Hang on!

In these days through which we pass, it can often feel as if this squirrel is mirroring us…hanging on! We have the assueance that ‘underneath are the everlasting arms’, of our Creator,

Here is a reflection;

Fingertips,

clinging…to air,

sea, sky…faith.

Intangible and just

out of reach.

Holding on to

thin air, but hearing

the heartbeat

of the Creator in

all things and

moments we pass through.

Food for thought

and hope in fear.

Trust and peace

holding on.

Not letting go.

Amen

Reaping and sowing…

A scene taken in early autumn a few years ago. The crop is gathered and the land is ready to be ploughed and sown, The movement of the seasons determining the reaping and sowing.

Something of a reflection of our lives The moments of growth and energy leading to times of rest, recovery. The planting of seeds and the reaping of the crop. So many connections between who we are and how we are.

As I write this blog each day I am always led to challenges in my own life and faith. Often I will choose a photograph for no particular reason, apart from it ahppens to catch my eye as I work through hunderds of images! Suprisingly for me, I’m able to write something that hopefully is meaningful to those who read.

This photgraph exudes tranquility and a momnet of resting. Resonating hopefully with our own inner journey. Being able to make that connection with the things that energise or disturb us, and offering them to God in our own way.

I’ve often struggled with prescriptive types of prayer or spiritual reading. My own journey is enough for me to ruminate upon! What I do sense as I write these words today, is that God’s planting is unseen and suprising. It often drops into our consciousness at unexpected moments. We need to patiently accept these insights and allow them to take root in our consciousness.

The reaping, the fruitfulmess , is God’s way of speaking; the still small voice of calm and longing for the connection that brings growth.

Storm….

I captured this photograph of a trawler, a couple of days ago. It was heading away from the safe haven of Amble and into the eye of a storm. I have the utmost admiration for the crew of this vessel; facing difficult conditions to land a catch for others to consume.

Storms are an everyday occurence at the moment and the seas are constantly in turmoil. The world we inhabit seems to be also in turmoil, and uncertainty. People are questioning amd pondering and wondering, Answers are not easy to come by. Just questions….

Easy answers

spring from easy questions.

Difficult questions…head

in a spin.

No horizon,

no home.

Adrift, longing,

harbour; ports in

storm. Firm places

that generate

questions.

The next wave follows and

consumes.

Loss of orientation.

Light and tunnels

and still points..voice

of calm.

My thoughts

rising and falling.

Holding the sound of

silence.

Storm over….

Shaped…

A storm coming over Coquet Island; light, darkness, exhilaration, fear, insignificance. The list of words could continue endlessly. The whole scene shaped by the juxtaposition of so many elements.

Standing a couple of minutes ago, about to take the photograph, and into my head popped the word ‘shaped’. The relentless movement of tide, waves, onshore wind, light and shade was utterly captivating, and spoke of the challenges we face as a country and world.

I have no answers to these challenges, I simply want to take a moment to allow that word, ‘Shaped’, and the photograph, to generate thoughts in your own mind and spirit.

The photograph and my words are simply a vehicle to help you, I hope, to feel the ‘breath of God’, at work in your heart and mind. Those opening words of the hymn; ‘Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew….,’ says it all. In our weary and uncertain moments we perhaps want to speak out these words as an offering to God.

‘Fill me with life anew.’ The generosity of God’s creative Spirit, wanting to shape us and move us and enlighten us. In the middle of the storm. Not hiding, but honestly crying out from the depth of our souls.

Perspective

How does your perspective change during the day? I tend to find that mine moves with both the external inputs and my inner reflections.

This photograph was taken in a friends’ garden the other day; lots of business with light and shade and autumn colour. The eye is drawn to the sunlit area. Just take a moment and sense what breaks into your consciousness. Sometimes it can help just to close your eyes after observing the image and then pick up what impressions are revealing themselves in your thought world. If you have the opportunity, make a note of what remains in your consciousness.

The influences in our waking moments are many and varied, and sometimes we shut down those that aren’t immediately useful or seem a little ‘off beam’. This is a sad loss, because often they are the perspectives that God draws our attention to.

A Prayer;

God of our moments and days.

Let the whisper of your Spirit

gently move each of us and change our perspective.

Thank you for your guiding presence

in our hearts and minds, and your boundless patience!

May the Lord bless us and keep us in every changing perspective.

Amen

Still point

Having problems with the internet today! I was going to offer a photograph of a calm sea and a dramatic late evening sky, which spoke to me about the ‘Still point’. The rare moment when internally we have a sense of calm.

Trying to pursue calm and that still point in our days, is not easy. I have no well set out ideas. But here is a poem;

Still point,

mill pond…

no moving

just breath

and moment.

Is mine; the gift

of the bountiful Spirit.

Resting for one second,

not capturing or holding,

just having

a connection; the stillness

of eternity

now in my moment.

Of gift and grace.

God with me.

God with us.

Still point

not tipping point.

Here’s looking at you…!

I think you will agree, that this is a cat with attitude. It seems to know too much, which for me, feels a little unsettling! Her name is PC and she belongs to some friends of ours.

Sometimes, it feels like I know nothing…..too many things happening at once and trying to understand and create a narrative that makes sense, is too much. PC, I believe, is perfectly happy in her world, and in this photograph seems completely content.

What makes me content I ask? What makes you content? It no doubt changes with mood and external factors. We can move from high to low in the blink of an eye.

So in these days of uncertainty and worry and some degree of fear, we are challenged to our core. What is this core….how do we describe or define it? I just want to share with you, a moment in time, which occurred yesterday, as I was driving. For no apparent reason, I suddenly became aware of a deep contentment in my heart and soul. No flashing lights or disembodied voice. Simply the presence of God. I was, for a split second, overwhelmed by the love of God, not just for me, but for all people, all creation.

I simply leave you with this experience, which I believe are for all of us.

Blessings and peace.

Murmuration….

The photograph is of a group of six starlings (a ‘mini murmuration?’), sittimg on a BT pole at the bottom of the garden. They were chattering away and seemimgly enjoying their moment in the late afternoon sun.

There is much murmuring going on within the human population in the times which we are passing through. Thankfully we don’t have to balance on a wire 30ft up in the air to speak and listen!

Lots of conversations trying to find answers to questions which we revisit daily. A roundabout with seemimgly no stopping point. We have that need to understand, and our conscious mind is on overdrive. Then suddenly we have to call a stop to the chatter and find whatever we might call the ‘still point’. That moment of connection with a deeper and quieter voice which speaks into our soul.

Dare we believe that this ‘still point’ exists, or are we happier to let it be drowned out by murmour and the constant noise in our heads and on the screens of our connevted devices. Information overload is surely not the answer to the finding of peace.

I like to think that the starlings were finding some kind of harmony in their gathering and chatter. I want to belive that I too, and you who are reading this, can find that still point, even for a fleeting moment.

May you find the blessing of that moment in the chatter of your day!

Just ‘being’…

Helen spotted these two damsel flies resting on a rock in our garden, and soaking up the warm sunshine. Taking a moment; enjoying the peace; planing their next move…or just being a damsel fly!!

‘Just being, not doing’ is a phrase that is bandied about when talking about prayer and our attitude as we pray. I like the phrase, but to be honest find it very difficult to acheive. As soon as I stop everything and try to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’, my brain goes into overload. The still point disappears into a fog of thoughts, plans and worries. The internal chatter drowns out anything I try to focus on.

In my experience the best moments of ‘just being’ come unannounced. During ordinary space and time, when I’m not consciously trying to connect with God. This is God connecting with me and drawing my consciousness away from my preoccupations. Deep in the Psalms we read this simple advice; ‘Be still, and know that I am God….’

The damsel flies were captured in a moment of stillness. We need to allow ourselves to be caught up in the moments of stillness that we are given each day. Stillness that is enriching, not a time for fidgeting and boredom. As I write these words I recognise how far from this I am. But I’m conscious that God invites us to these ‘Just being’ moments all the time. But we’re too preoccupied with our worries and fears to give the moment any time, and quickly move on to fill the space with chatter. Drowning out the ‘still small voice’.

Perhaps for a moment, these damsel flies were connecting with their creator and sustainer and ‘just being’. What a lesson for us to learn!!

Source

I love the word, ‘source’. It has a rich tone and if you let it waft around your thinking it leads in many directions!!!

Here’s my thinking;

Not ending, but

beginning.

Which is the source

and the flowing

The end, held

in the arms of

the beginning. All

wrapped up and offered

to you

and I.

The water of life,

streaming and living.

The source, the

gathering point.

The Spirit of life

and hope and peace.

Let flowing and eroding

break the walls……

revealing

the creative

Source……