Carrying the Cross seemed so wrong

IMG_4271On Good Friday I was asked if I’d like to carry the cross and lead the procession down Walton High Street from Tesco’s to the Post Office. What an honour, what a privilege I thought – till I started!

Leading this silent solemn procession at a snail’s pace down the street with people stopping to look and children pointing and asking their mums what they were doing and not being able to declare out the Good news in a loud voice was so hard. Wearing my world map jacket every bit of me was itching to call out

‘Someone up there likes you, loves you, died for you.                              God loves people so much that He sent His only son to die for us so that everyone who starts to really believe in Him will get a brand new life that not even death can stop.

God isn’t about judging us, He loves us so, so much and wants to set us free from all our hurts, habits and hangups. Continue reading

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‘How Great Thou Art’ and its Ukraine and Walton links

how-great-thou-art-550x320I was thrilled to discover recently that the writer of the world renowned hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ lived nearby here in Walton. The story of how it came to be written has the touch of God all over it!

Stuart Hine who died 25 years ago was inspired to write his hymn in the late 1920’s and early ’30’s, when he was traveling through Ukraine with his wife Mercy doing missionary work. He heard a hymn based on a Swedish poem ‘O Store Gud’ being sung in Russian, learned it and started re-writing some of the verses and writing new ones as events inspired him. Continue reading

THE ‘F’ WORD

the F word On the morning after his 16th birthday, Jimmy Mizen went out to buy his first lottery ticket and popped into the Three Cooks Bakery to pick up a snack as he did every Saturday morning. Into the shop swaggered the short wiry aggressive Dirty Detz, gangster rapper, drug dealer, street fighter who barged Jimmy out of the way, jumped the queue demanding to know why there were no chicken sandwiches left.

‘Some manners wouldn’t go amiss’, said Jimmy quietly.

Three minutes later Jimmy was dead. Fatally wounded in a frenzied attack. He bled to death in his brothers arms. Continue reading

NOT FOR THE NERVOUS

nervous‘The worship style was designed for total accessibility

The drummers all stuck to soft cymbals and beats anyone could handle

The guitarists deployed good effects, but condensed them, so the highs and lows never stretched too wide.

The lyrics tended to be rhythmic and pronunciation perfect, the better to sing along with.

There were no sad songs in this megachurch, and no angry songs. There were songs about desperation, but none about despair; songs conveying longing but only longings that already been fulfilled Continue reading