Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Shards of Hope




Shards of hope, light this cathedral,
Awaken my soul, to your wonderful
treasure placed within this earthly vessel.

The altar of my soul, everything mortal,
Touched by your power as you reveal,
Feelings that place me into heavens portal.

Weak is my soul, my hope in this travail,
Springs of grace, embrace the divine fuel,
All I need, through His perfect denial.

Immersed into Christ, one with the immortal,
Filled with his glory, flooding this temple,
Secure in his grip, my rest is now final.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Bygone Times - The Victor


Growing up in the 1970’s my parents allowed me a small amount of pocket money each week.
And I could spend it on what I wanted
This usually meant
Sweets!
In addition to this I could also buy a comic
My mother said it had to be educational!
So each week I purchased ‘The Victor’
The greatest comic ever printed.
Full of great stories and great characters
Exciting tales of Valor
Heroism
True stories of courage
Victoria Crosses won
And in alongside these wonderful acts of bravery, were the fictional characters,
And everyone no doubt has their favorites and I had three that I followed religiously.

Alf Tupper – Tough of the Track


A working class runner, who despite having everything thrown at him, persevered, overcame the obstacles of life and came out winning,

Chell Puddock – Hammer Man



Chell Puddock – An Englishman with amazing strength and instead of using a sword he uses his trusty hammer! 

And my all time favorite

Is it Cricket? With the Little Pudlington Cricket Team – Lead by Colonel Clutterbuck


The village of Little Pudlington, along with other English villages took part in a knock-out competition to become the Village Cricket Champions of All England. They triumphed over suspiciously dodgy umpiring decisions and other teams scheming.
Then it was off to Australia and the outback to play against local teams. It was a wonderful series with many twists and turns as the team go on the adventure of a life time.

The Victor was for me the greatest comic ever printed.

I could not wait for each weekly edition and I always had the annual waiting for me, at the bottom of my bed on Christmas Day.

For more information visit this wonderful website: http://www.victorhornetcomics.co.uk/victorpage1.html


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Remembering Onslow




I was very sad to hear today of the death at 68 of one of my favorite TV characters Geoffrey Hughes who played Onslow in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’.

Although I never met Mr. Hughes in ‘the flesh’ I enjoyed his wonderful portrayal as the baseball cap, vest wearing lovable Onslow, cemented to his chair in front of the television.

Then there was also the magical scene in the Royle Family, when Twiggy (Geoffrey Hughes) and Jim (Ricky Tomlinson) stripped wallpaper whilst dancing to the radio. It always reminded me of Disney and dancing to the ‘bare necessities.’

Geoffrey Hughes had the ability to make you laugh and there were many memorable moments. One of the best sums up his wonderful comic ability:

“Onslow: Have you noticed how some days you just get washed over by this sense of cosmic emptiness and lack of meaning?”

“Daisy: Has he run out of beer again?”

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bygone Times - The Trimphone



There are a few distinct sounds that I can instantly recall

I don’t need to think about them

Police Sirens

Exploding Fireworks

Church Bells

Seagull Squawks

And the ringing of a

Trimphone

Once heard a Trimphone’s warbled tone is never forgotten

My best friend’s party piece was an unnervingly accurate impersonation of that tone which had restaurant waiters rushing to answer a silent phone much to our amusement .

In fact

The Trimphone has been with us in one form or another for some thirty years now, and although it is unusual to see one in use these days there are still quite a few around... usually for sale in second hand shops or antique sales.

I can still remember my parents purchasing our first Trimphone and the excitement that it caused in our house.

They kept the phone for years, well into the late 1980’s and only upgraded it after much nagging by my younger sister.

The Trimphone still brings a smile to my face and seeing one brings back happy memories.

And I can still hear that warbling tone

In my head.


Friday, 27 July 2012

I Must Be Getting Old!


I must be getting old
Just the other day
Outside work
I was walking past
As a few some workmen erected an iron fence
Nothing strange about that!
Well
One was on a pneumatic drill, pounding the concrete
Smashing it into tiny bits
The noise was defending
His mate
Was watching him
Whilst!
Music was thundering out from the open door of their van
Radio blasting away
What a combination
Pneumatic drill and thundering music
No wonder workmen wear ear muffs!
I just don’t get it!
Surely one lot of deafening noise is sufficient.
 I must be getting old!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Grace Notes - Colossians 2: 9,10



Colossians 2: 9,10 says; "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ".

Other translations say "You have been made complete in Christ".

Ryan Rufus explains that for the Christian everything comes out of God’s grace and our heavenly position in Christ:-

That means you can't receive anymore fullness in your heavenly position in Christ! That means you have been made absolutely complete in your heavenly position in Christ! Some of you are looking like you don't believe that! You need to see where you are!

We are not talking about your flesh or your soul but your spirit that has been made alive with Christ and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms! How can God be in heaven and also living inside of you? That is the glory realm! It is multi-dimensional and don't try to understand it with your mind! You have been given fullness in Christ!

That means you don't have to try and achieve anymore righteousness or achieve anymore perfection. You have got 100% righteousness and 100% perfection and 100% obedience and love and faith and authority and health and riches! And 100% victory and passion and access to God all the time! That is your heavenly position in Christ!

What is your heavenly position? It is that you are seated in the heavenly realms and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus and have been given fullness and made complete in Christ. You have been made holy and complete in Christ and that is your heavenly position!

Living holy is not about living without sin! Living holy is about living from your eternal heavenly position in Christ Jesus!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Grace Notes - Romans 1 v 17




From a sermon preached by Rob Rufus -

Romans 1 v 17  “for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last. Just as it is written the righteous will live by faith".

What is the faith the righteous will live in?

The faith that I AM the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This context that Paul is speaking about is in the context of the gospel, the power of salvation and that a righteousness from God is revealed. That is by faith from first to last and ever lasting. That is what your faith is. What is your faith as a Christian? You don't need faith for healing, blessing and prosperity, wholeness - what you need to develop your faith to higher and higher levels is that you have a gift of righteousness and you are the righteousness of God. THAT releases the power of "soza" - health, healing, protection. The Church is teaching people to have faith for healing, faith for blessing, for prosperity. You hear about "Five Steps for Faith for Healing", "Five Steps for Prosperity", "Five Steps for Protection". I am running out of steps - I can't remember what the first and second step was! That is exhausting and it doesn't even work!

The righteous - those who have a gift of righteousness - they live by faith! Faith in what? Faith that they are the righteousness of God from first to last! Now all over the world people are getting this message and lives are being changed as we read only a few of the reports back. Also around the world you have got people reacting to this message. That is encouraging because if no one is reacting then we are not preaching the Gospel that Paul preached! This Gospel Paul preached, people hated it and beat him and put him in prison! Today they just write negative emails about me! I will take that far more than what Paul got!

You get people say things to try and say something that I am not saying. This is what I heard this week in Australia; "Ah Rob is preaching a righteousness that gives you a right to go to heaven but he is not preaching the righteousness required for daily Christian living". That sounds holy. That's impressive.

Folks there is NO distinction between the righteousness to get you to heaven and the righteousness to get heaven to you.

There is not one distinct righteousness for salvation and another practical righteousness for Christian living. They don't exist! There is only one kind of righteousness! There is ONLY imputed righteousness! There is not imparted righteousness and impacting righteousness - there is only imputed righteousness! That is the only thing the Bible talks about! I want that point to settle in here. You see they patronize Rob and say; "Of course he is emphasizing the gift of righteousness for salvation". I say; "Explain salvation to me - health, healing, wholeness, preservation, protection". "He is emphasizing righteousness for salvation". Oh yes I am! Guilty as charged! "But you see of course, he is not emphasizing the righteousness for daily Christian living. So you see listen to that if you want but you will only be hearing a righteousness for salvation and not a righteousness for daily Christian living".

Well friends there is no distinction between a righteousness for salvation and a righteousness to go to heaven and a righteousness for daily Christian living - because there is only ONE kind of righteousness and it is the gift of righteousness that you receive. There is no gift of righteousness and then a practical righteousness.
The gift of righteousness will eventually lead to practical outworking and living but they are not two distincts.

There is acceptance grace and empowering grace and I have always taught that they are the same thing but for clarity we separate them only for clarity's sake. If people teach two kinds of righteousness - the gift of righteousness and for daily living and some kind of other righteousness who God alone knows what it is - some kind of other righteousness for daily living then;

They are NOT preaching the Gospel and that is why they are not seeing the power of transformation in people's lives. What they are preaching is self-righteousness.
If you do not preach the gift of righteousness as the only righteousness the Christian has - then you are preaching self-righteousness mixed up with the gift of righteousness and that is very, very dangerous. I want you to go to Romans 9. Yes they are saying there is another kind of righteousness for sanctification and Paul the apostle is saying they are wrong. Paul says there is only one kind of righteousness - the righteousness that saves you and salvation is preservation, wholeness, protection for time and eternity. If you add any kind of righteousness that is seperate to that - one that is for your sanctification then you are not preaching the righteousness of God, you are preaching self-righteousness. People say; "Yes you are saved by righteousness as a gift but then you have got to DO things in practical righteousness".

No if you do things in practical righteousness to earn the blessing of God then you have stepped into the danger zone of self-righteousness.

The Church world is pursuing self-righteousness! They are being taught that you have got to DO things to get the blessing. You have got to do things to get salvation - you have got to do things to get healing, provision, protection. I could take hours hear to teach the things they teach and I could teach the things they teach well because 10 years ago I was teaching them!

ALL YOU HAVE GOT TO DO IS BELIEVE!

Rob Rufus


Monday, 23 July 2012

Grace Notes - Philippians chapter 3 v 9



Philippians chapter 3 v9;

"I want to be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own".

If you have a righteousness of your own, you will not move in resurrection power. If you have a righteousness of your own that is of your holiness and your performance and your efforts then every time you fail that standard of your righteousness, you will feel guilty, you will feel condemned and you will be sin conscious. But if you get a revelation of righteousness that is God's gift to you that has got nothing to do with your performance whatsoever then you will have a revelation of something that will stop you from that day ever suffering guilt or condemnation again and you will come into a knowledge of God that is experiential and you will move in the power of His resurrection!

Rob Rufus.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Sitting in the Corridor



Nothing to do
Just sit and wait
Contemplate
Patiently
Await my fate

Twiddle my thumbs
Stare at the walls
Frustrate
Afraid
Await my fate

Takes me back
Through the years
Backdate
Reminisce
Await my fate

The tutor calls me
My turn has come
Minutes late
Rising
To meet my fate

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Would I Have Picked up a Stone?




Would I have picked up a stone?
Accused her of sin
Judged her
Condemned her
Was I willing to kill her?
Be her judge and jury
Her executor
Would I have shown her mercy?
Compassion
Kindness
I hoped I would
But I am not so sure
But still I hope

(Inspired by John 8 v 1-11 - A woman caught in adultery)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

In a Queue for the School Disco.




Joining the long queue
Standing in the rain
Waiting

Listening to my music
Watching bored children play
Waiting

Suddenly we are moving
Inching forward
Bit by bit
Slowly

Once again we have stopped
In a orderly queue
Waiting

Can’t be long now
Till they open the doors
Waiting

Moving
Finally!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Note to Self - Be careful of ties



At the best of times
I don’t like wearing ties
But it is part of my dress code at work
Which keeps me looking smart
I hope
But saying that
It does come with its own difficulties
Mostly associated with
Dangling
Or to be more precise
Dangling freely
The only problem is that I sometimes forget the dangers of a dangling tie
And the other day
Whilst tackling the paper shredder
The contraption decided to take a liking to my tie
And tried to eat it
For lunch
It must have been hungry!
A couple of yanks,
Pulls,
Sweats, later
And eventually my attire was free of the hungry machine
After trying to salvage the tie
I eventually gave up and deposited it into the bin
So note to self
Be careful of the paper shredder when wearing a tie!


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Intoxication




Intense the intoxication of my heart
As heavens spirit flows through every part
And ensnares me with its divine treasure.

Every fear and failure and sin that hinders
Burns in the consuming grip of your favour
And the fire now intensifies with power.

My every intimate sense yearns with desire
I breathe in again heavens holy fire
That sets my heart alight beyond measure.

This is the place I want to reside
In tune with the spirit, nowhere to hide
As I am aware of you every passing hour.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Time for a Cake





Tired
Thirsty
In desperate need of a drink
Or cake
Refreshment
Somewhere to rest
Stop
Relax

Time to choose

All around
Loud voices
Laughing
Noisy ice-cream machine
Mother with pram
Children licking cones

Anyway
There’s a couple quietly drinking tea
In the corner

Time
To find a seat
Drink
Relax


(Saturday a visit to Hampden Park in Eastbourne is a great way to spend the afternoon.The Cafe is excellent with a great selection of Lizzie Food Factory Cakes especially the Lemon Crumble).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Association Football



This is for all those souls out there, getting withdrawal symptoms at the lack of football available. All right there are the Olympics coming up, but I put it to you, a team without David Beckham in it is a sad excuse for a team. Becks would have given that bit of glamour to a competition that needed it. 

The European Championships climaxed with the wonderful, free passing Spanish showing us all how to win and score goals without a striker.

At home Manchester City proved The Beatles right – With money can buy you the Premiership but it can’t buy you love.
Because we all fell in love with a welsh team who football played more like Barcelona than Swansea.

This then is a little reminder of the golden days of Football, players like:
Charles “Charlie” Charles’
Finney “On the wing”
Stan “between the sticks” Hartley
And “Mr. Banjo” with the half time entertainment.

As 1933 Arsenal takes on 1991 Liverpool in glorious ‘Black and White’ thanks to the genius of Harry Enfield.



Friday, 6 July 2012

When all else fails - Get an Action Plan




When all else fails
Get an
“Action Plan”
Form committees
Get people together
Talk
Discuss
Debate
Formulate
Strategise
Pontificate
There must be an answer
Solution
So let’s talk about it
And
Write a report
And eventually
After a time
Maybe put it into action
Eventually
Before it’s too late
Hopefully

(Inspired by a conversation on BBC2 last night between Monty Don and Jekka McVicar of the RHS)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Note to Self - My Belt



This wasn’t one of the greatest moments of my life
In fact in terms of humiliation
It is right at the top of the list.

One Friday evening I decided to rush out of the house and get a fish and chip take-away for the family
Taking my teenage boy Connor with me
I made a bad choice
A very, very bad choice
I chose a belt for my trousers that was not up for the task

It was all going so well
All going to plan
Until
As I left the chip shop carrying the dinner
With my hands full
My belt slipped
And my trousers
Fell down
In the middle of the street
Around my knees
Half-mast

Right in front of a group of teenage girls who were waiting on the street corner

Panic
Sheer panic
Overcame me

I threw down the dinner
In the street and
Fumbling
I quickly attempted to pull up my trousers

As the group of girls burst out laughing and pointing in my direction

This was followed by my son joining the chorus of laughter.

My son has never let me forget the fateful evening
And I was lucky not to be arrested.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Car Behind


The car behind honked
At me
I couldn’t believe it
What was wrong with him?
Impatient
Inconsiderate
I felt aggrieved
Slighted
Insulted
Wounded
The injustice of it
Being honked at
It hurt my pride
My feelings
I wanted to get him back
But a voice said
Pray
Bless
Show grace

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Incident of the Stolen Flip-flop



It was a beautiful summer’s day
On the weekend
Just right
To take a long, lazy walk through green fields
Casually strolling in the scenic Sussex countryside.

Conner my 14 year old ‘middle’ boy
Forever after the latest adventure
Wanders on ahead
Armed with his newly acquired walking stick
Just in case
His teenage legs won’t take him all the way into the village.
But as usual
The stick soon becomes a samurai sword or a missile launcher.

Thinking about it
It is a minor miracle that Connor has graced us with his presence at all.
It’s usually impossible to get him away from the PS3
And if we do
The last thing he wants is to be seen with his ‘grumpy’ parents
So I should be grateful for small mercies
Even if he’s acting out a scenario from Skyrim ahead

Dani is chasing after him
Annoying him
Getting in his way
Up to the usual mischief an 8 year old makes

When out of the corner of my eye I see an older couple

Then in an instant
Without warning
As fast as a bolt of lightning

A Jack Russell appears
As if by magic
From no where

Connor bends down to say hello to the little fella
And the cheeky scamp
In an instant
As quick as a wink
Steals his Flip-flop
Off his foot
And runs away with his prize.
The next thing my boy is chasing, the scoundrel.
Over the fields.
Round
And round
laughing as he goes

Dani is giggling a way.
What a hoot!
We ended up everyone falling about laughing.
Like a scene from Peppa Pig.
Even the owners of the dog,
Once he finally came back
With his prize!
The little scamp!

Poor Connor was off guard for just a few seconds
That was all it took
For the little dog to act

Every day I make mistakes
I am caught off-guard
My expectations are dashed
There is ample opportunity to catch me off my guard

But I have a secret
My old man is dead
And I am united with Christ
And all the fullness of God now dwells in me.

And no one can take it away or steal it from my sprit.
There are plenty of opportunities to doubt the goodness of God and all he has provided for me through the cross
But by grace I can rest in all he has eternally secured on my behalf.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Lessons from Lewis



I love a good whodunit
You know the type of story
A good detective mystery
One that taxes the brain cells
As you are going around in circles

Last night I watched one of my favourite series
Lewis
On ITV 3
With Kevin Whatley and Laurence Fox
The episode was ‘The Vanishing Point’
Where a chap gets murdered in his own bath and then we discover it was a case of mistaken identity

And who was the murderer?
The wife
The husband
The son
Daughter
Sun Tan shop owner
Sun Tan shop owner’s wife
There was a plethora of suspects on the list
It turned out to be
The wife’s lover who was also the husband’s best friend.                  

Yes, I know
It is almost unbelievable
But there you go
Stay with me!!

Any way he was caught because forensics
(What did the police do in the days before forensics?)
Found his dinner jacket, which was hidden under some floorboard
With the traces of the victims blood on it

And when he was asked by Lewis why he didn’t dispose of the dinner jacket
The murderer answered
“The problem is that I hang on to things I should let go of!”

And as soon as he said those words, I knew exactly how he felt
Caught out because he couldn’t let go of the things of the past

I still struggle with ‘letting go’
The hurts
Wounds
Disappointments
Rejections
Moments of injustice against me

And
The times I let people down
When I didn’t keep my promises
Didn’t keep my word
Acted out of frustration
Said the wrong thing
Lashed out in anger
Didn’t think the best of the person
Gossiped
Lied
Judged
Condemned

But God is working in me
And little by little I am letting his grace free me
His spirit change me
As I rely on his finished work at the cross
Believe his word
And rest in all he has provided

It is a journey
A long and slow journey
But one that I am taking with the greatest companion
The best adventure I could ever take.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Nothing but the blood of Jesus


What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.






What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, 'tis all of grace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!


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