Monthly Archives: February 2020

Change

CHANGE

Imagine a lift/elevator going to the top floor. It’s a gradual process. As is a kettle coming to the boil. As is a petrol tank being filled with petrol. As is a young child growing through the years.

In this world It doesn’t reach rock-bottom in moral degradation before a gradual decline

Conversely a society in moral decline doesn’t reach the top floor of moral revival before a gradual rising up.

Are you – am I – on the way up, or on the way down? Remember it’s gradual.

What about change? Well it can be sudden or gradual.

28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus.

In this instance Jesus changed in His appearance. We might say the divine nature within the man Jesus completely took over.

Prayer brings change. Sudden or gradual.

As the divine nature works in the Christian believer, He brings change suddenly or gradually. Both are wonderful.

I wonder at what stage of change are you – am I?

2 Corinthians 3:18

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Disrupted Poem

DISRUPTED POEM 

And now I lift the pen again

And now I tap the key

And now it is a beginning I make

And now I stop for tea

 

Again I attempt to write this thing

But drift into a day dream

The mind wanders back to the days before

And I hear the songs I used to explore

 

They meant a lot in days of youth

My identity card manifesto, of a truth

Along with many other hip types – more

Community buddy-ism from shore to shore

 

Full of optimism until it was quenched

By human nature out of-shape-all-wrenched

Things will always fall apart – you might say

When selfishness is the order of the day

 

“Will you not finish this poem first?”

It’s time for tea – I will not be coerced

I don’t have the time to explain

I might be writing it all over again

My Mother

MY MOTHER

Over and above and beyond

Anything I have ever seen

 

I hear her again saying:

About – above – according to

Below – beneath – betwixt

My dear mother of

19th April 1919

 

She stood in-between tall and small

She rested and dozed and smiled

And admitted

I’m falling asleep

 

Gasping for breath

Her breathing routine

Deep breathes to inhaler press

Gaining her equilibrium

 

Hanging clothes on the clothes line

Mangled-through with dexterity

Dinner for the man

On the table

Gulped down by same

 

Everton mints on a Saturday night

As they took in – on the black and white

 

Another shirt ironed

On the treadmill of being a wife

 

My mother

A gentle spirit all my life

Which message?

Which Message?

Throughout history, messages for their time – have sometimes made a resounding difference to what took place subsequently.

Most of us ‘ordinary’ folks, are not going to make such speeches or write such messages.

One immediately thinks of Martin Luther King. Television has given us snippets of his famous speech, periodically, ever since it was delivered.

As I am not from USA, I hazard a guess that the message means more to Americans than the rest of us. Even though we can appreciate it’s contents, and how historic etc. it was.

Churchill’s famous radio speech(es) during war time, is/are another example.

Perhaps the best speech you have ever heard was when your teacher drew you aside and gave you an exhortation about behavioural matters, or presented you with a different mental outlook than the one you carried up to that point in your young life. You were never the same again.

Maybe a circumstance arose that meant you had no choice but to travel a certain career path, and it led unbeknown to you at the time – to a lucrative lifestyle. And the proverbial ‘haven’t looked back since’ came into play in your life.

Maybe you were going well astray into crime, and a caring policeman went the extra mile in showing you interest and concern. So that through his counsel you found a path to wholesomeness.

A good example was the influence the Preacher Man David Wilkerson made on a young Nicky Cruz. You can read the whole story in the famous book: The Cross and The Switchblade’.

Different deliverers of the message, different content, different times, words in season, when you needed to hear them.

Proverbs 15:23

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Isaiah 50:4

“The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

So is there a word for you in this season? Think of the enormity of the messages flying around the internet. Think of the enormity of the messages being posted as we speak.

Think of the ‘Likes’ you will hit, if you spend time reading posts. Each blog a different message.

Messages, photos, communications, philosophies, religions, teachings on ‘how to’, humour, zaniness, etc. etc.

All come at a certain time, or season.

According to Proverbs 15/23 we can have joy by what we say, by what message we pass on. Even ‘Hello how are you?” Given at the right time to the right person, can help.

In Isaiah the writer tells us that God can actually give teaching to us. Messages from the heart and mind of the Creator, written in the many books compiled into what we have named the bible.

The writer, given the tongue of learning. With the purpose that he should speak the right word at the right time.

Now all we need is a willing heart ready to act on what we have read or heard.

James 1:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer…

The Marriage Ring

THE MARRIAGE RING

The van is dented here and there

There is dust in the air

Climb on board and start things up

Get on board – you and the pup

 

Now you’re talkin’

Now we are on the move

Things are bound to improve

You and the mutt

Get away from the ‘tut tuts…’

‘No smelly dog’s coming in here’

That’s what they say

So you disappear

 

Now your travelling

Now you’re on your way

To a new destination

Where they will say:

‘All dog’s welcome here’

 

They won’t greet you with a sneer

They will smile a doggy lover’s smile

As you walk down the aisle

A wife to receive as your dog stands still

The best man’s place to fill

At the reception he might even sing?

 

On the end of his nose I suppose

Is the best place for the ring

All Staggered to Completion

ALL STAGGERED TO COMPLETION

So here you are looking for hope in all this

Your engine has wound down to a standstill

And your frustrations have burst in steam

from your carburettor

 

Your well-oiled inner mechanism

Has rusted to the tune of your seeping lubricant

I’m adding insult to your injury

By using metaphors to seal your plight

 

You rise –

Hands pressing your head on either side

You can’t abide this anymore

You don’t need a shrink to explore

The inner frustration your life has made for itself

 

You stagger across another floor

Ten times wider than the one’s before

Like a drunken man in an amusement arcade

You press all passing buttons but the jackpot evades

You roll and rock your way past oncoming shoulders

 

Avoiding a punch – you hit the street

Sunlight contrasts in blistering heat

Your eyes on fire and screwed up to meet

A breath of semi-fresh air hanging about

 

This is your lot – all mental and felt

You must find help

You want to help yourself

Another stagger – a stumble – and a fall

– A crawl

Into a corner in the shade

 

This will have to do – to park your doubt

You join the throng of the thoughtful down-and-outs

 

Get to that agency of help

Find that pastoral hand outstretched

There you can moan and shout and yelp

Letting it all spill out – clean clear and without a doubt

Your full inner-self out on the floor

You won’t be needing it anymore

A new self you must find –

One washed and renewed and set on high

 

I speak of no earthly solace

And certainly not one in outer space

I speak of One who gives Amazing Grace

Cheated

CHEATED (2020)

Colossians 2/

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

The above scripture meant a lot to me when I first encountered Christ. (still does).

It showed me clearly that, whether by my own invention or the influence of others who had ‘invented’ before me – I had been cheated and robbed of the answer to life and the after life.

‘Cheating’ can involve fraud or deception.

Deceived into holding on to the theories of mankind, birthed in his own imagination alone.

What Paul describes here as ‘philosophical’, is the fruit of ‘empty deceit’. That which comes out of the very basic principles of the world, the unspiritual, the unaided intellect of man. The outcome being the concealing or misrepresentation of true truth.

The result too, that man is left to his own devices with that which he affirms as being correct having no infallible certainty.

No supreme authority to arbitrate between opinions. Only opinion versus opinion versus opinion.

Beware lest you are cheated from true spiritual reality, beware lest you are cheated and robbed of true-truth, as provided by and in the Person of the Son of God.

Don’t let anyone deceive you, or rob you, or cheat you, from pursuing the source of all wisdom and knowledge.

Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Notice – ‘seems right’. Most of us will stand for something we believe. We affirm most emphatically at times, that we are right.

We are good at this.

But though it seems right. We can be completely wrong because what we conclude and affirm regarding spiritual matters comes out of our fallen intellect.

We are no different than all those who have gone before. We have the same minds used in the same way to ascertain truth.

We think we have dreamt up something completely and totally new, but really it is simply history repeating itself.

Someone, somewhere, before you and I, has come to the same conclusions in keeping with the traditions of men,

We need a higher authority than man to step in and give us something.

Guidance, spiritual revelation, demonstration of Divine Power, only this affirms what is absolute.

All the philosophies that clutter the internet or as it used to be the bookshelves, fall short miserably, if they are [in the words of this telling phrase], of scripture:

…not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily

We are on sinking sand, with our conclusions outside of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Whether you or I like it or not – unless, when it comes to spiritual matters – our conclusions are based on and according to the words of Christ we are cheated, and robbed of what only He can supply.

Strength of Humility

STRENGTH of HUMILITY

Now the scribes and the authors have

given us their words

And man exults in their earthly jive

All – holding out hands to affirm –

‘See there it is… and there you have it’

As though they are uncommonly wise,

Rather than servants of corruption

They accompany their ideas with a smile

But the fairy tale queen in disguise

suckered Snow White

And we too by giving too much import

Will die on sinking sand as we bow to their pride

For no man should offer a full

five-star response – if he is wise

Hold in reserve to realise that

man at his best is vanity

And besides, though catering to your need

Man’s solace ends at that place –

where it is engraved on a stone

No man ever spoke like this man –

that’s a different matter

That’s a different kettle of fish,

He spoke the words of spirit and life

He gave the words to end all strife

Peace that passes all understanding

As He stoops low – going to all lengths

With perfection – compassion and with humility

He shows us – He is The Rock of all strength

Seek FIRST

SEEK FIRST 

I have been reminding myself of what is most important in life.

Two different bible versions tell us the following:-

33 But SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God…

33 But FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY SEEK (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God]…

I have purposely left the rest of the verse out…

For I want us to hear the main thrust of the verse when it comes to action we must take.

Seek FIRST.

There is something that comes FIRST – and how easy it is, for it to be pushed into second, third, fourth or whatever place – down the list of the priorities of life.

And the result is – every negative thing one can think of happening on the earth.

Nations will not seek FIRST the kingdom of God. Cities will not seek FIRST…

Individuals will not seek FIRST…Churches will not seek FIRST…

Gangsters will not seek FIRST…

The kingdom of God is quite a comprehensive phrase when it comes to itemising the things of God.

THE KINGDOM refers to, or includes in the understanding of it, – 

  1. The King of the kingdom
  2. The subjects/inhabitants of the kingdom
  3. The rule of the kingdom (The Bible). One could add to this list.

Certainly the kingdom cannot be experienced without PRAYER.

Prayer FIRST.

Perhaps you will pray tonight – for the FIRST time?

Perhaps you will renew your priorities to include prayer FIRST.

Paul The Apostle tells us:

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

It’s not rocket science to realise that unless we are FIRST across the finishing line we will not receive the winner’s prize.

And the beauty of it is, there are no other competitors in this race. Inasmuch as it is not a competition. We run or fail to run – that’s it.

We run our own ‘Priority’ race – and we can still fail, if we do not seek FIRST… the kingdom of God. So run to God in prayer to obtain the prize.

We all, Christian or non-Christian start to miss out on priorities and allow things to slip.

That’s the body we are living in, we are prone to wander from God’s priority for us.

So perpetually it’s ‘back to the drawing board’ of learning, and a fresh commitment to SEEKING FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD…

Care to join me?

Gospel and Distraction

GOSPEL AND DISTRACTION

No one notices their own distracted mind

Lay out the plan from God’s hand

And watch how distraction takes them away

You look them in the eye – (oh preacher man)

And notice they again avoid your gaze

Can’t listen to this’ – their demeanour portrays

‘I half-hear what you say’ body-language reveals

But it’s time again to go astray’

I want you to stick with the programme

And study this through

‘No sorry I have too much to do…’

You cannot grasp that there is a distracting influence?

You say ‘you don’t believe in influences’

Are you influenced – not to believe?

You don’t like being corrected

Which is why you are distracted

The Word must find good ground

Your ground needs fertilised with the gospel sound

But you turn-off the rain

By walking away

Distracted again

for another day

All in the head (?)

All in the head (?)

Twigs on the trees waving like a wave

Tension in the air – like it’s gonna break

Calypso tunes in the background

Conflicting – as inappropriate to the mood

Scarecrows silhouetted in the dark

Nobody about in the deserted park

Begin to hurry as the tension builds

Fear is a factor like a burning grill

Sizzling aspects of rhyme

Bring the elements together

In a surge of overwhelm –

Can’t get to tomorrow fast enough –

to escape the bother

On-a-knife-edge atmosphere

It seems quite clear

It’s all in the imagination

As underground spies and cohorts

Suddenly disappear