Another 100 Lyrical Riffs

Another collection of short readings that draw on biblical themes and verses. Useful for reflection and for sharing. Available on Kindle.

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An extract from the book

List of Riffs

1. Every Blade of Grass
2. Marathon
3. Saying
4. Fragile
5. Lament
6. Thinking
7. Peace Beyond
8. Enigma
9. To You
10. Vulnerable
11. That’s Life in Lockdown
12. Every Cry
13. Children of Dust
14. Palettes
15. Wake. Live. Sleep. Repeat.
16. Our Genesis
17. Foreign Land
18. You Are With Us
19. an invitation to #follow
20. Sand in Our Pockets
21. Deserts
22. Real Not Ideal
23. I Don’t Have It All Figured Out
24. Failure
25. Choosing
26. Need
27. Nuanced God
28. Messages
29. Treasure
30. Fire and Ice
31. Ruins
32. Best Kind of Shepherd
33. Known and Unknown
34. Surprise!
35. Advent Lives
36. Colours of Advent
37. Blood, Sweat and Dust
38. Waiting Days
39. Way Back
40. Tick Tock
41. Stones
42. The Road
43. Boots and Flip-flops
44. Baggage
45. Bumps and Scrapes
46. Striped
47. To Be With Jesus
48. Noise
49. Power
50. Ambush
51. In the Beginning
52. Friends
53. Deeper
54. Salt
55. Moving In
56. Knock Knock
57. Shepherdless
58. The Word
59. In This World
60. Freedom
61. Reborn
62. Fully Human
63. Alongside Us
64. Strength
65. Another Way
66. Refuge
67. A Friend
68. Strength & Joy
69. Blame
70. Keeping Going
71. The Shake-Up
72. Darkness
73. Silence
74. Something Bigger
75. Stones & Bread
76. Wild Animals
77. Desert
78. In the Room
79. Over You
80. Worship
81. Unfinished
82. With You
83. Ever Present One
84. Fruit of the Fruit
85. Image
86. Gardens of Resurrection
87. About Time
88. Anchor
89. Hearts
90. Help
91. With Us
92. Another Year
93. Son of All Time
94. Son of All Time (2)
95. Rich Dark Hours
96. Our Times
97. Pilgrimage
98. Heroes
99. Name
100. Leaves
101. Christmas Short
102. Scrambled Froot

1. Every Blade of Grass
In you we live and move and exist:
Your breath in a blade of grass,
In a twinkling smile,
In a mathematical calculation,
In energy expended,
And peace embraced.
In doubt and trouble,
In wrestling with a world gone awry,
In wonder and exuberance,
And the glory of the good moments.
Your breath, your presence,
Filling the gaps between the atoms,
Filling the tiny chasms in everything you made.
The very ground we walk on,
The sights, smells, sounds,
The restless sea and sultry clouds,
The coffee we drink,
The frowns and smiles we exchange.
Your breath in everything.
On this page,
In these words,
In the moments you take
To read them.

2. Marathon
Long obedience in the same direction.
Keeping going,
In it for the long haul,
A marathon rather than a sprint.
Though some days we may feel
As if we’ve fallen off the track,
Or meandered off course entirely,
While for others the race may often feel
More like the rush and flurry of a dash…
The race goes on.
So keep running,
Setting your eyes on the prize,
On the goal,
On Jesus,
The author, founder, nourisher
Of our faith and hope,
And the one who is
Our strength and courage
For running
This marathon.

3. Saying
There used to be a saying,
It went something like this,
If we can't say something good,
Best to say nothing at all.
In this strange age
When we're all commentators,
Reporters and public speakers,
It might be worth bringing it back.
Bearing in mind that
The truth which sets us free
Is not barbed like a weapon,
But engraved with grace.

4. Fragile
We are fragile,
And always have been,
And boy, do we know that now.
No matter how big our vision,
How cool our culture,
How engrossing our entertainment,
How advanced our technology,
We keep coming to the end of ourselves.
We need more than humanity,
More strength for this life,
More fuel for the road.
Life is too important,
To precious, too wonderful,
Too difficult, too much of a rollercoaster,
To try and make it alone.

5. Lament
Sometimes it feels like one step forward,
Two-three-four-five steps back.
We cannot escape our clay feet,
And calloused hearts.
The headlines for a moment spread hope,
Then in a breath tilt back into cynicism.
Despair lurks at our door,
The planet twists and turns,
Buffeted by all kinds of storms.
The nations rage and rumble,
The tongue is so often a flippant fire,
The rivers of justice are dammed,
The streams of righteousness stemmed,
Yet even as injustice rears its head,
There are places where humility kneels,
Places where kindness crosses boundaries,
Places where truth and mercy embrace.
Quiet places, merciful people,
Tea lights of hope, inextinguishable.

6. Thinking
My thoughts are not yours,
My way of thinking is different.
Change our minds please Lord,
Change our minds.
When we get lost in the maze of our selfishness,
When we want to assert ourselves
At the expense of others.
Change our minds please,
When our thinking takes a wrong turn,
We lose sight of the good and wise road,
Bring us back to the ways of light and hope.
Change our minds please,
Keep us looking to you,
Keep us open to your ways,
Save us when the walls of cynicism close in.
My thoughts are not yours,
My ways are different,
Higher, clearer, heartening, strengthening.
Change our minds please Lord,
And keep us close to you.

7. Peace Beyond
The call to waste time, to risk everything on doing nothing,
To step out of life’s traffic even for a few seconds.
For a breath here and there, a pause in the pressing flurry,
To celebrate the free gift, no upgrades required or hidden extras.
Stopping and staring, slowing down to take that long, loving look,
Adopting for the briefest of interludes those unforced rhythms of grace.
Allowing healing access to the deep waters, the unknown pools of our being,
The secret places that drive us, stall us, trip us, make us react as we do.
There may be silence or not, we may be restless or still,
Choosing to brake for just a moment, making a start,
Easing that calming stick in the spokes of our life.
Not easy, when we want to be kept busy, distracted, fuelled,
When 5 seconds, or 10 or 30 can seem like an age.
Yet the call goes on, to buck the trend, stop filling every glimmer of time,
With so much stuff that we’re left empty,
Plugging for a moment back into God and all that makes sense,
A peace offered, accessible and beyond our understanding.

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