Monthly Archives: October 2019

The Cross

The Cross 

Matthew 10/34

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

    a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—


    a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

Taken on face value this statement by The Lord Jesus Christ – is strange.

It might be wrongly concluded that He is a divider of families and friends. Out to break up homes and marriages etc.

But of course the sword referred to here, has to be the Word of God.

Hebrews 4/12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The dividing that takes place is the dividing of the spiritual from the natural. Those who want God’s right ways, and who stand on His Word – will find opposition from those who prefer the natural realm only. The realm of their own ways, rather than the Way of The Lord.

It is firstly a challenge to those who have already decided to go God’s spiritual way – when they encounter their own natural ways within themselves to begin with – and struggle with themselves never mind relatives.

The Sword of The Spirit of God pierces our own lives to cause us to turn to and embrace God’s superior ways.

But in the course of doing so – and increasingly so on the earth at this time – we will rub shoulders daily with those who prefer their own ways. Even amongst our families and closest relatives we will find them opposing this Word of God.

Consequently Jesus warns us beforehand that division will result.

Not because He is the author of such division – but as the author of all truth – the conflict arises and the division occurs because others will disagree with His ways, and therefore oppose those who stand for it.

How we need to be united as families. How we need to care for our families. The family unit is paramount in society, and it is being eroded constantly by the powers of darkness.

Nevertheless good versus evil, truth versus lies, and so on – and the call goes out: “who is on The Lord’s side…” (cpr. Joshua 24/15)

It will be that families will be divided by the differences in whom we choose to serve.

In the middle of what Paul is saying in Galatians chapter 5 – we pick out a short statement:

…Then the offence of the cross has ceased….

The cross is an offence to those who don’t want to know what it all means, choosing their own thinking above the Word of God.

Because they take offence at the preaching of the cross – they stand in opposition to it, and consequently to those who believe the message of the cross.

The message of the cross and all that it means, is the only salvation for mankind.

Wind up


In the shop

Perusal of all things offered

Flicking through

(Keeping you in suspense as to what it is)

Square art-work adorned

Containing object in the round

Lines almost unseen banged together

To produce good vibrations

You’re getting closer in your mind

To what my teasing describes?

You will get it in a minute

While I continue my description:


Sugar-coated raspberry


I look out across the world

By means of screen’s

still and moving images

And writings here and there

And by all manner of observation

with listening ears

And everyone offers us the real deal

What is major to them – must be major to us

And everybody has a view

And everybody has need of ‘getters on board’

And some find and admit their need of love

And others seek the power and the money

Philosophy and policy and products presented

Policemen correcting and breaking the rules

Leaders missing the detail and using the broad brush

Tell us to ‘follow and all will be well’

And talk-show hosts keep us amused

And bankers on our toes

Blatant liars tell us they are true

And animal lovers – never want pups aborted

Only babies will do

And those who refuse to be judged

Judge the judgers

And it’s a mess – but sugar-coated raspberry

Or do you prefer strawberry jam?

Do you hold a view? – write to your MP

Which now seems the thing to do

All manner of voices ring in

our ears that are willing to listen

But the need for hearing-aids is growing

Drowned observations in the riotous crowds

Coming to the end of their tether

All shout-out to be heard above the wealth of dictators

Some try to find a place of quiet rest

Until again the engine of discontent revs up it’s refusals

‘What a world – what a world!’– is heard somewhere

It makes no difference to ‘Tutt tutt!’

It won’t do – but we do it anyway

We ramble in hope or despair –

It’s communication madness

Producing no resolve

So find your bandwagon and climb on board

You know you want to

Beat your drum – you will anyway –

without my permission

“What are you looking for?” – I hasten to ask

You say: “None of your business”

As you take me to task

We haven’t got very far

Only a note of a letter begun

The confusion has knocked me

into apathy’s cul-de-sac of numb

Completely trustworthy…


Truly people’s opinions are innumerable.

An obvious statement (considering that the world’s population is estimated at 7.7 billion/April 2019).

Every subject under the sun can elicit a response from us all.

We might ignore the subject because it doesn’t interest us – or we launch into an exposition of our opinion, if not by our initiation, then in response to the questioning of others.

We have a new (not so new now) phrase coined for us – and we talk of ‘Fake news’.

Which can be either – news mixed with factual inaccuracies or simply lies.

Think of it – a world full of opinions. Left right and centre – from all sides – opinions, arguments, points of view, political stances, differing views on morality, political correctness, ideologies, philosophies, – no perfect unity of opinion.

Friends today – enemies tomorrow. And so the world spins on.

People look for meaning in it all.

Sometimes we have a closed mind to certain turns-of-phrase, or language we equate with certain ideologies. And sometimes we do not take the time to investigate and study what is really meant by the use of the terms.

In all of this we are either part of a group of adherents to ‘whatever’ or we plough a lone furrow.

Some are ‘loners’ by nature. Some run away and escape from the world, from society as we know it. Isolating themselves in some foreign land or island in – as we say – ‘the middle of nowhere’, just to escape the rat race.

Stated simply I have found that the only concrete and 100% reliable set of thoughts and opinions, on earth is found in the Bible. I set myself to give it my full trust, as I have found all else and all others to fall short of the bestowal of my complete trust.

Aware that this can receive a barrage of ‘put down’s’, either by intellectuals, atheists, or those of another religion other than Christian, I simply add that having listened to, or read such ‘put down’ views, I remain convinced that:

New King James Version – 

Proverbs 30:

Every word of God is pure;

He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Do not add to His words,

Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Amplified translation – 

Every word of God is tested and refined [like silver];

He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.

Do not add to His words,

Or He will reprove you, and you will be found a liar.

For any man or woman to look to the opinion of a book that they know little about, and to build their whole beliefs and desire for what they hope to get from life – is a tall order, if it’s only a book.

But to become convinced, like I happen to be, calls for more than mental accent, because the Bible read on a purely intellectual level is like having a balloon with no air in it. You don’t get the full picture until you blow it up, until it is air-injected.

A rather poor analogy don’t you think?

It will have to do – the point is – unless you are enabled by God Himself – you miss the whole point of the book. You miss it’s unique category as a read.

It is God-breathed. Without His breath our conclusions are misshapen, not fully formed, incomplete.

Even when we think in our skeptical brains that we have stumbled on some great ‘error’ within it’s pages, we have brought it down to our level, and have relegated it to deflated balloon status.

Because we have not approached it as a spiritual book in the first place, but approached it rather, as we would any other natural piece of writing.

The breath of God’s Presence must breath upon the pages. Which leaves us with the conclusion that all the intellectual gymnastics we can enter into by way of analysis is insufficient as we negate or reject the claims of the book before we start. By bringing it down to an earthly level.

All other ground is sinking sand – and boy are we sinking. The old hymn tells us – 

I was sinking deep in sin

Far from the peaceful shore,

Very deeply stained within,

Sinking to rise no more;

But the Master of the sea

Heard my despairing cry,

From the waters lifted me,

Now safe am I

Christ’s Life Manual is God’s revelation to man, the sacred writings of scripture. The classic hymn goes on to say – 

Love lifted me!

Love lifted me!

When nothing else could help,

Love lifted Me!

We read of His Love and see it demonstrated throughout His earthly journey. Without His Word breathed into the heart of mankind, we are left to our own devices. We can’t know His love without hearing of it first.

There is a statement in my culture – often used in jest. 

It’s an exchange between husband and wife where the husband says concerning his wife or even a child: “One word from me and she does what she likes.”

The joke being that the husband’s authority is somewhat deleted or ignored…

Kind of describes the human condition though – that God’s Word the most trustworthy and wisdom imparting journal on earth is ignored and we do what we like.

Hear the words of Peter concerning the eternal aspect of The Word of God:


A Song is Best Sung


A song lives through the generations

But a song is dead unless it is sung

It encapsulates a thought or two

Or even a full story can be sprung

When the song is launched from the voice of man

It creeps up gradually or jumps up and appears as grand

Some songs are perpetual in a classical way

Others – sung for a season before – they’ve had their day

Human songs won’t last forever

but can appear again as new

When the next generation embraces it too

So sing your song even when they say:

You are out of time baby, this is not your day’

Keep on singing your internal melody – anyway

‘Fashion is redundant’ let your heart strings say

There’s comfort in songs sung –

all dressed up in lyrics and notes

Let others join-in after clearing their throats

Songs are for singing while mankind remains

Until the new song is sung in heaven’s domain  

Are you religious?

Are you religious..?

There are concepts people have about being ‘religious’.

Religious means – for some – being unnatural, stern, overly-serious, bland, carrying an air of superiority and so on…

Not their cup of tea.

It consists of – or ranges from – ‘old’ ladies and knitting needles, to – out of their heads fanatics who slaughter the innocent.

Or uninteresting ‘vicars’ to whom they pass the tea.

Religion of course can mean many different things to many different people.

A stern voice, a loud voice, a soft whispering voice, a timid masking voice, a hifalutin voice or no voice at all – ‘we don’t speak – we are religious’ kind of thing. Vows of silence etc.

Religion is the ‘Opium of the People’ according to Mr. Marx. I suggest therefore that it numbs us to the real thing.

As fashion changes with each generation so too does everyday ‘philosophies’. Everyone has their own ‘philosophy’ in living everyday life, (making no attempt to use the word philosophy correctly or exactly), trusting that you get my gist.

Bearing in mind the real thing and the false, I wrote the poem below. For real acceptable ‘religion’ see James chapter 1 verse 27.

The failure of false religion in whatever form is what I speak of in the following poem:

A POEM (2015)


I have no use for it…

No time for it…

It’s full of striving and strife

It’s empty of life

It’s man’s corporate effort of mind

To comprehend – to try to find

But religion pure and properly defined

Brings with it action and being so kind

Fatherless and widows benefit most

From removal of their affliction by their host

Religion however can be man’s word

The definition of which is lost, becoming absurd 

It can reek of anything from violence to spookiness

It means a million things, all kinds of ‘choosiness’

It’s a word for ‘faiths’  the world over

That can be simply systems – with no make-over

Religion is not a word I would choose

To describe what I have, to remove  – my blues

Relationship is better, yes that better describes

The change it has brought in many lives

So if you’re looking for relIgion, you’ve come to the wrong place

I don’t recommend it, a lot of it’s a disgrace

But if you want internal peace revelation and rest

Then I recommend Jesus, yep you know what’s next:

He’s the best.

Eternal Perspective

Eternal perspective

We saw her at church

She was wheel-chair bound

The shock triggered empathy and tears

Wife reached out her hand to comfort

In some way – somehow

Prayer was next – giving the burden away

Back to the One who bore them on a tree

And now our puny helpless hands

go back to our sides

Because our minds cannot find

More for us to do

While hope feeds our faith

And faith our hope

Next we heard she had passed away

Passed away to where?

Into the Everlasting Arms for good

Where that perspective is given

That this was a light affliction but for a moment


II Corinthians 4/17

‘burger tummy

‘burger tummy

Bleak and dusty day

Covered in ash from

somewhere in air-pollution

Don’t know the geographic’s

Am a Slouch when it comes to

air frequencies

What air streams are abutting?

Heavy-weather thrombi-head

Stern look – straight ahead

Weather to make us dead

Instead – I’m well fed

Weather effects me that way

Never buy hamburgers…

– now bought

And devoured –

tummy out a little more…

Scratching my head to see

where to go next

Strange place in one way

Strange without

your map and compass

Tentatively go – from

horizontal to slope

Like a goat

meandering –

I descend

Walk, slide, step and

finishing – jump

Get to the old-fashioned pump

Nice fresh water-flow-though

Refreshed with lingering

taste of onions

On lips (from the hamburger)

Anyone else enjoying this trip?

The air has diffused its

unknown intruder

And now I’m off down a road

thinking holidays are

not a bad idea after all…

This is replenishment and

reset resolve

Can it all be put down to a

‘burger tummy..?



Faith is not feelings. How often have we heard this in Christian circles?

We often hear the saying that feelings follow faith. And thus it is so.

Its a bit of a paradoxical statement though.

 (Dict.: A paradox is a logical statement that seems to contradict itself).

Because sometimes an overwhelming spiritual experience e.g. the appearance of an angel can be ‘felt’/‘experienced’ and faith follows.

The whole idea however, of spiritual experience, or experiences involving some kind of sensory perception is open to all kinds of interpretation and we can find it hard to convey or communicate these perceptions. So that others will know exactly what we mean.

We must fall back on:

“Unless you too experience what I’m talking about – it will be foreign to you.”

Regarding ‘sensory perception’ the ‘experts’ tell us:

(This processing happens to be done through the organ, usually called “the senses” like hearing, vision, taste, smell, and touch. The sensory perception involves detecting stimuli and subsequently recognizing and characterizing it)

But what about ‘spiritual sensory perception’? 

This, if it is to take place, may initially involve the natural senses – but only in-as-much as when we hear with our ears  a message, or see a miracle take place (thus our natural hearing/seeing perception used) pre-empts the spiritual experience.

It is the spiritual senses that sense spiritual matters and reality. It is the human spirit that experiences the spiritual perceptions I speak of. This also involves the human mind.

But there are so many possible experiences pseudo or otherwise it is possible to ‘stray’ Into – that only God Himself can keep us on track.

Enter the word of God. Thank God that all ‘experiences’ must be weighed in the balance and subjected to the light – found in The Bible.

That’s why we are called to, and God is looking for, those who will worship Him in spirit, but also in truth. (John 4/23)

So let’s give ourselves to the Bible message, and seek all God has for us in His Presence.



John 5:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralysed waiting for the MOVING OF THE water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool AND STIRRED UP THE WATER; Then whoever stepped in first, after THE STIRRING  of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

I reckon it’s a blessed company of believers where we can’t get a word in edgeways!

By that I mean – the group, company, body of believers we belong to, have all something to share for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the church.

I Corinthians 14/30-32 tells us

30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can ALL PROPHESY one by one, that ALL MAY learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of [i]confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Notice the word ‘all’. All usually means all.

There’s a story of a man (see above) who lay by a pool – ill. Jesus arrived and the man communicated that he had no one to help him into the pool, where, at certain times special healings were allowed to happen. 

The man didn’t realise at the beginning, that the source of all healing was standing in front of him.

But he spoke of a ‘stirring of the waters’. In a meeting of God’s people there is/should be – a stirring of God in the midst. As we sense this, the whole company of believers can respond individually.

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were ENRICHED in everything by Him IN ALL UTTERANCE and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed [b]in you,

Notice in this company of believers, they were all enriched in ‘utterance’.

I am not a secessionist – I believe God still speaks prophetically in/to His church. All may prophesy, but not all have the office of a prophet.

There are two dangers with prophetic utterances:

1) In unbelief we can despise them by relegating them to the past, as though God couldn’t inspire us any longer. (I Thessalonians 5/20).

2) The other danger is to place too much importance on them and over-exaggerate their significance. Some have foolishly placed them on a par with the written revealed Scriptures of God.

We read in the incident I referred to (see John 5) that the man said: ‘while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Someone sensing the stirring – was getting in first.

Different to this man’s situation of missing out – if someone senses God’s stirring in the assembly – getting in first should be a joy, as we give place to one another, and receive that exhortation, edification and comfort through the ‘joints’ we make, as the body of Christ.

It is a healthy church, that hears from each member periodically. How often can depend on the number of people we are talking about.

That’s why house churches lend themselves to each one responding to the stirring of God.

Falling away on the earth or no falling away. Let us not believe for anything less than God working in us, His church – building us up by the gifts and fruits of The Holy Spirit, as we open our hearts to Him.



As a young dad – comparatively so

I grabbed my girls and lifted them high

They enjoyed that – and so did I

Fun and games we three had

And then

I handed them back to mummy’s grasp

I did it – so quickly – she let out a gasp

“You can’t get out – you can’t get out!”

Was a favourite game – as I held them in armlock

Very gently – you understand – in pretence deadlock

They loved to escape and stand triumphant

As I continued with “you can’t get out!”

They laughed at dad because they had won the bout

In this age where natural affection for our kids

Is slipping away as parents fall-out

Join me in loving them to bits

Leave them without a shadow of a doubt

As I Sloped in…

As I Sloped in…

As I sloped into the restaurant

I noticed the checkered tablecloths

I quickly computed my vision

To try to decide what it reminded me of

I didn’t notice I had stood-still in deep concentration

in the middle of the floor –

nowhere near the ‘wait here to be served’ sign

Rifling through my past experiences of

Checkered tablecloths – my mind jumped from

Neckties to shirts and blouses –

I jumped to black and white distant

Pathe news reminiscences of camouflaged warships

Ending with the Oklahoma musical that contained

the quintessential essence of checks

At least in my blurred memory it did

I got past the checkerboard pattern enough

To look at the menu when seated

This was a pregnant moment – that moment of


When the perusal of choices once again has to

conclude – there’s little variation in the chicken dishes

Have you noticed that?

Chicken is on the way out

I don’t eat steak since my wife

weaned me of it when first we met

Chicken she makes – and chicken we eat

With little thought for other meat

But though I have had a

checkered-past in restaurants

I am sat staring at the tablecloth and drifting

Into another painting in my head

Before I write this poem – instead