Lifted High

23 May 2011

Balloon Over Taunton

Balloon Over Taunton

Would it be different on landing?

Because of being raised for a while, lifted high above the streets and fields?

To view beyond what had been the immediate

To watch cars stuck in jams

To observe distance between a couple walking to the shops

To see children scurrying in the school playground

Would it be different on landing?

Could the impact of anxieties and issues be less?

Can life take on new perspectives?

What of those who will never take a balloon ride?

Who will not have the chance to be lifted high above the streets and fields?

May the ground beneath our feet be lowered a little

to give us the view that changes life

that deepens our love for one another

and reassures us that there is more, so much more.




A TESTAMENT OF HOPE – transforming life in troubled times
is to be launched at
Temple Methodist Church,
Upper High Street, Taunton, TA1 3PY
Saturday 25 June
7 for 7.30 pm
Entry is free
Church in the Market Place Publications £10.95
Special Launch Price £10

Faith, hope and love abide…imagine if hope is the greatest of the three.

Go further and consider if the hope that remains when all else seems lost is actually the Divine Presence Within.

This beautifully written account draws on the author’s personal experiences and those of others to lead us through the valley of despair to the mountain top of hope fulfilled.

Punctuated by inspirational re workings of familiar passages of scripture the book is indeed a true testament of hope.


“This book offers a real beacon of hope in dark days when, often, we can see only despair”

The Revd Dr Rex Mason, former Old Testament Lecturer Oxford University

“Bruce Thompson’s very personal and helpful meditation on the necessity of hope is a reminder of how we can all make the most of hope nourishing events in our lives, some of which are to be found in the very things that threaten to destroy all hope.”

The Revd Canon Albert Radcliffe, Manchester Cathedral

“Genuine theology is rooted in reflections of past generations seen through the lens of contemporary life and personal experience.  It has its outcomes in spirituality and worship, in personal faith and commitment to Christ-centred living.  This book meets those criteria.”

The Revd Robin Hutt, former Chair of the Newcastle Methodist District


Cracked but Chosen

9 May 2011

Washed up ceramic

washed up ceramic


What were you intended to be when you were created?

 What were you to those who chose and treasured you?

 Who was it that looked on you

and handled you like some prized possession?

Eventually disregarded and discarded, cracked and broken,

you were left on some shore to be washed up elsewhere.

Time and the pounding of waves smoothed your rough edges.

Finally noticed, you were carried on from there

to be held, wondered about and marvelled at.

You may not be what you were,

 but you are what you are,

precious and beautiful,

and still chosen and treasured.



New growth from dead wood

New Growth from dead wood

The evidence was stacked against it. That which seemed impossible, indeed didn’t just seem impossible, but was impossible, had now become reality.

The people of the ancient world knew what death meant, probably more so than we today. We are not used to death.  We prolong life, often unnecessarily so and add yet more suffering for the dying and their loved ones. We are kept free of the sight of a dead body.

The ancients were familiar with death. Childbirth, unfortunate and unforeseen illness took away the life of even the fittest and strongest; or death in the home, on the street; or at the hands of an occupying force.

And once you were dead, you were dead.

Resurrection, as a debatable concept was an issue. But for it to actually happen in this life, on this earth, it was impossible.

The evidence was stacked against it. But now, now something had changed. That which was impossible had become reality.

The tomb to which the body had been taken just two days before was empty. There could be no mistake. The women, who had been close to Jesus for quite some time, in the Galilee and in more recent days, had watched the body being carried into the tomb. There could be no mistake. This was the same tomb in which the dead Jesus had been laid. Now it was empty and the Christ had risen.

The evidence had been stacked against it. But that which had been impossible had become a reality.

Some years ago I read of a crew in the University Boat Race celebrating their victory. After 4 miles 374 yards from Putney to Mortlake they had crossed the finishing line first. Unbounded joy broke out amongst the crew. The defeated crew slumped in their boat, utterly exhausted from their exertions. Suddenly an announcement was made. The winning team had been disqualified for an infringement on the course. The emotions of the crews were exchanged. The newly crowned winners quickly forgot the agony and aching limbs, while the disqualified crew slumped in their boat.

That which seemed impossible just a few moments before had become a reality.

Today, the evidence is stacked against a world that is free of injustice and tyranny. But that which seems impossible can still become reality. Look at the popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa. The outcome is not yet certain and we are entering a new and dangerous phase. But that which was impossible a few months ago is now reality.

The evidence is stacked against a grossly unfair and unequal society such as ours, becoming fairer and more equal. But that which seems impossible can still become reality.

The evidence is stacked against

  • the poor becoming rich and the rich more aware of their responsibilities,
  • the abused free of their torment and the abuser free of their obsession,
  • the sad being filled with joy and the depressed filled with hope,
  • the unwanted and unloved becoming an integral part of community
  • and the frustrated and fearful fulfilling a role that becomes impossible to be without.


The evidence is stacked against all these happening

But that which seems impossible can still become reality.

And what of your life?

  • What is it that suggests you cannot be the person God intends you to be?
  • What is holding you back from living a life that is free of grudges?
  • What is the thing in your life and relationships that limits the movement of God’s Spirit?
  • What constrains you?  Limits you? Frightens you?


The evidence may be stacked against your life being any different to what it has been for so long

But that which seems impossible can still become reality.


Faith in thy power thou seest I have,

For thou this faith hast wrought;

Dead souls thou callest from their grave,

And speakest worlds from nought.


In hope, against all human hope,

Self—desperate, I believe;

Thy quickening word shall raise me up,

Thou shalt thy Spirit give.


Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,

And looks to that alone,

Laughs at impossibilities,

And cries: ‘It shall be done!’


Charles Wesley (HAP 693)