Bottles In Their Rows

Bottles in window

Green Dragon, CCC #18

Through paneled panes, we stand without –

Seeking view of things within –

Though blinds are drawn obscuring sight –

Some insights we still might gain.

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Green Dragon Interior View

Through open curtains we can view,

A world of light outside,

The scenes which greet us through the glass,

Are possibilities opened wide.

Green Dragon - Wymondham (14th Century)

Green Dragon, Wymondham © Padre’s Ramblings

Whether from within, or from without –

Some views we share the same –

The bottles standing in their rows –

To both of us are plain.


Whatever view then, which we may hold,

Perspectives –  be they narrow – wide,

We can seek and hold our common ground,

Letting that be our noblest guide.



Crimson’s Challenge









“In It To Win It”


Pastor  John Onelum brought a multi-faceted message on the theme of spiritual warfare this week.   He used 2 Samuel 5:22-25 as his central text and used it as a parallel to the approaches we can use in our fighting of “the good fight.”

The text reads in the NIV as follows:

Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.  As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

Brother Onelum made the prefacing comment on the nature of spiritual warfare.  We fight on several fronts and against several foes.  He categorised these as 1) the enemy within [our own sins and fallen nature], 2) the enemy without [spiritual forces of temptation and evil], and 3) institutional enemies [the spirit of this age, things such as atheism, secularism, and self-serving government].

With regards to the “within” of our own sin, this is not a “done and dusted” situation.  If we have once had a weakness towards a particular sin (lying, cheating, stealing, whatever), we are prone to be drawn to it again.  We need a diligence ad an understanding of ourselves to be able to be prepared to face these “fiery darts.”

The enemy “without” is indeed the evil and spiritual forces set in array against us.  These are sometimes “familiar spirits” as they know our past failings and weakness, and will strive to exploit them.  Jesus warned of this when He spoke of an unclean spirit wandering in desert places awaiting a return to its previous abode within us, and if we are unready it may well bring companion evils with it.  This onslaught needs to be resisted.  Jesus even experienced the Devil’s attempt to play on perceived weakness when in the wilderness.  Satan three times tempted Christ with human need and pride.  Jesus gave us a marvelous example by overcoming these assaults through the application of godly nature and the use of scripture.

David’s example in the 2 Samuel text shows us some key approaches to help us mirror his and Jesus’ success in the face of the enemies.

The first of these brother John noted is that “Discipleship Matters”  –  Getting advice from God.  Notice when faced with an enemy, David did not just rush in, but “David inquired of the Lord.”  We too, can seek advice.  We are not forces of our own, sources of all knowledge, we are the people of God, and we have the scriptures, and the people of God to turn to in our battles for both advice and support.

The second key point is that “Detail Matters.”   In the same way that we fall into easily anticipated patterns so does evil.   It was an interesting aside in the text that the context (shown in some translations) is that the Philistines entered the  Valley  of Rephaim in the same manner they had previously.   They like “a dog to its vomit” made the same mistakes.  But rather than responding to it in the same way as previously, God instructs David to go around behind them.  The detail is important, as the Philistines would anticipate the Israelites to act in a certain way.  God gives a clear,  detailed approach: “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.”  We need to look at the details of our conduct.  Are our ways God’s ways?  Are we people of the Word, and look to keep its details in our lives?

Finally Brother John challenged us to remember that “Distance Matters.”   Once we achieve a victory we need to push them back further.  “So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.”  David not only drove the Philistines from Rephaim but then pushed them six and then twelve miles further.  He put a space between himself and his enemy.  We too need to do so.  We need to make those “familiars” less so.  We need to remove the temptations, sins, and other obstacles to righteousness from us.

God has equipped us, and God stands with us just as he did with David.  We (and He) are “in it to win it.”



The Lagoon



“I think this will a good place to try it,”  Carla said.

“It looks tranquil enough, but are you sure that no one will see us?” Debbie questioned.

“Just look around,” Carla responded. “We are the only ones around.”

“I just feel so self-conscientious about it.  It’s just embarrassing.  I will just die if someone sees me.  What if someone took a picture on their phone?” Debbie said, “I would literally die!”

Carla gave her a “whatever” shrug and began to undress near the waterside.  She then bent over and pulled Wonder Woman and Super Girl costumes from her rucksack.  “Are we going to rehearse or what?”


Thursday photo prompt: Tranquil




Another Wonderful Norfolk Deli/Shop

Hot drinks, scones and cake

More than just tea and cakes

We have stopped in to explore this deli on several occasions over the past three years.  This is a very good foodie specialty shop, with gluten-free products, as well as loads of homemade and local offerings.   They have a broad selection of baked goods, quiche, and pies (pasties) as well.   The “deli” offerings are more limited (by American standards) but  include some good looking salami, and specialty artisan cheeses. This is not to say that this is a bad place to shop, but rather that as a deli it could have a wider selection.

The cafe/restaurant was very well run, and the servers and counter staff were friendly and attentive.  The teas were loose leaf and very tasty.  On our latest visit we focused more on seafood, than on the cakes and scones of previous visits (my wife’s diet moving us away from most carbs), and it was an exceptional experience!


Seafood Board

The seafood board had crayfish cocktail, a generous portion of poached salmon, whitebait, mussels, tempura king prawns, and fish soup with croutons, and a warm deli roll.  This was complimented with a homemade tartar sauce, and rouille.  My wife had a very nice fish soup served with rouille and Parmesan.   All was prepared exquisitely, and nicely presented.

The main dining area is in a conservatory overlooking a garden which has an olive tree, and several plants which draw one’s focus.   Seating is purposely a bit rustic, but it adds to the ambiance.

While my wife may be off sweets, I am not under any such restrictions.  On previous visits I have enjoyed fruit scones which were large, had more than the usual amount of fruit.  These were served with a generous portion of clotted cream, as well.  On our recent visit I had a warm pecan pie, served with caramel sauce and a scoop of almond ice cream.  It was delicious.

While not strictly “deli” fare most of the items in the meal were on offer at the deli counter to take away.  The poached salmon, pecan pie, and scones featured there.

The shop offers an array of sauces, condiments, and teas.  There was also a wide range of olive oils, and other home prep ingredients.

I have reviewed Back To the Garden near Holt previously, and it remains one of our favourite places for a shop and for a bite.  Thornham Deli gives its Norfolk neighbour a run for the money, and if in the area of  “Sunny Hunny” it is well worth a visit.


When Monsters We Seek

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Loch Ness Visitor Centre 1987

I have snorkeled along reefs of the Pacific –

I have swam in the cold waters – Atlantic –

While some views there where beautiful – dramatic –

Never did a true monster I see.


Reefs teamed with life in bright blues, reds, and coral –

With the fact that they were fabulous, I cannot quarrel –

But even the sharks, which were frightening to see –

Really as monsters – they failed to be.


Underwater is a world of surprises –

But one truth that I finally arrived with –

When it comes to the risks to the ocean –

The threatening monsters are we.



I am a lover of the sea, and while I am by no means a “tree huger,” I do lament our impact on the sea.  We damage reefs, over fish, and create “islands” of plastic.  While we have moved past Melville’s world of whaling, we have found new ways to exploit the worlds waters.   It was this in mind that I approached Maria Antonia’s prompt.


OFMARIAANTONIA photo challenge:  Under Water



Tippy Toe

Lakshmi Bhat

Photo Courtesy of Lakshmi Bhat

The garden path lay before him  – full of wonders and discoveries to be made.

“Be careful, Darling,” Mummy said, as he took his first hesitant steps down the path.

Little Sam, however, was lost in his own world of experiences.  The damp paving beneath his feet was cool, and the fallen flowers and petals were not just pretty, but felt soft and tickly.

Though still not able to express it in words, Sam’s mind called out, beckoning his mother.  “Mummy, take your shoes off, and come tippy toe in the flowers with me.”

(93 words)




Story prompted by Sunday Photo Fiction – March 3, 2019



Miscellaneous Prompted Micro Poems 5

A rose, simple yet complex, a symbol of love – perfect.
Petal upon petal, each like love – leads a layer deeper
A dozen or one, each full of meaning and prospect.

TLT Throwback – Year 3: Eight 21 Feb 19

In response to the prompt and to my wife’s cancer:

“It seemed simple, something plain –
Dull ache, indistinct –
How could such a little pain
Make me soon extinct?”

Sammi Cox’s Prompt 23 Feb 19

How shall we begin to explain what is true devotion?
A thing demonstrated and not just an emotion,
A dedication real, beyond any fancy notion.

Weekend Writing Prompt #95 – Devotion 2 March 2019


three line tales, week 162: people browsing a book stall

photo by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash

A short stroll to the corner junk shop,
A world before him, no need of train or plane,
Often the greatest journeys are in the brain.

Three Line Tales, Week 162 7 March 2019






The Seashore

Deal Beach 2

Sea View © Padre’s Ramblings


“What’s that up there?” Thomas asked excitedly.

“It’s the sea,” his dad replied.  “But it’s not really above us. That’s an optical-illusion.”

Thomas’ stared wide-eyed as they got closer to the seashore.  Never in his entire four years had he seen anything like it.

“That’s so much water, it’s huge,” he observed. “Why don’t we have one in Kansas?”



Sammi Cox’s Challenge  Seashore in 59 words.

Three in One

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Rushton Lodge

Three in One

Sir Thomas Tresham used the Rule of Thirds,

Speaking volumes in symbols  – not just words,

His faith was illegal, but he made his stand,

And saluted the Trinity on his land.


H2O the formula’s the same,

As gas, liquid, solid – still water it remains,

It doesn’t matter whether aqua,  ice, or steam,

Water’s still water, if you know what I mean.


So too our Creator follows a Rule of Thirds,

That He does – is not at all absurd,

As Father – He created, as Son- He did save,

And as Spirit – He guides us from cradle to grave.


So when next that picture  – you do snap,

Be sure that perspective – in threes you map,

In your balance of segments – all will see,

That you follow the example of great company.




Please see my post on Rushton Lodge

Prompt – OFMARIAANTONIA  :Rule of Thirds




Tuna Salad Eggs


Here is an quick lunch option, that is tasty, and also makes for a good “pot-luck” side offering. It uses tinned tuna (and I recommend using oil packed for the flavour), and hard boiled eggs.  It is similar to deviled eggs, but with a little less fat as the number of yolks is reduced).  I have also found that this recipe works just as well with flaked tuna as it does with chunks.


  • Tuna 160 g tin (oil packed)
  • Eggs 6
  • Mayonnaise 2 Tbs (I used light option)
  • Onion 1/2 finely chopped
  • Gherkin 1 medium to large finely chopped
  • Salt pinch
  • Pepper pinch


Hard boil the eggs in salted water for 8-10 minutes. Cool and shell. Slice eggs in half and remove the yolks. Set aside 4 yolks for other salads or recipes. In a bowl break up the remaining two yolks with a fork, and add the chopped onion and gherkin. Drain the tuna and add it to the egg mixture.  Add seasoning and mayonnaise and mix well with the fork. Spoon a the mixture into the 12 egg while halves, filling the yolk cavities, and over filling as the tuna mixture allows.  Serve as a side, or tapas type dish.