Monday, June 07, 2021

L.A. Blue - new poems


Nothing to do with Covid, this new book of poems is all about Los Angeles as it was, and hopefully will be again.  Filled with little nuances which you may not have known about or even thought about, these poems tell little secrects about the city of angles. Los Angeles will change you forever, you may not notice it at first, but one's perspective is altered. Here are some things to think about!

If you want to know how Farmers Market got started, or what the Hollywood sign used to say then you should take a peek inside.  There is even an explanatin of how Forest Lawn became a funeral park.

It was a busy year trying to make use of the openings in my practice schedule which seemed like Swiss cheese.  But working with Sue Hooper Lawrie really moved the writing schedule forwards. The idea of a book of poems just about LA began a long time ago, but finally there was enough material to pull together so here it is:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=LA+Blue+poems+by+Neil+Stewart+McLeod&ref=nb_sb_noss 


Blue sky every day

In sunny Los Angeles

An endless summer

At the Huntington Library
 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Paul Washer and Men Of The Word

 


Last night, April 21st, at Grace Community Church, 815 men sat under the instruction of our guest speaker, Paul Washer when he taught from 1st Corrinthians. His subject was God's call to young men, who need to "act like Men".  The discussion afterwards with Dr Brad Klassen (left) and Paul Washer (right) was moderated by Josh Petras(our high school pastor).

Men from seven to ninty four attended and were exaulted to take the lead and follow their God given responsibility to lead heir families inspite of fear.

The discussion will be continued when at the men's event this coming Saturday morning, April 24th, we expect 2000 men to attend when our subject will be "Not of This World"

The event is free, is at 8:00 a.m. and we invite all men to join us for a time of exhortaion, admonition and encouragement.

You can reserve a space here https://www.gracechurch.org/forms/829


Not of This World

When challenged about the world’s influence in our lives, most of us respond dismissively. We are quick to denounce the perverted trends of the culture and highlight our participation in the church. We may even sport a bumper sticker that declares, “not of this world.”

Yet worldliness is far more subtle than we often recognize, and this is precisely what makes it so dangerous. It thrives among those ignorant of its threats and na├»ve about its schemes, who think worldliness can be identified merely by sight, or mortified by a simple list of “dos and don'ts"—or the display of a bumper sticker.

The gravity of this problem is illustrated in the commands given by the writers of the New Testament. The Apostle Paul had to urge the believers in Rome to “not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). He exhorted the Colossian church to set their minds “on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2) and reminded the Philippian believers that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). John stated it bluntly, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

The very fact that the writers of the New Testament address the topic of worldliness with reminders and warnings illustrates that even saints are prone to love the world. If this was a problem in their day, it is no less a problem in ours. As much as ever, we are in need of biblical reminders and warnings. We cannot afford to be ignorant. Therefore, this year’s Men of the Word event will focus on the problem of worldliness: how to identify its subtle features, how to mortify it, and how to cultivate tis antithesis—a life resolutely focused on Christ.

We invite all men to recognize the clear and present danger and join us on Saturday morning, April 24, for a time of exhortation, admonition, and encouragement.

Livestream of the event will be available at gracechurch.org/live.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

An Easter Poem - The triumphal Entry




The Folded Palm

John 12 ,“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming sitting on a donkey’s colt.”  Dr. William Varner who teaches at The master's University contends that it was on a Monday that the Lord entered into Jerusalem, not a Sunday



I keep a palm leaf in my bible

It’s folded and plaited and dry,

It reminds me of when the palm fronds waved

In profusion as Jesus rode by.

It reminds me of that fateful day

When the fickle crowd faltered and failed

Turning from frantic welcomes

To denials, in the court where they railed.


“Hosanna”, they called as He rode in

“Hosanna” they cried out with zeal,

“Blessed is He that comes in the name

Of the Lord, King of Israel”.

How quickly their attitude altered,

As the Pharisees looked on with scorn.

How deep and complete their denials

When the trials were done with the dawn.


The Pharisees saw as He rode in

On a donkey, the Scripture fulfilled,

And they plotted within their jealous hearts

How the Son of Man would be killed.

How sad Jesus was when He saw them,

For He knew every thought, every plan.

He could see how the crowd would reject Him,

And desert Him to a man.


I ask myself if I’d deny Him

Had I been in the crowd long ago.

For even Peter who loved Him,

Denied Him, three times in a row.

He rode through the crowds on a donkey,

Anointed, the Paschal Lamb

He gave His life so that I might live

 - Sinner that I am.


So I keep a palm leaf in my bible.

It’s folded and plaited and dry.

It reminds me of when the palm fronds waved

In profusion as Jesus rode by.

It reminds me that He died for me

That He came to atone for our sin,

So that my poor soul might be saved

And on the last day welcomed in. 

 



A recording of this poem with music by James Covell is available on Spotify and iTunes
https://music.apple.com/us/album/when-the-spirit-moves/1411054434




Friday, October 02, 2020

Out On A Limb: Building a Tree House


 In 2003 a start was made finding a way build a tree house in the stone pine on the hill in our garden.  It took eleven months. It is hard to imagine that anyone would not want to have a tree house in their back yard if they had the chance. It would be a place for children to get out of the house, a quiet hideaway to sit and write a poem, or extra sleeping quarters for stay-over guests who want to try hammocks. Perhaps even a sweet heart get away where you could tell someone you love them.

Here with sequential photographs is a record of how our tree house was built, set out in a way that is instructive and easy to understand. After sixteen years the structure has stood the test of time.

The book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1496158814?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860








Wednesday, September 09, 2020

A Traditional American Thanksgiving Poem

 

It is with great joy that I write to tell you that the Thanksgiving poem have been illustrated by Sue Hooper-Lawrie and is now available in the stores in time for the holiday.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HQ6DX7B?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Please write a review!

Take a look at a few of her wonderfully colorful drawings, and share them with the family and your friends.


Giving Thanks!



Welcoming the Wampanoags!



Saying farewell to the "Mayflower"

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

A Shell In My Pocket


 People tell me stories, I like that!  Every now and then I am so struck by the tale that I have to write it down and take, you might even say steal, the idea and after juggling with the notions a poem appears. “The Licorice Store”, “Maddie’s Ring” and “The Stamp On The Cow” are good examples.  None of us write in isolation, we are dependent upon others, so many others. This anthology of new poems is dedicated to all those people whose stories are captured on these pages.  It contains stories that I struggled to write over many years but lacked the inspiration.  The longer poems like “Eric and The Wolves” , “After The Storm” and the “Saga of Harald Hardrada” fall into this category.

The book is available on Amazon, and I hope to make an album with James Covell.



Take a look on Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HP6VVQ9?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860 


Here is the cover title:


A Shell In My Pocket

I went down to the sea today

To the ceaseless sea and the sand,

Where waves churned out across the shore

And its breath poured out on the land.

My mind was filled with the thrill of the call

Of memories endless rhyme,

And all I need is the song on the air

And a shell in my pocket and time.


The sound of each wave pouring in

As the last wave whispers away,

Produces the music on the air

An unending sibilant sway,

And the smell and the sound and the sight of the sea

Stretching out to the edge of the sky,

And its breath on my skin is all I need

As time goes silently by.


The shell in my pocket reminds me when

I stooped on the shore and the sand,

Of a time gone by like an ebbing tide

When I plucked it up with my hand,

And the sun in the sky when its arc was high

Before tumbling down to the west,

And the hours that have flown like the life I’ve known

When the shell in my pocket is pressed.


Sunday, August 02, 2020

The Names of the Days

 Sue Hooper Lawrie and I have been busy, and here is our new collaboration. Available on Amazon our book about how the names for the weekdays got the names we call them is out for you to enjoy. Take a look and if you like what you se please go to the link and write us a nice review, please!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1511593970?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

The drawings are delightful and have a memorable quality which will help us to recall the story behind each name. The sorrowful Friyja seen here gives her name to Friday.

As do a number of Norse deities for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Only Saturday retains the original Latin name.