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Inspiration Observations

Resurrection Year – Sheridan & Merryn Voysey

Resurrection YearBook Review: Resurrection Year by Sheridan Voysey

I made a mistake. I picked up Resurrection Year at 11pm one winter’s evening to read the opening chapter so I could decide whether I would enjoy reading this book with such an enticing title. At 3am I really had to put it down knowing I had work the next morning. The story of Sheridan and Merryn Voysey’s journey towards a Resurrection Year is deeply moving, personal and full of grating anguish. While I had a hint of knowing what was in store, it can’t prepare you for the way in which Sheridan rolls out years of stumbling steps towards a broken dream.

The story connects with all of us who have suffered loss or driven down a one way street thinking it was the short-cut to the ‘highway’. I had just recently suffered my own dead end street and I was reading ‘Resurrection Year to find the answer I had missed in my own journey. I thought Sheridan might have a magic answer. I hoped he had found the 12th step in some program where I’d only found 11. The reality is that Sheridan takes us through the heart-break of a journey that doesn’t as much go around the mountain as it instead goes up and over mountain after mountain experiencing the valley floor and then the pinnacle view, only to head to the valley again.

Sheridan’s writing takes you visually through their experience in a journey that travels around the world taking in the life of this Australian writer and broadcaster in his land down under before a trip to the romance of Europe and then embracing the life that a little flat in England might offer on the edge of Oxford University. As he looks for hope, Sheridan absorbs any possible hint of beauty in nature and architecture. It’s a picture of someone hungry for their dream and yet in the hopeless void of darkness still recognising the hope and beauty that is beaming through a crack in the experience.

Sheridan and Merryn Voysey

This is a story that many husbands and wives should read. Sometimes our dreams are known and realised and sometimes they were squashed a long time ago by an experience or layers of life’s silt that gathered. I believe Resurrection Year will be a catalyst for couples and individuals to talk about a journey that may have been placed on hold and may need a new itinerary for a new journey.

Through Sheridan’s writings we hear the heartbeat of his wife Merryn as she struggles through the pressure and pain of their desire to embrace parenthood. I most of all connected with Merryn’s determination to ‘get back in touch’ with the God she loved and believed in yet felt she was on the ‘do not call’ phone list of heaven.

Here we have a story that helps us understand the faith issues as a young couple seek to honour God in their life experience, yet having to evaluate what is their own role and what is God’s. The conundrum of looking at the prayer and practice of chasing a deeply seated desire is very clearly laid out as they recall events where seeking God seemed fruitless. You will probably relate as you read of prayer meetings where friends and strangers offered heartfelt prayers and advice that don’t seem to carry you any further towards the goal.

Resurrection Year will help rebuild hope, touch-up the faded picture of God’s heart in your life and most of all give us a framework on which fresh purpose can be designed.

Listen to Sheridan’s Interview on OpenHouse with Leigh Hatcher: Podcast Link

Sheridan’s Blog can be found here: SheridanVoysey.com

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Koorong Australia
WORD Australia
Manna New Zealand

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Featured Articles Observations

Getting Married – Flying on the Trapeze

Pitchford Wedding

Today many couples say that they want to ‘try out’ the relationship first before getting married. Their rationale is that by living together they want to ‘try before they buy’ so they don’t make the mistake of marrying the wrong person. On the surface it seems logical. After all, why not measure twice and cut once? But what is lost in the equation is that they’re losing sight of the difference between flying on the trapeze with a safety net and flying without. It’s a unique aspect of life that kicks us into a higher gear where we perform with greater commitment and our brain, stamina and heart lift to a higher level. I don’t know if you’ve seen the cartoon with the pig and the hen. The hen is telling of its wonderful eggs made available to breakfast plates of bacon and eggs everywhere when the pig jumps in. He cuts to the chase saying, “Huh! For you it’s a contribution but for me its total commitment!”

In my work in the media we can now pre-record audio and video before we broadcast the production. Somehow in the brain that lets us off the hook as a presenter to make a few mistakes, delete the recording and do it again. I know from personal experience, whether on stage or behind the microphone that I’m actually better when its live. You know its got to work and you draw on all your training and creativity to make it a success. The one thing I’ve learned in our marriage is that it’s not a dress rehearsal, its a live performance.

These days it seems we’ve scared a lot of people out of the joy of marriage by the horror stories of divorces gone wrong and mismatched personalities. Sadly they’ve had more publicity through TV soaps, movies and the 6 o’clock news than the successful stories of loving marriages. Why do we only hear about marriage success if a couple makes it to 50 or 60 years? One thing I love about our church is that every Sunday you can go up the front for a free Crunchie chocolate bar if you have something to celebrate from getting your driver’s licence to the arrival of your first grand-child. Every week married couples go up celebrating their wedding anniversary. I love hearing that a couple are in their 14th, 29th or 40th year of marriage and then to see them go up and walk back hand in hand. We seem to have a generation that thinks they will last longer in marriage if they wait till they’re older and yet I would say I’ve seen a majority of young love marriages be the ones that last to say they started strong and finished stronger.

Cheryl and I have known each other for 24 years and we will soon be celebrating our 22nd Wedding Anniversary. This year we are heading away for a weekend at a beach. We probably can only afford to do this kind of thing every 4-5 years but it’s always worth it. I know that through those years we’ve had moments where we wondered how we could keep going. Sometimes it was a big problem but more often than not our pride stumbled on a small stone in the road. I’ve often found we can resolve the issues pretty quick its the part where we have to humble ourselves that actually is the hardest piece of the puzzle.

The best advertisement for marriage is marriage. The photo above shows my stunning babe on our Wedding Day when she was 19 years-old. We still speak of her as my ‘China Doll’, she looked so stunning. We’re a happily married couple with four beautiful kids who we love dearly. As our children are in the 13 to 20 age-group we are starting to enter a new phase of life as we have more adult life experience conversation with them. This is adding to our marriage and giving us a great privilege as Mum and Dad to be involved in our kids life decisions. This is also a pivotal year as our eldest daughter is engaged and preparing for getting married later in the year. What an incredible opportunity for us as parents. We can be inspired by their young warm smitten love and at the same time be able to grab the moment to model a marriage worth pursuing.

We are so proud to have brought them into this world and as I look at the photos around our house of our lives together I can see what value there is in a marriage built without a safety net. We haven’t relied on divorce as an out, or a prenuptial agreement as an exit clause but instead we’ve flown high on the trapeze. We’ve enjoyed the view and the thrills knowing that we need to keep our eyes on God as our ‘catcher’ for this amazing experience. I know we have friends and family who have had to walk through the pain of divorce and we know it isn’t a path they wanted to choose. The life lesson that has kept me honest to the man in the mirror is that I can’t let myself have an out if I’m going to be the best husband, lover, Dad and friend to my wife and family.

Tell your family and friends about what has inspired, taught and challenged you as your marriage has grown. You never know who is looking on and thinking of getting married. And guys, lets not leave it to the ladies to tell the romantic stories to the next generation. A happy bloke is a husband who feels secure with his wife and isn’t afraid to sneak a kiss in front of the kids.

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Media

Movie Review: Safe Haven

Safe Haven Movie Review

Safe Haven is launching in theatres on Valentine’s Day and for the Nicholas Sparks inspired movie this is prime position for another romantic drama to stand alongside his previous works like ‘A Walk to Remember’, ‘The Notebook’ and ‘The Lucky One’. My 15yo daughter was asking after the movie well in advance of its release, wanting to accompany her Dad to the review and for both of us it was a memorable night out. There’s no doubt that Sparks knows how to play the heartstrings and this feature film was always expecting to line up the romantically inclined for a ride. It was clear even from the preview crowd that this was well targeted to the female audience with only about six male members attending amongst a crowd of around 120.

The precept for this encounter surrounds a mysterious young lady on the run with fear in her eyes only to hide in a small American coastal town. Taking the name Katie, our damsel played by Julianne Hough, begins to trust the locals and falls for solo Dad Alex who is raising his two children after the death of his wife from cancer. With two broken people trying to find a fresh start the stage is set for hands edging together in the sand and sunlit backdrops to make you go ‘Aaaah’.

Director Lasse Hallström returns to the Sparks fold after his previous involvement heading up ‘Dear John’. Hallström is rightly revered for his works on Chocolat and The Cider House Rules and although this doesn’t quite draw out the same level of drama the production is very comfortable and meshes together the romantic aspects of a warm family friendly tale with some edgy thriller paced pieces in the story.

Julianne Hough is very ‘at home’ in this role as a woman with a past reaching out for protection and love. Its classic damsel stuff that needs a knight that stands tall in stature. Josh Duhamel is the right man for the job as Alex a Dad trying to raise a cute little lady who remembers the presence of her Mother before she passed away. It’s a role that takes him a long way from the Transformer’s franchise and one he seems settled to enjoy. This was a debut performance for Mimi Kirkland as little Lexie and one she handles well stealing scene after scene with sparkles of cuteness. Dad, Alex’s job is a lot harder dealing with his older child Josh played by Noah Lomax. Josh remembers his Mum and doesn’t want his Dad to forget the lady he remembers for the woman who is new on the scene.

While this could be the guy meets girl routine we do have a couple of surprises thanks to Katie’s past catching up with her. David Lyons gives us another great performance as Tierney and I enjoyed the power of his commitment that puts more edge in the story. If you’ve loved his maniacal side in the TV series REVOLUTION then you’re in for more of a treat. Sometimes we cling close for love and sometimes we cling
closer to hide the fear. Safe Haven will have to fight for its happy ending but it is definitely worth its Valentine’s Day release to enjoy a night out for the ladies.

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Featured Articles Observations

Glorious Valentine Aftermath

Valentine Heart

Cheryl and I are emerging from the Glorious Valentine Aftermath of celebrating our 23rd Valentine’s Day and I, with a wry smile on my face. This has been a day of sincere celebration hidden behind the guise of a ridiculous excuse for a retail pantomime. Sure, we recognise that the shops need something to fill in the marketing calendar between Christmas and Easter but the idea of stepping out of the humdrum routine to share some rose scented love doesn’t really have a downside does it. Now you’re probably wondering from the title of this blog post what happened. Well I can tell you we had a few faux-pas moments during this Valentine’s Day and in the early days of our marriage they would have been enough to ruin ‘the moment’.

I met Cheryl at a Birthday Party just on 24 years ago and we were married 23 years ago this March. We’ve had the ups and downs of most marriages and I’d be willing to take it on the chin that I’ve had a lot to do with the times we’ve felt like we were on the ropes. One of the enduring character traits I admire in Cheryl is her forgiveness and long suffering. She has incredible strength, ability to see the good in a person, compassion to work with the bad and a deep hope she is willing to share. WOW, I am blessed.

Valentine Always

Tonight we went out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day but really it was to enjoy each other’s company. It was a perfect way to round out the day which began with Cheryl beating me out of bed ‘again’ to create a beautiful cooked breakfast. Cheryl had wanted to swap presents after midnight the night before but I’d been the meanie and said we’d wait till morning. Over breakfast we exchanged those carefully chosen gifts. It wasn’t monotony after 24 years together, instead it was fresh insight, new love and deep commitment. We wanted to bless each other.

I had kept on the cutting edge of Cheryl’s love for the Willow Tree collection and bought her the latest expression of Love called ‘Always’. It was a beautiful piece of a young figure on a block of granite clasping a heart. The granite rock was etched with words and symbols of love epitomising the ‘Always’ aspect of the portrayal. It occured to me as I gave it that Cheryl will sign off Birthday and Valentines cards, “From the one who loves you most, Forever and Always”. I’m not a big fan on cards. I don’t get why the Hallmark people charge so much at all but as I looked for a Valentine card I chose the biggest and best because I know if the Birthday and Valentine’s cards I receive from Cheryl are anything to go by that she loves big cards.

Valentine InspireCheryl, conscious of my change of life due to a redundancy at the end of 2012 and an unknown career path ahead, had looked for something to encourage and inspire. She found a canvas bound inspirational quote that had words that encapsulated her love and support along unknown paths. In part I felt like she was playing Mother Eagle pushing me out of the nest. In truth we’re probably going flying together.

I love how loving is getting easier with less of the ‘working it out’ and more of the ‘playing it out’. I think that as the years go by we ‘get’ each other more. Even as I left this morning to take the kids to school something happened and Cheryl gave me a look that needed no narration or interpretation. I laughed, the kids asked ‘What?’ and I was able to explain in a few sentences what one glance could mean.

This Valentine’s Day we have had to sit back and laugh at the silly stuff. Cheryl went to buy my Valentine’s Day card and only when she got home did she realise she had bought one that said; “Be My Valentine Dear Wife”. For me I had been well prepared and bought Cheryl’s present three weeks earlier but hadn’t picked up a card. On the way home late on Wednesday night I dashed into KMart to pick up a card. Finding what I thought was the ideal card, I then let it go for the ‘bigger’ card next to it. A quick look and it was time to drive home and hide it. Only when I got home and found Cheryl was still out at a meeting did I discover my mistake as I started to roll out the accolades of love in ink and saw the words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. Aaaaargh! I crossed them out, made a funny remark in the card and put it away ready to give it anyway the next day as all the other sentiments were right for the occasion.

Tonight I had booked a table at the Masala Indian Restaurant by the parade at Buckland’s Beach. It was a superb meal and while a little busy we enjoyed talking about the future, what God had in store and what we could do together. I had already booked movie tickets to see Bruce Willis’ A Good Day to Die Hard on opening night and we had an hour and a half free so we left the restaurant and sat in the car by the beach to watch the sun drift into the horizon. We talked and talked and the relaxing environment was embracing. With still time to go we drove to the theatre knowing there was a Yogurt dessert shop open and this was the obvious coup de tart for the night. After enjoying almost child like play in building and eating our desserts we went to take our seats at the theatre. The young lady took my tickets but instead of ripping them in two and giving half back she stopped paused and then dropped the bomb shell. “Excuse me sir, did you want to see this movie today?” “Yes” I replied. “I’m sorry sir but these tickets are for tomorrow night.”

In my haste I had clicked the wrong button, bought the wrong tickets and stuffed the night up. In the early days of our marriage I would have been angry at myself, embarrassed with no response and tried to recover my pride. Tonight we laughed. Stupid old married people eat yogurt icecream for fun, share curries and laugh at their mistakes.

It hit me tonight that little things used to derail our relationship more than big things but that seems to have been where the biggest growth has come. I think its because we pushed through the big things, held on to each other even when it hurt, that we’re here to work on the little things. Cheryl is a Saint but I still get upset with some of her finicky ways from time to time. I’m a model husband but I still need to shape up in many areas of life. Really!

Last week I was to meet Cheryl at a mall before we would go together and do a movie review. I had been waiting for a while due to different transport plans but when Cheryl walked through the entrance doors of the mall with her beautiful smile I felt my whole world open up with cannons of happiness bursting around me. That’s the Glorious Valentine Aftermath. Its a love that explodes in a room when mistakes are made, or when a faux-pas arrives special delivery but then love explodes with rose red petals that shower the floor covering the dusty housework of the heart for another day.

I love her and she gets me. Blessed!

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Featured Articles Observations

Loving with Our Senses

Dad and Son

I’m sitting outside in the cool summer breeze of a Kiwi evening thinking of all the love I’ve experienced today from my family. What occurs to me is that I’ve had to be awake to loving with our senses. If I hadn’t paid attention I would have missed the power of love and it’s intoxicating inspiration.

You may be wondering what I’ve been drinking with these philosophical comments but the only motivation was life and the only drink on the table is water. I’m caught up in this moment hearing my daughter sing like a diva in the background and remembering moments through the day when I saw, tasted, touched and heard love. It was easy to absorb, gentle to miss and powerful to behold.

Let love present its reckless offers and let my senses be ever open, always receiving from their passionate assault.

Let me tell you how I woke up. It wasn’t early, it wasn’t like waking to the chirps of a trained choir of canaries and yet it was clearly more memorable. My twelve year-old son came in with a tray of a steaming hot cooked breakfast and coffee. And thoughtfulness went the extra mile when a bottle of HP sauce was on the tray with knife, fork and a serviette. My wife later filled in the back-story of how he had eyed up some bacon in the fridge and asked if he could cook it. She gently pushed him that there was enough bacon for him to cook his Dad some breakfast and still have enough left for his teenage appetite and so he took up the challenge.

Accepting a gift is the first rule of love. Knowing how to thank the giver is the second. Loving with our senses can involve the taste of a morning breakfast or the touch of a huggable friend. My son loves hugs and the time they take to be near each other. It’s a great response to his generosity to wrap my arms around him and thank him. Now my son’s morning cooking was wonderful and perfect but love can eat a burnt breakfast or salty muffin and still receive the best part of the gift. If you didn’t know your heart has taste buds, bite in again.

Once everyone had shaken the night from their eyes the family went out to enjoy the heat of a cloud free summer’s day. We had family visiting so we took them on a tour of some of the volcanic mountain viewing platforms that surround Auckland. As part of the trip my oldest son brought his newly acquired longboard so we could check with the shop if it was working properly. After going to the shop I complemented him on how well he had handled the visit and the preceding phone calls. He had dealt as a customer with a complaint and yet handled the issue with firmness and humility. I was impressed and didn’t miss the opportunity to tell him he had done well.

A short time later, as we drove to our first destination, he said three softly spoken words; “Love You Dad”. Most fathers will know the power that comes when an 18yo utters those words. It belies a deeper heart, a relationship of love and strength. I buckled a little like a warrior in space hit by an unseen force that buffeted him backwards through the vacuum. My hearing isn’t what it used to be but somehow I am always tuned in to hear these words whenever they are uttered. It doesn’t matter whether they are given in the most quiet delivery or amongst the mish-mash of a loud and crowded room. Listening had made me vulnerable to love, to hearing words that can change a relationship, build a bridge and more importantly melt the walls of a heart. Loving with our senses needs to be intentional, to absorb the love that is happening and emanating around us.

I don’t want to miss the whispers of love, the glimpses of generosity or the feather like touches of care and concern.

Later that day I experienced the joy of love by simply watching. Our eldest son had not always enjoyed the outdoors or sports but his new longboard had given him a zest to get out and ride. The skills were building and he’d been inspired by YouTube videos of experienced speed riders. Today I was inspired as he rode his board around a city park and then near the wharf. His joy was obvious and the pleasure was simple and infectious. Who wouldn’t want to balance their way on a board that put more breeze in your travel and speed under foot.

At one point in the day he shared his board with a three year-old relative and the passion and laughter in sharing was also present. After a walk around the crater’s edge of Mt. Eden he kicked back and lay in deep dry waving grass at the summit. His pleasure is my pleasure. We wanted to take photos of him laying amongst the dry wheat like blades of grass but in doing so he asked for a camera to shoot what he saw. From his position he could see the majesty of sunbeams glancing through tree branches and he took a few photos to remember his moment in the grass. Today I enjoyed loving my son by simply watching him enjoy life, family and the simple thrill of a skateboard.

Over the last few days our visiting relatives have been caught out on at least three occasions thinking the sound coming from one room was either the radio or another music source. On each occasion it was our 14yo daughter delivering an incredible vocal performance of either a cover song she was practicing for a busking adventure or working on one of her own creations. She has a powerful beautiful voice and it can fill a room when she belts out a song.

I may find my senses become dulled to the crystal clear sound of a life filled with wonder.

A problem for love is taking talent or good behaviour for granted. It could be a wife who daily cooks with care and thoughtfulness, a husband who keeps to time and tells you what he’s doing or a child who does a chore without being asked. Monotony of excellence should never be an excuse for the spectacular to become the blasé. As I enjoyed several moments this afternoon I realized how blessed I am as a Father and a listener to be hearing my daughter perform her singing in our home. Loving with our senses meant I had to be aware that at any moment I could receive a royal command performance intentionally or otherwise meant just for me. Listening to her sing in one room while practising, then at the dinner table as we jokingly sang, drummed and beat boxed together allowed me to hear love, feel love and be loved.

Today I resolve to be awake to love. I don’t want to miss the whispers of love, the glimpses of generosity or the feather like touches of care and concern. If I am so engrossed in my own world that I am cocooned from love I may find my senses become dulled to the crystal clear sound of a life filled with wonder. I don’t want to be safe where my misguided perception is that a closed quiet room is better than leaving my bed to enjoy the warm embrace of a friend. Let love present its reckless offers and let my senses be ever open, always receiving from their passionate assault.

Originally written January 5th 2013

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Featured Articles Observations

Facing a Fresh Future – 2013 New Year’s Day

Time Pieces

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
– Albert Einstein

Last week the New Year was knocking on the front door and casually pressing the door bell but today its got the SWAT team out and they’re about to knock down the door to our lives with a battering ram. The good news is with the New Year upon us, the fresh calendar is like a plowed field ready for planting. Don’t look at the next twelve months as a pioneer looks at the uncleared wilderness, rather change your gaze to be like a developer looking at the land his investment has purchased on the most expensive piece of real estate in Manhatten. Today’s the day you take possession and the future is all yours. The year ahead is clear of bush and rocks providing you with flat fertile soil for the planter and a pristine plot for the builder.

Your years before today have bought the land. The time in your pocket and wrinkles on your brow have decided the purpose of the plan. This is a year to transform dreams to blueprints so that the sand of time become concrete for tomorrow. Its definitely a change of mind that can take the same ingredients and decide whether flour and water produces cookies or glue. So what do you plan to do with your next 365 days that we wrap up and call 2013? Have you already written it off as ‘just another year’ or do you plan to fix it on day one with a two line resolution posted to Facebook and call it quits?

“Your Merry Christmas may depend on what others do for you … but your Happy New Year depends on what you do for others.”
 – Unknown

The truth is that like any farmer taking that field and planting for a his bumper crop, you will have seasons and strategy to get the right result. For the builder, an architect helps coordinate a plan, the project or site manager arranges the contractors and there will be a master builder making sure the structure is plumb and true to be a lasting legacy for a family or owner. So start thinking about it and writing down the steps that you can see being the process of your future.

One line doesn’t make a novel so be willing to write the chapters that will set the plot, introduce the characters, create the suspense and celebrate the finish. Pour your heart into this dream but make sure it has substance by committing it to paper. A New Year’s resolution is only a pithy statement lost in the dust of one month’s days. Instead be willing to record a travel diary of what happens by journalling your way through the year and making notes, ideas and comments about the sights seen and experiences absorbed.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1

A key to any building project is to start with a fresh approach. Be willing to walk on to the site with clean sharp tools. Leave the past behind and instead walk out of a period of preparation with new vigor, a strong stance and refreshed body and spirit. Have a look at some of the old attitudes and jaded ideas and ask yourself this question; “If they didn’t work last year, what makes me think they will work in the next?” It should be a wake-up to the old adage that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Don’t be tied down by stakes of dispair and bitterness. Those roots should be removed from your field or building site. They don’t provide foundations, instead they’re a barrier to growth and a stumbling block for your tools.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

One of the benefits of a fresh field is you can plow it anyway you like, until you plant in it. On a new building plot you can align the floorplan in any direction it fits until the foundations go down. Be willing to step into a new paradigm and do things in a way you’ve never tried before. Innovation breeds creativity while survival can grow success from seeds of desperation. Get some sleep to allow the brain to be clear and the heart settled. Clear the heart and physical hoarding areas of your life so that you don’t have distractions, obstacles or the trophies of past hurt and failure haunting you. Instead of being slowed down considering the past, replace those memories on the wall with grander plans of the dreams to be built, the places to travel and victories to be won.

If you plan to conquer Everest,
hoist a Flag not a Tea-towel.
– a Pitchford Passing Thought

The purpose of building is to learn through the process so that each structure that comes after it is grander, sturdier and more suited to its purpose than the last. In doing so you move from apprentice to builder and then on from being someone who builds from plans to someone who creates from dreams. As we look at the next year, its an opportunity to learn, to love and to live. The next twelve months aren’t an end in themselves. If your ‘building’ or ‘crop’ project takes one, two or five years to create, then go the distance. Be willing to journey through  and face the future with a glint not a glare.

Have a healthy sparkle of optimism knowing that even if a storm delays your planting or  the rain stops you putting the proverbial roof on your plan, that still you have a dream written down, a journal of memories accumulated and a host of friends who shared your journey. Take a look at the future and see its freshness, the morning dew on your opportunity and feel the crispness in the air that calls out to you like a morning bird call saying “Your time is now”!

Here’s a toast to the future, A toast to the past, And a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant; The past a bright dream; May our friends remain faithful and dear.
– Irish Toast (by Anonymous)

At the close of 2011 I wrote about looking at the year through a rear vision mirror. Like a skipper, the navigation through life is best done by knowing where your starting marker is. While our trail of experience gives us the strength, wisdom and hopefully a greater sense of gratefulness, we won’t have momentum for the future unless our eyes are facing straight ahead, lifted to the horizon and looking for land.

Thank you for reading this post. It means a lot. Please click on the options on the side to share it in places like Facebook and Twitter. I read ll the comments so please write your thoughts below and I will respond.

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Observations

Things that should be said

Things that should be said

Things that should be said

There are many things I'd like to say
and there are many things I could
But if all I do is say them
then I guess I never should

You see words without meaning are like
flowers without their petals
or morning without its dew
like a puppy without its soft wet tongue
or me without my you.

I know that I don't own you
You've given that honour to the Lord
All I want is to be your friend
then I can love you to the end

My heart has turned full circle
and twisted like a rung out cloth
Tears fall like rung out water
as I come to face my fear of loss

I've let you down and this you know
but now I lift you up to show
You are my love I'm not ashamed
I'm proud because you bear my name

Your smile has always brought me joy
It helps me remember life's to enjoy
To God I lift my song of praise
Your beauty is defined, there is no more

You've dedicated yourself to Abbey and me
Our little family at this time only three
But I feel it is my turn to make a stand
I love you, I need you, I care for you
Please hold my hand.

Love Andrew

Author: Andrew Pitchford
Written: 1992

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Observations

Written for the One I Love

The One I Love

Written for the One I Love

When darkness fades
And glory shines you open your eyes and hope to find

A starling on your pillow
A valentine in your arms who nestles cheek to breast

You alight from bed to floor
Going to prepare a succulent feast as you tiptoe out the door

Content, refreshed and showered
From the house you leave with love you cleave to crack the open sky

Find a spot, a secluded one
Walk hand in hand alond silk golden sands and learn to dream

Cleanse your soles together
On salty shores reveal your souls to heavens soouthing balm

Talk becomes priceless time
When sipped between friends as a sweet chilled wine

Trust and open "Pandora's Box"
This woven basket of picnic pieces satisfies the prevalent appetite

Singing waters beckon bathers
to soak embracing all of natures reviving good cheer

Stroke the passioned stallion's mane
You fire his heart a firebox of embers, nostrils race with steam

Should one be one alone
No let them come intertwined as love's evergrowing vine

All money spent is lost
when trying to win your love my motives must be clear

The precious memories held
Will note be bought to corrode in life and bring us fear

Today we built a friendship
Intimate in detail, purest of materials, loved in conception and still real!

Author: Andrew Pitchford

Written for Cheryl for Valentines Day 1991. We won a bottle of wine when this was submitted to the local paper, the Te Awamutu Courier when they ran a Valentine Day's competition.

 

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Media Observations

One Thing Remains

Silhouette Seat
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Hamish Irvine via Compfight

Today I had one of those moments where you just need to know that God is still in control. My Mum must have been ‘in the zone’ because she sent me a TXT with Lamentations 3 v 22-27 which was spot on and then this song by Jeremy Riddle came on the radio from the crew at LifeFM All up Lamentations might sound scary to some but the verse, the song all came together and reminded me how we need to remain strong not because we will prevail like some humans vs. aliens movie script, but because of our God’s Love and Faithfulness.

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
     – Lamentations 3 v 22-27

One Thing Remains – Lyrics

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
constant in the trial and the change

This one thing remains

Higher than the mountains that i face
Stronger than the power of the grave
constant in the trial and the change

This one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid

This one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

In death
In life
I'm confident and covered by the Power of Your great love

My debt is paid
There’s nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love

Your love never fails
(Your love never fails me)

And on and on and on and on it goes
For you overwhelm and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

– Jeremy Riddle

Categories
Media Observations

Gadget Betrayal – The Affair

Julian Smith’s latest video tribute to iPhone 3GS on YouTube (see below) is a sad romantic interlude that shows our lack of commitment in this consumeristic society. The truth of our betrayal becomes ever so clear where we walk out on our loved gadgets too easily. We seem to always want to trade up to the newest younger model with no thought to the feelings of last years model.

Next time you find yourself attracted to that product launch, the touched up CGI colour of the new faux metal facia on a v3.0 body ask yourself ‘Why?’ So many gadgets end up at the bottom of an office drawer only one year into the relationship. Hey, many even have a good battery yearning to be worn down. But no, we walk away from tried and true business solutions for the sake of a trip to the App store.

I’m thinking of starting a BGC 12 step program to Better Gadget Commitment. Look at that phone, that camera, that phone camera and ask yourself how you would feel to be shunned for the sake of 1.2 measly extra mega-pixels?

It seems we ask for things we aren’t willing to do ourselves. Somewhere out there are gadgets willing to commit. Technology with more heart than Reagan’s pacemaker are willing to step back into this post Y2K world and sing. Before you go out there and spend a dime on plastic glitz, without the five year replacement warranty you deserve, ask yourself how I would feel to sit in the bottom drawer waiting for the company of this years model in another twelve months.

For me I’m sticking with my iPhone 3G. After all I can wait. Really. I can!