Prayer and Meditation

Prayer and meditation have become increasingly important matters in my life.

Regardless of what one hears to the contrary, when anyone is faced with a mammoth difficulty – the diagnosis of a loved one with cancer, the desperation for a partner or child, the bone-numbing longing for employment – as the last resort, a whispered or silent, “Oh God” will pass across hearts and through lips, some time, somehow.  Prayer and meditation are acts practised by everyone and there is always room for improvement.

In pursuit of a richer experience, I have turned to books and discourses on the subject.  I am currently reading “Prayer Is Invading The Impossible” by Jack W. Hayford, a text which I thoroughly recommend.  Reading phrases and sentences such as, “We should simply not tolerate that which diminishes, demeans, distresses or destroys” cannot help but inspire, and imbue one with positivity and a determination to master one’s circumstances.

Hours spent walking dogs are not only hours spent training for “Trailwalker”, they are also hours dedicated to prayer, reflection and meditation.  I call them my “thinking walks”, because that is the key and the essence of the experience for me; I see no value in clearing my mind of everything and attempting a state of calm in that manner, only to have it disrupted by the return journey to reality.

For me, prayer, meditation and reflection encompass the experience of wrestling and tussling with issues of any and every description, and magnitude, with Almighty God.  It involves going “toe-to-toe” in complete honesty, but also in complete humility until a state of resolution, peace and calm, despite my circumstances, is achieved.  I engage every part of me in the process, knowing that I need to exercise every aspect of my being, knowing that regardless of the pain (and sometimes the process is extremely painful), it puts me in the best place possible to live a fulfilled and worthwhile life.

Be blessed as you do likewise.



Freedom, Fine Weather And Friendship

Finally, Winter has released its grip of our part of the North- West.  A week of glorious sunshine culminated, yesterday, in a particularly special and memorable day.

Exploration is always interesting and, often, exciting.  Spent in the company of a kindred spirit with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area, exploration becomes a joyous, life-affirming and memory-creating experience.

My day began with tree and rose planting.  Three roses (two climbers and one shrub) and a hawthorn were added to our scheme, in the front garden, before 9.30am.  Wild flower seeds were added to the mix and our vision of the quintessential country garden continues to evolve from theory to reality.

At 9.30am, conveyed in a beautiful red Beetle by my friend, I began my voyage of discovery.  Villages and towns were revealed and sampled, shops, markets and views explored.  We meandered through Ormskirk, Parbold (complete with sherbet ice-creams eaten on the hill) and Skelmersdale, to name a few, wandered merrily through Cedar Farm before arriving at Bent’s garden Centre for a delightful tour complete with gorgeous lunch.

Returning home just before 6pm, laden with homemade cordial, the boxed remains of a sumptuous dessert and several uplifting/amusing plaques, I was fully sated.  Special aspects of the occasion are buried deep within, to be mulled over and considered at will.  A very precious day indeed.


Lance Armstrong and Arduinos

Lance Armstrong; how very disappointing.

The arduino, purchased as a Christmas present for one of my children, has been a huge success and will pass into family legend as one of the most successful Christmas gifts ever.  It has occupied minds and resulted in hours spent on the computer, not in addicted and anti-social game playing, but in thoughtful and detailed programming.

We have been treated to speakers blaring, lights flashing in a variety of combinations as well as for varying lengths of time, and planned projects for movement sensors and remote controlled everything.  I have learnt the importance of brackets, spacing and repeated lines of code; it’s all a foreign language to me, but the general air of industry is gratifying to behold.

I wonder if Mr Armstrong’s thirteen year old son, who has defended him so vigorously and for so long, is finding joy and comfort in the gifts which he received at Christmas.  I sincerely hope that there is something, during this very confusing and difficult period of his life, which is bringing interest, distraction and bright dreams.

As parents, our responsibility and duty to be role models brimming with integrity and authenticity can never be overstated.

Live well, not merely for your own sake, but for that of the vulnerable and hopeful folk who are watching you.