Sunday, 24 April 2011



Break the box and shed the nard;
Stop not now to count the cost;
Hither bring pearl, opal, sard;
Reck not what the poor have lost;
Upon Christ throw all away:
Know ye, this is Easter Day.

Build His church and deck His shrine;
Empty though it be on earth;
Ye have kept your choicest wine-
Let it flow for heavenly mirth;
Pluck the harp and breathe the horn:
Know ye not 'tis Easter mom?

Gather gladness from the skies;
Take a lesson from the ground;
Flowers do ope their heavenward eyes
And a Spring-time joy have found;
Earth throws Winter's robes away,
Decks herself for Easter Day.

Beauty now for ashes wear,
Perfumes for the garb of woe.
Chaplets for dishevelled hair,
Dances for sad footsteps slow;
Open wide your hearts that they
Let in joy this Easter Day.

Seek God's house in happy throng;
Crowded let His table be;
Mingle praises, prayer and song,
Singing to the Trinity.
Henceforth let your souls alway
Make each morn an Easter Day.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Chaplet - flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes
Nard- an aromatic Himalayan plant, of the valerian family, believed to be the spikenard, the source of an ointment used by the ancients.
Sard - a deep orange-red variety of chalcedony, a milky or greyish translucent to transparent quartz

Saturday, 9 April 2011



Recently, a 12-year-old boy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hung himself. Why? Because the next day was his first day at a new school, he was overweight, and he dreaded being taunted by other children. Few things are more painful than shame. One of the greatest kindnesses we can show others is to take away their false shame through love and acceptance. When the disciples met a man who was blind from birth they asked Jesus, '..."Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?"' (John 9:2 NLT). They weren't concerned that the man needed help or that he'd spent his life in total darkness. No, they started discussing his shortcomings - right in front of him! It's easier to label people than love them. We label things because we think we know what's inside, and we label people for the same reason. We'd rather debate homosexuality than befriend someone who's gay, condemn divorce than help its victims, argue about abortion than support an orphanage, or gripe about social services than help the poor. Jesus didn't see this blind man as a victim of fate, he saw him as an opportunity waiting to happen. He said to His disciples, '..."You're looking for someone to blame... Look instead for what God can do"' (John 9:3 TM). If you don't love people, you don't love God; actually, you don't even know Him! You need to pray, 'Lord, remind me today that the greatest gift I have to give others, is Your love.' When you get serious and begin to pray that way, people will open up to God's help and healing.

This is taken from 'The Word for Today', a daily devotional produced by UCB Christian Broadcasters

Friday, 1 April 2011


Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day, Maud my wife and I went into town and visited a shop. When we came out, there was a Traffic Warden writing out a ticket. We went up to him and I said, 'Come on, how about giving a senior citizen a break?' He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him an "idiot" . He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn-out tyres. So Maud called him a "big bully". He finished the second ticket and put it on the windscreen with the first. Then he started writing more tickets. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote. Just then our bus arrived, and we got on it and went home. We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age.
Thanks to my brother Tony(retired!) for passing on this gem.