The tree took the sails and put them in stores. The tree gave it thought and grew itself oars.

The boat looked down and said “Wow how you’ve grown. Now you’ve grown up, go out on your own”

During all this, the wind looked on.

The wind loved the tree just like a son. 

And the wind always wanted the tree to be free.

The tree started rowing and using the rudder,

and started off slowly and with a shudder.

Soon the tree got itself under control

It just needed purpose and to have a goal

But as it searched for a reason to be,

The tree got lost, in the midst of the sea.

The tree stopped and looked there was no one about,

It was scared and fearful and began to shout,

“Help me!” The tree cried. Its oars by its side.

It’s true, I now know, A rudder is useless with nowhere to go. 

The wind heard the cry, And blew in to try…

To reassure and help the tree.

The tree was ashamed and tried to hide

But the wind loved the tree and came alongside.

And said … 

Come with me, let’s see the world. 

Come be free let your sails unfurl.

Let me fill your sails, and as land slowly pales... 

Back into the distance. 

And You will know both you and me, we can sail any sea, and be without fear and without care, and in everything we will share.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Unity Barrier (Part 2)

The guests were all enjoying the party, for the party is love. They were enjoying it so much, those outside of the party wanted to come in. The Host was happy for others to join the party and as the door was unlocked they were free to join.

When those outside opened the door they saw the barrier and as before many turned away, for the same reasons as before, but also, as before, many persevered and climbed over, under and around the barrier.

As new people entered the party the guests who were already there became wary of the newcomers and in some cases resentful. The reason for they felt this way was because of change. Many of the existing guests didn’t like change as it challenged their preconceived ideas of what a party should be. Again they were forgetting the party belonged to the Host and they had said ‘the party is love’.

So, what was upsetting the existing guests? Well, some new guests danced more wildly and freely than the existing guest which challenged their perceptions of how to be free. There were some that came in and just rested because they either needed to or just enjoyed partying that way, whatever the reason it really frustrated the existing guests. Some of the new guests ate more food for they were hungrier than the existing guests which they thought unfair, although there was plenty for all appetites. Others found new foods that challenged the existing guests taste buds, and they didn’t like to be challenged to try new things, especially when the old things worked perfectly well. Some new guests started playing different music in different styles, which the existing guests found difficult to accept because they believed the party rules clearly stated there were certain styles of music that could allowed. Different music had to be played outside the door.

The music was the last straw for the Host. He stood up and said “STOP! The party is love and the party is for all who have entered in. Have you not understood? The barrier you entered through to get in is called Unity, which means you are united in love. I lam the Host and I love all who overcome the barrier and come to the party. Why are you creating more barriers to people entering the party, only the Host can judge how you should party. Now go and party so that more outside the door may hear how wonderful and marvellous the party is and will want to come in. There is room and plenty for all at the party. For the party is love.    

And there was singing, and there was dancing, there were games, and there was rest, and there was food a plenty. For all loved the Host, and all were united in love. 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Unity Barrier - Part 1

A Host was having a party. It was to be a terrific party. Quite the best, most wonderfully marvellous perfect party that had ever been had. Everyone would love being at this party for the party was love itself.

Many people came to the venue of the party that day, but when they got there they opened the door to find a barrier in the way. Many turned away at the thought of having to get around the barrier. It wasn’t that it was a difficult barrier, it was just that some thought it impossible to believe that there would be a great party on the other side, others objected to having to overcome a barrier of any sort and chose to turn away, and others got annoyed and decided to have their own party.

The few that chose to overcome the barrier, did it in different ways. Some climbed over it, some under it, and some around it. All who got passed the barrier found exactly what they wanted and needed, and they started to enjoy the party.

The party atmosphere was wonderful from the start, but in one corner, an argument broke out about whose way was best to enter the party. Some of those who had climbed over the barrier were saying the discipline of the climb meant they deserved to be at the party more than others as they had earned their right to be there. The ones who went under the barrier argued that it demonstrated true humbleness to be that lowly and it was a sign of how grateful they were to be there. The ones who went around to the left of the barrier said they had shown real creativity and that’s what parties were all about and if you weren’t going to be creative at a party what’s the point of being there, and the ones who went to the right of the barrier said they had demonstrated a real desire to do things in the right way, and anyone who didn’t do things the right way should be thrown out.

No one could agree and all had forgotten the party was love itself.  

The Host stepped in. “STOP!” he said. “There is no need to argue. The barrier at the entrance to the party was put there to be certain that those who truly wanted to be here would be here and those who didn’t would not come in. You do not know this but I named the barrier Unity, as all who overcome it are united in wanting to be here. How you got here is not that important. The fact you are here with me is very important. Enjoy the party, for the party is love.”

The guests at the party, stopped arguing and put their differences aside and enjoyed the party, for the party is love.

Monday, 8 February 2016


Our Father who art in heaven (Calm and quiet)
Hallowed be thy name (Loud enough to make people sit up)
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. (Normal)
On earth (Loud)
As it is in heaven (rushed and quiet)

Give us this day our daily bread.

And our roast beef with crispy roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, a bit of veg and loads and loads of gravy. Perhaps apple pie and custard for afters. (Stops, thinks, remembers he should be praying). Sorry – I'm distracted.

I meant , Give us this day our daily BREAD.

But I need more than bread. Give us our houses, warm and comfy. And a flash car with air con, gotta have that. Don’t want to open the windows. (Looks up to God). You know what I saw the other day Lord, I saw a car that could…(stops, bows head again) DISTRACTED!

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us, our distractions, our toys and things to play with, an Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo. A decent tablet with loads of apps. I could spend hours just …. Gadget, tut! (looks up hopefully!) I could use them to read the Bible (Bows head again)

Give us this day our daily bread.

(Absently picks up a book) And our books and videos, our sitting down to read the paper or watch the telly. (Stops again. Shakes head. Puts down book. Determined look on your face now)

(States firmly) Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our things that distract us. Just like I keep getting distracted. All the time. Not just now in this prayer but all the time. Our hobbies football, golf, bowls, train spotting, bird watching, model making, my collection of rice pudding skins dating from 1950 to the present day. It’s fascinating how the colour and texture have……changed……Arrgghh! I’ve done it again!

(Step forward - Shouting)
Give us this day our daily bread. Bread. BREAD! Give us this day our daily bread.

(Quieter) Bread. Jesus – you are the Bread of life. Give us this day our daily Bread. Give us You. Lord Jesus give us You - daily. All these distractions in our world. When we should ask - Give us the Bread of Life.

(Pauses to draw breath deeply and obviously).

Give us You. Help us to remember Whoever comes to You will never go hungry, and whoever believes in You will never be thirsty. Lord help us to understand what this means.

Lord forgive our trespasses. Oh yes Lord forgive us our trespasses. As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Whoever comes to You, the Bread of Life, You will never drive away. Trespasses are forgiven. For you came down from heaven not to do your will but to do the will of Him who sent You. And this is the will of Him who sent You, that You shall lose none of all those He has given You, but raise them up at the last day. (Pause, deep breath)

And lead us not into temptation. And deliver us from evil.
The tempting evil  of distraction - When there is so much of it about. Do not lead us there. When we can find our way there perfectly well on our own. Please give us the strength and the courage to resist. As you have done today - deliver us.

(Triumphant) For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory.


Thursday, 31 December 2015

Whatever 2016 is, may it be a blessed one for you

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things - aim for such things - and may your 2016 be blessed with such things.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Lost and Found - How much?

Lost and Found
It was getting dark. Henry ushered George into his house, holding his fingers to his lips he was urging George to keep quiet. Henry didn’t want to disturb his wife. Not yet anyway. The disturbing was going to happen anyway, but he wanted to try to manage the disturbing.
“Come in George” said Henry quietly. George came in. “Put those slippers on, your poor feet must be freezing”’
“They are” said George putting on a pair of pink fluffy slippers that Henry hands him “and thank you for all your doing for me.
“Oh that’s quite alright. It’s what Christ calls us to do as Christians.” Henry is still trying to be quiet and looking around nervously. He knows his wife in in here somewhere.
“I know, you keep telling me that, but I am grateful. Ever since you started talking to me in the subway, and you’ve been so kind. I mean I’m just some homeless guy and you’ve…”
“Shhhh, I think I can hear her” Henry is alert now.
“Sorry” George stops talking.
“Please don’t apologise, it will be OK. Now don’t worry, I do want you to meet her. Besides you’ll have to meet her otherwise she will wonder who it is in the shower when you are up there. ”
There is a rustle, then Rita, Henry’s wife, shouts from the kitchen “Henners, is that you?”
“She calls me Henners” He shrugs.
“You’re late again.” she continues ”You’ve not brought another beggar home have you?” 
There’s an awkward silence then she walks into the hallway and stares. “Good evening” she says politely to George.
George smiles “Good evening, nice to meet you” he says.
Rita smiles. She turns to her husband and turns her stare back on. Henry wants to manage the ‘disturbance’ he senses, and drops they work bag he has been carrying and runs over to greet and attempt to hug his wife. “Hello darling” he blurts “I’m home”
“Yes, you are aren’t you” says Rita, not responding to the hug. Henry releases her from what has turned into some kind of bear hug. She grabs his arm and pulls him to the corner of the hall.
In staccato tones she whispers “This is the third one you’ve brought home this week.”
“I know but God calls all Christians to give” He turns to George, feeling awkward “Please take a seat in the lounge. Make yourself at home”.
“Thank you, through here?” Asks George. Henry nods and George walks through the only door in the hallway and in his new pink slippers finds a seat.
Rita, arms folded, she says defiantly “I have no food left”
“What none at all?”
“How am I meant to feed him and us? I only have a meal for two left in the freezer. I was going shopping tomorrow”
“We can split it three ways?” Henry suggests.
Rita tuts, then sniffs. “What’s that smell?” she asks.
“It’s what I brought him back for” says Henry smiling.
“For a shower?” she asks. “I don’t believe you?” She sighs “OK but keep an eye on him. Last time we lost our toothbrushes and I had to go to my pilates class with breath that could peel wallpaper.”
“How can I keep an eye on him?” Henry is indignant “It’s a bit rude of me stood in there with him”
“Well I can’t, can I?” Rita retorts and then before he can answer “Are those my pink slippers he is wearing? Why is he wearing my slippers?”
“He has small feet” Henry replies. Rita is about to explode so Henry hastily attempts to defuse the situation “He had nothing on his feet. He was homeless”
Rita softens “Look I know God calls us to give, but those are my best slippers. At least you’ve given him your scarf, although I did give you it for your birthday. It took me ages to find one like that”
“Well, “ Henry begins sensing the softening in his wife’s resolve “In the early church they shared everything according to those who had need.”
Henry should know better than to argue with someone who knows the book of Acts “Yes but they were in the same Church. They were sharing things with each others. In the same church. They were brothers and sisters in the same Church” she says repetitively.
“He is in our Church” says Henry.
“No he isn’t.” Insists Rita “Our Church isn’t that big. I would know if he was in our Church”
“He is a new member” says Henry proudly.
“How new?”
“About 2 hours ago”
“2 hours ago?”
“When he became a Christian” Henry says with a little smile in his eye “It was a beautiful moment. He just…”
“Hold on” Rita interrupts the eulogising “Hold on a minute. You said about the early Church sharing things. How much exactly have you shared?”
There is an awkward pause. Henry looks up in the air. “Welllll, “He begins “There are your slippers as he had no shoes” There’s a pause.
“Oh my scarf, and my hat” Another pause. “My belt as his trousers were about to fall down. That was a funny…”
“And what else” She interrupts again.
  “My sandwich as he had no food, erm, and my drink. Actually I am bit thirsty. I would love a cuppa”
Rita glares at him. He’s not going to get a cup of tea.
“He had no money so I gave him some”.
“How much, £5, £10?” She asks.
“A tad more than that. He has nothing you see. Only the clothes he is wearing”
 “OK, but how much. It’s the end of the month and I don’t have much for the shopping tomorrow.” Rita pauses and “Hold on. You’ve not given him our shopping money have you?”
Henry shuffles awkwardly “Oh no, I didn’t do that”
“That’s a relief” Rita laughs “We have to eat as well you know”
“I gave him our savings”
“OUR WHAT” Rita is finally ‘disturbed’.
Henry turns to the door with George on the other side “Sorry about the shouting” he says.
“I’m not causing any problems am I? Asks George.
“No none at all. Make yourself comfortable.” Henry turns back to Rita.
It turns out Rita is still disturbed “You… gave… him… our… savings…. All of it?
Henry pleads with her “In the Bible the rich ruler had to give up all he had to follow Jesus. I didn’t want to go away and be sad like he did.”
“Yes but all of it?” She is feeling resigned to losing everything “Why on earth would you … oh no …hold on … he’s homeless. Tell me you’ve not given him our home.”
Henry pauses “Not exactly. We do have a spare room though. I said he can move in after his shower”.
“My mother is coming to stay this weekend” States Rita triumphantly. “Where can she sleep”
“Good question.” Henry acknowledges, and pauses to think and then has an idea “I know, after his shower he can take a drive and look for a job”
“He can take a drive?” Rita is getting disturbed again “HE CAN TAKE A DRIVE? How can he take a drive he hasn’t got a car!
“I gave him your car so he can…”
“MY CAR, why my car? He only joined the Church two hours ago and …”
We will end the story here, although the argument will go on for a while yet. George can hear it all obviously. But he is tired and exhausted. He just wanted a chance to start again and what he had been told about Jesus was exactly that opportunity he had been seeking. Anyway, as I say he was tired and he falls asleep. He is warm for the first time in days. He also has a peace he has never known before. This is a new feeling for him. Even in the good times of his life he had never felt this peace before. He starts to drop off to sleep. As he does so, there are a few of the thoughts and questions that go through his mind. Here they are…
“I may be a bit new to all this, having just become a Christian, but even I can see there are a lot of questions to be answered here. Questions like – How much should a Christian give? Who should they give to? When should you share with Church members? Should you give to Beggars? Should they get marriage guidance? These are questions I can’t answer. All I know is 2 hours ago I was lost, but now, thanks to this mans actions and words, I am found. Because of what he gave I found Jesus and I am saved.” 

So all I want to ask at the end of this story is how much are you prepared to give to win souls for Jesus?