God’s wisdom is not laying around on the surface; we have to dig to find it.

February 27, 2010

Isaiah 45 v 3 came across my path very soon after Mike’s death.

I will give you the treasures of darkness,
       riches stored in secret places,
       so that you may know that I am the LORD,
       the God of Israel, who summons you by name”

 Suffering as a believer is not in vain and whilst I do not wish suffering on myself or anyone else, Kath and I can testify that we have found spiritual treasures in secret places these past 6 months that we had not found before.

 Whilst reading through Job, I came to chapter 28 and thought about the above verse.

  1 “There are mines where people dig silver
       and places where gold is made pure.
       2 Iron is taken from the ground,
       and copper is melted out of rocks.
       3 Miners bring lights
       and search deep into the mines
       for ore in thick darkness.
       4 Miners dig a tunnel far from where people live,
       where no one has ever walked;
       they work far from people, swinging and swaying from ropes.
       5 Food grows on top of the earth,
       but below ground things are changed as if by fire.
       6 Sapphires are found in rocks,
       and gold dust is also found there.
       7 No hawk knows that path;
       the falcon has not seen it.
       8 Proud animals have not walked there,
       and no lions cross over it.
       9 Miners hit the rocks of flint
       and dig away at the bottom of the mountains.
 10 They cut tunnels through the rock
       and see all the treasures there.
 11 They search for places where rivers begin
       and bring things hidden out into the light.

 12 “But where can wisdom be found,
       and where does understanding live?
 13 People do not understand the value of wisdom;
       it cannot be found among those who are alive.
 14 The deep ocean says, ‘It’s not in me;’
       the sea says, ‘It’s not in me.’
 15 Wisdom cannot be bought with gold,
       and its cost cannot be weighed in silver.
 16 Wisdom cannot be bought with fine gold
       or with valuable onyx or sapphire gems.
 17 Gold and crystal are not as valuable as wisdom,
       and you cannot buy it with jewels of gold.
 18 Coral and jasper are not worth talking about,
       and the price of wisdom is much greater than rubies.
 19 The topaz from Cush cannot compare to wisdom;
       it cannot be bought with the purest gold.

 20 “So where does wisdom come from,
       and where does understanding live?
 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
       even from the birds of the air.
 22 The places of destruction and death say,
       ‘We have heard reports about it.’
 23 Only God understands the way to wisdom,
       and he alone knows where it lives,
 24 because he looks to the farthest parts of the earth
       and sees everything under the sky.
 25 When God gave power to the wind
       and measured the water,
 26 when he made rules for the rain
       and set a path for a thunderstorm to follow,
 27 then he looked at wisdom and decided its worth;
       he set wisdom up and tested it.
 28 Then he said to humans,
       ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom;
       to stay away from evil is understanding.’ ”

Kath and I are looking to the LORD for his leading and guiding with regard to our work with OM Ships

Friends, Dutch, American & English!

.  We want to hear a “call” to move or a “confirmation” to stay. Well the Holy Spirit of God has spoken to my heart through these passages and told me to keep digging to find His Wisdom. Ahhhh why does He make us work! But in the digging we are finding treasure we never expected, we are “seeing the LORD”, not finding the detailed map we wanted. Makes me wonder, why seek a map when you already have found the treasure!

From Life to Death to Life

February 22, 2010

For the past year we have been walking the journey with our friends Dave and Linda as medics discovered Brain Tumors in Linda that could not be operated on. Both Dave and Linda have been examples of the reality of faith derived from walking with God for many years, not in the absence of doubt, but with the greater assurance of what God said, He will make good on.

Kathy, Tess, Shauna, Linda

Linda died in Daves arms on Thursday night. Of course this has not been easy for us. Linda and Kathy were great mates and enjoyed walking the Great Wall in China together. Loosing Mike and Linda within 6 months of each other brings bewilderment.

My brother Chris met Linda twice. She and Dave came to visit on Saturday 1st August, the day Mike died. Linda prepared a meal for us all. Chris was so impressed, but even more so when Linda said it was just for us and their family would head back 300 miles south. Linda sent us the most fantastic photo album of Mike from when he was 4 until 17, with loads of happy memories of the two families.

Here was a lady, facing her own struggles and yet she was showering us with love. Linda “looked out and up”.

I was supposed to fly to the USA on the 12th from London Gatwick, 330 miles south of Carlisle. Due to snow in Atlanta my plane was delayed for 3 days. I drove over to see Dave and Linda. What a privilege to hold Linda’s hand at her bedside, read Psalms and pray for an hour or so.

We pray continuously for Dave, Luke, Ben and Beth that they may experience God’s Grace, Mercy, Love and Glory in a similar fashion to us.

Anniversary Weekend

February 21, 2010

This weekend marks our 24th wedding anniversary.  Friends have loaned us a beautiful cottage, formally a Primitive Methodist Church, about 45 minutes from Carlisle, and waking up this morning with snow all around reminds us of the cottage in the movie The Holiday. Here I was thinking we would have a romantic weekend and the girls crashed in!


 Last night we ended up in a fantastic 18th Century Pub, The George & Dragon One of the best evenings in my life, fine food, an awesome New Zealand wine and the girls sharing thoughts around Mike. Lara became quite emotional and shared that whilst she was sitting with Mike’s body and the Paramedic, she had been singing quietly to herself Matt Redmans song, “When the music fades”. I am so proud of my girls, even when they crash in on my weekend!

No Regrets

February 18, 2010

Akila and I walked down the “broadwalk” in Ocean City, USA. Like many who have lost a loved one, we discussed regrets. Things we wished we had said, things we wish we had not said. I did not want to give a glib response to her pain but just listen. In the end the little advice I did give her was to learn from the pain and apply it to the future in her  relationships. But here is a point, so quickly our behaviour takes over again and we have fresh regrets maybe with different people. So its time to “walk down broadwalk” again, i.e. step back and look in and evaluate and make course correction, yet again, and make the effort to invest in each other before we are no longer able to do that.

It stopped, not paused

February 17, 2010

We wern’t even half way through, just the beginning,

Was it a comedy or a drama?

A serial or an epic?

What did the Director hope to achieve?

Frustration? Provocation? Anger? Communication?

Did He know He would challenge my view of right?

Was it even a movie?

Was I an actor?

Too many stories intertwined.

I want to shout “it should not end like that” “lousy ending”

What I know

February 12, 2010

Kathy and I sat talking about Mike in what was his bedroom. She had woken with many thoughts. Much of what we talked  about, we have no sure basis to know. Its Ok to think and discuss around a topic. I have had to learn over the years and still find it hard to discuss topics outside of my scope of reality. I like to at the end of these times come back to the foundational fact, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree, we lost knowledge. There is much I do not know but there are some things we do know. So what is Mike’s status today? Asleep? Worshipping? Limbo? Remove the limits of time and then ask the same question. So whilst our minds like to creatively think around topics and scenarios, we accept the mystery factor,  I know he is safe in the presence of Jesus

Nearly but not quite there!

February 11, 2010

I’m leaving later today for London, ready to fly out to our awesome OM Ships office in Florence, South Carolina, to help with the Book Fair systems. So I ended up getting a very early night only to wake from a dream at 1am, hence its now 03:40 and I’m typing!

As of yet I have not had a dream about Mike or including Mike. I have wondered when that would happen. I came frustrating close last night as the dream was about all of us being away from the house in separate locations. Mike was supposed to be returning a couple of days before us and I returned a couple of days before the rest of the family. Well to my frustration, he was not back. I met Kathy on the street the day she had returned and mentioned Mike was not around, only for her to say, he was at the house now and she had seen him. Whilst I was on my way to the house I woke up!!

If any of you wise people think there is a message in that, feel free to share it. I think I will just take some slipping pills next time  to make sure I stay asleep so I can see Mike!

My Buddy and Me

I had heard but now I see

February 10, 2010

 Job said in chapter 42 v 5 “I had heard but now I see”. I know what he means and its very hard to articulate except when we introduce the two realities, the physical and the spiritual. The difference between hearing about something and actually seeing is enormous. Faith comes by hearing the Word, but oh my giddy aunt, when you see it for yourself, faith shoots up the thermometer! All I can say is that I have “seen” God in inexpressible ways these past months.

Akila had this video on her blog that a friend of Laura’s had created. How do you or I respond?

We are Family

February 8, 2010

After getting Fitzy, Akila’s friend from Perth Australia, up for a sun rise run on the fells, we headed down to the lakes on Saturday. It was one of those days that you had to remind yourself that you were in England and not the South Island of New Zealand. Fitzy had prepared himself for what he thought would be an English winter. Amazing how we formulate perception of reality in our minds not based on experience, only to discover reality very different to our preconceived idea! The Lake District never disappoints as there is always beauty there, whether the sun is out or not. The reflections of the water were picture perfect. Always a great place to walk, think and reflect on life.



We are Family

In the last months I have pinched myself to realise that the four of us are family. It seems we are always together and I am not used to that! Akila had her own life from around 14 and then headed south for University, Mike was on the ship and when home was working. It often feels like someone is missing but we are all there! So we take the opportunity and take lots of photos. Kathy and I know that the girls will move on soon, so we cherish every moment and create lots of special moments.

You are awesome! Yes you who are reading this!

February 3, 2010

Can I just say how much I have been blessed, encouraged, helped and loved by you all. And now you think, yea but he does not know “I” read his blog. Well just accept that I do know! Whilst I have been selfish and use my blog to process, I also have received such gracious comments from you all. What I so want for all of us is authentic reality in our lives, especially those of us that would jump in the circle that says “Christian”.  Its so wonderful to journey through life with “real” people, especially those who dont look down their nose at me at some of my behaviour, not that I give a hoot if you do!!! But can I say a thank you to you all for your love to the four of us. I am soooooo blessed to have good mates. I am more aware than ever of the many hurts so many carry on a daily basis. Boy do we all need encouragement!

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