Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

A moment away from movement

Some scenes warrant some words:

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She cannot ignore the invitation
The rays welcome her in
To take a moment
Away from the movement

To just sit there
Basking in the joy of the day
She soaks in the sun
As she soaks in the story

The words warm her heart
As the sunshine warms her skin
She sits out of sight from the hoards
Perched upon those boards

Ordinary people doing ordinary things

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Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Sometimes a book will land in your life…

…in an unusual way.

This book. Is one of those.
In December last year, I was heading off to Germany to visit a friend. U couldn’t arrive empty handed. I thought a book would do the tricky.

(The irony is that the right book for a particular person is the premise of this book.)

So with my fingers running over the spines of the many books and my eyes darting over the titles… there i was standing in a Charity Shop (second hand store) and came across this book…

It called for my attention. I picked up. Read the back. And knew I would enjoy it.

Now I can’t seem to put it down.
Sometimes a book lands in your life at the right time.
And sometimes it just costs 50p.

Which brings me to another thing: there is definitely nothing wrong with second hand books!

Truth is, a lot of books, once read, get stranded on a bookshelf, never to be accompanied again.

If you have finished books at home.
Give them away. To charity stores, neighbours, old age homes, friends.

Because what a waste it is to have stories sitting on your shelves gathering dust.

Who knows there may just be a character in one of those books whom someone in this world needs to meet.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Of Repose

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This picture for me paints a thousand words
Or memories
From a great moment

With cold hands and cold feet
We enter in greeted with warm milk
(Known in the land as Chocomel)

In this picture
You see the ambience of the place
Crackling fire
Warming up the place and our cold limbs

We were tired and cold
So having a rest in here was perfectly needed

I also liked how this place; in a sense
“was in the middle of nowhere”
Miles from where, both my brother and I actually live

It also captures for me
The quality time we both had
Time to chat
Time to listen

Laughed a lot.
Joked a lot.
Offering words of wisdom too

I also maybe like this
Because it was taken in the middle of our adventure
My brother and I, both being: one for adventure

This place also seems like a place,
Where books are read and written

Maybe it was also the gloomy day, outside
That made this place inside feel so warm and light
(Even though the hue of this picture is darkened)

As we sipped on that warm chocolate milk topped with whipped creme
We were introduced to a Dutch treat
And we equipped for the next leg of our journey

0 degrees outside
Drizzle accompany us
As we cycle around

(I really just wanted to add some words to this photo)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Isaac, and his Father Abraham (a creative piece)

Alternative Title: The day, my father almost killed me

I decided, at 18; I wanted to tell my side of the story.   Yes, yes, for ages, you have heard my dad’s side. Here is a reminder of his story, just in case you forgot:

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

(Genesis 22: 1 – 18)

So, we were born in a time where there was already a system in place.
“Appease the gods” was a thing…

So the system was this. To say sorry for our misdoings, there would need to be a punishment. A sacrifice made. The idea and belief that this would make the gods happy.

So the people subscribed to this system would burn an offering an altar to try and make amends with the god. The aroma from the burnt sacrifice was supposed to be pleasing to the gods. (Oh man, those burnt carcasses hardly ever smelled good. The irony!)

And this system… is the world that my father was raised in.

So, to that the day on the mountain. It was a few years ago now, but I remember it clearly. It must be, because of the weight of that day. The weight of the moment.

Dad and I, we were close. After all, he had waited for me. God has heard his prayer. I was his pride and joy.

But that morning as he loaded the donkeys and told the servant to bring some wood; he was acting edgy. He wore his beautiful smile. But his eyes gave him away.

As a youngster, I was excited. To be outside. Going on an “adventure” with my dad.
Plus we were going to make a fire! (What little boy, doesn’t like that?)

The journey turned out longer than expected and my little legs, were feeling weary!
And it bugged me, that my dad, was not as talkative as usual. I could see he was having an internal dialogue; and it was paining him.

The trip by the way was magnificent! (Oh, I could wonder as a boy!)
The rugged mountains peaks around us.
The chameleons hidden in the desert shrubs.
The sheet of stars above us at night.
That silence hovering above us in the evening.

I think I visualise lot of that now, because of the weight of that trip. Something was up? But as such a young age, I could not work it out…

There was a moment, when I clicked that we were going to offer a burnt offering to God. It was when we left the servants behind and headed further on our own. But what exactly where we going to “offer God” and I asked my dad.

He said God would provide. (But he looked anxious with that answer!)

Then it got horrible… I can still hear my heartbeat on that very day, racing, so quickly!

“Dad, what are you doing?”

One moment, I was looking out. At the view.
Then the next, my dad, had grabbed me and was tying me up.

I was petrified! He had tears in his eyes. Mumbling, “we must trust God.”

He was trying to be strong, but he was broken! I could see that.
He hated himself for what he was doing to me.

He told me God had asked him to bring me up here to offer me as a sacrifice! What the heck?!

But we were taught, it was ingrained in us, appease the gods!

And s I lay there, no words, could came out, but in my head, there was a flurry of them. “What sort of God would do this?”
Because, the One that I have come to know; I know that He loves me. But this… what is this?

I closed me eyes, as I saw my dad pull out that knife.
I was scared of him at the moment. But I caught a glimpse of his eyes.
That wasn’t him. It wasn’t the dad, I knew.
As if the inner turmoil was spilling out. I love my boy so much.

Then came that voice! So loud, so definitive, so piercing, so holy!

“Abraham, Abraham!”

I had never heard an Angel before. Wow! It was incredible!
It was a holy moment. I then understood what was going on.

I remember the message from that mountaintop so clearly.

Our holy God.
The God of my father.
Now, my God too.

He is holy. He is like no other!

If I had any doubt that God was real, in that moment it was eradicated!
I saw and heard for the first time, the God, my father had told me about.

And then the most incredible thing. In the thicket, right by us: there was a little ram. I swear to you, there was nothing there when we got there. A miracle indeed! The God of my dad. Now my God from that moment, had provided.

He was real!
He was to be feared. (Well not feared in the negative way! But a sort of holy respect, if you will.)

I remember, the lesson from that mountain, so clearly:
No other thing, no one, should come before God!

(Oh, how I fear, people of my time, now at 18. And I can imagine for generations to come – how they are always going to put many things before for God. And come up with elaborate reasons why…)

So, yes, you can imagine, that walk down the mountain, was a little bit awkward!
I was a kid. I was angry with my dad for being willing to do that.
But I had also heard the angel.
I understood the sanctity of the moment.
It was a moment far bigger than my dad and I.

I didn’t hate him for it.
I would forgive him in time.

So he and I, and some hurt walked down from that mountain that day. But I can not leave out this important fact:

I went up, with little first hand knowledge of who God was.
But I came down, having had a real encounter! I had heard His voice.

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Of Light

damien rice

there is something different
about tonight
its as if the light pierces
through deep within
to a secret place within
i have done this many times
before
but something is welling
up inside of me

their murmurings have risen
the excitement has increased
it fills the room
rubbing shoulders
with one another
first timers and regulars
all waiting for anticipation
an escape from
outside of these walls
a euphoria
that is transporting

standing here
the screams and cheers greet me
whistles too
i am the centre
not an unfamiliar experience
but I feel exposed
not in a bad way
but this is just raw
like the first time
holding the guitar steady
I note how the strings glisten
in the light

standing there
i see him for
my first time
his albums faithful
in my life
melancholic and haunting
piercing to something deeper
the honesty of the words
he seems nervous
it seems like it’s his first time

the weight of the words
come alive again
one can sing a song over
five hundred times
and yet still sing it
like it’s the first time
music simply allows that

Leave me out with the waste This is not what I do

(The picture above was taken from the Damien Rice newsletter that I am subscribed to. The image is brilliant! I couldn’t help but add my own words to it.)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

The man with the sax

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He stands there with his instrument strapped to his shoulder
Whilst for a brief stanza the weight of the world is lifted (from his shoulders)
As he plays that sax so soulfully
There his soul finds peace, even if for just a moment.

Because outside of this moment
The storm rages on.
The demands of life have piled up
Like a disregarded stack of music sheets

Too many things pulling him this and that way
Illness and responsibility and work and family
The noise out there is so loud
But as he plays on, the sound he creates

Drowns out the noise for awhile
And he offers a melody
For others to enjoy and rest in (and with)
The last chorus approaches..

Posted in Music

My 5 (favourite) songs of 2018

I (bracketed) favourite because I am not sure… exactly how to define these songs. Some are older. Some are not from 2018. But they made an impact this year. Some are not even the audio version of the song but rather the live performance. But with no further adieu, in no particular order here is my list:

1) Fix You – Coldplay

Just look at how much passion Chris Martin has (again) in this song?
It’s like he is singing the song for the first time. So much conviction!
And then see the crowd singing along. An anthem of some sorts. So beautiful!
“Lights will guide you home…”

2) In the End – Mike Shinoda

An ode to the late Chester. This live version of a Linkin Park gives me tears in my eyes. See how the crowd sing Chester’s part:

Even Mike Shinoda is moved. Then notice the stunning sky! It’s like God is tuning into the moment too…

3) Life on earth – Snow Patrol

Warning! This is a darker song. But I like it. Because it’s Gary saying it simply and honestly. He went through a tough time. And this whole album (Wildness) is he looking at the tough times and fragility and beauty of life.

This song carried me through my divorce earlier this year. (That dreaded D word!)

4) Do you remember – Dave Matthews Band

This is the first song that grabbed me on the latest Dave Matthews Band album!
“It’s always good to remember the beautiful things” Dave

This is your new summer song…
Your new song of nostalgia…

5) Caught in the Middle – Paramore

Again Hayley and the boys taking an honest look at life…
Pop makes it all sound better. 😉
In fact the whole After Laughter album is great!

Hard Times needs mention and also Forgiveness

Bonus song) No longer a slave – Bethel

I had to add this song.  I don’t really listen to worship music – because too often – it feels like an industry – more than heartfelt – However, every now and then there is a song that tugs at my heart.  This is one of them:

But my most favourite memory of this song is from tour 1 at the end of the production: TORN, when the PNEUMATIX students came on… one by one singing the song acapella…

Beautiful!

What is your list for 2018?

Posted in Faith & Church, Inspirational & Observations from Life, People

And in the morning (we will remember them)

Today was Remembrance Day here in England. These are some of my musings:

Just down the road from a church (just over 200 metres) there is a war memorial.
So this morning at 11am on 11th day of the 11th month, over 2000 people gathered to remember the fallen. (it has been a 100 years since the ending of WW1.)

Then after the service, we invited the community to come for free coffee (or tea) and cake that would be served in the old church building. We also invited them to come and see some of the war graves in our churchyard.

The people streamed in. It was great to be part of.
To see community and church together.
Our church service this morning was exactly that – the remembrance day service around the war memorial. (Why on earth, would we want to do a separate service?)

Coming from South Africa, we don’t celebrate Remembrance Day as much as in England. (Understandably, so.)
However, I felt honoured, to be part of the remembering.
People from all walks of life gathered together to remember. To pay tribute.
There were scout groups, girl guides, bikers, air cadets – all sorts.

She kissed him goodbye
See you again, my love
Her last words said to him
As the bombs fell from above

I pin this poppy on my collar
Thankful for your sacrifice
So that I can live out my dreams
What dream did you have before you took that bullet?

I can hear my heartbeat
Beating faster than usual
As I sit here among the mud and limbs
Oh God, I am scared

The noises don’t stop
I lie awake for hours
Hearing their screams
God, how did humans become so unkind?

I live in a new day.
I will remember.
I won’t forget…
To be grateful.

There have been dark nights.
In their lives, our lives.

And now in the morning (we will remember them)

(Darrel Hofland)

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

Remember Two Things…

Every now and then I ponder things and then share them in a blog post.  (This Of Colours and Discovery, has been quiet for some time.)

Just “borrowing” the title from a dave matthews band album:

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Click HERE to go check out that older album.

These may not be big things to you but I’m going to share them anyway.

I was reminded at church tonight about Jesus being the fulcrum in human history.
Basically, whatever you believe… your calendar is based on the life (or death) of Jesus. We follow the Roman calendar and the Roman Empire gave us BC time and AD time.
Whether you’re an atheist, or believe in another religion… you have to subscribe to the fact that we’re all living in AD 2018.
A date that has it’s basis in the life of Jesus. Interesting hey?

The second thing that I have mulling over the last few weeks…
The times we find ourselves in, makes me marvel in wonder!!!
How smart the world is becoming!
I am referring to all the technological advancements around us:

Mobile technology,
Amazon robots doing deliveries
Charging cars
Google glasses
Smart watches
Virtual Reality
Fibre optics

It’s all so amazing! Rattles my brain (in a good way) at times.

And you know what? ALL of this, didn’t catch Jesus by surprise.
It’s not like when He roamed the earth many many years ago…
AD 30 roughly; that man who was a carpenter by trade and was (is the) son of God by identity – He knew about mobile technology, google glasses etc…
None of it was a surprise.

As He used the tools of that time, He had the thoughts that no other human could even comprehend. “Just wait and see, what you people will be coming up with.”

Cars, to planes that travel across the world, to sky scrapers with over 40 floors.

That leads most people to the question: why did Jesus, chose that time to reveal Himself to humankind? (Hmmm, I don’t know… why not ask Him?)

My guess, is He came at the right time. (According to His plan)
And also in a time, where life was a lot less cluttered.
And people would follow Him, out of desiring a relationship with God and not chasing after another gimmick…(like a lot of the modern day person does.)

 

 

Posted in Inspirational & Observations from Life

To the last token,

This house echoes
All my things have been collected…
But a few things remain,
carefully planned
Right down to the last washing token.

Everything has its place.
All has its role to play.
The last two mugs
The few teaspoons of coffee waiting…

Bags packed
And contents carefully selected
Not to exceed the weight limit.
The three or four drops of dishwashing liquid await their final use…

Difficult to explain
But all things have been planned to a T.

Thank You for the skill you have bestowed upon me.
thank You for the journey You are taking me on.

Uncanny things are signs that We are on the right track.

Peace greets.
Adventure beckons
The new chapter has already begun…
and soon the Scenery will change too..