The Peace of Wild Things


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

Our Warring Madness – a poem for Good Friday

God of grace and God of glory,
on your people pour your power;
crown your ancient church’s story,
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us
scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us
free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

Cure your children’s warring madness;
bend our pride to your control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of your salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving you whom we adore,
serving you whom we adore.

Written by Harry Fosdick in 1930 (italics mine)

I bought his book The Meaning of Prayer when I read that Eugene Peterson had been deeply influenced by him and his devotional/prayer life.

I’m posting this because we all need help!

The Preface states our perennial human problem:

“This little book is written in the hope that it may help to clarify a subject which is puzzling many minds.  Prayer is the soul of religion, and failure there is not a superficial lack for the supply of which the spiritual life leisurely can wait.  Failure in prayer is the loss of religion itself in its inward and dynamic aspect of fellowship with the Eternal.  Only a theoretical deity is left to any [person] who has ceased to commune with God, and a theoretical deity saves no [person] from sin and disheartenment and fills no life with a sense of divine commission.  Such vital consequences require a living God who actually deals with people.”

The Crib and the Cry

The Crib and the Cry;

The animals in wonder.


The Cross and the Why;

The people in blunder.


Was this Jesus the Son of God?

As a baby surely not!

As a man, upon a cross, surely, no.

What would it look like if God came to earth;


In disguise, as one of us?

Would we see it?

Would we know?

Of course we wouldn’t, so off we go.


Doing our thing, without a thought;

Of the One who made us,

And saved us, our salvation bought.


Continue reading “The Crib and the Cry”

Clown Europe


Call them what you want,

Asylum seeker, migrant, refugee;

But see, a face that looks like me.


Watch them flee from land and sea,

Shining out from our latest HD TV.

Packed in boats and rafts;

Longing for half a chance.


Despising even the rank air they breathe.

No room to move or sit,

No food to eat no drink to drink;

While Europe waits and chats and thinks.


They want to live and work and play,

To see a new day, as the sun goes higher;

Just trying to live that’s all, beyond the dire,

But is this necessary, brand-new razor-sharp wire?


And they’re the lucky one’s,

For too many drown,

In the not too funny sea,

While Europe looks on, like a clown.


We all know this world is unequal,

Too few have had too much for too long.

“Fortresses of wealth in many seas of mass misery,”

No act of God, but acts of man,

A kind of perverse and sinful symmetry.


It is time to wake up, look up and see,

These are not asylum seekers, migrants or refugees;

But a stunning and worthy humanity. . . . seeking dignity.

Look closely:  they are all just like you, and just like me.

Goodbye My Boy

What joy you gave, from pain so deep;

A miracle in progress, a work of art!

Flesh of my flesh, not quite but still,

You may as well have been.

Goodbye my boy!

* * *

Sometimes a year comes and goes,

Lost to the mists of time, forgetful minds and ordinary lives.

But 2014 will always be,

Etched in the mind, carved in the heart!

The year we met you, unforgetable.

Goodbye my boy!

Continue reading “Goodbye My Boy”


0055 RST Distracted Brains - Mobile DPS 4nh.inddDistracted!

Not attracted, distracted!!

Ah!  These modern days, we’re so busy.

We distract ourselves with microchip and 4G;

We always think it’s all about me.

I’m multi-tasking; I’m so modern.

That flicker of light, our mobile we delight!


We pick up up everything,

Before us, and in us.

We reach, we pick up, we….distract ourselves.

Did someone just text me?

Check my phone!

Did someone just Facebook me?

Check my phone.

Are my kids talking to me…..check my phone!


We are a distracted people.

A picking up people.

Let us pick up our phone, our facebook, our TV guide;

But let us not be Christian inside.

We think we’re free, but really we hide;

From the terror inside, the distraction we hide.


What do they think?

What did he say?

Who gives a damn, anyway?


Jesus said, “Pick up your cross.”

Not the dross, that is your boss;

Not the phone you think you own;

Nor the life that you’ve blown.

But the cross, from new life grown.


You don’t have to pick up the shit; take the hit.

Pick up the Cross;

It’s not your loss.

You lose your life, in His strife;

Come to Me, said He; Be free.


Distracted! Attracted!

What are you picking up anyway?

Your phone, the TV guide, the Facebook like?

Your own little ego, fed every day….

…on the things that don’t fill;  anesthetized will.


Pick up your Cross and follow Me!

That means putting everything else down;

It means no longer following self.

Check yourself now,

Do you have the courage?


Do you?


I think I can hear your phone ringing……….


Jesus – the Fisher of Men

Ballad to the Fisher King by Eugene Peterson (in Holy Luck, p.74-5):


Pete and Andy and Jack and Jim, sailed in sturdy ships.

They were fishermen who plowed the sea, while curses flowed from their lips.

Heigh ho to the Fisher King, Heigh ho; Heigh ho to the Fisher Christ.

The world for them was stuff to grab, the sea a chest to plunder;

Creation was a vacant lot and not a place for wonder.


Heigh ho to the Fisher King, Heigh ho; Heigh ho to the Fisher Christ.

They caulked their ships with sticky pitch, were quick at mending sail.

They swore and sang old chantey tunes, and drank from a common grail.

Heigh ho to the Fisher King, Heigh ho; Heigh ho to the Fisher Christ.

But the fight though hard was joyful and free; and they sang good songs of blessing.

They helped and healed and loved and prayed, and seldom missed the fishing.

Heigh ho to the Fisher Kin, Heigh ho; Heigh ho to the Fisher Christ.

Now the fish is a sign of the saving Christ, and a sign of the men he’s for;

And a fish is a sign you can scratch on the sand, and a meal to feed the poor.

Heigh ho to the Fisher King, Heigh ho; Heigh ho to the Fisher Christ.






A Poetic Bible Overview

I have recently found a long lost poem written by my friend and former fellow Bible student.   He wrote it after a year of intensive book-by-book study, so some of it is biographical.  I now post it for your enjoyment.


Genesis should have been paradise but instead it turned to shame,

Exodus began in slavery but redemption saved the day.

Leviticus sanctified and made us holy for the task,

Numbers was my preparation but my inheritance I failed to grasp.

Deuteronomy the great covenant, the foundation of what was to come,

In Joshua I fought for my inheritance and the battle was victoriously won.

But Judges was my downfall, I did whatever I wanted,

And yet Ruth shone like a burning star reminding me that soon,

A King would come in Samuel, who would be the greatest King of all,

But first we had the failure of the people’s favourite Saul.

Kings and Chronicles said it all and I listened to the Kings,

Make excuses for the evil ways and many other things.


At some stage I went all negative and didn’t think I’d cope,

So I sat around complaining with some other guy called Job.

Everything seemed meaningless like there was nothing new under the sun,

Until Ecclesiastes came with its reminder to fear The One.

The Song of Songs reminded me, ‘My gosh, I have a wife!’

So I sought the wisdom of Proverbs to try and save my life.

The Psalms called me to worship, to pray, to lament and sing,

But as I read I kept on asking, ‘Is this synthetic parallelism?’


The exile sure did take a while with the ranting of the prophets,

Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, who I never thought would stop it.

But they kept on coming in their droves, calling us to repent,

‘Judgment’s coming’ is what they cried, ‘But there’s always hope at the end.’

At last the exile came to an end, the babble of Babylon silence,

And God’s faithfulness could be seen in the person of King Cyrus.

Ezra renewed the covenant and Nehemiah rebuilt the walls,

And somewhere in the midst of this Esther had a ball.


‘Elijah’s coming soon,’ cried the prophet Malachi,

But hundreds of years later, I thought he must have lied.

Then in the Gospels I discovered the One about whom all this had been written,

The King, The Servant, The Perfect Human Being.

In Acts I was commissioned, which followed spiritual birth,

And was told to go through Jerusalem, Samaria, even to the ends of the earth.

In Romans I met theology and saw the detail of God’s salvation,

And wondered if Paul himself had heard of the doctrine of pre-destination.

Corinthians reminded me that not everything’s black and white,

Idols, headships, tongues and money, not to mention the internal church fights.

But at least Galatians brought me freedom,

And Epesians gave me strength.

Philippians taught me the source of joy and in everything to be content.

Colossians led me to Jesus and the supremacy of Christ,

Whilst Thessalonians reminded me that He’ll come like a thief in the night.


Then, I lost my way in Timothy, as I struggled with my beliefs,

What is the point of having these books if they cause me so much grief?

But time moved on and so did the books as I continued to re-think ideas,

The race was hard but Hebrews came and encouraged me to persevere.

So my faith grew strong but James came along and pointed out my deeds,

My hypocrisy will be the death of me and James brought me to my knees.

Then Peter came to encourage me but also give a waring,

That I must be aware of the enemy as I wait for the Second Coming.


Speaking of which –

The writings of John moved me on and reassured me of my faith,

Until we reached Revelation and theology came up to my waist.

The visions, the seals, the trumpets and bowls, such confusion led me to groan,

So I focused on Christ, the source of my life and discovered that the Lamb’s still on the Throne.


Revelation was full of mystery much like some of God’s Word,

But I’ve learned that even in mystery God’s Voice can still be heard.

I’ve learned that in Christ we are loved, unique, chosen by grace,

We may see through a glass darkly, but in time we’ll see face to face.

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