Sometimes beauty is found in the most unlikely places.
Where Ireland’s green
Continue reading Anyway (a poem)
Meets ocean’s blue
In jagged cliffs
With sweeping views
I walked until
The thick grass ended
Down onto the
Down where wild
Wind and sea
Play tug of war
“It’s all who you know,” they say. If you want to get ahead, it really helps to know the right people in the right places. People on the inside, in the inner circle of influence. If they know you, they’ll be more likely to use their positions to help you. If they like you, or if you’ve done something for them, that’s even better.
Continue reading The Inner Circle
“Pictures or it didn’t happen!”
Believe me, it did. Or don’t believe me—it still happened. Every moment doesn’t have to be pictured to be real. Every picture doesn’t have to be shared to be precious. My camera roll is bigger than what I share online, and my life is bigger than my camera roll. And I’m happy to keep it that way. Usually.
Continue reading Don’t Miss The Moment For A Picture
Two weeks ago I wrote about how easily I can go blind to the world around me, forgetting to look at the familiar things I see every day. Sometimes it takes effort to really look at what I’m seeing, but the effort is worth it. I have found that the tangible world around me can often help me regain a proper perspective on my life. The ocean reminds me that my worries are smaller than they feel. The flowers remind me of God’s provision, the birds remind me of his care (Luke 12:22-31). In the following two poems, I tried to capture what a ruined wall behind our village and the couch in our sitting room reminded me of:
Continue reading The Last Wall
If you want to be thoroughly dissatisfied with your life, you can do it quickly in one easy step:
Compare yourself to others.
There will always be someone who is more successful or talented or good-looking or clever or confident or has more of whatever it is you want. Guaranteed. You might measure up pretty well against some people (as long as you’re careful to measure the right things), but eventually you’re bound to find someone who surpasses you at the very strengths you take pride in. The world is a big place. That’s how it goes.
Continue reading How To Quit The Comparison Game
We had some friends visiting last week who had never been to Ireland, and we got to show them why this place is called the Emerald Isle. The beautiful postcards tell the beautiful truth. And the castles, churches, and monastic ruins dotted across the countryside add a layer of historic mystery to the impossibly green landscape. We have a castle in our own village, and the patchwork fields beyond it eventually lead down to the rocky coast. You could hardly go anywhere on this island without seeing something historic or naturally magnificent. Welcome to Ireland. Let me show you around…
Or will you show me?
Continue reading Slowly Going Blind
The Bible is the most influential book in history. No other book comes close to its print numbers, translations, or the number of lives and even cultures that have been radically changed by it. The message is more important, and more transformative, than anything ever written before or since. But although this book is the ultimate best-selling, world-shaping classic of literature, it can’t be fully understood if it is read like other books. It is not one more textbook to study, or history to appreciate, or how-to guide to follow. It is unique: it is God’s revelation of who he is and what he has done, and of who we are and what our lives are for. It does not present us with a religious or philosophical system to assent to, it presents us with a personal God to respond to. Reading it, hearing sermons about it, and studying it are all great things to do, but if you really want to understand the Bible, it’s not enough to listen to it. You have to respond to it. You have to obey it.
Continue reading The Key To Understanding The Bible
During the first covid lockdown, with its strict travel restrictions, our family discovered a local treasure: a little spot known as Brown Island. Our neighbour told us about it. It’s not an easy place to find. When we went the first time I had to ring him because we couldn’t find the entrance hidden away down a country lane through a small gap in the hedge you’d never notice unless someone like my neighbour told you exactly where to look.
Continue reading Strangers Are Some Of The Nicest People You’ll Ever Meet
They say hindsight is 20/20, and if that’s true it’s amazing because I know how blurry the world can be when I don’t have my glasses on. Every morning I wake up and the world around me is blurry, but my memories are clear, and that clarity is a gift that should never be taken for granted. When I roll out of bed and put my glasses on, my eyes begin to see the sharp outlines of reality. When I cast my thoughts back with the glasses of hindsight, my mind begins to see the sharp outlines of the past.
Continue reading Looking Back On Right Now
“She’s so generous,” he said.
If he said it to you, what would your first thought be about the person he described? Would it have anything to do with how she uses her money? Probably it would. Money is the context we almost always use the word “generous” for. And that’s not bad—we need far more financial generosity in the world. But let’s not forget that the word (and the reality it stands for) applies to far more than our finances.
Continue reading Generous Patience