Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Going Back

I am not sure that going back to places you cherished as a child is a very good idea.
Sometimes it better to give them a wide berth and avoid altogether.
Time has a way of tarnishing the memories and making the reality of life seem frankly odd.
But recent circumstances have conspired against me in this.

Last week I attended the funeral of my best friend’s mother.
I had known her for the best part of forty years and throughout my teenage years we all went to the same church. My Friend and I
Sang in the choir
Went to Cub Scouts
Went to Youth Clubs
Prayer meetings.
Harvest festivals.
Church Bazaars.
Yes, you have guessed it everything that the church offered I was involved in.
These were happy times, days of enjoyment, friendship and acceptance.
You can even spot me as choir boy,

As I study that photo names come flooding back, (That is me in the 2nd row - far right), I can picture the larks we had, the adventures and the boredom of the Sunday evening sermon.
I hated that late evening service, the vicar took every chance to preach about the imminent rapture and warn the congregation that they needed to be ready.
Dark, cold, wet winter evenings
Chilly church
It put the fear of something or other in me.

Sitting in the same old church last week with my wife, I sat and chatted with her taking her on a tour of my former years.
She was fascinated but as I reminisced I grew increasing aware that this was a bygone time that I had left far behind. Full of vivid pictures of long passed people who encouraged and mothered me.
Hugged me
Kissed me
Befriended me
Encouraged me
And disapproved of me when I put my large ‘foot in it’, which was often the case.

I don’t know about you but as I get older my mind gravitates back to the places and events of my childhood.
Inconspicuous events that had no real meaning suddenly spring into my mind for no reason triggered by an every day occurrence.
Sometimes I think that it is God’s way of showing me who I am and what I can learn from these experiences.
Other times I think it is just a life full of memories.
I can’t get away from these memories.
So it becomes a question of how I deal with them.
Embrace the ones that have changed me and discard those that would hurt me.
But most of all.
Put them all in a drawer marked,
“I am a new creation living in the finished work of Jesus and set free by his grace.”
Although these memories remain,
Christ in me is the hope of glory and he has made me His son and a co-heir to all my heavenly father’s riches.

And I am reminded today by,
Joyce Meyer,
“The past is like a magnet; it’s always trying to draw us back, but Jesus wants to draw us forward!”

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Life From A Park Bench

Park benches are wonderful places
They really are
Now you might start doubting my sanity
But give it a little thought and I guarantee that you will also start valuing these treasured resting places.

To begin with, when my eight year old hyper active daughter, badgers me mercilessly to take her to the park
And of course, I give in
Well I realise that the only way I am going to get any peace is when she has run herself into the ground and is completely exhausted.
The park bench becomes the epicentre of life.
I can sit in relative peace as she
Pulverises anyone younger than herself
Falls over dizzy from endless roundabout exertions and
Shouts at the top of her very loud voice.

I close my eyes and let the sun burn gently on my skin.
I let the cares of the world, slowly fade away.
As I stop,
Yes, I finally, actually stop.

And then as I open my eyes and enter back into reality,
I discover that the surrounding grass is scattered with rubbish!
The discarded junk, that no one wants.
And the first thought that I mutter to myself is,
“Why can’t they use the rubbish bin? There it is only a few feet away. Why can’t people just walk over and put their rubbish in that bin, instead of just throwing it away?”
Then it slowly dawns on me
I’m becoming a grumpy old man
Sorry, I mean,
I’ve become a grumpy old man!
When had I ever been concerned over discarded rubbish?

“Like your heart!” Says the disturbing voice inside my mind, “Full of rubbish, full of life’s junk!”
“What!” I reply.
“Your heart needs clearing out.” From,
Broken promises
Tired excuses
All these clutter up my heart.

Cigarette ends
Bottle tops
Sweet wrappers
Empty ice-pops
Discarded paper
Bits of brick
Fallen leaves
Broken Sticks
Unwanted receipts
Lost notes
Crushed cans
Kiddie’s boats
Leftover litter
Redundant items
Plenty to spare

Masses of Rubbish
Inside my heart
Time to clearout
Unbelief depart
Root out weeds
Clear away lies
Throw out stones
Open my eyes
Truth invade
God infiltrate
Belief building
Faith now dictates.
Surrender to God
Freedom within
Good Soil Created
Liberated from sin.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A World Without Numbers

Imagine a world without numbers.
No more adding and subtracting.
All houses would be called by name,
‘Bill and Brenda’s House’
The list would be endless, everyone trying to capture the perfect unique name.
Think of car number plates, postcodes, clothes sizes and money.
How would you account for money in a world without numbers?
The mind boggles.
I would be out of a job.
In such a world Accountancy would be a very different profession.
What ! I hear you gasp.
Yes, I know it is difficult to believe but I am an Accountant.
Just the word Accountant conjures up images and words you would sooner forget.
Extremely Dull
Listening to anything about tax loopholes would send most sane individuals into a coma.
When it comes to Accountancy and watching paint dry, the later usually wins hands down.
Thanks to Monty Python the die has been cast forever.

So I have a confession to make, I really do like accountancy.
All right
Control yourselves and stop laughing now
But there is to me something deeply satisfying about reconciling accounts and balancing books.
I know I could have been a lion tamer, but all the excitement would have probably been too much for me.

So now you know my dark secret, what else can I tell you about me?
I love history, any history.
I love football, cricket and ice hockey.
I love movies.
I love books.
I love my wife and three children,
But most of all I love Jesus, without him my life would have no meaning, direction, purpose and focus.
Everything and I mean everything centres round Him and his saving grace.

So there you have it.
Welcome to a corner of the world, where for just a few moments every now and then you get a glimpse into an adventure called my life.


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