Blog 23rd March Audrey Lillian Shearsmith

precious
“Precious” CD front cover

ken's mum photo
Ken’s mum on her 102nd birthday


“Precious” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from album “Precious” – in thanks for the life of Ken’s mum – Audrey Lillian Shearsmith

So no more delays – here is the amazing story of my mum becoming a Christian- it would have been her birthday on March 8th.

My mum, Audrey Lillian Shearsmith, had attended Chapel as young girl and I knew that she said her prayers without fail every single day. However in 1997 I still was not sure how she would react to me telling her that I had become a Christian. I therefore showed her a little book from the Alpha course entitled “Who is Jesus?” and we had a short chat before she told me to leave it and that she would read it later.

When she was 102 years old and was living in the wonderful Chesterholm Lodge Care Home mum asked me what a Christian was and how you could became one. I simply said that to become a Christian you ask God to forgive you for all the things you have done in your life that have displeased Him and to ask Jesus to come into your life. She then smiled her special smile and pointed to her bag and nodded for me to look in it. And there it was -the “Who is Jesus? book that I had given her five years before. I told her that there was a prayer in the book that she could say if you wished to become a Christian. Mum immediately read out the prayer aloud. I was sitting on the bed beside her overjoyed, but at the same time almost not believing what was happening, in fact so much so that I told her that just saying the prayer was not enough she had to really mean it; so she said it again, but this time with even more meaning in her voice! I noticed, Mandy, one of her Carers who worships at my church was outside mum’s room, so I went out to tell her the good news. “Halleluiah” Mandy cried out before telling me that she was not in the least bit surprised because mum had been talking about Christianity for some time. So mum became a Christian at the age of almost 103!

A few days before she died in August 2006 I was with her on my own. She looked at me with so much love, smiled that wonderful smile again and told me that I was precious.

The day after she said “precious” to me I was looking at Psalm 116 and the word “precious jumped out of the page. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” I read in the concordance that “precious”means, not only highly valued, but also carefully looked after – I can’t tell you how reassuring it was to know that in mum’s last days she was being carefully looked after by God. And she was; all those who were with her will testify to how much at peace she was. She was in no pain whatsoever and was as sharp as always. She left this life in a very gentle and serene way – there is no doubt that she was indeed being carefully looked after and watched over by God.

The day after reading Psalm 116 it was a Sunday and I sat at the back of Holy Rood church with no one on the one seat beside me. Beryl, a retired Curate, came in, which was a bit of a surprise because normally on a Sunday morning she worships at an associate church; coming to Holy Rood for the evening services. Although we are good friends I had not sat with Beryl before, but on that Sunday she asked if she could sit on that one free seat by my side. She knew that my mum was very unwell from the church notice sheet and when she asked me I told her that mum was, in fact dying.

At the end of the service Beryl told me that she had prayed for my mum and me and that during the service God had given her a picture. She had seen a beautiful meadow in which stood a rock- a rock that had been very “precious” to her friends and family. The rock was also “precious” to God. Beryl saw the earth around the rock become disturbed and God taking this “precious” rock up to heaven to be with Him.

Mum died the very next day.

Beryl led mum’s thanksgiving service.

Blog March 16th “Risen! The Musical and Revelation TV”

Last blog I said that it would have been my mother’s birthday and that I would tell you her amazing testimony this week; however I would like to delay that for week more as I have some exciting news to share.

In the blog of February 16th I said that I had met with Dr Richard Kent, a Trustee and Presenter of the UK Christian Cable TV channel, Revelation TV and that we are hoping that Risen! The Musical will be broadcast on Revelation during the Easter season. Well I am delighted to announce that this has actually happened- Risen! The Musical is being regularly broadcast on Revelation TV- Sky 581 Freeview HD 250 and Freesat 692.

Todays featured pic shows Benny Bright of the London Touring Cast who plays Peter, proudly showing the next broadcast which is this coming Saturday, March 18th at 5.30 pm (immediately after the Ireland v England Six Nations Rugby match) Risen! Is also being broadcast on Thursday March 23rd and 30th both at midnight. We are waiting on the next edition of Revelation Times to see if it is also being scheduled for broadcasts in April. I am hopeful that it will be as people have been ringing Revelation to obtain my phone number to say how much they have enjoyed it and to order DVDs – one lovely lady called Sheila ordered 25 to send to friends and family, including some in Australia.

The disappointing thing is that Virgin Media do not have Revelation TV as part of their channel options. I rang Virgin to complain and soon will be knocking on Sir Richard’s door!

If you are making up your mind whether or not to watch a broadcast on Revelation TV then please have a look at this short extract to help you decide

So next week how my mum became a Christian aged 101!

Blog March 9th Blog March 2nd “John Glenn- Senator and Astronaut- Part Two”


“I Look Up To The Heavens” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album ” I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

If I may start by saying that Risen! The Musical is being broadcast on Revelation TV as I type. It is on Sky 581 and Freeview 281 – it can also be viewed live on- line but unfortunately Sir Richard has not got his act together so at present Virgin are not broadcasting Revelation TV. Its next on Saturday March 18th at 5.30 pm

It would have been my mother’s birthday – I will tell you her amazing testimony next week, as today I would like to finish sharing the article on John Glenn that I began last week.

Glenn, who died in December 2016 aged 95 was on his first orbit of space in February 1962 when his heat shield was thought to have come loose and many believed it might fail during the reentry which would cause Glenn’s capsule to be incinerated in its fiery descent. Glenn was told to take manual control of the capsule and described a “real fire ball” outside as he reentered the atmosphere. He prayed and thankfully his prayers were answered as he splashed down safely in the Caribbean. Shortly after that mission he gave a talk on “Why I know there is a God.” In this he explained why being in space confirmed his faith in God.

Our galaxy is some 100000 light years in diameter.. we realise how difficult it is to visualise the tremendous scale of the universe beyond our solar system. The limits of the telescopically observable universe extend at least two billion light years from us in all directions. Glenn says Come back to what we know of atomic particles, the smallest particles known. Atoms have a great similarity to our solar system in that they have electrons rotating about a nucleus in regular patterns. Now what is the point of what I am saying? It is the orderliness of the whole universe about us, from the smallest atomic structure to the most enormous thing we can imagine. Could this have just happened? Was it an accident that a bunch of flotsam and jetsam suddenly started making these orbits on their own accord? I can’t believe that. This was a definite plan. This is one big thing in space that shows me there is a God. Some power put all this in orbit and keeps it there.

Glenn firmly believes what the Bible tells us about this: Through Him (Jesus) God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else and He holds all creation together (Colossians 16:16-17).

In 1998 Glenn returned to space on the space shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 mission becoming at age 77 the oldest person to travel in space. He told reporters – Looking at the Earth from this vantage point – looking at this kind of creation and to not believe in God to me is impossible. To see Earth laid out like that only strengthens my beliefs.

Actually it was looking up to the heavens some 18 years ago that I was inspired to write today’s featured song “I look up to the heavens.”

 

 


“There’s More Than One Way Of Saying I Love You” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Uplifted” recorded and produced by Bob Ross

At the weekend I read an article that I thought I would share with you. Last year in thirteen blogs I considered the question of “Is there a conflict between Christianity and Science?” One issue would have been whether or not our amazing world was created by accident or by an intelligent designer. One thing is for sure – it is impossible to look up to the moon and stars at night and not be awestruck. If looking at the heavens from here on earth is so amazing, imagine what it would be like looking at it from outer space! One person who has done that is the American, John Glenn.

Wikipedia states that John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. In 1962 he was the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times. Before joining NASA, Glenn was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War II and Korea with six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters on his Air Medal.

A member of the Democratic Party, Glenn first won election to the Senate in 1974 and served for 24 years until January 3, 1999. In 1998, still a sitting senator, Glenn was the oldest person at age 77 to fly in space as a crew member of the Discovery space shuttle and the only person to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

This is what I read about John Glenn’s experience of looking at Planet Earth from space:

But far from his ego being rocket -boosted by such an achievement, the pioneering astronaut was humbled by the experience and his faith in the Creator of the universe increased. Glenn, who died in December 2016 aged 95 was on his first orbit of space in February 1962 when his heat shield was thought to have come loose and many believed it might fail during the reentry which would cause Glenn’s capsule to be incinerated in its fiery descent. Glenn was told to take manual control of the capsule and described a “real fire ball” outside as he reentered the atmosphere. He prayed and thankfully his prayers were answered as he splashed down safely in the Caribbean. Shortly after that mission he gave a talk on “Why I know there is a God.” In this he explained why being in space confirmed his faith in God.

I will share what he said with you next week.

Blog February 23rd “20 Years a Christian”

Why Jesus


“If I Say I Love You Jesus” featuring Lucy Stimpson-Maynard – from the album “Precious” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

So yesterday was my 20th anniversary of being a Christian. In my blog of April 10th 2014 I described the actual day and I thought it would be good to take an extract of that today.

After my uncertain first night on an “Alpha Course” at Holy Rood Church, Stubbington I came back the following week and then the next and the next. I began to think that I wanted to become a Christian – I felt reassured by the words in John’s Gospel, Chapter 3 verse 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” Eternal Life – that is what I needed to take away my fear of death.  Not something to be earned but something to be accepted as a gift.  Perfect – apart from two problems 1) did I have enough faith to accept Jesus” gift” with any degree of sincerity?  2) If I did ask Jesus into my life what would my mates say- how much ridicule would I have to endure?  Let me have a look at problem no 2 first.

Three of my very special friends are Barry Stares, Dave Conchie and Ian Beacham . Barry I have known since Junior School and Dave and Ian since PE College. We regularly meet for a drink and something to eat (yes curry)  At one curry Ian said “You will never guess what’s happened to Mick” He was referring to another ex-PE College friend, Mick Mellows who played football for Pompey and who is now a Director of the charity Faith and Football -www.faith&football.org.uk .  I thought Ian meant that Mick had been struck down with some horrible illness but no that is not what he meant at all. He continued “He’s only gone and become a Christian!”  To which Dave replied “No – and he was such a good bloke!”

Could I face that sort of comment if I “admitted” to becoming a Christian? I really doubted it.

As for problem no 1 re did I have enough faith? – Well thankfully someone told me I only had to have faith as small as a mustard seed (the smallest of all seeds in Biblical times.)  I simply had to focus on what I believed not on what I did not – I simply had to trust – I simply had to take a “leap of faith”

During the Alpha course I had been given a little red book entitled “Why Jesus?”  (as featured in pic) At the end of the book there is a prayer so I knew an opportunity was coming up for me to take that leap of faith and to say this prayer asking Jesus to come into my life.  I felt it really difficult to sleep with my two “problems”   constantly churning around inside my head.   The weekend came when I knew I had to make a decision – as part of the Alpha Course I was at the Holy Rood Vicarage with the Vicar, Michael Christian- Edwards and his lovely wife Merlyn.  When the others in my group were having a coffee break I escaped into the village to go through in my head what I was going to do.  On my return sure enough Michael gave everyone the opportunity to say a prayer asking Jesus to forgive us for all the things we had done wrong – to ask Him to come into our lives- and for us to be filled with His Holy Spirit.  I remember asking Michael if I could say the prayer twice.  He seemed surprised but said that was fine and so that lunchtime on Saturday, February 22nd 1997 I asked Jesus into my life and became a Christian.

Why did I want to say the prayer twice?  Well there was Mr Mill and his dad that I also wanted to be there on such a momentous occasion. So that evening in Mr Mil’s apartment in Titchfield I sat between the two of them confessing out loud all the things I had done wrong and again asking Jesus into my life. Some of the things I had done wrong were pretty big – one had been a real burden for many years but after I had confessed it  the burden lifted- I know that sounds amazing and too good to be true  but amazing is what it was and too good not to be true!

So I thought “micky taking” here you come, but I decided to be pro-active and tell people before they found out through the grapevine. First off was Barry who I had known the longest -he was surprisingly supportive – so too was Ian – but I could not tell Dave, it was Dave who had made the comment about Mick Mellows – he was sure to let me have it with both barrels.  A couple of months later Barry and Ian told me that Dave was really upset with me for not telling him. So I took Dave out for a curry (of course) and felt pretty emotional when Dave told me that he loved me (in a bloke way!!) and that he would always support me in anything I did and that he was upset because it seemed that I did not believe I could trust him.  So big apology from me and really all the worries about people “taking the mick” turned out to be groundless- mind you I think my two sons James and Chris took a bit of stick at school.

So did my fears of dying die (sorry) If I am honest not entirely – but I did have God’s promise to hold on to and you can’t have much more than that.   In fact later I wrote a song called “It’s From the Lord” which is on our CD “Heart and Soul” – the last verse of which is “When your time on earth is ending and you look up to Him on high and your see His promises sparkling spelt out in stars across the sky and open arms reach to embrace you to welcome you home then you know, yes you know it is the Lord.”

I also wrote a song which was a sort of autobiography of me becoming a Christian and being worried about what people would think – this one is on the CD “Precious” and is called “If I Say I Love You Jesus”  I did actually once sing it live myself at a Mustard Seed Concert but here it is  sung by the fantastic Lucy Stimpson-Maynard

Guess who rang me today to congratulate me on my “birthday?” Yes the very lovely and loving Michael and Merilyn Christian- Edwards

Blog February 16th – Risen! The Musical translated into Chinese!


(Source http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-language-map.htm)


“Amazing Love! (again!) featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard taken from the album “Love is the Way” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

So at the moment we are unsure when the next stage production of Risen! The Musical will take place. This is all because we need funding and, at present the Arts Council do not wish to play ball and be supportive. However there has been great interest in the DVD featuring the London Touring Cast and as I mentioned in my blog of two weeks ago it is to be broadcast in Easter on 22 Romanian satellite channels associated with Christian Cable TV Alpha – Omega. This was all set up by my very dear friend Dr Graham Giles MBE who is a Trustee of Mustard Seed Songs. Graham is also in discussions with another, even larger Romanian Christian TV channel- Credo.

In that blog I also said that I had met with Dr Richard Kent, a Trustee and Presenter of the UK Christian Cable TV channel, Revelation TV. We are hoping that Risen! The Musical will also be broadcast on Revelation and although not 100% confirmed it is looking really good for another Easter broadcast.

Graham has also organised the Risen! The Musical script/score to be translated into Romanian and Spanish and another dear friend, Mick Mellows is getting it translated into Korean and Serbo Croat. Alpha- Omega has the resources to encode subtitles onto the original Risen! DVD so the idea is that with these and other translations we can make, in Graham’s words, “The planet the platform.”

Oh I nearly forgot! Risen! The Musical has already been translated into the world’s most commonly used language – Chinese (Mandarin) One of Graham’s friends Prof Mel Richardson MBE spoke to Katherine Hobbs who originates from Xichang in China. Katherine performed a “labour of love” in spending three weekends translating all 37 pages of the Risen! script. Here is an example- it is the introduction spoken by Alex Knox (see blog November 24th 2016)

Jodie was talking to her friend Stefan about following Jesus of Nazareth.  Stefan said, “I know that Jesus died on a cross but do you really believe He rose from the dead? “ Jodie put her arm around Stefan and whispered “Yes I do- imagine, after seeing Jesus crucified, His followers were utterly devastated. Then three days later they saw Him alive again. Jesus stayed with them for another 40 amazing days. They were all transformed.   He promised ‘I will be with you always even to the very end of the age.’ That changed everything – forever. “

朱迪正在跟她的朋友斯特凡谈论跟随拿撒勒的耶稣。 斯特凡说:“我知道耶稣在十字架上死了,但你真的相信他从死里复活了吗? “朱迪把手臂放在斯特凡肩上,低声说道: “是的,试想一下,在看见耶稣钉死在十字架上之后,他的追随者们是如何地痛心。 而三天后,他们却再次见到了重生的他。 此后,耶稣与他们一起度过了另外40个无比神奇的日子,使他们也被彻底感化了。 耶稣承诺过:“我将永远与你们在一起,直到岁月的尽头。” 而这,也从此改变了一切。

How amazing is that!!! Thank you so very, very much Katherine.

Oh and another thing- I taught Katherine’s husband Phil and her brother in law, Tim at Crofton School, in fact Mr Mill was Tim’s tutor. Yes it is a small world in which we live.

Blog February 9th – The Long Silence


I Will Tell featuring Lucy Stimpson Maynard from the album ” I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

Why is there suffering in the world when God is good? Over the past months I keep returning to this most difficult of subjects – why -because it is a question so often asked and for such good reason. This will be the 18th time I have commented on the subject – last week I finished by quoting Rev. Richard England who reminds us that “God is good but life can be bad – Life can be bad but God is good.” In my blogs relating to suffering I have used extracts from various books but one that I almost forgot is the excellent “Big Questions” written by Steve Legg who is Editor of the popular magazine Sorted.” www.sorted.uk

In the section on suffering Steve quotes the famous poem “The Long Silence” which I would like to share below.

At the end of time, billions of people were seated on a great plain before God’s throne. Most shrank back from the brilliant light before them. But some groups near the front talked heatedly, not cringing with cringing shame – but with belligerence.

“Can God judge us? How can He know about suffering?” ,snapped a pert young brunette. She ripped open a sleeve to reveal a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp. “We endured terror … beatings … torture … death!”

In another group a Negro boy lowered his collar. “What about this?” he demanded, showing an ugly rope burn. “Lynched, for no crime but being black!”

In another crowd there was a pregnant schoolgirl with sullen eyes: “Why should I suffer?” she murmured. “It wasn’t my fault.” Far out across the plain were hundreds of such groups. Each had a complaint against God for the evil and suffering He had permitted in His world.

How lucky God was to live in Heaven, where all was sweetness and light. Where there was no weeping or fear, no hunger or hatred. What did God know of all that man had been forced to endure in this world? For God leads a pretty sheltered life, they said.

So each of these groups sent forth their leader, chosen because he had suffered the most. A Jew, a negro, a person from Hiroshima, a horribly deformed arthritic, a thalidomide child. In the centre of the vast plain, they consulted with each other. At last they were ready to present their case. It was rather clever.

Before God could be qualified to be their judge, He must endure what they had endured. Their decision was that God should be sentenced to live on earth as a man.

Let him be born a Jew. Let the legitimacy of his birth be doubted. Give him a work so difficult that even his family will think him out of his mind.

Let him be betrayed by his closest friends. Let him face false charges, be tried by a prejudiced jury and convicted by a cowardly judge. Let him be tortured.

At the last, let him see what it means to be terribly alone. Then let him die so there can be no doubt he died. Let there be a great host of witnesses to verify it.

As each leader announced his portion of the sentence, loud murmurs of approval went up from the throng of people assembled. When the last had finished pronouncing sentence, there was a long silence. No one uttered a word. No one moved.

For suddenly, all knew that God had already served His sentence.

 

Blog February 2nd “The Final Frontier”


“The Final Frontier” by Dr Richard Kent


Yours is a Jealous Love featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Precious” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

In one of my very early blogs I wrote of my fear of death and how I gained hope from the promise of Jesus recorded in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This was around twenty years ago and around this time I went to a talk given by Dr Richard Kent on near or after death experiences. These are described in his books “The Final Frontier” and “Beyond The Final Frontier” both still available from Amazon but which you can download free of charge with these links

http://www.freechristianteaching.tv/the-final-frontier-ebook-landing-page

http://www.freechristianteaching.tv/beyond-the-final-frontier-landing

Two films were also produced – “The Final Frontier” and The Lazarus Phenomenon.” Again both can be downloaded free of charge:

http://www.freechristianteaching.tv/index.php/the-final-frontier-movie

http://www.freechristianteaching.tv/the-lazarus-phenomenon-movie

After hearing Richard’s brilliant presentation I read “The Final Frontier “and was not only amazed but also heartened with more evidence that death is not the end, but that there is an after- life.

My friend Chris Wickland recently posted on Facebook an interview he had on Christian Cable Revelation TV. Chris played guitar for the Mustard Seed Soul Band and is now a Pastor for the Living Word Church. I was looking for a means of introduction to Revelation TV to offer Risen! The Musical for broadcast so I contacted the person who had interviewed Chris and that was Dr Richard Kent. Now at the time I had no idea that Dr Richard Kent, the interviewer and Dr Richard Kent, writer of “The Final Frontier are one and the same person.

Anyway I emailed Richard who turned out to be a Trustee of Revelation TV. He suggested I send the Risen! promo links to the Revelation leadership- I also sent them to Richard who found them to be “very interesting.” Encouraged I sent copies of the Risen! DVD to both the Revelation leadership and to Richard. Then out of the blue Richard rang me – as soon as I heard his voice I recognised him to be the same person who had written “The Final Frontier” and who I had heard speak those 20 or so years ago.

Well to cut a long story short we had a brilliant meeting together. We had breakfast at the Marriot Hotel and then went to his lovely home. I am not sure exactly what will come from this new and exciting friendship but I know that it is one that I already highly value and that Risen! The Musical has gained another wonderful advocate.

Richard features regularly on Revelation TV with fantastic presentations:

www.freechristianteaching.tv

One I have just watched which is absolutely fascinating is on the Shroud of Turin.

http://www.freechristianteaching.tv/turin-shroud-landing

Richard also has brilliant short “Fun Facts” that I can thoroughly recommend:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuaWUFSxNu7MGpB0iO8XxgZ8DazK8gRF_

We are not yet sure if Risen! The Musical will be broadcast on Revelation TV but we do know for definite that it is to be broadcast on 32 satellite channels in Romania   – but more of that next week.

 

Blog January 26th – Why does God allow suffering” Part 17

“All Authority in Heaven and Earth” (using the melody from “Great and Marvellous”) Risen! The Musical featuring the London Touring Cast, The New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth


Great and Marvellous -from the album “Love is the Way” featuring the Mustard Seed Girls Choir recorded at the 2000 Millennium Concert at the Crofton Sports Hall, Stubbington

I hope you enjoyed my funny story in last week’s blog, however this week I wish to return to the serious issue of how we deal with suffering. I have already posted 16 messages on the subject but had further insight when attending another session at Holy Rood Church on “God’s Strategy In Human History.”

You may have heard of the story of Job. He was a righteous man before God but he suffered horrifically. His so called friends told him on numerous occasions that God was punishing him for doing something or somethings bad in his life. Job accepted that he was not at all perfect but he refused to believe that he had done anything so bad as to be punished in such horrific ways (all his children were killed and he was covered with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. “Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat amongst the ashes.”) Nevertheless in all his sufferings, although naturally asking God why, oh why, never once did he denounce God, but instead put his trust in Him.

Now you will have to read the Bible account to find out why it was that Job suffered in this way (but without spoiling the story you will no doubt be pleased to discover that all ended well with Job and that he was fully restored to good health and made even more prosperous than he had been before.)

So this story tells us that sometimes we are called to suffer without really knowing why and that even in suffering it is still possible to trust in God.

There are other occasions in the Bible, notably the miracles of Jesus, when people suffering in all sorts of ways are healed. Divine healing still happens today and comes about when someone(s) stands before God and prays for healing for the sick person. We know that sometimes by God’s grace healing does take place but then sometimes it does not- how can we make sense of that? Well I suppose if every time we prayed for someone to be healed and they were then we would not need medicine or doctors, we would just need to pray – which could make prayer more like a magic spell rather than a heartfelt cry to God. On the other hand if prayer never resulted in healing then it would, at least for that purpose, become redundant.

So I suppose the point here is that praying for healing is something we are called to do, but that it is God not us who does the healing. He tells us “ As the heavens are higher than the earth so my ways are higher than your own” so our responsibility is not to question why He sometimes heals and sometimes does not but to pray and accept the answer. So sometimes there will be healing and sometimes there will not and when not then we are back where Job was – suffering without knowing why, but still, despite everything, trusting in God and the fact that God is good, or as Rev. Richard England often says “God is good but life is sometimes bad.”

Blog January 19th “You are the Maker- Funny Story !

You are the Maker – featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Love is the Way” recorded and produced by Bob Ross

In my last blog I finished with the thought that although life is sometimes bad that does not mean that God becomes bad- no He is always good- we just muddle God and life up. I was going to continue with that thought, but instead I have decided that it is time to lighten things up with a spot of humour. When I decided on this week’s featured song “You Are The Maker” I remembered a funny (well I think it is) story which I thought I would share. The heavy stuff can wait another week.

My mother, who became a Christian aged 102, was worried that as though history so many people have died there would not be enough room for her when it was her turn to go to heaven.

The father of two very good friends of mine died soon after she said this – let’s call him “Big Neil.” Now “Big Neil,” before he became a member of a school’s senior management, had been a teacher of handicraft (that is old speak for technology) He was also incredibly keen and most brilliant at DIY and could design, build and repair just about anything – electrics, plumbing, woodwork, brickwork, painting – the lot.

I wrote a letter of sympathy to “Big Neil’s” family and attempted to “add a lighter touch” by saying that I would now be able to reassure my mother that there was no longer any need to worry about a shortage of room for her in heaven as “Big Neil” had just turned up there and was going to build an extension.

Big Neil’s two sons decided that this would “add a lighter touch” to the tone of the funeral service and read that part of my letter out. It had the desired effect with everyone seeing the funny side and having a little smile and chuckle. So I was pleased with my small but important input. However my task was not yet finished; “Big Neil’s” sons wanted a song I had written played as the final song of the service-“ I Look Up To The Heavens” which is the first track of the album of the same name- in fact the first album released by Mustard Seed Songs. So I gave one of “Big Neil’s” sons a copy of the album telling him to ensure that it was the first track that should to be played. I thought it would be a nice gesture to also give him a copy of our second album “Love Is The Way.”

So I am sitting in a front pew in a position of prayer as the Vicar explains that while everyone are saying their last good byes to “Big Neil” a song written family friend, Ken Shearsmith is to be played. I am waiting in expectation for the opening chords of the rather reverent song “ I Look Up To The Heavens” but gasp in horror as I hear the up tempo start of “You Are The Maker.” They are playing the wrong track!! They are playing the first track of the album “Love Is The Way” not the first track of “I Look Up To The Heavens!” I want the earth to swallow me up. I keep my head down for as long as possible before realising that I have to leave and face the music (excuse the pun) To my surprise I am greeted with smiles and words of encouragement, even praise “Well done Ken -what a wonderful and most appropriate song for “Big Neil” – You Are The Maker – ideal words for such a brilliant Do it Yourselfer!! “