Monday, 8 October 2007

Poem - Hooked

The music he can hear from miles away
Amplifies the longing of his soul;
It hooks him like a fishing rod today
And pieces him together, to be whole.

Inside, the gentleman's heart has caught fire;
It burns a little brighter in the dark,
So next Thursday, when he changes his tyre,
Mechanics will see what came from the spark.

Tradition says that all men will rejoice;
That songs, bands, choirs, musicians can be loud.
From htere, the listeners will have the choice
Whether to believe or remain proud.

Should all men be acquainted in what's right,
Perhaps the saviour will return tonight.

Poem - Daddy's Ode

You lie care-free with your
eyes closed; I wonder what you're
dreaming, what goes on in
your head. You sleep so peacefully,
looking so innocent and sweet.
No sounds of snoring, heavy breathing
or movement disturbs the tranquilness.

In any event of trouble, nothing will
happen to you, or disturb you,
as I will be on hand to guard
your sleepy head.

These are moments in time that are
not taken for granted; I wish I could
just grab Father Time's stopwatch and
hit the switch. And as these precious
moments pass, I long for another
night similar to this.

Poem - One's Reflection

She shies away from
the mirror, unable to
appreciate what she sees.

There's a light that
glows and bounces back
at her, like a spectrum,
but she's blind to it
and can't seem to realise
how much beauty she
so radiantly beams.

A wondrous day away
with you will let me
show how amazing you are
in my eyes.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Thought - based on Matthew 26:69-75 (27/3/07)

"Peter denied it in front of everyone"

The same man who proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ.

The same man whom Jesus used as his rock to build his church on.

The same man who, earlier that evening, told Jesus that he would never desert him and was willing to die with him.

Simon Peter, the first of the disciples along with his brother Andrew; a fisherman-come-'fisher of men'; one of Jesus' favorite, supposedly; one of the twelve who always happened to be present when Jesus performed a miracle.

He denied it in front of everyone.


He made a mistake. Probably the worst mistake that man could make but he was only human. And its forever inscribed in the scriptures so that others learn from it. So that others can take something away from Peter's denial in front of everyone.

Easter can be a time for new beginnings. It was a new beginning for Christ, for he died for our sins, rose again and ascended to the heavens shortly after. It was a new time for Peter as well because Jesus forgave him and, from the end of John onwards, became an even more powerful and influential figure among the early Christians. And it was a new beginning for the church; for religion; for mankind, because even though he was doubted and scorned before, he still forgave us and blessed us with a second chance.

I wonder if you feel that this Easter its time for a new beginning. Look at what went on in the past and learn from it; move on and do that God asks of us. Lets look towards a brighter future in our walk with Christ and build towards it.

"From that sacred hill
Hope is gleaming still"

The hope for us to start again and put things right. You might think its become a bit of a cliché now to think about new beginnings; that the mere mention of it is old hat. Its never old hat with God, especially at Easter time, when we think of our saviour dying so that we may begin again.

If its one thing you take away from Easter, let it be the opportunity to start afresh. Rise again, rise above the battles and conflicts in your life. At least acknowledge the opportunity is there for you; but maybe, just maybe, He is telling you to make the most of it.

dw

Thought - based on Psalm 91 (6/3/07)

How many of you made new year's resolutions?

And how many of you stuck to them?

One of my new year's resolutions (going into 2007) was to eat a little healthier and do some more exercise. I know I don't look as if I need it but hey! So I decided all of this on New Year's Eve, December 31st. Come January 2nd, I'm having my lunch in McDonalds!

Sometimes I'm sure you'll find that you say one thing and you mean to carry that out but you end up doing the opposite. I know I'm guilty of that the odd time, truth be told. You may find you're planning, at the start of the year, e.g. to study a bit more (maybe not), work harder at your job or college, or even the simplest of things like making time for your friends or family. But for some reason or another, that idea or intention you had doesn't materialise.

Let me ask you a question; now think about this -

When you entered into a relationship with God, how did you decide you were going to do it?

What did you say to yourself, or to God, when you made the decision that you were going to hand your days, your hours, your talents, your LIFE over to him?

Did you enter into it lightly?

Did you think to yourself, "Right, this is what I'm going to do to be a Christian and I'm going to do it like (this).....and (this).....and not like (this).....and avoid (that).....etc.


Do some of you still have to enter into a relationship with God?


Whatever your circumstances, the point I'm trying to make is this:

Regardless of how you've planned your journey with God, he's got a plan for you too; he's got a perfect plan to be with each one of you. And he's not going to leave your side.

I'm not going to lie to you: the journey isn't an easy one. Its never all going to be a bed of roses or a holiday in the sun, I'm sorry to say. You're going to have to take the rough with the smooth. And you have to look at things from the perspective that such is life.

Psalm 91:14 says this: "I will rescue those who love me; I will protect those who trust in my name."

That Psalm as a whole is a PROMISE that He will be with you at all times!

You can't give up on God. If you make a resolution this year to become closer to Him and you;ve struggled or you are struggling, its ok because He's not going to give up on you. But please don't give up on Him.

I encourage you to listen to the U2 song "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" the minute you've finished reading this. Its not necessarily a religious piece of music but I believe there's a message in it for somebody reading this. I don't know who. But God does and I challenge you to close your eyes while listening to it. Listen to the words and, for the majority of them, imagine that God's trying to communicate with you. Imagine that He's telling you that whatever battle you're fighting, wherever it is, you're not alone.

dw

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Poem - Normally I Sleep in on Saturdays...

Weekend's returned. Happy days,
its time to spend a couple of
extra hours asleep.
Not wake up
until half ten or maybe eleven.

At least that was the plan.

For, on this morning, I wake up
slightly earlier and couldn't get
back to sleep.
Something kept me
awake.
A presence.
A sense of belonging.

Normally I sleep in on Saturdays
but today wasn't the case.
For some reason,
the bed seemed a lot comfier during
the night, even though it did get
rather warm. Not that I'm complaining
in the slightest.

Wide awake I was,
as fresh as a daisy, although
not as fresh as the other one with
petals glowing so radiantly.
Its funny
how the ones around you start your
engines at the weekend.

I wait upon the
rain again and gently it falls
but not for long. Not with as
much gusto, either.
How nice
that would've been, oh yes! With
water from the skies falling on
me and the other.

I do wonder what the gardener
has in mind, for the watering can
holds a lot more than that.

Before I know it, I'm moving
again, only this time back to
my original side of the garden.

In my little pot, the gardener takes
me from beneath; I'm helpless and
nowhere near in control.

Seems as if
it were only yesterday when I first
set in this neck of the woods,
whilst the gardener did some
redecorating.
If only he'd have just
planted me there in the first place,
otherwise I wouldn't need this
wretched pot.

Poem - Getting There

I can still hear
the voice of the train station
calling my destination.

All those butterflies that
flew around inside me,making me nervous; all those
pre-monitions, wondering what would
happen. All my dreams
flashing before me, with just a few
short hours away from realisation.

My ticket was a return, even though
I didn't really want to return.
All I brought with me was a
wallet, phone and house keys; the
other tools that were required for
my mission were upstairs and in
the basement. It wasn't far away.

Something was going to
happen - I knew what I
wanted to happen, but it
wasn't up to me. I was
simply following a dream,
a mission, that was given to me
not too long ago.

The blesséd though of being
taken along to that promised land
was so sweet, and even sweeter
to taste. The smoothness and gentleness
that became mine to touch, if even
for a short time, was well worth
watching the loss of losses.

Even when it was time to head
home, to come back down to
earth and reality from being
so high up, the thought of
accomplishment and feeling of
success was overwhelming; for every
bit of time it lasted.

I can still hear
the voice of the train station
calling my destination.

But, today, I drive the train.

Poem - Holiday Sonnett

The breeze is blowing gently from the sea
And cools the natives down a little more.
Embrace the air, I do, so happily,
As children mess about; as young as four.

No racket and no noise to hurt my head,
Such manners of the people I admire –
Until its past the time I go to bed,
When kicking me can be like lighting fire!

I jump into the pool, just down the stairs
But feel a little nervous getting in;
Whilst people maybe looking from their chairs,
It would’ve been helpful to have a twin.

But as well as standing partially dressed,
I’m kinda scared of water, if you guessed!

Just a thought...

The strangest thing happened last night while I was in Glasgow International Airport:

While standing at Platform 8 waiting to board my plane home, I tried phoning my friends Raymond and Amy to arrange some sort of get-together for tonight. I rung Amy's phone first - so she answered and I got through; I could hear her but she couldn't hear me. I thought it might have been where I was standing at the gate, that it may have effected the signal but, even as I moved around and while I kept asking "Are you guys free tomorrow night?", she hadn't a clue what I was saying.

Fortunately Raymond was with her; they were at his house, so I rung his mobile. She answered and again I kept saying, "I can't talk for long, I'm getting ready to board the plane - are you two upto anything tomorrow night?" But still, even though she answered the phone and heard me at the start of the call, Amy just couldn't make out a word I subsequently said. I was starting to wonder what the other passengers around me were thinking about this loud guy walking about with his phone up to his ear!

No luck there, so I hung up and called Raymond's landline. Surely there'll be no problem hearing me this way! Amy answered, again - and I started speaking again; but, after a few seconds of me trying to arrange plans for the following evening, Amy still couldn't hear a word I was saying. It wasn't her fault, nor any of the phones I was trying; I just put it down to a dodgy signal where I was. In the end, I ended up sending her a text message to get my suggestion across and, within four minutes, I had arranged to see two of my best friends again for the first time since my last visit home.


We were able to laugh about it tonight as it was just one of those things you couldn't really do much about at the time. But it made me think about all the times I've prayed and how thankful I am that we have a God that is able to hear our thoughts and needs without the line breaking up; without the signal cutting us out. Without having to make us wait for a few seconds as He moves into a different room, so He can hear us properly - because He hears what we have to say to Him from right where He stands and, one way or another, He answers those prayers!

The evidence is found in our everyday lives; some answers come quicker than others and sometimes those answers aren't always the ones we want to hear, but don't doubt for a minute that He can't hear them nor will he not acknowledge them when the time is right.

dw :)

Sunday 24th June - Parkhead Corps - 6pm

A week from tomorrow see myself leading the evening meeting at Parkhead. This will be the third service this year I'll have been responsible for and its not an easy thing to do - but He's got me doing it for a reason, probably for some greater reason unbeknownst to me.

If you can pray about it, excellent. If you can be there in person, it would mean a lot. I know Sundays kinda go in reverse psychology of the whole "day of rest" moniker and people will have other things scheduled, and that's cool - all I ask is you'll remember the congregation that day, the word that will be spoken and my nerves come 5:59!!

Next week I will be talking about Blind Bartimaeus which, for some reason, struck a chord with me round about Easter time. Without delving too much now, think about this -

1.) The character in question (and its in Mark 10:46-52 if you're interested!) didn't see Christ yet he still believed that he could heal him. How ironic considering Jesus' closest followers still needed explaining to develop their faith and were substantially behind in their understanding. Even after Christ's resurrection, doubting Thomas still didn't get it.

2.) The last verse of the passage comments on how, once the beggar is healed, he "follows Jesus along the road".

I don't know about you but I think that's amazing. One man is given his sight - a blind man, whose only vision before was darknes - he opens his eyes to see Christ - he actually opens his eyes to see Christ in person!! - and "he follows him along the road"!

Is there a lesson in this to learn today? Do we still not get it?? Do we need to be in the actual visible presence of our Saviour in oder to believe, when its more than likely to late? If so, is there something blinding us from Him, stopping us from following Him and doing what needs done?

I'll leave that with you for now - you know where you be next week if you need to hear more! ;)

dw

8/7/07 - 14:35

I thought I’d take the time to share something with you that I didn’t get the chance last Friday morning of MS due to time restrictions.

Back in April – I believe it was April Fools Day – we at Parkhead had visiting officers carry out our meetings and it was an excellent day. Couple of things happened during the course of the day that really made it faithful to the first of April, so all was good. The afternoon service we had was a Café Church and afterwards I had a conversation with a gentleman, which turned into a real eye-opener. Without mentioning any names, the guy in question started shaking my hand and we made some general small talk. To be honest, I can’t even remember what he was saying to me, I think it might have been to do with how he comes occasionally with his respective family members. But what really made me sit up and pay attention was when he turned and said, “I’m not a Christian, you know”.

Now I had no idea how to react to this and was by no means prepared for it. He went on to talk about how he was in uniform years ago and was Songster Librarian at a corps, which is now in the North Scotland division, and that he had fallen away from God and the Army years ago. This time I was listening to what he was saying but boys was I knocked for six with this statement! I went home that night and for a few hours after was still in shock. Even while eating my dinner it weighed on my mind. The fact that someone sitting in the body of the hall without knowing Christ as their saviour wasn’t as much of a puzzle as why I was being told this. I’m pleased to say that two months later at a similar styled meeting, that gentleman came back to Christ after our officer was speaking about people giving their testimonies – and this guy apparently didn’t have one, up until this point. Amazing what He can do, isn’t it?

When I look back on that day and why it came about, the only conclusion I can come to is a simple one – he needed someone to talk to. Here was someone who clearly wanted a faith and he was confiding in me about what story he had to tell. I don’t remember what I said to him that day, hopefully it was something encouraging, but it comes back to two points:

1.) People not only out there that need their lives changed but also within out midst as well. I touched on this in the prayer meeting I led last Monday and it is so true. We don’t often appreciate that there our people in our churches, communities, musical sections that are in need of the Saviour. I keep a prayer list in a Bible of names, either family/friends of mine or connected to mine – some of you are more than likely reading this right now – and I’ve seen some miracles being worked; particularly the afore-mentioned one and Brother Kilgour last week.

2.) Whenever you’re talking to people, regardless of what environment you’re in, a good lot of them NEED that chance to talk to you. I’m sitting here in my office at the minute in between doing work and the odd bit of ‘Bebo stalking’ as its pretty quiet at the minute lol, and you’d be amazed at the amount of people that come on the phone everyday and they’re either happy or miserable and will take the time to make some conversation. Its interesting what you learn about them and you can often tell whether the glass is either half- full or empty.

Bear that in mind friends and remember those who may need a wee word in their shell because chances are it’ll go a long way.

dw

5/10/07 - Ten minutes of your time...

Do you ever get the feeling someone you know needs a word of encouragement, but you don't know who or what? Like, God taps you on the shoulder a few times about something but you don't respond until you get an inkling as to what it could be about?

I've had that notion for a couple of hours now, since I woke up actually. And I've been trying to find the words to write it down but it ain't happening today. I guess I could rummage about in the old poetry box to see if there's anything there - but that would be easy. So here goes something now; spontaneous, unplanned, impromptu. And I don't even know who this is for....but here it goes:


Its official - God has a sense of humour!Not that I didn't know that already but it was reconfirmed to me over the course of this week with the junk that came through my letter box. When you want things delivered to your door, you want nice things, right?

You want the best that the postman can deliver!

You want what you ordered from a catalogue or online.

You want the reply to the letter you wrote to a friend/loved one.

You want a surprise that came completely from out of the blue.

And I know this because I once worked for the Royal Mail. (For those of you back home, you may recall your 'Postman Dan' labelling from over three years ago! Classic.)

What you don't want - and we'll take what I recently received as an example - are envelopes without a personal touch or void of any connection to your wants:

You don't want the telephone bill for the month.

You don't notices addressed to your flat's previous occupier.

And you don't want "polite request"s from your landlord (so that's what they're called these days!)

Hows this for irony - I open my door the other day to find a birthday party invitation along side a gospel tract! Now, if we forget momentarily that the party was for a birthday and we consider it to be a generic party with the ultimate cause for a celebration, and combine it with the message of this little bit of paper spreading the word of God, then what becomes apparent...., sorry not apparent, crystal clear, is this:

1.) God is OUR deliverer
2.) The greatest party of all will take place when we join Him on high

We need to believe 1.) or at least be reminded of it before we can encounter 2.), don't we? There are popular hymnal words that say this:

"Wondrous Deliverer! Sin-forgiving Saviour!
Cleanser of hearts! Unfailing friend and guide!
No one has ever trusted unavailing,
No one has claimed of his love and been denied"

What we have delivered to us may not always be what we want. Sometimes what we want to send is put on hold or given a second thought too, because of the fear that the second party won't want it. But conclusively God always delivers to us in times of need and He delivers us FROM times of struggle. Regardless.

"No tempest can my courage shake,
My love from thee no pain can take,
No fear my heart appal;
And where I cannot see I'LL TRUST,
For then I know thou surely must
Be still my all in all"


Here's where the sermon ends. I would naturally hope that I've encouraged someone or brightened up your day with this - but what I really hope is that HE has encouraged you and inspired you to get through your trials and obstalces.

dw