I was sitting by the pool at the hotel this morning, the man made waterfall making gushing noises behind me and I began reflecting on the changes that occur in a lifetime or two.

The Republic of France has a statue to Queen Victoria in the city of Nice, it strikes me as odd. Odd that no statue of any of its own kings or queens are present and yet a foreign queen is put on a pedestal. The Tsars of Russia are equally represented in the names of the streets in Cannes, Antibes and Nice. Getting a history lesson from our guide Robert reminded me there were three Napoleons, I had quite forgotten about numbers two and three. GCSE History did not stay in my head past the examination thirty five years ago.

What did this area look like when these northern leaders chose the south of France as a winter retreat? How did the French people embrace them? What was it like to be a rural dweller whose land was swallowed up by the huge residences or the royal entourages? Did the gene pool change as a result of this influx of northern blood? What does a place look like when it has been taken over by a foreign influence?

It took me on a journey of thinking of my own life. Long ago the Kingdom of God was shown to me, clearly by the Lady. The love that she had for Jesus and the love that God had for her infused her every gesture. She was never anything other than a vessel of the fruit of the Spirit. But the foreign invaders of the land showed me an easy way, a life of easy come, easy go, a life with no cost, no heavy decisions and I fell over the waterfall into a different way of living.

In recent years I firmly placed my feet in the Kingdom once more, unwavering in my stance. Steadfast as the foreign tried to lure me once more. No, no never, no more as the Wild Rover sang. I am swimming against the tide of bland, vapid wishy washiness.

The palm trees in Cannes were imported but are now a symbol for its town. The hotels; full of marble and false veneer sneer vacuously at the shabby old huts of old. Once there were fields of sugar cane and now there are streets where any kind of candy – legal or illegal can be obtained. The facades of the decadent stores full of designer clothes no sane person would wear let alone fork out for. The cars; a symbol of success in this world parade up and down the streets chogging over-carburised fumes at the people whilst stuck in traffic. Yellow and orange Lotuses, black Porsches and red Ferraris line the streets but do not move any faster than the small Smart car in front.

Holidays are false, no amount of sun and sea can stop a person yearn for the clatter of their own pans in their own kitchen. No amount of sun cream can truly protect the skin from the ravages of solar rays. We get thrust together with a bunch of people and sometimes friendships are made that last from holiday to holiday but sometimes it is wonderful to think of home and real friendships.

Abram changed, he followed God on a journey and changed his name to Abraham, changed from fruitless to father, changed from anyone to beloved, a treasured possession of the Lord. Peter changed, from burly fisherman to great orator and Apostle.

We change, the past no longer defines us. The present, living each moment of our lives for the glory of God. We are not man made, we do not flow with the current of popular culture. We are set apart from this world and we do not accept the candy of the world. As changed people we look at the man made structures and wonder what God intended when he built his church. It has changed so often over the centuries. With each season someone proposes a new way of “doing” church and yet I yearn for us all to “be” church, to be seen as something different not a set of rules but as a sanctuary of grace, of love and of acceptance.

Reflecting on my holiday in the sun, where I opened books for the pleasure of reading for the first time in five years, where I ate the same dish in many different restaurants and cafes, where I guided the Boy 20,000 steps each day, I ponder on the things I have missed whilst being here and I think of the things that I have not missed at all.

The waterfall continues to gush, it has been the soundtrack of this man made sojourn. I yearn for the soundtrack of my own home – of birds, bees and crickets. I yearn for that silence of the thin places, where heaven and earth touch. I yearn to delve deeper into my life with God, plunging under the façade of waterfall and fall further in love with scripture and the living God I serve. I rest more in that place than any sun holiday can ever provide and I love it.

rainbow girl

Band Practice

The provocation of friendship

Is a hard, tough do

But a necessary accounting

Of my life in You


Abounding grace and mercy

In our meeting of the heart

Love surrounds and ne’er is fleeting

When all are anchored only in You


So we all band together

And share our woes and gains

We meet for God’ glory only

And win more souls for You.


Judgeth {thee} not …

You left me in that moment

Though you didn’t move an inch

Eyes glazed over

Ears stuffed shut


Judging me in your presence

Watching my words, not soul

My heart shattered

My mouth closed


Fragile life hung in balance

Do I take on board your hate?

My soul cried out

The helper salved me


Late {honey}

Gosh you’re late, hun,

I wonder where you are?

You left work four hours ago,

I am curious as to what you’re at.


If it was the first time

Or even the fifth or sixth

My mind would not be wandering

But fixed on missing you, alone.


Blonde hair on your jacket shoulder

Long and fine through bleach

Oh gosh I wish I’d not seen

And sit here quietly and wait.


but No, you had to do it

you had to break those vows

you must see how it is looking

not just looks but feels and hears.


Four hours though love

That’s pushing it – even for you

Wringing of hands, frowning

Fretting and weeping – for what!


In my mind she’s more

More than I could ever be

The sum total of all those girls

The long line who went before


This one is different I can feel it

Our home no longer safe

The portrait testaments on the wall

No longer barricade us in


Perfect smiles, tall strong backs

The children smiling wider

showing perfect teeth

They no longer pull you in


O husband, o husband

Where are you tonight?

The kids in their slumber

The dog asleep by the fire.


The door bell takes me out of my misery

Who could be calling so late

The blue flashing lights

The kind look on their faces


A new misery, not one of despair

I can rise above their insinuations

Ignoring assignation allusions

I am the grieving widow who can rebuild.


Standing {tall}

I stand tall – not in ability

Nor gifts, accomplishments – whatever


I stand tall – not in my past

The pain, the erroneous way


I stand tall in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection


So I can stand as you judge

As you imagine my life as it was


The sinner who stood before you

Rejected by your Pharisean eyes


I stand because I’ve been touched

Placed here among your people


To show that even the amply bad

Can be saved just like you


As was said so long before

“I fall and yet by faith I stand,

I stand and will not let You go”



Life is the pits

Snake snarls and spits

Ice cold invade mitts

My heart can’t take more hits


You called out – COME

I heard little hum

Unable for sum

I walking through gum


You shared your LOVE

I turned: Yes! shuv!

It was too tough

Grace, mercy from above


The fire burned bright

But couldn’t see light

Without any might

I jumped, leapt – with no sight


Thank you for SAVE

Took me from cave

Old life gone – raze

New life – rolling in grace


You called out – GO

Close to my foe

I cried out – No

My heart brimfull – woe


You said – remember

You said – don’t forget

You ask again – GO

Letting go of ego

{I say yes}



When you’re right down in it

You can see no way out

You can see only dark

Inky blackness seeping through


When you’re in the middle

Of a muggy treacle puddle

Hanging onto some hope

Is all you can manage


My fingernails cling to

A crumbling despair filled goo

I forget who I am

And who I belong to


He calls out – REMEMBER

Lean back, and hold on

Cling to me, precious daughter,

Cling to me.