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Miscellaneous blogs

Mystical Sobriety

I’m half way through this challenging and inspiring CAC course taught by Jim Finley. It’s based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous & focusses on the spiritual lessons we can learn from this wonderful healing programme so greatly used and valued throughout the world.

I’m especially enjoying the opportunities both of Jim’s deeply satisfying , though sometimes quite hard to understand, teaching because it is so well-paced. The video teaching (and hour or so in each of the 8 modules) is grounded in the other elements of the modules–through personal meditation and journalling based on the teachings.

Only half way through because although the modules are finished now

the course has built in a 3 month deep reflection period during which we are encouraged to complete ‘a thorough and fearless moral inventory’ seeking God’s grace in letting the results of this sink down into our hearts/spirits.


Sometime ago , on one of the TV interview shows, we heard Foster & Allen talking about their unique brand of music and then closing the show by singing one of their own songs.

Last Christmas we were given an ‘Alexa’ echo which we now use in the kitchen and listen to a lovely variety of music and so Foster and Allen fairly often. One of our favourites is the song about ‘Hugs’ –these are some of the words

‘We all need a hug in the morning

And one at the end of the day

As many as possible squeezed in between

To keep life’s troubles at bay’

For me, God’s loving hug comes with the words ‘I love you’ so , a prayer using the inbreath ‘I love you’ is hearing God’s words to me

and the outbreath ‘I love you’ contains my responsive words to God

As Jesus said to His disciples ‘If you love me , keep my commandments’ (John 14:15) and after His resurrection to reinstate Peter we read the challenging words ‘Do you love me’ (John 21:15-18)

This daily ‘hug of love’ is both a wonderful comfort and a challenge to show my loving response by loving God and my neighbour (Luke 24:25-27)

So who shall we give a ‘hug of love ‘ to today ?

Inspirational People

My family

Especially Mum & Dad who cared for me, prayed for & with me, supported me throughout my life and careers

My dear brothers –Peter (who died 4 years ago and I look forward to meeting again in God’s Presence-Ps16v11)who shared my schooling in Sussex and Essex and a flat with me in Ealing for 3 years whilst he was doing his Journalism training and I my Chartered Accountancy.

Paul -though 7 years younger still a great companion through childhood

schooling and family life. Paul wonderfully prepared a family book ‘We three brothers’ which was such a comfort especially when visiting Peter in hospital in Dublin shortly before he died.

Then my lovely wife , Ruth, of 46 years. Companion from the beginning of our loving relationship ‘for the journey’ in all that life has brought through our two great children (Rachel and Tim) and in daily parish living -Serving the Lord and His people together.

I think of ‘inspiration’ (breathing and living in the Spirit of God) as the gift that He gives -especially through others. In my Christian based worldview this equates to learning through I.P. how to become a better person

(Mirroring/Expressing the nature God gives us all -Gen. 1v27/Col. 1v27)

I am very grateful to so many groups and individuals who have taught me ‘on the Way ‘(John14v6)

Work friends, college colleagues (Christian Life College, Oak Hill and Sarum Theological Colleges) as well as parishioners in the RAF and at Tawstock (& linked parishes in both Taw Valley team and Two Rivers team)

Now retired and a ‘lifelong learner, especially some inspirational spiritual teachers

  1. CAC ( –Richard Rohr/Jim Finley/Cynthia Bourgeault
  2. Brene Brown
  3. Eckhart Tolle
  4. Tara Brach

David Attenborough’s book


)‘A life on Our Planet

What an enjoyable, challenging and inspirational listen.

Enjoyable as it gives a glimpse into David’s fascinating life as he (reader of the book as well as writer) gives us his ‘witness statement & vision for the future’. Part one of the book –our greatest mistake– chronicles how we (mankind) have got ourselves into such a series of catastrophic situations. David uses his many groundbreaking and adventourous TV series to underline what a beautiful but fragile world/series of eco-systems we live in and share with some of the greatest natural wonders (from the ‘Zoo Quest series’ right through to ‘The Blue Planet’)

Challenging as he spells out what all this means -now and in the future- for us all if we continue with ‘life as we know it’ (to quote a Mr Spock from Star Trek)

Inspirational as the second part of the book reminds us of ‘Our greatest opportunity’ and how we can all be involved in ‘rewilding our world’ by reconnecting to it because we are part of it’s fragility and beauty.

So I’m a supporter, and , on the way back from my swim this morning have seen that this will mean 1. Understanding more about our links with

this natural world-The Great Chain of Being ( as Franciscan Philosopher & Theologian, St. Bonaventure, (with Wm. Shakespeare amongst many others ) reminds us

2. Do all I can to support all those who share this visionary ‘opportunity’

For example recently The Earthshot Project’ – the first prize ceremony and overview of the projects last year (

Immortal Diamond

This Centre for Contemplation and Action (CAC) online course is one of the , at present, 7 online ‘spirituality’ courses it offers.

I will be writing about the other 6 in due course

Breathing Under Water/Introductory Wisdom School/Mary Magdalene

Divine Exchange/The Franciscan Way/The Interior Castle

In ‘immortal Diamond’ Richard Rohr (Franciscan priest & CAC founder) reminds us of the goodness of God and His creation including us – men and women created in His ‘good’ image (Gen. 1v26/28)

God looks at his newly created world with loving delight and says ‘it is very good’ (Gen.1v31). The Immortal Diamond -a quotation from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins- is both the title of Father Rohr’s book on which the course is based and the True Self that God created in His image.

The major theme of this book is transformation-how God’s grace is at work to enable us (fallen from that original grace) to be restored to our original True Self. The Immortal Diamond

In the forum posts which I made during work on the course in 2018 (and which are shown in the Word document below) I noticed how God’s Spirit has been teaching me what this True Self is and cooperate with and allow Him to transform my False Self into this deeper and truer ‘made in the image of God ‘ self.

Why Blogging

Last year our daughter and I were talking over all the things that had happened over our lives (personally and in community/world terms)

and she suggested I should put some of my thoughts/experiences into

this , to me, new form of diary.

I am a lifelong learner and in retirement (10 years now) have had the opportunity to work on ‘online courses’ from a variety of sources

So in terms of my spiritual life

Woodbrooke Quaker Learning Centre (

I have been saving my ‘forum posts’ from these courses and will

speak more about them in a later post

2. Varieties of daily living/lives/topics of interest

using the online learning platforms of

Udemy/Future Learn/Skill Success/Khan Academy

Lifelong Learner

I’m so enjoying retirement , or maybe it’s only ‘semi-retirement’ ? Since moving here to Torrington when we retired(Jan.2011) have been involved in 3 CofE inter-regnums (Dolton benefice, Bradworthy benefice and Torrington benefice) , spent two years preaching at all the Methodist chapels in the Torridge circuit and helping occasionally at our local Baptist church.

Enjoying the freedom ‘to be’ (and now go when not involved in the current Two Rivers Parishes to Bideford Quakers for an hour of Quiet worship on Sundays) .

So learning a lot more about living in the now. Eckhart Tolle’s books/videos, Richard Rohr’s online courses (The Franciscan Way & Immortal Diamond) plus a big variety of videos & online courses through a great website called ‘Sounds True’ .

That’s on the Spiritual side and I’m adding to that learning website building/html++

doing several fascinating courses  online (Biology, Genealogy, Science & Religion,20th Century Literature, Mindfulness..) with The Great Course, Udemy, Future Learn and Skill Success.

Our Book Charity ( is carrying on well ,through the Bideford shop,  and we have 4 regular  literacy projects ongoing . In the UK with Devon based prisons and hospitals : abroad helping a project in Gambia (empower the Gambia) and the Phillipines (projectpearls)




Update on website

Well it’s now finished , with so much help from my friend (Nigel Wright) who

built it for me and has enthused me to start learning about HTML coding ++ for myself.

Please visit and do leave any comments/shared memories if you were part of those 26 years (1984-2010) we spent enjoyably, challengingly, growingly

in Tawstock and the surrounding parishes.


There is an associated E-Mail (

Looking back

Am writing this on 19th June 2015 to remind myself of Life Priorities for my 71st year & beyond?

1. Daily walking in His Presence (Ps.16.v11)

2. Family life..Ruth (exciting,challenging journey of ‘companionship’: 40 years in August )

..Rachel ..lovely, talented, caring daughter..still in Japan teaching.

Visiting us from 23rd June. for a month

..Tim married to Hannah & our two very special grandchildren(Arthur & Alice)

(Caring & good parents)

3. Wider Family & Friends (Anne ,Elaine.Sally & Brian, John & Diane..)

4. Church & Community involvement (Loving neighbours as myself). Finishing regular Sunday conducting of worship Nov. this year (DV)

5. Lifelong learning (online courses..see ‘folder on desktop'<My Estate>

6. TRGOW..still hoping to make progress with writing ‘reflections on 26 years at Tawstock & in Rural Ministry’