MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

10th ANNIVERSARY OF THIS BLOG: A CELEBRATION.

It feels quite amazing that I have been posting to this blog for ten whole years. When I put up the first post in 2011, I had no idea whether this would be an initiative that lasted only weeks or months or whether it would have a longer ongoing life. Evidently it was to be the latter and it feels a huge privilege to be able to look back and see that my writings have found their way into well over 100 countries. Amazing!

That, and other surprises brought about by publishing on the blog, had, in fact, started much earlier with occasional attempts to interest publishers. However, it became increasingly evident that such ‘niche’ material was unlikely to find a publisher: poetry, science and faith in combination could never be a publisher’s dream!

Then early in 2011 a friend told me of a friend of his who had started blogging about her narrowboat. The blog had attracted significant interest.  I figured that if a narrowboat blog could draw in unknown readers, so could poetry/ science/ faith. ‘The Cross and Cosmos’ blogsite was born. And it did indeed attract interest: slowly at first, 3000 views in the first year, building to 75,000 in five years and on to the present 280,000+ with interest shown from more than 120 countries. Way beyond any of my expectations.

Let me give you a flavour of some of the contents: 

Many of the beautiful NASA heritage pictures
from deep space, such as this one of
The Keyhole Nebula,
could be used to illustrate this
reimagining of Job 38.
The glorious ‘ Creation’ passage of Job 38. v4ff was written with the Bible-times knowledge of the Cosmos. This reimagining tries to express how it might have been written with today’s insights into deep space and the cosmos. (I am indebted to Prof Tom McLeish of Durham University for bringing the Job passage to attention in a recent public lecture in Cambridge, UK and thereby sparking this idea. This passage is also explored in his book ‘Faith and Wisdom in Science')

Re-imagining Job 38. 4ff

Where were you when I gave birth to the universe; when my Wisdom called forth particles from the womb of the cosmic void and seeded them into the realm of existence?

Who marked off its dimensions and form and let matter prevail over anti-matter?

On what were its footings set or who provoked its mighty expansion in the blinking of an eye?

How deeply do you comprehend the gift of light or fully understand the mysteries of its nature? 

Who of you knows from where the sounds that fill the cosmos emanated or how music distilled its harmonies from the roaring cadences of creation?

Who gave water its extraordinary properties, decreed its many forms and accorded rôles to each that it might adhere to the surfaces of gathering spheres, to nurture and give shape to barren terrains?

Can you make sense of the patterns of constellations as they would be seen from planets in the extreme reaches of the universe?

Can you leap between galaxies or re-fashion the orbits of stars or planets, or yet fully understand the fundamental forces of the cosmos?

Can you yet contemplate travelling to the beautiful Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Have you fully uncovered the laws of the universe or can you emulate God’s care for it?

Could you reduce turbulences that beset distant planets, weather the extreme storms on other worlds or alter the path of the arrow of time?

Have you even perfected knowledge of your own benign planet, understood the reason for its existence and how to encourage your own people to act as responsible stewards for it?

Can you fathom in your exquisitely fashioned brain the mind of your maker or conceive the depth of his love?

Will you ever understand enough to render praise and thanksgiving truly worthy of the Creator of heaven and the entire cosmos?

If you enjoy this re-imagining of scripture, you might also like to look at Psalm 24 v C21 on this blog.

* * * * *

I Imagine

I imagine the God who created the cosmos
as a Spirit, eternally young;
full of light, full of love, full of energy
from whose Word every particle spun,
to be shaped and reshaped through existence
with some to emerge into life
at first simple, then complex, then sentient
bringing love and its dark converse, strife.

This same God, out of deepest compassion,
set power and glory aside,
became human, risked wrath and malevolence
to redeem us from sin’s drowning tide.

I hope these entries might interest you to follow my blog, which is still being updated from time to time and already has a selection of some 300 poems, hymns, songs for children and hopefully entries to challenge and invite readers to think about a God who is not only ‘Maker of heaven and earth’ but the Creator of the vast Universe we now know exists. A universe full of wonders, still only understood in part and a world in which the human brain has developed through God’s evolutionary processes until it can battle against the horrors of a pandemic with vaccines and other medicines to relieve the agony induced by this killer disease.

The index in the right hand column will lead you to much, much more, maybe for another few years if that should be God’s plan.

You will see also that there are several seasonal or themed collections which, I hope might prove useful resources. 



Cascade of Stars and Gas (Imagined image: CGI)

Cascade of Stars and Gas (Imagined image: CGI)
Cascade of Stars and Gases. This image will take you to the meditation 'Deep Silence'

Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos

Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos
Wildfires: Evidence of Climate Chaos

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Nativity Star (CGI)

Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star: This image will link you to the collection of new Carols on this site. Also, the image can easily be copied onto an overhead acetate and used as a window decoration. Easy for children to achieve. Note the cross at the centre of the star.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Celtic cross candle (Photo)

Celtic cross candle (Photo)
Celtic Cross and candle' linked to the poem 'Awesome, Wonderful Creator'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy
This is the mask which was moulded to my face to ensure the radiotherapy I had in April 2017 was precisely targeted. You can read more by clicking on the image

Double Celebration

Double Celebration
Pam, who has been magnificent in caring for me since my Cancer diagnosis in October and I celebrate the end of Radiotherapy and our 36th Wedding Anniversary (Note the return of some hair!). Click on the image to read about the treatment - and waiting.

St Neots Sunset (Photo)

St Neots Sunset (Photo)
Surrounded by beauty: Whie 'Evolution and Beauty' became one of the most viewed poems on this blog, Pam, my wife took this gorgeous picture of a sunset over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire UK. Click on it to go to the poem

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015
Gabriel began the Christmas story with his visit to Mary. The story is told in our Christmas collection in the Carol, Go to Nazareth My Great Messenger. Click on this image to take you there.

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)
IMAGINARY IMAGE TO CELEBRATE CANADA DAY: Click on this his imaginary 'Maple Leaf Nebula' to take you to a poem entitled 'Nebula' (image not to be confused with NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula which is also known as the Maple Leaf)

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)
First posted here on Adomnan’s day (23rd September) 2015. An imagined natural phenomenom that could be seen to resonate mystically with the idea of Iona being a ‘thin place’ where heaven brushes earth.

Assisi Sunset

Assisi Sunset
Assisi Sunset

Thinking about the Brain

Thinking about the Brain
This image is formed from a small section of neural pathways posted by the Koch Institute, clipped, part inverted and stitched together. It is intended to impart a sense of our extensive, but still partial understanding of what goes on in that awesome part of our bodies, our brains. By clicking on the image, you will be taken to a celebratory poem/song ‘For Amazement by Beauty’ about all of our senses.

Source (CGI by Trevor Thorn)

Source (CGI by Trevor Thorn)
Source: Expand the image to reveal its heart

Rainbow spiral (CGI)

Rainbow spiral (CGI)
'Rainbow Spiral' to accompany 'Darkness,Illuminator' . Find the poem by clicking on the iImagined mage

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'