Explorations in Theology

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...
Volume 2 Significant Other and Volume 3 A Subversive Movement now also available!
El libro electrónico (en Español) también ya está disponible
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So go on... you know you want to!!! Order a copy Boz Publications

Poem #1 by Joanna

Joanna sent me a couple of poems on reflections that I asked if I could post here. She has been on a number of Zooms with me, like us all with questions (are there really more questions that answers, or am I simply discovering that I am not as smart as I once was / thought I was?). Below is the first one followed by her ‘bio’ in her words. I will publish the second one tomorrow.


In this poem I think I was inspired by a variety of themes. I was talking about the presence of God in the mountaintop experience and in the valley. Psalm 139 came into it – where can I go from your presence etc.? My own inability to rescue myself. Also reflecting on the divisions in society and political polarisation (particularly at the time when Brexit and Trump were big issues) and the weakness of selfishness and hate. Also descent of love in the person of Jesus into the abyss and the ultimate triumph of love over all experience,resurrection. God is love…

Love

Beneath the pinnacles
Of high ecstatic bliss
Beneath the oracles
Of wisdom unending
I stand, I sit, I lie
Searching for the inerrant truth
For the utter heights
Of giddy redemption
Of everlasting light

Boxed into my shadowy dwelling
Beneath the grassy earthen roof
By unharmonious voices
I push against the absolute
Against the harsh wall
Of implacable certainty
Human thought may vary
Violent, utter, hard
But love speaks louder
But love has the first word, the last word

Swimming against the flow of the false positive
She transcends the dead work of human slant
She swipes at death
Her beauty soars swiftly
Up, up into the heavens and beyond
And bathes creation in her rainbow glow
Cradling all the broken fragments of humanity
In her tender arms
Kissing the earth
With a mother’s mouth


I am Joanna. A mother of a 22 year old daughter, Katie and a wife of Derek. During 2007-2010 I experienced a real awakening and experienced a powerful move of the Spirit through various ministries and at my church. I prayed for many people and it was powerful sometimes. However in May 2010 when I was 42 years old my life changed forever when I experienced a small but devastating Cerebellar stroke. It affected my balance and has caused me perpetual vertigo ever since mainly a rocking sensation and is an unseen disability which greatly limits my life. I had to give up my job working in a university library which I loved mainly because of the friends I made there and our wonderful relationships. So I have lived 12 years in the desert effectively and suffered a great deal at the hands of my illness which has led to trauma and anxiety. It has caused me to at times be in deep despair and to question my faith and whether I even have a place in this world. However, it’s as the disciples said to Jesus when he asked them if they still wanted to follow him ‘where else would I go’. I have known him in the valley and on the mountaintops in the past and he is ever present in both places though I experience him differently now than I did. It is more of the still small voice than the waves of his presence and experience of glory etc.than I felt in the past. I would love to be healed but have learned to accept things to some extent and wait to see if things may ever change? I do my best to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ where I find myself but fail I’m sure on many occasions. I am always searching for answers and understanding though which is partly why I have written poetry and other reflections on issues affecting our world.

6 thoughts on “Poem #1 by Joanna

  1. Hi Joanna thank you very much for your delightful enlighting poem I enjoyed reading it very much.I was interested to learn of your Celubela stroke which I had five years ago after chemo for breast cancer.Like you the stroke has changed my life .I’m a lot slower and my abity to walk very far because of balance problems has very much altered what I do. Take heart for I see with your poems and pray for others you r still doing God’s work his promise is I shall never leave you or forsake you.Don’t dwell on what you can’t do but dwell on what you can do.I see a couragious person who has been knocked about by live but is still plodding on even at a slower pace.I was just thinking about the tortoise he gets there in the end .When live knocks around think about God’s steadfastness to you.When live gets tough I always thought the tough get going but I don’t believe that anymore I believe that God walks with us and holds us in the palm of his hand and brings comfort and Blessing even in the toughest times.

    1. Thank you so much Mary for your kind words and for your encouragement I really appreciate it. I am so sorry to hear you have suffered a stroke too and also breast cancer. Yes life can be so tough and really grateful that God never leaves us despite it. God bless.

  2. I had a picture for you Joanne of a bird being clipped and thinking I can’t do this fly as I would to fly but the Lord was saying to me your wings havn’t been clipped but he spreading out your wings so you fly higher and to reach many yes in a different way but a way that Blesses and encourages those that you meet and those that you pray for and hear your words of hope and life The Lord is very pleased that in your struggles you listen to him and act upon his voice.

  3. What a stunning formation of words drawing us heavenly bound and even greater in their weightiness knowing even the slightest of your journey

    Abundant blessings Joanna

  4. Read your second poem Joanna love the way you put words together Everything you write is poetic even your answers to me wonderful words enlighting the page.

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