The Gospel


The gospel is like butter,
Golden produce of heaven’s bossom.
It is costly and common.
All can eat.

The gospel is like butter.

Through churned and beaten
It is made to be eaten,
Not left on a shelf.

The gospel is like butter.
It is meant to be spread.
It sticks to lips,
Makes a meal of bread.

The gospel is like butter.
Believer, let it not remain a lump.
Church, do not clump.
Let it spread.


For our 9th anniversary

Not the time the watershed starts,
Nor time children come home from parks.
It’s not the gifts, nor is it the news,
Or the star player, or time to amuse.
Not hell’s circles, nor friends of the ring,
Or simply six enjoying flipping.
It isn’t square threes, or the muses,
Or the ball with yellow stripes and bruises.
Neither is it the planets numbered right,
Nor all the innings, nor work’s green light.
And certainly isn’t the cat’s tail, or lives,
Or dressed to the full, or a saving stitch in time.

No. Ours is our trips round the sun,
And not complete, there’s more to come.
Ours is the joy that our promise endures,
And that my heart still finds itself in yours.
Ours is the three-stranded cord
Where our marriage is entwined round the Lord,
And three strands now stranded three ways:
The Lord and us with each daughter’s name.
Ours are filled with choice, heavenly fruits,
Ours are like the time our fruits took to produce.
For ours are life, and love our bond,
And just one away from a new diamond..

Who Is Your Phyllis Wills?

A woman by the name of Phyllis Wills passed away recently.

Type her name into Google, and you’ll find nothing about her. Ask people on the street about her, and you’ll find no body knew her. In fact the only person I know who knows much about Phyllis is my dad.

About 20 years ago, in response to a desperate phone call from a drunken and depressed man who had reached the end of himself along with his wife, Phyllis went down to their home with curlers still in her hair (as she was mid-perm at the point of the phone call), and spent time counselling them. That was the night that my family became Christians, when I was 5 years old.

My dad knew Phyllis because when he was 3 years old, he was run over in a car accident. The doctors told his mother (my grandmother) that he wouldn’t make it through the night, so she went to the local church and it was Phyllis who prayed with her late at night that my dad wouldn’t die. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what happened.

The point was that she was there for him. She mattered.

The reason why I write this is it’s just one way that someone has effected my life – without whom I wouldn’t even exist. In other words, Phyllis mattered to my life. My life was built on her contribution.

5 Steps to Making Quality Decisions

I have long lived by making what I call ‘quality decisions based on personal convictions’. In other words, I make decisions about what I will do and won’t do, and where I will go and won’t go, long before I ever have the opportunity to enact my decision. I am of the opinion that if one does not decide in advance that they will not compromise an area of their life that they have made a quality decision about, then when the time comes, your emotions will make the decision for you and generally you will find it hard to stand up to your inner conviction. Quality decisions are like boundaries that mark out our land and make intangible convictions into tangible and measurable markers.

It is the case that an individual is like a ship on the seas of life, and if they do not purposefully use their rudder and manipulate the natural conditions to move in a decided direction, or use the anchor to stay fixed in their current position, they will be subject to the wind and waves of life and end up wherever they take them.

Thus these are five steps to making quality decisions that will anchor you: Continue reading

For Dot

How do you sum up a life?
Mark it and give it a measure?
Do you take only the highs,
And judge it by its total pleasure?
Or is there something deeper inside,
That in the everyday, there is treasure?

It is not miles travelled, or distances,
That count for how far you have gone,
It is the day by day sacrifices
That you made so that other’s could go on.
And by these daily instances,
You’ve shown us what is right, and is wrong.

Some choose to live for themselves,
But you chose to live for your family,
And taught us that amongst ourselves
Our name should not be our only commonality.

Some spend their life on this and that,
But when they look have nothing to see;
You spent every day, minute in fact,
Building this marvelous family.
And as you, with the Lord look back,
There is an eternal legacy.

We will have children and tell them of you,
Each fond and precious memory,
But the greatest memory is this truth,
That I’ll do to mine, as you have done to me,
That all a parent for their child wants to do
Is give them the best, the best it can be.

They say children are as arrows
In the hands of a mighty warrior.
We’re all shooting forth from your bow,
May we do you proud, and go far.
We’re all shooting forth from your bow,
Let us all go far.

To Ian and Jennifer Woode, on their Wedding Day

In the beginning was this mystery,
Of two made from one, then one made from two:
Now two rings signify one unity,
One flesh of two joined, that none should undo.
Whether two households or two testaments,
In one Branch, one Word, they are united;
Whether things past, future, or of present,
In a twinkle, all unseen shall be sighted.
Though Severn or Exe, the River of Life
Makes one of all colour, culture and creed:
Now God joins together husband and wife,
To be One Fair Tree of Grace, from two seeds:
            Ian, which meaning “gracious is our God”,
            Jennifer, “smooth, fair”, now carved in one Wood.

She Goes With Me

She will be gone for a while,
But she will not take away her smile;
            I’ve locked it deep within my heart.
She will leave the city I live in,
But she will not leave from within;
            I have her imprinted on my heart.

She will live in another land,
But not leave my side where she stands;
            Her presence is always in my heart.
She will rise and lay another time
But still be with me in mine,
            I wake and sleep with her in my heart.

She will speak those words
But in my ears they’ll still be heard;
            I’ve stored them within my heart.
She’ll walk down another street,
But I’ll after still rub her feet:
            Her steps are in my heart.

She will be in a different place
But in my mirror, there’ll be her face;
            It’ll smile upon my heart.
She’ll see what I do not see,
But her eyes will look right at me;
            I watch them everyday, in my heart..

Two Sonnets for Faye


When I call you lovely and warm at heart,
You question if I really do know you:
Again I’ll say how compassionate you are,
That my callous cold heart you can undo.
When I say the truth about you beauty,
You tell me all I am telling are lies;
The lie is that I do not tell truly
You’re the fairest sight ever seen by eyes.
When I tell you that my Faye I love you,
You do not understand how it could be:
And I tell you, because you see right through
Each and every mask I play as me.
            And as you ask if this shall in ten years stay
            Ask if I prefer the break, or eve of day.


I do not love thee, although I notice
Each day’s different hair clip and coloured band.
And its weird how wonderful are those lips,
And how I want to reach out and hold your hand.
I do not love thee, but my heart is pulled
Whenever I see your unrivalled face;
And for some reason I want to hold
You in my strong muscle’s strong embrace.
I do not love thee, even though some say
I do, and that really really bugs me:
But the thought that some man should have MY Faye
Make me wanna puke and kill the date.
            I do not love thee, I do not love thee
            And now I’m telling her, Faye, I love thee..

In Whatever I See

In whatever I see, whatever I hear,
In all I love and hold dear;
With my pulse, in every breath,
In my thoughts upon my death;
By each day’s sullen second,
And in eternity, as in heaven;
Through the night and by the day,
Whatever I know, whatever I say;
Through the motions of my body,
In tears, in joy, in what besets me;
When I wake, or rest my head,
And lie down to sleep in my bed;
By all I feel, I know, I am,
When I cannot, and when I can:
This lasts and stays so true,
O my love, dearly, I love you.

I thought I sought love, and wooed her to me,
And she lets me think so, though the wooer was she,
And that not by man, nor woman, nor thing,
But by our Father, who had destined it to be.

Her Beauty

Looking into your eyes,
I find this to be true:
No one can talk of beauty
Unless they talk of you.

Past poets, with grand verses…
Didn’t have a clue.
They couldn’t talk of beauty:
For they never knew you.

Super models, called pretty,
And beautiful too…
They aren’t. Want to know beauty?
It’s a monopoly owned by you.

Miss City, Country, World…
Some titles will have to undo.
They shouldn’t have bothered
Until the birth of you

The famous, then and now,
All of history through…
All second place, I’m afraid,
To the most beautiful you.

Dictionaries need rewriting
(There’s a slight error there too…)
Next to the word ‘Beauty’
They should’ve really put you.