A legend is born


In the world of MotoGP there’s been many great riders. Arguably the best of these would be Valentino Rossi (and yes, I admit that I’m a fan!) – a man who has managed to smash records, race hard, win when the odds were against him and yet all the while remain one of the most likeable guys out there.

Whilst I can argue the case for his legendary status, I cannot argue with the fact that the day is approaching when he will hang up his helmet and inevitably find a new way to fuel that adrenaline addiction. Before that happens though, we are able to enjoy the sight of Rossi taking on the youngster with the potential to break all of VR46’s records. I do, of course, refer to the Smiling Spanish Assassin Mr Marc Marquez.

When he hit the premier class last season he shook the establishment and seriously put several riders on notice with his crazy lean angles, insane cornering, mad overtakes, and on-the-limit riding. All the while leaving viewers holding their breath expecting to see the #93 bike flying across gravel traps and into barriers.

Week after week went by, with records being smashed all the while – and the season ended with the rookie lifting the World Championship. With a huge grin on his face of course.

This season, we have been rewarded with the sight of Marquez storming to pole in the first 3 races and taking victory when the flag fell. That’s not to say he’s had an easy run. Whilst Austin wasn’t the most thrilling of races the opener at Qatar and last weekends return to Argentine were certainly up there as great races. The Argentine race in particular showed just what Marquez is made of after he ended up dropping to 5th and even 7th before riding his way through the field and then chasing down an on-form Lorenzo. And then just to top of how good he is, he then proceeded to build up a decent lead over the former champion who was eventually caught by Pedrosa to give Honda a nice 1-2.

It’s still early days – but we may well be witnessing the rise of the next legend in MotoGP racing.

Three words that shook the universe

 The End

There are three words that are amongst the most powerful ever spoken. Whilst there are other candidates for the top spot, these three words shook the universe to the heart. 12 letters that broke the grasp of hell and rewrote our future and destiny.

It is finished.

So simple, but with them being uttered as Christ hung on the cross they would signal a complete change to mans relationship to God.

No longer would satan have a claim to our souls.
No longer would we need to live in fear or regret.
No longer would our past dictate our future.

The book was rewritten and those three words, which contain within them the heart of Gods plan, brought an end to our seperation from our Father.

Do you grasp the earth-shaking power of those words? I think the answer to that, if we’re honest with ourselves, would be “sometimes”

It’s easy for us to grasp the eternal outcomes, maybe because we can’t fully envision what that enternity is, but the immediate outcome is so easy for us to lose.

“It is finished” means that the sins I committed yesterday are dealt with. It means that the stain of my past is removed. It means that, through grace, I don’t need to be afraid of letting God down by sinning in the future.

Now I’m not saying that it’s a carte blanche to descend into hedonism and debauchery, it’s not, but what it does mean is that those oh-so-human slip ups are dealt with. They are done. The slate has been wiped clean of all that we have done, and all that we will do because IT IS FINISHED.


See His love nailed onto a cross
Perfect and blameless life given as sacrifice
See Him there all in the name of love
Broken yet glorious, all for the sake of us

This is Jesus in His glory
King of Heaven dying for me
It is finished, He has done it
Death is beaten, Heaven beckons me

Greater love no one could ever show
Mercy so undeserved, freedom I should not know
All my sin, all of my hidden shame
Died with Him on the cross, eternity won for us

Such love, such love
Such love is this for me

(c) Tom Lockley

Life in the fast lane

 Life In The Fast Lane

It’s been quite a while since I posted here – not for lack of wanting to, nor for any lack of ideas, but purely because life is one wild maelstrom since we’ve moved. Don’t get me wrong that’s not an excuse, a complaint or a moan, it’s just the way it is.

And that’s the sort of thing we wanted when we moved, although we didn’t anticipate it to this extent.

So what’s been happening since I last posted (which was a bit of a downer of a post I know but it was a fair reflection of how life was that week)? Well, things have got busier and busier.

The kids all have their own lives, both within the church and outside of it. The boys are now members of the local cub/scout troops, our daughter is extremely busy with college work and they all have their own things going on within the church.

The church. What can I say about that? We’ve been so blessed in finding a great community to be a part of and at a really exciting time as well. We’ve all found our own niches and have our own activities and involvements, and we’re all loving life there. Me, well I’ve gone full circle really and I’m back doing both PA and playing in the worship team – it feels so good and it has been a huge answer to prayer.

Of course, the side effect of having such an active life is that we barely have an evening without something going on and our weekends rapidly fill up. It’s meant that all of a sudden we find ourselves with the realisation that we moved home nearly 8 months ago. It’s such a crazy thought as on the one hand it feels like 5 minutes ago, and on the other hand we feeld so well established and settled that it feels as though we’ve lived here for much longer.

So whilst it may seem like I last blogged and ice-age ago, to me it feels like yesterday. Life in the fast lane… gotta love it!

Never been a fan of rollercoasters

Life Is A Rollercoaster

I’ve been on a few – nothing as extreme as the ones you get nowadays at Alton Towers etc but I have done some pretty big ones… but I don’t actually *like* rollercoasters. The constant ups and downs and loops and turns, well, it turns my stomach just thinking about it.

Ronan Keating sang a song “Life is a rollercoaster” – and yes, I’m fully aware how sad it is that I know this and I can even sing bits of the chorus. This week has been one of those weeks when that song has been so true.

There’s been some great highs – work in particular has been good and actually fairly exciting and productive in the most part. There’s also been some lows – parenting “challenges” and problems with my back, neck and arms.

In all honesty it’s one of those kinds of weeks where I could shout “I’m King of the World” one minute, and take a long drive off a short cliff the next.

It’s all part of “the journey”, and it’s life. But sometimes….

The Nuances of Pain


Pain. It comes in varying degrees and the severity is very much a subjective thing. It always makes me laugh when doctors ask for you to quantify pain levels on a 1 to 10 level as the results will differ for each person and can depend on a huge number of variables (and yes, I appreciate that they are trying to guage how the pain is affecting *you* at the time rather than comparing it to other people)

As I’ve written here just once or twice, I have fairly major issues with my spine. So much so that in 2010 I underwent major surgery on my cervical spine (the neck) and now have a neck that is made from titanium and polymer. As the surgery took place several years too late I live with daily pain, a high dosage medication regime, and a constant mental excercise to “manage the pain”

It’s that last phrase that people often can’t wrap their heads around. You can manage people, situations, finances (well some people can anyway!), physical objects – but how can you manage pain? The hardest part is that you can’t explain it easily – managing pain is a mental process for keeping pain compartmentalised and locking it away in a part of the brain. Doing something mental with something physical is a strange concept. But it works.

Well, to a degree.

Over a period of time it is possible to manage regular pain levels, the day to day pain, to an extent that you are in constant pain but you aren’t as aware of it. By that I mean that it’s not that I don’t feel it it’s just that I put my focus on everything apart from that.

This is constant. It’s something that I do subconciously, but all the time. And it’s tiring. It takes effort, energy and focus that drains you.

Day to day it’s manageable. Where it has a bigger effect is in those times when the pain is greater than normal, or when there is more pain through a different injury. More pain requires more mental effort, which increases the levels of tiredness. This then leads to the other “side-effect” of putting in more mental effort in that I am more irritable, I can snap at people without meaning to and my interactions with folks are more tense.

I try not to snap at people, but I can’t switch off the pain management – if I did, I’d be crying on the floor. So the alternative is trying to keep the pain isolated whilst being normal. And all the while this is making me more and more tired.

As I get more tired, the pain management becomes harder to do because I’m mentally shattered.

Can you see the vicious loop?

It’s only once the pain has levelled off again that I can start to become more rested and can begin to become human again – but, depending how long the peak of pain lasts, that can take a good week or two to fully get back to normal levels.

I’m not writing this to get sympathy or to ilicit any sort of response really – to be honest this is mostly my way of documenting for myself what I go through. For the past 6 days my lower back has been playing up, nearly crippling me with the pain at times and, although the pain is easing off a bit, I’m now getting to that latter part. I know that some people won’t fully understand that, even though the pain is lessened, there is still a long process that is likely to kick me for at least a week now.

Chronic pain isn’t just about the physical, there’s much more to it. And sometimes it can really stink.