Saturday, 31 May 2014

Soak in the Simplicity – Haiku Poetry

Soak in the Simplicity – Haiku Poetry

This week I purchased a wonderful small book from a Charity shop in Hailsham. Haiku, Poetry Ancient and Modern is a uniquely beautiful collection of simple poetry, Originating in Japan, the haiku is a tiny poem that is usually only three lines long and contains a total of seventeen syllables. A universally appealing form of poetry, a haiku is able to capture an intensely human, and ordinary, moment and turn it into something extraordinary.

In the front cover there was a dedication:-

Summer, 2005:

To John,

A thoughtful, lovely man
Whose support is a treasure
no need to dig it up.

Not exactly ‘HAIKU’ but it’s the best ‘I-can-do-ku’ !!

In the bustle of your busy life, take time out to soak in some of the simplicity of this poetry,

Love Aliya X

What struck me were the wonderful depth of this little dedication and the power of emotion. I have over the last year appreciated the wonderful depth in these tiny poems and in my own small way experimented in creating a vehicle for praise, grace and love.

This is one I wrote on Righteousness :-

Scarred walls
Vaulting the centuries  
Reflected white light

On my position as a son of the king:-

Purple devotion.
Crystal sapphire cloak
journey to the stars

Welcome to ‘Soak in the Simplicity’ my little corner of Haiku.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Christ is.....

Christ is:
your Shepherd,
your Advocate,
your Mediator,
your Bridegroom,
your Conqueror,
your Lion,
your Lamb,
your sacrifice,
your manna,
your smitten Rock,
your living water,
your food,
your drink,
your good and abundant land,
your dwelling place,
your Sabbath,
your new moon,
your Jubilee,
your new wine,
your feast,
your aroma,
your anchor,
your wisdom,
your peace,
your comfort,
your Healer,
your joy,
your glory,
your power,
your strength,
your wealth,
your victory,
your redemption,
your Prophet,
your Priest,
your kinsman redeemer,
 your teacher,
your guide,
your liberator,
your deliverer,
your Prince,
your Captain,
your vision,
your sight,
your beloved,
your way,
your truth,
your life,
your author, 
your finisher,
your beginning,
your end,
your age,
 your eternity


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Lieutenant Percy Storkey, V.C.

Lieutenant Percy Storkey, 19th Battalion, AIF, originally from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, Victoria Cross action at Bois de Hangard.

Percy Valentine Storkey (1893-1969), soldier and judge, was born on 9 September 1893 at Napier, New Zealand, son of English-born Samuel James Storkey, printer, and his wife Sarah Edith, née Dean, from Auckland. Educated at Napier Boys' Grammar School and Victoria College, Wellington, he reached Sydney in 1911 where he worked as a clerk for the Orient Steamship Co. and then for the Teachers' College, Blackfriars. In 1912 he joined the administrative staff of the University of Sydney and next year enrolled as a law student.

Having had five years service with the Wellington Infantry, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as a private on 10 May 1915 and was commissioned second lieutenant in September. A 'well-knit figure [5 ft 7½ ins (171 cm) tall] with dark hair and eyes … a laughing face and dare-devil, happy-go-lucky ways', he embarked for England in December with reinforcements for the 19th Battalion. On 14 November 1916 he joined his unit in France; five days later, while the 19th was attacking Gird Trenches north of Flers, he was wounded. Promoted lieutenant in January 1917, he was again wounded on 10 October during the 3rd battle of Ypres.

On 7 April 1918 the 5th Brigade, of which the 19th Battalion formed part, was assigned to clear the area north of Hangard Wood, near Villers-Bretonneux. Intelligence had inaccurately reported that the wood was 'lightly held'. The attacking company of the 19th, whose men were tired, lay down at the starting line at dawn. Storkey, who was second-in-command, fell asleep and his company left without him; it had advanced about eighty yards (73 m) when he woke. He caught up with his men only to go through heavy machine-gun fire which had hit 25 per cent of them even before the company's leading groups reached the edge of the wood. Captain Wallach, the company commander, was shot in both knees and Storkey took over, leading six men through head-high saplings to get behind the German machine-gun force. Together with another officer and four men, they broke into a clearing behind several trenches from where the Germans were firing at the rest of Storkey's company. One of the Australians yelled when he saw the enemy, some of whom looked around. For both sides it was attack or perish. Storkey instantly headed the charge, engaging the nearest Germans before they had fully reacted. His party killed or wounded thirty of them and the survivors—comprising over fifty men—surrendered. Storkey's confident and determined leadership had given the impression that he led a larger force than the handful visible to the Germans. He was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was later again wounded in action and in May promoted captain; he returned to Australia in November and his A.I.F. appointment ended in January 1919.

Resuming his studies at the university, he graduated LL.B. in 1921 (while holding an appointment as associate to Justice Sir Charles Wade). Admitted to the Bar on 8 June, Storkey practiced in common law before being appointed to the New South Wales Department of Justice as crown prosecutor for the south-western circuit. He held this post for eighteen years. On 15 April 1922 he married an English-born divorcee Minnie Mary Gordon, née Burnett, at St Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Sydney; they made their home at Vaucluse. At the Bar Storkey was 'practical and realistic', his outlook being tempered by humour and compassion. In May 1939 he became district court judge and chairman of quarter sessions in the northern district of New South Wales. There he became an identity, making many friends and being recognized for his quick assessment of character and for his sound common sense. He was 'good looking, with dark hair and a shortish, well-built figure, always well dressed'. In 1955 he retired and went to England with his wife to live at Teddington, Middlesex, where he died without issue on 3 October 1969. His wife survived him. Storkey bequeathed his Victoria Cross to his old school at Napier. His portrait by Max Meldrum hangs in the Archives Building, Wellington.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Grace Gems - Grace Revealed in Jesus

For years, the Gospel that most have been exposed to is one that has emphasized personal sin, and, therefore, the need for personal forgiveness by a personal Savior. In short, the message has been one that centers around the individual and his need for saving. When this message became twisted, distorted, and turned into a hell-happy, condemnation circus, naturally, the feelings of personal guilt, and individual condemnation became overwhelming and excruciating. After all, the whole message was focused on the individual, and so when it went awry it wreaked havoc on our individuality.

In the name of course correction, many have adopted a grace message which, while containing truth, is simply an opposite, but equally individual-centered message. It takes away the individual's sense of guilt and feelings of condemnation, and leaves them feeling free as a bird! The euphoria that one experiences is similar to that which a newly licensed 16 year old driver feels while taking their first solo drive in their new car. The problem, however, is that the individual self remains at the center of the message, leaving people open to the misunderstanding that they are now free to do certain things without worrying about how it affects others. "I'm free!", many cry, but the sad truth is that they have simply traded personal condemnation for a personal freedom that can quickly become as much of a snare as was the condemnation.

The Grace exhibited in the life of Jesus was not one that indulged personal freedom at the expense of others. No! It was an others-centered love that would do anything for the betterment of another. Paul, the apostle of Grace, spoke of the necessity of serving our spouses, submitting to parents, governmental authorities and the like, not because he was a hardnosed "law" preacher (as if!) but because the Jesus type of Grace empowers us to be others-centered, and to lay our lives down for the betterment of others. The Grace revealed by Jesus causes us to love and live for the "other" and not simply for ourselves!

The false Gospel of personal condemnation, however, has created an imbalanced response that only emphasizes personal freedom. You are free, don't get me wrong, and God is *NOT* a demented Santa Claus who makes lists, checks twice, and always finds you to be naughty rather than nice. He is Love! And Love keeps no record of wrongs. However, Love, when internalized and experienced, becomes manifest through a life of others-centeredness. It will cause you to delight in emulating Christ's example and in giving of yourself for the benefit of others. While some would label such a thing "law", it's actually the fruit of experienced love.

Dear friends, the Gospel is not primarily a message about individual sin, salvation and freedom! It's a message about humanity, and about how God sees the world. When it becomes active in our lives we will naturally shed all forms of self-centeredness, and burn to live for the betterment of others - and we'll love every minute of it, by the way!

Jeff Turner

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Grace Gems - The Glory Of The New Covenant

The old covenant had a glory, and this is seen when Moses received the law. His face shone so brightly that he had to wear a veil to cover his face.

This represents the glory of the old covenant. Its glory is that it brought to us the knowledge of God’s holiness and our sin. Through the law people would be conscious of their need of a Saviour.

The new covenant has a glory that surpasses that of the old covenant, and brings a fuller revelation of God’s character. “The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”(Jn.1:17).

If Moses’ face shone so brightly that people could not look upon it, and yet the covenant he brought ministered condemnation, how much more glorious will the new covenant that brings righteousness be? If there was glory in that which brought death, how much more glory is there in that which ministers righteousness and life?

Ken Legg

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Private Thomas James Bede Kenny.V.C.

Private Thomas James Bede Kenny, 2nd Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Hermies, France.

Bede Kenny was born at Paddington, Sydney, and enlisted in the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, in August 1915, before his 19th birthday. A tall and powerful man, he became a well known member of his battalion and, later, a familiar figure at Sydney's ANZAC Day ceremonies.

On 9 April 1917, at Hermies, France, Kenny's platoon had to dig in on the edge of the village and engage any enemy attempting to leave. Several men were pinned down by heavy enemy fire before Kenny leapt up and rushed a post, throwing bombs as he ran. Although the first two missed, Kenny's third bomb landed in the middle of the Germans, killing some, while the rest became prisoners. His action made a significant contribution to the capture of the village.

Not long afterwards Kenny was evacuated to Britain with trench foot, and did not rejoin his battalion until May 1918. He received a light wound the following month. Kenny came home on HMAT Medic with other Victoria Cross recipients to a hero's welcome. In later years he was a traveller for a wine company.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Grace Gems - Jesus Freed Us From Sin

Luke 23:18"And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:"

What happened to Barabbas is a picture of what happens when a person is born again. Barabbas was guilty; Jesus was innocent. Yet Jesus suffered the death that Barabbas should have experienced, and Barabbas went free.

Likewise, we were all guilty and condemned to death , yet Jesus suffered our punishment so that we may go free. Just as Barabbas didn't ask for this substitution, so "God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).

Barabbas was freed, but he had to choose whether or not to accept this new start and remain free, or go back to his old ways and come under the judgment of Rome again. Likewise, we have all been freed through the substitutionary death of Jesus, but we have to choose whether to accept our freedom by putting faith in Jesus or to reject it, by denying Him.

Our death to sin and resurrection to life with Christ, is already a reality in our spirits but will only become a physical reality when we know and believe it. In the same way that Jesus died unto sin once, and death no longer has dominion over Him, the person who recognizes their death with Christ unto sin, will not allow sin to rule over him anymore. Any Christian who is struggling with sin has not recognized that they are dead unto sin.

Andrew Wommack

Monday, 19 May 2014

First World War - Foreign Waiters Called home

This was an interesting little article from the Eastbourne Gazette in September 1914.

Those ‘affecting scenes’ at the Railway Station were Austrian men going to fight for the enemy, soon Eastbourne men would be sent abroad to fight these same ‘waiters’.

"Foreign Waiters Called home"

In the height of the season about 500 foreign waiters are employed in various Eastbourne hotels, boarding houses, and apartment houses. The majority are Germans the minority consisting of, Austrians, Italians, Frenchmen, Dutchmen and Danes. Last week some of the Austrians were called home to serve in the Army, and they obeyed the call regardless loss and inconvenience involved. The Germans and Frenchmen liable for military service have left or will be called upon to leave.

There was some affecting scenes at Eastbourne Railway Station on Sunday morning when the train for Newhaven started. Some of the departing hotel employees were leaving behind wives or sweethearts who could not restrain their tears on parting from the men who were going forth to face so many unknown perils."

Friday, 16 May 2014

Grace Gems - You Have Died With Him

The truth is that you do not have to kill of or fight those negative emotions or sinful appetites. The truth is that the old appetites have already died. Stop trying to shadowbox something that doesn’t exist. Agree with the truth, that you are a new creation. You don’t make yourself new. Stop striving. Rest in the reality that the old you is dead and powerless. It was nailed to the tree. The new you is enthralled with the pleasures of God. The truth leaves no other option but joy.

Whether you feel it or not, you are united to Christ. Rest in that reality, and you will feel His presence. Faith comes before the feeling. And faith is simply trust. Believe that this mystical death really took place, and you will cease to act like that man who died.

Very simply, the gospel is a revelation that you have died with Him.

John Crowder

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Grace Gems - The Atmosphere of Joy

Joy is an important part of the Father's nature. We experience His joy, and now we inherit His joy as our own. "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted" (Psalm 89:14-16, emphasis added).

Our joy is a direct result of being before the face of God. A countenance filled with joy is the reflection of the Father's delight in us. Those who live before the face of God know the sound of darkness in heaven, not even a shadow, because the light of His face is everywhere. In the same way, there is no discouragement or depression in heaven, because the sound of joy radiates from the face of God. Praying for the kingdom of God to come now "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) is in essence a prayer for the atmosphere of heaven to permeate Earth - the atmosphere of joy.

Bill Johnson

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Lieutenant Charles Pope. V.C.

Lieutenant Charles Pope, 11th Battalion, AIF, Victoria Cross action at Louverval, France. It was a posthumous award.

Charles Pope (was born in London but migrated to Canada, where he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railways. He returned to London in 1906 and joined the Metropolitan Police Force, resigning in 1910 to come to Australia with his family. He enlisted in the 11th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF in August 1915, and in February 1916 he was commissioned as an officer.

Pope was killed in action on 15 April 1917 at Louverval, France, in a desperate "last stand" charge, and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Occupying an important picquet post during a German attack on the village, he was ordered "to hold this post at all costs". The enemy attacked the post and surrounded it, while Pope sent back an urgent request for re-supply. Before anything could arrive, and with his men out of ammunition, Pope ordered them to charge the large German force. Later his body, together with those of his men, was found close to 80 dead Germans. He is buried in Moeuvres Communal Cemetery in France.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Grace Gems - All Things Work Together

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

In this verse, “all things” is literally all things — the good, the bad and the ugly! Now, it does not mean that all things are from God. Some things, such as accidents, sicknesses, broken relationships and divorces are not from Him. They are from the devil or just part of the fallen world that we live in. But what this verse does tell us is that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. That is our inheritance as God’s beloved children

Do the people of the world have this inheritance? No. When bad things happen to them, they are what they are — bad things. But when bad things happen to the children of God, it does not end there. God can make those bad things work together for good. In other words, the devil may throw lemons at you, but God can take those lemons and make refreshing lemonade for you!

For example, if you have been retrenched, believe that God, who makes all things work together for good, has a better job for you. Indeed, we have received testimonies from church members who have ended up with better jobs and higher salaries after they were retrenched.

It is important you remember that God is not behind anything bad or ugly. But when those things happen, know that He can make all things work together for good. And don’t let anyone tell you that all things will work together for good only if you love God and are called according to His purpose. These two things are not conditions but descriptions of believers. Believers are those who love God because they know that God first loved them. (1 John 4:19) And they are called according to His purpose for they have been born again and belong to Him.

My friend, because you have been born again, all things in your life will work together for good. This is your inheritance as a beloved child of God!

Joseph Prince

Friday, 9 May 2014

Falling Isn't Important

Falling isn't important
Moment to moment
Every hand
Every gift
Grace forged, pure manifest
Sometimes strengthened
Sometimes filled
As love intervenes
Kindness transpires
Mercy prevails.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Grace Gems - Union

Christ has become the very blood flowing within our veins and the breath within our lungs. This union is genuine and living!

You may ask, “But when did this union take place?”

Paul declares in Romans that our union with Christ took place in His death! That is where it began, and that is where our separated, sinful and fallen condition ended.

Benjamin Dunn

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

First World War - Patriotic Music and Pictures

This article appeared in the Eastbourne Gazette on 19th August 1914.

I wonder what the famous Belgian airs were that the audience stood and sang ‘heartily’ with?

Miss Buckman was indeed a very famous opera singer and would have been a treat for any audience.

“Patriotic Music and Pictures"

At Devonshire Park

Shown in the afternoon in conjunction with the vaudeville entertainment in the Pavilion and in the evening in the second part of the programme in the Floral Hall, the pictures of the French Fleet are arousing considerable interest this week. This film is a remarkably fine one and the evening is exhibited with full orchestral accompaniment.

Last Saturday evening there was a crowded audience in the Floral Hall when the great British Army and Navy film “For The King” was shown. During the evening the orchestra played the national airs of Belgium, Russia, France and England. The audience standing and singing heartily. The “Franco-British” march and the fantasias “Life on board the Dreadnought” were included in the programme. Miss Rosina Buckman (the New Zealand soprano) concluded a very successful week’s engagement, receiving double encores after each of her songs.”

Rosina Buckman (March 16, 1881-December 30, 1948) was a New Zealand soprano, and a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music. She was born in Blenheim, and studied in England at the Birmingham School of Music. She then returned to New Zealand, toured Australia and debut in London with La boheme at Covent Garden. She continued performing into the 1920s, and recorded prolifically.

For more info on Miss Buckman:

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Grace Gems - It's A Done Deal

When Jesus cried “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant just that. His work on earth was done. The Atonement was complete. He provided everything we could ever need. We aren’t waiting on Him to give; He is waiting on us to receive.

The book of Ephesians is written from the perspective of everything already being ours in Christ. It starts in Ephesians 1:3 by saying,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”.

Any blessing you could ever need or desire from the Lord is not something to strive for but something you already have. God made the provision before you had the need. It is just a simple matter of receiving what He has already done.

The benefit of understanding and being assured of this is enormous. It kills legalism and the performance mentality, and that takes a huge load off of you. How could you doubt that God will give you something if He’s already given it to you?

First Peter 2:24b says, “By whose stripes ye were healed”  

It’s already a done deal. It is actually incorrect to pray for healing. Instead, we should just receive the healing that the Lord has already provided. There is a difference between fighting to get healed and fighting because we have been healed. That difference is the difference between success and failure.

In Ephesians 2:8, Paul said, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves.”

We aren’t saved by grace alone or by faith alone;we are saved by a combination of the two.

Actually, faith isn’t true biblical faith unless its used in receiving what God has already provided by grace.

Grace is what God has already done for us, independent of any worth or value on our part. If it’s tied to some goodness of ours, then it’s not true grace. God, by grace, has already provided everything we will ever need.

Our faith doesn’t move God. If God hasn’t already moved by His grace, then your faith can’t make Him. Faith simply appropriates what God has already provided by grace. If He’s already provided your needs by His grace, then faith is just your positive response to what He has already done—not something you do to get God to respond to you.

Andrew Wommack

Friday, 2 May 2014

Touched By Grace

Touched by grace
Eternal power
Destroying anger
Dispelling pain
Taken upon himself all my blame
This is the work of love.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Grace Gems - God is NOT Angry

We need to recognize that God isn’t angry at mankind anymore. He is no longer imputing or holding our sins against us.

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19).

We are NOW reconciled to God through Jesus. That means we are in harmony and are friendly with God right now. He isn’t mad; He’s not even in a bad mood. The war between God and man is over.That’s what the angels proclaimed at the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2:14 says,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

These angels weren’t saying that peace would reign on earth and that wars between people would cease. That certainly hasn’t happened. They were proclaiming the end of war between God and man. Jesus paid a price that was infinitely greater than the sins of the whole human race.

God’s wrath and justice have been satisfied. Jesus changed everything. God isn’t angry. His mercy extends to all people. He loves the world, not just the church, but the whole world. He paid for all sin.

The Scriptures say in 1 John 2:2,
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

In the Old Testament, God’s judgment was poured out on both individuals and nations. In the New Testament, God’s judgment was poured out on Jesus. That is the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news of the Gospel. We no longer get what we deserve; we get what Jesus paid the price for, if we will only believe.

Before I understood this, I would say, “If God doesn’t judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” Now I say, “If God judges America, He will have to apologize to Jesus.”

Understanding what Jesus did completely changes our perspective.

Andrew Wommack


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