A Phoenix Poem

My Faith is a sunrise,
When the thick darkness of night clouds all,
She bursts forth and illumines my horizon.

My hope is a phoenix.
Though burned in the flames of trial,
She arises from the ashes of impossible despair.

My love is a King,
With murderers and whores in his bloodline,

Who died like a criminal.
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‘Searching For Sugar Man’ – Music For Searching Souls

Every once in a while a movie really captures you, and this one fits the bill.

Without spoiling it too much, it’s basically different take on the usual rags-to-riches deal – an underdog story with a difference. The film is a documentary about a mysterious musician by the name of Sixto Rodriguez, who should by all accounts have been big, but never really made it. Bizarrely his music became hugely popular in South Africa, and the documentary follows some South African journalists who go on the hunt for the mysterious story of Rodriguez. Continue reading ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ – Music For Searching Souls

Politics, Religion & Extremism – The conversation we’re not having, and should be.

Two articles I’ve read in the news this week have disturbed me (well probably quite a few more have but let’s focus on these two for now)

On the one hand we read of Tim Farron’s rise to the leadership of the Liberal Democrat party. The media have had a field day quizzing him over his Christian beliefs, Continue reading Politics, Religion & Extremism – The conversation we’re not having, and should be.

Why I Have A Semicolon On My Finger

Two passions of mine are writing and tattoos. Not always a common combination.

Most of the tattoos I have are a graphic representation of something which is special to me. I’ve always been frustrated by the fact that I can’t draw for toffee, so instead I’ve chosen to use my body as a canvas with the help of other artists.

My most recent tattoo was inspired by a recent trend (I know, I’m soooo trendy….). I came across #projectsemicolon on social media a little while ago, and was instantly inspired to join in.  Continue reading Why I Have A Semicolon On My Finger

“Good News For the Poor?” Sermon Video

Last Sunday I had the great privilege of sharing with St Matthew’s Church Luton on the subject of ‘Good News For The Poor’ :

 

Streams In The Desert

I needed to read this today:

“O Thou of little faith,
God hath not failed thee yet!
When all looks dark and gloomy,
Thou dost so soon forget–
Forget that He has led thee,
And gently cleared thy way;
On clouds has poured His sunshine,
And turned thy night to day.
And if He’s helped thee hitherto,
He will not fail thee now;
How it must wound His loving heart
To see thy anxious brow!
Oh! doubt not any longer,
To Him commit thy way,
Whom in the past thou trusted,
And is “just the same today.”

From “Streams In The Desert” By L B Cowman

Falling Between The Cracks – Disillusionment With Church

I recently wrote this piece for the Fresh Expressions website, which can be viewed here. Fresh Expressions is a network of groups trying to ‘do Church’ differently. Hope you enjoy.

I love God, but I really struggle with His fan club sometimes.

I remember writing words to that effect on my MySpace page many years ago in a moment of desperation.

Continue reading Falling Between The Cracks – Disillusionment With Church

Music for Searching Souls – Strength Of My Life

(Photo taken by me at P.O.D. gig at the Camden Underworld, London) 

Off the bat let me make a confession – I’m a major P.O.D. fanboy. I started listening to their music circa ’99 when I became a Christian. Their music has been like a soundtrack of my faith, and the theological journey of their lyrics through the years is not dissimilar to my own path. Continue reading Music for Searching Souls – Strength Of My Life

On Passing Through An Old Place…

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A Fridge Poem On Consuming

A Fridge Poem On Consuming – you can see what I did there 😉


I wrote this on a friend’s fridge during a party last year. Kind of exemplifies where I don’t fit in to the classic extrovert/introvert paradigm. Yes I want to interect with everyone at the party, and yes I hate small talk and want deep intimate conversation. So basically I try to get real deep real quick with every poor soul in the room. This often results in time to write fridge poems…… #awkwardbeardyguy




On Freedom – Music For Searching Souls

I hear a lot of talk about freedom but I don’t know that I’ve ever really seen it, except maybe in my dreams.

Some see freedom as a chance to escape. To leave and explore far away lands. But I dream of a freedom which lets me truly come home to the land where I dwell, to the person I really am. To be peace with a place. Continue reading On Freedom – Music For Searching Souls

Music For Searching Souls

One of the greatest passions in my life has been music. From listening to scratchy old LPs on my parents’ record player, stage invasions while playing drums in a gutter-punk band in my teens, wooing my soul-mate with heartfelt songs at an open mic night and to getting bashed up in a mosh pit at a P.O.D. gig.

Something about good music moves the blood in a way little else can. It somehow captures the soul and elevates us to a heightened state of emotion.

Continue reading Music For Searching Souls

A Poem For Good Friday

As a man of many words, even I recognise that there are times too sacred for my incessant ramblings. So today I offer you one of my favourite poems by John Donne – a beer-swilling womaniser who fell in love with Jesus. He masterfully captures the beauty, the pain and the tension of Good Friday in these words, and I pray you will know something of the majesty of this day as you read these them. Continue reading A Poem For Good Friday

Travelling to the land of my forefathers….

As I write this Jeni and I are sitting on a SleazyJet flight back from Iceland. The reason for our visit was to partake in a ’round-table’ conference for an organisation called ‘Radstock‘.

In simple terms Radstock exist to promote

“Mission at the heart of Local Churches, Local Churches at the heart of mission”.

Continue reading Travelling to the land of my forefathers….

Lord, Lord

Been reflecting on this poem, which is apt for the week I’m having.

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve really had to get my hands dirty as I’ve journeyed with folks who have some complex needs and even more complex stories. And if I’m honest I’ve been wrestling with the complexties of my own needs and story too.

More and more I see what a mess the world around me is in, and my mind is searching for an answer, a strategy or something. 

I got into one of those wonderful open-ended political debates on facebook the other day, with the lefties and the righties duking it out behind their screens and keyboards, and again I feel like the answer won’t be found in another ‘ism’. This is mainly because God did not send us an ‘ism’, but as the message translation so aptly puts it, he ‘moved into the neighbourhood’ (John 1:14). 

I plan to write something a bit more substatial on the subject of ‘Incarnation’ for college, but then more words aren’t the answer either (although they do help in getting a university degree).

As Mr Turner so eloquently expresses it in the poem above, I want to do more than write a poem. And I’m hoping others will join me.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭1-8‬ MSG)

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