Monthly Archives: April 2021

Apprentice interlude

APPRENTICE Interlude

So much has happened in the world since those days

Just as so much happened in the world before those days

Standing outside the central library on the steps

Leaning against the pillar and watching the world go by

As the odd gust of wind lifted dust and old cigarette packets

That wafted their obnoxious mix across one’s squinting eyes

While the journeyman who stood there beside me said little

And seemed to never hear when spoken to

Long monologues I would exhale to his ears that seemed to swivel his head from side to side as he too observed the passers by

And then frustratingly he would – after my well-crafted theories were expounded – grunt a question mark in response

As though he hadn’t heard a word

Time was up – back to the stone – the chase – the form

Back to his instruction – for now he came alive

Indentured-I-was to this fair trade as it was then

With licence to carry a sword by ancient decree

I carried a lunch box instead

The library (rarely entered) covered us with it’s canopy it’s baroque archway of an entrance providing shelter

So that even on rainy days we could watch that

changing world go by

Lunchtime break – a welcomed device for quenching

the smell of ink and wash-up

Menial tasks thrust into one’s path – do this – do that – scenarios

Except for the efforts of the non-answering journeyman

under whose wing

I began to learn the trade – Stanley – with slightly crossed eyes

I never did hear of his life again or of his demise

The preacher…

THE PREACHER MAN

An artist – a painter, is not known for one of his paintings, but known for the accumulative effect of his life’s work. That’s why we have retrospective exhibitions.

Likewise he who is instructed in the things of the kingdom of God brings forth old things and new – to represent the whole counsel of God. (Matthew 13/52)

So in a sense the preacher who is so instructed, doesn’t have one sermon to share on a given Sunday morning – but has the sum total of his experience with the Lord to offer to anyone who is hungry for spiritual reality.

What a joy it is to find people who are hungry to hear and learn and know by experience – this wonderful Word of this Wonderful God.

To varying degrees Christians realise their need to ‘eat’ this Word. And usually those who eat little – are those who live by ‘bread alone’ Whereas man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4/4)

Some sought Jesus because he could whip up a good meal, others sought Him because He alone – had the words of ETERNAL LIFE. (John 6/68)

So the preacher must be ready to give what he feels is the specific for the morning, but be ready to go somewhere else as he ‘rummages’ through the treasury God has put in his heart.

What the listeners must do is shut out every other voice but the voice of The Holy Spirit who can apply the word in ways the preacher is unaware of.

Art is…

Abstract in Orange by Ken Riddles

Art is…

Art is an example of something that has a ‘universe’ of appreciators, sellers, and practitioners with points-of-view, that scramble words and theories to give us an open-ended result.

Art is what it is. Art is full of diverse schools of thought and opinion. Art is craft perfection to some – intuitive expression to others.

One school seems to contradict the other. When really they are just different aspects of this activity we call art.

Pseudo-intellectualism versus non-explanation and letting the work speak for itself. Once we ‘verbalise’ we annul or diminish the visual expression, some conclude.

Painting is dead, but gets resuscitated perpetually. 

Digital art has pushed us beyond even photography which was revolutionary when it first appeared – even though projection devises, Mr. Hockney has proven, were used by the legends that dwelt in the upper echelons of art mastery, before photography.

By using these devices are they any less the Masters they were, it could be asked?

In painting, some still hold to the Master and apprentice tradition, where, like the daily practice rituals of the great pianists, daily sketching to per-fect – perspective and placement of features, is still held as the raison d’etre of making art.

Some still hold that – reproductive mastery – of the ‘material’ person sitting for their portrait to be painted, requiring the perfect skill co-ordination of brain, eye, and hand is the necessary acquisition, before one can be called an artist.

Those who either don’t want to use their time to perfect the traditional exercises of the old drawing school approach, dare to find it boring, or believe we have advanced so much through the computerisation of all endeavours – consider it somewhat irrelevant today.

Originality is often defined well, or ill-defined. But basically man in art – is always looking for another way to display or present a different visual experience, infused with skill or otherwise.

There is a case to be made for ‘otherwise’.

In short art cannot be made to fit one particular mould, either in theory or in practice, as no such mould exists. 

Once art fits a ‘one mould only’ academic approach, it becomes totally limited, and art cries out to be free again.

Some wrongly equate art’s freedom with the annihilation of morality – which is another subject.

As we look at the so called masters, we simply learn a different approach and outlook, that came to the fore at a particular time in art’s history, and earned them their fame.

So art is ‘take your pick’, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and art will always be that way.

Just make your mark – and, like the famous chair in Frasier that his father would not let go – at least you like it!

COG-nitive

COG-nitive.

There are many ways that the following can be established. But using my own blog as an example – It does not surprise me that the attention/likes my posts get, vary depending on the subject matter.

Like the workings of an antique clock – the cogs in our minds start-up and send our thinking in different directions in response to something we see or read.

We usually don’t notice our response has just been stimulated to be what it is. We only act out the result. (Embrace or reject)

Someone posts on the subject of gardening, and it just so happens, that you having just started to plant and cultivate new areas of earth, in your summer weekend hobby pursuit.

So immediately the cogs start to spin and as one cog effects another, the dial shows you have spent twenty minutes of interested reading of a gardening post.

Likewise the blogger is posting on – say – ‘Moses on the mountain top’ and so certain cogs shut down and the brain-clock, grinds to a halt, while your mechanism switches off to such biblical stuff. Not your cup of tea.

But as for me…

(Exodus 34)

Country Dwelling

Peaceful Day by Ken Riddles

COUNTRY DWELLING

Rising up to climb over

The habitual hill of childhood play

Leaving the wooden seat with a spring to feet

And a dash – still with shirt-tail hanging-out

A man of my age puffing profusely

Yet the brow is reached – I survive

To puff another day – puffing memory

                       …

And now leaning back on arms

thrust back in supporting structure

Made this way by God

Who gave man legs to run up hills

And childhood to roll down the other side

And now leaning back on same hill

I reflect – I check – I do sums of thought

And it was twenty years ago

That my short legs in short trousers

Became sullied from green grass

                      …

The same grass I now lean on

But with a little reflection I quickly come

To remember my first love

Now a fickle memory –

As a greater love I did embrace

But I muse and peruse these visiting memories

                      …

Shuffling through papers on a wooden desk

Kept too long – kept too much

With great pain clearing-up

And thrusting such papers into the bin

I touch two closed eyes with finger and thumb

And sit still –

Sitting on the childhood chair

Big enough for my present –

Almost pleasant bum

                      …

With a rumbling tum I proceed to make a sandwich

Cutting with the same knife I bled with

All those years ago

This my crescendo

I tell you I am

In Dad’s rented paradise – down the lane

Where weekends were lost in bliss

Father and mother gardening-on

While I lived twenty life-styles

As sailor – as pirate – as cowboy with a gun

and so on

You will not be returning

YOU WILL NOT BE RETURNING

When words are long gone

[The words of men

Can’t be prolonged]

Oh yes – up to the end of life

Or the end of time maybe

But swallowed up of life – you’ll see

The Life of the Creator

Who will one day appear

To take away this limited sphere

Knowing in part

As you all know

Isn’t enough for the deeper things

As eternity beckons all of us – to flee

This scene of time and temporality

                       …

I won’t say

“I told you so”

Because “I told you so”

Will be long gone

Into the sphere

Of the heavenly throng

                      …

So get taken-over by

The Saviour of men

You will not be returning

to this scene as

presently seen

– again

What’s going on in boxes?

What’s going on in boxes by Ken Riddles

What’s going on in boxes? 2021

All our earthly goods going into boxes

Boxes on boats going up the Amazon

The Amazon has broken it’s banks

There’s a flood of boxes to our doors

                         …

Gone are the High times in those stores

No more High streets to explore

All tied-down are those boxes in their queue

Dropping off and dropped off to us

As we look out our window and see another two

                         …

What’s going on in boxes?

Less plastic – means more boxes to view?

Amazing boxes tracked-right-through

Amazon driving by – Amazon in the sky

                         …

What’s going on in boxes? – smugglers try

All kinds of ways to fool the law

Gleeful receptions from Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Gaw

Boxes jumped into by cats – kids love the box

Forgetting the toy rabbit – whilst losing another sock

                         …

What’s going on in boxes?

Amazing boxes sturdy and secure

I think outside the box – and procure

Another delivery – Alexa already knew

I would be receiving it at half-past-two

                         …

What’s this thing about boxes?

YouTube and a grand unboxing

As though it was the opening of Parliament

We’re meant to be glued to the TV screen

Supposed to learn from the unboxing theme

I mean how hard is it to open a box?

Has our boredom taken over the planet?

A channel on unboxing –

Sponsored by those who run it

                        …

When entertainment is unboxing a game

We’ve lost the plot – it’s such a shame

Still – whatever floats your boat

Down the Amazon – boxes galore

What’s going on in boxes? – like I asked before

                        …

Are they all made out of ticky-tacky?

Hoarders houses cleared by boxes on the floor

All boxed-books disappear out the door

                        …

If you know what’s going on with boxes

Please let me know

Another box has arrived – with driver in tow

                        …

I try to sign the thing that is electronic

If I was a drinking man

I’d reach for another gin and tonic

Who are we addressing?

WHO ARE WE ADDRESSING?

When it comes to any kind of communication whether a blog post, a speech, an open letter, a sermon, a lecture, etc etc. – who we are addressing has to be considered.

However blogging and indeed, whatever means we use to address the public, is like casting a net into the sea.

We do not really know who we are addressing, unless it is a bunch of students in a lecture hall, who are studying the particular subject we have been asked to speak on.

Then we can at least be sure that they have some glimmer of understanding as to the information we are passing on. We certainly know about one part of their life – that they wish to put major time into the subject they are taking their degree on.

Even then, if the lecture is released on YouTube or such similar ‘devices’ – we do not know who is tagging along, or looking-in on the address we are giving.

Stop and think this over for a moment. The subject is: who are we addressing – or who do we want to address?

Is there any way we can be sure we are addressing the right people? The right people being those who understand enough of the subject to at least begin to understand and appreciate it, or who even want to listen in the first place.

Also – do we not desire in some cases – to reach those who, we hope, have never heard of this ‘stuff’ we are passing on – hoping therefore that they will latch-on-to our important message, as they are the ones who need it the most?

All the so called ‘followers’ of our blog whose avatar we see or never see, even if they drop by, once in a blue moon, have a rough idea of the kind of writing we engage in.

Those who have been here (Seedsinmotion…), at least once in their blog viewing life – know that I share poetry, paintings and Christian teaching. 

Emerging birds by Ken Riddles

I have short seasons when you get more of one than another.

Who is my audience? – well, besides the ‘like hitters’ I do not have a clue. I rarely check my stats page to try to get an idea.

And so I suppose I have failed at the first step, in ‘how to promote and increase traffic on your blog’.                                         

There is a spiritual element in reaching others. A principle attached to gospel communication: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

We learn that God ultimately is the influencer when it comes to the spreading of His gospel message. He it is who changes the heart of a man or a woman and convinces them of His truth, regardless of who spreads it through blog or speech etc.

So what about response to what we share on our blogs?

You are hoping for a particular response in the context of your subject matter. You imagine how you would like things to be – lots of comments? Lot’s of ‘likes’ – will that do? Many products sold? Fame and fortune for you as a result?

I’m suggesting that we can only have a rough idea of our readership.

There are many profound things to share. But if we do not reach sincere listening ears, perhaps it is wrong to share those things (?).

An extreme example (in the Christian blogging context) of when not to share, would be:

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

This refers to those who do not appreciate, but in actual fact, reject, mock, or ridicule you or what you share.

Rejecting what is precious to you. Too precious to be thrown to the dogs. But what of those who appreciate and concur with the profound truth you are sharing? Well – back to the original problem. How do we know they are listening?

So I refrain from sharing a lot of the spiritual truth that I would share if I knew for certain that the Christians who would benefit from it, are in fact listening.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Jesus told His disciples that He had many things to say to them, but they were not yet able to receive them.

So all Jesus knew, was not all He shared.

The reason I share poetry and art is because they give life an extra enjoyable edge, as far as I am concerned.

They are creative activities.

There can be however, a leftover from past eras that lingers in the psyche of some Christians who consider art and poetry that is not directly concerned with biblical matters as being ‘of this world’ and best ignored..

This is the kind of narrow view that turns many non-Christian would-be seekers of truth, away from the Christian faith. Concluding that Christians, seem cold and detached and in their Pharisaical bubbles.

‘Holier than thou’ individuals who do not fulfil the law but are under it and it’s curse. In Galatians we read:

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.

The antidote/solution to this is also given in Galatians:

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Someone has, I believe correctly stated: (I would imagine somewhat with tongue in cheek) that some Christians are so earthly minded they are of no heavenly use, but some are so heavenly minded they are no earthly use…

                                          …

When I write poetry it is with an open-ended approach, by that I mean, it can be profound or ‘light’, about real or imagined things, to be taken seriously, or humorously, as having real meaning or none.

It is not always spiritual, in the strictest sense of the word. It is written mostly because of my love of words.

Christians aught to understand that they must remain insulated from the spirit of this world. When we engage in cultural activities, we run the risk of our insulation becoming worn-thin. When we sense this, we must run into the shadow of the Almighty – or the name of The Lord which is a strong protective tower – in order to abide there and receive fresh sustenance. Renewing our minds in the Presence of God and His Word.

For the sake of the kingdom of God – I have often abandoned all creative activity for a season, in order to give myself to spiritual life, the life  of the kingdom. Serving God in praying, preaching, or witnessing to Christ’s saving Grace.

However, walking with a healthy spiritual life, means creativity enhancement.

When I paint, it is rarely about Christian subject matter. 

Jazz by Ken Riddles

Many Christian artists feel they can’t paint anything else, that they are obliged to paint Christian subjects. I am not of that persuasion. Everyone must respond to their own inner promptings.

To be naturally-spiritual and spiritually-natural, kind of sums up what I’m saying.

Again – I don’t have a clue who I am addressing. And try to strike a balance in giving vent (as all bloggers do) to what we consider worthwhile to share with others.

With regard to the need to communicate – that all bloggers have, – I would suggest we are simply – built that way!

Bounce back

BOUNCE BACK

‘To try or not to try?’ that is the question

Whether it is better to try and fail or never try at all

– That could possibly be – another question

                                …

That God loves a trier – is an oft quoted axiom

But triers run out of steam…

                                …

Before they try try again

If at first they don’t succeed of course

                                …

They can succumb to discouragement

Which in the bigger analysis of things 

  • [worldwide I mean]
  • can mean

There is a world full of discouraged triers

All trying to bounce back

Triers who succeed might never need to try again

                               …

I should explain…

                               …

But if it’s all the same

However

I won’t bother…

‘Cause some would say:

What’s the point of trying…?

Put away…

PUT AWAY

Much as I could do

 – I won’t complain

If I was to complain that would be 

 – getting into the blame game

Much as I obviously disagree

 – it makes no difference

 – ‘Tween you and me

Oh by the way

 – I like your ashtray

It’s the first time in my life

 – to like an ashtray

It’s all that goes with it

 – that sends me away

 – Into a spiral of disgust

                  …

I’ve never liked that poison

Since I had to breath it in

                  …

Parenthetically –

[During the shifting sands

The sinking sands

Of popular opinion

Versus what the experts did say

Until one day

The world woke up and

put the cigarettes away…]

More than just a man

MORE THAN JUST A MAN

As the teachings of The Lord Jesus Christ go out

into the ears of the world

Hands are raised to block those ears

and minds are filled with doubt

                         …

They want a new and different gospel –

One that will leave them alone

As they continue to use their free will

To do as they please – unbeknown

                         …

I cannot beat you up

With my perfect heavy touch

I have failed and remain impaled

Upon the cross of my total failure

                         …

Left there – dead in sin – alone

Separated from a Saviour

Destined for experiences still unknown

When justice is dispensed at the throne

                         …

But look – see what has happened instead

I have been saved from the dead

‘Cause someone else has taken my place

Thorn clad and pierced in the side

                         …

So that I can be free – forever to abide

In the One who did all this

Taking my place on the tree

Full of pain – to give me life abundantly

                          …

All I do is stretch out my hand

His grace sufficient

To make me one of His band

A disciple forever learning

So I say ‘Behold the man…’

                          …

You will see – looking closer than before

That He is more – than just a man

He is The Son of the Most High God

Fully God, fully man – please understand

                          …

Take your blindfold off your eyes

And give yourself time to realise

That to see the man is to see the One

Who pleased the Father as the Only Begotten Son