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Counsel to a Council

Toxic fumes – party spirit fills the air

Suspicion, aggression, division – they’re all there

Treating one another with disdain

Kindergarten trends, Westminster terrain


There goes the blue-eyed, mafia-like mob

ruthlessly manipulated by Councillor Rob,

facing Councillor Mike’s dishevelled crew

(those red flag-flyers through and through)


Discordant seeds abundantly sown

springing up to harvest when full grown.

Anger, acrimony, prejudice prevail

Be not surprised when social fabrics fail


Divided communities never, ever stand,

breeding grounds for an extremist hand.

Voice of moderation must be heard

Will any recognise ‘prophetic’ word


“You’re not here party interest to seek

but Higher Will, common good, raise the weak.

Go, serve a generation: that’s your goal !

Bringing folk together, making whole”


faithful wounds

Written to express my personal dismay at the partisan politicization

of Brigg Town Council, which recently took a dramatic turn

No Tergiversation !

Reading Roy Jenkin’s biography of Winston Churchill
I discovered (for me) this new word which captivated my attention.
 Derived from the Latintergiversārī’ it’s two words joined up,
tergum = back + versari = to turn.
It’s pronounced ‘ter-jiver-sation’ and used in two distinct ways:
1:  The act of evading any clear course of action or speech, of being deliberately ambiguous.
2:  The act of abandoning something or someone, of changing sides; desertion; betrayal.

Disillusionment: bringing calls for change

Promises undelivered, agendas re-arranged

Intended ambiguity, nothing given away

Everyone kept guessing as politicians play

Not so the One, with Whom I’m called to go

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No’

Truth in inner parts, what He’s seeking for

Like Nathaniel, guile-less at the core


Disagreement ! Time to jump this boat

No sense of loyalty – sticks in one’s throat

Reneging, and leaving a trail of broken-ness

Call it ‘moving on’ ? Desertion, I assess

Not so the One, I’m called to imitate

Hand to the plough, furrow laser-straight

No turning back, face set like stone

Destination death – my sin to atone


I have decided to follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus

No turning back, no turning back


The Smile


For many years my dad worked as a boot & shoe repairer in a South Yorkshire village. He had his own shop on the High Street, only yards away from my first school – it was where I headed at the end of each school day – loving to keep company with him, sometimes to just watch him at work, on other occasions exploring the many exciting rooms in his work place, & finding lots to keep a young boy’s curiosity satisfied. BUT perhaps the most impressive moment was arriving through the door just after 3.30pm and finding that whatever he was doing he was ready with a warm, welcoming smile, which said to me – “YOU belong right here”

This is a ‘parable’ of how God sees & welcomes me, which I’ve attempted to capture in this simple poem:-


The smile says it all
“YOU are welcome here
He’s genuinely pleased to see ME
Not my achievements or performances
Not even my attentiveness


His smile says it all
“I’m so glad you’ve come”
My very presence brings Him joy
Not the gifts I carry
Nor the thoughts or words
formulated creatively
into prayer or praise
Just ME – as I am


Oh yes, that smile says it all
“I’ve been eagerly awaiting YOU,
make yourself at home”
No ceremony to stand on
No protocol to observe
Save respect and love
FREE to be my true self
Unhidden and unafraid


For in my Father’s Presence
the smile says it all
“I love YOU, dear child”

Winning Combination

article-2577234-1C2C7EB100000578-223_634x400(VISUALLY-IMPAIRED skier, Kelly Gallagher, with guide Charlotte Evans, made history for Great Britain with a first ever gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi)


The Hebrew names & titles translated as ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ in our English Bible are fascinating, and deeply instructive – those following occur most frequently:

ELOHIM – One with great power – often abbreviated to EL
ELYON – the Most High
SHADDAI – Almighty
ADONAI – Master/Owner/Sovereign
YHWH – Yahweh or Jehovah – the sacred ‘Covenant’ Name

These names/titles are often seen together, for example:

EL-ELYON = The Most High God – Genesis 14:18
EL-SHADDAI = Almighty God – Genesis 17:1
JEHOVAH ELOHIM – LORD God – Genesis 2:4
ADONAI JEHOVAH – Lord GOD – Genesis 15:2

A fascinating series of ‘combinations’ are known as JEHOVAH TITLES:

JEHOVAH-JIREH – Genesis 22:14 – The Lord provides
JEHOVAH-ROPHEKA – Exodus 15:26 – The Lord heals
JEHOVAH-NISSI – Exodus 17:15 – The Lord protects
JEHOVAH-SHALOM – Judges 6:24 – The Lord sends peace
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU – Jeremiah 23:6 – The Lord gives righteousness
JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH – Ezekiel 48:35 – The Lord is here
JEHOVAH-ROI – Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is shepherd

Psalm 23 actually brings together the previous 6 combination titles including them in one magnificent anthem. Watch how:

v.1  – I shall not want = Jehovah-Jireh
v.2 – guiding to still/quiet waters = Jehovah-Shalom
v.3 – restoring the soul = Jehovah-Ropheka
v.3 – leading in righteousness = Jehovah-Tsidkenu
v.4 – with me, even in Death Valley = Jehovah-Shammah
v.5 – protecting from enemies = Jehovah-Nissi

Little wonder that when the Lord Jesus Christ appropriated to Himself the title of GOOD SHEPHERD that His listeners were scandalised, and attempted to stone him for the crime of blasphemy – (John 10)

The amazing truth is that the NAME YHWH is given to us in JESUS (Jehovah Saviour) eternally linking His Name with ours in a winning combination, as expressed so vividly in Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome – (The Message Bible: Roman 8:35-39)

” Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins in Scripture…none of these fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

In this New Year may we know the reality of being in a Winning Combination


Magnetic allure

Golgotha’s cords

prevenient grace

transcendent emissions



“Come away”

inner sanctum

supernal delights

hungry heart



Proud reason

kneeling – discalceate

ineffable majesty

impenetrable mystery



Naked splendour

captivated soul

falling – surrendering

Everlasting Arms





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