Friday, 25 October 2013


Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.  To all perfection I see a limit,
 but your commands are boundless. Psalm 119:94 -96

As I sit here typing this the clock is ticking, the old church year is just 4 weeks from drawing to a conclusion.  Yet there is another, more immediate deadline looming. A storm is currently due to hit England and Wales on Sunday evening, with risk of damage to structures, trees and power.  Already we have taken down the washing line, brought indoors chairs and other paraphernalia left over from the summer, including the paddling pool.

We found the 4 legs from the garden table lying on the patio halfway up the garden where we discarded them, with no sign of the table top.  We suddenly realise we do not know when we last saw it. Did it blow away during a previous storm?  We have no idea!
The clock ticks on. Life continues. We shop. We cook. We eat. We sleep. Waiting for the storm to hit.  Knowing that there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop the forces of nature.  Hoping and praying that the jet stream will be diverted, and the threatened havoc will not happen.

We have this expectation that life will go smoothly, that God will hide us from all danger under a big pink fluffy blanket.  It doesn’t work like that.  God will be there in the storms with us. He gives us the Holy Spirit to be our comfort and guide, helping us to chart our way through good times and bad.  We can turn our backs on him, or turn to him.  It is our choice. 

My thoughts at the moment are very much with those known to me, who are going through the storms of life.  Who are currently facing situations that they never would have chosen. Even if not totally unexpected, the impact is still devastating, as they face the reality that the landscape of their live may be changed irrevocably. 

I then turn my attention to the financial and political woes of my country.  The rising costs of running a effective health and social care, providing services and security and the riding tide of dissatisfaction. Yet I know there is no easy solution to the troubles of this or any nation.

My prayer is that the storm will alter course. 
My prayer is for peace for my troubled friends, and that they will have the strength to hold on until the storm has passed.  
My prayer is for political leaders with vision and compassion.   
My prayer is that this nation will turn to God, to the guidance his word gives us for good living.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Holding on, when all around is doubt and confusion.
When all you can do is rest upon the promises you know,
and let go of fear and anxiety

When all you can do is rest upon what God has done in the past,
and not consign it all to history -
convinced that maturity lies 
in standing on the building blocks of logic and reason,
for that would be treason!

Look around you, see the signs of the season.
God is here amongst us now.
His Holy Spirit moves through the trees, 
on the breeze,
bringing peace, joy and hope.
His holy spirit washes us in the rain,
and although we moan and say,
“Not again!”
We still search for the silent sparkle of sunlight on the raindrops.
Divine diamonds,
scattered by a generous God.
There to be observed by eyes that seek.
Glory for the meek.

Upon the ground there lies a fragile cross
A symbol of that which carried the sins of the world,
A reminder that the gift of autumn
pales into insignificance
besides the price that was paid once for all.
A twig broken off a tree,
carried on the wind
and left for us to see.
A reminder of the body that was broken
for you and me.

I rest, like a fragile leaf,
knowing the life within me is a gift
that my life on earth will be just a season
and I pray that I may fill my days
in ways
that are honouring to you.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Through The Gate

Dull greyness rules.  The morning sunshine is now obscured by cloud.  The sun puts in fleeting appearances, mocking us, triggering memories of the summer that has slipped away.
I sit at my computer and contemplate this sunlit scene from Bromyard Down, taken on a morning poised in the period of waiting.  The schools have returned, the wind has an unfamiliar chill, yet the hedgerows hold only hints of autumn - berries, and the odd leaf that has surrendered its summer verdancy.  This photo was taken after I had walked through the gate, when I paused, turned and contemplated where I had been. I perceive the symbolism, as I ask myself, is this a beginning, or a returning?

In my mind I am drawn back to February 26th 2007.  This date may not be accurate, but it is the one secured within my memory.  The date when I registered as a member of an online community.  Seeking a name, I looked out at my garden, saw a daffodil, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I wish I had then known how many truly wonderful people I would get to know online, how much I would learn, as I saw the world through their eyes.  Many times we sat at our computers, separated by many miles in distance and culture, and laughed and laughed until the tears rolled down our cheeks!  Did anyone really provide avatars and expect us NOT to experiment?! Did they provide rooms and a plan, and think that we would not try to see who could race round them all in the shortest time?  I also met people who were going through very difficult times, who could not see beyond the place where they were trapped and it was a privilege to walk with them through their pain, supporting them in prayer and giving them a safe place to share.

The community I joined was St Pixels - an online church (see below). Please give me a wave if you have ever been part of that community and are reading this, with your Pixie name if you were part of the pre-facebook era. Worship events were held daily. "That's not for me!" I thought, little realising that I would soon be both regular participant and contributor. Blogging was great fun.  The serious and the frivolous - there was a place for both!  "Daff's Deliberations" was the name given to a Spiritual Journey I posted, and as I begin to blog again, it feels natural to take up this title once more, for journeying continues, stage by stage.  

As I begin I feel the same sense of hesitancy, having no idea what will lie ahead. Will it feel like an uphill slog, hard work and draining, leaving me wondering why I began?  Pathways lead over rough and smooth terrain - inevitably some entries will be better than others.   Brambles that scratch, nettles that sting, treacherous pathways where I slip and slide, will all need to be negotiated and will be regular reality checks!  We experience pain, uncertainty and disappointment, they are part of life - but look up, look ahead!  Feel the sun, pause and watch the butterfly flit from flower to flower. Admire the changing hues and stages of each season.  Pause, relax, let the breathtaking views minister to you, each and every time.  

I do hope you will journey with me, and share your thoughts and reactions to my blog. I cannot promise you superbly eloquent prose, I do not think in long words!  I will undoubtably commit glaring, grave and grevious grammatical errors - and if I do, please do not point them out to me, for this is not what all this is about!  May we journey on together.

Daffodil :)

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.  Psalm 25:4

In case you are wondering what happened to St Pixels, we are still around, our facebook page is here our website can be found here, it has a lot less traffic than it used to, as we recognise that facebook makes a much better job of things we used to do, and allows you to interact with friends across the range of your social circles. St Pixel chatroom, where we gather for services and chat can be found here