Christmas Magic 2010

There is a magic we all share
That comes at Christmas time:
No matter what one’s faith or creed,
It is a hope divine.

A hope that all around the world
We hold each others’ hand
And simply say with honesty
“I’d like to understand”

“To understand all fears and doubts
To help remove each one,
So just for once at Christmas time
There’s peace for everyone”

Let everyone be thus involved,
So each may play their part:
Reborn each day God’s love for man:
May Christmas touch your heart.

Living Galleries

living

Look around and what you see
Is Life’s Living Gallery!
Take this week with open eyes,
Let each moment leave surprise:

Drink in new the wealth of art,
Every nugget touch the heart.
Accept the challenge to do more,
Will bunting make the highest score?

Will doodle art with twist and turn
Make fun with lines, and humour earn?
And workshops with calligraphy
Or using felt, set motive free?

Dare take part with withy giant
‘Gainst all limits be defiant!
On Bowling Green just write and draw
And hear the people beg for more!

Let the week be full of fun
It’s here for you and everyone!

Encapture in this Flushing week
The truth that art is what you seek.

The miracle of Life is true:
The Living Gallery is you!

Christmas Every Day 2009

So it’s Christmas once again:
Peace on earth, goodwill to men.
Angel voices from the skies
Give a hint of paradise!
Halleluiahs fill the air:
Love is present ev’rywhere.

Look around and truly see
Brotherhood is meant to be;
Jesus came to show the Way,
Jesus showed all how to pray:
With “Our Father” all are blessed;
In His Love we all can rest.

So at Christmas our clear part
Is to let Love rule our heart.
Take that Love throughout the year,
Let Love overcome all fear.
Let each day rejoice anew,
May His Christ reflect in you.

Reach for the Rainbow

reach

Oh reach for the rainbow in Flushing’s week of art,
And feel surprising textures mirrored on your heart.
Take a risk in reaching, for that’s the way to learn,
Touch new things that beckon and in your thinking burn.
Take each rainbow colour and see with insight true
That what you feel and touch is quite unique to you.

Red the blood that flows through space and breathes new being
Like rising sun that weds with earth, watched and seeing!

Orange tastes of flowing fruit dripped off ripened tree,
Our challenge is to catch it with photography.

Yellow daffodils wave forth ‘cross the sunlit sky
Now sense and smell their freshness in your own mind’s eye.

Green is the leaf that gives its sparkle as new Spring,
Textures varied! Each a source only you can bring.

Blue hints of heaven, while shimmering ocean’s surf,
Reflecting vast rich textures of this planet earth.

Indigo a dye obtained from various plants,
It’s there to feel, if you will only take the chance.

Violet with white, blue, yellow, purple flowers,
Dear rainbow colours embossed in passing showers.

Symbol of perfection, catch these colours seven,
Tangible the textures, deep the thought they leaven!
O friend stretch out your mind and touch what’s out of reach,
And let each one their rainbow one another teach.
From now until for ever, may each one play their part
By reaching for their rainbow in Flushing’s week of art..

Love Lasts Forever 2008

This Christmas let us truly live:
Help each survive recession’s blast.
What present is the best to give, –
One that will help and last and last?

God gave His Son to shed new light
Some time two thousand years ago.
And what he did gave this insight:
‘Tis Love that lasts, in Love all grow.

May our love then for fellow man
Enfold more than just our neighbour:
Reach out and show that Love means “can”;
Thus God’s gift lasts for ever.

True Giving 2007

I gave my friend a present,
It cost me quite a lot,
But with so many others
In time it was forgot.

God gave to us His present:
His true begotten Son.
The Christ He gave to all
And Love blessed everyone.

Oh teach me God Your message,
That I may truly live:
The bestest present ever,-
It’s me that I must give.

At This Christmas 2006

Hush, dear friends, my little child sleeping,
His gentle breath rhythmic, soft and clear,
Oh, beautiful babe, purity shining,
The presence of Love is tangible here!

Look, dear friends, my little child waking,
Tiny eyes open, countenance fair,
Cattle staring, some shepherds just watching,
The presence of Love is tangible here!

Rejoice, dear friends, with every day dawning
The virgin birth of new hope crystal clear,
In stillness, grateful, we too all feeling
The presence of Love is tangible here!

Oh, at this Christmas, let all, hands holding,
Bring into our lives what we hold most dear,
Just promise: let Love be now all-guiding;
The presence of Love be tangible here!

Under His Shadow

I’ve been his disciple for such a short time.
But in that short time my world’s been transformed. I don’t know where it’s going to take me.
Just take a look at the last twenty-four hours;
All day we’d been on the Galilean shore,
Huge multitudes from all over the place,
Many had walked miles upon miles, – others had come by boat.
I’d anchored ours just offshore.
There were so many people that Jesus used it as a pulpit, standing at the stern.
It was incredible.
Everyone that was there seemed to be hearing everything that he said with no difficulty.
Parable after parable he taught.
He made the Scriptures so clear, his speech reached the heart of everyone that hearkened to his words,
Some were healed just in the listening.
We all wanted to hear more, and were surprised when the sun began to dip beneath the mountaintop, and the evening cool brushed our faces.
Jesus finished his preaching, and said for us to pass over to the other side of the sea.
The multitude dispersed, and some got back into their own boats and set sail with us.

It was a beautiful evening, – a perfect end to the day.
The cool had settled in fast, and we wrapped up warmer.
But Jesus came as he was. He didn’t seem to feel the cold. In fact nothing ever seemed to trouble him.
It was as though he was living in another world, giving us glimpses of a different reality.
Anyway he retired to the hinder part of the ship, closed his eyes and slept. Just that quick.
We all felt at one with the world. Twilight. Early evening stars. Safe.

Thomas saw the first cloud. Just a casual remark, as one would. But less than a minute later he called out again, – the horizon had vanished, – not with the coming night, but looming storm clouds.
A sudden gust blew hard across us, followed by another. Quick shouts of warning echoed across the sea, boat to boat, scaringly lost in the now buffeting squall.
Night brought on early by treacherous black clouds; deep swells overtook our craft, rain with no caution just dumped down and merged into the jumping sea.
Wind driven waves mounted attack, tops driven hard, wet, into our faces, threatening, promising, crashing into our vessels.
Up, down, round, sliding, full of water, – frightened faces sharing fishermen’s worst fears.
I glanced at the stern, – took in Jesus still sleeping on his pillow, oblivious to the storm.
I looked at my friends, – we’d run out of ideas, of hope. We’d failed him and ourselves.
Unspoken agreement had us moving hand on hand to his sleeping form.
I’m holding onto some rope for my very life, balancing my weight against the mounting-falling deck, expecting him to scramble up and do..what?!
All this talk of the kingdom of heaven worthless. I felt an anger and resentment that matched the tempest.
I urgently shook his shoulder, woke him.
“Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

I swear to you the moment he awoke the boat stopped rocking. My fear, the great billowing storm, had not touched him. Instead inner tranquillity conveyed itself outwards. He was the Master, nothing else.
That moment he woke, he looked at me, not with reproach, but as though he abode in the kingdom of heaven, and had just opened the door for me to come in.
I forgot the storm; love for this man had replaced fear, the guilt of my resentment battling awe of his complete command. I let go of the rope, safe in the presence of his utter knowledge of supreme power.
He stood. Reached out with outstretched arms:
“Wind, behave!
“Peace, be still”
The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

The wind, the rain, the mighty sea swell, all suddenly gone. How? Where?
I looked down at my feet. The boat was empty, dry.
We looked at each other, hearts racing with fear of a different kind.
It was as though the storm had never been.

He turned round, spoke to us.
“Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

Have you ever shared witness of the impossible?
We whispered amongst ourselves “What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

He looked at me again, both reading and guiding my thoughts..
His words at the seashore came back to me as if we were both back there barely two hours ago:
“Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds
that be in the earth:
But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great
branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it”.
Once more I saw the kingdom of heaven within him, felt infinity itself enfold me in the still of the evening dark, the universe the heavenly abiding place of all God’s creatures, safe, secure.
I had just witnessed such a seed, a glimpse of some great Truth, already growing in my consciousness, of Man, under the shadow of the Almighty, untouched by whatever could be thrown at him.
With a jolt I realised his words had been more than just words. I’d been taking them at face value. They’d sounded good, and comforting. I’d not bothered, or been too scared, to think through their implications.
He’d just proved them!
“Wind, behave!
“Peace, be still”
It all seemed so natural.
Jesus had been in control all along.
He was still looking at me.
And I felt sure I heard him say to my listening thought
“With God, you too have dominion”

Was this why he had called me?
Am I also as a grain of mustard seed?
I felt his love planting and nurturing me.
I’d forsaken my nets for this man. I must forsake all I once knew.
“How is it that ye have no faith?”
Lord, give me faith as a grain of mustard seed.
Take me where you will.

Jesus responded and held me by the hand.
“Peter, nothing shall be impossible unto you………..”

“Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain,
Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Matthew 17:20

Christmas Presents 2005

What present did Jesus give his friends?
A gift of Love that never ends.
Not confined to Christmas Day,
For, Lo, I’m with you, all the way.

God will supply your needs not wishes, –
Look what was done with the loaves and fishes:
Five thousand people and more were fed.
The gift of Love gave them their bread.

Many came who were blind and lame:
The response of the Lord was just the same.
“Rise up, be free! Sin no more!
Love one another, that’s the law.”

What present should we give our friends?
The gift of Love that never ends.
Not confined to Christmas Day
But for all time, in every way.

Christmas Poem 2004

Standing on the hillside, crook in hand,
My view scans pastures, sheep, my land.
The moon has risen, the stars abound ,
They give faint glow to all around.

It’s cold at night this time of year,
The breath of sheep and shepherds clear.
I stamp my feet, stamp on the ground,
Then startled, stop: a different sound.

We all look up, with tingling hair:
Soft singing music everywhere –
Reaching into all our being;
We can’t believe what we are seeing.

A single star shines out more bright
Illuminating all at night!
It seems to point near where we are, –
To Bethlehem, – it isn’t far.

The angel voices make it clear,
There is no reason for our fear:
They tell in awe to everyone
“Today is born a virgin’s son!”

And we find him in a stable, –
The Messiah, – it’s no fable.
Tears of joy wash through my eyes: –
I lift my thoughts beyond the skies.

I sense and feel the purest love,
Descending from the Lord above.
This is a holy atmosphere,
Aware of God just everywhere.

May all who pause and stop to pray
Feel such pure presence every day.
Keep in thought this baby boy,
– and fill all lives with Christmas joy!