Day: 12/07/2014

My Personal Top 12

Completing 6 months of blogging has been harder work and far more rewarding than I had imagined. As I looked back on the various posts, it was nice to visit some ‘old friends’, which I had not read in a while. Visitors can see which posts have most popular among them if they scroll to the foot of the blog, but I hope I am not being too self-indulgent in identifying my own favoured twelve poems of the first half of the year, each for different reasons. They are listed simply in alphabetical order.

Thank you to everyone who visits, follows, reads, likes, re-blogs, tweets, and comments, and thank you God for being the reason it all happens to begin with.


Be Baptised

Christ has set me Free

Hold on my Friend

In Christ


The Mirror

None Shall Know the Hour

Peace be with you

The Script of My Life

The Truth of you Tears

When I Pray

Your Credit? Your Debt?

The Chief Cornerstone

Mud bricks without straw
Will crumble and fail
I Am the straw
Which binds and gives strength

Clay bricks bear no weight
Without first being fired
I Am the furnace
Which forms solid purpose

No brick cleaves to another
Without mortar to join
I Am the lime
Which fills, binds, and breathes

No wall shall stand
Without firm, deep foundations
I Am the bedrock
Which bears the build’s strain

No arch will stand
Without structure and a keystone
I Am the Kingdom capstone
Which holds the arch aloft

A building without openings
Remains eternally in darkness
My arches create windows
To let in My Light

I am the Chief cornerstone
My church’s anchor and footing
And I My church shall stand
To the end of all days

‘Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.’
– Ephesians 2:19-20

Quotes on being Silent before God

“When we discover the secret of being inwardly at worship while outwardly at work, we find that the soul’s silence brings us to God and God to us. Silence takes us beyond the limits of consciousness and into the heart and mind and will of God.”
― Brent Bill, Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality

“Silence is one of the deepest disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on all self-justification. One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier. We don’t need to straighten others out.”
― Richard J. Foster, Seeking the Kingdom: Devotions for the Daily Journey of Faith

“Silence will illuminate you in God… and deliver you from phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite you to God…. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then from our very silence is born something that draws us into deeper silence. May God give you an experience of this ‘something’ that is born of silence”
― Isaac of Nenevah

“If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence, like the sunlight will illuminate you in God.”
― St Issac, 7th Century Hermit Monk

“I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the colour and fragrance of a flower – the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.”
― Helen Keller

“The doorway into the silent land is a wound. Silence lays bare this wound. We do not journey far along the spiritual path before we get some sense of the wound of the human condition, and this is precisely why not a few abandon a contemplative practice like meditation as soon as it begins to expose this wound; they move on instead to some spiritual entertainment that will maintain distraction. Perhaps this is why the weak and wounded, who know very well the vulnerability of the human condition, often have an aptitude for discovering silence and can sense the wholeness and healing that ground this wound.

There is something seductive about the contemplative path. “I am going to seduce her and lead her into the desert and speak to her heart” (Hosea 2:14), says Yahweh to Israel. It is tempting to think it is a superior path. More often, however, the seduction is to think we can use our practice of contemplation as a way to avoid facing our woundedness: if we can just go deeply enough into contemplation, we won’t struggle any longer. It is common enough to find people taking a cosmetic view of contemplation, and then, after considerable time and dedication to contemplative practice, discover that they still have the same old warts and struggles they hoped contemplation would remove or hide. They think that somewhere they must have gone wrong.

Certainly there is deep conversion, healing, and unspeakable wholeness to be discovered along the contemplative path. The paradox, however, is that this healing is revealed when we discover that our wound and the wound of God are one wound.”
― Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

“The simplest spiritual discipline is some degree of solitude and silence. But it’s the hardest, because none of us want to be with someone we don’t love. Besides that, we invariably feel bored with ourselves, and all of our loneliness comes to the surface.

We won’t have the courage to go into that terrifying place without Love to protect us and lead us, without the light and love of God overriding our own self-doubt. Such silence is the most spacious and empowering technique in the world, yet it’s not a technique at all. It’s precisely the refusal of all technique.”
― Richard Rohr, Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr

“Space is as important as content, and silence as important as singing. Our music and art should be filled with more beauty, more grace, and definitely more space. In the layer beneath the text God speaks to us; in the silence we hear God’s heartbeat;”
― Martin Smith, Delirious: My Journey with the Band, a Growing Family, and an Army of Historymakers

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

“For you, My children, I will unlock the secret treasures hidden from so many. Not one of your cries is unheard. I am, indeed, with you to help you. Live out all I have said to you, and follow every detail as I have instructed you. As you implicitly obey all that I say, success — spiritual, mental, and physical — shall be yours. Wait in silence awhile, conscious of My presence in which you must live to have rest for your souls, and power and joy and peace.”
― Lacie Stevens, God Calling: A Timeless Classic Updated in Today’s Language

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ”
― Mother Teresa

“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
― Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers

“We too are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with Him — not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything — to dwell lovingly in His presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless. We cannot find God in noise or agitation.”
― Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers

“But there is that certain something about wanting to do the will of God. If one is sincere and if one really wants to know what His will is, all one has to do is be quiet. Shut off the television and radio, and in that silence one will always hear that still small voice in one’s heart telling him what to do.”
― Maria von Trapp, Maria

“The Lord prepared Moses for his ministry and took eighty years to do it. He was raised as a prince in Egypt and taught all that the wise men in Egypt knew. Some scholars believe that Moses was in line to be the next Pharaoh. Yet Moses gave all this up to identify with the people of God in their suffering (Heb. 11:24–27). God gave Moses a forty-year “post-graduate course” as a shepherd in the land of Midian, a strange place for a man with all the learning of Egypt in his mind. But there were lessons to be learned in solitude and silence, and in taking care of ignorant sheep, that Moses could never have learned in the university in Egypt. God has different ways of training His servants, and each person’s training is tailor-made by the Lord.”
― Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success

“Be much in secret prayer. Converse less with man, and more with God.”
– George Whitefield