Letter to Michael

Dear Michael,

MRB-day one-crop
It was the 12th of July when I first saw you. After two long days of helping you to arrive you finally did and we heard your first cry. I cut your umbilical cord and held you in my arms as they sewed up your brave mother and made her comfortable. We’ve been waiting and wanting you for a long time and now you are here! The joy you bring is almost overwhelming. The love for you hurting. You are truly a blessing and a wonderful bundle of joy!

I look at you now asleep in your cot, your mom resting in the bed beside me and I wonder what my mum and dad would have made of you. I’m reminded of when my dad was probably not much bigger than you when he was given away by his mom to strangers, and those strangers became my grandparents. His real mother I understand wasn’t allowed to marry with a child. When my father was born in 1919 to an unmarried single woman, it was considered a disgrace, how times have changed, it seems the norm now to have children out of wedlock! You however, my son, are born into a happy and God blessed marriage! My Dad didn’t see me for two weeks after I was born due to one of the worst winters to hit London. He was then taken away from me when I was 14 by cancer at 56 years young. I didn’t really know him, he was mostly at the beck and call of his parents. We had only one holiday together that I remember, and that was a day’s trip to the seaside, to a sandy beach, building castles in the sand, burying dad leaving only his head showing, and the picnic lunch of course. I hope we will know each other so much better and have many holidays together. The story of my parents is a little long and convoluted and you will hear about them one day, but for now, I hope and pray we can give you a happy childhood that prepares you for adulthood and the big wide world out there. I’m sure my dad would dote on you and my mother would probably be delighted and spoil you rotten! My only wish was for them to see you, and just how much joy you bring to us.

You have been born in Australia to a mom from South Africa and a dad from England. A coupe of immigrants in a country made of immigrants. A wonderful country full of potential, and although Australia, as a country has many faults, it is still an amazing country, with beautiful people with big big hearts.

We live in Australia at a time of worldly social change and unrest, political shenanigans, and economical “in between” failures. That’s the sad bit. The good bit is there are people out there trying to put it right. There is still community and family, and a God who cares, so there is still hope!

The world is an amazing place, it is teaming with life, without which we wouldn’t be here. It has some amazing views from the top of mountains to the depths of the oceans. This planet we call earth is spinning in space around a star (the sun) which is essential for life. The earth viewed from space is amazing too. I am amazed at how it all holds together! There is intelligent design throughout this planet and beyond. A coincidence it is not.

I look at you now, sleeping peacefully without a care in the world, your occasional sigh and gurgle seeks to remind me of your vulnerability and dependance of others. I have had a life thats run close to the edge, and on the odd occasion beyond, diced with death, but also found life, in Jesus. I’ve seen life from both sides, rich and poor, in the black and white days and now the days of colour, and I can look around me and see God’s hand in all that I’ve done, and how’s he’s pulled me from the abyss and think what a fool I’ve been, but by the grace of God I am here as your father, totally amazed. My view on life and its many colours has changed in the few days I’ve known you. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the rat race, how quick to the top (or bottom), the glory and prizes of life’s rich tapestry, but life is so much sweeter.

In the end, Michael, you are my son whom I love dearly, you are a new hope, your cry the sound of new beginnings.

Anzac Day

threecrosses-cropI was given a photocopy of a newspaper article when I was in New Zealand some years ago and I found it today – Anzac Day – so I thought I’d share it with you.
Its titled “Poem to God in the heat of battle”
A book restorer was moved to tears when he read this poem by a young soldier. The poem was found on the soldier’s body after he was killed in action during World War 1. He discovered it in an old army book he was restoring for a customer and made a copy of it. “I have  copy of it on my wall and read it often. It still has the same impact each time.

A Soldier’s Prayer
Look, God, I have never spoken to you before,
But now I want to say: “How do you do.”
You see God, they told me you didn’t exist,
And like a fool, I believed all this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky,
I figured right then they had told me a lie.
Had I taken the time to see things you made,
I’d have known they weren’t calling a spade a spade.
I wonder God if you’d shake my hand,
Somehow I feel that you will understand.
Funny I had to come to this hellish place,
Before I had time to see your face.
Well, I guess there isn’t much more to say,
But I am sure, God, I met you today.
I guess the zero hour will soon be here.
The signal! Well, God, I’ll have to go,
I like you lots, this I want you to know.
Look now, this will be a horrible fight,
Who knows, I may come to your house tonight.
Though I wasn’t friendly to you before,
I wonder, God, if you’d wait at your door.
Look, I’m crying! Me shedding tears!
I wish I had known you these many years.
Well! I have to go now, God, goodbye.
Since I met you, I’m not afraid to die.

Orphaned – Not Any More!

Spurgeon orphanage 1860

Spurgeon orphanage 1860

When I was 14 years old my father died. Growing up without a father in your life is like growing up with something big missing. You don’t get the “well done son!” when you do something well, or “Come on lad, lets go fishing!”. There isn’t the wise council of dad, or to ask the really important questions like “what colour should my first car be?”. You manage to adapt, and move on. A few years ago at the age of 41 my mother died and I was orphaned. Can you believe it, orphaned at 41! I was alone! And so were my two brothers. We were alone. We moved on. The other day I was fascinated by my own reaction to a bad dream. I remember when as a child if I had a bad dream I would go to my mother for comfort. On Monday morning I had a bad dream and was reminded that I didn’t have a mother to go to for comfort, so I prayed to God, who is my Father in heaven, and lo and behold, He comforted me, the God who created the universe comforted me! It was a wonderful moment because at that moment I realised that actually I’m not an orphan and that I have been adopted into God’s family, I didn’t feel alone. Romans 8:15-16 “For you have not recieved the spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…”

Rip Dave Routledge

dave routledgeA few days ago, a friend of mine passed away to be with Jesus. I knew him for a short while and had the privilege of his photographic skills at my wedding. He did an amazing job. All through the process he showed understanding, patience and grace. One of his wonderful attributes was his willingness to share his gift of photography, and a gift it was. In recent years we lost touch as I moved to Australia and so was quite shocked to read of his passing. I was also quite shocked at my reaction, that such a gentle and loving man could be taken from this world. I hope and pray that his life and the part that God had in it would be a wonderful testimony that his family would be proud of.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Hello, G´day and welcome!

wordpress-logo-circleFirstly, I´d like to welcome you to my new website/blog.

I am in the process of developing this site so call back often to see whats happening as I add new bits and pieces.

There will be some old material here that I brought over from my old blogs (which are still there). I hope you´ĺl enjoy them. I enjoyed re-reading them before bringing them across and found it interesting how my style of writing and how I put things across has changed.

I have a new piece from a meeting I went to a few weeks ago when Tyrone Daniel visited from the States. It will be posted soon.