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It's insidious, they say,
the way
it catches us unaware.

How do I prepare
to avoid
agreeing with the enemy of my soul?

It's insidious! The thing seems so right!
It might
be the very thing that brings me down.

What are the warning signs that
flag up
that things are not as they should be?

It's insidious! Just a bit of fun;
a joke,
I didn't realise it would hurt.

It's insidious! I knew it wasn't quite true —
The lie
I told to get out of a fix
Before I knew it, I'd told six.

It's insidious! He was bringing me down
With his criticism and comments.
I was tired
I snapped and ...
He was on the ground.

Temptation does not come
as a bolt out of the blue,
but rather
Like a silent serpent slithering stealthily,
Seeking the second it should strike.

Like a lioness, crouching in the long savannah grass,
For that moment to pounce,
before her prey can get away.

Like a crocodile, lurking, looking like an innocent log in the shallows of the waterhole.
Beady eyes,
Watching for its chance to spring into action —
tail swinging,
teeth snapping
on that tasty morsel that stood innocently sipping on the shoreline.


Thinking about this poem, I  realise that temptation doesn't come upon us, all-at-once, suddenly like the strike of a serpent, the pounce of a lioness, or the crunch of the crocodile. That's more like the moment when we've succumbed to the temptation and do what, in our better judgment, we would not have done.

Temptation is more like the moments before that strike, the crouching, the lurking.

The encouraging thing is that predators don't always catch their prey. Sometimes even when they catch the animal, it manages to escape and live to tell about it.

We may have been caught, lured into sin and seemingly defeated, but realising our predicament, we CAN escape, maybe wounded, but not destroyed. We can't do it ourselves, but if we call on Jesus, confess our sin, he will bring us out. It's called repentance, which means turning around.


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To turn to your neighbour and say
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Trad-married or celibate
Then Jesus won't have you today.

Take the Good News to every creature
That is what Jesus told us to do,
So that they may know God, trust God
And be God's child too.

God, by the Spirit  leads the way
And as God's disciples, we follow.
We know that the journey through life can be slow
We are not perfect; we stumble and over we go
Over and over again.
But God  loves us so much he  helps us to keep going on.

Jesus is gentle,  Jesus is kind;
When we take our  time to rise up
And dust ourselves down
He does not mind.
Jesus always helps us to our feet
Dabs our eyes dry and
Leads us by the hand.

Why do we make a fuss
When others who follow are not like us?
Why do you insist
That everyone subscribe to your list
Of don'ts or dos,  of this or that?
It's salvation but with a caveat.

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Boundary Marker

Wednesday evening and time for Vespers at St Mary's. However this was different. Along with the usual, wonderful calming tunes that permeate the environment, and the sound of the bells and the ringers practice their changes, this Wednesday had a visual component, the work of two local artists. Christine had an installation that explored the link between clothing and boundaries. It was the words "boundaries, real or imagined" that caught my imagination. I thought about the many boundaries that exist. Particularly our imagined boundaries. Or maybe not imagined, maybe they really do exist, in our own minds. 

Boundary Marker Where is your boundary marker?
What is your boundary marker?  A row of pebbles, or a painted line in the street?  A fence topped with barbed wire,  A brick wall with broken glass, set in concrete?
Is there an entry or an exit, or is it entirely enclosed? Is it it a sanctuary, a place of safety and solace, Or are you serving a sentence, self-imposed-  Of s…
Zecharia 4 : 10 
Who despises the day of small things?  

Lau Tzu, the founder of Tauism is supposed to have given us the saying: The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. 

We all have to start somewhere. Sometimes when confronted with a massive task it is really hard to get going.  It seems too overwhelming.  Actually the wise thing to do is to do something,  even if that thing seems like the proverbial drop in a bucket.

Do you need to save £100 for something?  Put those pennies into a jar. open a savings account even if it is a theoretical account  whereby you allocate it on a savings  budget. It might seem a silly thing to do when you consider how much needs to be saved, but you have made a start.

Also don't let people mock you and belittle you. Paul said to Timothy to not let people look down on you because you are young. - but set an example in speech, in life, in faith and in purity (1 Tim 4:12 ) . I other words he was saying Don't let anyone tell you tha…