Waiting for rain

For the last twenty-five years, every time I’ve been on holiday, I’ve bought something for the Christmas tree.  It has become something of a tradition.  Each year, shortly before Christmas, as I decorate the tree, I remember all the places that I’ve been, the adventures, and the people.  One by one, the ornaments come out…

On belonging

Today is my first day “back to work” after a month’s leave, which saw me return home to England.    Today has been a busy but typical Monday.  I’ve reviewed this coming Sunday’s sermon which I’d written some weeks ago, selected the hymns and liturgy for Sunday, prepared next week’s service for a residential home, thought…

‘Tis the Lord! O Wondrous Story!

I grew up in the west country of England, first in Devon, and then Somerset, the county I still consider home.  I have memories from early childhood of me and my three siblings squeezed into the back of mum’s car and driving around Dartmoor.  We’d all sing songs and hymns in the car as we…

On Nicodemus, Niagara Falls and the Cross

Fairly recently, a member of the congregation gave me a wooden duck that they had carved and smoothed.  I have instructions to gift it to my mum when I return to Somerset later this year.  It’s something tactile for mum to hold on those days when mum isn’t feeling so well.  Something to remind her…

On reflection and radiance

I have always loved the Sandy Denny song, “Who knows where the time goes?” “Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving, But how can they know it’s time for them to go?” I’m quite sure that the older I get, the faster time is moving; each new season greeting me sooner than expected. …

An invitation and a promise

Even after fifteen years in Adelaide, I still feel a bit homesick at Christmas.  It usually starts when I write my Christmas cards and post them.  Fortunately, last December kept me super-occupied with five Sunday services, and Poetry Church, newsletters to write, visits to make, and winding up various things in time for the summer…

Sing to the Lord a new song

This morning, I took in the service from a pew near the back of the church.  I had preached for the last eight weeks in a row, through Advent and Christmas and well into January, so I was quite content simply to receive the word for the day from a comfortable spot at the back…

Mow the lawn

I woke up early this morning, but the sun had already been up for a while.  I lay in bed looking out of the big window at the back garden.  The honeyeaters and blackbirds and sparrows were all busy at their work.  I couldn’t see the blue tongue, but I imagine he – or she…

Standing on the promises

When I was about 16, I left my parent’s Baptist church and joined a Christian fellowship that had been formed after a split from mum and dad’s church.  I don’t remember the reasons why the church had split, and I really can’t recall what my own reasons were for following after the other congregation.  What…

Gaudete

Earlier this year, knowing that the next day’s forecast was set for hot and humid, I set a very early alarm, so that I could set off and photograph the metallic sun orchids.  The secret location was so many hours’ drive away, and I didn’t know if I’d even spot them, let alone see them…