Listen to the peace

When I first heard of him I was living in England at the time. I was going through a difficult time, discovering who I really was, experiencing new friendships in a totally different environment compared to where I grew up. It is important I tell you about the setting as you will understand how much this meant for me.

Old Hall, Little Plumstead Hospital1989

In those days I discovered the calming sounds of gospel music which told me of peace, of Jesus, telling me about Him calming the storm. It calmed the storm within my heart and made me look around me and reach out so I could make friends that wanted the best for me. They became my real friends.

Old Hall, Little Plumstead HospitalI had a nice room in Old Hall then, got everything I wanted and needed, like that huge radiator in my room in winter and Lord Nelson, my three-legged hamster to keep me company. From my first wages I bought a nice stereo set with a CD-player (a luxury in those days) and it still had a solid record player.

As I couldn’t afford any new CD’s from HMV’s anymore having spent all my money on the Sony set I went off to the city on my push-bike, down Kett’s Hill, left on the roundabout to that second hand record store somewhere in Norwich to buy my first record.

Browsing through the dusty old records, some of them had seen better days, I picked up this particular one -Listen to the peace- by Adrian Snell. Boy do I need peace I thought when I looked at it deciding if it was still good enough for a first record and I impulsively decided to look no further and buy it. And back ‘hum’ on my bicycle I went.

It was then that I became a huge fan of Adrian Snell’s music, his words spoke directly to my heart and I started to love his songs and bought more records (Fireflake, Alpha & Omega and more) and later I collected his CD’s.


Yesterday Christa and I went to one of his concerts and it was as perfect as this first album I bought in that second hand store in Norwich. We had front row seats and I took a few photographs of him and his daughter Carla Jae who accompanied him and also sang beautifully.

And Adrian, if you read this: thank you. Thanks for all your music throughout the decades of my life, from when I needed to be saved til today and have been safe for years now. Thank you.

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Leendert van Gemeren

Dit ben ik, Leendert. Ik ben een beetje ouderwets en houd van dingen die geweest zijn, bijvoorbeeld oude Engelse series op TV zoals All Creatures Great And Small, mechanische horloges, bifocale brillen en oude langspeelplaten. Ik houd niet van moderne dingen en werk regelmatig aan een ouderwetse modelspoorbaan. Ik volg Jezus en schrijf mijn gedichten soms ook over Hem maar ik schrijf ook verhalen over het leven. Excentriek. Op feestjes ben ik vaak te vinden in de keuken.

This is me, Leendert. I am a little bit old-fashioned and I love things from the past, old series like All Creatures Great And Small, mechanical wristwatches, bi-focal glasses and vinyl records for example. I am not keen on modern things and I often work on this old style model railway. I follow Jesus and sometimes write a poem about Him but I also write about my life. Eccentric. You can often find me in the kitchen at parties.

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