Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Break

I am having a summer break, so there will be no more posts for a few weeks. Time for family and friends and reflection. I'll be back refreshed in the autumn.

In the meantime feel free to browse this site, also my blog "Sitting Under My Fruit Tree" will continue on a weekly basis.

God's Blessings

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Salt of the Earth

Chives in a Herb Garden, Herefordshire

We found a herb garden in Hereford that was a delight to the eye and smelled heavenly. At home I share in the cooking and am learning to use herbs. We have our own bed of herbs in our garden and I find that the addition of chives enhances the flavour and lifts the dish into another realm altogether.

If we abide with Jesus and 'practice the presence of God' we take that Presence wherever we go and without having to do anything, there is the potential to influence our surroundings to the good and bring flavour to any conversation. It is effortless but takes effort!

"You are like salt for the whole human race." Matthew 5:13

Sunday, July 26, 2009

He Actually Prays For Us!

Magnolia Petals, Trengwainton, Cornwall

When my wife and I were last at this garden near Penance, we were entranced by the scene of thousands of magnolia petals carpeting the grass. As we stood in the stillness an exquisite pale pink petal floated down to the ground, just like a prayer from Jesus, saying 'I am here!'.

It reminds me that Jesus is always praying for us. In prayer, we may be stuck for words, either because we don't feel close or we are agonising over a difficult situation. But if we are just still before Him he will pray for us and through us. Words may come or not, but either way it will have been the two of us in the Spirit, in a precious heart-to-heart, taken up with each other - effortless. We come away at peace, knowing something has happened in the heavenlies. He is praying for us - it's mind-boggling.

"He does our praying in and for us," Romans 8:26

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Fields in Restormel, Cornwall

On a sunny afternoon last week I leant on the field gate and drank in the warmth and greenness of this pastoral scene, from the crops, to the homestead in the distance and the woods beyond. It was a good feeling of basic provision, peace and security.

It reminded me that provided we put God first, holding no area of our lives back, He will care and provide for us to the ultimate. If the Kingdom of God is central to our lives we will not want and have all we need. This of course doesn't just apply to individuals, but to families, churches and whole communities. This promise of God's providence also applies to nations, if only they will turn back to God.

"seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you" Luke 12:31

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Will Never Leave You

Whitsands Bay, East Cornwall

The narrow coast road along the full stretch of Whitsands Bay offers breathtaking views out to sea. There's always something different to see depending upon the weather, time of day or the season. You have to go carfeully though, as people have been known to drive over the cliff edge. I was driving along the other week when the sky grew darker and darker with gathering storm clouds. Although it was mid afternoon it seemed almost like nightime, except at every point of my journey a shaft of sunlight lit up a patch of sea, as if it was following me.

And of course He is always following us. No matter how dark and threatening or frighteneing life is, God will be with us. This is His promise that He will never ever leave us. Even when it feels like we are the only person in the whole world, He is here to comfort, guide and protect.

"I will never leave you; I will never abandon you." Hebrews 13:5

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Only Way

The Pennine Way, Derbyshire

This is the gate at the start of the Pennine Way, a footpath that starts in Derbyshire and follows the 'backbone of England' all the way to Scotland. This first section, which crosses high level moorland can appear threatening in inclement weather, with the risk of getting lost in a fog or stuck in a bog. But provided walkers are well prepared and keep to the marked route they will be perfectly safe.

It may seem an affront to some that Jesus is the only way to salvation, but this is the Biblical truth that Jesus is the only access God and salvation. Otherwise we are lost. We may have already entered by the 'gate', but we have to stay on the path and avoid the many diversions or we may be in danger of losing our way. God has already made provision for our complete security, so provided we continue abiding in Jesus and putting our full trust in Him, we are absolutely safe.

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."
John 10:9

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Window Dressing

Herefordshire Cottage window

This is just one example of a quaint timber-framed cottage in Hereford. The old leaded window is surrounded with English roses, making a beautiful picture of peace and tranquility. But wait, you can’t see through the window and in my curiosity I can’t help wondering what it’s like inside. Does the interior match up to the promise of the exterior or is it just ‘window dressing’ I wonder?

How is it for us? Do others see the ‘real me’ or do we put up a front to prevent them seeing what we may think of as weak or shameful? This keeps people at a distance, so what about God? Do we hide part of ourselves from Him? If we are real with Father, He is real with us. One small move from us and He comes running to heal our pain and shame and set us free to be ourselves. We may be in for some surprises?

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
James 4:8