All ending

ALL ENDING

All of a sudden it’s all ending

The ice cream cone disappears into your mouth

You rinse the tooth brush all traces gone

You burn the paper – sweet taken

You swallow the last shredded-wheat morsel

                       …

All of a sudden it’s all ending

The titles arise on the screen

You’ve grown tired of that same holiday

They are leaving and there’s nothing you can do

Retirement at last – now eight years ago

                       …

All of a sudden it’s all ending

You were forty – now the forties are gone

Demolition of bricks and mortar

Demolition of emotional memories

Fading to silence – the song is sung

                        …

All of a sudden it’s all ending

Tension ceases – problem solved

You near the departure lounge

Up up and away in your aeroplane

Your school taken away – redeveloped

Remember this day – for tomorrow takes it away

Blogging millions

BLOGGING MILLIONS

I was thinking the other day about blogging.

I checked out the numbers. Here is what I found, not an exact science it would seem:

Here’s a quote I came across:

Exactly how many blogs there are in the world is difficult to know, but what’s clear is that blogs online number in the hundreds of millions. The total number of blogs on Tumblr, Squarespace, and WordPress alone equals over 440 million. In actuality, the total number of blogs in the world likely greatly exceeds this number.

Also someone suggested the following:

Tumbler = 440 billion blogs

Blogging has been on the go for quite some time. And I hear a scriptural injunction amidst the fact, that there are so many:

There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.

This is part of a particular context of course, but nevertheless it is a statement in itself.

All speech is significant. All languages are necessary. Most subjects have some value. All blogs have something to say. 

Stripping it back even further – everyone wants to communicate to their fellow man.

So much so that there are hundreds of millions who want to do so.

I find this interesting/intriguing. And ask myself why I too wish to blog post?

Can we say – we are just made that way (?).

We can’t help it – as it were.

I write poetry because ‘I can’t help it’. I paint pictures because ‘I can’t help it’. I want to communicate because that’s how I [and all of us (?)] are made.

Communication is like breathing, – necessary, and it’s absence is deadly.

Even reclusive-type humans – communicate with themselves. We can’t switch our brains off, and stay alive.

I stop and think this over again.

In another way it is quite inexplicable.

How many really know why they must write their posts? Why do you do it?

I guess there are many reasons.

Do we seek the agreement of others? Do we hope to gain financially? Are we commissioned to pass on our message? Are we looking for admiration? Are we trying to help others? Do we want to be part of a ‘mutual appreciation’ society? Do we think we are geniuses and the world needs our contribution? Are we lonely and want responses? Are we compelled to promote something – some cause, some belief? Are we enthused about a hobby and seek other members for the club?

Such questions must also be coupled with what we hope to achieve, and that starts another round of questions, about what it is we are trying to accomplish.

Usually what I’ve just written, should end with a personal view or conclusion, in which I share my own reasons for blogging.

But maybe that’s too boring?

And maybe I’m in for a silent admonition from 440+ million – “don’t overthink things”.

Bread and oil/water

BREAD AND OIL/WATER

Following on with the ‘dry bread’ theme. (See previous post). There is no doubt that we are all made-up intellectually of different stuff.

The same grey matter, but personalities and therefore preferences, as different as – the proverbial chalk and cheese.

This is another reason, it can be said, that we respond with differing perceptions of what is a ‘happy meal’ as opposed to what we dismiss as ‘dry/stale bread’.

When it comes to preaching – many Christians and possibly non-Christians, have different preferences, when it comes to the pulpit. 

For some, unless the preacher’s saliva reaches the first row of the congregation, it isn’t real preaching. 

Unless it is accompanied by the highs and lows of the organ accompaniment, it isn’t real preaching.

Unless sweat appears on brow and shirt – it isn’t the real thing.

A preacher reading his sermon is a ‘no no’ for those who prefer extemporaneous deliveries.

Conversely those who have a greater intellectual need to be informed – shun the ‘blood and thunder’ exhortative approach, wanting good theology instead.

I usually know ‘dry bread’ when I hear it. And I hope I can discern bread mixed with the welcome oil or water of the Holy Spirit.

I embrace most preach-‘expressions’ – I look to experience The Presence of God, I look for soundness in what is shared and I try to listen to God The Holy Spirit, – one ear on the preacher and one for what God wants to personally say to me.

The truth that sets free – is the bread I hunger for. I appreciate information that helps re-enforce the establishing of godly truth. Usually that is what the scholars provide through bible helps.

But – no biblical author ever wrote under the inspiration of Hebrew or Greek. Therefore we cannot truly learn that way either.

We need in other words the inspiration and revelation of the Holy Spirit Himself.

Lord help us to receive fresh manna and not dry bread. Help us to be in an intimate place with you where all the dryness of human endeavour will give way to the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Dry Bread?

DRY BREAD?

‘Dry bread’ – can be a metaphorical description of something that is not appetising.

We read a blog, a book, an email, a news item, and it seems dry to us – consequently we remain ‘unfed’.

But then in favour of the communicator –  ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but not all etc…’

Dry bread for one person however, can be a happy meal for another.

And that’s why pleasing: ‘all of the people all of the time…’ is an impossibility. Because the meal/message  will be ‘dry bread’ to some.

In the Old Testament the people of God, collected fresh manna (food) each day.

But to them it became stale, even though it wasn’t.

And so staleness can be in the people – not in the food.

Stale people spiritually – do not respond to fresh spiritual bread. It doesn’t appeal. It isn’t appetising because their palette is not sympathetic to it.

Their palette is corrupted. It’s like salt …’but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men’.

(To slightly arrest the scripture) To those who have no taste for it, the food has lost it’s savour.

But the food has not lost it’s flavour/savour – instead the palette of those who are offered the food, can be non-appreciative.

[We see this in Numbers 11/4-6]

This is an illustration of the truth we find in…

I Corinthians 2/14

…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

To be able to get the natural man who has no taste for the things of Jesus Christ, – to stop, listen, learn, and respond is impossible. Unless – unless – God touches their heart and mind.

For those who want God to touch them. They must deny their natural appetite (as in earthly thinking) and put themselves in a place where God has their time and attention. It is called prayer and bible meditation.

In that place – low and behold – spiritual food becomes an acquired taste.

In which place, He (God), will eventually serve-up a spiritual meal.

Such folks entering into real prayer will suddenly find the things of God extremely appetising – and such a meal, will change their whole life.

It may not happen straight away – but with patience it will happen. (See also Luke 5/39).

Oh, TASTE AND SEE that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

(Psalm 34)

Outside of it

OUTSIDE OF IT

And if I was in the way of all fleshly culture

Accolades would come and offer themselves

I see through the mist of words coming my way

And look to the heart of the wordsmith supply

The mouth and the pen speaking the abundance of the heart

                             …

And they have their own secular priests in poetry’s halls of fame

And they applaud and visit the award ceremonies

And give them their time of day

And exult in their devises and words – great and swelling

And hanging on every word – they like their controversy

                            …

All give appearances of humility and ‘I don’t know’

But all think they do – in some held mystery

Best piano performers – as they press the keys of words

Their daily practice others perceive is a place too high

For mere mortal men – they miss how the ‘magicians’ do it

                             …

On the pedestal of applause they must get their fix

Who is in it for the money and the fame?

                             …

Yet words – as far as words go –

Oft find some harmony and balance

As the poets scratch their lines in the sands of time

I wonder at – all this jiving around – 

                              …

For selling the soul – all is offered

In prison [through time and shackles worn]

Adulation or the promise of exclusivity and

Man’s empty praise

                             …

But I can only be an observer

When I take the time to look

A sideways glance at the vying for position

I am not a friend of this world

And need not their kingly throne

                            …

So says the man who wants to write a poem

So says the man

who hasn’t completely thought this through

I love…

I LOVE…

I love the son born to us

I love the sons born to my son

I love my daughters born to us

I love my daughter-in-law

I love my sons-in-law

I love their sons and daughters

I love my father and mother

I love the son-brother born to them

I love that things start all over again

Wilderness

WILDERNESS

Matthew

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said…

There are different things to be said about a wilderness. Though not completely synonymous with a desert – nonetheless I think of miles of undulating untarnished sand, when I think of a wilderness, as by my own definition.

[NB: wildernesses are probably more rugged than what I have in mind cpr. Wilderness of Judea etc.]

In one sense a wilderness can be a beautiful place. However with no water to drink – a nightmare scenario.

Jesus went there as led by The Holy Spirit. Led by God The Holy Spirit – Jesus the man however encountered another spirit in that wilderness.

That other spirit 1) came to Him 2) took Him somewhere and 3) spoke to Him.

Came to him more than once in His state of fasting, and no doubt more than once throughout His life on earth.

Jesus was tempted like any other man.

Hebrews 4/

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

That temptation came, in the form of words from that other spirit. Jesus dealt with the words with Words. His much more powerful Word of Truth dispelled the words of deceit that came from the fallen angel.

When we are told that the devil ‘took Him’. This is a description of what it is to be tempted – the thoughts he subsequently suggested were sinful – the thought to go to the Holy city or the high mountain were not sinful. The Christ allowed this. Just as He allowed the demons to enter the pigs/swine. (Matthew 8/31)

In all of this wilderness experience, Jesus emerged triumphant having held to His shield of Faith and the sword of the Holy Spirit which is the Word of God.

Let’s do the same in 2021.

Elusive certainty

ELUSIVE CERTAINTY 2021

To be absolutely certain about anything in this life, is difficult, to say the least.

I’ve been taking an interest in the political news of the USA. I am not an American, and I am generally not interested in politics per se, but I am interested in truth.

There is contention over the results of the Presidential election. And the perceived evidence of fraud in the minds of thousands of Americans is plainly manifest.

As far as I can determine – the mainstream media either ignore or play down all the conclusions the many Republican followers are convinced of.

That there is fraudulent balloting as in computers set to favour one candidate over the other, is hard to prove. Especially if the forensic examination of the machines is not permitted or ordered by the governing powers that be.

So until there is certain proof of all the claims that are being made regarding fraudulence – we are left with uncertainty.

Even though the many ways fraudulence can take place (as itemised by affidavit testimony etc.) is proclaimed until investigation and proper and thorough examination takes place – we have in the meantime – uncertainty.

Life is full of uncertainty.

John the Baptist is an example of a follower of Christ, who when faced with his imminent demise at the hands of a foolish king – entered into uncertainty. (Matthew 11/2-4)

Our human make-up, our human condition, is fickle. Strong today, weak tomorrow. Beset with uncertainty and doubt.

But there is a difference in human beings who live in similar ‘bodies of death’ as Paul the Apostle describes them. (Romans 7/24).

He for one, had a certainty of faith to his dying day, as described below:

2 Timothy 4:6-8

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

The difference between human beings, when faced with the uncertainty we are all subject to – is our response to it – How we face or deal with uncertainty.

The human mind can change – and does change every moment of the day.

Many when offered the Christian gospel message – will listen for a short time and then change their minds and get on with what is at hand – entering back into uncertainty and holding to it, as a reason for making no response to Christ’s claims. The bible calls this unbelief.

The Christian believer, when similarly beset with uncertainty of whatever kind – knows deep within what is taking place.

It is what the scripture describes as ‘the trial of our faith’.

1 Peter 1:7

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

When doubt enters the changeable mind – it is time to:

1 Thessalonians 5:

21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

We hold fast to what we are convinced is truth. God has proven it to be so through the word of truth (the Bible) and through the spiritual experience we have had in encountering Christ. This is the truth we have been convinced of in our past experience, and biblically, will not change.

John the Baptist was sent a specific word from Jesus, telling him how to respond to his doubts:

Luke 7/22

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Uncertainty can precede believing a lie, or believing the truth.

For example what do you believe – was the election fraudulent – or was it honourably executed?

My topic is not the election – my topic is truth and certainty/uncertainty.

How many things are you uncertain about? How many things are you sure about? Maybe we should make a two column list?

One thing is for sure – there is truth and there are lies.

Here is how to find the truth – it may take some time!

Matthew 7/ KJV:

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Dozed off

DOZED OFF

All displayed out in the sunshine

Sprawled out like towel-less shower victims

Others about the place

No one around with intelligent suggestions

A long moment of pause in time

As though time could really stop

Blue sky – now

Some dog barks in the distance

Getting louder but not approaching

A ball tossed into the swimming pool

Too light to create any waves

Another five minutes pass

with increasing silence

Muffled snores – all have dozed-off

Cut the atmosphere with a butter knife

Pallid congregation of five

Sharing the common ground

And sun-opportunity

Provided by this foreign hotel

Emotion

All emotion – as all emotional we be

Common experiences we share in totality

The human heart built to look for another

Exploring relationships out of undercover

                    …

Welling up with tears

at those who are welling up with tears

That lovely moment striking a chord

Nondescript – but always a new script

If moved by it – we be

                    …

Compassion includes your feeling

Lost or found – sorrow or joy

Search party for the missing boy

All want it to end well

                   …

The landmark you passed in endless youth

Demolished – your angry with tears of wrath?

It’s missing – something’s missing

What – you cannot grasp

                    …

What turns the waterworks on?

Is it word or deed or Psalm or song?

Tears go by – we carry on

Some tears too broken to get up from the floor

                     …

Gushing out – sore-red-eye aftermath

A silent sob and heave of the breast

As you remove yourself from the rest

To go home alone to finish the spray

                     …

Silent private tears of dismay

You cannot grasp – or know what to say

And have to tight-lip your will

                     …

Getting up – you get up and go on

Until the next occasion of emotional song

Or when you remember your father’s love

                      …

And now what else can we say?

Will we spend endless verse in search

Of yesterday tomorrow or today – we

cannot wipe away the tears of the gushing well

                      …

From here to eternity

Until they stop in one of two domains

In One to never start again

Bygones are bygones of tears of joy

                      …

Summertime blues gone away

Live to sob another day

You are all tuckered-out 

With the crying-game

                      …

But you will live to cry again

Missing friend

MISSING FRIEND

There’s the close friend you thought you had

But their congenial nature has slipped at this time

You can’t make head nor tail of their missing chime

                              …

They have withdrawn their social side

Crawled into a ball of their own making

No knocks at the door – all former texts forsaking

                              …

You try to make the contact – missing their craic

But no power in mobiles – no sight or sound

No splash in their swimming pool – maybe they’ve drowned?

                              …

Missing friend – missing your friend

Will they ever appear again in their old-fashioned way

Or is this it – gone with nothing more to say?