Saturday 24 May 2014

LECTIONARY SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER: Spirit of Truth (John 14:5-21)


- I really struggled with this one: so I went back to a style of poetry I used to write 12-14 years ago. Especially during my time in Canada and Cambridge.

So, this is (most likely, ironically) a bit of a punt (!).

I'm also not entirely happy with the last couplet, but it'll have to do for now...

Spirit of Truth

If I see with your eyes will it all become clear
If I follow your ways will you always be near

If I hope to step outward and stay in line with you
Will you stay by my side and help me be true

With every moment that I can, will offer you praise
If you promise to hold me and when needed lift my gaze

For there’s too much disappointment and too much to do
And no matter how I try I always lose sight of you

Perhaps that’s the problem that I rely on myself
That I live in isolation protected by wealth

Lord help me to follow a simple true life
That I’ll know your presence, through the good and through strife

May I always seek you wherever I am
May my heart always long, for your bigger plan

Given every gift you’ve given and all I’ve not earned
Would you teach me compassion for those that I’ve spurned

Spirit of Truth you point to the life and the way
Keep my eyes focused on you until the end of my days

Let me lay down the cerebral and all that interferes
And know you completely with the rest of my years

Be my ever present protector, my companion through all of my days
Walk with me through my weakness and show me your ways

Stand firm alongside when the world does confuse me
That my model of wisdom and compassion you will always be

As I flee inside myself away from this pain
Help me to know that you will, with me remain

For it is only alongside you and through you - that I can truly live
And only through the son’s surrender that redemption God gives.

Saturday 17 May 2014


You tell us to not let our hearts be troubled, but they are.
You explain to us about the place where you are going, and that’s confusing enough, but we’re not ready to be left alone in this place.
There is a place set aside for us, a promise, a house with many rooms and that sounds so fantastic,
But it also sounds so distant, so unattached to where we are and the concerns that fill our lives.
We carry troubles with us daily.
You have spoken of rest; you have spoken words of love,
You have shared fellowship in ways beyond our imagining
And you have our love
Our devotion
Our hungers and our hurts
But you also have our questions.
You have our lives, the ups and the downs,
You have our dreams,
They’re yours to plant in the ground,
We know you Lord, we know you for who you are,
We’ve seen what you have done,
We have heard and seen,
Our ears and eyes sing
They are living tributes to you
Memories shaped by moment’s time could never have predicted
It is us who ask the questions
Want the words spoken
Need reassurance and seek to see your kingdom come
We do believe, we do believe in you,
That you are so utterly and unfathomably linked with the father
We understand and yet we do not comprehend
Don’t hold that against us
It’s not for lack of trying
We hold no doubts
We only hold desires for questions to be answered
You see as if from heaven’s eyes
We see simply with these eyes
We touch with callused hands
We bear truth on heavy arms
Borne with the baggage of lives lived for another purpose
We are fed more than crumbs but we don’t see the whole picture
Bear with us as we bear with you.
You are the way
You are the truth
And you are even the life
When you speak these words we know them to be true
But we also know that to go where you go will hold challenges we cannot comprehend
We see you now
And we have seen the father
Just as we know you
Just as we are known
So take us home

Friday 9 May 2014


May every step that’s taken,
Every uttered word,
Every glance that occurs,
Be your most divine will,

May every aspiration that remains
Every selfish ambition
Every convoluted scheme
Be reoriented for your glory

May every waking moment, and
Every new day sun
Every change in season
Be worked to sing your praise

May every thought and inclination
Every word of witness spoken
Every life giving breath
Be thoughtfully inclined towards your grace

May this little life find security, in
Every footstep of the shepherd
Every follower on you focused
Be ever before your gathered crowd.

Saturday 3 May 2014

#LiveBelowTheLine end of day four and day 5

On day four, I finished the day with rice and tomatoes and red kidney beans.

On day five I had a banana for breakfast.

I went to the supermarket and bought a half price packaged risotto for 49p.

A banana for 11p

A can of plum tomatoes for 34p

For lunch I had a banana, (getting out of bed on day five was hard and getting past lunchtime even harder)

For dinner I had rice, a whole can of plum tomatoes and the left over red kidney beans,

and for supper (yes supper!) I had a can of mushy peas, which were amazing!

I think I ended the week with 7p left!

I woke up the next morning weighing 89.2kg

I'd gone from 93.9 to 89.2 meaning I'd lost 4.7 kg, 10lbs 3 oz in five days. Not as much as last time but still. 

My discussion of weight loss isn't about vanity, it isn't about crashing dieting, its about subsistence living for those who are day labourers in the third world (and perhaps closer to home with zero hours contracts), those who work full days without getting enough food or the right type of food to sustain weight and give energy and nutrients.

In my diet I afforded only one bit of dairy and that was freeze dried, pretty much the same with fats too!

Thank you to all who have supported me.

I've learnt a lot again this year. I've prayed a lot again this year, and I have been challenged again, to think about my own consumption. But perhaps more on this another time.

Blessings and thank you.

Thursday 1 May 2014



Dust unsettles with every motion forward
Heavy hearts are carried, encased in cracked clay
So much has passed and so much gone awry
Then whispers of strange happenings today

Magic on the lips that shared rumours
Too unsubtle to actually be true
If only eyes could corroborate
Making sense of this news, this view

Words interweave with memories
And hopes and prophecies dance
Held together in tension
The central characters of this romance

As steps pass beyond steps
Shattered dreams are shared
Longing slips seamlessly into speech
Recalled phrases of him who dared

The village beyond the horizon
Will host this night, with its terrors
Its confusing claims
Through conversation tackling errors

There must be a truth hidden in the kernel
Of words spoken to Peter
And the others as they shared memories
Of a dead man disappearing into ether

Affably, affronted, aggressive, antagonised
Clues of this mystery are lost in arid sun
White linen, tangled strips
Enlivened promise causing Peter to run

Two pairs of dusty feet joined by another
A pilgrimage being played out
Journeying together, three as one
A mysterious stranger, without a doubt

Movements stop and eyes hold the ground
In longing gazes, shoulders hunched
What to say, where to start this sorry tale
Words chewed out behind teeth clenched

This red week’s happenings played out once more
Among unfamiliar friends on the road
Burdens shared and cut to thirds
Weighed down by grief’s unbearable load

But he who walked alone sighs and whispers, “fools”
Beginning at the earliest beginnings
The outsider shares truths hidden in history
And with every word shared living hope springs

There are words in the Prophets
For what has this week occurred
Ancient texts are brought to life on this man’s lips
And there is understanding to be found no matter how absurd

Sun’s heat begins to lose its rage
And tired feet near their destination
Yet the stranger steps onward as if to pass
By to keep going, walking, his vocation

But huddling together two voices call out to one
“There is rest to be found, rest and food”
All three pass through the door’s frame
To table they went perfection’s setting for what ensued

The stranger assumes the role of host
And gives thanks, breaks and blesses bread
Torn crumbs fall to the table
As eyes suddenly alive lose scales of dread

Before their gaze they know
More clearly than anything they’ve known before
That the guest at the table
Is him their heart’s adore

With no opportunity for an eye to blink
And no moment for mouths to form words
The three become two and there is
Recognition in the soul’s that are stirred

Scripture’s secrets had spilled out before them
A deep ache was the sign that was given
Clues that had been ignored come to fruition
Both stood by a new purpose driven

Two pass again through the door’s frame
Eyes focused beyond the dark horizon
From what had been their destination
To those God’s glory might enlighten

No second wasting these tired feet
Speak with every step of a new purpose
And a new word to share
Across the dry and dusty surface

To the crowd congregated they venture
Forward into history’s new dawning
Stepping past gathering darkness
And walking towards a new morning

“He is risen! We have seen”
Is the cry of their heart’s
And as if waking from a dream
The lifelong adventure starts.

#LiveBelowTheLine Day three and day four (before lunch!)

Yesterday I bought eggs for 89p. An expensive luxury but so good.

So I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast.
For lunch I had rice with half a can of chopped tomato. Yummy! (a student meal!)

While she was at the supermarket Clare found half a cucumber reduced from 35p to 11p. She asked if I wanted it, "yes please".

Afternoon snack - cucumber.
Tea - 2 eggs and rice (it doesn't taste good with out the oil to cook it in - I should ahve remembered from last year)

On Day four I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast, and I found that as with last year, getting out of bed was really hard, so I went to the supermarket and spent 90p.

Two bananas - 22p
Can of mushy peas - 16p
Can of red kidney beans - 30p
An apple - 22p

I had an apple this morning, at 22p it is a luxury. But it's interesting, this is the second year of "live below the line" for me and both times now, by Thursday I'd wanted an apple, sugary juice, vitamins, citrus taste, the whole experience was fantastic. Cutting the apple into slices and eating juicy sections.
Simply wonderful.

And the repetition of this need from last year was quite striking, perhaps the body knows what it needs after all...

Last year, I remember that after the week had finished I told myself I was going to eat more fruit than I do normally. It lasted for a bit, then easy, tasty, sugary chocolate took over.

I'll see what happens this year!