Sometimes it is a desperate shout. At others, a resigned mumble, a plea to be recognised amidst the fear that God’s attention is being directed at others more deserving than ourselves. That the problems which consume the very nature of our own humanity are insignificant compared to those that God directs His attention.

“Aloe, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet.” (to borrow from the Adele hit of 2015.) Is a heartfelt cry!

Aloe, it’s me! The battle to be seen in the crowd. When we think that we know best and try to beseech God to adhere to our wants and wishes. We seek to identify with a concept that says our needs are more important than His.

We exist entirely as His creation. And therein lies the conundrum. The battle that has been fought for centuries in an effort to find some price that we can pay as a guarantee for our existence even when we know that it is just not possible. Something that will allow us to break from the shackles of total reliance on Him!

Yet, at the same time our cry of “Aloe it’s me” drowns out the very whispers from the wilderness that we rely on for instruction.

The price was His to pay and has been paid. In Full!

Whether we gather to pray in groups or in isolation, the prayers should be centred on Him. It is our wilderness and His whisper. May your prayer, praise and worship focus entirely on Him in the week ahead as you seek His guidance.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 21 August 2020

There are some days that are especially made for mystics.

Days when the ambience of light makes it so much easier to experience a deeper spiritual connection with God.

Days when we see the full colour spectrum of the Trinity and can re-live a rainbow covenant and a baptism in His light.

These are the days we live for, times when really knowing God makes absolute sense.

And these are the days when words cannot describe the power that rests in Him and light becomes His whisper of the wilderness!

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#fridayfootptints – Friday 14th August 2020

The bracket fungus grows on dead trees. It forms part of the process of decomposing the wood so that it once again becomes part of the nutrient cycle that will feed new life.

A death to self!

The Spiritual event that coincides with this death and regeneration to a new life is a baptism in a relationship with the Trinity as one of boundless joy that cannot be expressed except through an exhilarating splash of the baptismal waters.

Everywhere we look in creation, we see God’s hand at work, teaching us through the things that we are surrounded by. This is His wilderness whispering! Our time of contemplative awareness of His presence in our lives, depends on us not only inviting Him in but also in opening our eyes and ears and touch to the essence of His being around us.

We do not just hear the wilderness whisper through our soul in praise and worship and prayer, we hear the whisper by being aware of His creation through sight, sound and touch.

Indeed ‘Heaven is at hand …’ when we become aware that the wilderness can whisper.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 7th August 2020

The slightest breeze sets the Snowdrop bells ringing in the end of winter.

And, as they surround the garden font, the bells announce to the world, a garden baptised in the spirit of His creation.

The new normal as we are coming to know it, seems to have captured the attention of a whole new generation of gardeners and chefs. Lockdown has created a new perspective on our existence and what we do with our time. The ‘Stay Home’ syndrome has birthed by necessity an ‘out-of-the-box’ culture.

Does the same apply to our spirituality? Have the same restrictions on our movement inspired us to seek new avenues for a faith-based communion with God or have we descended into an apathetic numbness?

If we can hear the bells ringing in the breeze, if we can imagine the Fairies dancing under a winter sun as the Robins refresh their baptismal bath in the garden font; then we can fight the depression that grips the world when it cannot find God without being spoon-fed on a Sunday.

And when we can tap our feet and sway to the rhythm of the snowdrop orchestra as we hear it when the wilderness whispers, then we will know that God has found our soul no matter how deep we tried to hide it and He is busy conducting His symphonic masterpiece within us.

As Shakespeare said, ‘if music be the food of love, play on ..’ Play on indeed, Lord, that your love is heard and felt as the peel of your bells ring out across our nations.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 31st July 2020

God’s creative genius gives us an insight into our own soul.

Time spent in nature is a journey where we can free our spirit to run where God wants us to run. We get a chance not just to read about His exploits, rather we can experience it first-hand.  We see the beauty and the desolation.

If we want more of God, nature is where we find it. If we want less of the world; His creation is our refuge. If we mourn, we find solace through the touch of His Sun and if we praise Him, we can raise His beautiful bounty to the Heavens. The whispers we seek in His wilderness are ever present when we allow ourselves to live in His world.

Knowing that all creation is His, is part of the journey of discovery He sends us on. It is not enough to read from all the libraries of wisdom that exist without taking a step outside. Once taken, we then allow Him to enter inside our own centre of existence. And that is where we find peace and understanding.

Look anew on His creation and marvel as we experience His miracle and what it means when we gaze upon it as He meant us to and then examine your soul in peaceful contemplation as we become bound to Him. Whisper Wilderness Whisper!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th July 2020

When God looks through His window onto the waters of our baptism, He sees water where there is scarcely a ripple. He sees a mirror waiting to reflect Himself!

He has been trying to convince us of a fundamental truth – Where we see storms, He sees tranquility. Where we see discord, anger and resentment, He sees peace, love, understanding and forgiveness.

Where we see empty churches, He sees an opportunity to fill the hearts of worshipers far beyond the building’s walls. Where we see dissent, He sees followers who will follow anybody, people who are leaders that have yet to learn to lead.

The waters of our baptism that we see as a turbulent whirlpool can only be calmed when we realise that our ego is the lens that we are looking through. Seen through God’s eyes, and lived through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and experienced through the presence of the Holy Spirit, together the Trinity give a completely different view of the waters of our baptism.

A whisper in the wilderness is too soft to disturb the surface of the water, so be prepared to be the mirror He expects us to be!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th July 2020

When A Judge does not play Judge, in a court he is not a Judge in – then he is driven up the Via Dolorosa of social media to be crucified.

In my country we have a Judge, in fact a Chief Justice, the pinnacle of our legal system, who dared to bare a Christian truth. “I don’t hate anybody” – the fact that this was coupled to a statement that he loved the Jews and the Palestinians, he loved all nations and that love was part of his Christian belief, not hate.

He dared, because the ‘Son’ shines upon him.

In his own court he applies the rule of law that he is must adhere to as part of our constitution. In God’s court he is not expected to be a ‘judge’ he is required to be a Christian – because the ‘Son’ shines upon him.

Perhaps if more of us were to stand up and hold to the same principle, in that we are not required to be judges. We are not required to hold people to any standard. We are not expecting people to share our same views. But whatever standard they have, whatever views they have, we should love them. We should show them that the ‘Son’ can shine upon them. In fact, by doing so, we show that the ‘Son’ shines upon us.

This does not make us some select group of people above everybody else, but it does make us warmer than those who sit in the shade. If the ‘Son’ has shed its light on us, it should have warmed our hearts to all those who cross our paths and that warmth should be a blanket of comfort to all in need.

If the ‘Son’ shines upon us, we have no court to preside over, rather we have a far weightier task spreaders of love. We are not confined to a court, rather, we are bound to the foundation of God’s law; ‘Love your God and love your neighbour as yourself. Perhaps mankind has lost the ability to know themselves and without being able to know themselves cannot love themselves. And if they cannot love themselves, they cannot love their neighbour. What they do love is the image of what society tells them they should be. And society has become used to judging everything, to the extent that we have even started to judge ourselves.

If the ‘Son’ really shines upon us, we should welcome those key figures in society who are brave enough to stand up and we should stand by them because the ‘Son’ shines upon us and we have heard His Whispers in the Wilderness and His greatest commandments!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd July 2020

One day when the mankind takes stock of what has transpired over the last 100 or so years they will perhaps think back to the times they could have spent in quiet communion with God instead of gathering in hordes for whatever reason.

The hordes inevitably become a feeding frenzy!

It just depends what the people have gathered for as to what the feeding entails. Sometimes, it can be relatively innocent; a music festival, sport and dare I say it, church. The feeding is on excitement – the need to be entertained at all costs. Then again at the other end of the scale, the frenzy is about ‘protest’, social or moral indignation and even war and then the feeding is on the souls of man. In between lie a myriad of different forms of the need to satisfy the gnawing emptiness in the pit of our stomachs.

It has taken a ‘lockdown’ to show some of mankind that the real value in life is being in direct contact with someone, one-on-one. Sometimes this is with our Lord, but mostly it is with those near and dear. It is only in these instances of fellowship that we can built a deeper understanding of ourselves and those around us. It is only in contemplative connection with God and man that we build a better person and so doing a better society.

So yes, the frenzied feeding continues around the world, but deep in our hearts I’m sure much of what we see spread across the media is a result of a population who have not learnt how to make meaningful contact with God and caring contact with mankind. If we were to do this, not only would we be fulfilled and fully at peace with the world, the world, and God would be fully at peace with us!

“The peace of God which passes all understanding, …” is not in the gathered crowd. It lies waiting in a stranger, a loved one, the tired, the sick and the lonely. It resides in conversations of words spoken through a touch or a whisper in the wilderness.

“Go in Peace and serve the Lord.”

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 26th June 2020

Our new normal is a place totally unfamiliar to most us.

Like ballet dancers, or musicians, or performers of any ilk, the final product of what we produce on stage, is only a fraction of the time, effort and dedication that has gone into honing the art of what we do. And for most performers it is the ambiance of the stage and the audience that gives validity to their craft.

Take away this final step, and the performer is left negotiating a lonely existence that echoes in the halls of their consciousness.

Life under lockdown is like that for millions of people around the world. Our life’s work, ambition, drive, and formative thought have been conditioned to respond to an audience in our daily appearances on the stages that litter our reasons for being. Take this away and we are left floundering like fish out of water.

So great is the need for human interaction and affirmation, that we completely miss the chance to spend this ‘gifted’ alone time with the Trinity. We are so conditioned to human contact that we have sometimes lost the art of making contact with God. We are so busy shouting out our indignation to the world that we miss the chance to speak of the Holy Spirit to the crowd that has gathered.

We build our false indignation to the extent that it rages inside us threatening to destroy society as we know it. And we do this in the knowledge that it has been done before, to Christ, as we prepare to sacrifice Him again!

When the sound of a silent orchestra is so loud it drowns out the crashing, thundershower drumming of teardrops falling from Heaven as they see what we become when we crave a platform, any soapbox, that we will call our stage.

And when the wilderness whispers in an empty auditorium, who will hear Him? Who will care, that when we craved an audience – any audience will do! Whilst the audience that matters, that special moment just between God and man, will be left to gather up the feathers of the Holy Dove that lie plucked and scattered in the numbered seats.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 19th June 2020

As the night deepens and sleep continues to evade me, I try to take my focus away from the sound of the frogs nightly chorus and then the sudden pauses of silence that I know are due to a stray predator stalking the garden paths.

As the frogs resume their ‘Opera of the Night’ my thoughts dwell on the pages of my existence in the world as it is and as it was. There are a few things that I have done right and there are many that are still left to be accomplished. I also have thoughts of family, both here and departed, and thoughts of friends; some dear, some estranged and some forgotten.

The common factor in this nightly dance of the sleepless, is love. A love for life and all that it has given, but above all, a love for a Father who has lightened my burden over all the years. I also cast my thoughts to my own father and know how much he must be enjoying time spent with his Saviour. I mourn him still, as I do others who have gone before, yet, there is joy in the knowledge that he has gone ‘Home’ to his love.

Love is a ‘Fellowship of Life’ that we celebrate throughout the spectrum of our emotions. Love is the Grace that we have been given and that we pass on to those we encounter along the way.

Love is a way of taking the leaves from His Book and throwing then to the wind. That they may be carried to the far corners of the earth and into the hearts of those we meet along the way.

I have two fathers, one biological and one spiritual and both are in Heaven. The one thing that binds them together and that binds me to my faith, is love.

‘Love Thy God’ – could it be simpler. Be love: That all may know that the leaves taken from His Book, filled with the inscriptions of His Word, have a place in a union that binds us completely to the source of all light!

Happy Father’s Day to both of you.

Scattered leaves are Whispers in the Wilderness blown through our lives by the Holy Spirit as a physical expression of his presence.

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