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Monday, 30 September 2013

A well organised event.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the organisers of the Looe festival for arranging the event so well. It was a pleasure to walk the streets late at night and to encounter such a pleasant crowd.
Ihave to confess to a negative attitude as is detected from previous blog entries but the festival ran like clockwork. Admittedly I was only in Looe until Saturday evening but by then I had met a good number of visitors, all of whom impressed me by their generocity of spirit. They had come to enjoy the festival and even the weather was not going to dampen their enthusiasm. Thank you so much for all that you brought to us.


We also benefitted in the "old Rusty" from weary festival goers who saw the comfortable chairs (the best in Looe, I was reliably told by one customer!) and came in for a drink and rest. We had possibly the busiest day of the year but also posssibly one of the happiest days also. The staff were encouraged by customers and we all enjoyed being available. Of course our takings were greatly increased by their custom which will in turn be ploughed back into the charity for the benefit of the residents of Looe. This is an important back door way in which the festival has benefitted the lovely people of our town.

I suppose I am now far too old to appreciate a lot of what was played but it is not all about me. The music has finished, the crowds are gone, the organisers have completed their jobs and the streets are returned to us cleaned and free from clutter but something has been left behind: a lot of happy memories and a hope that there might be a similar event again next year. Can I ask is it possible to get David Gilmore or one of the old rock legends for us olduns?? If not how about Brit Floyd as a substitute?

I was saddened that the Christian event "let the Son shine" was cancelled as that would I believe have added an important dimension to the festival. Christian music is often a much maligned media but it is written for a different purpose. It is all for the glory of Christ who died at another festival time. It was the time of the passover when the Jews celebrated their release from slavery in Egypt. That event pointed to the great event of the death of Jesus who on a cross paid for the price of sin. That causes Christians to write great songs of praise to God for His amazing grace. Most will know that great hymn but here are the words to inspire any who might be reading my rambling thoughts:

Amazing Grace Lyrics

John Newton (1725-1807)


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.



Thursday, 26 September 2013

The stage is set.

As you know the Looe music festival is upon us. Last minute preparations are being made. The main stage is in place and the lighting is now being tested. We are also being bombarded by short bursts of very loud music. This is just a taster of things to come. The Love Looe music festival is about to begin but what will the benefits be for us as residents??

I suppose that I have little right to say much being new to the town but I do wonder how many of the residents really are looking forward to the next 72 hours. We are all of a suddden banned from the beach which I assumed was for public use. The banjo pier is out of bounds. Shops and cafe's now need to put up signs in the nearby street to tell customers that business is as usual. On walking through the town to collect my car from it's new hideaway I spoke to a number of shopkeepers who told of their fear of what is about to come. Often what is seen to be a benefit by some can easily be a curse for others. As I have said before I am not against music or even the festival here but is it really a demonstration of love for Looe?

In what ways can Looe be loved? What is it that the population of Looe needs? For the modern music lover the festival is fantastic but what about the classical or opera lovers in our community? There are also problems for those about their legitimate businesses which cannot operate as normal due to road and parking restrictions. Is love really being shown to them by the festival? I am simply asking questions, I do not have an axe to grind. My musical taste is not too far from what will be on offer but what about my right to choose. I am in the firing line of the speaker stacks and my home will be rocking to all that the main stage has to offer. If I wanted peace and quiet I will be exempted from it and all in the name of Love for Looe.

It is easy to be a cynic and to be critical but as I was sitting here in peace and quiet I was just considering what kind of love Looe really needs. I applaud the festival organisers who have given of time and effort sacrificially in order to show love to our town and I am sure there will be many benefits, so a big thank you to the organisers for considering the town.

There is another way of showing love to the people of Looe which I believe will be of benefit in another way. It is as I am sure you will know by now from other posts of mine the gospel of Jesus Christ. he came to bring peace to the hearts of all who will believe on Him. It was because God so loved Looe (and all of the world) that He sent His Son Jesus in order that by faith we might gain everlasting life: John 3:16

You see in and through Christ, God demonstrates His love to both Looe and all of humanity.

The stage is set for the festival to begin:


It is by its presence declaring to all the delights that are to be on offer. It is a shining beacon across the landscape that speaks of man's love for Looe.

It was only last week that the stage was set for another declaration of love for Looe. The bible says that all of creation declares the glory of God and so I took another photo:

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Looe Festival.


Let the celebrations begin:

I am sitting here in the flat waiting for the new day to begin in earnest. The gulls are making their aquaintance known to each other. All it seems are shouting good morning to our little town and all at the same time.


The deliveries for the day are arriving, not only for the "old Rusty" but Mawgans and the Boscarn and the other local places of refreshment; the "sounds of silence" are being invaded by the bustle of yet another morning. I praise God for another day of His grace extended to mankind and especially for my new found community here in Cornwall.


Let the day begin:



We are all about to fly off to our daily duties but there is something different about today:

It all began yesterday when workmen appeared on the beach. Flattening the sand, digging deep holes that put the holiday makers to shame. Their little buckets and spades pale into insignificance against the mechanically dug holes and structures appearing before our very eyes.

What is happenning?

Preparations for the Looe festival are being made. The Looe music festival is upon us. We are being invaded with music fans of varying shades. Interesting???? clothes are the order of the day that we of the older generation can only wonder at. "What on earth they are wearing?" seems to be a popular question amongst my generation. It has always been the question aimed towards our younger people! But then we go back into our memory banks and remember the "beards, hair, kaftans and sandals" that we wore whist putting flowers in our hair, that seems to give us the licence to wax lyrical about how much better things were the 60's or to that fact whatever era we come from! We love to fantasize that the music and clothes and of course the festivals were so much better in our day. I would never have believed you if you had told me that I would one day be guilty of saying exactly the same things that my father did to me.

Oh well; as a famous man once said "there is nothing new under the sun!"


Let the festival begin:

What is it all about? Fans are readying themselves to descend on the fishing town of Looe. They have eager expectations of seeing and adoring their heroes. Sham 69, the Darkness, the Damned and Disraeli and his small gods are about to come and offer great blessing to their band of followers. They will I am sure thrill them to bits. Their followers are already singing their praises to me as I meet them in the cafe. I am being regularly witnessed to as to the great virtues of these rock gods. Fans go to great length in oredr that they might convert me from my old dead Pink Floyd following to the new 21st century rock gods.


They are asking "why do we not all go the way of the Damned?" "Why are we not in the Darkness' club?" "Disraeli has his own little band of gods that will give us all we need!" All that I can say in reply is that it is a "Sham" and even "69" seems to have some significance:

In the bible 7 is a symbol of perfection. For eaxample, 7 days makes one perfect week etc. 7o is often the number of days that God gave for certain things to happen. 69 falls short of perfection that is simply what the 666 of Revelation is all about: not quite reaching the standard that God requires. Sham 69 might well thrill many with their music; it is not not be my cup of tea but that does not make it all bad. Their is nothing really wrong with festvals and certainly not the Looe festival (after all it is organised by a charity who like our very own wish to demonstrate LOve to the people of Looe) but music will never fully satisfy the needs of the heart of mankind.

I am sure that most visitors will leave having been blessed by the experience. There will be much to talk about but when the music fades what will we be left with?

I am guessing that the litter pickers will be busy, the eating and drinking establihments will be making great profits, the rock gods will be resting and accounting. Managers will be gloating, construction workers will be deconstructing and eventually Looe will be restored to normality.

The sad thing about all of this to me is that there is another celebration that takes place over every weekend that goes largely missed by most people. This celebration sees Christians preparing themselves and going to the place Of LIGHT, we having once been Damned due to personal sin but are now forgiven and are Justified. We once followed our own little god's and worshipped their very being but now we are in relationship with the LIVING GOD. We lived a SHAM where we missed the mark or standard that God had set but now we have instead of a "could do better" mark we have a mark of perfect from God Almighty.

As Christians we go to our churches silently in expectation of the great blessing God makes available to us and we hardly tell a soul about it. We would do well to be like the seagulls this morning; they anashamedly have told us all that today has begun and they are now enjoying God's kind provision of another day. We would do well also to learn from our friends who are about to enjoy the music festival and sing its praises loud and long. I wonder why we are so silent about the blessings of being in relationship with God through our faith in Jesus?? Does His sacrifice on our behalf thrill us as much as a David Gilmore (sorry that I do not know who plays for the afore-mentioned bands) guitar solo does??? Are we thrilled to go to the festival of worship in the church as are the rock fans as they go to their particular venue?

I suggest that we are probably not and so we keep silent.

Rock on Looe this weekend, I am sorry that I will not be with you, next year if possible I will stay but I will ceratinly be in a festival this Sunday. It will be a harvest festival in Upper Colwall in Worcestershire where we will be thankful for the harvest of food but more importantly the harvest of souls who have been saved by God's good grace.

I hope that the festival in Looe is a good time but that maybe somebody will find complete satisfaction in Christ alone.




Saturday, 21 September 2013

The leaves that are green turn to brown.

On "The Sounds of silence" which I would say was Simon and Garfunkel's best album


they sang a song called "the leaves that are green turn to brown." It is a song that seems to look at the passing of young life as a meaningless excercise:


I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song.
I'm twenty-two now but I won't be for long
Time hurries on.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown,
And they wither with the wind,
And they crumble in your hand.

Once my heart was filled with the love of a girl.
I held her close, but she faded in the night
Like a poem I meant to write.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown,
And they wither with the wind,
And they crumble in your hand.

I threw a pebble in a brook
And watched the ripples run away
And they never made a sound.
And the leaves that are green turned to brown,
And they wither with the wind,
And they crumble in your hand.

Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello,
Good-bye, Good-bye, Good-bye, Good-bye,
That's all there is.
And the leaves that are green turned to brown.

It seems that Paul Simon who wrote the song is saying something of what King Solomon said as he wrote the book of the Old Testament that we know as Ecclesiates. To Solomon as he looked at life from an earthly perspective everything was meaningless, life and experience was just "a blowing in the wind!" (To quote Bob Dylan also.) But why the pessimism?

This weekend we go through the Autumn equinox where we leave this fantastic summer behind and move into Autumn proper. I know the weather forecasters have been telling us that Autumn started 3 weeks ago but they are just plain wrong! The seasons are ordered by the Lord and not scince or the media.

We are about to move into the Autumn of 2013. That is historic in itself. There will only ever be one of them. It is unique, the events that will happen are for this time alone and so why not enter into this autumn with eager anticipation? Let us look forward to the benefits that it will bring.

I have my camera at the ready for the colourful pictures of leaves that are still a kind of green turning to brown. The inbetween colurs of the red end of the spectrum are so spectacular that snaps of the process are best sellers in books, magazines, paintings etc. Then there are all of the berries that feed the birds, wild animals and us so readily. I am told to look forward to a bumper harvest of cob nuts and blackberries.



The fields are "white and ready for harvest" the grain is being "safely gathered in!" This is the time of great productivity, the harvest of hard working farmers, gardeners and allotment holders. It is a great season of provision and yet we seem to have this almost negative view of it.

I wonder: "why?"



I suppose beyond autumn comes winter, but why the negativity towards winter which is simply a time of rest for "mother nature?" A time when the old dies away and life awaits the resurrection of spring. Solomon along with others throughout history have seen all of this as a meaningless process but if we were more honest it is really what the rest of the year is all about. Without autumn there would be no harvest and no provision for the days to come. Autumn is therefore vital for our future, let us celebrate it this year and rejoice that by His good grace God has once again brought us to the time of peovision.



I guess that you might not be too surprised that in all of this I see something of a bigger picture that applies to us.

Moders society seems to be obsessed with the spring time of human life. Youth is all that seems to be of any great importance. Wherever we are we are bombarded with youthful fashion, music and influence and yet the largest people grouping in our society are in the autumn of our lives. It is this group that are producing the blessings for the continuation of humanity. They have produced their family and paid into the "coffers" of the land and are awaiting their winter transformation and yet along with winter there is no real concern for what they are.

We should be celebrating our middle to older aged folks. They have brought our society to where it is today. Some of thet is corrupted just like the apple with blight but there is much great fruit from their lives that will be of great benefit for the future of mankind. There are millions of them (and of course I am one of them!) who are stepping from the summer of life into our autumn. We are becoming craggy and wrinkled, the energy levels are diminishing but to God we are beautiful (if we belong to Him!) and He looks down on what we are as a great harvest that is being safely gathered in.



How do we belong? That is a simple question to answer because the bible tells me the answer. There is only one way to please God and that is by faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ who died sacrificially a sinners death on behalf of all who will by repentance trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins. We then begin to produce fruit that God supplies through us that is for the benefit of God's people (the church) and for the wider public.

Just as God provides a great harvest for all of nature to benefit from, so also does He provide blessing for all people through His church. We live in the autumn period of history where there is a great harvest of men, women, girls and boys being gathered into the store houses of God Almighty for time and eternity.


Let us not despise autummn it is God's time of provision in nature which ought to point us to the greater autumn which is God's harvest field.

The question left is: Are you a part of God's harvest? If you want to know more why not contact me through the channels already provided on this blog and I will point you to the the Great Harvester of the soul.



Thursday, 19 September 2013

Back to normal?

It has been interesting to meet some of the locals for the first time in recent days. I mentioned in an earlier blog that one of the "locals" thanked the holiday makers for giving Looe back to the residents. We are just now beginning to understand something of what that might mean.


The clientele of the "old Rusty" has changed dramatically over the last 2 weeks. it is not meant to be in any way insulting but it is much more sedate now. There are still a good number of holiday makers that are frequenting the coffee shop and we are most grateful for thier custom. After all the charity needs customers in order that we might continue to be of benefit within our community. What I mean when I say a more sedate clientele is that they have either reached a certain age of freedom from the shackles of work or are couples (or singles) without school age children. Visitors are here on holiday not only for beach (the weather has become autumnal and as such walking and not lounging is more the order of the day!) This makes for a very different atmosphere in the cafe.


There is then the return of the locals who have themselves been either busy working with or for the holiday makers or who have not ventured this way due to having to battle the crowds down the main street and for that matter every other steet, nook and cranny of the town. All of this and I suppose many other factors have made a real difference within the cafe itself. I am in no way saying "thank goodness that the holiday makers have gone." I have loved the buzz and busyness of the summer but am now looking forward to the challenges of Autumn, the quiet wildness of winter and the new beginning of the spring to come.


It all makes me wonder how different a Christmas might be here as opposed to South Wales. I have in the past experieinced a few New Years eve's in Swanage and so have some sort of understanding of the party atmosphere that Looe might have that night but I look forward to the experience! Then there is the music festival of next week, even though I have grown up through the hippy days I have never gone to a festival and so this will be very different for me. I have been to numerous rock concerts and still love much of the rock music available, but what is Looe like under the invasion of the rock officianados?



These and many other issues make me excited to be a new member of the Looe community and I thank all that have taken the time to welcome these new members of the community. It was great last night to meet a few of the neighbours in the middle of the road (yes the road) just outside the "old Rusty" chatting and making arrangements without being accosted by a constant stream of vehicles.


Today is the first Thursday when some residents over a certain age are joining us in our "upper room" for a cream tea and musical entertainment. I am looking forward to seeing how all of this works and how it fits in with the wider work of the Rusty Bucket; which of course is a Christian witness within the town.


I believe in the gospel as being the way that God brings people into relationship with Him. It is His gracious way that has been appointed for people to come to Him and so how does a coffee shop fulfil it's function as a way to God. The next phase of my learning curve has begun.


Praise the Lord that Autumn is only a couple of days away. I would ask my praying readers to pray for this important work here in Looe as we try to make a difference. There are many lonely and confused people in all communities and so I am convinced that it must be true here in this beautiful Cornish town also. Pray that we will help the people here where it really matters.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

WWW.Looe = Wet Windy Wonderful.Looe


"What a difference a day makes, just 24 little hours"so the song goes. How true that is today. Yesterday was according to the meteorologists supposed to be wet and miserable. I was so glad that they for once got it wrong on my day off. But today they were absolutely accurate. Dull, wet and windy but despite that it is still a wonderful place to be.

One of the comments made by many people is that we must be thrilled to have moved to such a beautiful place. The implication being that where we have come from is not so beautiful. I set a challenge to you. Here are some pictures of Ogmore-by-Sea. Just compare the stunning beauty of the South wales coast with where we are now.







Ogmore-by Sea is beautiful in its vast open spaces.

Looe is very different.

But which is the most beautiful?







Early morning.


Moon over the sea.

Why not tell me what you think on the comments page?

I will post in a few weeks time telling revealing my thoughts.



Sunday, 15 September 2013

A question of balance.


How do we keep a right persective in life? As we look at nature everything is seeking to find an equilibrium or balance. The mathematician has to balance his equations, the chemist has to balance his chemical formulae and the accountant has to balance his books. Everything must be balanced to keep order in whatever we do. We even talk about having a balanced mind in order that normal life might continue. It is therefore no surprise that God expects Christians and th church to be balanced in their approach to life and ministry.


This was the subject of the Pastor's sermon at Grace Community Church, Morval, Near Looe this morning. It was a topical address concerning the church and Christian approach to social concern. The sermon is posted on the Grace website. I would commend you to download and listen but be aware it comes with a spirtual health warning. It will challenge the state of your heart and will cause you to re-consider some well entrenched ideaks that we might have. You can find the message at:

http://www.gracecc.org.uk/sermonfiles/ed/06_Amos_James_150913.mp3

We were challenged to keep both faith and works in balance and harmony, without exalting one over the other. God is angry when our balance tips over to either side but there is true blessing for us when we are balanced abd for our outreach efforts also.

Where does that balance lie?

This is my conclusion but I believe also the conclusion of Pastor: We are to love our God with all of our being first and foremost. Then when we love God in such a way we will want to be like Him in our love for both ourselves and for others. He loves us sacrificially and went to extreme ends to bring us into fiendship with Him. We too must do all that we can to show the love of Christ to all that we know. That will result in us being concerned for soul, body and mind of those to whom we atke the gospel. The balance is theat the gospel can only be effective through the declared word but social concern is the vehicle by which we gain the opportunity to speak the gospel. The two work hand in hand. We can however help with the physical needs of a person without the gospel but that will only result in helping that person for now but the gospel preached could change their position before God for all of eternity.

As Christians we are called by God to engage with unbelievers and show them the hope found in Jesus Christ. We let Him down if we are only concerned about the physical well being of others. On the other hand we let our contacts down if we only preach and do not help them out in times of difficulty. The balance must be right in order that we do the very best for society today.

Friday, 13 September 2013

A lovely day.

This might sound strange to some but the weather today has been rather awful. In fact it was just what you might expect of a British summer's day but despite that it has been a lovely day. It has been lovely because of many things; most of which are people.


We have had a very busy day in the “Old Rusty” with many delightful customers; they were people with great big smiles and a relaxed spirit about them. It has not been a particularly profitable day as far as takings in the cafĂ© are concerned but it has been a most encouraging day.


It was fascinating to watch how Ash the dog opposite can control a whole street-full of people and also most of our customers with his playful ball skills and how he can then just stop playing at will. Leaving his adoring fans somewhat perplexed and dissappointed as to why he doesn't want to play with them! (If you want to see more of him I am told that he has his own Facebook page, why not look him up?) He brought a lot of enjoyment to many of our customers.


It was also interesting to observe how our holiday clientele has changed this week. It is no longer a children oriented group of people but couples and groups of friends holidaying together or away for a few days on a coach holiday. It seems that a more sedate week is at hand. Get ready with the tea cakes!


There were also a number of people who were on their own, each with a story to tell. Some were sad at the recent loss of their life-long partner. It was good to have a chat with lonely folks who are going through a hard time of grief.
Then there are our trusty locals who are faithful to what we are trying to achieve, I am so grateful that they are welcoming us with open arms into their lovely community.


It would be quite wrong to not mention my colleagues for the day, Juliet on washing up duties. She sacrificially gives her time freely because she is convinced that God will use our little efforts for the glory of His name. Then there is Pam the cook who just happens to have the privilege? of being married to yours truly and also Marie who has the misfortune of having to refer to me as Pa. These have all made the working day a delight. Paul and Peggy are ever faithful to the work and give tirelessly and faithfully beyond all expectation.


All in all this has made today a lovely day.
I want to thank all that have made it so good and I pray that somewhere the Rusty Bucket might have made a difference to somebody on this Friday the 13th September. To some a day to dread but to us who know of God’s saving grace it was just another lovely day of amazing blessing.


Praise Him for all that He has done.





The weather might enhance a day but being in good company makes it a lovely day.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Are you willing to give me a drink of water?

Whilst serving a customer he asked me if he and his wife could just share a glass of tap water between them. My response was "would you like ice in it?" He went on to tell me that they had walked out of another cafe due to their unfriendly response. They then proceeded to order both food and drink for themselves. It is a strange incident in which I seem to come out trumps but it highlights something most significant. As a Christian charity we should be like our Saviour who gave of Himself freely. There is an incident in John's gospel chapter 4 where Jesus asked a samaritan woman for a drink of water. She is confused that a Jewish man would ask for a drink of water from a woman from a nation that was hated by the Jews. Jesus' reply was that if only she knew who He was then she would ask for the wster of life. Jesus is spiritual water which leads to eternal life. The woman's meeting with a man led to her salvation. My customer met with my accomodating reply (thank God for that!) I would hope and pray that he might meet Him who offers so much more than a glass of tap water.

Billy Bray

Challenge for the new day.


It was said of Billy Bray (a converted tin miner of the 19th century: why not read his biography?) that:

"Religion to him was not a duty to be done-not a privilege to be enjoyed in leisure hours-not a benefit club, a comfortable provision for "rainy days; it was life. Never left behind, never put off with Sunday clothes, never hidden before great or low, good or bad, but in him, flowing through him, speaking in every word, felt in every action, seen in every look-deep, true,abiding religion was with him altogether a life. Dead indeed unto sin, he was now living unto God through Jesus Christ."

Before Billy's conversion he was a drunkard and blasphemer of the first order but found a new and forgiven life through faith in Christ. He who is forgiven much loves much.

Why not follow this link to a short you tube clip about Billy's life?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh-2T7_cUvU

Oh to be a little bit more like Billy Bray as we begin yet another day of grace.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A God forsaken place?

After a couple of lovely days in Lynton we returned home via some of the most magnificent scenary outside of Wales. My conclusion is that Great Britain is the most beautiful land imaginable.
We travelled through 3 counties and saw the coastline in all of its beauty and the delights of Exmoor. before retuning home Dartmoor beckoned us.

The surprising highlight of my day was to drive past the prison at Princetown. A dark and dismal place which is designed to offer no hope to all imprisoned within its walls. I cannot imagine being incarcerated in such a grey place surrounded by such beauty.

The moors are open and free but the prisoners are locked in and with no liberty and yet it was still a privilege for me to be there. The reason being that a number of years ago a man named Fred Lemon was imprisoned there. It was during his imprisonment that by God's amazing grace the Lord Jesus visited him and saved him from his sin. That made a remarkable change in Fred's life. From that day on he lived a God glorifying life that led him to be an honorary member of the Christian Police Association. He is the only criminal to have done so I believe.

The memory of Fred's testimony made me remember that it is when men and women are at the lowest ebb that God so often works graciously in their lives. You can read the full story in "Breakout" the biography of Fred's life. Can you believe God visited that prison? This goes to prove that their are no God forsaken places on the earth! Not even those designed by man for the punishment of those that somw would term the dregs of society.

The long and winding road:

One of the best songs written and sung by the Beatles in my humble estimation is the long and winding road. The title could be the motto of my day. Another song sums up my day also, it is an old Christian chorus or ditty: "when the road is rough and steep." Both of these songs have great significance for our day in and around Lynton and Lynmouth. It all started with a lovely breakfast in Sinai House and then developed as we started a walk through the town and down the valley of the rocks. We could see showers dotted across the sea but only experienced a few moments of drizzle. What a blessing! We went ascended to the summit of the rock at the bottom of the valley:

We stayed at the top for half hour or more and just took in the breataking views, we were also trying to work out what the helicopter was buzzing around for. Up there we met a nice couple whose wedding anniversary it just happened to be. We kept bumping into them for the whole day.
The rough and at times steep long widing coastal pathway led us rather spectacularly to lunch at Lynmouth:
After ham, egg, chips and esspresso mingled with a bit of shop browsing we set off to Watersmeet. Another of those rough, steep and long winding pathways take us to the idyllic Watersmeet where we were greeted by a National Trust coffee shop followed by the long trek back to Lynmouth, a ride up the cliff railway and then up the 60'ish steps to relaxation.

There is an important point to my rambling, I MADE IT! For any who know me I have been somewhat compromised with mobility due to hip problems but on the 4th May Mr Mark Mullins replaced my right hip bone with a nice new ceramic joint. I would like to thank Mark for his brilliance and also two really good friends for their kindness in covering the cost. The blessing to me is that I can walk free of any discomfort; but there is more. I have suffered with chronic fatigue for 10 years now and that has finally disappeared.
Again my gratitude goes to Caroline for all of her support, pills and recipes. I am sorry but I could not stop drinking coffee but the rest of your advice has been vital. I ended my walk with no ill effects and felt as if I could have walked into the night. These are real bonuses and so hill walking I return to you. I also hope to fulfil my dream of cycling again.
But there is even more still, the second of the songs quoted:

"When the road is rough and steep" continues:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
He alone has power to keep,
Turn you eyes upon Him,
Jesus is a faithful friend,
one on whom you can depend,
He will keep you to the end,
Turn your eyes upon Him.

I am reminded that the road of life that I am on (you are on a similar road) is punctuated by all sorts of delights, difficulties and issues. We go up hill and down dale, finding occasional rest, food and solitude that sustains us for our journey. The bible describes the Lord Jesus to be food for His friends and also water for them. He is peace and rest in their need, correction in their wanderings, strength in their weakness, love in their loneliness and peace in their hearts. We experience many things on a pleasure walk but with Jesus we experience life to the full in all circumstances. There is of course another valley that we will all walk through; the valley of the dark shadows of death is a reality but on the other side is comfort for God's children. Are you one?
Jesus is the bridge to life will you walk with Him?

Monday, 9 September 2013

2 nights at Sinai.

I have never had the urge to go to the historical bible places and probably if I did go would not really enjoy the experience. Therefore the prospects of going to Sinai do not really thrill me. It is not about where God has worked in the past that is important but what He is doing today with His people.
I just happened to stumble across Sinai House in Lynton as I searched through the "cheap deals" for a couple of nights away before the Autumn sets in. I have never visited Lynton before and have heard many of Pam's stories of family holidays in the area. From the stories I know of past disasters in the town and also of the Valley of the Rocks which I am keen to explore. I therefore booked in and have now spent one night in a delightful guest house with equally delightful hosts; Debbie and Nigel.(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

The Green House Restaurant in Lynton was recommended as a nice place to eat and so we trecked (yes I mean trecked: Barbican Hill in Looe has nothing on Sinai Hill!!) down to the restaurant where we had my belated birthday meal. Pam enjoyed duck whilst I had Lobster and prawn salad. It was my first sampling of Lobster and I am glad that the poor critter made the ultimate sacrifice for my benefit.

After a good night's sleep I woke up (after 9 hours uninterrupted sleep: yes 9 hours folks) and opened the curtains to see this:


We are now in our 40th year of marriege and have said numerous times that "one of these days" we would go Lynton.

For 20 years in Ogmore-by-Sea we looked across the water to the 2 parallel lines of lights of Lynton and Lynmouth and often said "one of these days!2 we will go over and look back. Now here we are it is "one of those days" and we look back to many fond memories as we think of great friends and neighbours.

We pray for the church that the Lord has called together in that beautiful place and miss them greatly but here we are in another of those days of God's good grace where we can enjoy all that he has given us. Watersmeet, Valley of the Rocks, Lynmouth here I come for my day out and to cap it all the sun is shining, despite our weather forecasters best efforts to change it.

ONE OF THESE DAYS here I come.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

It's only people having fun?

In our supposed post modern world it is expected that we can all do just as we please as long as it does not offend others. The scale of offence is therefore all important. My difficulty is how do we therefore assess what is truly offensive.
Due to the belief that we all have our rights and we are therefore entitled to live life just as we please causes a serious dilemma for the general well being of the population.

These were my very thoughts at between 2 & 3:00 this morning when the customers of the local night club turned out from a night of fun. There is obviously no problem with them all enjoying their time but when it spills out on the streets of the town there is suddenly a clash of cultures.

I lay in bed listening to arguments between men and also women. It was clear that a number of issues were coming to the fore:

Firstly there was understandably disappointment that the evening had come to an end.

Secondly there was the reality of being in the real world once again; the fun of the club has ended!

Thirdly the alcohol or whatever became more potent in the night air.

The result being that the volume control along with tolerance levels were completely out of balance. This caused arguments between friends and lovers that all in the dwelling places around could hear. I have to say that this did not make me angry but I had a real sense of there being something missing within these folk. They were out looking for a good time of fun with friends, lovers and potential friends and lovers and now for some it had all faded away suddenly in the night air. There were even scuffles and punch ups, how sad that friendships and relationships end in such a way possibly due more to substances within the circulatory system rather than a clash of character.

In our post modern world they are of course fully entitled to all that they experienced but I wonder if I was equally entitled to the disturbance. Are my visitors and neighbours equally entitled to the commotion?

Post modernism it seems to me has a number of advantages, I do have my rights etc but a great disadvantage with it is that it can cause anti-nomianism. (Which means that I can do just what I please whatever the consequences to my neighbours and of course there can be no law against my rights!)

I love the way that the Lord Jesus summed up the second part of the 10 cammandments: "Love your neighbour as you love yourself." If all of our community (including those critics lying in our beds!) could just simply love ourselves rightly and then love others in the same way then our society would be very different. As I lay in my bed my thoughts went to the Saviour's sacrificial love for me and that caused me to pray that those real people on the streets of Looe. My prayer was that they might experience the fun of a fulfilled life and the peace that only He can give.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

From the rising of the sun.

From the rising of the sun:
To the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised. "Oh what a beautiful morning.