Don’t throw it away…

There are some “words” God gives me that are for a specific person, but the principles are worth sharing.

While praying for someone in parish ministry not long ago, God gave me a word for them, but I think it is worth sharing.

The “word” came in the form of a picture. In the picture I was watching a TV programme I like to watch in real life, namely “Dragons’ Den.” You have probably seen it, but in case you have not, the format is roughly this: hopeful entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of  wealthy and successful business people and investors, in the hope of securing funding from them as well as the benefit fo their established expertise in the development of their proposed venture. Of course there are questions, as the Dragons try and tease out details, to see if any given presentation is as it appears.

What came to mind  in the Lord’s presence as I thought of one particular minister is a comment I heard a Dragon make in one episode of the programme. She simply said, “No, I cannot invest in this. I have worked far too hard to get where I have got to, to throw away money on this. It is not for me. I wish you well, but sorry, I’m out. I will not be investing in this.”

I felt this was true spiritually for the particular parish minister I was praying for at the time. There are few I admire more. He has consistently sought the Lord and I have seen him grow in the Lord and in effectiveness over the years. It has cost much, and I know therefore it will have inevitably cost his wife and family dearly as well. Growing in the Lord  and having a ministry that is fruitful in terms of the Kingdom of God, always does. He is humble and would be surprised to know he is one of my heroes. I know the Word of the Lord for him is that he must not throw away what he has gained in God on the suggested schemes and ventures of those within church circles, local or national,  who are sincere but have not sought God in their thinking, planning and in their proposals and suggestions that they would place upon others.

It is surprisingly common to find that many of those entrusted with positions of leadership in the church come along to leadership meetings, whatever  these gatherings may be called , with good ideas; good ideas with no God content, birthed in human reckoning, rather than in a lifestyle of seeking God for the revelation of His will, for the ability to hear from heaven. Most congregations in Scotland are dying not because of sin or evil, but because of the following of sincere and good ideas. The ideas make sense, but have no flavour of awareness of the Living God and have not been birthed in humble prayer, in fact sometimes have not been prayed about at all. The result is that in Scotland there is a prevalence of a form of godliness without power.

Make sure that you do not throw away all that God has invested in you, and all that you have invested in seeking His presence in you and through you,  into the proposed venture of human beings who think like any non redeemed human beings can think. Even if it means an eruption of human fury and wrath, stand for what God can do, stand for His wonderful deeds. In Scotland at least it  is a while since we have seen what God can do when He steps down from heaven. Though there are good things happening at this moment, there are greater things in our history and our heritage. From time to time the Israelites found themselves beginning to ask, “Where are the wonderful deeds of the Lord, our fathers told us about, when the Lord brought us out of Egypt.” From time to time I read of the wonderful things God has done in Scotland’s history in days of revival in the distant past and more recently in the last few decades,  and I ask a similar question, with a mixture of distress and faith and hope.

These are not days hospitable to Revival , or even to talk of Revival as a real event, in Scotland. I think Revival is further away than it was a few years ago. There is a depressing interest in examining our own navel in church circles at the moment, a looking at all we are doing wrong, and coming out of such an examination with another scheme for reorientation that will guarantee we become an effective church. In the face of such pressures, maybe you are one whom God is challenging to sit light to all such talk, to invest your time, your prayers your efforts into something more true to you and more true to  the God of the bible you have come to know, at the cost of a few scars to you and even, harder to bear, to your own family. Talk is cheap. Your journey has not been… hold fast to what is good.

God bless you

Kenny

Signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath…

I have over the course of many years now believed that poets and film makers are often more insightful with regard to what is coming to the earth than most. Their imagination seems to give them at times an almost prophetic insight into the way things are and the way things may yet be.

I was thinking today of a common theme in films. It could be summed up as the arrival of cataclysmic intervention into the normal course of reality. That theme can take many forms; the intervention could have a thousand and one guises, anything from a tsunami threatening the coast of a continent to invasion by aliens. The build up to the full manifestation  of the intervention onto the scene usually takes this form. Someone, somewhere, notices data that is out of step with the norm, and at first it is presumed to be some sort of glitch in a system or some sort of anomaly. However more confirming data seems to come in from unrelated sources and it becomes clear something is about to break, or to break in.

When I was praying today, just waiting upon God, it was that type of film and the build up to the intervention that God seemed to place on my mind. I felt he was using that art form to say to me look for this, pray for this to happen, in the spiritual sense; and to encourage you to look for this and pray for this too. There is coming a day for Scotland, it is not yet here, when reports of the unusual action of God breaking in to work in extraordinary power upon saint and sinner will originate from various sources, from various places. At first one or two reports will be dismissed almost out of hand, but the reports will increase numerically. It won’t be possible to tie the reports down to any common factor between them. It won’t be that the reports will come from a place associated with any name or movement that is common to them all.  It will slowly dawn upon us that God is rending the heavens and stepping down and mountains are flowing down , melting before His presence. The initial tremors of the moving of God will cause even the strong to quake, but they will be nothing compared with what is yet to come.

I see no particular signs of this as yet. Though I praise God for worthwhile ventures and good fruit in many places, I am thinking, feeling that God was speaking to me  of something more, a time that is not yet, when believers hearts will be lifted and their eyes lightened with joy and their spirits leap for joy as the Spirit bears witness within, to the action of God in the land.

I just thought I would let you know I believe for this. I hope you might believe for this too and pray for it.

God bless

Kenny

Remembrance Day 2018 – simple poem, simple tune…

George Williamson Borthwick

2nd. Lieutenant George Williamson Borthwick. Born 1896. Killed in Action 1916.
My Great Uncle.

A poem, now with an added simple tune, for Remembrance Day. May it help you to think your own thoughts…

11th Hour

That we might have tomorrows
They gave their todays
11month proud sorrow
Won’t let them fade away.

How then shall we honour those
Who gave for us their all?
How raise this day the heroes
From where comrades saw them fall?

In silence we’ll remember
Listening to Flanders flowers,
Dearest blood for darkened earth
Deserves an offering of worth.

Minutes, be not be quiet,
Speak out with thunderous power!
Past, invade the present,
Their 11th hour be ours!

Will hearts awake with gratefulness,
Will green stems among us grow
From such seeds of selflessness,
From “greater love” can no one show?

(Copyright, Kenny Borthwick)

Click HERE  for a link to the tune

P.S. If you click the link you should be able to find the words of the poem below the video so that hopefully you can get words and tune together.

 

 

 

 

Some thoughts on the 11th of the 11th…

George Williamson Borthwick 2nd. Lieutenant George Williamson Borthwick: Born 1896. Killed in Action 2016.
My great uncle

These thoughts came to me as I was playing the piano.  I would like to write a tune for them but at the moment that is eluding  me. They are of course not the words of a hymn or even a spiritual song, they are not specifically Christian thoughts even, but just  a simple poem penned by a Christian,  that may be set to a tune if I have enough skill. Though I claim copyright please feel free to share with friends…. I hope my thoughts might spark off your own on the 11th day of  the 11th month.

11th Hour

That we might have tomorrows
They gave their todays,
11th month proud sorrow
Won’t let them fade away.

How then shall we honour those
Who gave for us their all?
How raise this day the heroes
From where comrades saw them fall?

In silence we’ll remember
Listening to Flanders flowers,
Dearest blood for darkened earth
Deserves an offering of worth.

Minutes, be not quiet,
Speak with thunderous power!
Past, invade the present,
Their 11th hour be ours!

Will  our hearts awake with gratefulness,
Will green stems among us grow
From such seeds of selflessness,
From “greater lovecan no one show?

(Copyright, Kenny Borthwick)

Hue…

Apparently the pigments that come into view at this time of the year are always there. It is just they are masked as chlorophyll does its work in its season. You probably knew that!

There is more to the glories of Christ in you than the continually changing seasons of life may have as yet revealed to you and through you! May you and I continually see more of Him and be blessed to be a blessing in each new discovery…

Hope this blesses you!

Kenny

Answers on a Postcard to …?

I am a “Charismatic” by biblical conviction and experience. I am also a Scot. I am meant to look and sound like a redeemed and baptised in the Holy Spirit Scot!

In an address to the House of Commons at some point in the 1920’s or 30’s the author John Buchan ( “The Thirty Nine Steps” etc.), who was an MP and became Governor General of Canada said this:

In language, literature and art we are losing our idiom, and it seems to many that we are in danger very soon of reaching the point where Scotland will have nothing distinctive to show to the world.

I read that yesterday in the introduction to a book of Buchan’s short stories. I couldn’t help but relate it with a measure of sadness to the state of things charismatic in Scotland.

Undoubtedly our culture has its blind spots and there are things to learn from those who know Jesus Christ from cultures very distinctly different from our own, but…but what distinctive offering do Scottish Charismatics have to offer to the Charismatic scene? Is there nothing more to God’s purpose for us than that we repent of being Scottish and accept franchised and well marketed versions of the Charismatic life from beyond our borders and shores, which though usually offered in humility and with sincerity of motive, often seem unintentionally to ride roughshod over God intended and God glorifying national and/or regional cultural diversity?

Leaving aside regional variations, what is our distinctive national spiritual “idiom” as Scottish Charismatics?  I am not sure that I know or can put it into words. Perhaps it is better “felt than telt”?

Answers on a postcard to…

God bless

Kenny

I AM…

The truth of God as “I Am” includes the idea that God is present active reality. God is known by what He does. He is not merely ambience or atmosphere. The bush burns and we do not go limp or tearful or sentimental in its warmth. We turn aside to investigate an observable event and discover with trembling fear and shock the God who is present active reality working out His purpose even suspending the natural order of things to do so. The action of God is the sign He is truly present. Let’s seek that and not be content with ambience. Churches that believe themselves to be alive are most in danger of settling for the god called ambience. There is understandably a market for a regular feel good moment.

God bless

Kenny

As you step out to serve the Lord on His Day…

I pray in a general way for all those who preach the gospel or serve the gospel in diverse ways on Sundays in Scotland, as well as remembering by Name those God lays upon my heart. This morning as I set out to do that, I got a very distinct image unrelated to anything going on in my mind. For me that is usually a sign that there is something being shown to me by the Holy Spirit that He wants me to pray about, or share or both.

Let me describe the image. I believe it is for someone, perhaps more than one who is sincerely setting out this day to serve the Lord and to bless His people, found or still lost. I saw a storage box being opened up, just a plain cardboard storage box. Inside was the claw of a crab.  Somehow just by looking at that crabs claw it became attached to the sleeve of the  person opening the box. Although there was no life in it – it was simply a dead claw – it seemed to exert a pretty formidable grip on the sleeve of the person who was opening the box. It was heavy in a way that was out of proportion to its size and dragged the person’s arm downwards with great pressure and inflicted considerable pain. Its grip seemed fixed and unbreakable.

That image makes me want to say this to some servant of God and His gospel: STOP OPENING THE BOX ON PAST SIN! I think the person this is for in a powerful way has committed a sin of financial dishonesty, perhaps even theft, even theft from church funds in some way, but this may also be  word for many more beyond that individual. Listen: whatever you may be thinking of in relation to you yourself as I share the image with you, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us completely from every sin that we confess. Be sure of that. The Word says it, so believe it! Stop tormenting yourself and stop caving in to the devil’s demands that you remember a particular fall again and again, his demand that you open the box. His aim is to rob you of confidence that God can use you, and use you powerfully this day, “Dear one.” That is what I heard the Living God call you: “Dear one.”  It is time to shut the box of continual remembering and place it at the foot of the cross, and walk away. Accept that you are cleansed by the blood and walk into this day as one counted and called “dear” by your heavenly Father, by God the Son and by the God the Holy Spirit who lives within you.

So: mount the pulpit steps, dear one of God; lead worship, dear one of God; step into that excited group of children, dear one of God; distribute the bread and the wine, dear one of God; be part of the welcoming team at the door, dear one of God. Your hands are clean, your garments are white, you are counted as holy and blameless before the throne of God. In a phrase that is mocked sometimes even by some of God’s children  nowadays you are washed in the blood, your garments are spotless, they are white as snow, you are washed in the blood of the Lamb.  You have  been to Jesus for the cleansing power, you have laid aside your garments that were stained with sin, you know you have, Dear One, sensitive one, storm tossed one. Serve the Lord with joy and confidence this day.  He wants to give you this desire of your heart: you will glorify His Name today, this vey day… oh yes, by the way, I presume you know that the Lord would also say to you, “Go and sin no more.”

God bless

Kenny

Treasure in the ordinary…the future in the now…

Happy Me, Bishop Todd Atkinson , Shepherd of shepherds (Santa on vacation), Howard the Hunter after God and Faithful Friend, David the Marksman and Magnificent Son…

…and in the background, foreground, among us all, Jesus: Giver of every good gift, The Good Shepherd who found us all, befriended us all, and made us all sons who belong to the household of God forever: Jesus, enjoying us eating, drinking, laughing uproariously, letting our dreams speak and run free, and loving one another! The Kingdom of Heaven is indeed near…

A meal shared with those who love Jesus is a foretaste of what is coming:

On this mountain, the LORD of Armies will prepare for all the peoples a feast of choice meat, a feast with aged wine, prime cuts of choice meat, fine vintage wine (Isaiah 25 verse 6).”

Continue reading

To share or not to share…?

Well with me it is a bit like waiting for a bus: you wait and all of a sudden 3 come at once. Same with propheticy things for me as it is a now and then sort of gifting, rather than my main call.

Anyway here is another propheticy offering:

Some of you need to resist the pressure of openness! There can be an inner pressure and a growing church cultural pressure to bare all. To conceal is not always hypocrisy. It is often a forgotten wisdom. Make sure God’s Spirit is leading your revealing and your concealing rather than a compulsion, an unheralded desperate need or another pressure.

May God help us all to know how much to say, when and to who. If our flesh or the devil directs such things it is a sure and certain route to deep rejection and loneliness at worst or being held to the revelation rather than being allowed to move on. Self revelation is not our calling or our ministry. Know when and what to share.

God bless

Kenny

In the Dragon’s Den…

A propheticy thingy: a while since I have had one of these:

Keep to the call. Don’t trade a part of that call for advantage someone offers to you in another aspect of the call. Don’t open the call of God to hijackers. Hijackers are not for you. They are for themselves. Try an experiment. Say “no thank you” to them and apparent interest in you and relationship with you quickly fades. BUT , a big but…there are those whose offer of help has no strings attached. Avoid hijackers. Wait and look for Kingdom of God enablers.

Be careful in making alliances! All that glitters is not gold, but where it is, where it is true spiritual gold or even literal gold and silver being offered in and for the will of God, embrace it with thankfulness.

But, I say again: if the price of friendship, favour, the opening of doors involves surrendering one percent of what God has said to you, turn and run like heaven, and don’t look back wondering, “but what if I had …”

In the dragon’s den the pressure is always on to give away more of an original call and idea than is right…

This won’t be for all. There are however seasons in God’s purposes and seasons in the enemy’s assaults, so it may be for several of all y’all!

God bless

Kenny