Sunday, 15 November 2015

A gap in the door

A gap in the door where the light 
shines through
A new world beckons
Do you want to walk through?

Uncertainty calls
To a life put on hold
The passage of time
Evolving once more.

A gap in the door
Can mean many things
Choose your path wisely
May the light shine 
through you.

Copyright revdjo 14/11/15

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The premise of a ghost story

There is much that could be said about Halloween and the merits of trick or treating. Do I open the door or not? Are those that celebrate Halloween opening the doors to more than the unsuspecting little old lady sat on her own on a cold night in October? I will leave you to do your own pondering.

Yesterday I watched a film about a ghost. I don't normally watch such things but it was a very tame afternoon film so I felt safe in the knowledge that there would be no spinning heads, exorcisms, or the need to hide behind the sofa. To be frank Dr Who is more scary. I only mention spinning heads as I frightened myself half to death by watching 'The Evil Dead' when I was about 10 years old. A school friend thought it was a good idea. A few sleepless nights later we both regretted our decision. Anyway, I digress...

Yesterday's film and indeed the premise of many a ghost story is the thought that the 'ghost' is someone who is stuck at that mid-way point between the here and now and the afterlife. The afterlife normally being some kind of 'heaven'. hell of course can also be mentioned in said films, but we won't go there today. In the film it turns out that our ghost, 'Clive', is stuck from moving on because on Halloween and his daughters 18th birthday he made her choose between him and her boyfriend. She chose the boyfriend and eloped to be married. They never spoke from that moment on. Clive the ghost had been scaring the residence of 'his' house ever since. To cut a long story short it ends happily ever-after and his daughter comes to the house and is given the letter that Clive wrote saying he was sorry for what he did. 

The trouble with the story is that actually we don't get a second chance after we have died (but there are plenty of second chances before our final breath). I wonder how many folk have died wishing 'if only', if only they had said, 'sorry', or done something different. Life can be full of regrets, regrets that alas die with us. We may have a chance on our death-bed to say sorry to God and to perhaps try to find reconciliation with our loved ones but there is no guarantee. Who knows how death will come to us. I feel like the Grim Reaper saying such things but that is the fact of the matter. 

Reconciliation with friends and family is not always possible and perhaps we have to live with that. We can ask for forgiveness or long for the other party to ask our forgiveness but we might not reach that point. Should that stop us from seeking reconciliation? No. If we at least reach out the hand of forgiveness then we have perhaps done our bit. I say perhaps as relationships and situations are complicated and I am not an expert.

We may have to resolve ourselves with the prospect of dying without the happy ever-after music playing in the background but I believe we can still die peacefully. To die peacefully, at least for me, is to die knowing Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and getting right with him. Life has many twists and turns but God continues to offer us his love and his grace and his forgiveness. 

We can focus on the dead and amuse ourselves with dressing up as zombies and witches but perhaps there are more important things in the here and now that need addressing, not least our relationship with God.

Thursday, 10 September 2015


This weekend is going to be a busy one at church as we celebrate our 375th anniversary with an open day on Saturday. On Sunday I have a very informal induction as minister (photos to follow). I have been at King's Stanley Baptist Church for almost a year now so I'm already part of the furniture in many ways. The following weekend we join with other Baptist churches in the country who also celebrate being 375.

There is still so much to do... I have no ears, although I do have paws! I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! OK, it hasn't happened yet so I'm not late, just dragging my little bob-tail in getting everything finalized. A moment to 'paws' (excuse the pun) and listen to the hymn that was written by Graham Kendrick for all the churches who are 375. Click here to listen. How fantastic!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Where memories linger

Sometimes words aren't enough
And seem so empty
When the void of love stings
Where memories linger
Pain now frequents
Those places we wandered
Entrenched in my mind
In the pit of my stomach
My body it aches
My spirit is lost
In a pool of depression
A hopeless omission
Of passion now lost.

Copyright revdjo 20/8/15

Friday, 24 July 2015

What do you hear? What do you see?

Shhhuuuu listen.... what do you hear?

This morning there is the quiet pitter patter of rain drops breaking into the quiet. How often do we actually stop and listen properly? How often do we actually stop? The world is a busy and demanding place. We live amongst the noise. How can we expect to hear God unless we stop and listen? I am always blown away by the way he communicates. It is so easy to miss him if we are not careful. Is God in the rain? Now there's a question.

Wait, look.... what do you see?

I have been on holiday this last week and have had fun visiting different places and taking a few crazy photos, as you do. I have also been amazed at spotting both a kestrel and a peregrine falcon out in the wild (well I think that's what they were), oh... and a number of wild rabbits. Got to keep that food chain going. On a slightly different note, we also have a frog living in our shed, either that or my husband needs his eyes testing! I have no idea what he is doing there as we have no fish pond nearby. The frog, that is, not my husband.

What I hear and what I see often draw me to the scriptures. These are the verses that God has encouraged me with as a result of stopping to look and listen.  May you to hear the gentle whisper of God and see signs of Him as He encourages you on your journey.

The Lord appears to Elijah 1 Kings 19:9-12

And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
10 He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’
11 The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 

Isaiah 40:31

31 But those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Sometimes words aren't enough to say what we mean. They paint pictures but still leave much unsaid. Poetry whispers and shouts emotions more eloquently than other forms of words on a page. I guess that's why I enjoy reading the psalms. This year has been one where perhaps lament has been more appropriate than joy. It started with me taking the funeral of an uncle. My father died. A good friend died. An aunt has also now sadly passed away. Why? I guess it was just their time.

Life is short. It's meant to be lived and enjoyed. Why do we spend so much time arguing and falling out with one another?

We are left with the memories of loved ones ingrained in our hearts. They remain a reminder of joy shared and lives entwined.

In memory of Pauline....

With painted nails
          hair in style
                  and raspberry lips
                          from which you
Dainty tiny feet
             danced a tale
                            of long ago
                                 of joy and
Dark brown eyes
          twinkled to the
                           dawn of yesterday
                                     no more alight
                                           this 'morn.

Revdjo 23/6/2015