Passion of Christ

•20/04/2019 • Leave a Comment

The world had gone crazy

Nature echoed the aching agony they felt

The storm matched the cry of their hearts

Blackened skies tearing winds

Growling thunder piercing strikes

Turbulent winds ripped at clothing

And drove sand to sting the skin

The Earth lurched at the shock of it all

Soldiers had duties to perform

A base job separating warm dead flesh from metal spikes driven deep into the timbers of a cross

The women waited below watching every move

They had stood a little way off keeping vigil through the whole chilling ordeal

Dried blood caked around the wounds made the job difficult

What little light remained was fading fast

Finally they lowered Him to Loving hands below

The men reached for the body and the women drew near

Together they wrapped Him in grave-clothes and delivered Him to the tomb

Another army worked fast too

Amazing this prize delivered to them

They bound and gagged Him

Tied Him hand and foot

To make sure they doubled up with hefty chains secured with sturdy locks

Didn’t want this one to get away

It all seemed unnecessary

The man stood exhausted, defeated

He did not move but remained, head bowed

Mute, a shadow of His Former Self

It did not stop the prisoners,

They saw it as a cause for celebration

Roughly, some jumped upon His shoulders,

Others struck Him behind His knees

Pushing him to the filthy floor

They fought amongst themselves eager to be next to spit on Him

Fingering the open wounds,

Pressing splinters harder into the shadow of His flesh

So they taunted Him,

Repeating lies and accusations

Returning to the mockery that had filled His ears as He journeyed to the End

A jab, a punch, a kick here and there

Each jibe increased their jubilation

Howls and squeals of demented gloating echoed far into the darkest recesses of the hell in which they stood

No light shone here, no compassion found

No soft voices or forgiveness

Degradation streamed down the walls,

It caked the floor and piled in every corner

Once shackled and completely bound,

They led him further into the Darkness

Past chambers of the lost they paraded Him

To the furthest reaches of Hopelessness

There behind thick dense doors,

They chained Him down, burdened with the World’s Sin

Layer upon layer pinning down this meek Companion of God

Satan roared with the Boast

Him I have ensnared

The World did not hear God’s voice

They did not recognised Messiah

That Hope is dashed now, Shattered, Gone forever

When the last key was turned

The crowd of Dark angels sloped away into dismal shadows

Despair dripped all around

This a world without Light

This a world without God

But then

Something stirred in the darkness,

Something trickled through the cracks

Soft at first, a mere ripple

That grew to a deep throaty gurgled like a stream of living water

It flowed into every dark and dismal ear… Laughter

The Laugh of Victory

The Evil one stopped in his mean tracks

Dread replaced his spiteful joy

He knew that sound, he’d heard it from the beginning of time

This laugh grew in Power and Strength

Each Peal shook those slimy Halls of the Dead

Calling down the Righteousness of God

His Pure Radiance shone

Light flooded the Halls

Banishing darkness

Chains shattered

Walls began to crumple

Heavy doors splintered as Christ the Son of God stepped from the dungeon

He took it all

He walked free

Terror melts in his warmth

Lifting a finger He writes upon the wall

‘Jesus Christ can be found even here

The Way, The Truth and the Life’

The purity of His touch transforms

Never again can any soul be imprisoned beyond His Reach

Satan continues to sell the lie that some are beyond Redemption

Do not believe such falsehood

Christ is Victorious over Death and the Depths of Despair

The Passion of Christ stands as our claim to the Simple Truth

God Loves, Here, Now…

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2010

My interpretation of events following the Crucifixion and prior to the Resurrection

Apostles Creed

Gospel according to Matthew Chapter 27

Whilst this piece may be a flight of imagination, the final message is Truth.

Diamonds in the Dust

•01/01/2019 • Leave a Comment

WTV 2019

Don’t remember the former things,
    and don’t consider the things of old.
 Behold, I will do a new thing.
    It springs out now.
    Don’t you know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness,
    and rivers in the desert. Is 43:18-19 WEB

As the old year dies and all turns to ashes

I place them into your hand

Oh Lord

I ask you to crush the cinders

The chard remnants of that year

Grind them to dust in those scarred hands


IMG_0376 (1)

By Your Grace scatter the ashes

To the ends of the Universe

All that is not good

All that will not grow

All that will burden or hinder

All that would destroy or delay

All that would reduce who I am

And who I can become in You


Let all that remains

Be Diamonds in the Dust

Scattered remnants that, by Your Promise

Will become something Precious

WTV 2019

Losses and gains

Lessons and memories,

Woundings and scars



Dragon Slaying

Angels Uplifting

Laughter and tears

Agony and sweet surrender of the soul

Thin places

When I felt you close and closer still

WTV 2019

From the tiny fragments of an old year

Build something Strong, Courageous,

Bountiful in Beauty

Sturdy in Resilience

To be woven into the new

And on into all you have set aside for me


And so I look to all that is to come

Knowing I only take with me the very best

Of what was

And all that is

In You…

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford – Buller 2019


Salt Pig; This Way or That

•02/05/2018 • 2 Comments

IMG_4370Many, many years ago I bought this Blue Glazed Terracota Salt Pig

From a Roadside potter in Claire SA

There were dozens of them in different sizes, colours

Lined up in rows upon a shelf

Many times I have

Used it, washed it,

Refreshed the salt

It stands in my cluttered kitchen

Working reasonably well

Though when the level drops

The salt is out of reach

And my hand gets stuck reaching for it


I see them everywhere 

In shops for the home cook

I had wondered about the name

Why Salt Pig?

Was it when cooking pork

The salt brings up the crackling?

A few weeks ago after washing it

I was interrupted

I put it down not so carefully

It rolled over settling amongst  the tea towels

When I returned, suddenly I could see what I had not seen before

On its side now


The little nubby handle at the top became the piggy nose

The rounded belly held the salt!

Oddly enough it works better this way!

I’m probably telling you something you already know,

But I’d never seen it this way!

It wasn’t ‘sold’ to me that way either

And this is how God teaches me…

Through ordinary everyday things

Seen in a slightly different way

My Salt Pig leaves me pondering


Why had I passively accepted

The way it was sold to me

What else do I accept in the same way?

Of course, we are not talking about Salt Pigs now!

We are talking about so many things

Beliefs, Ideology, Boundaries…

Self Talk, Identity, Self Image

What have we readily accepted

Because it’s been ‘sold’ to us that way?

What have we been told

That we’ve repeated as Truth

Without really knowing?

Without challenging what do I believe?

Without waiting on God

So through His

His Word

His Grace

His Mercy

His Love

His unconditional Love

So He can show another way of seeing things

Is it time

To start these conversations with God



Waiting for

His responses

His quickening

Within You


Words and pictures ©  Denise Stanford-Buller 2018

 From the Archives: The Salt                                   saltgrns3

Fruits of the Spirit

•07/04/2018 • Leave a Comment


I have watched

I have waited

I have ached with wanting

I have needed

I have hoped

I have yearned for a sign

I have prayed

I have invited

I have faithfully kept watch

I have devoted

I have asked of God

Where is the Fruit your Spirit brings?


How many times have I thought

Why have I not developed the Fruit of the Spirit

Promised in the Scriptures?

Why am I still Impatient, or Unkind?

I could use each and every Fruit many times over

More Self Control would be great

Looking for the Joy in every moment

Would be such a blessing

Like a curtain pulled aside

My wise Lord revealed




Yes! Onions!

Red onions to be precise, grown in my garden

I was so proud of them.

The few I pulled and used in the kitchen were hot sweet, so fresh

But I left the others too long in the ground

Something I often do

I didn’t lay the tops over to stop them from growing

And they kept on growing – to seed

Like most plants when they run to seed

They became bitter, as protection

So they could not be eaten!

I needed to harvest the onions!

I need to harvest the fruit

I need to harvest the Fruit of the Spirit

I’d always wondered why Paul called it Fruit.

Now  – onions have a season

A time to gather in

Whilst the Fruit of the Spirit is there to be harvested

In the time of need

And like Manna in the Wilderness

Best fresh for the moment


This is where the messages become familiar

God will do anything, everything

To draw me closer

To have fellowship with me

To work closely with me 

Concerning Fruit of the Spirit He wants me to turn to Him

I need to Define and Declare what fruit I need and…

Ask Him!

DSCN0658As I see it

It’s a Loaves and Fishes kind of thing

He wants me to define the need

Which of the Fruits would enable me in this situation

When I don’t know, I ask that of Him too

Though I often forget to listen and watch for the answers

Then, I Bring what little I have to the table

Asking Him to Bless it

And watch with amazement

When what I  have to offer

Goes further, than I ever thought possible

He and I working together

His Spirit within me providing

And like Manna fresh every day

It Satisfies!


Love Joy Peace Patience

Kindness Goodness Faithfulness

Gentleness and Self Control

My journal bears the record

The thanks I give Him

Never equal to His Abundant Provision and Grace

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” Gal 5 v22-23

DSCN0912Words Pictures © Denise Stanford-Buller 2018


•18/10/2017 • 2 Comments


Heavenly Father

She’s fighting to stay,

She’s not giving up

Just yet

Lay upon her your mantle of Grace

Let her know how close you are

How you feel her pain

How you weep with her

How you will soon ease her burden

That you will cradle her, in your loving arms

To the chariot of fire that will take her Home


IMG_3443 (1)

And the gaping wound her leaving brings

To us

Heal it with your Love

Fill that yawning emptiness with Wisdom

Beyond our understanding

So much so it spills over

Seeping into our Humanness

Reaching to the spirit deep within

Let it speak Truth to this Mystery

Truth we cannot yet know or understand

Give us enough

Enough to Trust

Expand that Trust Lord

Grow it in us

That we can bring our pain to you

Laying it in your Loving hands

Knowing you will respect it

And use it, to heal our Hope

©Denise Stanford-Buller 2017


•11/08/2017 • 3 Comments


sydney trip 6.08 009It was a lovely photograph.

A selfie taken by a man who clearly adores the woman snuggled close behind him. 

Her face lay against his shoulder, her arms draped around him in restful reassurance.

All who gazed at it felt the warmth of the sun

Could smell the ozone of the changing sea

We smile at their togetherness…

Well, all but one



The woman looked at her own image and saw only imperfection.

She picked away at what she saw, tearing it down

What she spoke over it wiped away all joy of the moment

Clearly there was relational breakdown here, but not what you might think.

The couple, still very much in Love, is together and happy to be so.

No! The relationship that has broken down is with herself

In criticising herself she curses that which was intended for Blessing

That which God intended for Blessing

I do it

Most of us do it, if not all.

That critical glance in a mirror or shop window

That murmured put down

That self judgement to a standard held so high

That moment when a compliment is replaced by a barb

‘You look lovely’ met with ‘Oh this old thing’

When the reason for  thanksgiving is tossed aside as no such thing.

sydney trip 6.08 017


Recently I asked my husband if I did anything he didn’t like

His yes came as a shock!

He told me I was

Far too self critical

Far too negative about myself

At first I denied it but he turned a mirror on me that day

He enabled me to recognise

How I Slash or Tear at my Self image

How I curse myself

We prayed

I prayed

I asked God

Show me how this hurts You

I believe He did

In Psalm 139 He shows me how treasured I am

Through Song of Songs how beautiful I am

God loves me as I am

He loves me so much

He put Himself through Hell literally for my sake.

When I attack myself

I deny that Beauty

I deny all the Bounty

I deny all that Love

I hold myself to a Higher Standard than God

What Arrogance!

To call God ‘LIAR!’

When I put myself down

I open the door to the Enemy

I invite Satan in

I give him the weapons

I show him the targets at which to strike

Then I help him

By cursing myself

ocean3 - Version 3

He is the thief

He wants me to plunder God’s treasure

He wants me

To deny truth

To believe lies

To live the curse

Doing this

I curse

That which God made for Blessing

Doing this

I curse

That which God set apart  for Himself



In the Old Testament I read

Of the lavish Glory and Beauty built into God’s Temple,

I read of the desecration of that Holy Place

With Lies

Foreign gods

Profane deities

Crude idols to Baal and Asherah

God’s Word says I am the Temple of the Holy Spirit

But so often

I daub those walls with graffiti

With Lies

I am no good

I am nothing

Too fat

Too thin

Too wrinkly

Too old, too grey

Too short, too tall,

I am ugly, disabled, weak, useless…



Tell me you’ve never said any of that about yourself

They are lies

All lies


We need to stop

We need to stop the curses

We need to stop cursing ourselves

No we are not perfect

We are being perfected, in Christ

We are Worthwhile

You are Worthwhile

It is time to

Accept all God has blessed you with

Time to accept

All God has Blessed

With you

sydney trip 6.08 010

Psalm 139

Song of Solomon

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Words and pictures ©  Denise Stanford-Buller 2017

I’m Happy With That!

•21/03/2017 • Leave a Comment

020I stand in the Lamington National Park, Queensland, gazing up at huge Atlantic Beech trees.

They are host to an abundance of epiphyte plants including Strangler Fig vines.

Deeper into the forest we find the filigree shell of a Strangler Fig, standing alone, where once a tree hosting it stood.

Long ago the fig had engulfed the tree.

The tree had died, returned to Dust and had blown away…

That can take a century or more.


Much later, whilst pondering Psalm 103, I felt inspired by what I had seen in the forest that day.

Version 10

Psalm 103

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;

    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;

    may I never forget the good things he does for me.

3 He forgives all my sins

    and heals all my diseases.

4 He redeems me from death

    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

5 He fills my life with good things.

    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

14  For he knows how weak we are;

    he remembers we are only dust.

15 Our days on earth are like grass;

    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

16 The wind blows, and we are gone—

    as though we had never been here.

17 But the love of the Lord remains forever

    with those who fear him. Psalm 103 v -1-17 NLT

Version 9

My prayer is that with my whole heart, for my whole Life, I would Praise the Lord.

I know I am dust.

In the fulness of time I will wither away and only His Love will remain.

But what He showed me of that Love, that Process was stunning and unexpected…

Version 7

I believe He promises,

Like the filigree of the Fig

surrounding the Beech tree

so my love will enclose you

It will enlarge you

and when the old passes away

all that will remain

is my Love

shaped by who you are

Our journey together

with the infinite detail of my Love

will define you

Version 8

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,

    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,

    listening for each of his commands.

21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels

    who serve him and do his will!

22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,

    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord. Psalm 103 v 20-22 NLT

Version 6

The thought of just disappearing seems sad to me.

The thought of being memorialised by God’s Love like this?

Well I’d be happy with that!

Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford-Buller  2017