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Monday, 25 May 2015

Nana's response:

After reading the poem "the computer swallowed Grandma" by Valerie Waite, nana Pam to our grandchildren (or wifey to me) was inspired to write this:

Don't worry about your Granny

I hear you've lost your granny
and thought that you should know
It wasn't just an accident
she really meant to go.

She spent long years providing
everything that you did need
and now she's taking her turn,
Such desires, she needs to feed.

She saw ad's on the computer
offering 'OVER 60's FUN'
and packed her little ruck sack
for adventures in the Sun.

She waited in her armchair
Computer primed, and ON
and pressed CONTROL and ENTER
In a moment she was gone.

She flew across to Europe
Walked round Paris, climbed the Tower
Don't worry for her hygiene
The Hostel has a shower.

She backpacked through the countries
viewing mountains, cities, plains.
Don't worry, She's not walking
She goes by bus and trains.

She went across to Africa
to Kruger National Park
Saw, Rhino, Lion, and Buffalo
and Heard Hyaenas bark.

Whilst canoeing on a river
she saw some croc's asleep.
Don't worry none will eat her
She spends most time in a Jeep.

On Thailand’s sunny beaches
she basked on sun-kissed sand
Don't worry about the scorching heat
there's Sun Cream close at hand.

Off trekking on an elephant
through the Jungle in Dalat
Don't worry about mosquitoes
she has repellent and a hat.

Then on, to India's continent
A long and tiring lap
Don't worry how she'll find her way
she's got compass and a map

She toured Bazaars and temples
Himalayas, Taj, and Dheli
don't worry what she's eating
She's been careful with the curry.

Don't worry about her safety
she's always in by dark

She had a go at Rodeo
and wrestled with a cow.
The bruises were quite minimal
those Cowboys showed her how.

In Lapland’s farthest regions
she saw the Northern lights
Don't worry about the biting cold
She has her thermal tights.

On Dog Sled fast and furious
She sped across the snow.
Don't worry about her getting lost
The dogs know where to go.

Whales, ice, bright stars, and falling snow
Gran travels with great ease
don't worry about her comfort.
She has tent, and poles, and skis

Your Gran is quite amazing
She has adventures by the score
She's Bungee Jumped, and Gorge walked
Trekked through deserts, and much more.

I'm sure you'll find your Granny
'though one thing you'll never know
Did she REALLY press wrong button?
Or escape through Googles door?

The computer swallowed Grandma.

The computer swallowed Grandma.
Yes, honestly its true.
She pressed "control" and "enter"
And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely.
The thought just makes me squirm.
She must have caught a virus
Or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin
And files of every kind;
I've even used the internet,
But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Jeeves,
My searches to refine.
The reply from him was negative,
Note a thing was found "online!"

So if inside your "Inbox,"
My Grandma you should see,
Please "Copy" and "Paste" her
And send her back to me.

By Valerie Waite, Derbyshire, England.

This was sent to me at the end of a very busy and eventful week. It turned my sadness at the death of two  very good friends to happiness for a moment or two.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Yet another new beginning.

The picture above says it all really. Over a year now of uncertainty and living on benefits. We never would have thought that this situation would be the vehicle that God would use to bring us together with a lovely church in the east of Cornwall. 

2 years ago now we followed the clear leading of the Lord and moved to Looe. We were excited by the prospect of evangelistic work in the town but it wasn't to be. Disappointment soon followed and the rest is history. We have gone through all of the emotions that we could ever imagine from euphoria on the day that I resigned and was free of what to me was stifling shackles to worry, fear, anger, judgmentalism and even  depression. I am not a depressive but I must admit that  this really did get me down. 


In the words of the old Rolling stones hit: "It's all over now!" Out of the problems of life has come the new opportunity of life. Last Thursday evening the Mustard Seed Evangelical Church in Callington had the final members meeting of a series where they have been working through the future of the church. During that meeting they voted and called me to join them as pastor. This is the most wonderful opportunity that we have together. They have had a difficult time and have had to make momentous decisions and we have struggled a bit. God has brought us together to worship Him and to witness for Him.

The Mustard Seed gets its name from the example of Jesus as to  how powerful faith  is. A mustard seed is small but the plant grows much larger than most other herbs. Faith even though small has great possibilities. I am so pleased that the church has this name because faith is all that we are about. God has given us a mighty task which by faith we can expect great results. We do not know what the results will be but we are called to obey His commands, to pray and to be faithful. When we do this in faith that He is at work then our efforts together will most certainly be blessed.

I am grateful to Plato for the above quote. Foundations are essential and so we must lay down a solid foundation as we work together as Christians in Callington. The only foundation that will stand the test of time is the foundation of the prophets and the apostles which is the bible. God has given a mandate for the church in the scriptures and it is my responsibility to explore what that means for us a s a church in 21st century Callington. The one thing that I am absolutely sure of is that I am not the great hope of the church, I am a servant alongside the elders and deacons for the benefit of the church and for the glory of the Lord jesus Christ who is the Hope of the Church.

As we move on into this new and exciting time of life we have a number of important decisions to make. Members of the church and friends are asking about whether we will move to Callington. That is currently impossible due to house contract responsibility. Gareth the owner very kindly changed use of the house from a holiday let to a private rental. We promised to stay long enough for that to be of benefit to him and until he can find other tenants. We will honour that promise. Also we have family commitments in the Looe area, it would be difficult to  be doting grandparents from that distance and also to be childminders when we are needed. We do not want to lose out on these great opportunities either. The other thing is that it has been clear ever since we left South Wales that Looe was where God was calling us to and we have no reason to believe currently that He has moved us on. We are open to moving but we would need some security of tenure as I do not think that at our grand old age we could easily cope with moving for the third time in 2 -3 years.

We will leave that all in our God's hands and pray that we will be faithful.

It is all about you Jesus, please lead us and guide us together with our people who are known as the Mustard Seed Evangelical Church in Callington.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Watoto Children's Choir visits Looe.

Grace Community Church Morval were hosts tonight to a children's choir from Uganda. The choir is one of five currently touring around the world. Each choir is made up of children who have been orphaned and give a home in the Watoto complex which houses up to 3000 ish children at a time. Each child is apportioned an adopted Mother (usually a widow who has young children of their own) and is part of a family grouping of 8 children. It is all overseen b the big 35,000 strong Watoto Church.

The mission of the church is to make Christ known in the community and to care for widows and orphans alongside all who are vulnerable or have needs. They believe as the Apostle james teaches that faith without works is dead formality but that works without faith is simply social action. They are therefore keen to promote their work with orphans and are unashamedly on a mission worldwide to make their work known to a wider audience. This will then spur Christians to pray for them and for people to financially support them. There is a scheme that is available for individuals to sponsor a child for 23 pounds per month!

All of the children are orphans but from their faces as they sang and danced their way through the concert you would never know. I saw more happiness tonight on these childrens faces than I ever do walking around our streets where we are in comparison so well off. 

Thier enthusiasm was amazing, their faith strong. When did we last see one of our children delighted to praise the Lord???? And then to tell the world about Him? The were brilliant at quoting the bible and they literally pointed to the Saviour they love by their very character. They have been rescued by Christians from fear, uncertainty and loneliness and have been set in families. They have been born again by the Spirit of God and raised to new life, yes all of them profess to be committed to Jesus Christ! They have also been rebuilt into the church of jesus Christ. That is their testimony and it is the desire of Watoto Church for all of the orphans of Uganda but also for the nation itself and on into the African continent. With their love and enthusiasm I can well believe that much could happen through these youngsters.

I would like to thank Sheila Lyle and Grace Community Church for making this opportunity possible. Sadl it was late when it was discovered they were visiting and so advertising was sparse. A good number turned up and I am sure that all went away thrilled, inspired and challenged. At least pra for this work and support in our prayers and if you feel that you can financially.

Friday, 8 May 2015

VE Day 70 year celebrations in Looe

Yesterday was a momentous day for me as a Brit. It was general election day, the day when the electorate have their chance to make comment upon the political class. Being a good citizen I went along to the polling station to apply my graphite cross next to my favoured candidate. Mission accomplished and not even an exit polster in sight to have a bit of banter with. 

The polling station is next to the Barber's shop which just happened to be empty and so the swift decision was made to have my hair sorted out! Dennis did a wonderful job and now I look a little more presentable. That made 2 things accomplished and all before 10:00 am

Hairdressers always have something helpful to tell you about and this impromptu visit was not a disappointment . You will have to pardon my ignorance but I did not know that today was to be the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day. The day when that evil 2nd world war finally came to an end. The news that I had was that there were to be celebrations and the lighting of the Looe beacon tonight on the 8th May 2015. I wanted to be there but there was a few other things to be sorted out first.

The rest of the country had to vote, we all had to listen  media forecasts as to who will or will not form the next government. They spoke with such confidence but all turned out to be false prophets. Why on earth do we keep falling for their incessant gibberish. It was going to be impossible for the Conservatives to be re-elected but they were.

As is my wont on such occasions, I sat in front of the tv at 9:55pm and watched the close of polling live!! (I do have an exciting life!) I remained there until almost 5:00 am by which time it was quite clear that the media pundits were yet again completely wrong and Mr cameron was heading back into Number 10 with a clear majority. 

Today saw the resignation of three leaders of the main political parties, they fell on their swords  because their parties did not achieve what they had hoped for. What an exciting day! I actually feel very sorry for the Liberal Democrats who I believe sincerely joined the conservatives for the better good of the country and have now been unfairly treated by the electorate.

But the main event for me was the small but powerful celebrations of Victory in Europe 70 years ago. The celebration almost passed by without notice. the weather was typically unkind but the lighting of the beacon went ahead nonetheless. Before the fire was started there was the town crier's announcements, a speech from a member of the British legion and a statement of remembrance from the Lord Mayor. The beacon was lit we all enjoyed the spectacle and went home for the evening.

What was it that was so momentous?

70 years ago freedom was accomplished, the ultimate price had been paid by millions. The enemy was finally defeated. If that had not been the case then all that happened yesterday and overnight would not have been the case. We owe what we are to the boldness of past leaders, the bravery of the armed forces and the grace of God. Why do I include the grace of God? Well it was whilst the church was praying for victory that Germany was finally defeated. god answered prayer and we now live in the benefit of His grace.

The sad thing about tonight was the Lord Mayor's speech which rightly reminded us to remember all those that were involved in the war effort but he forgot to remember God who brought it into being! I am saddened by our country's lack of care towards God. I just pray that Mr Cameron will seek God as he attempts to lead our very precious country.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The sunniest April since records began.

"From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!"

Psalm 113 verse 3

It is now official the meteorological office has confirmed what we knew in our hearts that Britain experienced the sunniest April since records began. From my observations the  result of this was really quite tangible: 

People were happy!

I often wonder who people who live in this beautiful land of privileges look so miserable. After all we have so much of everything. We may have gone through deep recession and the news is in itself down right depressing made worse by unrelenting media comment. The world is it seems in turmoil, everywhere we look there seems to be either massive accidents, violent power struggles, crimes of the grossest kinds, poverty and climate change. 

It may be a beautiful world but clearly something is desperately wrong! 

But there is hope through all of this, we could wax lyrical all day about the problems of this world and just make ourselves more depressed. I think that I will leave that to the BBC and the rest of the media moguls that make money out of the misery of whoever they can find that is in trouble. None of the media groupings will ever agree with me on this point but it is foundational and if dealt with this world of ours would be a far better place to live. 

Law and order is set in place to attempt to deal with man's problem but it is only able to address issues that have become offensive to society. We live in an age where we are told that we are entitled to our privileges which means in reality that all things are ok as long as we do not offend our fellow mankind. That all seems ok to a point but where is the standard set that tells what is offensive and what is not. For example it seems that some religions can commit the most violent crimes in the name of their god and be criticised as extremists but yet followers of Jesus can in the same news bulletin be castigated as evil people because they do not want to bake cakes containing messages that they find personally offensive. The rights and wrongs of this are open for your debate and are not the issue that I am concerned with.

My basic point is that the verse quoted above tells us that nature continues, day after day by God's good grace. The sun shines all over the world (maybe apart from the UK this May!), it shines on the good and the bad, the high and low in society. It shines on all shades of religion, political persuasion, sexual orientation, healthy or wealthy. In fact the sun shines everywhere but something fundamental has been forgotten.

The LORD's name is not praised as it ought to be! 

You may be wondering why I have deliberately capitalized the letters in writing LORD. There is a simple reason for that; a good bible translation will do so in verses similar to the one quoted. The reason for that is that the word used in the original language at this point was Yahweh which means the One and Only Almighty and All Powerful God. Therefore when we re-read our verse we find that God Almighty should be praised whenever the sun shines. You see the sun was created by Him and as the sun shines in it's brilliance it speaks powerful of God's wonders.

We had in the UK more sunshine this April than we have ever experience than ever before. Every day it spoke of the glory of God Almighty but did you praise His name when you saw it?

Perhaps we deserve the clouds and the storms that we are experiencing now!

If we are not inspired to praise God on sunny days, maybe God, who controls all of nature will find it necessary to call to Him out of the depression that cold, wet and windy spring das bring.

The glory of God is Jesus who came to deal; with the foundational problem of the world, the bible calls it sin and it is simply what we have been considering: It is not giving God the praise and glory that He deserves. Instead of looking to Him we look at man and his abilities and hence we have a world in absolute turmoil. 

Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above Him there's no other, Jesus is the way
Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above Him there's no other, Jesus is the way

If you have some questions
In the corners of your mind
And traces of discouragement
And peace you can not find

Reflection of the old past
They seem to face you every day
There's one thing I know for sure
That Jesus is the way

I know you got mountains
That you think you can not climb
I know that your skies have been dark
You think the sun won't shine
In case you don't know

I'm here to tell you
That the World of God is true, yeah
And everything that He's promised
I tell you He would do it for you
Let me tell you that
 Written by Michael W. Smith