This I really like…

When someone has been used by God powerfully it can sound patronising in the extreme to say ” I don’t agree with his theology.”

Nonetheless, there are aspects of Charles Finney’s theology I struggle with, and feel for the sake of personal honesty I need to say that, despite him having been used in Revival in a mighty way whereas I have never been, nor have I yet seen its full flow.

However, without reserve I acknowledge the amazing fruitfulness of Finney’s ministry and humble myself before the memory and the ministry of a mighty servant of the Lord.

All of which is leading me to the point of sharing these words from his writings:

A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and forsaking of sin.”

Now, I really love that .. and pray for such a day. I begin by praying for such a revival in me.

God bless


When you just have to do something or burst…

Not sharing who what or where… But when I see a shy man, who tends to live out his spiritual life in a beautifully humble and quiet way, running to the front of the church to join the worship team because he is so overcome with thankfulness for what God has done by his miracle working Spirit… well, no words… Thank you Lord!

Friends, the tide has turned. Keep in step with the Spirit. Make sure you are serving what is on the heavenly agenda for Scotland right now. That may mean our own agendas being ripped up: if God is ignoring them, it’s wise to humbly consign them to the flames.

How do you know whether you are in step? Well are the signs of the Kingdom happening or not? What are the signs of the Kingdom? The ministry of the unchanging Jesus continuing: read the gospels and look around you. If you see even a tiny cloud of Kingdom of Heaven happenings, rejoice and pray and keep in step.

What I saw happening to that man I described at the start can happen in any church. I think, however, there is one prerequisite: a church and it’s leadership either proactively or reluctantly need to be brought to the point of saying in penitence to the Lord that He is the potter we are the clay, and we acknowledge it is so. “Mould us and make us after Your will.” Too many of us and too many church leadership bodies want our own way and will, even if it produces decline and fruitlessness. When that is the case anything that grows is not planted by our Father in heaven according to Jesus. The sin of Pharisaism as well as every “ism” ancient and modern is ultimately the sin of wanting to call the shots. It is wanting the place of being head of the body. It is a mirroring of the ambition of Satan.

God bless


Fresh Wind…

Find myself thinking of the words of this song by Ian White. I have repeated them to myself several times over the years at the start of a new season in God, while in a place of real blessing: I could stay in familiar blessing or set out not knowing whither, to brave wind and storm on fresh Kingdom adventures. Is it time for you to set out from the harbour even though you feel slightly fearful in a wonderfully faith filled way? There’s a sound on the wind. Oh, you will be blessed if you stay where you have reached, but… but I could not live with myself living like that. My spirit is trembling afresh .. is yours… I am hearing a fresh song, getting a sense of lands awaiting discovery or rediscovery.

“Though I feel afraid
Of territory unknown,
I know that I can say
That I do not stand alone.
For Jesus, You have promised
Your presence in my heart;
I cannot see the ending,
But it’s here that I must start.

And all I know is You have called me,
And that I will follow is all I can say.
I will go where You will send me,
And Your fire lights my way.

What lies across the waves
May cause my heart to fear;
Will I survive the day,
Must I leave what’s known and dear?
A ship that’s in the harbour
Is still and safe from harm,
But it was not built to be there,
It was made for wind and storm.”

Here’s a link to Richie Gillespie from my former church, Holy Trinity, Wester Hailes, singing the song during lockdown to an empty church. That wonderful congregation lives continually leaving the harbour. Forever grateful. Precious memories. They taught me so much: live in renewal by constant choice to do so.

Delay does not mean never…

I attach here below a link to Jean Darnall speaking in 2009 of a vision she received in 1967 which spoke of God’s purposes for the UK and Europe. In this clip she highlights one aspect of that: a move among Youth in Scotland birthing powerful preachers.

In the last few weeks I have been receiving a continuing trickle of stories of God moving in a fresh way among the Youth in some churches. ” More Lord!”

In Step?

Hearing a trickle of stories of good things happening among youth. I myself have seen Youth being prophets witnesses and preachers of the Lord Jesus Christ in recent days. It is a holy thing I am observing. It pleases the Father to reveal himself to children and babes rather than to the wise and learned. Are we willing to throw aside our carefully drawn out plans and visions to join in with what God is doing and prioritise that? Or will we persist in claiming we know and see how God must be and act in our day and culture, , and thereby render ourselves guilty according to Jesus? What sacred cows with regard to church, it’s life and mission, discipleship etc. precious to you or to me, need to be sacrificed for the sake of Jesus?

If your church or ministry has no emphasis on youth coming to know Jesus deeply, personally, with conviction and assurance in the age old power of the Holy Spirit, right now, it is running itself by its own vision and wisdom and is out of touch with the purposes of the living God. It’s easy to worship an idol made in our image who likes what we like and have invested historic and present time and effort in, ignoring ” I Am” with all that implies of God being active, present reality. Are we blind to the signs of the times? Will Jesus weep over your church or ministry or mine, because we did not recognise the hour of visitation?

God bless!


The Time is Now…

Back in 1994, through one to one ministry from the late Rev. Jim Graham at a point where the congregation I led was at a high point of fruitfulness and I was at my lowest ebb by contrast, I had an experience of the Father heart of God that stays with me as living truth to this day. I wrote in a notebook, “I think God has told me there is about to be a fresh move of God in the land: the mark of it will be the Father’s kiss for his children, the Father’s love being experienced in power, the Father’s hug.”

Well, within a few weeks, many in many places began to experience that. Out of that arose Kingdom Gathering and then CLAN Gathering through which thousands of weary believers and hundreds of church leaders experienced a fresh touch from God over the years.

Was it all I hoped to see? No…Was it all it was meant to be…I don’t know. Religion is still a powerful negative force within the Scottish Church. Sometimes also, great blessing means responsibilities thereafter. Some leaders I know personally, made the choice not to follow through with what the blessing they received asked of them, for the sake of congregational peace. I am not their judge. I have enough need of mercy for my ministry and leadership to stop me ever becoming that! There may, however, be a cost and a requirement that becomes an unwanted burden on the shoulders of the blessed. But something real happened for some… At least in part I saw a fulfilment of that note jotted down in pencil in 1994.

Well, I think about 6 or 8 weeks ago I have now heard something and seen something else. I don’t yet fully understand it and I am reluctant to say anything about the scope (small, limited, large, mercy drops, a stream, a deluge?) which this may cover. I hope, however, that it encourages hunger and faith – especially among those called to a ministry of intercession – to pray for a new day wherever you gather with God’s people. I hope it may help us to believe for times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord as we continue to humbly live for Him and seek His face day by day.

What I heard was ” The tide has turned ” Nothing more, nothing less than that…

What I saw (a week or two later ) was this: a lightning bolt coming from heaven and hitting a road, representing something powerful but also necessarily and positively destructive.

I do not wish to share all the details at this stage (and may never do so), but I will share a couple of impressions.

Impression 1: lightning will hit specific places and specific people. The choice of God often offends the mind to reveal the heart. Fault finders will say “This cannot be God, ” because of where and upon whom the Spirit falls in fresh measure. They will do their utmost to find a fault in the roots, connections that discredit, to dismiss the fruit as bad. Often pride secretly believes, “If God is doing something new, he will begin it through me/us, for after all we are… we have…”

Pride of experience of the Spirit (charismatic) and of biblical knowledge (evangelical) will be exposed in our own hearts. We approve of “nameless” and “faceless” in theory but won’t necessarily approve of it when our name or church is not in the headlines, especially if our names and churches are well known as big fish in the small pond that is the Scottish Church scene or some of its puddles.

2: Lightning will blow holes in the roads of those of us who feel we have the word or way forward downloaded from the Lord and know the way forward for Scotland and its church(es). We need to be willing for craters to appear in our roads and plans, even for our well worked out plans to be seen as straw. Our visions and ministries may have to die in order to see the Lord’s ministry released. “Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies..”

After the lightning comes the thunder and accompanying rain: fresh hunger leading to a fresh hearing of the voice of the Lord. Those that hear the voice of the Son of God, rising to life, to LIFE! The hearing of the thunder was wider than the striking of the lightning. The thunder can only come because some at least are willing to say “Let the lightning fall on us whatever that may mean and cost.”

I heard of someone’s sermon being described as lava words recently, because it was so full of the presence of God and released much blessing. People powerfully encountered God. As Amy Carmichael said, we can only have lava words when the heart of the mountain is consumed, burned.

” O God of burning, cleansing flame, send the fire!”

When you hear the voice of heavenly thunder (nothing to do with any required volume level or tone, both of which will vary), you can be sure the heart of someone or a gathering of people somewhere has endured the lightning strike in the secret place. Something of self will have been destroyed (the hole in the road) and their own plans surrendered, which was the most definite and identifiable effect of the lightning in what I saw. It could be you, your fellowship; it could be some gathering of people of no reputation, discounted by those who have the reputation of being alive in the Spirit and at the cutting edge: a humble overlooked gathering of folk who fear the Lord, of whom He has said, “They will be mine on the day I act afresh in Scotland.”


Speaking as I see it from within the Charismatic fold which I am experientially, existentially and biblically committed to…

  1. The year of the beginning of the exposing of red herrings being presented as exaggerated hopes: a dent in cult like belief in their truth, wherever there is a new humility, honouring of the Word of God and the fear of the Lord, daring to speak and raise its small voice against a powerful, roaring, noisy and popular flood. Here are some of the half truths that promise much if we embrace them but which are indeed only half truths – and therefore hold no salvation – rather than being the key to restored fortunes for the spiritual fortunes of the church in Scotland and beyond :

…Relationship not religion…

…The importance of APEST…

…Israel right or wrong…

…The exaggeration of the importance of online church…

… the infusion of the prophetic with worldly values of political programme and power…

… the prophesying of wealth and property and prosperity being given over to the people of God…

… the proclamation of living in our dreams/ Disney fantasy rather than living in the realities of daily struggle with godly desires which are always granted…

… we are all princes and princesses that the world has not treated properly otherwise our lives would be different from their current state… the curse of the X Factor deluded holding back a generation or two from their life in God…

… the cynicism against the importance of physical buildings and what happens in them and from them as “the house of God” understood in worshipful, experiential and missional terms…

… the raising of the pronouncements of leaders of prophetic and intercessory ministry above the Word of God…

… the prophesying of a new reformation which rubbishes godly humble walking today in integrity in what has been inherited from God fearing people over many generations…

…mystical experiences/throne room experiences as being a basis of teaching the church rather than Scripture…

… the denouncing of tradition as the enemy of God’s Spirit in favour of the new legalism and religion of apparent freedom in the Spirit, which is not that …

If we can escape from these surface miss-presentations of the golden thread of the purposes of God being fulfilled in and though the church in all its generations with all its imperfections , this can be a a year of genuine, glorious, God-fearing and godly hope, a year of moving forward. If not, then another year of going round irrelevant roundabouts awaits us.

Less shouting, declaring greeted with applause… more humility and confession of our lack of the obvious blessing of God will take us far. I am not sure the times are favourable for such a word. Empire building ( drawing others to us and our programme) is still believing in its own particular rise, it’s own vision and values and programme of colonisation, its power to transform the spiritual fortunes of Scotland.

Within the charismatic fold I have a declining voice, considered by many passé. Such is the inevitability of time and I have no quarrel with it and indeed see it as right and proper. Is there no younger leader out there with the necessary swipe and reach and relationally given authority to call for a repentance from a proud competitiveness to hearing the Word of the Lord and call us all to humble ourselves before one another and before God who is withholding his blessing in greater measure from all our works and ventures? I personally think it is clear that the Lord in our day has a controversy with his people… but I am not without hope….

I am at the stage of life where my vision is beyond my life’s strength and breath. Is there no prophet out there who can call like a trumpet to God’s people rather than rally folk to their own smaller cause? Oh how I love playing second fiddle in my current state. There is a lot to commend it, but we need those who can gather all the various themes of the piece together into a glorious cry to our God and His Christ. Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be!

God bless


Press on to know the Lord…

On the feast of St. Nicholas [in 1273] Thomas Aquinas was celebrating Mass when he received a revelation that so affected him that he wrote and dictated no more, leaving his great work the Summa Theologiae unfinished. To Brother Reginald’s (his secretary and friend) expostulations he replied, “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” When later asked by Reginald to return to writing, Aquinas said, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.”

For similar reasons I threw decades of sermons out. I only keep the most recent few now to check up whether I am repeating illustrations, which probably means I will do so every few months! Poor Morag who dutifully listens to that! More of Christ appears on the horizon of my thinking and experience as I read the Bible and experience Immanuel being true to that name. It’s not there was no worth in former sermons: they were as much as I understood intellectually, spiritually and experientially at the time: I think they honoured God and helped people. There are, however, worlds more to understand and experience of what it means to believe in the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thank God for eternity.

There is no one who can claim to be an expert on Christ with their notes on him and his works complete, open to no alteration.

Even after years of knowing Christ, serving Christ, Paul said he wanted to know him. Wonderful!

I think I will come to the end of my days here (and if I have my way, which of course may not be the best thing for anyone including me, that is decades away) feeling that I am still preaching like a fumbling but enthusiastic child who has just learned to speak and to understand. I hope it will never be otherwise. If I pretend to be other than a child how can God be present to be glorified as my Father, or Jesus be admired as the first born Son, my elder brother for whom my admiration and pride knows no bounds? If I have arrived, how can the Spirit find space to be my helper?

It suits me now, in days of lesser health, to be contributing to Kingdom happenings and ministries from where I have reached rather than leading a work or a vision as once was my responsibility. I don’t have to know the bigger picture. That type of leadership mantle in a congregation or wider afield is no longer mine. I have another mantle placed upon me now, that has been a bit sidelined in the past. Contributing something from the heart of God I can do, in small way and part, with this proven belief: little is much when God is in it.

Let’s press on to know the Lord in 2022!

God bless


More thoughts as New Year approaches…

Restful thoughts from a lazy day…

“I think everyone is just trying to get home,” said the mole.

I like that…It should make us a kind and safe presence to ourselves and others we meet on the road when we are tempted to be otherwise… as should this..

“Everyone is a bit scared,” said the horse, “but we are less scared together.”

Reading the book and listening to the LP. Perfect presents for someone whose overthinking can miss the point.

God bless


New Year Approaching…

Thoughts as a New Year approaches…

Occasionally I meet some people who are trying to do Kingdom things I once dreamed of doing with a sense of wonderful adventure in my soul. I see their sheer hard work, the sacrifice, the colossal set backs, the difficulty to keep making progress…and I see I could not have handled what the dream would actually have involved. I am glad, in his love for me, knowing me better than I know myself, God does not give me everything I dream of. Maybe you will live long enough and eventually know and love your redeemed self enough to be thankful for unfulfilled dreams.

Oh, by the way, don’t get me wrong. Always be open to fresh Kingdom dreams and visions. Go after them with all the strength he may be mightily inspiring within you at the age and stage you are now at. Even if they seem to hardly merit the word “vision” or “dream” to your mind, remember: little is much when God is in it.

God bless


The Lord is King!

Interesting verse: Psalm 76:10: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath thou shall restrain.”

Having looked at all the translations I still don’t understand this verse fully, but somehow it just reassured me that God’s sovereignty is indeed there in all things, even in wrath, whether his own, or in the fierce anger and wickedness of human beings, wherever it is being expressed this day on the face of the earth.

Spurgeon: “The Lord restrains the more furious wrath of the enemy. He is like a miller who holds back the mass of water in the stream and what he does allow to flow he uses for the turning of his wheel.”

It’s maybe easier to see all of this in hindsight. Such truth needs to be shared at the right time with sensitivity, otherwise it could lead suffering ones into great confusion, but as one who praises God for the cross (which according to the bible wickedness did), I believe it. Of course I do, for today as every Lord’s Day, I will “Sing the praise of Him who died!” Others will be doing the same, some of them in places where it is hard to see the Lord’s restraining hand at work right at this moment; places where wickedness and terror seem to walk the streets, completely unrestrained. The proven mystery is this: it is often precisely there that hope and faith spring to life, to water the face and faith of the earth.

God bless you and this troubled world.


Does it work?

Spent some time today with someone who was given the right hand of fellowship by, among others, a sheriff and a policeman when he was welcomed into the church. He had dealings with them before for other reasons! The grace of God is wonderful. It is also wonderfully funny!

Our conversation was loud and animated. Others had to eat grace with their coffee whether they wanted to or not!?Interestingly, no one moved table and a waitress seemed to hover near when there was no need for her to do so.

I know C.S. Lewis seemed to disparage the question “Does it work” in comparison with “Is it true?” I think I still agree with what he meant by that, but the longer I live and minister I am more and more interested in the question “ Does it work?” I can hear Jordan Peterson’s voice immediately asking, “What do you mean by ‘it’ and ‘work’ and even ‘does’?” and rightly so! Well, gossiping grace seems to make a few ears twitch at times.

God bless


God with us.

I’ve had one or two spiritual experiences that would sound like boasting or showing off if I were ever to share them in full detail. I have shared something about them on occasion and sometimes wish I hadn’t done so. You know what? They don’t mean nearly as much as encountering Jesus in the place of human struggle, my own or that of others.

There are forms of Christianity around today that seem to dis-incarnate Jesus. They hold forth a Jesus whom we must climb to heaven by special experience to find in a deeper way. It is as though Christ never came from heaven to us to where we are.

My most treasured moments on earth are when I have been aware that Jesus is with me, weeping with me, rejoicing with me. I guess it’s encountered compassion I am talking about.

One of my most life giving memories is thinking back to Cafe Church in Wester Hailes. Actually “cafe church” is far too intentional a name for it. It was just a table amongst other tables where we looked at a bible verse or two and folk shared knowing their words would be welcomed. Folk whose lives none would envy shared moments when Jesus had drawn close. They knew they had been helped. They knew they would not have lived to be talking round that table if Jesus had not come to where they were.

Jesus is God with you, wherever you are, whatever you are going through.

God bless


Runner Up?

One of the deepest healings in the story of God’s grace in me, was when the love of God freed me from believing that being runner up, being second, was shameful. It was an exhausting lie to live by, but live by it I did, from the age of 7 onwards.

Thinking of “runners up” in the worlds of tennis and football this morning in the wake of yesterday’s events at Wimbledon and Wembley . I hope they can celebrate their magnificent achievements once they get over understandable deep disappointment.

I don’t want to come away with some sort of cliche about the love of God on the back of this, but the fact is it was the felt love of God that set me free from the huge burden of a deep verdict of “failure” which I carried for the first few decades of my life and more than 2 decades of ministry. Those who knew me in those years would scratch their heads in confusion to hear this, for everything about me had the appearance of an almost enviable success.

I still want to run for the prize as the Apostle Paul encourages us all to do. But I have, by God’s grace, cast off the weight that clung so closely to me for so long.

If you are still carrying a similar weight, my prayer as I write these thoughts is that somehow God will help you rest and run in your belovedness.

When you are tempted to look on someone and wish you could have a taste of the success they seem to enjoy, remember that success may be making them miserable, contributing even to depression and anxiety, sucking the life out of them. It may be killing something in them. Not all disabilities are visible.

God bless


A Lesson Worth Learning…

Learning to recognise the peace or disquiet of the Holy Spirit as distinct from what our own own thoughts or understanding may be telling us is a lesson really worth learning. It can help us into new territory which we may be reluctant to step into for various reasons and can also warn us from entering into ventures or relationships our own understanding may see nothing wrong in.

Why not ask God to teach you this aspect of His Spirit’s work? Be warned! You may find yourself silently grieving over something others seem to be rejoicing in or celebrating what others seem to be saying is not of the Lord! Sometimes you will feel that battle within your own self. The Spirit of God can at times be rejoicing over something your mind is angry about. He can be deeply grieved over something that you would scarcely give a thought to. He reveals what flesh and blood understanding (no matter how educated or accomplished) cannot see.

God bless



It was a sort of standard party line I often heard from the pulpit: if the world was not interested in the gospel it was because they were itching in all the wrong places. In the zeal of conversion I nodded my head in agreement…

Now, I think differently having discovered over 50 years the Lord’s compassion, kindness and gentleness. I have found that the Lord is extremely interested in where human beings itch.

If you are preaching this weekend, is it connected to where people are itching? Or do you still insist on the party line: I will tell them where they should be itching!

Tell a sheep they are not itching… not very good shepherding. Rather anoint their heads with oil.

If responses I get to stuff I put out on Facebook care anything to go by, here’s what many truly faithful and wonderful believers in the flock are struggling with:

Difficulty in sleeping…
Financial difficulties…
Long term family difficulties…
“Unanswered” prayer…

God bless you, shepherd or sheep, or both.


How’s your sleep?

It is 5.00 a.m. I am wide awake, enjoying a delicious coffee. I am about to read the Bible and pray and just enjoy the Lord’s presence, having slept well. But, I am remembering the 15 years and more when I was awake at this time having not slept at all, and having tried every medication the doctors could prescribe: to zero effect in my case.

In these days I sometimes went 72 hours without sleep, sometimes a bit longer. For those 15+ years, I rarely slept for more than an hour or two each night. 2 hours felt like a tremendous gift for which I was genuinely grateful. At the same time it was not always helpful when well-meaning believers told me God gives to his beloved sleep! Nor was it helpful when people suggested it gave me time to pray…

Insomnia is awful. It is hellish, and yes, I really mean to use that word. I have no other word to use to describe it.

All I know is that victory came and I now get enough sleep most of the time, though there can be the odd spell where things are not so good for reasons I cannot usually see clearly or pin down.

Why share this? Well, I don’t really know. Maybe in an odd way I hope it will encourage those who are reading this at a time they wish they could just get an hour’s sleep…

I have no easy answers. But I am in a better place now….and that you will be in a better place is what I pray you can still believe for. Hang on in there.

God bless


Fresh Streams

Languishing in what seems to be a dry and comfortless place? That has often been the felt experience of God’s people. It needs to be acknowledged and allowed to breathe, not quickly coerced to obey the dictates of faith and be made ashamed to raise its voice.

A dear friend phoned me late last night with an encouraging word from God he had been given when praying yesterday. Part of it involved the thought of God drawing his finger in dry ground and fresh water appearing.

Today in Psalm 74, I read these words, which seemed like a remarkable confirmation of my friend’s prophetic message: “You split open springs and brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams.”

If you find yourself in a dry and comfortless place today, it is a good thought to ponder that God may be about to draw his finger on dry ground to open up fresh streams.

Change is not always easy or comfortable. It is not always easy when streams which have sustained us dry up. I am thinking of the truth of a principle Jesus taught: we all tend to say, “the old wine is better.” Yet, as I think of this verse from Psalm 74, I am encouraged. The thought of fresh springs and brooks seems a pleasant one.

God bless



I am thinking back to a vision the Lord seemed to give me in Dobbies, of all places, concerning the Coronavirus. I “saw” it, the Virus, sitting in human guise, at a table. I prayed in the vision but when I did, it seemed to know it had to leave the table it was sitting at. However, it simply moved to another. It was not completely free to operate as it chose, but it was still operating.

I believe what I was shown all these months ago was a pictorial representation of the various mutations. I think that is what the shifting tables represents. But I think too what I saw was a lesson in spiritual reality. We are never to be curious about evil, nor to mock it as Peter made clear in his second letter. However when we look at things from the standpoint of what is revealed by God in the bible, we get insight enough to know what to do.

Sometimes victory does NOT come as speedily as we desire or proclaim. To proclaim it always will is to give a false message. It is bravado rather than faith to proclaim or demand in every situation concerning every problem that everything should happen “right now.” There are times when the enemy operates against us by siege, and is allowed by God so to do, even if you or I cannot see the reason God may allow it.

A siege can last a long time, but it fails if those whom the siege is against in addition to weapons have strong defences, ample supplies of water and food etc. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God.” (Psalm 46, Metrical Version)

So despite the variants pray on… but this post is about more than that specific siege.
I hope you can find hope in these same truths if you are living in a long term siege because of other realities in your life, family or circumstances than Coronavirus. A siege, by definition, is intended to last a long time. It is wearying.

Several times in the Psalms we read of God’s help coming to His people at an acceptable time. How often I have wished that acceptable time was NOW! I always want the Lord to come “right early” to borrow words once more from Psalm 46. Sometimes that does indeed happen and the siege is suddenly over when it looked as though it would be a long haul. But often the siege has continued past that point. In those moments I have been forced almost against my own inclination to discover more of the living water and bread of Christ. That sounds terrible as I write it and think about it. I am trying to be honest. There are times when I don’t want to go deeper: I just crave immediate relief.

If you are carrying the long term weariness of a siege, I pray you will discover something of the endless river of the eternal God that Psalm 46 speaks of. It would be worth your while to take time and read that Psalm.

Sometimes in my own experience a siege can last so long that when it is ended you are almost too weary to fully rejoice. In time you will, but it may take a while for weariness to dissipate and strength to be renewed and joy restored.

Why do things often work like this? I don’t know, but it is an important thread of spiritual reality woven into the Bible. The Bible teaches us the Victory of the cross over all evil was real and will be real forever, but the same Bible never encourages us to be anything other than a realist about living in the already here but still coming Kingdom the cross established. The “already here but still to come” salvation that is ours in Jesus can be a really tough mystery to live in.

I am praying today for you, if you are one of the besieged right now. From private messages I know many of you are in precisely this situation. May you somehow be able to taste Fresh Bread as you wait.

God bless


“Kenny’s Men!”

I guess you learn something after 40 years or so in ministry in a local church setting and in a wider setting which I seemed to be called to be part of for 1 or 3 decades. Here is one thing I have learned. When people rubbish the past they rarely take anything into a better future. In actual fact they tend to undo ground patiently and unostentatiously taken for the Kingdom.I have spoken with people who saw their calling being to bring what God had blessed to an end so that the “more” could emerge. They actually told me to my face without any embarrassment, that they had been called to bring what I myself was involved in, to an end! They told me that with a straight face and no awkwardness! They told me that was their calling. But they are either no longer involved in Christian ministry or are achieving exaggerated successes, hardly moving the Kingdom on at all and having undone previous progress in order to progress the minimal advance of their own ministry.

Pride comes before a fall.

Don’t rubbish what has been gained , because of the strength of your passion for your own particular passion which makes you sneer obviously or ever so slightly with an unreal smile towards others who in your eyes are Yesterday’s men and women. They may still be standing and bearing fruit after your venture in self aggrandisement has been long forgotten.

know that will not be listened to.

My sadness is only that some of those associated with me have been labelled “ Kenny’s boys,” and dismissed as no longer relevant to what God wants to do today. Of course they were not actually mine! But they were humble and willing to learn on their way to becoming their own man or woman. I am glad that despite being dismissed as irrelevant for what God is doing now, their humble ministries are advancing the Kingdom of God in Scotland and beyond in both new ventures and more traditional ways. Both types of advance are needed. One is not better than the other! I remember in the past that people used the erroneous term “ Kenny’s Boys” in a positive way. It has not been used positively across the board. For some that label placed upon them has led to shut doors , a feeling of being dropped and being inexplicably out of favour, bypassed, no longer the favoured flavour. That is hard. But you know what? Every time I have had a true encounter with God, doors have shut before more doors opened. I have had invitations withdrawn after fresh encounters with God! Several! It seems to have been almost a pattern, if such a concept as “pattern” is not irreverent to the Living God , the God who does not hold as guiltless those who use His Name in vain, attaching it to their own plans, projects, passions, pursuits, prophecies and proclamations.

God bless


The May effect…

Every May since 1983 I have felt like leaving the Church of Scotland due to anticipated decisions of the General Assembly. That memory and awareness came to mind in a wonderful private Zoom meeting with a younger than myself, devoted parish minister earlier today. His ministry is being blessed, but he is feeling “the May effect.” I have several such ongoing conversations. Does the General Assembly have any idea how much increasing grief, tears and sorrow it causes to the Church of Christ? Praying for you, my born from above brothers and sisters in ordained ministry in the C of S who seek to honour the plain meaning of God’s Word, who will feel you should leave this May! I am not being patronising, but I want you to know I felt, at times, intensely alone over the last 40 years in ministry. You are not and I was not. Keep your eye on your calling that people would come to the cross and be saved. Remember Elijah. He was wrong.

Again, I f don’t mean to pull out the almost 40 years ordained card, but I will! Be upset – how can you not be? – but not unsettled! If you love the Word of God you are more needed than ever, right now! I have no confidence that God may not bring the C of S to an end. Indeed He made it clear to me He will not tell me. But I know this: anything He may do is just. He does all things well. But if that day comes know this: He has recorded the names of those who fear Him and in that fear may be talking with one another in grief this very month. You will be His, still, on the day He acts! Be humbly assured of that!

To be completely honest, I am not sure I still have faith enough to pray with conviction that the Church of Scotland will be spared a decisive judgement from God that will bring it into a worse state than the present decline. I am not sure if I need God’s forgiveness and help with that lack of conviction, or if a line which mercifully I cannot see, has already been crossed from which there is no possibility of repentance thought it may be sought with tears. It may already have been decreed: “I will remove your lamp stand!” I don’t know. I do meet some who declare that they do know the future of the C of S for sure. Some are sure renewal is coming. Some are sure judgement is coming. Some are sure that both are coming and indeed are ongoing. All claim Scriptural warrant for their confident predictions. All may prove to be both right and wrong, at least in part.

Those who have zealously proclaimed there can be no blessed future for the C of S as the Word of the Lord, seem to discount the fact that God in mercy is still calling people who fear Him who are saved, washed in the blood and born from above, into the ministry of the C of S and people are still being saved, though we are very far from spiritual health in that we cannot say the Lord is adding to our number daily those who are being saved. However, those who claim our day is finished may prove to be future seeing prophets. The only thing I would ask is if such a prediction is one that makes you mourn and causes you to pray that it will not be so? Does it make you and cry out, “ Lord, may it not be so as I have declared!” or do you secretly hope you will be proved right? Be truthful about your heart and tremble before its immeasurable deceitfulness. God reads it with accuracy.

God bless

Meekness in Leaders…

So today, as my reading in James 3 taught me more about meekness, especially meekness in leadership of a congregation, I am thinking of Bishop David Pytches. Through the “New Wine” gatherings and network tens of thousands (or more) believers have been strengthened and renewed in the U.K. and beyond, without him Soul Survivor would never have happened, people like Matt Redman would never have brought renewal to the worship life of the church.

One day at New Wine I was with him and his wife Mary as they were looking for a parking place at the Summer Gathering. A rather officious young volunteer on parking duty demanded to see their badge, told them rather ungraciously they should not be on the road they were on or the area in which they were in! I was raging and wanted to say, “ Look, sonny, do you not know without this man there would not have been car parking for you to supervise? He started this whole thing!!!” Instead David smiled and said “ Thank you so much for your help and for what you are doing. God bless.”

Later on in the same week I saw David making his way from the car park to the Leaders’ Tent in torrential rain, with Tesco bags over his shoes, as thousands of all ages thronged past him, scarcely noticing him. He didn’t seem to need to be noticed. He didn’t seek the limelight. He had a great gift of making people feel they mattered more than him and made “you” and your family and ministry the central thing in humour peppered conversation.

Meekness in practice: wider than shorthand definitions.

I saw the same thing as Tommy MacNeil interviewed Bishop Sandy Millar for the service in Martin’s Memorial a week or two ago. Worth watching if you have not done so already.

Men like this, without them knowing it, have taught me so much about how to lead a work of God and see it blessed and fruitful.

God bless


More on Meekness…

How did we behave differently from a citizen of the kingdom of this world in our attitude and compliance with Lockdown restrictions? That may show whether God can yet trust us with Revival. It shows whether our prayers were empty passion or birthed in a desire for that “new beginning of obedience” which is one of the more famous definitions of what revival is, as well as being a sign of its beginning, and the lasting fruit it produces.

I am also thinking of another definition of Revival given by Duncan Campbell himself: “the impact of the personality of Christ.” Jesus constantly lived under restriction: the righteous Will of His Father. In His arrest, trial and judicial execution He additionally came under the unrighteous demands of unjust authority. “He opened not His mouth.” Do we really make it our aim in life to become like Him in His death more and more until the prize of the upward call? Even a sinner can be happy to be meek when he agrees with what is being demanded, is persuaded it is reasonable and fair, and sees it could bring measurable personal advantage. We should be pursuing a greater meekness than that of sinners.

Have we read the New Teatament? It holds out to us this simple truth: the Christian life is supernatural. It means leaping for joy in the face of the most unreasonable treatment by unjust authority throughout all the spheres of human interaction where unreasonable demands can be made upon us and unwarranted suffering endured as a consequence.

In the time of greatest injustice in my life, I remember my spirit leaping and dancing with uncontrollable joy! Joy was not coming from my mind, soul, heart! It was my born from above spirit made alive by God exulting with unbound freedom. Hallelujah! What a surprise! It made me gasp for breath! My mind did not catch up easily with that supernatural joy to be honest. Oh to live more consistently from the spring of Spirit intertwined with spirit as our minds play catch up to learn the beauty that resides in meekness blessed by God’s “Well done!” I never felt from that moment on to this day that I needed to win any argument or be vindicated for my benefit or to enable me to move on.

I am saying all this from having lived for many months under the severest restrictions of Shielding. I could have made it so unpleasant an experience for myself and for others who live with me and live me, were it not for meekness. It is one of the strongest spiritual weapons I know for defeating enemy intentions.

God bless



Without meekness we cannot be given more territory in God. We could not be trusted with inheriting the land, for without meekness it is all about “me” or “us” and not about the Lord or about others.

Have we shown meekness in the face of restrictions or fought and disregarded them arrogantly as though such things were for lesser people than me or “us”? “I” or “we” are above law, above authority, above being told what to do, a favoured exception to the rules.

Well, if this is from the Lord…

A propheticky thing that seemed to drop on my spirit with a great thud: “I have been searching the hearts of my people for meekness.”

I believe this is a word from the Lord. It may not be the sort of word we want to hear or receive.

Only those who treasure and practice daily meekness will be part of the Lord’s advance: “In your majesty ride forth victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness…” (Psalm 45 verse 4.)

Without meekness, no revival, no matter how passionately we pray. How can we expect God to come in blessing of our hearts are defiant and rebellious?

That defiance of rules in Lockdown may be insignificant to you or to me. It may even be a laughing matter, or something of which we feel proud! Time to realise the Lord is not laughing and repent? Such are the things that show we are ready for the “more” of God, and truly desire that more, however much our pride must be humbled. The alternative is to be passed by when God moves in a day of His power, our prayers disregarded as they were not true prayer, but an insistence on our will, a cross border adventure into witchcraft to manipulate God in the direction of our will.

God bless


Headless Chicken or Dove?

I guess it is a marketing gimmick, but best not to present a truth as THE key truth for the hour. There can be key moments but they don’t tend to come with every talk, sermon, prophecy, writing and Facebook utterance, nor are they carrying such a universal breakthrough power for “the church” in its every branch as the intensity within us may delude us into thinking. Best simply to share that part of all that comes from the mouth of the Lord which He may have placed on our heart in the hope and faith it does some good to some of God’s people and brings Him some honour. I think I am talking about a humility, reality and truthfulness that God can bless. We don’t add to the power of truth by “advertising” techniques or hype. In fact, we may dull its power by superlative claims. I believe everything I preach will carry some good if it comes from the Lord. How key it may be or may become, to what depth or scope, is not really in my hands as though I could measure it.

When we repeatedly or as a matter of course present everything we say as the “Now” word of the Holy Spirit we can make it seem as though He is running all over the place like a headless chicken rather than the Dove resting upon what He has always rested upon, or even the wild goose who knows from whence and to where He is flying without distraction or diversion. Intending to honour God’s Spirit, it is possible that we make Him seem unstable in all His ways, rather than steadfast and faithful to Himself and to us.

God bless


Life Lessons…

I’m not being nostalgic, but I am thankful for the journey thus far. There are lessons learned that still accompany me into all that may yet be. “What would your life truths be that you would share given the opportunity?” That is a question that seemed to speak from a deep place this morning. I share it with you.

I have learned not everyone is interested in what has most impacted me. That’s ok. I have lived the born from above life long enough now to see that sometimes I need more renewing of the wine skin which is called “Kenny” to receive what I once pushed away. I remember that when what I consider treasure seems to be discarded by others as commonplace or even worthless and something to be sneered at.

God bless


We, only we are left!

The dangers of proudly considering ourselves “the remnant.”

Prompted by listening to a YouTube talk by a man who believes that he and his church and denomination are the last examples of true Christianity in Scotland, I thought of words of Moltmann. The symptoms of such an outlook “include the preservation of tradition without the attempt to found new tradition; biblicism without liberating preaching; increasing unwillingness to undergo new experience with the gospel and faith, and the language of zealotry and militant behaviour in disputes within the church.”

As I often think when I read something or even write or preach something, “Lord, is it I?”

God bless


Generosity of outlook…

Those who have an emphasis in their ministry that is not mine are usually genuinely following something in the teaching or life of Jesus that they passionately believe. After decades I see that, though it is not an easy or comfortable awareness to live with..far easier to arrogantly dismiss them in anger or irritation without a thought.

It’s good to take a look at ourselves and ask occasionally, “What particular word of Jesus am I living out at this moment in time with an intentionality that seems to have the weight of the Spirit in it?” It is good to make generous room for the idea that those other individuals you are looking at may be asking that very question too. By the way it is good for leadership of individual congregations/fellowships/ ministries/ para church works etc. to ask the same question and give similar generosity to leadership in other settings that they may be asking precisely that question before their Lord and ours.

This is a million miles away from “anything goes!” Like Paul we should be ready to oppose even Apostles of God when they are in error. The same should be done with Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers or anyone else who departs from the truth of Christ. I am “happy reluctantly” to do that… have done so and will continue to be willing so to do unless,to use Jesus own imagery, it would be throwing pearls to pigs, in which case there is biblical backing in the Old and New Testament not to bother. I hope others will do the same towards me when I am in error. Truth matters.

God bless


Who Would Have Thought?

What an assault upon human wisdom is the story of Esther! Was meant to read chapter 2 today according to my bible reading plan but could not stop there. Were it not for a beauty queen, a snooping listener to palace gossip and government leaks, and the insomnia of an emperor who effectively thought himself to be a god… no Jews, no Messiah, no salvation.

Furthermore, the story of rescue and salvation we read of in this short book happened among Jews who had shown no desire for the Lord’s city and the Lord’s temple. They could have gone back to the Promised Land to fulfil the sacred task of rebuilding, but no, they were quite happy to stay where they were. There is no mention of The LORD in the book by name. It would have been easy for those who bore the heat of the day in the rebuilding works in Jerusalem to think the likes of Mordecai and Esther were spiritually suspect and therefore did not deserve a place in the covenants of God: nominal, secular believers, like many in modern day Israel. For many in Susa that verdict may well have held some water, perhaps even concerning Esther and Mordecai. Yet, thank God there were those who did not return!

Remember today the Lord is Sovereign over all things, all places, all times, all people, all generations, all races. He can do what He chooses. Don’t try and look and work out “where” or through “who” your help will come from! Look beyond the “where” and the “who.” God is not limited to what we can calculate or think possible. Recently, I needed help of a particular sort for a looming problem I could see no solution to. Help came from a direction my mind would never have even though to look in. It came from within the problem itself! Look to the One who sits above the sphere of the earth and does whatsoever He pleases to fulfil all His promises to His broken reeds and His smouldering wicks.

God bless


Would you have put this “first”?

Writing under a regime in which it was legal to break the backs of newly born baby girls and fling them on the rubbish heap, Paul says this as a first instruction for the life of the Church:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercession, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

When I was newly converted hearing this done in church Sunday by Sunday used to bore me silly. As we follow the Lord longer, by His grace we see His wisdom is better than ours in terms of getting first things first and that zeal and passion are often misguided, dismissing the power that lies in what can seem routine or mundane.

I guess if we are not doing what Paul says we can’t claim to be biblical Christians or a biblical church.

It is amazing how differently we think and speak after we have prayed for someone. It is a proof we are new creations in Christ, according to Paul, that we no longer look at people from a human point of view. Have you not found this miracle that happens in prayer? We start to see things that our own eyes have been blind to because of a whole variety of factors at play. We may see good we have not seen, or need, or faults, or unrighteousness that we have been unwilling to see. We are often blinded by our own insight or prejudices from a fuller picture. We rise from prayer changed. The person or situation we have just prayed about in the way Paul describes may not have changed but we have changed in a way that allows us to become channels of God’s purposes rather than our own.

Another interesting verse that was in my Bible a reading today, quoted in the context of being what seems like an apology from Paul as to how he had spoken to a godless former High Priest (whom he had not recognised due to trouble with his sight): “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.”

How inconvenient, how ruffling the Word of God can be to the feathers of our pride.

Believe me, I am preaching to myself here. As I do, I am remembering what R.T.Kendall says about a sign of growing spirituality: closing the time gap between God speaking and my obedience.

God bless


“Are you joking? Me?”

The first time we learn a lesson stays in our minds for ad long as memory continues to be fairly sound. The first time I saw a demon leave a person will always stick in my mind. I had no clue what to do when it was obvious there was a demon to be dealt with. Then a sentence was dropped into my thoughts which sounded a bit odd but which I knew I was to speak out in the Name of Jesus, not to the demon, but to the afflicted person. “You are the gift of God to life.” All hell broke loose and departed. The person, who was already a Christian, was free.

Satan takes delight in destroying a person’s self esteem and worth. If we really are full of God, people around us will be lifted up, aspiration of the right sort will be restored or ignited.

Perhaps today you will get the opportunity to say to someone in the Name of Jesus, “You are the gift of God to life.” Perhaps the person who needs to hear that is you? Let God be your glory and the lifter of your head.

Oh yes, another thought: Church/Congregations/preaching/teaching/ministry/mission etc. are meant to have an atmosphere of aspiration about them. Some ceilings perhaps need to be shattered quite deliberately and intentionally. Insecure leadership often tramples on aspiration and calls it sinful pride. Religion likes to keep folk in their place: under the domination of others. That sinful spirit of domination often dresses itself up deceitfully as the biblical doctrines of leadership, submission etc., but is the devil’s perversion of the life giving truth of God.

Thanks to the young black, female, American Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, for sparking off these thoughts…

God bless