Friday, 8 February 2013

Found this wonderful piece courtesy of Rob Bell, with 'anonymous' as the source, but I love it!

Walk, don’t run.
That’s it. 
Walk, don’t run. Slow down, breathe
deeply, and open your eyes because there’s
a whole world right here within this one. The 
bush doesn’t suddenly catch on fire, it’s been
burning the whole time. Moses is simply moving 
slowly enough to see it. And when he
does, he takes off his sandals. Not because
the ground has suddenly become holy, but 
because he’s just now becoming aware that
the ground has been holy the whole time.
Efficiency is not God’s highest goal for your life,
neither is busyness,
or how many things you can get done in one day,
or speed,
or even success.
But walking-
which leads to seeing-
now that’s something.
That’s the invitation for every one of us today
and every day, in every conversation, interaction,
event, and moment: to walk, not run. And in doing
so, to see a whole world right here within this one.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Love Grows

Love grows
as it is given,
as it is shown.
Love flows
like a steam,
 that which is sown.

Love grows
as it is spoken,
hearts and souls.
Love flows,
like a river
empty vessels full.

Love grows
as it is taken,
as it is shared.
Love flows
like an ocean
around the world.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Lent Bible Study ebooks for download

There are currently three Bible Studies for Lent available for download on, and each one offers 5 studies based on different themes.

New for 2012 is 'Then Sings my Soulbased upon the all trime favourite hymn 'How Great Thou Art' (Ideal for Lent but can be used at any time of the year)
(Did you know this hymn has been recorded over 1700 times, including ones by Elvis Presley, Tenessee Ernie Ford, Roy Rogers and George Beverly Shea.)


Then there's 'Amazing Love' based upon the Isaac Watt's hymn
'When I survey the wondrous Cross' (Again, did you know
This was one of the first English-language hymns to use the word ‘I’ and have at its core personal religious experience.)

Last, but not least, is 'Toward the Sunrise' which is not based on a hymn (!) but takes as its text the post resurrection appearances of Jesus as related by Luke in his Gospel. We focus on the disciples and their journey of faith from confusion to conviction, and walk with them along the Emmaus Rd as they encounter the risen Lord.

 You can find more details and sample pages from all these studies by CLICKING HERE

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

On seeing Spring flowers coming up in January

Your message of hope
to a world tiring of winter’s starkness
longing for that first crocus
to push through snow’s icy blanket
and spread its leaves
like arms outstretched
to its creator
Our yearly reminder, if we needed one
that to a world that was dark and cold
a world devoid of love’s sweet warmth
you sent your Son
to break through sin’s icy blanket
and, arms outstretched
on a cross
he brought us
Thank you

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Year - New Beginnings

At the start of this new year I offer you the Methodist Covenant Prayer, which will be said at all Methodist Churches in January.

It is a chance to dedicate ourselves once again to God in service.

New Year's resolutions are mainly about giving up, this is about doing something new for God!
'IA covenant with God am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.' 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

So what about Halloween?

So what about Halloween? 
You can't really celebrate All Saints Day without confronting All Hallows' Eve or Halloween which is technically the night before. What are we to make of it, and what has it to do with anything Christian? When I went into the temple of Tescos last week I was confronted with stacks of large sweet tubs all costing around £5, produced with the sole purpose of being given out to little kids in ghost and skeleton costumes, or the lazier ones who have jumped on the 'trick or treat' bandwagon.
The origins of Halloween go back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhein (pronounced sow-in) which was a celebration of the end of autumn, a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead, a time often associated with human death in those pre-central heating days. There was also a feeling that at this time of the year the physical and supernatural worlds were at their closest, when the spirits of those who died in the preceding year roamed the earth. To ward off these spirits, bonfires were lit and people danced around in costumes.
If we skip a few centuries, past the Romans and into the Middle Ages, we find that when local people converted to Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church often merged Christian festivals into versions of older religious traditions in order to win converts. This was a process that Popes had been encouraging for many years. So it was that the Church eventually replaced Samhein with All Souls' Day.
All Souls' Day is an opportunity, mainly in Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the recently departed. All Saints Day is slightly different, where we have an opportunity for believers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history, and also consider what it is to be 'a saint'.
So where does that leave us as Christians? Can we reclaim anything from the commercial Halloween and its fascination with witches and ghosts?
I think we can confront it, by on the one hand warning that our children should not be dabbling in anything that glorifies ghouls and ghosts and the murkier side of the spiritual world, but that at Halloween, or All Souls' Day we celebrate the life of all who we have loved and lost through death, and also celebrate God's eternal protection, provision and purpose for our lives, where good has triumphed over evil, and over the centuries many have given their lives as martyrs to that truth.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Religion or Superstition?

We've recently been on holiday in Italy, and as we walked around the villages surrounding our hotel I was interested to see how many houses had images of Jesus or the Madonna and child inset in their front wall or nearby.
Now I know that Italy is a predominently Catholic country (which is to be expected!) but I did not see that many actually attending church on Sunday, so I wonder if these 'shrines' or whatever you would call them are in fact of deep religious significance, or more to do with superstition - the inclusion of one as a hope for good fortune.
Am I being unkind? I hope so, but in an increasingly secular society I fear not, which is a shame.

I came back with a collection of photos of these shrines, small and large. To me they are of some cultural significance, but they also remind us of a Christian heritage that survives in one form or another!

Monday, 19 September 2011

A New Advent Bible Study

Read the News is a slightly different Advent Bible Study presented in a newspaper front page format.
Follow the Christmas story through short story soundbites and snippits of background information which helps to bring the context of the story to life as we look at life in the times of Jesus' birth.

There's an opening discussion question to get the chat going, a short Bible study and some more searching questions to get folk talking around the issues raised each week.

The Advent study is in A4 format, and each week's study can be printed on 2 double sided sheets.

Permission is given for a church to photocopy these resources, so only 1 copy is needed per group!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

New Book - A God of Compassion

Over 100 prayers on a theme of healing and wholeness - for the individual and also for many situations and natural disasters which affect us and others in this world.

This has been a labour of love, as I believe that we have a God who heals, not only for individuals and their particular ailments, but in nations, situations of war and conflict, and at times of disaster.
This book is offered as a collection of prayers about healing. For many that means healing from the various ailments and diseases that afflict so many of us. But healing has a much broader meaning when we are thinking about our prayer life.

We might pray for the healing of physical and spiritual relationships that have broken down. In the wider context we can pray for reconciliation between peoples and nations and for healing of the earth and its people after natural or man-made disaster.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A Word in Time

This week I get to write the Word in Time Bible study for the Methodist Church website - how cool is that!
This one is Tuesdays' posting - catch the rest at

"Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the world that I speak will be fulfilled, declares the Lord God." (v. 28)


Ezekiel would have grown up expecting to serve in the temple in Jerusalem, as he came from a priestly family. But he was in exile in Babylon along with the Judeans taken there by Nebuchadnezzar in 597BC. Called by God, Ezekiel was a man of vision, who prophesied the eventual destruction of the temple because of the idolatrous worship that had been introduced within its walls. His message was that this period of exile was from the hand of God as judgement against the people's sin, that they might repent and turn back to him.

One of the problems that prophets face is that of opposition. There are always going to be scoffers who make fun of a prophetic word. So it was that God's word comes to Ezekiel against the saying of the day that "every vision comes to nothing" (v. 21)!

But that is a dangerous attitude to take. A long term view of God's dealings with people shows that God's promises and judgements do come to fruition, albeit in God's time not ours.

The problem was rather like that of the people of Jesus' day, who had become indifferent to God. They knew in their hearts that their behaviour was wrong and they were guilty of breaking the laws which Moses had brought to them, but they were still convinced that they had got away with it. "It hasn’t happened yet, therefore it's not going to happen!" they might have said.

But that attitude is as sensible as someone living in California's earthquake zone saying the same. The 'Big One' will happen; it's just a question of time. That's the urgency of the gospel message, of course. The call to repentance is always 'Now!' but so many put it off on the basis that it can wait until they are ready!

"You think I don't act?" says God through Ezekiel. "Watch this space!"

for more go to

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Prayer for the World

When oppression
cruelty and fear
are all that is known
and suffering the daily experience
When famine
hunger and thirst
greet every morning
denying basic  sustenance
how easy to say
there is no God
to turn aside
and label you an irrelevance
You who are
living water
bread of life
the one who offers deliverance
who suffered
died and rose
bringing hope
that there is more to life than this
Bless all those
who in despair
and dark places
look to you for assurance
Bring comfort
peace and where
there is nothing
bring to them abundance

Thursday, 9 June 2011


I've been preparing a sermon on the theme of Pentecost, and as always when Sundays like this come around, you are faced with the same problem - what can I say that people haven't heard before!

This year I found myself thinking about the link between Pentecost and mission, and comparing this wonderful event with another, that of the Welsh Revival of 1904. There are some interesting parallels.

It took time and patience for revival to come to Wales. The hope was there for centuries. It took obedience from a handful of people, and God’s timing when everything and everyone was in place to bring it to fruition. The process was not unlike that described in Acts with just a few obedient followers of Christ doing what they knew they had to do to prepare the way. Their preparation was good, God did the rest.

The challenge is also to look at what our churches are for. I would suggest that top of the list is mission, because that was the instruction Jesus gave to his disciples. It was certainly at the top of the list for the disciples post-Pentecost.

It is not to be self-centred, tied up time and effort-wise with the problems of survival and raising funds (important though this might be for the fabric) but to have a concern for the spiritual health of your town and nation and be open for God to use this building you use as church and the people within it for His mission, to touch the lives of all those who are on the outside.

You see, he can only do that through our obedience, because he uses us to be his hands, his voice, his compassion and love in this world. He can only do that if, like the disciples of the first and the eighteenth century we have a passion to spread the Gospel, a patience to see God work in his time not ours, and an obedience to God’s word.

Read more here

1 Corinthians 10:12-13
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. (NIV)

This world tempts us
with bright lights
city streets,
tempting sights
and sounds.

This world tempts us
with objects
of desire,
raises us up
knocks us down.

This world tempts us
to believe
its lies,
challenges us
to live them.

This world tempts us
to reject
our God,
accuses us
and hates us.

This world tempts us
to disbelieve
the truth
that nothing can
defeat us.

Friday, 20 May 2011

As I adventure with you today

There's a new book being written, albeit slowly because of the subject matter - prayers that encompass the broad area of 'Times of Trouble', which can be times when our faith seems lacking, our health is poor or we just want to cry out to  God over injustice. It's about healing and wholeness.

This one was written yesterday - I like the whole picture of our faith as journeying with God, through good times and bad, but always to a destination and never wandering randomly!

As I adventure with you today
be the compass that guides me
the light that shines on my path
the only one I follow.

As I adventure with you today
be the word that encourages
the hand that reaches out
each time I stumble

As I adventure with you today
let me glimpse our destination
and appreciate the places
through which you lead me

As I adventure with you today
be the strength I need to follow
and as the day draws to a close
let me rest in your embrace.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I call to you Lord

I call to you, Lord
at the dawn of this new day,
place into your hands
family and friends,
work to be done,
decisions I shall make,
obstacles I encounter,
strangers who pass my way,
the service I shall offer.

I call to you, Lord
at the dawn of this new day,
my rock and my fortress,
my strength and deliverer,
for all I am is yours,
each moment of this day
gifted to me by grace,
and offered in your name,
my offering of praise.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Life is a struggle, Lord

 I look after my mother who has dementia, and in this prayer I have tried to see life from her perspective.

 “For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” (Psalm 22:24 )

Life is a struggle, Lord.
Time plays its tricks
on body, mind and spirit.
Simple tasks that in my youth
would have taken minutes
now consume
my waking moments,

Life is a struggle, Lord.
Technology confuses,
so little now makes sense.
Age strips the brain of sharpness
that once would have found words
but now struggles,

Life is a struggle, Lord.
You alone are my constancy,
all I cling to.
Accept my mustard seed of faith,
and the simple words I offer,
my sacrifice of prayer.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Prayer banned for being too Christian!

A Hospital Chaplain (who will remain nameless!) asked if it was OK to use the prayer of mine pasted below as part of a general chaplaincy leaflet, but was then told not to use it by the hospital 'powers-that-be' as it was too Christian!

Don't you just love political correctness!  Make up your own mind.........

I prayed
"Please Lord,
my life is a mess,
let your love flow through me
and bring healing."
And like a river,
cool refreshing water,
you flowed through me.
Not as a gentle stream,
a rivulet of hope,
but a torrent,
sweeping debris away.
All those broken branches,
rust-encrusted items
and accumulated debris
which were holding back the flow,
swept aside in a torrent of love,
flooding through my veins,
pouring into my heart,
filling my life.
This is healing.
Thank you, Lord

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Uncluttering Lives

Matthew 6
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Unclutter our lives, Lord,
we have too much,
consume too much,
expect too much.

Grant us perspective;
to see this world
through others’ eyes
than just our own.

Grant us compassion;
where there is need
to play our part
not turn aside.

Grant us gratitude
for what we have,
our daily bread,
the gift of life.

Unclutter our lives, Lord,
give us space,
thankful hearts.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

May the whisper

May the whisper
of the Father
be the one that wakens you;
the open hand
of the Son
be the one that raises you;
the prompting
of the Spirit
be the one that sends you,
this morning
and all mornings,
and leads you safely home.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Who are we?



1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (NIV)

Who are we?
reaching for Perfection
reaching for Creator
reaching for Immortal.
Who are we
who can ask of God
that which is on our hearts
and know
that he will hear our prayer?
We are those
loved beyond loving,
focus of our Creator’s heart.
We are children
of a heavenly Father,
who takes
the burdens of our heart
and substitutes
a peace that brings release,
who knows our needs
before we ask
yet loves to hear our voice.
Who are we?
Blessed and grateful
to a God who loves each one of us
as if there were but one to love.