The Bridge (A Poem By Mark Slaughter)

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Reflections from Leighton’s painting Ashness Bridge:

The Bridge…
A place of transition from one side to the other
Connecting the past to the future
Its solid stones arched, providing safe passage to the other side

For centuries, it has stood…
How many have crossed that bridge?
What were their stories?
Where had they been?
Where were they going?

Behind it – so many steps on the journey
Underneath it – a stream of sparking blue water rustling over rocks
Ahead of it – more steps on an unknown path,
A lake of still water to quiet my soul
And new faith adventures
and hills to climb for God’s Kingdom with the same Presence of God accompanying me as in the past.

The Bridge…
Thank you, God, for your faithfulness in years past.
Thank you, God, that I can trust Your faithfulness in the journey ahead!
It’s time to cross the bridge into another season –

Proclaiming the hope of Jesus Christ more broadly to this generation
And even more intentionally taking others with me…
Younger leaders, emerging evangelists
Mentoring, listening, preaching and serving together, growing together

A Bridge…
You have made me a bridge, an ambassador for Christ
Connecting broken people and a broken world with Jesus Christ
Bridging between generations, between ministries
for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is….

THE Bridge
The One bridging heaven and earth
God’s judgment and His love
God’s holiness and His mercy
God’s redemption and a sin-filled world

Walk with me, O God, across The Bridge!


Mark Slaughter

A New Year’s Prayer (Leighton Ford)

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Lord, give me I pray:

A remembering heart for the things that have happened

An attentive heart to what I have learned

A forgiving heart for what has hurt

A grateful heart for what has blessed

A brave heart for what may be required

An open heart to all that may come

A trusting heart to go forth with You

A loving heart for You and all your creation

A longing heart for the reconciliation of all things.

A willing heart to say “Yes” to what You will.

Leighton Ford

Nativity (A Poem By Gerhard Frost)

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I visited my friend today.
He’s eighty-five,
and travels light,
a wise and wonderful man.

We spoke of many things,
small talk and big talk,
and when I rose to leave he said,
“Yes, for most of our comings and goings
maps are O.K.
but for the Big Trip
we still follow the Star”

Thanks to you, elder brother
wandering in my wilderness,
man of faith and vision.
You keep Christmas
in my heart.

Rev. Gerhard Frost

November 27, 1981 (A Poem – Leighton Ford)

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This is the day our son died.


It’s not hard to remember.

Outside, early.

a red bird rests on the feeder.

The sky is cloudy.

A few brown leaves fall singly.


Wrangler my blue dog

chews on his mat until

he understands, wise friend,

and comes to sit by me, quietly

asking for nothing.


I allow myself to recognize again

the returning scent of pain

like a smoky candle

which has not quite gone out.


Leighton Ford

November 27, 2011

Prayer Is Like Watching For The Kingfisher (Ann Lewin)

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Prayer is like watching for

The Kingfisher. All you can do is

Be there where he is like to appear, and


Often nothing much happens;

There is space, silence, and


No visible signs, only the

Knowledge that he’s been there

And may come again.

Seeing or not seeing cease to matter,

You have been prepared.

But when you’ve almost stopped

Expecting it, a flash of brightness

Gives encouragement.



A Prayer (George Macdonald)

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My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not;

I think thy answers make me what I am.

Like weary waves, thought follows upon thought,

But the still depth beneath is all thine own,

And there this mov’st in paths to us unknown.

Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;

If the lion in us pray, thou answerest the lamb.


George Macdonald

A Black Bird Dropped By (Leighton Ford)

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A blackbird dropped by to see me

this mountain Sunday morning

as I sat with coffee on our patio.

He landed on a flower box,

sat there for a while listening

to my words of welcome,

then hopped nimbly over

to the other pot,

stayed there a bit,

(just so as not to seem in a rush)

then flew away.

It was a nice neighborly sort of visit,

and I asked that my prayers

for my friends around the world

would drop in on them today,

leaving each with a sense that

somehow, they too had been visited.


Leighton Ford
Sunday, July 16, 2017

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