Zeph Daily 52


It’s Friday morning. It’s John bidding you welcome to it. If you would care to enter the prizeless caption competition for the picture above, please feel free to do so.
While you’re being creative…  https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/let-me-always-remember

I’d like to say it was a deliberate photo fusion, but that would be a lie. I was looking for an image to fit the lyrics for the “Standing in line” song and it wasn’t until I happily placed these two together that I realized what a good fit they are: heights, windows, floor, a “conversation piece.” Where this was fluke ( I can’t really say I was “led” to this composition), looking back I see that much of my life has been built, brick by considered brick.

I get to work with the most amazing people. Not just the zephteam—but, yes—them too. I often thank God for the people he has put round me at different times in my life. When I was little (I was, relatively), growing up in the manse, as well as my parents, there was a steady stream of ministers, university students and my big sister’s friends whose every educated word I would hang on and who all had some input into my growing up.

Via the conversation about cake on here the other day, I was reminded of my Sunday School teacher Edna Moxon who would invite us into her home. It wasn’t just a love of Battenburg that I took in there, but another angle on the Kingdom of God and my part in it.
I read on facebook yesterday that it would have been Ladderbanks teacher Mike Pollard’s 85th birthday. For those not knowing, he was beaten to death in 1997 while on holiday in Hungary. He and his wife Jo had been taking Bibles and food into Eastern Europe for 30 years. Back at home Mike used to run Christian events where children could be told about, but also see and feel God’s love in action.
Thank God for those who helped steer us in the right direction when we were young… …and put some names here, if you wish…

I began (and continued) my teaching career at Wycliffe CE Middle School in Shipley, working for a Headteacher, Tom Austwick, who said things like, “You can’t stop children learning—you can only hope to influence what they learn”. And who taught me important lessons like learning to see your classroom as a child walking in, and remembering that an angry parent would be upset about something else. Although sitting the smartest child nearest the door where visitors might ask questions to which they would get good answers was my idea.
Thank God for people who have taught us how to be better at what we do…Inspo

Apart from the wonderful zephteam, I have worked with musicians who have made me sound better than I am (recycled quote from Bryn Haworth; comedians who have made me laugh—sometimes t my embarrassment as I remember the gags at awkward moments; poets who have lit up my mind; storytellers who have hooked me on their storylines; artists who have released that childhood sense of “awe and wonder;” clergy who have blessed me with their ministry, non-specialist Christians who have moved me with the depth of their love.
Thank God for people who have shown us God’s love in what they are as well as what they do.

Comin’backatcha…We are not often aware of the impact we have on others. One of this year’s ordinands told me recently how the PKs were involved at the beginning of his faith journey. Who knew ?
“I am, like an old cow in an evening meadow, chewing the cud of memory and our joyous times trundling around the beloved schools of Shipley and beyond .“ So wrote Stewart Henderson this week, before going on to say how much he appreciated the support we, at Zephaniah have given him !!!
Thank God for using you to help others along the way: small children sitting on the floor in assemblies, adults round the edge, fellow workers, random adults who stop to chat or read your posts. Some of these you may never know about…

Although I/we can be serendipitous, God does it on purpose. You’ve got to be impressed. Enjoy being, and appreciate his builder’s skill…


and so it begins…have a good one!


Zeph Daily 17 – Good Friday

Good Friday (2)

Greetings! John here, ready to lead Good Friday’s Zeph@10 …

Listen: Were you there?

Be there as you read the Gospel:
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Jesus  to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar  and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:32-42 


Good Friday

Pontius Pilate, selfish, stares;

Soldiers, strong, evilly laugh;

Children, moany, scream;

Dogs, scared, hide;

Women of Jerusalem weep;

Mary Magdelene, broken-hearted, is distraught;

Rubbernecks annoyingly barge and shove;

Barabbas, fortunate, smirks;

Disciples, worried, pray;

Priests, important, smile;

Jesus, holy, dies.

– Year 5 group poem, East Morton CE Primary School, Easter 2019


Last Easter at East Morton again. I get to be a poet there. We made this class poem after compiling the Dramatis Personae of Good Friday.

We wondered who might have been there, and then what they were like (the adjective) and then what they were doing (the verb) Because looking at Jesus on that cross, we have to do something: if it’s to watch, or weep, or deny, or run away, or to feel guilty –  whatever. Even doing nothing is an action of inaction.

Back to the poem. Picture the characters. We know them. Our friends, our family, our neighbours, our politicians, ourselves. Pray for them this Good Friday as they make their own response to Jesus’ death. Pray for ourselves, with thanks that we, too, are part of the story.

Last time back to the poem: “Jesus, holy, dies”. There’s the paradox again. God is holy. He is immortal. He can’t die ! We wonder at the mystery. How does he do that?

We stand, in our wonder and receive the blessing that the death of God’s son brings us. And then we pass that blessing on. One way or another.

Listen: Mary Stood

And if you’ve not been there yet, Julie’s Good Friday piece…


Zeph Daily 12 – Remain in me…

They can't cancel Spring

 I think it’s Friday and I think it’s me, John. Good morning!


“Accepted wisdom is a contradiction in terms” – J.K. Galbraith.

I like a good paradox—or an oxymoron… the counter-intuitive.

Hope – Keep your eyes on the prize, take the long view, like the sprinter, fix your eyes on a point beyond the finish line… live each moment, celebrate the now—but watch where you put your feet!

Don’t worry – be happy; you’ll have enough; seek out the things of God first and everything else will follow.

Isolated – but in touch with people across the country, if not the world. Hello Phil and Ros if you’re reading this in New Zealand


Now hear some Nashville session singers working from home:

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDIJz6zzHNU


Hear Jesus speak as you read his words:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6: 25 –27, 33


William Carey (famous Baptist) said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” What does he want us to want?

Now pray, listening first to the God who already knows what we need. Know that when we’re in line with God’s thinking, Jesus says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.” (John  15: 7) Wow!


On a Sunday, we might have a prayer of dismissal about “going in to the world”. Go virtually into God’s world, worrying not, but seeking His Kingdom. Amen.


Thanks for joining us for Zeph Daily this week! Enjoy your weekends – see you on Monday…


Zeph Daily 7

John Froud

Morning! The arrival of Friday doesn’t have the same magic, somehow…

Sheena and I went for a spot of exercise yesterday – just round the block. We waved at the Hardys and the Joneses as we sauntered past their houses. Actually we stopped and chatted with our grandchildren on mobiles through the glass of their front room window. Weird, but cheering.


God said, “ I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.”

And now, here’s the school formerly known as Clayton CE singing in tune! https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/and-you-will-walk-with-us


There is something indefinably warming about being with someone, especially someone you love. I love touring, but being able to take Sheena with me in recent times has been extra special. Sometimes we don’t say much, sometimes we don’t say anything at all. It’s the being there that matters.


Anyone researching their ancestors? I’ve come up on some huge gaps in my knowledge of my grandfather, and I’ve decided to make sure that the next generations won’t have that about my dad. I knew him. I walked miles with him. Sometimes we’d talk, sometimes we wouldn’t. I’d be there next to him, looking up to him, just picking up the vibe. I admired his ability to talk to anyone on any subject for long enough for them to know they were important. But I was only a kid and there were others who were his friends who knew different parts of him. So I’m asking people who “walked with him” (while they’re still here to ask) what they remember so I can build a more detailed picture. Brian Goodall remembers my dad saying that someone had called him Mr. Shroud, to which he replied, ‘That’s a grave mistake!” Ah, the power of the Dad gag!


We can ask people who know Him about God, we can read what others who walked with Him say, and we too can walk with Him. We may not always talk – it’s good sometimes to just listen – but to be there is the thing.

And we don’t have to stay still. Walking is active, we can share tasks with him. Remember doing things with those special people in your life? Special times.


Pray for those you spend time with; those you wish you could spend time with; those you find it difficult to spend time with… God wants to walk with them too.


Today’s out-song is a long one… you may want to continue praying, or make a coffee, or finally get to the loo. Just know that God is with you.



Zeph Daily takes a break over the weekend – Jenny will be back on our Facebook page live at 10am on Monday…






Zeph Daily 2

March 20, 2020
Welcome to Zeph at Ten.

This is John hoping to help you connect with God this morning. Sharing the Peace is safely non-contact on here, but I guess any kind of greeting is good… Hiya!

Yesterday Julie took us right back to Genesis “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you may go.” God’s promise. Whatever happens, whatever changes, he is with us and will watch over us.

Today, as we approach a very odd kind of Mothering Sunday, we’ll try to remember God’s goodness to us through the places he takes us, the people he puts us amongst, the Son he sent for us.


Song: https://soundcloud.com/johnfroud/i-will-remember


 John Guitar Case

You’re wondering about a scripture for the guitar case?

I am blessed to have met many wonderful people in different places as I get around our city of Bradford and further afield. I met an old lady recently who asked, after I’d sung “Tell ‘em about the dream”, whether I’d known Dr King. “Only on the television, I’m afraid.” She had marched to Selma with him. Now that is a memory to treasure.

The guitar case is full of memories. As it happens, it’s full of guitar. It’s my heart that’s full of memories. The case “only” prompts the remembrance. It seems to be easier to remember bad things (hurt, lies, mistakes, etc) than the good things, but if we can try to hold God’s goodness to us at the front of our mind and thank him for all he has done we will be doubly blessed. And we will expect more of his Good Things!

So… let’s pray. Let’s thank God for happy memories, for favourite places, for brilliant people who’ve made a mark on our lives, maybe our Mums, maybe teachers, maybe… and thank him for Jesus. Either out loud (no embarrassment in your own front room) or silently, or type it in…


Tear Bottle (2)

This is a tear bottle from Zephaniah’s Bible Times Exhibition.

In Bible Times, before the invention of cameras, these were used as souvenirs. At a family event where everyone was weeping (weddings, funerals etc) someone would collect tears from those present and store them in the bottle. Their names would be written down and kept with the bottle—any more accurately spelled than the Telegraph and Argus, I wonder?

It’s only mentioned once in the Bible, Psalm 56:8.

“You have noted my grief;
Store my tears in your flask.
Are they not recorded in your book ?”

David remembers that God knows his distress, and cares for him—whatever he might have done.

Take your worries to God and remember he remembers!


A song written by a Zephaniah Associate to close. Monday sesh will be led by Jenny. See you in my memories…