All posts by ken riddles

About ken riddles

Person - Parent - Painter - Preacher. More info under 'About' on



I think it is safe to say that every human being suffers from a sense of failure in their life, at some point.

We can say that this is real or imaginary.

Questions get ravelled-up together. Questions such as – what is the purpose of life anyway? Or what have I really done with my life? Why have I not been more successful? Why do I not get invited to the party? Why can I not pass this driving test?

And so on…

Most of these have a sense of failure pending or following.

Not wanting to be boastful/big headed – we can be the first to admit that others seem to excel where we have failed.

But if we are at all logical – then we can add to the mix – ‘well what is success anyway?’

We have raised two or three children who are all doing well, who are solid and not neurotic or dysfunctional, but who perhaps themselves, lead a good home with balanced offspring.

Whereas over here the head of a multi-million pound/dollar conglomerate – a millionaire – well, his children are rebellious and in rehab.

So who has been successful in this scenario?

We learn then that success is comparative.

Truth is, we are all failures. And can still find acceptance in Christ. Who clears the conscience, and loves the unlovely me.

But in these days what is put forward as important and representing real success, has changed. And will go on changing. Not for the better – in it’s abandonment of what is of real value.

The predominant values of the society we live in are the result of the majority-held views. Views that build up in the psyche of the citizens of the place we dwell in. Then there is the world view.

There comes a mental blindness with this. When common decency is replaced with something else, building up to confusion running rampant.

The words of the old classic hymn come to mind:

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

I stand appreciating The Victor who took my place on a cross, and who offers the gift of His success and acceptance, making such as I, a king and a priest unto God.

Revelation 1/6

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


blowsy copyBlowsy – (Watercolour)

In light of the necessity to find answers to the hereafter question – everything else, in my life is ‘relegated’ to second place.

Fully embracing that we are to enjoy our lives in this world, and live in appreciation of everything that has been created – or that we can create, I nevertheless see the necessity of ‘seeking first the kingdom of God…’. (Matthew 6/33)

Some – one or two years ago I decided to stop posting my paintings and share Christian subject-matter and teaching, ‘interluded’ with my poetry.

But I have decided to drop the odd piece of artwork onto the blog, for your consumption.

When we were kids we played a game called blowsy. ‘Bubble-gum’ cards were collected, and we each placed one of our cards face down on the window-sill. Each person contributing one of their cards (perhaps a card they had more than one of). The idea was to blow the two cards and get them to flip to right side up. If this was done successfully our opponent forfeited their card.

Thus the above depiction.


That word ‘deceived’…

Colossians 2/

Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Paul’s desire is that these fellow believers are not deceived.

Most folks have a rough idea of what being deceived is about.

The salesman who seeks with persuasive words to talk you into something you do not really need, – I guess, is one of the most obvious examples of the possibility of being duped, deceived, or scammed.

Perhaps by exaggerated claims for the product which we later find out in practice are just plainly not true.

Then there is the child who tries to deceive the parent, by claiming through some dreamt-up excuse that they didn’t eat the pastries set aside in the fridge for Sunday.

Or there is the manufacturer’s claim that the biscuit has no sugar, when taste discovers differently.

I often wonder (as a bald person myself) why others try to deceive us into thinking they have hair, by combing long strands of hair from the side or back over the bald top. One deception that is easily detected, in a gust of wind.

But of course there are many deceptions far more serious than these few examples.

Paul was concerned that their minds be not deceived and corrupted by what was not true.

He was a genuine minister of the gospel. His intimacy with God is indirectly described in this verse as he mentions the reality of his spirit being alive to God.

He is able to discern with God’s enablement and discernment that the believers to whom he is writing are in fact in good spiritual health.

Good spiritual health is to be free from deception. Deception entails believing lies of some kind.

We can deceive ourselves by not being honest with ourselves. Lying to ourselves, and believing the lie.

Or by believing false doctrine, false principles. Half truths can lead us astray also.

I don’t know about you – but I do not want to be deceived. Are we – deceived in any way?

There is much that could be said on this subject of course.

In the last days Paul warns that many shall depart from the faith and he ends with this:

giving heed to DECEIVING SPIRITS and doctrines of demons,

I Timothy 4/1:

(Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith), giving heed to DECEIVING SPIRITS and doctrines of demons,…

…spirits perpetrating lies in the form of sets of thought patterns forming principles that are lies, and that prompt the action of departing from the truth of God.

Often channelled through mankind:

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,…

In response to the possibility of this happening we set ourselves on course – for finding the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Broken part

Broken part

The guy looks cooler in shades

The shades get warm in the sun

The sun beats down on our nervous frame

And we wonder – if we’ve lost or won?


The shade protects us in dark tree nook

Screwing up our face for another look

At the vastness of nature’s intricacy

With incomprehension – sad you might say


But peace has been found in The Son

All confusion ebbs to the beat of His drum

And standing as a stalwart before the by-and-by

I – press-on to the mark allocated beyond space or sky


It might seem that my poem has taken a strange turn

Mankind sits uncomfortably – at any prospect of burn

But it remains hidden to the blind man who can’t see

You can always ask if you want –

if you want – ask me


We all perform our song of life

Singing our tune of happiness or strife

Our story unfolds – all that is within

Some people listen thumb on chin


By the end of this piece you may wonder

What the point might be

This is a car engine that stutters and won’t start

So I will leave it in the garage

with a broken poetry part


The missing bolt out of the blue

Solders the parts to make something new

A complete picture comes into view

As – to your own surprise

Thoughts of the Son of God arise

Strange things…


Here they all are – arrayed before me

There was a time – yes, there was a time

When such things did not exist

But now with their – at’s and dots and coms

They are part of life

Taken-over they have – from the stamp-addressed

Here they all are – arrayed before me

In a special folder – set apart to hold

their strung-together-look

Their spaceless in-between

To take my communications across the ether-world

I stop – I stare – at their part in my life

These that once did not exist

All embraced – differently by me –

than the younger generation who have them

Embraced as ‘second nature’ interludes

like burps or pauses

Or as real as clothes they wear

Essential codes oft-dreamt-up to just be different

My eye scans old ones – now defunct?

Mailer daemon – may be their destiny or fate

As I reflect on the persons behind these syntax mates

– Old friends long since not seen

I wonder if I can reach them – all thirteen

And to my chagrin – none of these email addresses

Bring me warm greetings in return



The sun was shining brightly

The air was fresh and pure

And everybody was lazing and laughing

And eating lunch in instalments

And the children were playing

And the wolf was sleeping

The leaves were as green as green could be

A gentle breeze caused the rigging on the yacht to make a hollow sound

Well in keeping with the laid-back momentary pauses between beats

The moments of silence in the harmonious picnic

flowed over the gathering in permanent smiles

A scene of Renoir-ish depiction

Dancing and skipping and hugs and handshakes

the order of the day as others arrived

All was well that ended – five hours later

Wow! – a happy ending for once

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.