May 2020 Writing

May 16th
Psalm 23- An Epistle of Hope
The Lord Is My Shepherd I shall not want
He makes me lie down in the sunshine of my own garden
He leads me through the stillness of the lockdown
He restores my soul
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake
Even though I walk through the darkest valley that is Covid 19
I fear no evil
For you are with me
Your rod and staff, codeine and paracetamol comfort me and aid my recovery
You prepare a table before me
Despite panic buying in the supermarket
You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me through the lockdown and all the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
My whole life long.
Scarlett Hemming May 3rd 2020

May 13th
Pentecostal Flames 2020

The rowan froth of white blossom
Will become luscious red berries
Ready to NOURISH our hungry birds
And fill the jelly pots.

The quiet inconspicuous holly flowers
Slowly CHANGE to red iridescent jewels
To deck the homes at Christmas
Heralding our Saviour’s birth.

When raging winds blow
They send wild rose petals flying
Then bulging red hips will grow
Full of God’s RECHARGING food.

The red awakening azalea bush
Is ready to burst forth
In a blaze of blinding colour
Remindful of that burning HOLY bush

Our churches are silent and dark
But the people sing and PRAY
Serving God in a hundred different ways
Greeting the glowing RELEASING Pentecostal flames.

© Helen McNichol, May 2020


May 2nd
Then and Now

Thomas stood outside the door

His head still spinning and aching
with echoes
of that Day

The cruel, unknowing, inflamed crowd,
Shouting,
“Crucify, crucify.”

Women stifling cries of anguish.
People locked in houses,
wracked with fear.

Children with little understanding
filled with future
nightmares.

The driving of the hideous nails
Hammers for building
Not execution

He crept away like Pilate and Judas

But he was in denial, total disbelief
They could not kill his Saviour there on
Calvary

Still at the door, he remembered that word

“Come”

He entered the room
All eyes on him, the doubter
But His Lord’s voice reached his ears
His throbbing head and shaking body calmed
Jesus drew him close, and lovingly led his hands
to feel the water from His side
baptising him once again,
giving peace to his soul.
The healing hands and feet
Filling his veins with
New Life
and Strength to Live Again

—oooOOOooo—

May that miraculous spiritual love
and understanding surround us all
giving us strength to live anew
in faith and hope near to God
Now and into the Future

© Helen McNichol


Two pieces of creative writing from Frances

Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I Broke the Rules

I’m stuck in a gender twisted society.
But I need to break free.
If scripture was open to me,
I’d sing, “Let me sit at Divine feet
because God’s Word edifies me.”

I must wait ‘til a man reads it to me,
And interprets the Word thoughtfully
through the lens of masculinity.
Naturally, I just sit an’ listen, silently.
But honestly,
I hurt in this “male-female camaraderie”.
Hebrew? Right- just lines to me.
Learning isn’t a woman’s right, you see.
So, I try to commit it memory.
See, my culture has many faces.
Prophets n’ kings in high places:
Adam, Abraham, David, Shem.
Many, many men.
And I’m not saying men of God don’t speak to me –
They do! That’s the point, you see.
I’m a woman who wants to wrestle with theology,
And hear a voice, my voice, with God’s, in harmony.

Who else holds this view, secretly?
Am I the only one? Quite possibly.
Cos, even if we united for our liberty,
Women know, we can’t change society.
I thought, if people knew, they’d slander me,
Ha. They’d say, “Rebel Lady Mary?
You overstep social boundaries.”

Have I prayed for one opportunity?
For a chance to be me, really ME!
Yes – obviously.
Did you hear my plea?
God? Did you really hear me?
Cos, I tell you faithfully,
I never thought I’d see the day,
when I’d have a chance to say,
that not one male head
wanted my cooking, my cleaning,
or held me back from my Hebrew bread!
See, I sat at Jesus’s feet quite openly,
He got me … and my sister-family.
He was and is God to me.
And it’s transformed me.
I radiate his Holy charity,
cos’ I know scripture accepts women like me.

See, I’m a woman whose dreams came true.
I sat with the men
Who meditate ‘em scriptures through
And what’s more, I learnt from a man
who gave me my voice, my platform.
Time stood still and I … I forgot my female form.

Look, I know my story sounds unlikely
But I broke the social rules for all to see.
I’m left with questions buzzing incessantly,
What kind of God encourages rule breakers, like me?
Even speaks of a love that rises higher than conventionality?
And he said …?
Well … isn’t it plain to see?
I broke the rules and he set me free.

Frances Burton

 

Acts 1v14 : “Mary the mother of Jesus stood with the disciples joined together constantly in prayer.”

Praying from a Dusty Floor

My son, Jesus, was executed in a brutal act between religious leaders and the government. The horrors I saw were still vivid in my memory on the day I met the disciples. I hadn’t been able to sleep for days. My jaw and neck muscles were tight and sore with the pain of grief but when we prayed together, even the memories that engulfed me in terror faded along with my worries about the future. The fact that we had all managed to meet there, without being caught and strung up in front of some unofficial council, didn’t seem to be a co-incidence.

No longer sensing the poison of the last few weeks, I sat down opposite the door, leant against the wall and closed my eyes. I began to feel the benefits of rest. I felt held and supported by all of Jesus’s companions around me – we who knew him so well and knew he was a holy man both in the eyes of God and the public. How could I be drawn into such stillness when raw images of his death on the cross had been torturing me? It was an experience that is beyond my comprehension.

That time of prayer was like a meeting with the depths of existence – with that which all things come from, are sustained and will return. By God’s grace, in prayer we began a new journey. It was like receiving a gift and we received it. We said ‘yes’ to it. It reminded me of the moment I said ‘yes’ to giving birth to Jesus. It was the same sense of acceptance.

Everyone’s prayers reached a point beyond words or song. Intuitively, we knew that one person’s words would not be meaningful to the rest of us, so we automatically settled into silence. Every one of us received something different from the silence. Our words could not express what was happening. We all rested on Jesus’s teaching which pointed us to what we needed now – the experience of praying together in communion with God and one another.

There was no sound but from the family in the room underneath us. I began to realise the beauty of everyone in the room … each person created, sustained and loved by God. I think we all saw each other in a new way that day. Any personal boundaries which had divided us turned into a recognition of human vulnerabilities – and we could love one another because we saw ourselves as we really were, all frail and in need of love. I blessed everything I could hear, the donkey braying, a boy who had just started crying and his mother who I could hear consoling him.

For a brief second or two, I opened my eyes and looked around. I noticed how the sheer fear etched onto their facial expressions had fallen away, as if we’d all just escaped a whirlwind of living hell. In my own way, silently to God, I started telling him my nightmares. I was completely honest: the crowds, the Temple, Pilot, Judas, the cross, the way he forgave them on the cross. It all came out until my mind fell silent and I felt peace, rivers of peace.

I began listening internally now. I wasn’t listening for a voice. It was as if I was waiting for the sweet sounds of a flower bud to open. I cast a quick eye onto the door. Only half an hour previously, I’d wanted to be in total darkness and had chosen a place where I could see for myself that no one was entering the room to harm us. But within that short amount of time in prayer, my need for security and blackness was already diminishing. There was a small amount of light, shining through the crack under the closed wooden door and I was pleased it had managed to get through – like a glimmer of hope. The warmth of the sun had penetrated the room and seemed stronger than my need to hide – and actually that felt good. The light picked up the dust on the wooden floor planks.

Nowhere in the world would there be this beam of sunlight shining on the dust on this wooden floor. In a flick of a thought, I saw myself as part of it all. Together, we merged into one and my sense of self disappeared. We shared the same creator. I felt eternity was ingrained within me, the others in the room, the sunlight and the dust and it made me feel intensely alive, as if I was both less and more than I normally am.

Although I didn’t want this moment to end, my mind jumped back to when John and I were at the cross of Jesus. The last thing he said to me was, “Woman, here is your son,” and “John, here is your mother.” Jesus wanted me to have a home, someone who would be family to me – who understood what life had been like and what our faith would mean. The pressure of the past began to catch up with me again and I felt as though I’d lost the deep peace I’d been blessed with just moments before.

At that point, I remember my eyes beginning to fill with tears and I prayed, “God help! Your peace is running away. I can’t hold onto it.” I poured out to Him how those last words sounded and how it felt to lose a son, branded a criminal and God heard me and His peace stayed me in that moment and comforted me in my anger. I know I am never alone nor could I be ever alone. “Love your neighbour,” my son had taught us. “Love your neighbour” and “God is love.” All three necessary, all three one and the same.

I glanced around the room again. There was Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. There God was in each of them – the love of God, expressed in infinite variety! And, I knew too that the love we have for others would also be expressed in infinite variety.

Instinctively, I asked for God’s blessing on each one of them and when I asked for his blessing on myself as well, I felt a deeply nourishing warmth in my heart and mind and soul. I knew that we, as a group, were going to heal, relieve suffering, be peace-makers, cultivate justice, preach and teach. We were going to continue what Jesus started. And in that moment, I knew what my role would become.

I am a woman of prayer and I desired an inner path – a life where each day would rise and return to silence, where each moment of silence would surround all those who followed a life of love for God. My sense about what our future would involve evoked a question, “Where do we start?” But I made no attempt to answer it – for it was not my answer that I needed to wait for. I let the question float in the air of that upper room.

The hours felt timeless and complete, still, strong and reassuring, like a boat’s anchor in a turbulent sea. I can clearly remember how I didn’t want this time to end but it did of course. And everything that happened afterwards was the fruit of this time of prayer.

Since then, we have had many times of trial and we have lost sight of that experience at times too. When that happens, we are honest with each other and we re-group and rest until we can forgive ourselves of anything that stops us being in communion. We pray to God that the challenges in our journeys won’t become overwhelming. Even the smallest of negative thoughts can have tremendous power to rock us by building fear within us along with an increasing feeling of powerlessness. We all have those times and we are not alone. From that perspective, humans are not so different from each other. The disciples and I have found that coming to God, as open and as honestly as we can helps us. We do so as often as we can. It allows us to open up to a deeper and more fulfilling truth, which is that we are an unspeakable mystery at one with God. We know that our lives are fleeting, as fleeting as the position of one of those specks of dust caught in the light on that wooden floor.

Frances Burton

Based on a book by Simon Small entitled: From the Bottom of the Pond – The forgotten art of experiencing God in the depths of the present moment


April 2020 Writing

April 21st
Reflections on our world

In the blessing of the morning
Early shafts of sunlight stream through the branches.
Reflections on the watery surface ripple in the slightest breeze
A draft that flutters the leaves and causes petals of cherry blossom
to slowly drift onto the canal and float.
The piercing cry of moorhen and louder trills of the blackbird
whose chorus hails the new day.
A glimpse of hawthorn soon to open in fragrant white billows.
My senses are alert, all is hushed and I am stilled
In this moment of quiet solitude
I thank God.

© Barbara Rolison, April 2020


April 15th
Be Still and Know that I am God

I’ve heard they’re coming today,
They’re passing through our village.
I wonder, if I prepare some food, will they come and eat with us?
I could get the best dishes out,
I could cook something special,
I could put a clean cloth on the table,
I’ll sweep the floor, and dust around.
So much to do, So little time.

I hear voices, Are they here already?
I’ll run and meet them.
Jesus, Jesus, would you come to my house today?
Come and rest awhile. Join us for lunch.
So you’ll come? It won’t take me long to get the food ready.

The Master enters the house. He sees Mary.
Martha busies herself with preparing lunch.
But Mary sits at Jesus’ feet.
She listens to his every word.
Fascinated by the stories he tells,
The truths he reveals, the love he expresses.
Transfixed by his presence, her heart is at peace.
Caught up in the moment, her anxieties slip away.

“Lord, Lord, don’t you care, Mary’s not helping me!
She’s left me to do all the work by myself.
She just sits there as if there was nothing to do.
It’s not fair. I am doing all this on my own!”

“Martha, Martha. It’s ok. I am with you such a short while.
So little time to share with you the truths of the kingdom.
Truths that will sustain you in the days ahead.
You have such high expectations of yourself
For everything to look right, — to be just so.
Mary has opened her heart as she has listened to me.
She has received my love. She has given me her time.
She has been filled with eternal truth
No-one can take that away from her.”

So, I reflect,
And I see within myself two very different parts.
The one -full of agendas, things to do, people to see.
The other-longing for his presence, His peace.
Am I free to choose, which one will I be today?
Will I rush and stress, exhausted with self-imposed deadlines and expectations?
Or will I slow down, will I sit at his feet, and listen to His will for me?
Peace, perfect peace.

Ruth Campsall
Luke 10: 38-42


April 2nd
A renewed Resurrection

They nailed Him to the cross
With companions on either side
Storm clouds grew darker
Earth preparing to break apart
Birds flying unsettled
Scattering for shelter
Woman’s tears falling silently
From horror-struck bodies
The soldiers tossing lots
For ill-gotten gains
The braying fickle crowds
Thinking they knew best
But the sacrificial forgiving Jesus
Poured love on all he saw
He stretched out his hands
To believers and questioners alike
His feet pointed to God’s created earth
The land he knew and loved
His head so near the God
He worshipped and adored
There on the cross
Man and God were one.

Can we in this world’s crucifixion time
Become one with God
Reflecting His Holy teaching and caring
Drawing nearer to each other
Crossing divides of hearts and bodies
Honouring our diverse planet
Helping healing and new growth
Letting the rhythm of his words
Beat through our hearts
Washing away our fears
Replacing tears with hope
Lord hear our prayers
And lead us to a renewed resurrection
Under the shelter of your
Everlasting Love.

©2020 Helen McNicholl

 


Easter Garden Haiku


 

March 2020 Writing

The Garden

In the garden
New growth, leaves and buds and scents of spring
Of citrus, of herbs, sage, borage, rosemary
Fragrant flowers and the heavier fragrance of lilies

In stark contrast
The sepulchre
A tomb hewn from rock, unused, simple,
Empty!

In the new light of dawn, Mary came first to the tomb, distraught and weeping
Grieving sorrowfully for the Lord she saw cruelly crucified.
She stooped to look inside,
Two angels seated in the place where Jesus had lain
They asked
“Woman why are you weeping?”

In anguish she turned away to see a man waiting
“Woman why are you weeping
For whom are you looking?”
The Lord she loved, unrecognised through the tears and misery,
Until He spoke her name
“Mary”
She knew His voice
The first to see the risen Lord, she cried out
“Master!”
With absolute belief in His resurrection, she was obedient to his command.

Whenever He calls your name
Will you know His voice?

Will you listen?

© Barbara Rolison Kingdom Arts March 2020

Beautiful Moments

“She leads a seedy life”
The Pharisees murmured disapprovingly
Mary knew that!
Today she didn’t care
The crush she had on Jesus
Now was absolute devotion
She poured the costly oil of Nard
Burial oil over his head and body
Absolute love in a single act
Wiping it with her hair
Soon again expressed at the foot of the cross
Risking all for the world
Tears welled up again three days later
As she preceded the others
To Jesus’ tomb in that garden of beauty
But she looked around and saw nothing
In that desolate veil, only an angel
Then she turned, behind her a figure
A half familiar face
The gardener she surmised
Tears welled up again
He spoke unexpectedly, “Mary” he said
The tears ceased
She looked up
“Rabbouni” “Master” she cried
Then she knew that love had come again.

© Rosemary Orr, Kingdom Arts March 2020


In the garden

What’s happening Lord?
You who understood everything I’d ever done
You who gave me hope, hope like I’d never known
You who gave me peace and love so tangible,
My life transferred from misery and mediocrity?
Promise of eternal life, with you the Son of God
The Son of God, the promise of the Father,
Crucified, this eternal life drained from him
Hung on a cross ’til Death came and took him from us.
He who healed and raised the dead
Now dead himself.

How can it be? We, his followers and his mother
Looked on. Powerless, we watched
Until he breathed his last. Our hearts broken
Shattered into a million pieces.
Pierced with a sorrow like none before.
So, we took your body and with great care
Prepared you for burial,
Our tears wrapped up in your linen cloths.
Everything we longed for lost and and buried
With you, as you were placed in the tomb. Secure.

And so, I came today. I knew not what to expect
But wanted to be close to you. To sit by your tomb
And remember… remember all that was good.
All that was … gone
Now even your body is gone. The tomb is empty
There is nothing left. Just empty promises
—- and SILENCE —-

Where are you? Where have you gone?
“Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
“What, who is that? Do you know where he is?”
“Mary”
“Master”
And thus, the revelation came
Scales not tears fell from her eyes
She could see Him
He is risen. His promises are true
There is freedom
And life forever more in His presence

HALLELUJAH!!

©Ruth Campsall


Why do I weep?

I ask myself the same question
My broken heart and life
Touched by your gift of acceptance.
Your eyes have pierced my soul
And you see me… the real me
And so, I weep…
For you. my loss. my friend, the man who captivated My heart
And set me free
Why would I not weep.
I weep for all the women who
Have not yet touched you,
Who are still suppressed
I weep because I have learnt to express My heart…
Where have they taken you?
I weep because I can
You see me. you know me.
Catch my fears in the bowls of
Your hands….
I weep ….
Because I can.

© Shefalie, Kingdom Arts March 2020


February 2020 Writing

Moses

The water flowed
The bitumen and pitch safeguarded the basket
Loving watchful eyes
Saved the child
As God protects us in our ever changing lives
Cradled by moving holy water
And weeps for our lost ones
Those who never see light
But are life-long shadows
Ever flickering on souls
Some with short glimpses of life
Leaving footprints so deep
No tears can ever erase
Others left in strange “receiving homes”
Struggling to find their true identities
In their bewildering world
But their cries are heard
By the reconciling loving God.

© Helen McNicoll Kingdom Arts February 2020

Moses

Born but separated
From all that is familiar
Smell of mother, of home
Voices
Warmth of womb, holding darkness enclosed
No sounds, but warm, encased, entombed
Smell of mother’s linen surrounds me, comforts me
Water running
River upholding, sound of wind
Alone, drifting separated, waiting
Found!
Crying, wailing, an unfamiliar touch and voice
Soothing voice of sister, saved for a purpose for all I know
Yet separated
Mother’s arms, Mother’s breast, now safe, familiar for a time
Born at such a time as this for the greater good?
Possibly
But I miss my Mother and family
Born into one world separated into another
A purpose carved out, a basket, a river
A journey
A destiny for a people

© Shefali Hollis  Kingdom Arts February 2020

Giving Back to God

What is this cradle that holds so small a child?
Strengthened on the outside, placed amongst the reeds
How long? How long will it last?
Will it float away?
What will happen to my dear baby boy?
My longed for child will you be safe?
Have I really let you go? My heart aches
Dear God what plan do you have for one so young?
Surrendered to you as I let him go I look to you
My daughter calls what’s that you say?
Will I come to care for my son?
The one I released just moments ago
Already returned to me
My God how can this be?
Truly your goodness is beyond measure
This must be part of a bigger plan
I take him back for now but he is given to you
And I, his mother will watch to see his life unfold
A deliverer of your people you say?
Just as you have rescued him he will rescue them
I gave back to you the gift you gave me
So now I wait and watch.
© Ruth Campsall  Kingdom Arts   February 2020

January 2020 Writing

Waiting and Worshiping

Waiting. Not a popular word in our 21st century society of instant gratification
Where seemingly all we need is just a click on a screen away
Where marketeers convince us we need things we’d never considered, and need them NOW
Simeon waited
Anna waited
What was the difference?
They knew God
They’d heard God’s promises, quietly, uniquely, individually
They both knew his voice
They trusted him
But how did they wait? What did they do with their time?
Were they passive? Were they bored?
Were they discouraged? Frustrated
NO!
They believed what God had promised, and they gave thanks in advance
They waited prayerfully, but also with a heart of worship.
They were fully convinced, confident that God would be faithful
They knew he would do what he said he would, and the time scale didn’t matter
(After all for God, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is just a day)
How are we waiting for God to bring into being promises He’s made to us?
© Alison Moore  Kingdom Arts   January 2020

Anna

There is a saying; you’re a long time dead.
But you were such a long, long time living.
Living In the temple for many years you waited,
For many years patient in prayer,
For many years fasting in faith,
For many years trusting in the Lord,
Watchful until the Holy Child was revealed.
Your faith rewarded you praised the Lord
In certainty you proclaimed
“Look no longer for redemption, for I have seen the Messiah.”
©  Barbara Rolison Kingdom Arts   January 2020

Simeon’s Prayer

Oh Lord, my soul has yearned to see your face, to live in your courts with praise.
I have feared for future generations and have asked daily to see the Messiah.
Your people have suffered at the hands of others and I have such love for them as well as the Gentiles.
But today you did a great work.
Today I saw the Messiah and now I can leave this world in peace.
© Frances Burton  Kingdom Arts  January 2020

Patient Waiting

Simeon and Anna
The Holy conception from God
Then a time of waiting
As Mary pondered and prayed
Birth within the stable
So long ago
A Saviour to awaken the world
Shake the unbelievers
Fully recognised by the patient
Simeon and Anna.
Leading the way to full belief
Young and old being united
Can we stay the course?
However long or short
Hard or smooth
With patience for the unfolding grace
Spreading the fragrance of belief
To others far and wide
Calming minds and bringing
Helping the unfathomable Godly peace
To hover over the world.
© Helen McNicoll  Kingdom Arts  January 2020

The Temple

At Bethlehem the shepherds were watching their flocks
They were lowly, humble men, no ladies I think, and their job was to protect the sheep from wolves or robbers then.
A sheep’s job is to eat grass;
Sheep’s wool grows then when they are shorn, their wool warms people. Maybe those shepherds who came to see baby Jesus had a sheepskin in their packs to give to Mary for a blanket
Mary had been waiting 9 months for her baby.
Right at the beginning, with the Angel, she had agreed to have a most irregular pregnancy. Anyone who is pregnant has worries; will the baby be alright?
Will I be alright?
She waited whilst maybe the people in the village tut-tutted and stared.
So afterwards, when she and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple.
The words of Simon and Anna must have given her so much encouragement,
Affirmation that God was in charge
Perhaps she hugged them.
I hope so.
©  Janet Kingdom Arts January 2020

Waiting in the Temple

Waiting, always in the waiting room,
How long…
Praying, asking, seeking, searching..
Remembering
Sitting in the shadows of your wings… closed away, waiting
How long?
Shall I give up, give in, will it ever happen whilst I live. Is it true?
Will the answer find me here?
Come… My heart waits in silence…
Only to you God do I yield… I live to serve.
To Pray, asking, seeking… looking.
Up from the shadows.
My heart races, light streams in.. a baby is born..
Rivers burst within as I look upon his face..
Truth rises up, a song dances from my lips and for all the long years of hoping, trusting, weariness, doubting and faith
Waiting is over and the answer to life,
My life, your life… every present and future citizen of this world will find themselves in you..
Waiting is fulfilled.
Fulfilment
It is over.
Relief, joy. I dance in the streets..
It’s been fulfilled… Waiting is over.
©Shefalie Hollis  Kingdom Arts January 2020

October 2019 Writing

Goodbye is not the end

Today people will gather to say Goodbye
You are no longer with us in body

But …….

Every time I walk past your house
Every time I see Charlie or the children
Every time I look at the photos
Every time Judo is mentioned

You are alive.

That laughter is there to bring you back
Just a memory away
Good times live with us for ever

© Pam Summers
Kingdom Arts October 2019


I will go with you

I will go with you
I know in my heart and with my whole being I need to stay faithful to you
Show me the way
I’ll journey with you to your homeland
I’ll put my trust and faith in your God
My God
You show me the way
I will go with you.

© Barbara Rolison
Kingdom Arts October 2019


Two together

Two walked together along the dusty road
Both carrying a heavy load
Unseen to human eye but known
To the one above whose plan is working out

When humans see hope and despair
God sees his plan working down the ages year on year
Naomi and Ruth are looked on as a hapless pair
His plan will come to fruition no matter what or where

Boaz owned the field where Ruth went gleaning
What attracted him to her we don’t know
But it fitted with His plan
In due time Jesus was born
Who benefits all mankind

© Les Linton
Kingdom Arts October 2019


 

September 2019 Writing

Lydia

I wonder if in the early morning
You saw in your inward eye
Myriads of crocus flecked with gold
Those wonderful petals now crushed
Purple dye flowing in profusion
That another use to colour the cloth
You sold on market day at Lystra.

Today you waited: trade was slow
Paul, a Jewish scholar came over
We talked of spiritual things
Exhaling the creator god
For a moment God’s bounty amazed me
And I saw again those crocuses
But now in that garden
Where the stone was rolled away

Jesus as Paul explained walked here
He wanted to bless me by Baptism
Later after the ceremony
Paul entered my home
Life would never be the same again
Then I saw those crocuses
With the purple dye flowing
And I drank of the water of life
As evening light faded into night.

©Rosemary Orr

Women

From Adams rib
And God’s blessing
Came eve
Bone of his bone
Flesh of his flesh
To cling together
The woman in her naivety
Was tempted
To taste the harshness of life
Tasting the juice of the fruit
Shouldering the guilt and pain.
But like the waves in the sea
Rising up, filling oceans
With colour and bravery
Then becoming the chosen vessel
Of Jesus earthly beginning
Strength to comfort Him
Giving power to womanhood
Despite scorn, degradation, rape.
A burning candle of hope
Bravery, example of goodness
Reflecting the love of Jesus
Courage to conquer prejudice
By trying to create
A more compassionate equal world.

© Helen McNicholl

June 2019 Writing

Look up and let the light flood in

{Inspired by a headline from interior design}

In the midst of the storm
When the wind is raging
And the rain pours down
Look up and let the light flood in

When the fog has come down
And you can’t see the way forward
And you don’t know which way to turn
Look up and let the light flood in
Jesus is the light
His delight
Is to flood us with His love, His joy, His peace, His help
As we look to Him
He pours out His light
Falling as gentle rain,
Washing away our fears
He rescues us,
Placing us on solid rock.

Look up and let the light flood in
It’s a decision, a device we make
How easy to look down and be like grasshoppers,
Yet how wonderful to wake up
To let His light shine into our lives
And show His love, His help, His friendship.

When clouds and storms come our way
Let’s decide to look up and let the light flood in!

©Alison Moore Kingdom Arts June 2019

Surrender

Can I have a place of my own
Inside my thoughts
Plus all the support I need
With facilities including swimming and Jacuzzi?

Maybe I could have a line
As a woman on the edge of time
A sort of bush telegraph
Bringing missives of love and understanding
Even more in this luxury
Would you fall into my arms
And shield me from all harm?

Then I’d settle into that real place of ours
Bricks and mortar
Equity or do I mean equality
Deep, deep, peace.

© Rosemary Orr Kingdom Arts June 2019

May 2019 Writing

The Beach

The first time I went to the beach
It was crowded.
At midday the ice cream van settled near the promontory
A queue formed, children running up and down licking their lips
Others with bikes and beach balls

The last time I came to the beach it was dawn.
Out of focus stood a stranger
Near a rough bonfire which cracked and spit
A group of us local fisher folk came closer
There was something vaguely familiar about him
Then he said “Have you caught anything lads?

I noticed a fish sizzling upon the fire
As I saw Jesus the fisherman, prophet, Saviour, King Lord of life!
Then he said “cast out into the deep”
My heart plummeted he had penetrated body and soul
As others obeyed into the sea went the net
Until it broke with the weight of the shoal

We cooked more fish a regal breakfast
Their conversation, food and laughter
Maybe the ice cream van and children will come soon
Vibrant with even more life

© Rosemary Orr  Kingdom Arts May 2019


On the Shore

The blessed time of resurrection
Jesus stayed to spread His comfort
To the bewildered and confused

He poured His lasting forgiveness
Over doubting minds
A healing, soothing salve

He came down to the beach
With His holy perfume
Watching his beloved

Their first catch was few
As those who struggle
Unwilling to fully embrace His love

Man in a voice loud and clear said
Cast the net to the right
Then with the power of God came 153 fish.

Peter covered his nakedness
Clothed himself in full belief
And pulled ashore with divine strength

May we ever have the belief
Feel His strength and comfort
And the sweet scent of His forgiveness.

So that we have Godly strength
To pull in our nets
And share the fish and bread.

© Helen McNicholl  Kingdom Arts May 2019

Listen to Helen reading her poem:


Believe

I believe I’m a fisher, I’m a fisher of men.
I’m a fisher, I’m a fisher, I’m a fisher of men.
And I’m a fishing man, a fishing man, a fishing man I am.
And I’m fishing, I’m fishing, I’m a-fishing for men.

It don’t matter a jot just what colour you may be
If the Lord wants to catch you, see
It’s a different kind of free!

If you want to ask or
If you want to seek
When you find the door you just greet the Man
Knock and take a peek.

You know it don’t matter a bit just who you are
Or what state you’re in
If you’re like me you’ll have that song in your heart
And that heart’s gonna sing.

Come into our hearts Lord Jesus
Fish out what we use today
Yesterday and every day,
Forever and ever with us.

Amen

©John Pugh   Kingdom Arts May 2019

Listen to John reading his poem:


April 2019 Writing

Water

The child with no shoes
The homeless unwashed feet
The throbbing old person’s toes.
But
The child laughs
The homeless has a heart
The old man lived.
God
Pours purity into the child
Washes the homeless clean
Restores the elderly frail.
With
The blessings from Heaven
Caring
Loving humanity
The scent of heavenly eternity.
From
The never dry well
Spiritually blessed water
And God given love.
© Helen Mc Nicholl, Kingdom Arts April 2019

Passiontide

Two rows as if in processing
Waiting for washing by the man who is God
Grey skies, pattering rain, spring clouds
Whisking outside in the cold as Passover approaches
A meal; lamb, wine, olives, flatbread, water and wine
Feet sweating for washing
Hands dipping bread in oil,
Jesus their servant caressing
The lumps and bumps of life.
While that sunset for Him
Draws into night and one last day.
© Rosemary Orr, Kingdom Arts April 2019

Cleanse me Lord.

In the knowledge of death through betrayal
Jesus washed their feet and they were clean.
Such humility in his action, love and friendship in one simple act
He cleansed them to keep their Spirit whole.
Knowing his fate.
Cleanse my soul Lord
Refresh my feet to walk with you.
© Barbara Rolison, Kingdom Arts April 2019

Water

Water, so clear, cleansing, rippling, still, so silent
Waiting to be used.
Whose needs can I satisfy?

Water contained in a bowl.
What use have I?
No servant to pour for me.
Towel ready to dry me.
What shall I do?
Feet hot and sticky,
Where is the servant?
Disciples are waiting.
Where can he be?
Water all ready.
Jesus hands so steady,
How can this be?
© Anthea Spurling,  Kingdom Arts April 2019