So much talk about children in poverty today.  I grew up in a poor family – six children and a father who sometimes struggled to find work.   But it was a poverty of money, not a poverty of life.  Dad ran chooks, grew veges, and never lost his own self-respect.  My mum always had a pot of hot vegetable soup on the coal range when we arrived home, cold and wet, from school.  Just about all our clothes were hand-me-downs, but I don’t remember ever feeling bad about that.   We did snitch everything we could from the orchards on the way home from school, and even turnips out of the field, but we knew our parents were doing the best they could.  Christmas meant a small present and maybe an orange in our stockings, and a big family get-together at my Grandparents.

We couldn’t afford to go on school trips or have lots of presents.  There was no TV, only the radio, so we didn’t have shoved down our throats all the things we were missing out on.  Advertising has a lot to answer for.  Mum hated sewing, but made all of our clothes that weren’t handed down.  Labels were unheard of.

But we did have a childhood that included fun, tree-huts, long grass, tobogganing down hillsides in cardboard boxes, Sunday-school picnics, and for me, most of all, reading.  I loved school – all those wonderful books that there weren’t a lot of in our home – school journals, writing, warm classrooms.

Now I see around me children who seem to have so many ‘things’ in their lives, but not enough of the things that matter.  When are we going to see that families are absolutely important – much more so than heaps of money.  I just feel so sorry for these displaced children…

of the spirit
is what kills


Finally no renters left in the old neglected house next door.  Overgrown with bushes and ivy, long grass through the cracks in the concrete, and peeling windowsills.  We were constantly cutting back branches of the trees and bushes overhanging our boundary fence, especially the privet, which I cursed each spring when it flowered.   Today the flippers came, ready to do battle, and I can finally see sky from my kitchen window.

steady whine
of a chainsaw
sun at last



Almost a thousand years before the birth of Christ, Micah, a minor prophet of Israel, told of the birthplace of the coming king… ‘But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days’

Always, through the ancient story
promise of a coming king
coming from his home in glory
the one of whom the angels sing.
Born to us in that far place
in a covenant of love
that we may one day see his face
in our eternal home above.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour

© Maureen Sudlow


The King of Glory

A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
For he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Sela

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah