I canít say that my travelling days are done but the distances covered are slowly decreasing. A soup kitchen in Blackpool, a prison in Wakefield, a concert in Hull, preaching in Wigan are all part of my regular itinerary. Gone are the days of driving across Europe to visit schools, again prisons, rehab units, churches and a hundred other venues in Poland, Hungary and Germany. To pass on the best of all Good News that Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day and that forgiveness and eternal life are available to all who come to him is to me the heart of it. I still miss the travelling but I thank God that I can pass on that same message in so many places much closer to home. Sometimes itís country, sometimes itís the blues with just a little bit of Rock n Roll and sometimes itís a gentle mix of stories and songs about life.
Dave came up to me in a high security prison and said, ĎI met Jesus in my padí. A few weeks later again in the chapel he stood and told his story to the Ďladsí, not the easiest thing for an inmate to do in such a tough place. Steve (not his real name) said, ĎThem leaflets make you think, can I pass on some more to the guys on my Wingí? The leaflets were answering the questions who is Jesus, what did He do, what is that to me and Ďyou did that for meÖ?í (talking about his death). If that last sentence doesnít quite make sense then email me your address and Iíll send you copies of the leaflets free of charge.
My old buddy Dave, the bass player from Canaan, our band of yesteryear, joined me on a 1&1/2 size mandolin (?) in our local soup kitchen which was great fun and well received. We must do it again sometime soon. Several time in recent weeks Iíve joined Keith, of keyboard fame who has recorded all my albums in his home studio, at ĎAmazing Grazeí a busy and successful soup kitchen in Blackpool. I sit and play my songs through his excellent PA system and then he leads a time of worship for everyone who has gathered for the evening, usually around fifty, often needy souls. This is an unusually successful outreach and they have seen guests becoming Christians and then becoming servants in the soup kitchen - thatís what I call success!
My Fylde guitar is round about 35 years old (less than half my age!). Itís bit battered around the edges but still sounds fine. Itís also been to the ĎUS of Aí and back, without me, and at no charge. It got on the wrong plane!! Itís had three or four pickups installed at various times, has worn out at least one guitar case and has been re-fretted along the way. Why do I tell you this? Itís well travelled, well used but still truckiní - and so am I!!!
See you next time, until then keep looking up!