Monthly Archives: December 2019

Paradoxical

PARADOXICAL

The Christian life, or indeed things to do with the Christian life, can be paradoxical, verge on being paradoxical, or sometimes paradox-like when compared. 

There is the paradox that the Christian life is hard to live – but it’s easy.

Faith can only be the size of a grain of mustard seed, yet it can remove mountains.

Without Faith it is impossible to please God, yet He can help us in our unbelief.

No man can see God and live. Yet He appeared for all to see, in the Person of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ.

God wants us to be aware that we have sinned. Yet He is willing to take our sin away.

The gospel message is both profound and simple, yet aspects of it are beyond our human understanding.

All other religions have some commendable points, yet they are anathema, if they do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as The Son of God, come in the flesh, who alone, along with His Father is to be worshipped.

All the good deeds a person can do will not change the very nature of their heart, and it’s capability of transgression.

When followers of Christ tell you to come and follow Jesus – they drive you away into incredulity – when they don’t live up to the standards they proclaim. Yet it is their very failures that drove them to Christ in the first place. And will continue to do so.

Some might even lay down their life for a friend – but…

Romans 5:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Spider-poet

The Spider-Poet 

A fly met a poetic-spider

The fly wanted to know

How the poems were written

Keeping his distance but quite smitten

“I don’t know they just come out that way…”

Said the poetic-spider to the fly – adding:

‘My poetic brilliance will catch you by and by…’

So up into the stratosphere he – the fly – did fly

Living to fly another day

Until the next poet he did encounter

With bootleg versions below the counter

The fly entranced with the spider’s dulcet tones

Got distracted into his web-zones 

All chained-up in sticky web and saliva

He now got the words recited in his ear

Amidst the spider’s dastardly sneer

Punishment-torture – were those rhymes

As the fly lay suffocating in the web – this time

His last gasp exhaled out-past the spider’s nasal

The spider had just asked for his critical appraisal

With gasping breath and stuttering words

The fly admitted ‘it wasn’t for the birds’

‘Not to my taste’ was his last farewell

The poet paused in his daily routine

Of performing his poems to tourist fly-teams

His poems were loaded with hidden meaning

As his long legs made their way across the ceiling

Lying in wait he started to recite

With a Nobel prize in his mind’s-eye

When suddenly the fly he thought dead

started to fly

Much Ado…

Much Ado… 

The ‘saying’ – Much Ado About Nothing, I somewhat erroneously thought meant making a fuss over nothing.

It is of course a title to a Shakespearian play. And is something to do with the word ‘nothing’ really meaning ‘noting’.

Anyway I remain ignorant – not exactly motivated to find out about this play that is a mere vague schoolday’s memory.

For some Christmas and it’s true meaning is about ‘too much fuss over nothing’.

And indeed it may well be the case concerning the commercialisation of this time of year.

A child is born. The story is told.

The world is spiritually deaf dumb and blind. This child is no ordinary child.

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

He came into the world to give light to every man (to all humankind).

As humans are born into the world – so He too, took upon himself the form of a man, and came into the world.

Amidst the display of lights at this time of year, perhaps we could all pause to consider what true spiritual enlightenment really is.

Considering also it’s only source: Jesus Christ, whose entrance into this scene of time in the body of a child, meant that the message that brings the true light amidst the darkness of sin, could be proclaimed and received by all who are willing to worship Him.

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Love and Peace

KR

Fry

Fry

Rustle up some grub

As hands are rubbed-in-friction together

Get the smell of bacon on the fry

Leave that window half-open

And let the draught enhance our smell

With it’s seasoning of quiet sigh

Set the table with fresh tablecloth

And make a good display

Cups and saucers, knives and forks

Sauce if you wish and pepper spray

Watch the gulping appreciation

Of you and I

Smiles and laughter at how we devour

What we have been waiting for at this hour

Impressionably irretrievably indelibly…

IMPRESSIONABLY

IRRETRIEVABLY INDELIBLY

Those were the days of my youth

You can’t change it

Turn yourself inside-out

And you can’t change it

The years have fallen like a pack of cards

And will not be put back in place

We have shuffled through time

And we find – ourselves

Emotionally –  irretrievably

Visiting our past

And gluing these memories

To six vinyl records, one old kaftan,

a bunch of magazines, a hippie hat

And a partridge in a pear tree

Long-grass ‘hippied’-through

With laughter

As the persistence of memory

In flights of fancy returns us to longing

And embracing of new faces

Time is the enemy that stops us

changing places with our by-gone’s

We can’t change this clock

The time in this watch is set

To go-off some place else

Other than fair memory-gatherings

Of moments of youth

Couched now in emotion’s hand

All generations have been similarly effected

And similarly are unable to retrieve

The experiences of the upside of life

It was all possible in those days

When music played its anthem to

Our manifesto of taste

And we – all-heads-together agreed

Speaking and talking the same language

This persistent movement of time

Will not allow us to return

Our wonderful days are gone

Our bodies creak with age

Our minds revisit but cannot visit

The days are gone

‘Things ain’t what they used to be’

But impact has been made

Indelible is the feelings returned to – 

These are the springs of youth

That linger in old age

The highlights of the journey

The best sought moments

Are the best thought moments

This is so strong – tight rope walking

Between hope and melancholy

Still we cannot reach the past

We cannot go back

Though back we would go

In a minute

If only we could

Our life consists of this

But shining brightest and

Strongest of life’s sum

Is what got – into us

First time round

When our teenage minds

Opened like flowers

to the possibilities of a new world

Always sought – but always gone

In a moment

Grasped – but slipping away

I can only tell you of what I have found

With feet firmly on the ground

Affections set on things above

Full provision for the journey is made

The past and the future

No longer memories to make

In the future eternal now

You search…

You search…

Someone shared a story with me, some time ago. I will probably get the details wrong, but remember one part of the story. I’m sure someone out there could relate the actual story better than I.

To summarise – it went something like this: Someone bought a piece of land and spent a number of years drilling for oil. All to no avail. So they gave up and sold the land.

A new owner, not long after the purchase, drilled once more and struck black gold, immediately.

Preacher’s could use the story to teach us to ‘never give up’. Others could tell us ‘anything worthwhile takes time and effort’. Yet another could bring out the truth ‘that we need to get below the surface and the obvious – to find the true riches of truth buried in the bible’.

I like that one best.

Proverbs 23/23: Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

The amplified version of the bible gives us this helpful footnote:

The ancient rabbis routinely assumed “truth” to refer to the Torah (Law), and they interpreted the first part of this command to mean that a student should pay a teacher to teach him the Torah if he can find no one to teach him for free. As for the second part, they said that if the student had to pay to learn, he should not view this as grounds to charge for teaching others, but should teach the Torah for free.

But it is possible to be taught the truth and ‘entertain’ it in our lives on a superficial level, rather than giving ourselves – to it – in prayerful meditation, so that we do not fit the category of those described by The Lord Jesus: 

John 5:38-40 King James Version (KJV)

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Such students find all kinds of truth on some level, but fail to realise that all scripture points to Jesus Christ as the Son of God – to be believed and received as the personification and embodiment of all of God’s truth, and indeed the Saviour of The World.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

All scripture points to the author who revealed it to the hearts of chosen men, who in turn penned it under God’s special visitation and influence.

But also it has the redemptive thread throughout it’s pages from Genesis to Revelation. And to search these books and fail to discover by a living encounter, that Christ is The Living Word, and the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – is to search and miss eternal life. 

Again Jesus said: You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;…’

The point being that this is not enough. But the true searching of the scriptures as God intended – is to encounter Christ:

‘and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

We must come to Him and not just the pages of the book to find eternal life – in/through the pages of the book.

Lining up

Lining Up

And one man said to the other

And the other said to a friend-connecting

And it was printed in notice form

And a text was exchanged about the death

Two passed within a few days

A generation dwindling – while others line-up

For departure – they have no ticket

And it’s treated with laughter

Side-stepped with a quip

Forgotten about

Going about

All engage in their daily business

Then another procession to slow down for

As the cortege makes its winding progress

And over dinner the mind thinks again

About the departure all must face

Then the bill is paid

And life goes on – getting into the car

The business of the day continues

At night lying below sheets

The mind wanders through

The orders taken – the stock ordered

The lunch bill paid

– the cortege

Human effort

HUMAN EFFORT

As human beings our lives consist of three things:

Things we think, things we say, and things we do.

I don’t know of any others – do you? Things we see, hear and smell – yes.

But these – activate the mind or open the mouth or cause the response of action.

As we look back at our lives – have we thought some good thoughts, said some good things, or carried out some good deeds?

In my self-analysis mode – I’m afraid if it were left to me to judge my ‘performance’ in this, it would be of miniscule achievement. Judging by my perceived standard of ‘good’ that is.

‘Don’t be too hard on yourself.’ I hear that empathetic person say.

No? I’m not being too hard on myself. It’s just that the standard I have in mind I have only seen in one person. And I always fall short of His example. Fall short because I am still trying to give way to Him. I’m still learning how to let His life reign in me.

How much harder must it be for those who have not invited Him to be their friend and mentor.

Most who have glanced at this blog, know of whom I speak.

Here’s what He tells me: 

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

This completeness is achieved by accepting the gift of Himself. Free fellowship in spirit and truth.

I am complete, not because my thoughts, words and deeds satisfy, but because I have believed in the One who satisfies my desire to know His goodness and mercy. They shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in God’s house forever.

(Psalm 23/6)

Hero

HERO

The heroine could – no hero find

She looked around –

and encountered every day

Nominees for the laurel crown

But no one worthy could be found

She looked with a long take

Or glimpsed for a short time

The behaviour and way they moved

How they treated ladies

And how they cut a caper

How they studied and searched the paper

How their frowns were worn

And how their clothes were crisp or torn

What they cared about

And if confidence was deserved

Or prideful arrogance

caused their loss of doubt

She continued her search

Until the dawn of a new year

left her quest undone and unwon

No hero was to be found –

it proved an uneventful task

Having reached the end of her tether

And having given up her study

A young boy lent a helping hand

To his mother

As she shuffled across the

cobblestoned street

This at last was her hero

as his heart was in the right place

And he gladly lent his hand

Without the mother’s demand

Though young – he knew –

and didn’t need to be told

That his precious mother was

his best friend indeed

So our heroine went to shake his hand

And asked “Will you be my hero?”

“Of course” was his reply

Without even asking why

The few-and-far-between’s of Art Conversation

The few-and-far-between’s of Art conversation:

‘Converse intelligently’ was what he said

That’s what he was looking for

Nothing like that around here

Nothing remotely like intelligent conversation

on art – it’s maxed-out at that puerile comment:

“looks just like a photograph – and how long did it take?”

No nuances of observation in that field of looking

No appreciation of Van Gogh breaking new ground

“Just marks on a piece of paper”

is an intelligent observation or the voice of ignorance

all depending on the context of the remark

about the marks made

“A child could have done that”

said to prohibit an adult from doing so

No room here for a perfect rhyme in paint

Painted with the eye of the adult

who manages to reclaim his lost or dying years

or taps into his childhood innocence

The art critics of the uninformed

Prosaic eyes in unstudied heads –

from plain-wallpapered minds

No hope of stirring further interest –

They think originality –

a misnomer of a dictionary definition –

so thought – 

as made up by thoughts of stunted growth

Some just won’t take the time

And sure it doesn’t come naturally to them

So what can they do?

Don’t be too harsh or hard on them

It’s in you – or it isn’t – will have to do

Go some place else to talk your nuances

Withdraw into your chosen class of three or four

Pick those who have been smitten by the where’s and

why-for’s of art and all it’s wonderful debate