Brought up in a home for boys was hard, then life turned for the better

Around the world with your baggage

2002. It’s no easy road finding God. At least, for Ian Head (Pictured above). In 1956, he was going to end his life by jumping off the Westminster Bridge in London. A pull to go to the remotest part of the world was stronger. Ian arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, later that year. It was not until 1987 that the emotional baggage he brought with him started to fade. Continue reading

“They were coming because they wished to meet with other people”

Loaves & Fishes only community meal

2001. The Community Outreach Mission for the Salvation Army Crossroads Community Church in Lower Hutt (in New Zealand) runs the only regular community meal in the city. Continue reading

Was there enough room to move?

Parking problems

2007. More Lower Hutt residents want to go to the library on a Sunday morning than go to church. Response from a Hutt library survey of 3700 residents showed changing library hours to start at 10am was popular. But this means parishioners from the adjacent Anglican St James Church would be competing for parking spaces at the morning service, according to representatives from the church. The church rents 23.5 carparks to the Hutt City Council for public use during the week, which could be cancelled, according to The Hutt News.

By Peter Veugelaers

Published 2007, Challenge Weekly

Retired widower remarried

Doubly successful in marriage

2013. A retired New Zealand vicar who’s been blessed with two long, happy marriages knows the secret of success.

Cecil Marshall, now eighty-six, was married to Barbara for 40 years. After her death 18 years ago, he was devastated but remarried and has enjoyed another 17 years of marriage to Margaret.

Continue reading

All I need to know

In moments, words were said,

Were they two divergent things expressed about the same thing?

One moment straight as an arrow that pierces the soul

Another moment as cheerful a schoolgirl chatting

Two divergent things expressed about the same thing? What’s the point, my friend?

She says one day coffee’s the killer

Next day asking if I’m getting a coffee — with a light touch of fun.

One day it’s one

One day it’s another

And the same

And the last day sinks the nail: you drink too much coffee.

Coffee is the cheerful killer she so wants to rid me of.

Dare I ask for more explanation, other than her innocent smile.

All conceived in love.

Risk

As the intersection of two souls meet,

One soul hopes for more than meet and greet.

She took a risk, Is needing him so.

The other oblivious to all this,

Is caught up in the appearances of the show,

A way to get to know you is all a design

Farcical

For souls to intertwine.

But how else to get love to shine?

This man had no intentions,

And when truth comes out in the open,

And appearances are put to one side,

The efforts she put in to have him,

Will leave her feeling on the downside

One soul will be left to die.

He hopes the prayers she prays

Will make her all fine.

And once again her love will shine

To face another day.

I wish I could have been there

To be more than I was,

To help you through this,

Is what I should

But life did not turn out the way it should

And reality’s hard cold stare is what you are left with.

I remember you,

And my heart is laid bare,

I am at least sincere.

If things had been different

We could have had something better,

But where would your heart have been,

If I had said yes to seeing you

To only let you down again

And set your foot in the abyss.

We all must face the slings and arrows

All is fair in love and war

And for this we can be sure.

All right

He held the card and read it,

“Not her again” and threw it in the neighbour’s garden patch.

She was Deborah.

Who loved him,

And sent him a Christmas card, hoping to be his girl.

They were young.

He was fine, she was lovely,

Yet his silence. Yes, his silence was ripping her apart.

And the hurt went deep down inside.

She had a choice, in how she would reply,

To react or respond.

The way she goes could shape her entire life.

Wondering how she would be later on.

And if the same thoughts would still be there.

And if she would be free?

But Deborah stopped by the pavement

And her eyes brightened up.

Singers were there.

For her?

A bit of beauty.

The crisp, fresh, silent night spoke to her senses,

The song on their lips filled her soul,

The people who listened with an ear for hope.

This she knew, would stay, with her, inside her heart.

And the rhymes and rhythms of the night would remind her:

Life goes on.

She clung tightly to the thought that everything is all right.

Commitment is more than ambition

One of things a publisher will want, I think, is commitment, and not serving the writer’s ambition first and foremost. This commitment, I think, must extend to a writer’s readers, so that even if a writer is posting blog pieces all the time and is not publishing the book, but shows a sincere commitment to their readers, is doing a better thing than someone who is not even making an effort with their readers, but has published the book. The book is always where the writer’s ambition lies, but the reader is the generous soul who makes an effort to connect with the writer and should at least be acknowledged if not put on a pedestal.