July 5 2021

A New Testament Tongue-Twister

Paul the apostle opposes apostasy

posting epistles appealing to pastors. 

The pastor approves the apostle’s epistles

then preaches appropriate plain application. 

The people apply the apostle’s epistles

by paying attention to pastoral preaching.

So the preachers and pastors and people all partner

in the pastoral purpose of the apostle’s epistles.

(22)

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April 3 2021

Easter Saturday – a reflection

Easter Saturday

The day after tragedy

When all seems lost

When God looks like He has failed

When your hopes are dashed

When the bubble is burst

And the tomb is sealed

When your expectations about how life is supposed to be and God is supposed to work are left in tatters

And you are left confused and disillusioned

Unsure of what comes next

Unsure… And unaware

That God is still in control

That God has a plan

That God is doing something through the suffering and the tragedy

That God might be bringing about something you never would have imagined

Outside of the box

Better than a world where not His will but mine is done

Where your Saturday is not simply the day after Friday

But also the day before Sunday

(53)

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March 4 2021

She Sells Sea Shells

She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

“A sure thing!” thought she, but she saw not the flaw in her sea shore store.

You see, she had to shut her sea shells shop as soon as sea shore shoppers started to see that being by the sea shore they could simply sample shells for free.

They soon could see her sea shells shop was just a sham to scam shoppers, and so they shunned and shamed her as a selfish shellfish-selling charlatan.

She now sells sea shells by the sea shore no more.

(31)

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January 21 2021

If Marriage was a Ravensburger Puzzle

A poetic reflection written for my wife (who loves Ravensburger puzzles) on the celebration of our 9th wedding anniversary.


If marriage was a Ravensburger puzzle…

You’d start with an image that shows you exactly how your relationship will look in the end.

There would be no mystery, no deviation from the plan, no surprise at the end that it didn’t quite end up looking like the picture you imagined at the start.

As you worked to put it together, every piece would have its assigned place and with just a little time it would all eventually fit together perfectly, with each piece being placed down with an effortless and satisfying snap.

There would be no left overs, no pieces left to the side, nothing to be thrown away or sacrificed or accepted as simply just not meant to be.

Whenever you came across two pieces that didn’t fit, there would be no conflict, no effort to make them work together, no change or compromise required. You’d just put it aside knowing that it would perfectly fit somewhere else in the puzzle.

And in the end, the perfect picture you created would look just like you expected and portray some beautiful photoshopped mountain landscape or a cute litter of puppies or a plate of immaculately decorated cupcakes.

And before you packed it all away, you would gaze upon your accomplishment with a sigh of perfect satisfaction.

If marriage was a Ravensburger puzzle.

But marriage is not a Ravensburger puzzle…

There is indeed a beautiful perfect picture of marriage that together you are trying to create – The marriage between Christ and His Church.

But your puzzle pieces come from two different boxes and with that comes two different pictures on the cover that you each imagine you will be creating.

You jumble all the pieces together and try to sort them out.

Of course one of you likes sorting by colour and the other by shape. One likes to work on the images in the middle and the other likes to find the edges first.

And the pieces don’t exactly fit. They’re not cut with precision. Some are big and some are small and some are cracked and some are missing and some have even lost their sticker.

They take compromise, sacrifice, creativity, problem-solving, laughter, tears, communication, prayer, mercy and forgiveness.

Some pieces need to be shoved together. Some need to be cut to fit. Some need to be thrown away. And some, you’ll simply never find a place for, even though they look perfectly fine.

And now and then a couple of pieces will fit with that perfect Ravensburger snap, and it will be easy and effortless and leave you with a satisfying sigh. Enjoy those pieces.

But in the end the puzzle will be a mess.

A big beautiful 1,673.5 piece mess of a puzzle that will wonderfully display the ideal image on the box of Christ and the Church, not by its perfect symmatry, but by the love and sacrifice and joyful faithfulness by which it was put together.

(66)

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September 23 2020

Mary had an evil lamb – a poem

This is a very silly poem I wrote a very long time ago (back in my 20’s) which I rediscovered today as I was sorting through some old papers.


MARY HAD AN EVIL LAMB

Mary had a little lamb,
It’s fleece was black as night.
It’s eyes were red as lava pits
That glowed with hellish light.

It had two evil bat-like wings
And horns on its head.
It followed Mary day & night –
The sleepless walking dead.

She broke the rules & brought to school
This demon lamb from hell.
It ate her class & teachers too,
Which broke the rules as well.

But why is Mary even with
This lamb as black as pitch?
Is young Mary a Satanist?
A Psychopath? A Witch?

And where’s the lamb we know & love?
The one as white as snow?
Well, listen up for this sad tale
Starts many moons ago…

Mary once had a little lamb
Whose fleece was pure & white,
But this lamb had… an evil twin
Whose fleece was black as night.

One night when Mary & her lamb
Were peacefully asleep,
The evil twin came silently
And ate its brother sheep!!

From that day forth, the lamb of night
Replaced the lamb of snow,
And now everywhere Mary went
This evil lamb would go.

But why did Mary do nothing?
Was not she good & kind?
The sad truth is, she never knew.
Mary, my friends, was blind.

And so, for years, her ignorance
Allowed this evil beast
To follow her & meet her friends
And maim & kill & feast!

Even when it stopped saying, “baa” 
And started moaning, “braaains!” 
Sweet Mary, in her innocence, 
She never once complains. 

Until one tragic, fateful day
This lamb as black as hell,
To satisfy its need for flesh,
Ate poor Mary, as well.

So learn the moral of this tale.
Avoid this blood & gore.
If you’re blind & you need a pet,
Stick with a Labrador.

(201)

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April 25 2020

Where’s Wally? – a poem

WHERE’S WALLY?

Amidst the crowd there is a man
Unique among the rest
To seek and find his funny face
Was always quite a test

You might search among the palm trees
In their leaves he might be hidden
Or behind a stack of papers
Of the poems he has written 

Take a peek around the guitars
You can listen for his sound
For behind a tune and heartfelt words 
He often can be found 

You could look among the larrikins 
He’s the best amongst those blokes
With his lightning wit and cheeky grin 
And even cheekier jokes

Though if you a see a glorious sunrise
You won’t his find his face within
Cos he’ll be behind the camera 
Capturing that which captures him

And you might not find him there at all
If he received an invitation
He would show he cared by being there
For a special occasion

But now my eyes are scanning 
For his face amongst the crowd
Past palms and poems and old guitars
He now can not be found 

Where’s Wally? He is missing 
So I’ll take one final look
And entrust him to the Author
Of this sadly now-closed book



By Simon Camilleri

Dedicated to my favourite uncle, Wally Donovan
Who died unexpectantly on Saturday 25th April 2020

Download a copy of this poem here.

(152)

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July 28 2019

Sonshine – a poem

No wonder ancient people

Thought the sun must be a God.

To think it is a deity

Is really not that odd.

By day its fire provides us warmth,

Its sunshine gives us light,

And reflecting off the moon

It even lights our way night.

We need the sun to give us life,

To grow our daily bread.

Without the sun our planet

Would be cold and dark and dead.

But though it is a source of life

It also makes us fear.

We must find rescue from it’s heat.

We can not draw too near.

And though we will be like the blind

If we don’t have its light,

To dare to stare upon its light

Will steal our gift of sight.

It’s brilliance is too holy.

It’s fire is too hot.

It’s size dwarfs our planet.

Yet these things are oft forgot.

As we gaze upon a sunset

And enjoy its warmth and glow,

We can take the sun for granted

And forget these things we know.

No wonder ancient people

Saw a god within the sun.

The sun is like a deity

In ways much more than one.

But the sun above is not a god.

One day its light will fade.

It is not a Creator.

Like us the sun was made.

The sun’s more like a diplomat –

A King’s ambassador.

To shine the truth of the True God,

That’s what the sun is for.

It’s blazing light and heat and size

Is brilliant allegory.

A great and glorious spotlight

Pointing to Another’s glory.

And one day there will be no sun

And there will be no night.

For the Lamb of God will be our lamp,

His glory be our light.

So when you see the sunshine

Know there is a greater One.

And let’s shine like stars towards that day

When the sun is replaced

by the Son.

(81)

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January 21 2019

Wow God! Thank You. Sorry. Please.

Wow God! Thank You. Sorry. Please.

A Kid’s Guide To Prayer

What is prayer? It may sound odd,

But prayer is just talking to God.

You can do it anywhere!

Tucked in bed or on a chair.

In a park or in the car.

It doesn’t matter where you are!

And even if no one else heard,

God would hear your every word.

So why not say a prayer right now? If you’re not sure, I’ll show you how.

See, when I talk to God each day, there are four things I like to say:

Wow God. Thank you. Sorry. Please.

I pray about each one of these…

WOW GOD

Wow God, you’re loving! Wow God, you’re great!

Wow God! All things you did create!

You made the sun, the worm, the cow,

So first of all I just say “Wow!”

THANK YOU

I thank you God for all you give.

I thank you for the life I live.

I thank you most for Jesus who

Did die for me. Dear God, thank you.

SORRY

I’m sorry God when I’m not good,

When I don’t love you as I should.

Through Jesus’ death forgive my sin

And help me love and live like Him.

PLEASE

And lastly God I ask you please

Provide all of my daily needs.

Please help me grow to trust in you

And help all those who need you too.

Wow God.

Thank you.

Sorry.

Please.

And now I’ve prayed all four of these.

And every prayer I end the same:

I pray these things in Jesus’ name.

Amen.


(This poem will be, Lord willing, the heart of the new children’s book I am working on. Along with this poem being illustrated into a fun little story, it will also include tips for parents about how to pray with their young children and pages that will be useful for going through this model of prayer with your child.)

For more info go to: www.kidsguidetoprayer.com

(758)

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September 2 2018

This is Father’s Day

This is Father’s Day

Waking up at 5:45
To the whimpers of your 3 year old
Crackling through the baby monitor
Finding your slippers in the dark
Because you forgot to plug in your phone
So now you have no light to guide you
Shuffling through the cold house
Sneaking into her room
Trying not to wake her
Seeing that her kid feet
Are tangled in her sheets
And her bunny is out of her reach
You peel back her doona
Untangle her feet
The brief moment of cold
Causing her to stir
You quickly tuck her in snug as a bug
And place her lost bunny
Into her empty arms
She hugs it close
Snuggles into her doona
And in the dark you hear
The sweetest sound
“Thank you daddy”
You shuffle back through the cold house
With those three words warming you
Better than slippers ever could

This is Father’s Day

 

(85)

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June 12 2018

Betty Botter’s Batter – An expansion on a classic

From Wikipedia:

Betty Botter is a tongue-twister written by Carolyn Wells. It was originally titled “The Butter Betty Bought.” By the middle of the 20th century, it had become part of the Mother Goose collection of nursery rhymes.


I used to be into tongue-twisters as a kid and my favourite was “Betty Botter”. The version I committed to memory was:

Betty Botter bought some butter. “But”, she said, “This butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it’ll make my batter bitter. But if I buy a better butter, it’ll make my batter better.” So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter and that made her batter better.

A nice tongue-twister, but not very exciting. She has a problem with some butter and she just goes out and buys a replacement.

Well, I thought I might be able to expand the Betty Botter story a little bit. Here is what I came up with…


Betty Botter’s Batter
My expanded version of a classic tongue-twister

Betty Botter bought some butter, “But”, she said, “This butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it’ll make my batter bitter. But if I buy a better butter, it’ll make my batter better…

But Betty’s brother Buddy Botter said, “Why not try adding water?”

So Betty Botter blended bitter butter with a bit of water that her brother Buddy brought her. But no matter how much water, the bitter batter wasn’t better. All it was was a bit wetter.

“Wet and bitter batter isn’t better!” Betty barked, but before her brother said rebuttal, Betty’s mother butted in. “I’m sure it could be a bit better. Why not add bit of feta? Salt’ll balance out the bitter, and absorb a bit of water.”

Then Betty’s father Mr Botter contributed to the banter. 

“Back when I was but a boy, my best friend Billy’s neighbour’s, barber’s brother was a brilliant baker. He always bragged he blended better with the best electric beater. Your broken, busted baby beater is why your batter isn’t better.”

Though it sounds bonkers, Betty Botter couldn’t let this batter beat her. So Betty, bartered, begged and bought a brand new, bright blue, Breville beater! Then with the best electric beater she beat the batter mixed with feta, blending water Buddy brought her in with bits of bitter butter.

And in the end this beaten blend of wetter, bitter, feta batter, was just plain bad and Betty muttered “I shoulda bought a better butter.”

Her brother Buddy smiled and bade her, “Come on Betty, don’t be bitter.  Sure we botched a basic batter, but we’re blessed with something better… You see, what matters is not batters, but bonding with our fellow Botters.”

THE END

(1438)

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