Personality or Character?

Having good character was the great objective.
Having good personality became the objective.
Good character, like God character, was all about morals.
Good personality, like no character, is all about the self.
How do I do good?
How do I look good?
Genuine article
Acting a part
How things change.
It changed.
Can it change again?


My life and soul were parched.
In a proverbial land of hunger and thirst, despair seemed inevitable.
I cried to you like many times before.
You, Lord are faithful.
Like Moses striking the rock my thirst was quenched.
Like Manna from heaven my hunger was satisfied.
You are faithful from generation to generation.
Blessed be your name.


Father, true and merciful
Thank you for saving a prodigal.
Your heart of love shines through
You give life fresh and new.
In hope I thirst for more
Christ is the only victory in this war.
The tempter comes knocking
How can one as I stop falling?
Only by you my rock and shield
In your palms my destiny is sealed.
Hallelujah my king
My heart shall ever sing.
Glory and honour to your name
Your Salvation is my claim.


The Heart of the Matter

Infinite human depravity and sin.
Infinite love and grace.
Without Him all is lost.
The heart of the problem is the problem of man's hearts.
'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!' says the preacher.
In a world of cruelty and vanity a saviour came.
Triumphant war Lord?
Nay, a lamb.
Our weakness, he identifies.
Our suffering, he identifies.
The ultimate price buys our liberty:
Join Me!
Follow Me!
Take up your cross!
Liberty is ours!
Darkness and light collide.
Flesh and blood is spilled.
Principalities and powers beware.
The light has come.
Let thy light shine oh God!


Upside Down

On the road to Emmaus two fellows entered fellowship with God.
'Did not our hearts burn within us...'
These fellows of the fellowship of the upper room journeyed:
Sorrow? Fear? Is it over? Dead!
Joy? Courage? Just begun? Alive!
Turn the world upside down.
He turns hearts upside down.
The work is finished, but just begun.


Remember when life wasn't a series of screens?

Remember when life wasn't a series of screens?
'I' meant 'me' as in 'I am human' not machine.
Smart wasn't a phone it was our Sunday best.
Is this another rant? Well then, you know the rest...
Heads didn't hang low unless we were being told...and even then...
We looked up at the clouds and imagined shapes.
Saw the autumn leaves and snowflakes, all so majestic, no mistake.
Saw the Robins in the bushes and thought of Christmas.
Waited to see bluebell walks and spring unleashed.
Spent time outdoors at the beach.
We tried to look people in the eye as we spoke unmuffled by this digital joke.
Screen time or no time hadn't tried to replace family time or even 'quiet time' and 'rest time.'
Brains switched off, not to reboot but to refresh. Down time wasn't interrupted by digital guests. Breathe in the air, take a walk, be blessed.
Remember when life wasn't a series of screens?
Because that scene wasn't even that long ago!
If you a reading this on a screen. Excuse my irony. Switch off, be free. Addiction is the enemy of your liberty.



Passover comes - Calvary is near.
You are anointed in love.
Prepared for burial - You know what is to come.
Prophet, Priest, King
Anointed for a purpose.
'Seek first the kingdom', you say to rich and poor.
In this work you find satisfaction.
Teach us to do what we can for you, with the oil of love.
A broken jar, a broken saviour.
You are sold for less.
Your servants are ridiculed.
Yet Lord, third day rising.
You are our victory!
Let freedom reign.


It is Finished

Bloody Palms
Bloody Crown
Bloody Ground
Bloody Nails
Radiant Light
Third Day Rising
Finished, but Just Begun

This poem won a prize at All Poetry.


The Sunrise is Coming

(Written a number of years ago, but still with some relevance).

When I look at this world I feel a deep pain.
A burden in my soul.
This overwhelming sadness threatens to engulf me, to crush me with waves of despair.

Who can I trust but you?

Our Western civilization has fallen foul to false idols.
Community is replaced by screen's of various sizes.
Friendship is reduced to a virtual status.

Yet in You I find community.
In you I find friendship.
The wife you provided, the baby on the way.

The love of this world is enmity with you.
The world's love blows hot and cold.
A politics of hate, a muffled church, neighbourhoods of fear and pain -
Broken, All Broken!
But, Your light still shines.
Pockets of hope, sparkles in the night.
The Sunrise is coming!


The Light Has Come

Offer pigeon not lamb.
Not the wealthiest in the land.
Not the most religious plan:
'Hush now Mary, no one need know'
A righteous deed,
A righteous love.
'But, I am innocent my love.'
'I know, I know.
A silent divorce to save your soul.
To save you from the masses and the legalists.
From violent men and cruel hearts.'
Then he hears the Lord's voice.
'I have no other choice.
To obey I'm urged,
To obey I must.'
Protects all the more.
To the little town.
No donkey travel, a paupers birth in a stable.
Not so silent night, birth pangs, Animal noises,
Starlight to daylight.
Light, light, the light has come!

Offer pigeon not lamb?
Not the wealthiest in the land.
Not the most religious plan:
Not temple dwellers.
Shepherds come to see the new Shepherd born.
Could they even read?
They worked the Sabbath!
Worked with animals!
Unclean, Unclean!
Not so silent night, birth pangs, Animal noises,
Starlight to daylight.
Light, light, the light has come!

Offer up the lamb?
Wealthiest of other lands.
Not the most religious plan:
Foreigners from afar.
Wealthy gifts for a King.
Access to Herods court.
Not the powerless sort.
They had everything yet were seeking Him.
Wise men indeed.
Hearts seeking Jesus
Not so silent night, birth pangs, Animal noises,
Starlight to daylight.
Light, light, the light has come!

Offer up the lamb.
Most religious of the land.
A very religious plan:
Teachers of the law.
Knew the book word for word.
Could quote where he was to be born.
But did they seek Him out?
Did they practice or just know the word?
Knowledge without living it out.
Not so silent night, birth pangs, Animal noises,
Starlight to daylight.
Light, light, the light has come!

Offer up the 'wee lambs'.
Most barbaric of the land.
An evil, sinister, heartless plan:
Herod the great?
No, Herod the fearful.
Scared of what he would have to give up.
His precious crown.
Threatened by a meek baby.
Nurse Rachel weeps!
But, still Herod fails.
Not so silent night, birth pangs, Animal noises,
Starlight to daylight.
Light, light, the light has come!
Light, light, the light has come!
Light, light, the light has come!


Finders Keepers

I seek you.
I long for you.
I seek with all my heart.
In this world of sin,
We need a saviour.
'Seek and ye shall find.'
So, I seek, I hunt, I yearn.
I sought you, you whom my soul loves. I found you... You found me.
In sackcloth and ashes I am found.
You call me son, though I say servant.
So I arise.
You embrace me, 'Abba!'
Thankyou for loving me as I am, not just as I should be.
Thankyou for finding me, for keeping me.



Why are we here?
Why do the nations rage?
Why do the wicked prosper?
Where do wars come from?
Who am I Lord?
What must I do to be saved?
Revival, how long Lord?
In all our questions you have the answers.
Help us to keep asking questions.
Help us to listen.
Help us to be still and know that you are God.


Love Wins!

Love will win in the end, dear friends.
Love will win.
There are whispers of a word.
Amidst the chaos and confusion of a dark and angry world, it echoes through the mist.
My heart heard this misunderstood little word.
It heard and was blessed.
The word love caused my heart to skip a beat and my soul to become merry.
Could it be that even in mans darkest hours, love still lives?
Indeed it lives and breaths all things pure.
But what is the meaning of such a word?
Could it be the joy of babes playing a merry little din?
Is it the splendour of a spring morning?
Or the beauty of a maidens face basked in sunlight?
Or perhaps its just a word we use in season to gain something in return?
Maybe its just a word the poets like to write?
Nay, it is more.
Surely true love is self-sacrifice.
Its the laying down of ones life for a friend.
Even an enemy.
Its the will to bless those who curse us
To love our haters
To forgive our debtors as Jesus forgives his.
Love is not some superficial myth, but a dream of things better.
It was love that allowed Gods own Son to give himself into mans angry hands.
It was love that sent him beyond this realm to prepare a peaceful place for us.
Our Promised Land, our Paradise.
Yes, behold, it is love that is the greatest thing!

This poem won a prize at All Poetry.


Day of the Martyrs

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10 ESV)

Gathering of light. 
Sacred assembly of love. 
Age of war, hate, and strife. 
The day of the martyrs has just begun. 
Blood stained standing stones. 
Anabaptists tears, angels song. 
The day of the martyrs has just begun. 
Ice cracks, foe falls. 
Pilgrim saves. 
To burning he must go. 
Stands fast, dies slow, proclaims love for all to know. 
The day of the martyrs has just begun.

Published in the anthology Poetic Velocity. This poem reflects on the powerful faith and love of many Christian martyrs. The main one is the story of Dirk Willems who was an Anabaptist Christian martyr. He was being hunted for his faith and he turned back to save his enemy when his enemy fell through some ice. Dirk was burnt at the stake for his faith despite his merciful gesture. He entered heaven with a clean conscience.

You can buy the anthology at:
Poetic Velocity and appears at All Poetry.


Legions of Hope

We are the legions of hope.
We are his hands and feet.
We are the chosen.
Gifted by Grace,
Gifted to serve.
Called out of darkness,
Called to the light.
Voices in the wilderness,
His voice for the oppressed.
By His grace alone
We are the legions of hope.

This piece won a prize at All Poetry.


Hope in Jesus

What happens when I die?
The voice of angels that do not cry.
Ladder to heaven.
Death has won?
Nay, Life has won.
Death: where is her sting, where is her victory?
No shame in dying, no shame in living.
Crushed to earth, but rising again.
In Christ alone my hope is found.
What happens when you die?
The voice of angels that do not cry?


The Pig of No Compassion

Would we rather love winning?
Or the pig of a loveless comfort zone?
Would we rather a man be provided for?
Or the pig of no compassion?
Would we rather a man be clothed?
Or the pig of humiliation?
Would we rather a man be housed?
Or the pig of homelessness?
Would we rather a man be healed?
Or the pig of demonic legions?
Would we rather God's kingdom advancing?
Or the pig of the world, the flesh and the devil?
We want love, provision, clothing, a home, His kingdom!
Let's treat others as we would like to be treated.
Whatsoever we do to the least of these brothers we do unto Jesus.
Therefore, let's choose compassion, not the pigs.

(Influenced by the story of The Rich Man and Lazurus).


From the Heart

Written a number of years ago as I reflected on both the state of the world and personal life:

Life is a mix of emotions in the many matters of the heart:
Sorrow at the loss of a friend,
Joy at the marriage feast of the Lamb.
Fear and anger at gunmen on beach,
Heart beating for a better world.
Recognition of my own imperfections,
Hope and celebration at our anniversary.


Celtic Cross

Tall, dark, towering, decorated with curves and angles.
Sign of the people, the passion, and the place.
The circle of life and resurrection.
Hands once held there, feet once nailed.
The inscription King of the Jews The reality King of all kings.
The King of the Celts died here.
Slain to reconcile man to God.
Art and heritage combine.
The story unfolds as it is retold.
God of our fathers bless us.
Bless us in the shadow of thy cross.



Here I go again, Lord.
Ever the Prodigal, losing sight of you.
Listening to the demons and eating with the pigs.
You offer an inheritance, the love of Abba, a future.
Yet I stumble, I fall.
"Pleasure" is as the vapor and endures for a short while, but then fades away.
Forgive me Father and strengthen me your servant, your son.
Help me draw close to you with a great embrace, to resist the devil so he will flee from me - and from thee protecting me.
Save me Lord.



Perfection itself,
How we have lost paradise.
Eden falls.
Life is lost.
Nature, spirit and eternity crushed to earth.
We need a cure O God.
We need love.
We need You.
Keeper of life.
Restorer of faith.
Defender of eternity.
Calvary slays death.
You are freedom.
You are life.
Without money, without price help us choose LIFE.
Eden rises.


The Divine Kiss

"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14 KJV)

For such a time as this, 
The divine kiss. 
God gives us position,
For the great commission.
His cause, 
The greatest there ever was.
Unique character of our time, 
Behold the shift in paradigm.
Clothe yourself in His apparel,
Neglect his voice at your peril.
No to cowardly sins,
Either way God wins!
For such a time as this,
The divine kiss.

This piece won a prize at AllPoetry



You may not see me, but I am near.
Travel through time.
Travel through space.
Travel through eternity.
Some have entertained me, but were not aware.
The infants, ill, and dying see me most, as I bless them with the heavenly hosts.
You are not alone, we are around you, just as we stand before his throne.
I repeat, you are not alone.
Messengers of love and truth walk among mortal men.
You are not alone as we guide you home.


The souls conflict and deliverance

"Objection [To quieting the spirit in the soul's conflicts].  But I have often relapsed and fallen into the same sin again and again.
Answer.  If Christ will have us pardon our brother seventy-seven times, can we think that he will enjoin us more than he will be ready to do himself, when in cases of showing mercy he would have us think his thoughts to be far above ours?"
(From: The Soul's Conflict With Itself - Richard Sibbes)

There is a worship song that has a line '1000 times I fail yet your mercy remains.'
Of course like Paul we must ask:

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1,2)

However, note that being a Christian does not suddenly mean we are completely perfect and won't make any mistakes along the way. Paul also admits:

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19)

God looks at the heart. A good self examining question is to consider 'do I love sin?' Or 'Do I desire to be free of it for the sake of my first love Christ Jesus?'

One thing that is certain is that if we truly love Jesus we will not want sin any more and will come to loath our sins (even pet ones that need His special grace to be done with). Furthermore if this is the case it is also certain that His desire will be to lavish us with His forgiveness as we come to Him in sorrow and repentance. 

"If Christ will have us pardon our brother seventy-seven times, can we think that he will enjoin us more than he will be ready to do himself, when in cases of showing mercy he would have us think his thoughts to be far above ours?" (Sibbes)


A Stand

The lone figure emerges from the mist, his long white beard blows in the wind. A peculiar sight for guard and prisoners alike. Soon more emerge as the old man advances. 7, 14, 21...soon a hundred unarmed saints. 'What do they want?' 'Who are they?' 'Are these the followers of Jesus?' 'Surely not, or they like others would sing louder as screams echo from death train.' 'No, no my brother it is them.' 'Why have they come?' The lone figure pushes gunmen aside. 'Can't go in there!' Guards cry. Heeding them not he stands in the midst of the prisoners. Eyes of surprised prisoners, Eyes of dumb struck guards, Eyes of bold congregation standing at the gate.'What will he do?' 'What can he do?' 'Tomorrow to death camp we go.' But then... Lifting up holy book he roars prophetically the words of Ruth 1:16, 17. A thunder of applause within and outwith the gates. Gates that will not prevail. Guards disband for the Word of the Lord has been spoken. Never again do they return, All because a few made A STAND to save children of the promised land.

Based on a true story. 

The verse from Ruth reads: "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (from the KJV - public domain).


The beauty of salvation

The beauty of salvation is that the Lord saves us by his own merciful grace. But, being saved does not excuse us from good works. On the contrary as his handiwork we are created for good works. To produce good fruit. To be blessed and be a blessing. God has even set the path before us with opportunities to serve him and others. To be lights of love, in a world where dark and hate can be so prominent. We are not saved by works, but we sure are saved by grace to do them.


Life in creation

It's a journey.
Even better,
A pilgrimage.
We are born into the world needing love,
Needing peace.
One of the most basic human needs is to love and be loved.
Some may find that special someone,
Some may not.
Some may have the joy of children,
Some may not.
But, we can all seek and share love.
Wonderfully we can also all appreciate the love and peace of creation.
Birds chirping, flowers blooming, butterflies fluttering.
What a beautiful world it is.
This is life.


The sacrafice

"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

The sacrifice of lambs and goats couldn't do it. Mere religion and ritual simply wouldn't suffice. In steps Jesus. The God Man and gives of his own self, blood, sacrifice. The ancient priests use to lay hands on a lamb in perperatioin for slaughter and sacrifice. This symbolised the sins of the people being laid on the lamb. In a similar way Jesus takes the sins of the world on himself and becomes the final and only true sacrifice. His blood is poured out on the cross. The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. All this so that we may be forgiven our sins and iniquities as he manifests his love and grace to us.


A Hallelujah kind of love!

Worthy Father,
You are graciously loving us.
Your love we must discuss.
A Hallelujah kind of love!
This is such a glorious thought.
You wash without blemish or spot.
A Hallelujah kind of love!
Show us love, love that commits.
Teach us love, to live in the light of it.
A Hallelujah kind of love!
To love others and to love you.
Your peace to pursue.
A Hallelujah kind of love!

This piece won a prize at All Poetry.