Prayers and Rainbows: Camino day 3

Day 3.We stayed at a very friendly albergue (which I have been spelling incorrectly)  in Zariquiegui. Breakfast consisted of a sweet roll, black coffee and orange juice. By 7am we were on the road to Puente La Riena via Alto del Perdon a peak which was quite a steep climb and an even steeper and rockier descent. At the top of the ridge is a line of wind turbines which would have excited Don Quixote.

We had committed ourselves to pray for friends and family on this walk (more than usual) and various issues that
have been exercising our minds. As we arrived at the top of the hill, wind and a rain squall hit us. However, in the midst of that we saw a magnificent rainbow. It was a reminder of a covenant God who keeps his promises. It was an incredibly uplifting moment and inspired our prayers.
We went through a number of small villages but sadly they all their churches are closed. I like to go in and pray for the people that attend – as well as have a sticky beak around. Now it is time to find an albergue and then find the pilgrims bridge I first encountered in 2006. 


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The Lord’s Prayer – Rote or Real?

The Dutch C19th/C20th theologian and statesman, Abraham Kuyper, is not that well known in the English speaking world, yet his works are worth knowing. His devotions are particularly inspiring.

Here is another short quote from a longer devotional: “Lord Teach us to Pray” in “To Be Near Unto God.” (The Kindle version is available for a very modest price).

The Paternoster (The Lord's Prayer) in the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The Paternoster (The Lord’s Prayer) in the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

“Undoubtedly, the highest end is attained when, independent of every aid, from the free impulse of the Spirit, the soul lifts itself up to God, and on the wings of the Spirit, spreads itself before God in sacred, devotional language. Such glorious moments are not infrequent in the prayer-life. And it is plain that in such moments even the Our Father is not sufficiently concrete to direct the soul in its utterance before God. But in all seriousness, how many among the great and small in the congregation have risen to these sacred heights. And, if there are such, how many are the moments of a long day, when they are in such sacred and exalted moods? We must needs reckon with reality. And think not only of yourself, but have a tender consideration for the poor sheep in the church and in your own home, whose spiritual standing is still low, and who yet needs must pray, and for whom it is no less glorious than for you, when in prayer they come a little nearer unto God, and may perceive something of his holy presence. How much higher did not the apostles of Jesus stand than we, and yet for them Jesus deemed a memorized prayer so little aimless or superfluous, that he himself gave them one.”

Kuyper, Abraham  To Be Near Unto God. Kindle Edition.

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Thank You

First of all, thank you for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers. That has been a real strength and support. We are all still a little numb this morning. My wife is in the kitchen scrubbing retrieved treasures with sugar soap, so that acrid smell is still in the air – even in our home

It was a weird sensation sitting in the car yesterday and being helpless as emergency services and police swarmed the site. That was when I wrote the post – my form of therapy. What takes an hour in a TV police show took 12 hours. And my wife and I were still at the site at 10:30pm waiting for the shutter people to secure the house before we could begin the 1 and half hour journey home. We had sent the girls back to our home earlier in the day after they had been escorted through the remnants of the house by the fire department.

Today we are going to have a big family prayer time. This had been planned but now has a greater sense of urgency and purpose. It will also be a time of thanksgiving.

One final comment. Whereas I wanted to get the perpetrators and smack their heads together, one of my daughters wanted to pray for them. That was quite humbling for me. Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers. God is more than good. God is sovereign!

Categories: Family, Prayer, Reflections | Tags: , | 9 Comments

The Innocents

Oh God can you forgive us?
We sacrifice our innocents
In so many ways.
We defile their youth
with adult filth
and age them before their time.
We shake their security
with adult quarrels.
And we take their lives
far before time
for the love of ” rights” and ” freedoms”.

Oh God forgive us
for the altars to Molech
we have made
to shatter young lives.

Oh God forgive us
for emulating Herod
this Christmas.

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Old Testament Advent Poem No. 1

It is now a week and a half before the first Sunday of Advent. Occasionally, over the next few weeks, I hope to share a few poems and reflections on Old Testament passages pointing to the Messiah.

Head or Heel? Genesis 3: 15

To crush a head

Unusual Figure: St. Mary Magdalen, Geddington, UK

or bruise a heel:

There is a world of difference.

It is to die or live.

The Promise died then lived

… and lives.

The cursed lives,

on borrowed time for a moment,

as his fate was sealed

on a cross so long ago,

to die.

The Promise would be born

of a woman inflicted

with the pain of child birth.

The daughter of Eve

would deliver the

head crusher

and soul healer.

Categories: Advent, christian, Christianity, Devotional, Faith, Poem, poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

To Hear You Again

Another morning awakes,
and my soul leaps
for another word
from You.
Another reminder
of love and place,
of family and eternity.
 Creation bows before You,
each day anew.
Birds sing and warble 
their praises.
Flowers and trees bow to You.
Lord, thank you for
my undeserved place before you
and hearing  my prayer
and loving me!
My place with you
is greater
more blessed
and life giving
than any trifle the world
can offer.
My reflections on the, far more beautiful, Psalm 84
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A Prayer – by John Calvin

We tend to think of Calvin as the theologian but he was also a pray-er with a deep relationship with his God. After all, he was known by some as the ‘theologian of the Holy Spirit.’

I discovered a number of his prayers at Below is one example taken from his commentary on Hosea:

Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast not only of late adopted us as thy children, but before we were born, and as thou hast been pleased to sign us, as soon as we came forth from our mother’s womb, with the symbol of that holy redemption, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thy only begotten Son, though we have by our ingratitude renounced so great a benefit, – O grant, that being mindful of our defection and unfaithfulness, of which eve are all guilty, and for which thou hast justly rejected us, we may now with true humility and obedience of faith embrace the grace of thy gospel now again offered to us, by which thou reconciles thyself to us; and grant that we may steadfastly persevere in pure faith, so as never to turn aside from the true obedience of faith, but to advance more and more in the knowledge of thy mercy, that having strong and deep roots, and being firmly grounded in the confidence of sure faith, we may never fall away from the true worship of thee, until thou at length receives us in to that eternal kingdom, which has been procured for us by the blood of thy only Son. Amen.

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