#fridayfootprints – Friday 25th September 2020

I suppose all of us have a special time of day (or night) where we try to find peace within ourselves and a connection to the Trinity in a way that brings special meaning to the occasion.

For me it has always been the early morning. The earlier the better – even if it means having to go back to bed later!

There is something about the light and sounds at the start of a day that seems to reach deep inside me and give my soul a hug that squeezes all the bitter out and then with the release allows it to be refilled with love and joy and peace that is spine tingling in its intensity.

This encounter with the early morning ‘Son’ is His whisper through the wilderness to me. It is to hear creation waking to the dawn, unfazed by what it might bring. I ‘snapshot’ these times for when the clouds are hanging low, and He becomes obscured to my immediate vision, knowing that the picture He has created of His presence in my life will last until the ‘Son’ catches the light again.

Through His Grace, we feel His light!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 18th September 2020

There are special moments in ours lives when we feel the presence of a power that is positively hair-raising. Knowing that this power is God is what lends us an aura that our hairs stand to attention and catches His light.

The difficulty for many of us, is the frequency with which we have these goose bump moments with Him, and our ability to show others the glow that His Grace and Love imparts to our lives.

A walk through the paths laid out in His creation gives us a chance to let our thoughts dwell on Him in silent awe. Yet through this silence, His halo shines a light on our very existence. Through service, we endeavour to reflect His beams into the lives of those around us, that they may walk with us in His wilderness and share in the ‘Angel Dust’ of His whispers that brush against our skin.

May the hairs on your body capture His light today and the days ahead and may the aura He has blessed you with be a beacon to the world.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 11th September 2020

Lavender is for many cultures a balm for a variety of ailments, most notably for stress/tension relief and as a mood enhancer.

Even looking at the photograph eases my stress levels! You hardly notice the burnt-out trees on the horizon, evidence of a devastating fire!

Peace and tranquillity are where we look for it in time spent with God. The closer we get to His creation, the easier it is for the Trinity to find a way through the man-made barriers we erect without even knowing it. When we allow all our senses to be exposed, opened, so this helps the process in connecting with God.

So many people in the world live in areas where they are overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells of humanity, that their sensory overload, blocks any chance of them finding peace or a tiny corner of tranquillity. Somehow this is a luxury they may have to forego.

Others are blessed to live where God seems to wrap them in His personal cocoon of peace. And somewhere in between the rest move up and down the highs and lows of spiritual connectivity opportunities.

If we have ever been able to experience some form of connection with God, then we know the spiritual power that that has left in us and if we can have just one prayer left at the end of the day it should surely be for those who find it impossible to find His Peace in the hustle and bustle of the world today.

‘Lord for those who do not know your peace, let your wilderness whisper to them today.’

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 4th September 2020

There are good days and then there are God days.

For so many of us the God days are the days when we need emotional, physical or spiritual support and strengthening. These are the days that we turn to God for guidance. The days when we cry out to Him for help. The days that we are forced to acknowledge our dependence on the Trinity.

Yet God days should be the good days. The days that the birds are singing, and spring is in the air. God days should be the days we do not just depend on Him but instead, Praise Him for being just being God. Good days are the days when we can throw our arms in the air and shout Hallelujah and not be ashamed.

God days are the good days when we feel that warm fuzzy glow inside us and we know it has nothing to do with our teenage years but rather the little things in life that creep (or hop) into our very being.

God days are the good days when we can be nostalgic and at the same time excited about what the next day will bring, even the next hour.

And a good day becomes a God day the minute we stop and listen as He whispers in the wilderness of our soul sends down roots to become firmly anchored to our innermost core of knowing Him. Then we are Blessed as His creatures become part of the landscape of our existence.

May you be blessed with many God days!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 28th August 2020

Some of you may remember ‘Pretty in Pink’, a cult film classic of the 80’s. One of the repeated verses of the hit song – “If you leave”, has the words ….

“ I touch you once I touch you twice
I won’t let go at any price
I need you now like I need you then
You always said we’d meet again someday.”

The song expresses the desperation we feel when we have lost something/someone precious.

For so many around the world, covid-19 elicited the same response as a reaction to a perceived loss or break in our relationship with the Trinity (or a break in the Trinity’s relationship with us).

But the beauty and mystery of creation still exists. What we see all around us every day shows that God is ever present. Our objective is to merge with Him. He awaits our invitation to Him!

A subtle shift in focus from inward to outward, from self to God is the trigger to initiating the process. No matter how self-contained we believe ourselves to be, nothing can compare to giving over of our lives to Him, so that the full power of the Trinity can begin its miracle work in us.

Then when the wilderness whispers, we become pretty in whatever colour He decides to clothe us in and we will never let go, at any price and nor will He!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 21 August 2020

There are some days that are especially made for mystics.

Days when the ambience of light makes it so much easier to experience a deeper spiritual connection with God.

Days when we see the full colour spectrum of the Trinity and can re-live a rainbow covenant and a baptism in His light.

These are the days we live for, times when really knowing God makes absolute sense.

And these are the days when words cannot describe the power that rests in Him and light becomes His whisper of the wilderness!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 14th Augustus 2020

The bracket fungus grows on dead trees. It forms part of the process of decomposing the wood so that it once again becomes part of the nutrient cycle that will feed new life.

A death to self!

The Spiritual event that coincides with this death and regeneration to a new life is a baptism in a relationship with the Trinity as one of boundless joy that cannot be expressed except through an exhilarating splash of the baptismal waters.

Everywhere we look in creation, we see God’s hand at work, teaching us through the things that we are surrounded by. This is His wilderness whispering! Our time of contemplative awareness of His presence in our lives, depends on us not only inviting Him in but also in opening our eyes and ears and touch to the essence of His being around us.

We do not just hear the wilderness whisper through our soul in praise and worship and prayer, we hear the whisper by being aware of His creation through sight, sound and touch.

Indeed, ‘Heaven is at hand …’ when we become aware that the wilderness can whisper.

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#fridayfoorprints – Friday 7th August 2020

The slightest breeze sets the Snowdrop bells ringing in the end of winter.

And, as they surround the garden font, the bells announce to the world, a garden baptised in the spirit of His creation.

The new normal as we are coming to know it, seems to have captured the attention of a whole new generation of gardeners and chefs. Lockdown has created a new perspective on our existence and what we do with our time. The ‘Stay Home’ syndrome has birthed by necessity an ‘out-of-the-box’ culture.

Does the same apply to our spirituality? Have the same restrictions on our movement inspired us to seek new avenues for a faith-based communion with God or have we descended into an apathetic numbness?

If we can hear the bells ringing in the breeze, if we can imagine the Fairies dancing under a winter sun as the Robins refresh their baptismal bath in the garden font; then we can fight the depression that grips the world when it cannot find God without being spoon-fed on a Sunday.

And when we can tap our feet and sway to the rhythm of the snowdrop orchestra as we hear it when the wilderness whispers, then we will know that God has found our soul no matter how deep we tried to hide it and He is busy conducting His symphonic masterpiece within us.

As Shakespeare said, ‘if music be the food of love, play on ..’ Play on indeed, Lord, that your love is heard and felt as the peel of your bells ring out across our nations.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 31st July 2020

God’s creative genius gives us an insight into our own soul.

Time spent in nature is a journey where we can free our spirit to run where God wants us to run. We get a chance not just to read about His exploits, rather we can experience it first-hand.  We see the beauty and the desolation.

If we want more of God, nature is where we find it. If we want less of the world; His creation is our refuge. If we mourn, we find solace through the touch of His Sun and if we praise Him, we can raise His beautiful bounty to the Heavens. The whispers we seek in His wilderness are ever present when we allow ourselves to live in His world.

Knowing that all creation is His, is part of the journey of discovery He sends us on. It is not enough to read from all the libraries of wisdom that exist without taking a step outside. Once taken, we then allow Him to enter inside our own centre of existence. And that is where we find peace and understanding.

Look anew on His creation and marvel as we experience His miracle and what it means when we gaze upon it as He meant us to and then examine your soul in peaceful contemplation as we become bound to Him. Whisper Wilderness Whisper!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 24th July 2020

One thing that Covid-19 has revealed is that leadership is in short supply.

Whilst humankind is crying out to be shown a pathway out of the morass, we find ourselves in, our leaders, have in general, proved themselves to be lost and empty. Like the bench they are seen out of context, and without a purpose.

In the vacuum that has been created, many have stepped into exploit the situation. Others who would not have been heard in the past are suddenly thrust into the limelight.

One of the most remarkable elements of the reaction to the leadership fog is the impact it has on the lawmakers, law keepers, and law breakers.

And in the midst of all this, I cannot help but , to dwell on the biblical journey out of Egypt, the law of the ten commandments and how difficult it was to get people, caught in a situation beyond their control to keep their faith and focus on God.

As I look around me today, we are still wandering in the desert.

We are still choosing which laws to keep and which to break at random. There is still no sense of focus on a path ahead and no ‘buy-in’ from the public which ends up being at odds with itself.

Modern leadership is not about establishing ‘Faith’ as Moses tried to do. It is about establishing and manipulating power. There are no ‘carved-in-stone’ rules to follow. And when they are not carved in stone, they become easier to ignore or to break or to change as we see fit. The consequences become political tools used to leverage power and wealth to the advantage of the elite.

If Moses struggled to make God’s voice heard as a whisper in the wilderness, carved in stone – then now is a time like no other when we have a responsibility to turn God’s whisper into a shout from the pulpits of Christianity around the world.

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#firdayfootprints – Friday 17th July 2020

When God looks through His window onto the waters of our baptism, He sees water where there is scarcely a ripple. He sees a mirror waiting to reflect Himself!

He has been trying to convince us of a fundamental truth – Where we see storms, He sees tranquillity. Where we see discord, anger and resentment, He sees peace, love, understanding and forgiveness.

Where we see empty churches, He sees an opportunity to fill the hearts of worshipers far beyond the building’s walls. Where we see dissent, He sees followers who will follow anybody, people who are leaders that have yet to learn to lead.

The waters of our baptism that we see as a turbulent whirlpool can only be calmed when we realise that our ego is the lens that we are looking through. Seen through God’s eyes, and lived through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and experienced through the presence of the Holy Spirit, together the Trinity give a completely different view of the waters of our baptism.

A whisper in the wilderness is too soft to disturb the surface of the water, so be prepared to be the mirror He expects us to be!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th July

When A Judge does not play Judge, in a court he is not a Judge in – then he is driven up the Via Dolorosa of social media to be crucified.

In my country we have a Judge, in fact a Chief Justice, the pinnacle of our legal system, who dared to bare a Christian truth. “I don’t hate anybody” – the fact that this was coupled to a statement that he loved the Jews and the Palestinians, he loved all nations and that love was part of his Christian belief, not hate.

He dared, because the ‘Son’ shines upon him.

In his own court he applies the rule of law that he is must adhere to as part of our constitution. In God’s court he is not expected to be a ‘judge’ he is required to be a Christian – because the ‘Son’ shines upon him.

Perhaps if more of us were to stand up and hold to the same principle, in that we are not required to be judges. We are not required to hold people to any standard. We are not expecting people to share our same views. But whatever standard they have, whatever views they have, we should love them. We should show them that the ‘Son’ can shine upon them. In fact, by doing so, we show that the ‘Son’ shines upon us.

This does not make us some select group of people above everybody else, but it does make us warmer than those who sit in the shade. If the ‘Son’ has shed its light on us, it should have warmed our hearts to all those who cross our paths and that warmth should be a blanket of comfort to all in need.

If the ‘Son’ shines upon us, we have no court to preside over, rather we have a far weightier task; spreaders of love. We are not confined to a court, rather, we are bound to the foundation of God’s law; ‘Love your God and love your neighbour as yourself. Perhaps mankind has lost the ability to know themselves and without being able to know themselves cannot love themselves. And if they cannot love themselves, they cannot love their neighbour. What they do love is the image of what society tells them they should be. And society has become used to judging everything, to the extent that we have even started to judge ourselves.

If the ‘Son’ really shines upon us, we should welcome those key figures in society who are brave enough to stand up and we should stand by them because the ‘Son’ shines upon us and we have heard His Whispers in the Wilderness and His greatest commandments!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd July 2020

One day when the mankind takes stock of what has transpired over the last 100 or so years they will perhaps think back to the times they could have spent in quiet communion with God instead of gathering in hordes for whatever reason.

The hordes inevitably become a feeding frenzy!

It just depends what the people have gathered for as to what the feeding entails. Sometimes, it can be relatively innocent; a music festival, sport and dare I say it, church. The feeding is on excitement – the need to be entertained at all costs. Then again at the other end of the scale, the frenzy is about ‘protest’, social or moral indignation and even war and then the feeding is on the souls of man. In between lie a myriad of different forms of the need to satisfy the gnawing emptiness in the pit of our stomachs.

It has taken a ‘lockdown’ to show some of mankind that the real value in life is being in direct contact with someone, one-on-one. Sometimes this is with our Lord, but mostly it is with those near and dear. It is only in these instances of fellowship that we can built a deeper understanding of ourselves and those around us. It is only in contemplative connection with God and man that we build a better person and so doing a better society.

So yes, the frenzied feeding continues around the world, but deep in our hearts I’m sure much of what we see spread across the media is a result of a population who have not learnt how to make meaningful contact with God and caring contact with mankind. If we were to do this, not only would we be fulfilled and fully at peace with the world, the world, and God would be fully at peace with us!

“The peace of God which passes all understanding, …” is not in the gathered crowd. It lies waiting in a stranger, a loved one, the tired, the sick and the lonely. It resides in conversations of words spoken through a touch or a whisper in the wilderness.

“Go in Peace and serve the Lord.”

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 26th June 2020

Our new normal is a place totally unfamiliar to most us.

Like ballet dancers, or musicians, or performers of any ilk, the final product of what we produce on stage, is only a fraction of the time, effort and dedication that has gone into honing the art of what we do. And for most performers it is the ambiance of the stage and the audience that gives validity to their craft.

Take away this final step, and the performer is left negotiating a lonely existence that echoes in the halls of their consciousness.

Life under lockdown is like that for millions of people around the world. Our life’s work, ambition, drive, and formative thought have been conditioned to respond to an audience in our daily appearances on the stages that litter our reasons for being. Take this away and we are left floundering like fish out of water.

So great is the need for human interaction and affirmation, that we completely miss the chance to spend this ‘gifted’ alone time with the Trinity. We are so conditioned to human contact that we have sometimes lost the art of making contact with God. We are so busy shouting out our indignation to the world that we miss the chance to speak of the Holy Spirit to the crowd that has gathered.

We build our false indignation to the extent that it rages inside us threatening to destroy society as we know it. And we do this in the knowledge that it has been done before, to Christ, as we prepare to sacrifice Him again!

When the sound of a silent orchestra is so loud it drowns out the crashing, thundershower drumming of teardrops falling from Heaven as they see what we become when we crave a platform, any soapbox, that we will call our stage.

And when the wilderness whispers in an empty auditorium, who will hear Him? Who will care, that when we craved an audience – any audience will do! Whilst the audience that matters, that special moment just between God and man, will be left to gather up the feathers of the Holy Dove that lie plucked and scattered in the numbered seats.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 19th June 2020

As the night deepens and sleep continues to evade me, I try to take my focus away from the sound of the frogs nightly chorus and then the sudden pauses of silence that I know are due to a stray predator stalking the garden paths.

As the frogs resume their ‘Opera of the Night’ my thoughts dwell on the pages of my existence in the world as it is and as it was. There are a few things that I have done right and there are many that are still left to be accomplished. I also have thoughts of family, both here and departed, and thoughts of friends; some dear, some estranged and some forgotten.

The common factor in this nightly dance of the sleepless, is love. A love for life and all that it has given, but above all, a love for a Father who has lightened my burden over all the years. I also cast my thoughts to my own father and know how much he must be enjoying time spent with his Saviour. I mourn him still, as I do others who have gone before, yet, there is joy in the knowledge that he has gone ‘Home’ to his love.

Love is a ‘Fellowship of Life’ that we celebrate throughout the spectrum of our emotions. Love is the Grace that we have been given and that we pass on to those we encounter along the way.

Love is a way of taking the leaves from His Book and throwing then to the wind. That they may be carried to the far corners of the earth and into the hearts of those we meet along the way.

I have two fathers, one biological and one spiritual and both are in Heaven. The one thing that binds them together and that binds me to my faith, is love.

‘Love Thy God’ – could it be simpler. Be love: That all may know that the leaves taken from His Book, filled with the inscriptions of His Word, have a place in a union that binds us completely to the source of all light!

Happy Father’s Day to both of you.

Scattered leaves are Whispers in the Wilderness blown through our lives by the Holy Spirit as a physical expression of his presence.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 12th June 2020

People around the world are grappling with the concept of a new normal whilst at the same time yearning for many of the aspects of the old tried and tested recipes of their pre Covid-19 social existence.

Yet the new normal is not as new as we might think. The newness is the fact that it was forced upon us so abruptly. For many, a life that revolves around social media has for years slowly been ingrained into society.

After nearly three months of ‘lockdown’; the craving for closer contact with those near and dear.  The need for family, friends, intellectual sound boards and naturally, our Christian fellowship ring exceeds any other craving real or imagined.

This social network of real-life contacts has been torn apart. Conventional pathways to reach each other have been cut off and the tools to build new routes to reach the core of our relationships are unfamiliar and at times threatening to us.

Where does this leave us in our connection with the world and more importantly in our spiritual connection with the Trinity?

The silk thread that binds us together, the thread that weaves closed the holes created by humanity is exuded through His word. It is through our daily communion with Him that we can set about re-socialising our web of influence that we want in our lives.

Certainly, some things will be strange and new, but isn’t that what we have been promised, (2 Corinthians 5:17). Whilst His Word is spinning the silk needed, the work needs to be done by us. New work, new tasks, a new way of doing things, a new way of reaching across the voids of culture and understanding. All we need to know is that we can trust His promise and know with unfailing certainty that He can use any situation towards an end where He is the sculptor in a wilderness of whispers!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 5th June 2020

In the middle of the creation God has given to each of us, there is a pole.

The purpose of the pole is for us to climb on top and to see how far the boundaries of our baptismal creation extend.

To climb the pole is difficult. It is meant to be, for it is only the spiritually strong and brave who will, upon reaching the top, recognise the challenge to explore the boundaries of the creation bequeathed to them.

Spiritual growth will only be achieved by going deeper and further, then deeper still and further still until our journey has ended.

As we enter the world renewed and filled with the Holy Spirit after Pentecost, our relationship with the Trinity is meant to keep on growing. With the devastating results of Covid19 on churches and church attendance going forward, we must surely recognise that this is part of climbing the pole to see how far the boundaries of our faith extend.

Church growth will come as a direct result of spiritual growth in that spiritual growth leads us into a deeper understanding of the type of relationship God expects of us. If we have seen the creation, He made for each of us, then surely, we must push to the very edges of the boundaries that we have seen in an adventure with God to experience the completeness of His  Love and Grace and then strive to share it with others.

And yes; there will always be those who having made it to the top of the pole are more interested in admiring their own reflection. They feel that they have made it this far and with the buoy alongside as a safety measure, they are perhaps too afraid to venture further.

For them, they need our prayers that they have the courage to fly to the ends of the earth when they hear Him as He whispers in our wilderness!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 29th May 2020

There is a road that goes through the town that I live in. The road serves as a link for people going about their daily tasks of dealing with life. The road also links other towns and cities to mine from west to east (or the other way round, depending which way you are going) and I know this because I have travelled this road in both directions.

This is a reality for which I know to be true!

If you were born in ‘Lockdown’ and grew up under its restrictions, this reality might seem a bit strange. If you have never been on the road, felt the tyre-hum of the surface as you pick up cruising speed, planned your stops according to the brand of coffee being served, or felt the freedom of seeing a world as it races by, then the road is not part of your particular reality.

To try to explain it would be just as difficult.

We are creatures of emotional experiences. What we have not felt to be true, for the most part is viewed with a great deal of scepticism.

What then of the Holy Spirit?

As we have gone through the last week leading up to Pentecost, the reality of the Holy Spirit is seen by so many with shades of doubt. This is a reality that is hard sell.

The Holy Spirit, in the embodiment of the Trinity, has to be felt. It is a road that must be travelled. It is an experience that must be lived. Yet, if it is not part of your reality, you are left staring at one point in the road without knowing where it came from, where it is going and who are there along the way.

You will always have questions, but these cannot be answered through the doubts.

Troubled? Load your problems and deliver them to God. On the return journey you will be filled with Blessing. To travel through ‘your’ wilderness, you must get out on the road. You have to feel the whisper of life calling. And if you do, you will find that the road goes over many bridges, spanning many rivers and in one of these rivers will run the waters of your baptism.

This Pentecost answer the call of the His open road and discover a new reality!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 22 May 2020

An intimate relationship that has existed almost since the beginning of time. Lichen, made up of algal and fungal cells, is life, living in a mutually beneficial relationship.

As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus and await His promise of the Holy Spirit, we can only speculate as to how the first disciples must have felt at the time. Now we know that much like the lichen, when we receive the Holy Spirit into our lives, we are committing to a life-long relationship of intimate love. And it is a mutually beneficial relationship. The Trinity gives love and receives our love on the same basis. And it is, in its Spirit form, like the air that the lichen survives on and like the water we ae baptised in.

Like the lichen, in so many cases, what we look like apart from God is completely different to what we look like when we are joined with Him. Sometimes it is just the simple things in life that show us who, where and what God is! I find great comfort that such primitive and simple forms of life have been in mutually beneficial relationships from the beginning and that this must surely be an indication of what God wanted for His creation.

He leaves these signs clearly written for us throughout nature, and it is up to us to notice them as we go about our daily tasks. In this case, removing branches to free up some winter “Son” brought a message of a simple and divine truth: Our lives with the Trinity are as fulfilling for us as they are for Him, and our structure and character are different in appearance when we are in a relationship with Him compared to what we look like apart.

As Jesus ascends to be with His Father, so He leaves with us a promise as a whisper in the wilderness of a relationship to come. One that will provide a conduit for a bi-directional flow of love in the most intimate relationship that anyone could dream of!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 15th May 2020

My ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is bordered by a stream filled with stones, polished and rounded by Christ’s Living Waters.

The stream becomes a river as it flows through the wilderness of my life. The stream’s voice offers comforts, guidance, patience and love as it covers the stones and gurgles on in it its journey to eternity.

The stairway never ends! Just when I think that I have reached a level piece, so it turns out, it is merely a landing and beyond it another stairway beckons. More stair and more landings. Sometimes the landings are small with only enough room to turn or negotiate a bend. At other times, the landings are large and take time to traverse. But the journey continues until at times it feels that Heaven is out of reach.

And then in the quietness of the dawn the whispers I hear, tell me that this is Heaven! Each flight of stairs is a path to the next landing and each landing is an opportunity for another conversation with God.

So, the landings in my life become a reflection of my time spent with the Trinity.

Through this I have learnt to pray for more stairways, and more landings, and a chance to have yet another conversation with the three Beloved Friends who accompany me on my journey.

When the wilderness has whispered, we have been together on the landings and together in Heaven and one day it will be a different landing and perhaps the Heaven may seem strange at first, but the voices will be the same, as will the laughter, passion and love that I have cherished on all the landings we have shared.

I make stairways to Heaven in the garden so that there can be landings. The landings are there for time to be spent in communion with the whisperer in my wilderness.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 8th May 2020

The morning dew lies waiting for the first rays of sunlight, to show all who take notice, the diamonds that have been waiting patiently for just the right moment to be discovered. The tiniest of sparkles brightens my day.

I can remember reading an opening phrase of a book (I forget the title) that has always stuck with me. It described how the importance of walks in nature does not depend on how far we travel, but rather what we notice along the way.

How true this was of the diamonds being reflected in the morning beams. Only a few steps from the house lay a world of wonder and mystery just waiting for the sun to reveal its ‘hidden’ glory. A wonderland of dewdrops bursting into diamonds in the early morning light.

Life is like that! Many of us spend our lives at full throttle trying to reach the end goal as fast as we can. Just how much we miss along the way is often only discovered too late.

God’s word is also like that. We can read it like any other book – but the gems – the diamonds that are waiting for the ‘Son’ (in His Spirit form) to reveal are there waiting for us to pause and study our immediate surrounds. One chapter is often too much. One verse can hinge on one word. One diamond sparkling in His light, which we would have missed if our mission is to finish the chapter before the weariness of the day took hold of our eyelids.  

When the wilderness whispers, every word has its place as a gem in a heavenly crown. The wilderness is His creation and the whispers are His words.

Search for the diamonds God has placed on your walk with Him. They will only been seen when we walk at His pace.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 1st May 2020

The art of being able to fly is the art of being able to close your eyes and go wherever you wish to go. To stand on the edge of nothing, look into the distance and just let go!

We all build up a memory bank of images – places we have been to, seen in books or movies, perhaps even places we have read about.

Through the simple act of bringing these images to the forefront of our thoughts we can visit these places at will.  We simply lean our imagination in the direction in which we want to go and ‘take off’. Suddenly we have the birds as company, when,  like superman we are capable of flying centimetres off the ground, skirting around objects with the ease of a seasoned professional and over-flying the images of the places we have chosen to visit!

And the best part of it all – you cannot crash! Landings are safe and the whole flight is environmentally friendly.

The ability to embark on such journeys during lockdown does wonders for the cabin fever that builds up occasionally.

But there is more to it than that.

Being able to fly to destinations in our brain, opens up the possibility of flying with God. Of having the Trinity as wingmen flying in formation with you.

This is not a journey into the past, nor an attempt to fly into the future. It is in the here and now. A chance to connect to God in a very real way and explore the world around us as it is ‘now’. It is an opportunity to enjoy the exhilarating feeling of flight with a God who knows our every emotion and desire. The God of our creation made us so that we could fly with our imagination, why then would He not want to fly alongside us?

Flying with Him during lockdown, we may discover a wilderness of whispers has turned into a river of dreams to be fulfilled.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 24th April 2020

My ‘Lockdown’ Emmaus Road.

I always knew that God was in my garden. Over the years I have encountered Him there in His various Trinity guises and the conversations that we have had have been many, varied and deep (mostly).

Now thanks to the ‘Lockdown’ protocol for Covid 19, I am spending more time in other parts of the house than I usually do. Not only that, but the time I spend there is not so rushed as it so often is.

Time spend at the sink, allows for careful washing of all utensils and a cleansing of the soul by the figures that stand there with me. Gently sponging off the ‘worldly’ smudges of dirt that have accumulated over the years. Hands that guide mine to seek out the dirt that has been glossed over way too often.

Likewise, time at the stove, is time with three friends that are constantly at my shoulder as we prepare meals together. Sustenance ‘deconstructed’ into delicious titbits of knowledge that only the Trinity could share. The spices that ‘They’ add in the form of context, culture, time and place, add unique flavours to the Lockdown meals. Perhaps a recipe book; ‘Cooking with the Spirit’ should be in the making!

Cleaning house has taken on a new meaning. The quick ‘once over’ has been replaced by the slow caress. All under the strict supervision of a Triunal decorating team focused on comfort, sharing and love.

God, in all His forms, now shadows me as the minute hand on the clock has slowed its pace. A journey from room to room and task to task, unhurried, allows me to feel Him accompany me along the way.

The Lockdown has brought many blessings, bringing my Lord in from the garden and making the house His own and allowing me to make time for Him in the household tasks. He does seem to drink a lot of coffee though, considering how much we have been going through lately! But that is probably because I ran out of wine weeks ago.

Time spent with the Trinity in the stillness and peace that the lockdown brings, has put a new spring in my footsteps that tread my Emmaus Road around the house. It has added new dimensions to ‘working from home’ that can go late into the night or even start long before the sun has thought of rising. All in the eagerness to be in His presence!

With the Trinity – Social distancing is not required, when the wilderness whispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th April 2020

There are place in my head that are scary places to visit when my imagination goes into overdrive.

Our imagination is also what feeds all the fake news we find on every platform. Fake news relies on the plausible, plays on the emotions, disguises reality and reason, balancing fact with fiction to make a believable story.

Something we want to believe in, even when the rest of our logic is screaming: “Watch out!”

I remember a time when a Sunday School teacher was one of my best customers for the ‘Fairy Stories’ I wrote. The reasoning being; if we can get children to believe in a ‘unseen’ fairy – we can get them to believe in an unseen God. This at a time when children readily believed in anything from the tooth mouse to Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny.

For the disciples, a Living Christ was just as far from the truth as the bunny, the mouse or a sleigh full of gifts until, suddenly, He was there in their midst. And even then, believing did not come instantly.

Pity the poor journalist who had to write that story without it being branded as fake news! A Risen Christ indeed?

Fear and uncertainty are the breeding grounds of fiction laced with fact. An environment where the rumourmongers flourish. I’m sure that stories of the resurrection were changed to suit every political, cultural and social agenda that the respective leaders in society wanted.

Covid 19 is testimony to that.

Take this corona virus plant as an example:It grows in the deep shade of the undergrowth. Cultivated by fairies and gnomes of lesser stature, it lies in wait. The bright red tips prove that it has recently fed. But it hungers for more.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th April 2020

A glance at the world today shows that many lives are literally ‘hanging on a thread.’

Not just their lives, but also their Faith!

Faith in humanity, faith in political leadership, faith in technology and faith in God. In the absence of faith, fear begins to tighten its hold, squeezing any remaining life out of the globe.

Strange, when today we look at the crucifixion of Christ. His life was also hanging on a thread. That gossamer silk thread for Him would break. Yet, it was a death with a purpose.

For all of us who face death, it will never be ‘death with a purpose’ if we did not have life with a purpose. For Christ it was ordained. It was necessary for us, for our sins and for our salvation.

Without His death we could not have ‘life with a purpose.’ Without His death there was no reason for us to live. To exist, yes, but not to live!

Not only did He have to die, but the inhumanity of the events of the day leading up to His death, should have died with Him.

If we are to live with a purpose, we must know that the same gossamer thread of silk that we hold onto so dearly, must be that His death was not in vain. That the purpose we have, is; to love as He loved, to care as He cared, to teach as He taught, to share as He shared and to forgive as He forgave. 

Our purpose is to be what He wanted us to be – otherwise everything He went through on that fateful Friday was in vain.

We all cry at the foot of His cross. We shout praises for His empty grave. But in between; are we living with a purpose? His shout at the 12th hour, is now but a murmur – a whisper in the wilderness that can only be heard because the world has been forced into quieter times and the noises of the hustle and bustle are stilled.

Listen, He calls you to a life with a purpose!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd April 2020

“Lonely looking sky, lonely sky, lonely looking sky. And being lonely makes you wonder why.” (Words from the lyrics of a Neil Diamond song of the same name.)

 But what of the bench?

 A lonely bench placed to watch a lonely sky! But is the bench lonely?

Perhaps the bench has a chance, in this time of crisis, to process all the thoughts and prayers that have been placed on ‘it’ over the years.

But is the bench empty?

The image that forms in my head is of a bench with three figures sitting and enjoying the peacefulness of creation for the first time in years. Diminished pollution and clearer skies and less noise.

And their conversation …? In this time of crisis, what would the Trinity be saying to each other?

Is the Holy Spirit (on the left) talking about the necessity for another breath of wind, or perhaps a flame or two, this time directed where it would do the most good.

Perhaps Jesus (on the right) is concerned about that ‘Heaven is at hand’ bit, and how to get people to understand the real meaning our ‘death to self’.

The central figure is one of calmness and patience. One of absorbing all of life and all the living in absolute and unhurried authority.

‘Gentlemen let us take a walk on the “Wild” side. Let us see how long it takes to get there and back. Let us eat the flesh of the world’s disillusionment, and drink in the blood of compassion. And when we have walked awhile with them, they will have heard that the Wilderness Whispers. They will realise that it is the breath of God that comes, not from a lonely sky, but from a bench with three figures sitting on it waiting for their call to arms.’

Glory looking day
Glory day, glory looking day
And all it’s glory
Told a simple way
Behold it if you may
Glory looking day
Glory looking day

(Neil Diamond – Lonely looking sky)

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 27th March 2020

In a garden filled with greenery a solitary flower fights against the feeling of being isolated. The feeling that the whole world is the enemy. The solitary flower becomes so consumed with the loneliness it forgets a fundamental truth:

Without the greenery it wouldn’t exist.

In the forests of our lives we are always looking for the flowers. We want to be the flowers. We want to stand out from the greenery. And when we do – we feel the loneliness.

Perhaps we should put ourselves in the greenery’s shoes and ask ourselves why there are so few flowers. If we look for the flowers and we want to be the flowers and we have the ability to be the flowers; then why aren’t we all flowers overshadowing the greenery?

When the world is in crisis, we need flowers. We need people who stand up and stand out.

Christian Faith is entering a period of crisis. It is also entering a period of un-dreamt of possibilities that we would not have considered 4 months ago.

The question is simple are we going to become consumed by loneliness in a sea of green or are we going to flood the green with flowers?

Care to come and blossom with me?

Whilst I pray that we all come through this safely, I pray even more that we come through this with a purpose to bloom. To show our true colours. To use all the nutrients drawn out of the soil by the greenery and turn them into the greatest show on earth.

God’s show!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20 March 2020

Social Distancing!

A concept forced upon us by the COVID19 pandemic but something that Christians should be doing every Lent. That 40 day journey into the wilderness that makes up our spiritual core.

Social distancing is a chance to get away from the distractions that the world offers. Social distancing is alone time. Social distancing is heading out for the ‘Son’. A chance to feel His warmth on your skin. An opportunity to smell the ozone in the air. The rise and fall of the swell beneath you like the steady pulse of God, breathing in as the swell forms beneath us and breathing out as it passes.

In ‘social distancing’ there is a difference between loneliness and alone. Alone is when we are with God in thought, word and deed, bound up in His boundless Grace and Love. Loneliness …. When we have nothing.

That is also the difference between heaven on earth and hell. One we can survive in, flourish actually! The other …. Let us rather not go there!

The pandemic that we face in every continent, country and culture is an opportunity to spend some alone time with God. A chance to do some real ‘Soul’ searching. There are so many positives to be found. Let us dig them out and present them to the world.

Stay safe! Stay alone and head out for the ‘Son’.

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fridayfootprints – Friday 13 March 2020

Into the darkness? Or a backward glance to see where I have come from and just how far I have made it into the light?

A walk beside the river …… of the waters …… of my baptism is a journey into light. It can never be the other way around.

Once we have seen the light, the darkness seems darker and any view from the darkness only makes the light seem brighter.

Our Lenten journey should be a process of enlightenment!

That as we walk beside the waters of our baptism the light of the Trinity shines upon a wide path for us to follow, and that the only darkness we see is that of a hurried glance backward to see how far we have come.

Hurried: Because the path ahead is long, and time is precious with so much to accomplish in the days of Lent that lie ahead. And perchance we enter a darkened patch, it is surely there to remind us of just how bright the light is that shines beyond where the darkness cannot go.

It is just one step away. One stride guided into the light by the Grace of God. One prayer closer to a deeper understanding of the source of the light and one hymn sung in praise as we raise our arms and enjoin the light to be part of us:

As we walk beside the waters of the wilderness when it whispers its tale of a light like no other that dances on the ripples of our faith and we hear His voice in the depths of our being as the light explodes within us.

No darkness will ever overcome our light again!

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#Fridayfootprints – Friday 6th March 2929

Sunrise and sunset.

Two of the most beautiful scenes enjoyed by mankind all over the world.

Yet at the same time, both scenes show the sky in colour and the world in silhouette form. The detail is lost against a God inspired backdrop.

For us to see all the nuances and shapes around us we must wait for the sun be a little higher than just behind the horizon.

Lent is like that!

We cannot just view our faith against the glorious backdrop delivered daily on our doorsteps, because then we see only the darkened version of the reality that faith is supposed to be. Even though the background is really impressive!

When we allow the “Son” to rise a little higher on our horizons, we discover the full beauty of what He has to offer us. Suddenly the backdrop comes into perspective and takes on depth and meaning. What was hidden in the silhouette becomes valley behind valleys and hills behind hills, generating an excitement of discovery.

Lent is a chance to see the Trinity on full display – from the time the “Son” rises in the east, we await a deeper understanding as He rises overhead and allows the Holy Spirit to blow His illuminating wind through the valleys of our sorrows and over the peaks of our happiness, giving the reality of our belief a complete landscape to be filled with all His glory.

A walk in the wilderness is to discover ALL there is about Him, not just a silhouette on a painted sky. Faith, like nature, needs to be seen from all the angles and under different light to be experienced as it is supposed to be. It is then that we get to praise Him for more than ‘just’ the sunrises and sunsets in our lives. May the “Son” rise before you this Lent as you discover parts of Him you never knew existed

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 28th February 2020

Living on borrowed time!

Time that has been “lent” to us.

Time that has been given, along with all the gifts at God’s disposal. Gifts that are there for us to use – to His Glory!

Perhaps this is now the time during Lent to do a bit of soul searching – a Spiritual Audit. An assessment of where we stand on the paths that lead through the Wilderness. A time for circumspection on what our faith means to us and to what impact this same faith is having on us as well as those around us.

A journey through Lent can be an enriching process as we come to realise anew, not what we should be giving up, but rather what have we given up over the years that we should be doing. What are we leaving out that we have never done, that should form part of our commitment to the Trinity?

Journeys through and in our individual wildernesses bring us back to the very core of our being. A return to the dust out of which we were born and one day where our ashes will remain. The legacy that we are so intent on building, matters not to those left behind. For in generations to come the graves will lie untended and forgotten.

Yet time spent with the Lord is not borrowed time if we come out richer on the other side. This period in our spiritual calendar has been ‘lent’ to us for just such a purpose. An ear ‘lent’ to the whispers of the wilderness will hear His voice and feel His presence and know His Grace.

Discover Him, all of Him and all His gifts and promises. And serve Him!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 21st February 2020

The forest is a ‘state of mind’ ….. and spirit!

I have entered the forest alone when the sun stands high above the hills, yet there is a shadow that permeates the forest. A sense of darkness that causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand to attention. It is a black hole that the music that plays in my sub-conscious is fitting of a horror movie score. Eerie sounds and shapes and shadows that scare my soul.

I have also entered the forest in the late afternoon dusk, where the sounds of birds singing their ‘goodnight’ lullaby’s play harmony to the leopard’s ‘wood saw’ rasp that echoes as he inspects his territory.  All these sounds combine to form a silence under a leafy comfort-blanket, where my soul can find solace and my mind can empty itself in preparation of a renewed sense of being.

Yet it is the same forest!

The only difference is my perception. And my perception is guided by my spiritual well-being.

If my spirit is positive, so is the forest. When my spirit is depressed and apprehensive, so is the forest just as scary.

If I am at peace with the Lord, then I am at peace with the forest, because the forest is a state of mind …. and my spiritual connection with the Trinity. A connection that is rooted in the nature and existence of the forest and how I experience it and react to the world around me.

And when the spirit is right, that is when the wilderness whispers, like a ‘fairy’ bath ready for a baptism for those that that can see beyond the reality of their fears and preconceptions!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 14th February 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As the world gets ready to celebrate ‘undying’ love. As a society of lovers profess untold devotion on bended knees and floral bouquets, do we realise it has all been done before?

So, Lord will you hear me on bended knee? 
In a whispered silence: Yes Lord, it’s me. 
I’ve come to say, You know it well.
A story that I long to tell. 
Of a love so deep and true and sure. 
A love that death defined as pure. 
In blood that dripped and trickled down, 
I know you suffered without a frown. 
But Lord, I know what you long to hear, 
that my love for you is just as dear. 
That I’d bear the pain that you took for me: 
In silence for the world to see. 
I bring my bunch of bright red blooms 
and lay them at the empty tomb. 
I kneel in prayer and stand in praise 
that your love for me will one day raise. 
And every minute of every day, 
I’ll love you Lord, come what may. 

I will hold you as my Valentine, 
‘cause I am yours and you are mine!
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#fridayfootprints – Friday 7th February 2020

“Spread your wings,” I said! The body language says it all!

That first moment when the wind of the Spirit catches your wing for take-off and you panic. Legs flailing, arms spread out, heart pumping and all the head says is: “Why are we doing this?”

For so many people, walking around with your paragliding gear – a pack with harness (God) and a wing (Jesus) is all they are prepared to risk. Let alone taking it all out of the pack. They are content to trudge around with all the equipment yet too afraid to try it out.

Once we start to unpack it all, we realise that there could be something missing. An even greater risk is putting it on. Spreading out the wing, laying out the lines, stepping into the harness and tightening it up, and then, facing into the wind. Once we do that, we are getting too close to allowing the Holy Spirit to lift us airborne.

That feeling in the pit of the stomach. The tenseness in every fibre of our being. The moment when every brain cell we have is screaming noooooo!

And then ….! Ever so gently we are airborne. And whilst our instinct tells us to panic, suddenly we feel the updraft gently balancing us and holding us aloft with so little effort from ourselves.

The breath of the Spirit is a whisper in the wilderness. A voice that says: “Open your eyes, I am here and will hold you safe. Enjoy your ride with Me for the moment.” The Trinity in its complete form, Harness, Wing and Wind.

Then, when we start to look around and appreciate what is happening and we get this glimpse from above, then the exhilaration of flight is nothing compared to lift off in the Spirit.

Unpack your harness, spread your wings and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Enjoy the flight!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 31st January 2020

Ahhhh! Sweetness never tasted so good. And so convenient! Twice a day I receive my daily dose in a fresh bottle, nicely chilled and strategically located.

Forgotten are the delicate blossoms so specifically formed by the creator. Nature’s pantry seems to be a distant memory and the ‘fynbos’ on the fringes of the forests wait in vain for the visitors that do not come around anymore.

Our search for the Trinity cannot be found in the sweetened water, bottled and served at a place of our choosing. The Trinity needs to be experienced, to be touched. It comes with tears and heartache and it comes with unimaginable joy and exhilaration. And we need to go out and find it.

It is in the world out there, amongst the ugliness and the violence and brutality. It is also in the sunsets and sunrises, the softest whisper or the caressing touch of a hand. It is in the tear of happiness and the wail of anguish – but, it is not in a bottle.

The bottle for the sunbirds; is there for my enjoyment as much as it is for theirs as a supplement to their daily requirements. Just like the church is sometimes a place where God can see us when we come to feed in Word and praise and prayer.

But it is not Jesus or the Holy Spirit. The full essence of the Trinity is as broad and as powerful and as overwhelming as creation itself. And when we find it, no bottled faith will come close in comparison. No sugar water can taste as sweet as the taste of the Trinity when we realise its full potential to take charge of our lives.

Spread your wings and find it!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 24th January 2020

Wandering in the wilderness, lost in the mists that shroud the forest.

The sounds of the forest are dampened into an eerie silence that descends into the uncertainty that lies in the soul of man. Through the wafts of whiteness our vision is hampered until we focus on our immediate surrounds.

Through the mists there are gossamer threads sprinkled with drops of condensation that reflect the barest glimmer of light, revealing all there is around us. Tiny little mirrors that magnify the very essence of God through His creation. Everywhere we look and touch a new reality is illuminated.

And each droplet shows the Holy Spirit at work; teacher, guide, advocate, comforter, revealer of truth. Each drop that gathers on our skin, washes over us in minute explosions of joy, prickling sensations over every exposed pore.

All for the purpose of bringing us to a deeper understanding of God and a more meaningful relationship with the Living Christ as revealed through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And so, in the mists that gently caress the mountain slopes, I wander through the forest of my faith, and I listen when the wilderness whispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th January 2020

The doctrine of the Trinity is part of the roots of our faith.

Like the roots of the trees in the forest, so this ‘belief’ holds up the mighty trees that constitute Christianity.

And like the roots of the trees in the forest, sometimes the buttresses formed by the roots give rise to the creation of hollow and caverns. Places where we can hide ‘inside’ our faith.

The Trinity is not there for this.

The Trinity is the foundation that points us skywards. Up towards the canopy and beyond. Into the light, that we may soar with the eagles.

To seek solace in the root caves does our faith an injustice and will keep us entrapped, going from one dark hole to the next in search of comfort.

Reach out and upwards in the knowledge that the roots are strong enough to hold the tree, and the tree points the direction for you to follow.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th January 2020

Besides still waters …! Peaceful rest, solitude, reflection, introspection; all of these may be found besides still waters.

But if we are looking for the Trinity?

In our urban jungles and man-made distractions, finding the Trinity is a huge ask! Finding just one element can sometimes be elusive.

Whilst the natural environment has always been my ‘go to’ place to connect with God, I sometimes need to go deeper.

Have you listened to a stream burbling along?

Have you listened to a dry river?

Have you heard the dust flowing between the rocks and boulders?

Go beneath the river’s dry bed. Let your ears hear the sounds beneath its surface. The water is there., flowing in its hidden underground canal. Go deeper. The river bedrock, beneath which nothing can penetrate. Yet! Yet there is something there still deeper. Find it. Listen to it speak. It speaks from the pregnant belly of creation – the Word. Absorb the word! Bring them slowly to the surface. As you come back through the bedrock, the words you found become real. And through the word, spring tears that fall on the ravaged earth. The tears explode in the dust, listen to them fall. Listen to them cry out to mankind! Tears become trickles and suddenly the stream is flowing. Rushing around the rocks, smoothing them. Sometimes the stream is just a bubbling brook and then sometimes it is a river in flood, roaring in power.

By listening to the dry river, we sink down to the depths to find God, we bring Him up to find Christ and then suddenly the Holy Spirit is bubbling and rushing over us.

Find your dry river and listen deeper than the dust that lies there. Listen deep into the bowels of creation for the Word and then bring it back with you ‘till it bursts over you as a river in full flood cleansed by the tears.

Sometimes the flood will abate, but the stream will still flow on, gurgling along with the words brought up from the depths of that dry river.

Peace is beside still waters – The Trinity is deeper than that – When the wilderness whispers!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd January 2020

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”: Powerful words in a life changing phrase.

Through the waters of our baptism we are introduced to the Trinity and yet for many, that is only the beginning of a difficult understanding of a Triunal diety. The concept stays on the horizon, and only sometimes being reflected in the waters of our Faith.

To understand and believe in ‘One’ is difficult enough, but to accept that there are three that interact with every aspect of our lives, sometimes defies the realms of reason.

What does it come down to?

To see the Trinity in every facet of our daily existence!

The three palm trees. Their reflection. Everywhere there are reminders.

It is easy to see God (the Father) in the Old Testament, and sometimes even easier to see Christ in the New Testament and then, on the odd occasion, to feel the workings of the Holy Spirit in a real-life situation. But all three at the same time?

Searching for the Trinity in everything we see and do comes with a deeper connection born in allowing our spiritual self the freedom to explore the silence of our souls.

2020 is a journey along that path that I wish to take.

Walk with me!

Let’s listen ….. when the Wilderness Whispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Goodbye 2019 Hello 2020

As the last few days and hours of 2019 are eaten away, #fridayfootprints bids farewell to Gardening with God, (the theme for 2019) and moves on to a new theme. The garden is being expanded and sees a return to the roots of Wilderness Whispers – the natural environment.

The Master Gardener stays with us in 2020 as #fridayfootprints in the theme #whenthewildernesswhispers goes in search for a deeper experience of the Trinity as nature communicates with us.

Living in Wilderness, with its forests, lakes, rivers and beaches, its wetlands and drylands, its farms and gardens, its sand dunes and mountain range, means that we are surrounded by nature every time we step outside.

And then, when the Wilderness Whispers, the Holy Spirit speaks to us in silence, yet we feel the vibration of His words in the deepest core of our being.

Wilderness is in a district of South Africa named Eden, and for tourists is on the “Garden Route’ – God’s Garden.

Join me in on the 3rd January for the 1st Friday of 2020 and another year of #fridayfootprints. We will walk God’s garden ’route ‘ to listen and feel His voice #whenthewildernesswhispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 27th December 201-

Gardening is about having faith and being secure in the knowledge that if you do it long enough, and if you plant enough; then through God’s design a miracle happens. After years of fruitless and sterile cones, one of the cycads suddenly produced fertile seed.

With the smallest bit of effort – the simple pressing of the seed into the ground will result in baby plants popping up.

The plants were always beautiful and appreciated, lending a structural element to the garden. But that was not their ultimate purpose. They were there to produce viable seed. To reproduce! To spread! To multiply.

Our relationship with the Master Gardener follows a similar route. For some the journey from seedling to ‘seeder’ is a walk in the park. For others it is a lonely journey fraught with danger and frustration. People looking in at the garden, whilst they may appreciate the beauty, yet still fail to see its significance.

Gardening with God is not just about building a deeper relationship with God and it is more than an internal examination of Faith. It is a process of development until we produce fertile seeds and spread them before the Holy Spirit to be blown where they will find fertile soil. The seeds of salvation – Christ has come to save us – He is born, and through His Grace we may have life everlasting and His eternal love.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20th December 2019

As family and friends begin their annual preparations to join together in the celebration of Christmas, so we become aware that the reason for the journey they will all take, is to be together. To celebrate a unity of purpose through the joyful knowledge of what Christmas means to family.

The love that is gathered as the lilies of the fields. Little pieces of love that we harvest and combine. Each has its own form of love. Its own character or personality of love. But, gathered together to celebrate Christmas brings a new dimension.

The lilies in the vase bring the produce of the Master Gardener from the garden to inside the house so He becomes part of the celebration feast. Here, we all are exposed to the evidence of His abundant Love. Each stem is baptised in the same water and even though the flowers face in different directions they share a common base and a unified purpose.

The sounds of laughter fill the house and echo the joy brought by the flowers,

As we have Gardened with God, all year, His bounty is now visible, to be shared with all present and to be witness to our prayers for those unable to be here.

May you all have a Blessed Christmas.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 13th December 2019

Every garden needs a ‘Night Star’. Every gardener too!

                        A reason to believe in a season of Hope.

A beacon of light that shines on the days to come whilst the days of the past are relegated to the shadows.

All the deeds of the year, the energy and sweat that have gone into working under the Master Gardener pale into insignificance with the appearance of the night star. Our bones don’t creak as much, and the muscles suddenly feel more pliant. All because we have sighted the ‘Night Star’ in our garden. Our garden’s own Bethlehem star.

It lights up the night sky with a warm glow that envelopes all who see it. A feeling of knowing that this isn’t the end of a year ‘Gardening with God’ but a sign of the beginning. A new year is just around the corner. A new birth for the garden. New dreams to be dreamed, new paths to be laid, eager for the advent of new footsteps.

Every garden should have its own ‘Night Star’. Its own reason for hope, its own joyful surrender to a future in the hands of the Master Gardener. Its own excitement at the birth of a new life.

A life and a purpose that the garden will bring Hope, Love, and Joy in abundance to all who are touched by the colours, scents and sounds of the “Peace which passes all understanding”.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 6th December 2019

“Dance, then, wherever you may be ……..” (Lord of the dance)

 The garden dance, just my Lord and me,

The flowers dance in the evening breeze

Spirit-filled fairies in the waving trees.

The Master Gardener takes my hand

So, we dance to the beat of the garden’s band.

Oh, so joyous to dance around a summer garden with the expectation of Christmas in the air. Nature is bursting at the seams to tell its own Advent story as the birds scurry to and fro getting nests ready and eggs laid. The insects are eating their fill whilst the caterpillars and snails are running amok in the vegetable patch getting a head start on the Christmas bounty.

Such is summertime in a Wilderness garden; filled with wonder, filled bellies, filled with the happy sounds of a Christmas garden, and filled by the Spirit:

So ….  “Dance, then, wherever you may be”

                                              ….. Come and dance with my Lord and me ……

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 29th November 2019

It is hard not to know that Christmas is upon us!

The hydrangeas are coming into their first full flush, bringing a spectacular display to our garden. A sure sign, that here in Wilderness, Christmas is coming.

Beautiful round pink blushed cheeks, here and there a deeper red, with the odd light blues just starting to poke their heads out from their glossy green leafed cribs. These are our reminder that, not only is the season of Advent here, but it is also the season of visitors, all making the annual journey to the sea.

A year’s worth of hard work under the guidance of the Master Gardener is being rewarded with the garden bursting at the seams with its early summer fireworks display of colour and scents that the garden cannot wait to boast and show off to all and sundry.

When you just can’t wait for friends and family to share the bounty with you, then you know, Gardening with God was made just for Advent. A gardener’s gift that just keeps on giving,

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 22 November 2019

To know that God lives, is to know that He breathes. The gentle, slow, peaceful breathing in and breathing out. To know that God lives in me is to slow my heartbeat to His breathing rhythm.

And then, as the Holy Spirit breathes life into my world, so droplets are formed as His vapour breath condenses.

Creation is around me and I am bathed in it, drop for drop, every waking hour.

Every breath taken is a lung-full closer to a fuller relationship with Him.

Every breath breathed out is just one exhale closer to an eternity with Him.

Every droplet is a reminder that He lives and breathes in my garden, as the Master Gardener shadows me, watching my every move as I tend to His creation.

Oh, that I may have His droplets formed on me and know that He has breath enough and that He has  breathed on me, and I will not waste it!

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The Nursery

There are some days that, when you wake up in the morning, you just know it is going to be a great day!

Sunday 3rd November was just such a day – for three reasons.

Firstly, our current sermon series – Testify! Tell the story of the Good News.

Secondly, fellowship to be shared over a coffee brewed by our church’s new coffee percolator, and

Thirdly, a chance to go and visit all the gardens on display through our community ‘Open Garden’ annual festival.

In fact, it was the last of the three that heightening my levels of excitement and expectation, so much so that my attention during the sermon was probably not what it should have been, none-the-less it did get me thinking.

Thinking about the gardens and all the hard work that has gone into getting them ready for the weekend’s gardening aficionados.

 All the trips to the nursery to find the right plant to fit into the right space. Seeds and seedlings purchased and coddled into spectacular colour. All for what? All to tell a story. A story that would reach into the hearts of the visitors that would last, in many cases, for a lifetime. There would be lessons learnt. Just by walking around the gardens, ideas of what to do in our own respective gardens would stir our creative juices, and hopefully dissolve into glasses of garden cocktails to be cherished by future generations of gardeners.

It also got me thinking about church! And what we expect to get out of it.

For the gardeners, a visit to the nursery, was all about getting the right plant/seed/seedling to fit in a setting that would tell a story. When we go to church, the idea is the same, or should be.

The sermon series on ‘testifying’ or telling ‘THE’ story means that we should be taking something away with us from the service. Our plant that we are going to use to tell a story. Most of the time our weekly visits to church are an internalised story. We expect the story to be told to us, rather than a chance to visit the nursery and see what is on offer that we can take home to our gardens, care for it, nourish it and then put it on display – showing it off to the world.

This is what we gain out of church and out of fellowship. Chances to walk through the nursery and choose the plants best suited for our garden display.

The community ‘Open Garden’ weekend told a story of love, hard work and dedication, overcoming adversity, motivation and sharing. The fellowship amongst the gardeners was palpable! After a year of extreme drought, gardeners still managed to tell their stories, a testimony to colour and form and structure. A testimony to creation and an inspiration to gardeners!

The church does the same. We only have to see it in this light, as a nursery of plants for us to select, take out and put on display along with putting in the hard yards of planting, feeding, watering and caring until the plants come to full maturity in colour and shape as we ‘Garden with God’.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 15th November 2019

There are many special times in the garden.

                        Just after a gentle shower of rain has fallen …

                        As the sun sets on a day’s hard work …

Yet for me, the most special, that early morning peek just as the sun pokes its head over the horizon.

Coffee in hand, I am immersed in a peace and tranquility that brings me closer to God. My thoughts become prayers and my prayers become hymns sung in silence from a place so deep within me, that only God knows it exists.

Time spent in the early morning with the Master Gardener is what it is all about. This is the time that we can enjoy the fruits of our labours and the joys of His creation.

We can share the sunrise with all His creatures as a symphony of sound and colour erupts on the early morning stage. The presence of His Spirit is tangible in every touch of a petal or stroke of a leaf. The silence is so profound that the touch of a dragonfly’s tail on the water is like a sharp crack of thunder awakening the goldfish into shaking off his late-night blues.

Yes! Early in the morning ‘our’ song shall rise to Thee! We are Gardening with God and this is our time to praise Him.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 8th November 2019

He will be like rain … (Psalm 72:6a)

Gardening with God affords us the opportunity to bathe in His word.

Immerse ourselves in His creation.

What a joy!

Such a celebration, as we fluff our feathers to make sure every part of us is exposed to His Glory.

Can we ever get enough of the bounty He has given to us? Let our hearts swell as we soak Him in and let us sing in full voice so all may know the Master Gardener and His boundless Grace.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 1st November 2019

Through the mist of butterfly’s breath

Is a garden.

And in the garden

Is a flower.

And in the flower

is the pollen

And in the pollen

resides the Word.

And the Word and the Garden are one

under the Master Gardener’s Hand.

And the Spirit flutters to and fro

as we Garden with God.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 4th September 2020

There are good days and then there are God days.

For so many of us the God days are the days when we need emotional, physical or spiritual support and strengthening. These are the days that we turn to God for guidance. The days when we cry out to Him for help. The days that we are forced to acknowledge our dependence on the Trinity.

Yet God days should be the good days. The days that the birds are singing, and spring is in the air. God days should be the days we do not just depend on Him but instead, Praise Him for being just being God. Good days are the days when we can throw our arms in the air and shout Hallelujah and not be ashamed.

God days are the good days when we feel that warm fuzzy glow inside us and we know it has nothing to do with our teenage years but rather the little things in life that creep (or hop) into our very being.

God days are the good days when we can be nostalgic and at the same time excited about what the next day will bring, even the next hour.

And a good day becomes a God day the minute we stop and listen as He whispers in the wilderness of our soul sends down roots to become firmly anchored to our innermost core of knowing Him. Then we are Blessed as His creatures becomes part of the landscape of our existence.

May you be blessed with many God days!

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