Am I alive or dead!

August 30, 2012

We have heard the phrase “walking dead”, people who are physically alive but emotionally or relationship or spiritually dead. “Life” is an all encompassing word. Even though something may exist, it may be dead. Kathy brought a small tree a couple of years ago. It came in a large wooden pot. Some how it gradually died from the day we brought it home. I wondered whether I could revive it and planted it in the garden, where today it still stands. It exists amongst all the other trees, bushes and plants and whilst they are vibrant in colour this chap just stands there, dead!

Our words, actions and attitudes lead to life or death. Its so sad to see or read of death in what ever format. These days we seem to bear all on social media, in Harry’s case literally! I read of the physical death of my friend Marc in Haiti who was murdered a few weeks back for cash, I read of death of relationship of friends and family going through separation from the person they married. I also read of Job’s wife who cursed God and spiritually died when she was so angry at God for letting her children die. I see neighbours who have differences over territorial issues and who now dont talk to each other. “Walking dead” are all around me.

When Jesus said in John 10:10  “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of,” He was not just talking about Spiritual life. God can breathe life into relationships, God can restore what is dead. You may ask why did I plant a dead tree. Well I did it because my mum wants my brother to cut down the “”dead” tree that 50 years ago my dad planted. His father gave him a tree that looked dead. For years it sat there in our garden “dead”, and then from nowhere it came to life and started growing and has been growing ever since. So I live in hope for my “dead” tree! I understand our humanity and are bias to blow it with God and man. I also live in the knowledge that what I cause to die, God in His mercy, grace and love can if I humble myself breathe life back into something that was dead. At the same time, I also live with the reality that somethings never come back to life!

Dead 25 foot tree!


Dolly Parton and Mysterious? together!

August 27, 2012

Well we have “The Ladyboys of Bangkok”, “Calender Girls” & “Dolly Parton” performing around the same time as Mysterious? so we were not surprised to see our event advertised at the venue with one of them!

Mysterious? and Dolly Parton together!

As Kathy and I were praying for the event I was reminding myself that God is omnipresent. There is no place where God is not, so when we pray for His presence to be with us what do we actually mean? God’s presence will be there at the “Lady Boys of Bangkok”! He will not be at some events and not at others. What we do see and experience is “the revelation of His presence”. And thats what we all need, whether in Church, in Mike’s room in the chair, or at Mysterious?. We pray for the revelation of His presence at Mysterious? We need the “Light of Christ” to illuminate and reveal to us, we need the “Love of Christ” to forgive and accept and we need the “Life of Christ” to empower and help us live out the new life Jesus offers us. So it is with great pride that I look at the notice board Mike walked past every day to school and for 1 year to work and see an event that is linked to Mike.

Random or Plan

August 23, 2012

I watched a movie the girls brought me “The Adjustment Bureau” the other week. Basically the plot is that a “higher order” has a plan for our lives and there is an adjustment team to ensure that we do not deviate from the per-ordained plan and if we do, they are there to cause circumstances to get us back on track!

One of the many questions to life is whether it is random or planned? Am I at the fate of some higher being and my course has already been plotted? Is life just fate? And to that there are many views and beliefs.

When my mum was pregnant with me she was having some complications and the doctors advised from her own health to abort me. As a person who followed the teaching of the scriptures, she struggled with that concept. In my grandmothers house they had a promise box with lots of scripture verses tightly rolled up and a pair of tweezers to remove the little paper promise. Her mother saw she was depressed and suggested she take a promise, she took the tweezers and pulled one out, Isaiah 46v4 “What I have made I will bear”, she put it back and pulled out another one, she cannot remember what it said, her mum said try it again and she ended up pulling out again the same verse. If you look at Daily Light for this evenings reading, my birthday August 23rd, you will see “What I have made I will bear”!

Now we can discuss the concept of finding things to make us feel good, or “Christian luck” etc but for me, I know that God wanted me! Based on what I read in the Bible in Romans 9 “If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled “chosen of God,” They’d be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection. God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus.”  How cool is that!

We are not random, God knew about us from the creation of the world, His scriptures tell me that even when in my mothers womb He knew all about me. So I am happy today to know that God had/has a plan for my life and that I am here because He made me and brought me to being.

Not random but planned!

Setback or Springboard?

August 22, 2012

We sat at the breakfast table with Todd and Norman earlier in the year, one a very good friend, the other a successful film director who we as a family have now spend several wonderful occasions with. They asked some very tough questions as to our motivation for an event like Mysterious? They were concerned at the potential emotional pain if the event was a flop and asked for us what were the measures of success? Were we emotionally in a place to organized such an ambitious program?

I can see from the other side of the table the legitimate concern that “we have not let Mike go”, “we have not been able to move on”. In response to Todd and Norman, I said, “I want to leverage Mike’s story”.  From my perspective I ask myself the question, “Do I allow unwanted events in my life to be a setback or a springboard?”. For me, to answer that, I have to have thought through my over-ridding life purpose or passion, and to me that is clear. For the past 33 years I have given my life to “telling people who know they are sick about a great medicine”, or “telling people who enjoy a fine wine about this awesome wine I tasted and I so recommend it to them”. When I experienced the amazing love of the Father at 19, it set me on a path. I am convinced to the point of passion that John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son to die for us, so that whoever believes in Him should not die but have eternal life” is a life transforming knowledge that has to be shared. When you experience, not know, the daily mercy, grace, love and glory of the Father, then it changes you from the inside out. I have experienced being both totally distraught and in the same breathe totally at peace, weeping and happy at the same moment, feeling so guilty but experiencing forgiveness, anxious and calm in a moment, this is what I want to tell about. At the same time there are days I don’t feel a thing, God seems so distant. All a part of the journey!

Do I allow Mike’s death to set me back or do I use it as a springboard to leap forward again with my passion and purpose to tell all who I can about the Fathers Love? I pray for more springboards along the journey, not painful ones mind you!

Latest Article in News and Star…..another springboard!


It can all change in an instant

August 20, 2012

That Saturday morning, three years ago should have been an ordinary day, there was no indication it would be any other. Then like a wild animal pouncing on its unsuspecting prey, death was upon us.

Over the past three years I have contemplated a lot on the dynamic of “expect the unexpected”, so why was i shocked last tuesday at going from 38 mile early morning bike ride to A&E after lunch with stomach pain and by early evening into the operating theatre? Was I really shocked?

I find myself yet again in the position of physically not able to function as I would like. I don’t think I could even get on my bike right now, never mind ride. These last weeks before 8th September and Mysterious? Should be the final “sprint”. I have so much to do on the marketing side, but I cannot walk very far, I cannot drive for 1-2 weeks and I am signed off from work for 3-6 weeks. (that’s all the official side, but I can not sit still, watch this space!)

“and then God spoke”….. So what did He say? I read how David refused to use Saul’s armour to fight Goliath, how Gideon let many soldiers go until he only had 300, how a little boy offered his lunch box to feed 5000……..”it’s not by might, not by power but by my Spirit says the LORD”.

So was I really shocked, well in reality of course I am. All of us jump when something unexpected surprises us, but after that initial shock, you just smile at the position you find yourself. I am at that place of total dependency on God, family and friends……it’s a good place to be. I also know that the spirit of God is awesome. God’s spirit is a little unconventional for me but what incredible results. So the marketing I wanted to do I cannot do in the same way, the weight I wanted to lose to achieve the goals my friends are sponsoring me for to help pay for Mysterious? I will not achieve. I have waxed eloquently on this blog the last 3 years about God, can I trust the God I write about to help achieve the vision for Mysterious?

And so this morning I’m in the chair, listening to the song that says ” my life is in you LORD, my strength is in you LORD, my hope is in you LORD” and….. yet again i say to God “I surrender”


God is everywhere and in everything

August 16, 2012

I wake this morning with the man lying next to me in hospital spewing out profanities. In fact I have to listen to him all day. But I lie there full of gratefulness to God. Yet again, God has shown me his miracle mercy, his awesome grace, his lavish love and his glorious face. I could of been traveling in foreign parts or worse on a plane, but I was in my own kitchen and went from agony to the operating theater within 5 hours. Im not sure how to share the peace and joy with this fellow, who seems to have a tough life but its made him bitter and cynical.

As Christians we are in a warfare, we are also living in the world and there is simply life. I had only one hour before been talking to Todd who reminded me that Satan likes to attack and as the count down to Mysterious?, “One Wish” and the Skateboard Outreach gets closer, to be aware. And then this hits. But all along we as a family know that God lead us to be a catalysts for this weekend. He is in control and to be honest, I just smile. I dont try to analise whether its warfare, life or just being obese for too long! I simply say thank-you and rejoice at living in Carlisle with this NHS hospital.

I did search the internet during the early hours of the morning and saw that bike riding is excellent exercise for recovery……c2c here we come again….OK in a few weeks!

This is the day…….that the LORD has made!

August 1, 2012

As I come out of my sleep this morning, the first thing that comes to my mind is the words of King David “This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Before you think I am so spiritual, it has been almost a year since that has happened. I often wake thinking of some nice woman I was dreaming about or generally some issue about life or ……. I rolled over and mentioned it to Kathy and she said “that’s interesting because in her daily Bible reading guide for August 1st, the author also uses that verse Psm 118 v24.

“God’s Loft”

When the kids were young we enjoyed walking up a hill at the bottom end of Ulswater, the northern lake of the Lake District. For some reason we nicknamed it “God’s Loft” (attic). Over the years it became a favorite spot, even to the point on one of my birthdays we took our friends Dave and Linda there and sat and opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.

When Mike died on August 1st 2009, Akila was on the M. V. Logos Hope in the Caribbean. In 2010 Laura was in Germany and in 2011 both of them were in Germany so I just went to work. This year is the first year we are all together. I had been back and forth in what we should do and suggested we go and climb “God’s loft”, in the morning, have lunch at Pooley Bridge and head out for a nice meal tonight. I haven’t told them but I plan to have a very nice bottle of bubbly with us. It’s grey and drizzle outside, just like it was “raining on the roof” this time in previous years, but we will do it anyway. I had already decided that whilst we want to remember Mike on this day, I want to celebrate the life of my girls, not be sad over the death of my boy. In fact I want to celebrate his life and remember the good times we had with him at “God’s loft”.

I enjoy the Message version of PSM 118 and he says “This is the very day God acted— let’s celebrate and be festive!” As though I need any encouragement! God did not have a bad day 3 years ago. Moses said “what man intended for evil, God intended for good”. That is one of the Mysteries to me and an argument of some who do not share my belief, “yes I understand the evil of man, but I do not understand why a loving God does not over-ride man”. For me God acted that day and He took my buddy to the place I wanted him to go, just not on the same time scale! And so in the process there is pain, but the end product is awesome. So today we are going to celebrate and be festive because we want to remember this is the very day God acted and promoted Mike. It’s also a great day whether its raining or not because I have all three of my girls with me. In fact I think a cigar may accompany the bubbly!

Mike, I miss you daily and I thank God for giving me 18 1/2 awesome years with you. Your dramatic exit has rocked my world, its turned it upside down and inside out……and buddy, I’m a better person for it! I’m in your room, sitting and wondering what you and Jesus talked about when He came to collect you 3 years ago. I don’t know but what I do know I am going to enjoy today with your  sisters and mum and talk about funny memories of you! Love you heaps. Dad

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