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Deck Chair

fischer-719759_1280The woman sat on the deck chair looking out to sea and imagined a far-off ship going to the tropics. There it would find the warmth she had never experienced. She enjoyed a good life in a material sense at least. In personal relationships, she had been less fortunate. And so, she could buy a gift for anyone but had no one to give it.

 

A child run across the beach carrying an inflatable ball. Something attracted the youngster to the woman. So, she threw the ball towards her. Affronted by the girl’s forwardness, she was tempted to retreat into her book with a glower. Instead, the woman sent the ball through the air and into grateful hands. For a minute, they amused each other as they played out a game. Then the girl gave a shy smile and ran off to somewhere unknown.

Brightened, the woman looked around and saw couples, families and groups enjoying shared companionship. She should have felt excluded but somehow, she had reconnected with the human race. That was enough.

 

 The ship upon the grey ocean dropped below the horizon.

 

This came for a book of reflection that you can read free at Wattpad.

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The Tree

4m1W7GThe tree remembered being planted in the churchyard those many summers ago. For he saw the young daughter of the squire slipping in a copy of that new book on ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to wile away the long sermon. This blissful rural scene was oblivious to the battles being fought on land and sea to fence in the tyrant Napoleon.
The tree brought to mind the parishioners chattering excitedly having been told of a war far away over whether humans could own humans; trees never own each other more than they can own God’s sunlight.

He then lived many summers and slept for many winters before Johnny, the blacksmiths boy, proud in his khaki uniform marched off to France.  A few months later, his family came weeping to the yard even though Johnny had no grave there.

It seems hardly any summers at all after the Great War, that his branches were swept back by a gaudily painted plane sprouting smoke and crosses flew overhead with another firing in pursuit. Now he saw the night sky filled with new stars, all talking to each other as they silently rotated above.
More recently, he was overjoyed when a young family came to stay in the disused church which had been converted to a house.  They played in his shadow and touched his bark in games. And so, he felt the pain even more as the chainsaw cut into his flesh to make way for another room for washing, games and fitness machines. But through it all, he knew sorrow for humans who neither live for summer or sleep in winter but destroy or are destroyed in ever season.

 

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Summer Postcards

Here are some reflections I wrote last summer on time, change and hope.

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Click here to read this collection in Wattpad.

 

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A thought for Christmas

From  The Celtic Christian Tradition

From The Celtic Christian Tradition

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 23/12/2014 in spirituality, wisdom

 

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Street Preaching – effective?

This is worth thinking about!

The Pondering Alchemist

Well these are my highly critical observations about street preaching, at least from within New Zealand.

People Type A attempt to preach on the streets to People Type B.

People Type A are different people to People Type B.

Too different.

When Type A speak, Type B struggle to understand what they are harping on about. Type A conform to the injection myth which is that no matter what I say or how I say it, because it makes sense to me it will make sense to you. Therefore the more I inject information into you, the more you will hear from Jesus. Thus the louder I preach, the better the message gets.

But no matter how ‘anointed’ we think we are, people cannot make sense of a different language. Hardly half the story spurts out as Jesus is ripped out of his own context. And let’s be honest, it…

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Here and Now

Picture courtesy of Rome.info

panorama_vatican

This week will see an ever increasing attention on Rome by the world. Since Papal conclaves naturally fascinate the faithful and the unbeliever in almost equal measure. More to the point for today is that the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church will have a global influence on the future of the whole Christian Church not least in the way that those outside see it.

From that viewpoint, I have been more observant of the news than usual. Yet this has thrown up some surprises. Not least a Catholic priest in St Peter’s Square, on being asked about possible changes the new Pope might bring in, claimed that such possibilities would not happen as they were not of God. Next day, a Channel 4 commentator made clear that  without changes the Roman Catholic Church and, by inference, Christianity would fizzle out.

Both speakers seemed intimate with what God thought! Yet who can? For the last lines of Minnie Louise Haskins’ often quoted poem – I said to the man at the gate of the year – are much less repeated. But they contain a warning for they are:

In all the dizzy strife,

of things both high and low

God hideth his intentions.

Let us then put our hand into the hand of God, look after the now and trust Him to take care of both the past and future.

 

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Some Summer Thoughts

Well it is the holiday season again. Hopefully, this year we will see more clement weather than we have seen previously. For, there is no doubt about it, holidays are far better with holiday sunshine!

 

Yet there must be more to days away from our daily toil, than just enjoying warmth and fresh air. Since real breaks also involve thinking just what is important in our journeying.

 

Now as a frequent visitor to National Trust and other stately homes on holiday, I often get ‘on the chat’ with the various room attendants who must guard the many treasures on display. And what an interesting ‘crew’ they tend to be! Take for example, the lady who had installed the latest green power generation system in her Yorkshire house or the one who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of weekend house parties in the 20’s. However, none can rival the guide who informed me, when I had planked myself down in a window seat at Sandringham, that ‘The Queen also likes to sit there’!

 

Indeed, every holiday encounter is a reminder that when we are relaxed and at leisure there is no better time to share companionship in the way that Christ would want us too. Because that is the time-honoured way of the pilgrim; or as a prayer in Ely Cathedral goes:

 

God of pilgrimage, be with me on

My journey through life;

Guard and defend me,

Shelter and feed me,

Challenge and inspire me,

Teach me and lead me,

And when my journey has ended

Welcome me home at last –

To rest in your love forever.

 

May these words go with you wherever you may roam this summer.

 

 
 
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