Now Available: A Peace Poetry Bookmark

New World:

I once had a dream of a new world.

I saw a city like crystals, pearls and gold, full of light, guarded by angels of old. 

There was no night. 

The city was bright. 

A river of pure love flowed through. 

There was no death for me and you. 

No dying, no crying, no sinning. 

A place of no pain or sorrow. 

It is the world of tomorrow. 

~ DTH ~

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Nov 4th Global Blogblast for Peace: Peace in the Time of Quarantine

Welcome to my blog blast for peace.

– 2020 –

Please feel free to add to the comments tips on:
 How are you finding peace in the midst of this chaotic time?

How are you finding peace in the midst of this chaotic time?  
7 helpful tips. 
1. Hold onto scriptures that you find encouraging. For example I have a list of verses pinned up in our kitchen that a ministry sent out:
2. As mentioned in a previous post about infodemics it is worth limiting social media if it is gaining to much of a foot hold in your life. 
3. Having said that there are apps out there that help with feelings you may have in this pandemic and in life in general. I started one recently which I was reffered to for my social anxiety, so far fairly helpful. I have also used calming apps in the past, one was secular and one was specifically Christian in nature. 
4. In an age of bad news take time to look for and appreciate good news. For example, recently the Nuclear Ban Treaty has been ratified by 50 nation states making nuclear weapons illegal. Truly good news. 
5. Give thanks. For, example here is a prayer from the Fellowship of Reconciliation giving thanks in regards to the good news above:
6. If you are able why not enjoy an Autumn walk. This season is a wonderful time of colours and crisp air. As mentioned in a previous autumn post I love this time of year, the time when the winds blow. If you have kids why not make it an autumn treasure hunt (always keeping to restrictions in your region of course). 
7. Be gentle with your self and others. Allow yourself to grieve. 
These are just a few tips on finding a measure of peace in these uncertain times. How about you?
How are you finding peace in the midst of this chaotic time?
Feel free to comment at the bottom of the page. 

– 2019 – 

Over the years I have written little snippets and poems on the theme of peace. This year on Nov 4th I am joining other peace bloggers from across the world to share on the theme: Changing your climate. I’m going to collect together a number of pieces I have written to express a yearning for peace, a deep desire for a better world and perhaps a glimmer of hope that things can and will be better. As these have been written over the years some may appear darker than others. Some may even appear optimistic. These come in no particular order, but in the end all reflect a longing for a change in climate. The toxic nature of politics and media these days needs challenged. The climate of division and misery needs to end. Let us not forget the other extinction threat – nuclear weapons. It is time to blog for peace.
1. Letter to the ‘Leaders’ 
From whence cometh wars and rumours of war?
Lust for power as you sacrifice at the altar of your gods. 
Lust for wealth, the love of which is the root of all evil.
Lust that fills the streets with rivers of blood. 
Lust that burns children alive in the name of “a higher cause.”
Lust in the name of dark liquid and swords. 
Lust in the name of your false god Ares. 
From whence cometh wars and rumours of war?
Your lusts! 
2. War 
Blood and guts
Widows crying 
Where is the glory? 
Blood and guts 
Children dying
Where is the glory?
Blood and guts
People dying 
Where is the glory? 
What is it good for? 
3. Not in thy name 
Cruelty and punishment.
They say in thy name.
Do they know what manner of spirit they are of?
Killing and wholesale slaughter.
They say in thy name.
Do they know what manner of spirit they are of?
Not in thy name.
Not in my name.
In theirs.
Not in thy name. 
4. War Child 
Another body on an empty street. 
No wave of flags for this child. 
No red, white and blue. 
No streets lined with mourners. 
No drum beat or trumpet call. 
No red flowers or wreaths. 
No moment silence or vigil mass. 
Worst of all: 
No faith, 
No hope, 
No love, 
None is given. 
This is the death of another nations child. 
5. Fields 
Beautiful sunshine. 
Fields of buttercups. 
Lambs playing in the spring. 
Dark clouds of poison smoke. 
Fields of bones and bodies. 
No one and no creature plays in ‘no man’s land’. 
Sunshine breaking through the clouds in a blue sky. 
Fields golden and ripe for harvest. 
Blackened sky. 
No light or life. 
No one to harvest, no harvest. 
All that is left is the aftermath of slaughter. 
God forgive our heartless species. 
God forgive us! 
6. Vigil for Peace 
Alone it floats on the water, lit by a child, a call for peace amidst the wars. 
Its a sign to beckon the weary to come. 
Slowly more candles are lit, 
More people come. 
They come, not to curse the darkness. 
They simply come to light a candle.
Soon the water reflects so much light. 
Broken and surrendered they come. 
Softly without words or song they minister. 
In prayer and stillness they gather. 
The ever-growing, universal vigil for peace has begun. 
7. Collateral Damage 
You are someones baby, someones child; 
But they call you collateral damage. 
You are someones son, someones daughter; 
But they call you collateral damage. 
You are someones brother, someones sister; 
But they call you collateral damage. 
You are someones father, someones mother; 
But they call you collateral damage. 
They call you collateral damage.
For they know not what spirit they are of. 
8. To the ground 
He falls to the ground. 
Hands over his eyes, he weeps bitter tears of great pain. 
How had things come to this? 
Wiping the blood and tears from his face, he does something he hasn’t done for a long time, he prays. 
With his rifle finally laid to rest, the young soldier looks to the heavens and then across a field of corpses. 
Among the dead he sees a child he killed in the heat of battle. 
The soldiers words echo in the valley of death, God forgive us. 
Forgive us all, sweet Jesus, forgive us. 
To the ground the soldier falls. 
9. They Lie
They send us off to die. 
Blood and tears we cry. 
In the heat of battle we live. 
Our sweat and life we give. 
Bang beats the drum. 
A war never won. 
Vanity and pride. 
The leaders hide. 
Why should this be? 
Indeed the name of the free? 
No, not in my name. 
This is not a game. 
They send us off to die, we shall not go!
For they lie! 
10. New World
I once had a dream of a new world.
I saw a city of crystals, pearls and gold, full of light, guarded by angels of old. 
There was no night
The city was bright. 
A river of pure love flowed through. 
There was no death for me and you. 
No dying, no crying, no sinning. 
A place of no pain or sorrow. 
It is the world of tomorrow. 
11. This is The End
Lay down together, friends.
Roar lion, roar!
Silent lamb to slaughter.
A child will lead them.
Lay down together, friends.
Speak and nations bow.
Swords to ploughs.
The harvest is plenty.
Lay down together, friends.
Prince of peace.
Hallelujah, angels sing.
Saints awake.
Lay down together, friends.
Lay down on holy ground.
Lay down your weapons.
Lay down your burdens.
Lay down together, friends.
This is the end.



– DTH – 

Stages of Grief

 Recently I saw an article about our need to look after ourselves as best we can at this time of pandemic and lockdown. It used Maslow’s hierarchy of need to show this.

This got me thinking of another useful diagram from Social Science days. Kübler Ross’s stages of grief. 

A grief doesn’t always need to be as a result of a loss in the family or among our friend group. Grief can happen when someone you love walks out of your life, it can happen when abrupt changes happen at work and it certainly can occur when normal life is disrupted by a pandemic and government measures. There is a lot of arguments on social media and in the media at large around the topic of both the pandemic, the extent of it, and about the need or lack of need for lockdowns or restrictions. Watching all this going on we can observe not only that everyone has different opinions, but that not everyone is at the same stage of grief. An extreme example is someone interested in conspiracy theories (including both those for or those against lockdown etc) with no foundation or evidence may be considered perhaps as someone in denial. Someone who continues in that phase may be in deep denial. I’ve long argued that the stages of grief don’t always come in the same order for everyone. For me personally it is all over the place. One thing that we need to realise for ourselves is that this is a grief so we need to be gentle with ourselves. We also may be at a different stage of grief or transitioning in a different order than others. Therefore let us be gentle and kind with each other.

For people of Faith here is some bible verses for overcoming grief. Context is important of course, but these verses may be useful when used well for you in your personal walk. 

Children of Abba

 A devotion originally written for team forum at work with slight adjustments. 

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14)

Children of Abba lift your eyes to Him.

He knows our hearts. He is Father. We are sons. Heirs of His grace. 

He knows we work hard in trying times. He has known days of toil. Days of labour. 

He knows we get burntout at times. He wept over Jerusalem and in the garden. Jesus wept. 

He knows our tiny mustard seed faith faulters at times. He knows what it is to be tempted. Yet He endured. 

Our childlike hands must join His as He guides us to safety.

Become childlike not childish. 

Our weakness will fade like mist as His strength becomes our strength.

Become childlike not childish. 

Our Abba, Our Father.

Lift your eyes to Him. 

From a scream to a whisper

There is a scream way down deep in my heart and soul.

A primitive scream of mourning, anger and pain.

A scream that should it erupt would shatter worlds.

A scream that if possible would awaken the ancestors and echo into the generations. 

A scream that would make demons tremble and angels take notice.

It is not my scream alone, but a scream of collective force. 

Fires and floods ravaged the years. 

War and racial tension shook the earth. 

Childish leaders oppressed the innocent and child like. 

The species drained the earth of life and resources. 

Disease and pestilence attacked the species. 

‘A pale horse and the one who rides on it is death and hell follows with him.’

What can hold back such a scream? 

In my minds eye I see an empty old rugged cross, an empty tomb, creation groaning in birth pains, hope even in the darkness. 

In my minds eye the scream becomes a whisper, “Be still all peoples, be still creation, be still my soul, be still and know that He is God.”

I Hear People Crying For One

One of my favourite superhero quotes is “I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.” – Superman in Superman Returns (2006)

Some people say that if bad things happen there is no God. But, bad things happening is exactly the reason there needs to be a God. Someone to redress the balance. There needs to be hope, light and good amidst defeat, darkness and evil.

For Christians this global crisis is as good a time as any to re-acknowledge both our need of, as broken and fallen people who sin, and our hope in, the child born in a manger. Such a humble beginning for the King of Kings. Years after the stable birth His death would be brutal yet redemptive, His resurrection triumphant and hope giving. Soon His return will prove both inevitable and welcome. He is our hope. Blessed be His name!

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:1,2 (KJV)

Not being troubled, especially in the middle of a pandemic, seems virtually impossible. But, Christ can comfort us.

I read somewhere that our fear should be an invitation to faith.

A Christian, recently told me of a conversation they had with another Christian about what sounded like a panic attack of sorts. In the midst of this attack of anxiety (which was in reference to the pandemic and fear of death) this other Christian calmly said to them they didn’t feel they would get the virus or die, but if that did happen they would enter the prescence of God. A place of perfect peace. Now that is faith!

One thing I will say is that the shadow of death should encourage us all to examine ourselves, to make our calling and election sure. “Am I in Christ?” “Am I following Him well?” If the answer is no to either or both of these then now is the appointed time, now is the day of salvation. Accept Him as Lord and Savior and bear good fruit. Do not delay!

I’m not going to lie, I have struggled with thoughts in relation to death, this pandemic and all kinds of other anxiety. In fact I have a feeling I may have a social anxiety disorder, but still need to confirm that with a professional. So the bottom line is I am no stranger to anxiety. I do get it and understand others who do.

Yet, I recently rediscovered a verse that was so dear to me as a child and as a newly converted soul. The verse says, “Do not let your heart be troubled.” It was on the cover of a small tract that I think belonged to my Mum’s Granny originally. I still own the tract to this day. I find the words less like a demand, and more like an encouragement. Almost as if Abba is saying, “Come what may I have got you and I have got this. Be still my child, fear not.”

I close with another verse:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (v27)