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Monday, 29 December 2014

Good Day Looe

It says it all.

Nicely wrapped.

RNLI  Window


A real winter's morning.

Time to get the camera out.


They look better by daylight.

Low sunshine shadows.

Mist rising from the river.

Frost on a post.

Too cold for sunbathing.

Careful as you go.

Not the best seat in town.

Anyone for iced lava bread?

That's handy.

Good morning Looe!

A surprising place of rest.

Great window display for a charity shop.

My Grandchildren's favourite display.

Not all of the best of Looe is for public display.

An example of the artistry of the residents of Looe.

I cannot wait for the mania for blue Christmas decorations to be over!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Restoration: A Labour of Love.

I can announce today that for the last few months I have been about a very important but highly secret task. I have been in the business of restoration. The story begins in Coventry during the second world war. I was not there at the time but our parents were!

Pam's dad was a member of the A.R.P. (air raid precautions) team in Coventry. Due to his advanced first aid skills he found himself to be an official first aider and also to be in charge of the emergency morgue. This was a very busy and gruesome task but one for which he won a medal for his excellent service for king, country and the people of Coventry. He saw many disturbing sights of people young and old maimed or killed by enemy bombing. He had to unearth the dead bodies of close relatives along with many strangers. He also saw some miraculous escapes from injury. 

When we bought our house in Oldfield Road in Coventry he recognised the house and recalled  visiting there during the blitz. The house had been hit directly by a bomb and was left with only the bay window intact. Underneath an upturned bed buried in the rubble there was an unhurt woman who had been fast asleep when the strike took place. The explosion turned the bed and her upside down and the rubble landed on top of the bed but she was saved  and unhurt. The first person that she saw was Pam's dad and the rescue team. I am sure that our modern flat pack constructions would not be so protective!

Much of what he experienced caused his great sorrow for which if it were today he would have had counselling to help him got over the experience but he did not and as such he never really came out of the war. To him it was hell on earth!

The one thing that he did do during that tile was; he made dolls houses and rocking horses out of recycled materials found amongst the rubble. He was an excellent carpenter and so in his spare time after the war made these toys for the local hospitals and orphanages. I have only just realised how well they were produced the dolls house being to a one twelfth  scale which is what brings us up to date.

Pam's dad made one of these houses for Jo when she was 2 years old. For the last few months I have painstakingly taken it apart and restored it to something of it's original glory and had the great privilege of presenting it to Olivia (grand daughter) yesterday. I can now announce that my work of restoration was a true labour of love. The finished product is worth the many hours and much larger than expected cost is worth every ounce of effort. The look on her face as she realised that this little house was hers will be with me forever. It made everything worthwhile.

There was much rejoicing in the Hillier and Thatcher household yesterday over one dolls house that had fallen into dis-repair over the years and has now been restored and is once again fit for purpose. The road for this accomplishment came at great cost, blood (literally, Stanley knives are very sharp!), sweat and tears. But it was worth it. The finished article is far from perfect but I do not have the master craftsman's skills. He was a carpenter and I am just a preacher of the gospel with a few chemistry skills attached. Nevertheless I am proud of my humble effort.

This of course reminds us of the gospel and the work that God has undertaken to restore broken and sinful lives. I had to work with materials that had denatured over the years. It is difficult fixing screws into wood that they can no longer bite into but thanks to modern repair materials I was able to painstakingly fill and repair in order to use 95% of the original to accomplish restoration.

Sinful humanity is 100% corrupted and is rotten to the core which is the starting material that God works with. He is about the business of making hopeless cases into perfect friends of His. The great creator of all things takes all that is rotten out and replaces it with perfection but without taking the person away. It is a miracle of grace that my sin has been circumcised (cut away) and has been imputed (replaced) by Christ's perfect sinlessness. My sin was punished on His cross and His perfection was given by grace the moment I first repented and believed.

Christmas is no fairy tale, the coming of Jesus Christ was the first evidence that the work of restoration was being accomplished. The work required much blood, sweat and tears on His behalf during the 33 years that He walked this earth. It was finished as He gave up His Spirit, the sacrifice was complete and ever since then the work of restoration, a true labour of love has been taking place in the hearts of men, women, boys and girls all over the world.


Restoration is only a repentant heart away!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Matthew Henry quote:

"The God who took a motherless woman out of the side of a man, took a fatherless Man out of the body of a woman."

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Message:

Inspired by a visit to Looe by the Coca Cola truck. The truck was a great let down but the company made great promises on the day and in the past through their advertising slogans some of which are listed below: 

The Real Thing:

  • Refreshing, reviving and sustaining.
  • Good all the way to the end.
  • Pure as sunlight.
  • The best friend ever.
  • All that is necessary.
  • The passport to satisfaction.
  • The highway to anywhere.
  • For all people.
  • Makes all things better.
  • Brings happiness. Life begins here.



Coca Cola are single handedly responsible for changing the face of Christmas into what we have today. They managed a number of years ago to dress Santa in red and white in line with their logo colours and made Father Christmas into the jolly, bearded little fat man that he is today. That is a powerful force from one of the richest multi-national companies if the world. They apparently are richer than a number of smaller countries and therefore could make a difference but they do not. 
The claims above are messianic in that they are promising satisfaction, reality, happiness and life itself. They are they claim the way forward but all they have in reality contributed is to the shape of nations (caramelised, fizzy sugar solutions are adding to the obesity problem that the Western world is plagued by) and also the decay of many a child's teeth.
I have nothing against Coca Cole but they made great promises for Looe and people flocked to see a spectacle that did not deliver. But it is Christmas and our attention must go to: 

All of the above claims are made concerning Jesus from before He was born, they speak of His character and the work that He came to accomplish. He came to Bethlehem with great promises and during the next 33 years He accomplished all of them (and many more!). His promises are yes and amen. They are from all of eternity and so He will never let you down. He is truly the Real Thing who has dealt with sin.




We are reminded at this Christmas season what it really
cost for God to become Man, so that we could experience the riches of His grace: “For
you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your
sakes He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor.8:9, ESV).

What a gift!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Real Thing comes to Looe?

The 15th December 2014 was a big day for Looe. We had a visit from a very important person, in fact the person was represented by a truck (or lorry as we Brits prefer to call them!) The person is Father Christmas as we know him and he was represented by a company!

This company over many years have claimed to produce the real thing and have had great influence over the world. I would say that the greatest influence that they have had is to change the face of Christmas. They very cleverly changed the colour of the outfit of Father Christmas to red and white which just happened to be the distinctive colours of their brand! They are of course Coca Cola; one of the largest and wealthiest companies in the world.

The Coca cola bus is coming to town, how amazing is that.   

As one who if at all possible never watches adverts I am no expert but the lorry that arrived looked like the expected one but when they turned on their lights even I was greatly underwhelmed by their startling disappointment. I expected the power stations of Looe to be taxed to the full by their spectacular display but all we got was a rope chaser light around the profile of the truck. Coca Cola must have spent a good hundred pounds maximum of their vast wealth to provide the boys and girls with the damp squib of the season.

I would like to tell Coca Cola personally that they are far from the real thing and are simply a vast money making exercise which will attract people to an event with great promise and little reward. Looe town was full of hopeful visitors who I am sure had a great day. They were even allowed to be photographed with the disappointing gas guzzler if they were prepared to wait for an hour in a queue and if they agree to let their faces free of charge be possibly used to promote the sweet brown fizzy phosphoric acid solution that we know and love as Coca Cola. 

This day was in many respects a big let down which would have gone down in Looe history as a massive failure but for the wonderful people and traders of Looe which made it a festive event worth going to.  Traders filled their tents with bright and affordable goods whilst the big real thing put about replicas of their truck for a mere 40 quid!!!! For once I would have applauded cheap replicas and may even have bought one due to my disappointment. Local choirs sang carols, the drum band were marvelous! I bought light up "spinney" things for the grandchildren, charities represented themselves, the Cornish Times and Slimming World gave away their wares. Cafes and restaurants stayed open late. It was a wonderful evening for which I thank all and would ask that it be made an annual event  but don't bother to invite those that claim to be the real thing they are a big let down.

The real thing was hinted at by the crowds in the street and by the efforts made by officials and traders alike but He was still unrepresented. Sad to say that the church was really nowhere to be seen on the night that the Real Thing was advertised to come to town. Shame on us, we have the message of Jesus Christ who is never a let down but is the Real Thing and the object of our worship at all times. Grace Community Church opened their car park for a park and ride scheme into the town and took the initiative of opening their doors for refreshments for which I applaud them.

Most importantly people did enjoy themselves, some even danced to the beat of the drum band:

Christians why not offer to bring the Real Thing (our Jesus) into Looe this time next year and instead of  a red and white truck have a community carol service which will deliver hope to many. It might not be as popular as a Coca Cola have made themselves to be but it would not be the let down of the century!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Communication breakdown.

We have now lived in Seaway for 2 months and a bit and for most of that time we have been without modern communication. BT let us down miserably with promises of super-fast internet connections and more than super-slow service and lies beyond belief resulting in my cancellation of their system and moving to EE who it seems have been marginally better bu I am hopeful of them improving!!!??

This all reminds me of the classic Led Zeppelin titled communication breakdown!

That of course is a classic rock song concerning the breakdown of a relationship but the title speaks of my frustration over recent weeks.

I ended up with a mobile phone for some semblance of communication. The internet connection was so slow that it took up to 3 hours for the message of a simple e-mail to download and most of the time the signal was so poor that I would have been better without. I am glad to be rid of the wretched thing!!

Late last night the broadband connected and with the phone line having already been established we are now fully on the communication road. I can speak to friends, send and receive e-mails, write blogs and do all that is necessary on the internet. relief has come and so I am now up to date with current events in the lives of my friends. Praise God for good communications.

I have just heard the good news that our friends in Ogmore-by-Sea Evangelical church have tonight  voted to appoint Tony Nicholas to be their pastor after an 18 month interregnum. Great news!!!

In addition to this my great friends Alan and Lynne have become grandparents to twin boys today. It is wonderful to have communication. thank you at last EE for connecting me up!

there is a far more important communication that I am pleased to have and that is with God which has been made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The bible teaches that we are born with a communication breakdown with God due to sin. That was dealt with by Christ Jesus on the cross and is made possible through faith and repentance to Him. 

Are you in of out of communication?????