Poetry that moves the heart!

I have always admired those who have a gift for writing poetry, and particEwanularly enjoy reading what friends have written. This past week has been a time for reflection following the sudden death of our nephew Ewan, and two poems and one hymn have particularly touched me. The first poem was written by a friend of Ewan who came with her husband from N. Ireland to live in the North East corner of Scotland. Ewan was a quiet man, but this poem written for his fiftieth birthday gives insight into his love for God and his love for others.

To Ewan

We came across the Irish sea, And up the road we drove

To a little place beside the coast,  To our exciting new abode.

We thought they spoke our lingo, But we got an awful fright

The “mannies”, “wivies”, “quines”, What was it all about?

There were “coos” and “chuckies”, And lots of “kens”,

How confusing it all was “ The back of ….” – what did that mean?

We were nearly up the walls! We settled down as well we might,

But lonely times we had, No family, friends, the first few weeks

We felt a little sad.

Then one night the doorbell rang, And this little man appeared

We thought he wanted lodgings, 

But there was no bed and breakfast here.

We told him it was now a home, And nearly sent him away

Then suddenly we recognised him, From the church, across the bay.

He came in for a cup of tea, And what a chat we had

He offered us his friendship, For which we were so glad.

You now are such a good, old friend, 

And we owe you many thanks

For all the love and care you showed, All the help and sound advice.

And now that you’re hitting fifty, We wish you all the best

For many years of joy ahead

God bless you Ewan – You Are the Best!

Winnie and Stephen

Then there was this poem from my friend Terri Kneipp in Vermont USA, which resonated with me, and co-incided with a visit of our lively great-grand children. It speaks about the beauty of life, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Life is Beautiful

Yesterday…the smell of beignets was wafting through the air

A jazz band was playing in the courtyard Continue reading “Poetry that moves the heart!”

Remember that first car?

I came across this old photo recently taken away back in July 1960. It shows our first car, a 1937 Ford 8 with side valve engine. It had rust holes in the door but was more highly polished than any car we have had since. It cost £60.00 and did 300 miles to the gallon of oil, and left a blue haze in its trail. It wasn’t great in petrol either but when you could buy four gallons for a pound including a tip to the petrol pump attendant, that was not too much of a problem. The windscreen wipers worked off the vacuum of the engine so they stopped when you went up a hill, but if you took your foot off the accelerator it would give you an emergency feeble wipe. 🙂 These were the days!

The picture shows a much more valuable first! Our first child – Allan, he’s lasting well, for which we are truly thankful to God!

Greenview Church Bookclub

I really enjoy Greenview’s bookclub, which meets once a month on a Saturday morning in the local Sainsbury’s cafe. We plan to meet for just one hour, but it inevitably runs over time as we enthusiastically get caught up in our discussions. We have just finished John Wenham’s book ‘The Easter Enigma’, which brought new light into the story of Jesus’ resurrection as the author seeks to carefully harmonise the four accounts of the resurrection contained in the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Today we started a new book entitled ‘Heaven’ by Randy Alcorn, which purports to be a good read. This morning we just looked at the introduction and the first four chapters. Before we get into the subject of heaven itself, the author wants to set out the choice that everyone has to make.

Here is an excerpt:

Jesus and Heaven are offered to us at no cost because he already paid the price for us. God invites you to come. The Church invites you to come. As a follower of Jesus I invite you to come. Why would you not come? What reason could be good enough to turn away from Jesus and from eternal life in the New Heaven and Earth?

In the words of C.S.Lewis “All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.”

You are made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person. Heaven is the place. They are a package – you cannot get heaven without Jesus, or Jesus without heaven. (end excerpt)

Sobering words, but the author is keen to show at the beginning of the book that we all have a choice, eternal bliss with God or eternal regret without God. In the final analysis God always gives us what we choose.

The book is available on Amazon in hard copy or on ‘Kindle’. Even if you can’t come on a Saturday morning you might want to read the book, and if you wanted to comment here, I would be happy to introduce your thoughts at the bookclub.

My Garden and Greenhouse

My wife Muriel and I still enjoy our garden even although at this time of year there is a lot to be done just to keep the place tidy! It is a topic of conversation exchanging comments about our current aches and pains, hopefully we will get a bit fitter as the Spring turns to Summer

I also enjoy my greenhouse and have been growing various plants in it over the winter. Sweet peas, polyanthus, etc. Muriel gave permission to put my polyanthus seed trays in the fridge early on, so it was fun seeing then flower recently. I now have lots of plug plants growing on, and have also got  my tomatoes plants in. I still use a 40 watt heater at night just in case of frost. I also have lots of strawberry plants growing which I wintered in the greenhouse.  I hope this is a good year for the tomatoes, I’ll be able to let you see the results in due course.IMG_3545

Welcome to my blog!

This is the post excerpt.

Other people shape our lives and thinking, and it has been a privilege to meet a wide range of people in my world travels over the years, from different social, cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Those closest to us however perhaps shape us most, so I’m particularly thankfulI to my dear wife Muriel, brother Martin and sister Mary with whom I have shared many of life’s joys and sorrows. Also friends and leaders in my own Church with whom I have served for more years now than I care to remember. There is one book that has altered the course of my life more than anyone or anything else, and that is The Bible. My Father introduced me to it at a young age and encouraged me to heed the instruction given in Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5-6. This advice surpassed all other advice he gave me, and I have proved the veracity of it over many years. 

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight’

Many of you will be familiar with my my engineering and ‘Christian relief and development’ activities throughout life, and also my hobbies and interests, but if not, you can read, if interested,  a synopsis on this blog in the ‘about’ section.

This is a picture of my wife Muriel and I at Pittenweem in Fife, where we got engaged in 1957