Monthly Archives: December 2020

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?

The Agreement

THE new AGREEMENT

God has drawn up an agreement. He would like you to sign it. But He wants you to sign it willingly. He will not force you to sign it – even though it is the greatest agreement you could ever sign.

He had an old agreement that He improved on. If this old agreement could have given you the ability to be a good person, then no doubt He would not have sought to draw-up another.

But the New Agreement has made the old obsolete, by virtue of it’s greater revelation.

The new agreement is based on better promises that God has made.

In the Old Agreement, God laid out clearly what was expected of you, had you agreed to adhere to it and sign up for it.

The problem was, it told you what was required on your part to fulfil your side of the covenant (another name for the agreement), but the old covenant failed to enable you to do what was required. It told you what not to do – but not how  – not to do it.

It told you what was required to fulfil your side of the agreement – but no one who has ever signed up to the old agreement has ever kept their side of the covenant.

Regardless of how much those who signed up tried, it was impossible to fulfil every jot and title of what was required of them, in keeping their side of the ‘bargain’.

God found it incredulous that they were unable to keep His requirements in this old agreement. Incredulous because He had never experienced the nature your first forefather and mother chose to have.

God had never experienced human nature up to the time of the New Agreement, and therefore couldn’t grasp why human nature could not keep the old agreement.

This was the only thing God had no experience of, as it (sinful human nature) was totally and completely contrary to His nature.

This nature was destructive and potently disastrous for all of God’s creation.

So to understand your nature and it’s corrupt state – He came to earth, took upon Himself your human nature, and although His human body was incorruptible – He allowed it to become corrupted as in loaded with sin in death – so you would not be punished forever, and giving you His divine nature to partake of, you are now able through Him to keep your side of the new agreement.

Will you sign today?

Man couldn’t tell

MAN COULDN’T TELL

Two humans fell

They had children who fell as well

They replenished the earth

And everybody fell

Slowly the ability to tell – fell as well

Confusion entered-in because of sin

At the tower of babel heads went into a spin

Producing mis-communication as well

There was no way back from this hell

Only increase of sin and sickness 

Man tried to shake-off his fallen state

With good works and idealism and uniting states

But it was too late – man couldn’t tell

Right from wrong – wrong from right

With vile intent – the day is far spent

And now many couldn’t care at all

The saviour appeared for a moment in time

But man couldn’t tell – if He was true or false

Except for eyes opened to behold

The Lamb who took away sins untold

Hard and callous though hearts may be

Those who have ears to hear

Will receive salvation from iniquity

That Profound Sentence

THAT PROFOUND SENTENCE

And if I was to allow that profound sentence

To leave my lips in an unadulterated way

With heartfelt integrity

And honesty – as with tremoring lips I display

A man of steely resolve – set to stay

On course – for uprightness and good faith

With accompanying sacrifice that costs

                       …

And you stopped in your tracks for a moment

Just long enough to receive my bestowment

As I affected you in the deep recesses of your heart

So much so that although perplexed

You found the better part

Which shall not be taken away… 

If so – I would fall to my knees with you

in mutual need

And pray…

Neutral zone?

Neutral zone?

This lockdown experience can ‘slow-torture’ our lives into neutral zone.

Neutral zone as in shelving all our endeavours into ‘suspended animation’.

That could sound slightly peppered with the idea of despair. (?)

If we take our example from one of the fathers of the faith it’s a case of – far from it!

Paul the apostle gives us insight into his humanity, but also his triumphal experience as a born again Christian, coming as it does through faith.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

He tells us of trouble and perplexity but without despair.

So a 24/7 joyous trouble-less high is not what being a Christian entails.

It does of course firstly entail matters of life or death before it is a whole pile of other things.

‘Where and how shall I spend eternity?’ Is usually a foundational question when examining the Christian faith.

No despair, Paul the apostle indicates in the above verses.

Reason? Because we are never forsaken. 

It is the unforsaken-ness that gives the Christian the strength and sustaining solace they need regardless of the situation, they might find themselves in. God is with us (Emmanuel) always, even to the end and further.

However I must admit to a certain neutral dwelling zone that I can drift in and out of. What about you? 

I examine this – in order to come to fresh conclusions.

Conclusions that will spur me on to lay hold, more firmly, upon eternal life again.

I Timothy 6/12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…

Disillusionment knocks at the door, in light of the chaos abroad.

With no immediate change, or with prolonged sameness, can come disillusionment.

But there is no disillusionment when it comes to the things of God, they are constant.

As the old hymn says: “All may change but Jesus never – Glory to His name!”

Shaking off disillusionment, like Paul did – with the serpent into the fire. (Acts 28/4-6)

Nevertheless I must admit to missing, gathering with, God’s people and lifting the roof in praise. And I mean really lifting the roof!

As far as I am concerned all the clever-most technology will never substitute for human beings – being together ‘in the flesh’, but the great thing and advantage Christians have is being together ‘in the Spirit’.

If that was not the case, being in the flesh as in gathering physically together, would be of little consequence.

What a blessing to be both together in each others company and to worship in ‘spirit and truth’ at the same time.

Meantime, we’ve been doing Zoom. We edify and exhort one another. I’m sure you too are tapping into some online expression of church life?

Depending on the changing shifts of covid-safe rules, we can gather together as church, in a limited way.

In all of this invisible attack (virus), on our world – the question that is exchanged between non-Christian and Christian persons alike, is: ‘What is this achieving – why is it happening – what’s the cause, what’s the point etc.?’ Or something similarly expressed.

What ‘it’ (the pandemic) is supposed to do – as with all trials and tribulations we encounter as human beings – is to cause us to fall on God.

Luke 20/

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken and shattered in pieces; and on whomever it falls, it will crush him.”

There is a brokenness that accompanies humility where the failures of our own efforts and the empathetic hand of God meet, as we fall at His feet in prayer. Falling ON the Rock Christ Jesus. There is coming a terrible day when the Rock Christ Jesus will fall ON all ungodliness.

But many do not recognise The Rock upon which we must fall.

Romans 9/33

As it is written and forever remains written, “Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offence; And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”

One of the ways the God of the Bible is a stumbling stone to many is – expressed in the old chestnut: “Why does God allow these things?” (Pandemics)

So they stumble in unbelief (through skewed reasoning).

Whereas whoever trusts in Christ will not be disappointed now and in the long term, especially in the long term.

The way of Christ is in total contradistinction to the other spirit that dominates human beings. He hates anything to do with Christ. He is the antichrist spirit.

Christ is a rock of offence to him, and to those opposed to the gospel.

But he who believes in Jesus Christ the Son of God, will not be disappointed with Him.

Like everyone else I am disappointed in how things are in this world at the moment. An understatement don’t you think?

But I am not disappointed with Christ.

But here is my abrupt end to this post – Christian out there, what is God saying to us? 

How does He want us to respond to this pandemic and the state of affairs we find ourselves in?

One thing is for sure our God-dependancy increases with the weakening effect and lack of answers this pandemic has produced.

Who out there will turn to Christ in acknowledgement of how inadequate we still are in the 21st century?

Does this virus not clearly expose the weakness of mankind, and knock him off any self-satisfied or ‘smugness perch’?

Our need of God is self-evident, brought home by things such as this pandemic.

Nevertheless mankind will continue to look for answers through his own ingenuity – until the next humbling event hits the earth.

Give me ingenuity for vaccine finding – but with the big big plus – of welcoming individually, the Presence and Person of Christ in this lost and dying world.

Noahician

NOAHICIAN 2020

It is difficult for the Christian preacher – to find the exact and correct sermon to address the worldwide dilemma we are in.

Difficult, that is, if it is to have a great effect on the population.

Not just because of Covid-19, but in light of all the other changing ‘elements’ taking place in the world’s downward spiral.

If such a comprehensive message were to be found – it would be of no profit unless mixed with faith in those who heard it. (Hebrews 4/2).

Everything is being shaken. Manifest in the declining moral fibre of society to the chaos and confusion of nations, politically, financially, mentality, etc.

As a result the atmosphere is Noahician, in type and proportions.

Noah in his era experienced the same and more of the decline we are seeing today.

How did Noah feel and respond in such an atmosphere?

Well, Noah found God’s Grace to help, in the midst of a totally extreme godless and degenerate culture (Genesis 6/8).

As far as we know – no one else was directly hearing God’s voice in those days. On hearing God’s voice he (Noah) responded by building a large boat.

He still heard from God despite the declension of the society all around him.

But the atmosphere in the unseen realm could not have been worse.

Man invites the powers of darkness to take up strongholds, by virtue of rebellious behaviour. The more he (mankind) gives himself over to his lower nature of sin – the more contaminated the spiritual atmosphere becomes.

Noah’s message fell on spiritually deaf ears.

Then as God saw fit – the time came to destroy what destroys – thus the deluge sent by God.

But a boat of provision was built. Today the church of The Lord Jesus Christ, the body of Christ as it is referred to – is the new ‘ark’.

Thus: one application of the old hymn/chorus/spiritual lyric – ‘get on board little children get on board…’

(Originally a gospel train).

Getting on board’ is through salvation in Christ alone. God has a portion of His manifold Grace for every human being on the earth

1 Timothy 2:3-5

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

Through salvation in Christ we ‘get on board’ and become members of the company of people known as the church.

But the proportion of the population who got on board the crazy preacher’s wooden vessel was miniscule.

Eight out of..? (We are not told but) a small percentage indeed.

Because of rampant unbelief – the message didn’t do it – didn’t sweep multitudes into the ark.

Will this short post even stir eight to respond by seeking Christ’s salvation offer? Any chance of eight out of 7,763,035,303?

Luke 17/

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

On-edge-brawn

On-edge-brawn

I – ancient indentured apprentice be

Got all the dirty work initially

Turning that mangle of a proofing-press handle

Over galleys of type – a printing preamble

                            …

I of long haired youth 

Ordered by old school journeymen to proof

Laughed at – when attached to that ‘Ol’Beatle hat’

Ignored when I said: ‘It’s all I’ve got’

                            …

They hit me with unsavoury suggestions

But failed to answer my questions

What was life all about?

They didn’t know and ignored their own doubt

                            …

I clocked out one day – that’s what we did

What came over him? A journeyman his fist hid

Then appeared to strike me across my face

I reeled – recoiled – and quickened my pace

                            …

Far away from that indentured place

His job was in jeopardy unless I had grace

He tried to apologise – I left him be

I didn’t press charges but let him go free

                            …

Now it is a memory long – long gone

I wonder what happened to that on-edge-brawn

Did he marry a wife and leave her be

Or did he bully her – just like me?

Pseudo Love

PSEUDO LOVE

Fame and fortune

The new eureka of utopia

All heads clambering for recognition

All choosers make their choice

Here today – gone tomorrow

All famous for 15 minutes

All grasping fame in youthful pursuit

All repenting at leisure

As damage is done

To heart and mind

As reeling to and fro

As shooting-up in desperation

Epidemic – paralleling a virus

Emptiness of emptiness

All is emptiness

Fame has failed

Fortune is gone

         …

Finding purpose in some things

Crawling back to the ordinary

         …

Then making their way back

The pop idol dissipated

Returns to the stage of fame

It’s all he knows

Abandoned for normality until

It reaches out it’s tentacles still

Re-captures and puts on display

The one who had clean got away

“Why am I doing this?” comes to mind

         …

Looking for the pseudo-love substitute

For the deep need of all mankind

Mystical statistician

Mystical statistician

There once was a mystic who was into statistics

He discovered that people weren’t mystical at all

Most – answered the survey and confessed to being realistic

And although pessimistic –

Were optimistic about being atheistic

They loved to beat down the mystics who were ‘on the ball’

            …

He tried to publish his statistics being a good mystic

Publish for the benefit of all

But he received a rebuttal from those – more linguistic

In their approach to the question of death

             …

They cornered him and bullied him and hit him with words

But he managed to rise above it all

He left this world when his time had come

And now he sits where they can’t exist

               ..

…What with being atheistic an’ all…