Tuesday, 22 March 2011


I think, I er, lost the plot a little. Well that is to say I wondered a bit from the track, or lost sight of the end goal, or whatever other analogies you wanna, use you get the picture.

I just read something I wrote after my year out today, after as a group of friends on a journey of discovery had delved deeper and deeper into God, into mission and into seeking justice. We had talked late nights over about what it was to be church, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I had banged on time after time about getting our hands dirty. I had travelled far and wide to seek out what God was up to and how to get involved. I’d been shaped, re shaped, broken and remade and I felt I was ready....hahahah, little did I know. In his wisdom I had more to learn and God gave a safer environment to do that in which was fun challenging growing and I believe fruitful.

So then came the time to do the talk, to get deep in.


here I am,

use me.

Mould me shape me

Let the things that break you, begin to break me

And I’m right here and I’m ready so

Now’s the time

The battle fields open

And this soldier...

Is ready (this is the end of a lill poetry I had written at the time)

I’m not sure where or when it happens, is it the point where dreams become reality, or when reality hits, or when the real shit hits the fan? I’m not sure but somewhere along the line the realness of lives, mess, pieces and hope become a job! I hate to say it but it does. The life I was so desperate to live has become ‘what I do’, I love it to be sure, but I have grown a little tired (already) I get sucked into so many situations that I just sometimes wanna just do something a little more normal (just fir a moment)

Ha its funny how you glamorise things, callings, visions. But today I was draw back to the heart of it. I have a pray wall up in my room. It kind makes me look a bit spiritual whenever someone sees it, but the reality is I just write thing on there as reminders that I then forget to pray about. At the top it says “my prayer is this....” at the bottom it says “it all begins in prayer” I walk past that wall so many times a day but don’t read either. Tonight i prayed, not long or intense but I started to feel the buzz, you know that sprit wind kinda thing that makes you sit up a little and concentrate a little more?

I love what I do, I really do, I just sometimes forget why I do it and how big it is. I forget that it really was God that led me to be here. My boss has been talking about us being ambassadors of Jesus lately in this role and just how important that is. I have been an ambassador for out4good, for nice guys, for getting things done, for giving people lifts for Frontier Youth Trust, and I pray for this god/guy called Jesus. But i think it’s time to shuffle that list around a bit.

Now it’s our time and it’s our turn

To be the people he longs for us ta be

To see the things he’s promised us,

That will see

(Greater things than these)

So what you waiting for?

Get out there

And just simply


to be.

Time to do wot I talk about right??

Sunday, 30 January 2011

St Brendon

Today I sat in a ‘traditional 1980’s church, the type I grew up in. The type my Dad use to lead and the type Id fallen asleep in too many times. Yet this time it was different.

It was all about supporting ‘the Abbyfield community project’ of which Richard Smith (of Colchester Boiler room community) is an employee. As I sat on the front row (yep the front row) the sight was strangely exciting. Behind the sea of gray hair, shocking electro piano backed with per-recorded electro drum lead worship, under the standard collage style hanging material, was something quite beautiful. 3 Church of England vicars, two Methodist ministers, one Baptist minister and a united reform fella (who didn’t quite make it) and our very own Richard Smith. All together to back a church planting, community building, relationship growing thing. It was beautiful.

Yeah I could tear into the meeting layout, the stand up sit down, Yes and amen sandwich. We could laugh at the oldest of old skool songs or threat about the lack of anyone under 55. But the fact remains 6 churches, in the same building supporting the greater good and loving Jesus. Simple, and beautiful

After a mammoth week of a lot of hours, confusion and disappointment. The realisation of not knowing much and not having anyone to talk about it with, tonight I heard a prayer.

This is the prayer or St Brendon the 2nd most famous Irish Saint (apparently) He was famous for setting out a boat to sea, not knowing where he would land but trusting that God had it all in his hands. This will be the prayer for the next ........I’m not sure how long.

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home? Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?

Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame, without honour? Shall I throw myself wholly upon You, without sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on? Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears streaming down my cheeks? Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land?

Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean? O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?

St Brendon

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I just.....

I just, .....I just, ..... can’t explain

My current mental state I’m starting to find hard to maintain

My main aim

My main game

My same way

Are falling

And I feel like I’m losin it


I’m just trying

With all I am - to be good

To, do that thing I’m sure I’m sure I thought I should

To do right, to be nice, to live life

And be a really good guy

To keep my head high

To seek to know why

To speak truth and not lie

But to lie

Myself down

For the sake of my brother

And if the opportunity arises maybe even my enemy

But its killing me

Ok, so I exaggerate

But also to I exacerbate

As I dig deeper in the this pit of shit I uncovered

And fell in

And now I stink

I feel, I feel, I

Na, that’s not right for me to right

Coz that would require me to actually feel something

Yet at this moment I feel nothing

And I’m left to ask.....

“why do the good die young?

Why do dickheads have all the fun?

Why is when there’s work to do there’s no one

Yet if they want something, there’s, everyone

And while I’m asking

Why to beautiful girls date idiot horrible guys just coz they look a bit kool?

And why did I fail at school?

And why, did I never listen

to the advice of those beside that left me behind to clime high?

Matter of fact – why do i even try?

Like I said

I was honestly just simply trying to do good

Make a choice that might someday result in some next guy having a slightly better life

And maybe – one day someone, might just remember me

For one tiny good deed?

But right now it’s hard to see if even one of these steps might be right

I’m so deep in this hole I cant barely see light

So why fight?

Then someone hands me a letter

It says

Dear you (me)

I am them, him her, everybody, every conversation you didn’t here and every situation you didn’t see

I just want you to know while you’re stuck in the whole - you gave me a foot up so I could roll

And, you didn’t fail school

You might not have the grade

but you stood tall and brave and

Learned from mistakes

And moved on

That time you said “you should listen to this song?”

Well - that helped

That time you lent me £2.40, to me that was big, it was sharing wealth

I see its hard where your living

Knowing somehow your trying but just not fitting

But when I was that guy I want you to know, you helped me and gave me a hand

Writing to me, helped keep me sane

Visiting me, blew my brain

Those kind words didn’t go unheard

They helped me play the game


I know the roads tuff


Like you say

Son, keep ya head up

Even though you can’t see

keep climbing and think of me

be sure - You’re doing enuff!

Matter of fact a little too much

Learn from your mistakes, don’t let them define you

Don’t worry about what people think and looking kool

Do what YOU do.

It doesn’t go unnoticed

Don’t! Throw this

Roll with this

Go with this

Work on this

When it gets hard don’t quit

Pray hard and learn from it

So next time you don’t make the same mistake with it

Trust me

You got this

But that thing you said - about the girls and the idiot guys........yeah, I know what you’re saying, I cant answer it?????

Wednesday, 19 January 2011




1. The act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed.

2. Recovery of something pawned or mortgaged.

3. The payment of an obligation, as a government's payment of the value of its bonds.

4. Deliverance upon payment of ransom; rescue.

5. Christianity Salvation from sin through Jesus's sacrifice.

As we sit in the visiting room after an hour or so of catching up, I look over to the window. The skyline provides that amazing winter sunset, the type when whole sky for as wide as your eyes stretched out is a mash up of pinkie orangie blue colours. Highlighting the putting an end to the light, and signalling a changes.

It’s only been 3 months and there’s only one to go, yet 4 weeks inside can seem like a life time on the out. Yet what these four walls can provide is something the world often miss’s. Time! To reflect, read, indulge your mind (for better or worse)

The true tails of Nicky Cruz, tony Anthony and such have obviously had an impact.

It’s hard to say when we first met, I remember sitting outside a prayer house in Essex a little to bemused to go in, yet as we sat outside with hot chocolate and his screwed up brow told of how much he was thinking about it all, I remember the hours of prayer and walking in circles around his house, I remember tea and problems shared at home, I remember bars slew in the garage. Scrapping smoking and messy stuff lead here, yet hope is what we leave with today.

That opportunity is for everybody, that time is a great healer and that redemption is there for the taking. If you want it bad enough and if your man enough to submit to it.

But my hand was made strong
By the hands of the almighty
We forward in this generation

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom
'cause they all I ever had
Redemption songs, redemption songs Bob Marley

Sunday, 16 January 2011

the music man

He gives out a shout ,

To all those that’s out

To friends, neighbours, and family ties

Its been a little while since we all dun sat together
Traded music stories and laughed together
The old man stands in the room, in the middle
Frayed sting for a belt tied around his middle

He shoes done walked for a fair few years

And his old flat cap mopped up a fair few tears
Till all of them came over
Rakia poured out till they just pass sober

All the kids run round man and cant sit down

Cuz they just spread the word round town

Come to ours its the one by the factory that’s falling down

The music mans back and he’s learned a few new sounds

He brought back a pal and they made a band

Hes got

old skool rugged working hands

That shook hands with plenty good and a few bad man

sat an sieved a while through times old sands

Yet hear he stands

Hold up his hands

Ushers a lill quite from the folk around

Then warms up his tired old trumpet hands

Prepares to play a riff on the trumpet

it’s the music man

And its the trumpet passed down from man to man,

He picked up from his very own old man

The one who’s picture hangs on the wall right now

And resides over all that goes down

And in the room right now,

Not but a few bits a change to rub together between all the fam

But none of that matters coz up he stands

And calls for quiet

“Its been a long time since we last sat down,

Since I walked the streets of our fair village and round

since then I sat in a fair few seats

And these two old ears picked up on plenty beats

And these old shoes have seen 1000’s a streets

I sat

In the back

Of a flat back truck

With my trumpet wedged between two pigs and a duck

Crossed 18 borders and never got stuck

Trains and boats and hitch hiked much

Dubrovnik ta Prague to the red light Amsterdam

To the city of seven hill I came rolling down

Stepped in the Vatican city and they kicked me out coz the sound of my trumpet was well to loud

I blew tunes at the royal opera house,

You know that road out the back where they all catch the cabs

Jus me my trumpet and some change sat in the bottom of my old flat cap.

From the east where we all sit now

To the west, where they can’t sit down

just to listen to a music man

I would stand on the corner trumpet in hand

And play a grove so deep it would knock you down

Most couldn’t stop so they just keep walking,

Walking and talking

Talking and talking bout business meetings

and business seating, and business evenings

and they were so busy they couldn’t meet the next big meeting


on occasion

someone would stop,

not a lot

but someone would stop

forget about all they stuff and just watch

as a I clinched my trumpet that was way too warn out

to the tune of time

man I blazed it out

Playing the tunes that we would all dance to

The time honoured rhythms that our parents moved to

The sound of a world so far away

The language was hard but we had much to say

I couldn’t say
So I just let the trumpet play

it spoke of peace, and freedom

His business suite told of freedom long gone

His briefcase said Ill do whatever it takes

And his wallet says I carefully calculate

Every move I make

And even thought he was late

He slowly said I work a job I hate,

And this business man he said I’ve made too many mistakes

But trumpet kept on playing a sound

That said you can still be that man,

And that dream you once had but put away for the plans

Well my man maybe now’s the time

All of a sudden there back in that same old room

6 x 8 doorstep covers in shoes

Nobody can move

Too many bodies to move

They all stare at the music man they eyes glued

As he reached down to his warn out black bag

A boy shout

"Is that it?”, but he just laugh’s

In flash man just pulls it out

That beaten broken warn out trumpet

One that’s seen forever and came back just to re work it

Next to him,

his friend he met in the west

But this time he’s not wearing his business best

Torn jeans and a shirt open over a vest

And those shoulders that held up a world of stress

Now hold the frame of a man that’s blessed

Out the bag he picks up an 18 year old clarinet

And the pair prepare for the world’s greatest duet

Their eyes catch for moment how could they forget

transported to the corner on which they first met

A pavement that so many miles from here

Business man’s eyes fill with a heartfelt tear


Thing, they aren’t the same round here

Yet people smile as the sun goes down round here

The room erupts in anticipation clear

And music man says.


Listen here.............

Monday, 22 November 2010

can you help?

His face?

My eyes found hard to recognize at first

Although we’d spoken often.

It’d been a while since I caught his gaze

Felt like I’d been trying often

But, I got caught up

He looked solitary, in the distance

I thought maybe He spoke so I tried hard to listen

But the words were missin

He just gave that same old same old

Tip back ‘e the head

He wanted me to follow, but no words were said

We paced the darkest landscape as yet unknown to me

And then he stopped

And dropped

Down to the floor, moving much quicker than before he fell some distance

He threw his hands into the mixture

Mess, ash, dust and sand

And there he sat, for time

Yet time stood by

Perfectly – still

With an age he rose, tall as a skyscraper cutting the horizon in two

Then he reached down and opened his hands and whispered

“hold out ya hands, don’t back out now”

“I can’t there too small they can’t hold nothing at all, that’s all gonna fall....”

“Shhhhhhhhhh.....” his words echoed like scriptures, spoken not yet

“You have wot you need

You got it from me

And the cost I paid myself too

So please

Take these pieces from me

And help me put them back together.........”

Monday, 15 November 2010

The training ground

Days, weeks months. We spent sitting, listening, praying. At times it was dull to be honest. At times it didn’t make sense, at times we were board. Wanting desperately to be out in the world making disciples but being seemingly ... waiting....learning.....

Dreams were shared, hearts were stirred. We desired, we hungered, and we yearned for the opportunities. My heart ,at times was desperate for those around.

Encouraged by the glimmers, those tinny glimpses’ of hope, of change, of Jesus.

For a couple of years I lived in the safety of community, reaching out from safety. I loved it, it was great, I found faith, I found friends, I found...... Home.

Then Jesus said”go.... leave your friends and family and go....”

“You say you wanna serve? You say you wanna help me? Ok follow me”...... Seems simple right?


I sit around a table, of lives so far for my understanding of life that it’s hard to see any amount of impact this little life could have. In my diary I have a list of 5 times the number in front of us again, all in that same desperate place.

So now what?

I sat and learned at the feet of the greatest of all teachers. It’s hard to remember all of it but slowly, it seems that it was time spent well.

After an initial introduction of overwhelming proportions. Now is the time. This is what you’ve been preparing for.

So give me those rhythms, book me into those prayer slots, refresh my understating of truth. Let me recall those war cries of prayer mission and justice, remind me of all those times I said “out there is where we need to be” Coz out here, it seems a lot harder than I thought it might, Yet, all things considered, although I have no idea wot I’m doing. For some reason, it still seems right.