Archive for September, 2011

QuoteWorthy 1

A compilation of some notable sayings which have shaped, challenged, inspired and encouraged me on my journey


Conquest Of The Heart

Fastened door, tightly barred

Under lock and key

Impregnable walls,  rising high

like fortified city


Resistant to advances

rigidly aloof

coldly dismissive of

all well-argued ‘proof’


But hearts have eyes

which cannot fail to see

love’s overture – bowed,

bloodied on the Tree


Her siege is mounted,

Actions slowly melting

granite-like walls;

dissolving solid defenses;

shattering iron-bars;

breaking chains asunder…


…until quite captivated

the heart surrenders all

Renascence Haiku

This old stump has inspired a couple of pieces …

Life may cut you down

Yet your roots are strong beneath

You will rise once more


Take a look at the other at:


A history-maker in the making

He stands discalceate

before awesome glory

of blazing bush, unconsumed –

attention fully focused


Holy ground, majestic voice

encounter super-natural

life-transforming energies

pouring into humanness


Over-awed and stammering:

“Here I am. Send someone else”

But long-suffering Creator

draws him out in full surrender


Prince of Egypt thus becomes

Mighty in both word and deed

Wages war on intransigence

Liberates downtrodden people

Hearing Aid

Since the age of four I’ve been deaf in my left ear … an undetected infection, a perforated ear-drum, frequent trips to hospital, and, several years later, after dozens of contiguous infections, a mastoidectomy (removal of the mastoid bones).

My ‘disability’ has had numerous consequences:

  • ‘missing’ important information landed me in trouble on more than one occasion, when I seemingly ‘ignored’ it.
  • inability to recognize the source of sounds – especially in a noisy environment, such as a restaurant
  • feelings of disorientation, which, I am assured by fellow-sufferers, is quite normal
  • embarrassment when failing to hear comments directed my way, so appearing pig- ignorant to the person(s) concerned – not exactly endearing me to certain folk !

On the ‘lighter’ side partial deafness has proved a blessing, particularly when wanting to get to sleep at night – turning onto my good ear means I cannot hear a thing. I recall quipping to my wife that if  an earthquake occurred at night I would miss it … and I did !!

Some readers may recall the 5.2-scaled quake, with its epi-centre just north of Market Rasen, in the early hours of 27th February 2008  – that was close to my home, and I slept soundly through the noise & shaking, only awakened by my wife jumping from our bed exclaiming: “There’s been an earthquake!” … In my calm, cool & collected manner I assured her that it was a passing train, suggesting she should go back to sleep … but then it soon became obvious that this was other than a noisy locomotive. For, somewhat condescendingly, I padded downstairs to investigate and found a number of items strewn across our kitchen work-tops & floor, quickly gathering that something of a seismic nature had occurred. This was confirmed when I turned on the TV News, to hear that Lincolnshire had been hit by earth tremors, causing damage across a wide area.

(Photo: Damaged chimney in Lincolnshire – Feb 2008)

My point is: I slept through an earthquake…

Anyway – in May I attended an ENT clinic where I was informed that I am losing certain frequencies in my ‘good’ ear & an hearing aid was recommended … I was duly measured and told to return in 3-4 weeks for my new gadget. When I did, imagine my surprise to find two hearing aids had been prepared, amazingly giving a small degree of hearing on my deaf side, as well as improving the other … so, I’m currently getting used to this ‘technology’ and enjoying hearing stereo-phonically for the first time in memory !!

Of course the capacity to hear is vital in the spiritual life. Remember that phrase “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”. Regretfully, we are often ‘hard’ of hearing, and consequently fail to ‘recognize’ the ever-speaking Voice. Here’s some wise words from a godly man: “One of the great realities with which we have to deal is the Voice of God in His world… The why of natural law is the living Voice of God immanent in His creation…the breath of God filling the world with living potential…the most powerful force in nature, indeed, the only force in nature, for all energy is here only because the power-filled Word is being spoken…the tragedy is that our eternal welfare depends on our hearing, and we have trained our ears not to hear.” – A W Tozer (from The Pursuit Of God)

I’ve found that using the spiritual ‘hearing aids’ of Creation, Scripture, prayer and local church help me to tune in, and discern God’s Voice.  That said, however, listening and hearing are not among our favourite pursuits. Turning off the noise – both external and internal –  and listening to and for the Voice, in the ensuing silence, does not come ‘naturally’. The Psalmist’s injunction to ‘be still and know that I am God’ does not register on our busy radars…

Well does the hymn-writer, J G Whittier, capture this unfortunate state of affairs, when he pens his famous hymn, “Dear God and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways” – a hymn so pregnant with meaning, and including these powerful lines:

Drop Thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strivings cease
Take from our souls the strain and stress
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire
O still, small Voice of calm

A prayer which we might make our own.  Have a ‘listening’ September.