The Meaning of Christmas

Santa’s grotto, party popping,
Fairy lights and Christmas shopping,
Sadly we have gone away
From the true meaning of the day.

Christmas reminds us about the birth
Of God’s son Jesus, who came to earth.
Now it’s been hijacked by man, I fear,
And such a commercial time of year.

The children want more games and toys,
Computers, TVs, tech and noise!
Not wanting their Christmas to be marred
Dad puts it on his credit card.

As Christmas day arrives at last,
The oldies remember Christmas past
When families gathered to celebrate
And logs burned in the open grate.

When everyone met on Christmas morn
At church, to worship the babe new born.
Then came home to turkey and simple gifts,
And put aside their family rifts.

These days the kids are torn in two –
“Half their time with me and half with you.”
They play one off against the other
Unhappy Dad, unhappy Mother.

And so the meaning of Christmas is lost
Amidst financial and emotional cost.
Thank God, despite man’s bad behaviour,
That Jesus IS our Lord and Saviour!

Wasn’t it great!

Now the evenings are drawing in and autumn is well and truly here, I thought I’d share this with you. You probably have to be British and over a “certain age” to appreciate it, but I hope it will stir memories for some!


One coal fire to heat the whole house. Freezing bed, hot water bottle, sheets, blankets, eiderdown, icy cold bathroom, curtains frozen to the window in winter.

Pre-decimalisation, silver sixpence, threepenny bit, red telephone box, push Button B! Kicking through Autumn leaves, conkers on string,
Smokey chimneys, home, light and third. Wonderloaf blue, Sunblest red… and a small, uncut Hovis!

Brown and white eggs – where did the white eggs go? Silver top milk in bottles, no plastic cartons. Black bakelite phones, party lines, GPO. No mobiles, satellite, digital anythings.

Black and white TV, washer with mangle. Butter, lard and dripping, Sunday roast, home cooking. No freezer, tumble drier, dishwasher, microwave.

Proper seasons, dark very late in Summer, rag and bone man with horse and cart – any old iron?
Metal dustbins, fish and chips in newspaper, shrimps and winkles, jellied eels from the cart.

No seat belts – no car! Motorbike and sidecar, helmet and goggles.
No “potato snacks” – just crisps. No GM, no cloning.

The Britain of my childhood – through rose coloured spectacles.
Wasn’t it great!

The Bystander

I couldn’t see the reason why
He meekly waited there to die.
It seemed a waste of life to me.
“Deny it all! You’ll be set free!”

His life he was about to lose,
For claiming Kingship of the Jews.
But still he wore the thorny crown
As tears of sorrow trickled down.

I knew he shouldn’t be up there,
But all that I could do was stare.
I stood there rooted to the ground
While others gathered closer round.

And so he hung there on the cross,
His mother weeping for her loss,
Until the sky grew black with clouds
And tension rippled through the crowds.

Then suddenly it turned to night –
Three hours without any light.
As Jesus cried out from the heart
The temple curtain ripped apart!

And when I saw that it was finished
The scene before me just diminished
As deep in thought, my heart afire,
I realised he was Messiah.

Prodigal Rap

Tried so hard to get it right,
But in this world it’s hard to trust.
Thought my parents’ lives were so solid…
Until everything went bust!

Thought my friends were so cool and clever
And poppin’ pills was really fun,
But it all left me feelin’ empty.
Couldn’t stand it – had to run.

And who could I turn to
When it’s all gone so bad, hey?
Then you said, “Don’t wanna be a weekend father,
I wanna be your Dad every day.

I wanna love you in the bad times,
Not only in the good.
I wanna tell you that you’re worth it
The way a proper father would.

Don’t think of me as distant –
Please won’t you come home, son?
I’ve watched and waited for so very long…
Don’t be ashamed to come.”

And then you said you’d never leave me
If I chose to be your son;
How much you longed to be my father
And forgive all the bad things that I’d done.

And those words, they hit me like a bullet.
No escape. Don’t even wanna try.
Can’t go on like this, man, I can’t go on
Just feelin’ like I wanna die.

Help me, God! Oh, help me God!
And then I heard me say,
“Yeah, I really wanna be your son.
Will you be my Dad? Every day.”

My friends are all dying to know you

My friends are all dying to know You.
It’s just that they don’t know it yet.
They know You’re my friend
And that church I attend,
But they’d rather be surfing the net.

My friends are all dying to know You.
I wonder how I can explain
To a bunch of teenagers
(All into new-age)
That You sacrificed all for their gain.

My friends are all dying to know You.
They think I’m a bit of a geek!
They say it’s absurd
To believe in Your Word
Based on old texts in Hebrew and Greek.

My friends are all dying to know You.
I feel I don’t really belong.
But I just can’t conform
To what they think’s the “norm”
When I know what they’re doing is wrong.

My friends are all dying to know You.
They think halloween’s really neat.
But it isn’t a joke
To frighten old folk
With that sick joke they call “trick or treat”.

My friends are all dying to know You.
They don’t know they’ve been so deceived.
The truth is so near,
But they can’t see or hear.
If they had, then they might have believed.

My friends are all dying to know You.
I’m so sad that it makes me cry
To know they’re still lost
When you’ve paid such a cost.
Oh, Lord, I don’t want them to die.

My friends are all dying to know You.
I know how you long for the day
When they’ll call on your Name
And see life’s not a game.
Lord, please help me to show them the way.

Do you wait…?

Do you wait for the blast of the trumpet?

Do you long for the sound of His voice?

Do you see that your Hope’s drawing nearer?

Stand up! Lift your head and rejoice!

For the Bridegroom is coming; be ready!

He comes for his pure, spotless bride;

To sweep her up in His loving embrace,

In those arms that were once stretched out wide,

As the sins of us all weighed upon Him

Till the payment for justice was met.

Lift your eyes, for He comes, The Belovèd.

To gather from Earth the Elect.

The greatest story ever told… (the edited version!)

Almighty God came down to earth,

Took human form by virgin birth.

Escaped to Egypt, saved from death,

Then made his home in Nazareth.

Grew up in his family’s love

But knew he came from heaven above.

A grown man then, he was baptised –

God’s rescue plan already devised.

Into the wilderness he went

For forty days without relent.

Returned in power, spirit filled,

Acting as the Father willed.

Chose the twelve, began to preach,

To heal, deliver, feed and teach,

But met with trouble along the way

From religious leaders of the day.

Prepared for what he knew was coming –

A friend’s betrayal; horrific suffering;

Beatings, trial and false conviction;

Condemned to death by crucifixion.

Breathed his last, his work all done –

The victory over Satan won.

His friends in sorrow and dismay

Did not know what took place that day,

Until they saw that he was risen,

Restored to life from deathly prison.

Sent his disciples into the world

As the way to salvation was unfurled.

Returned to heaven, but all was not lost –

His Spirit came back at Pentecost.

Empowered his followers that they should not lack,

But continue their mission until he comes back.

Goodbye Old Friend

This is the end of the road, Jack.

It feels like the end of the world.

I can clearly remember that day, long ago;

You were snug in a basket, all curled

In a ball, fast asleep and you just looked so sweet

That I knew there and then it was you.

All your brothers were lovely, but just not my type,

So it turned out to be just us two.

We’ve had wonderful times, we’ve played ball in the park,

We’ve been to the beach and had fun.

And though we’ve both aged, we’ve still had our walks

And warmed our tired bones in the sun.

But I know you’re in pain and your eyes say it all.

What can I do for my dearest, best friend?

I don’t want you to go as I’ll be so alone,

But, Jack… I can make it all end.

We’ll go to the place where they’ve been full of care

And such kindness have shown, year on year.

It will be very hard, but I love you so much

It’s the best I can do now, my dear.

I’ll be with you, old friend, as your pain disappears

And the cares of the world fall away.

But I’ll never forget how you captured my heart

On that long distant, magical day.