The key to superb leadership…

Jesus’ way is the descending way of love to borrow another of H. Nouwen’s memorable phrases. If you want to know what leadership means, look at Him. It means stooping to wash feet, to humiliation, to hiddenness and being treated as something to be gotten rid of, passed over and jeered at.

It is in the descending way into apparent irrelevance that we become truly the light of the world, awakening seeds of longing for another way. So many have become bewitched by the false cult of relevance and influence.

Here is how we know if we are a leader in Christ’s eyes. Have we washed anyone’s feet recently, stooped lower into the mire than anyone else seems prepared to go? Or have we got our ideas of what leadership looks like from a source other than Christ?

God bless


“Your grief will turn to joy.”

“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.”

Of course these words of Jesus in John 16 refer to the specific sadness and its overturn that the first disciples were about to experience as Jesus went to the cross. However, at the same time, there is a principle of spiritual life here if we can receive it. The principle is this: sorrows become birth pangs of future life and even joy.

I often quote Henri Nouwen. He says what I want to say, but more beautifully and memorably. I am thinking of how he expresses this truth: “…what seems a hindrance becomes a way; what seems an obstacle becomes a door; what seems a misfit becomes a cornerstone.”

When Jesus is allowed to be Lord in our sorrows, as we wait in patience and expectation that trust in the goodness of His Father and ours awakens, it can become a preparation time for Kingdom of God joy to be birthed once more.

What a promise and declaration! “Your weeping will be turned to joy!” Don’t push that word away in frustration. May God give you this day even a passing moment of quietness from the clamouring that so often fills our souls, to be able to say, “Yes, Lord,” to His word.

God bless


Energy saving tips…

My energy levels are not what they were. It is good when you are given wise advice, practical advice, in the form of energy saving tips!

Grateful for 2 such tips from Henri Nouwen. Thought I would share them.

1: Making judgements about other people wastes a lot of energy. “We hear a lot, see a lot and know a lot. The feeling we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgements about it can be quite oppressive.” ( Bread for the Journey)

2: The need to decide what to focus energy upon. “What is my main task during ‘my little while’? I want to point to the signs of the Kingdom to come, to speak about the first rays of the day of God, to witness to the many manifestations of the Holy Spirit among us. I do not want to complain about this passing world but to focus on the eternal that lights up in the midst of the temporal. I yearn to create space where it can be seen and celebrated.” (Sabbatical Journey)

May these tips bless you too!


Anything to add to the list?

Just a very short blog mirroring something I posted on Facebook. If we were to make a list of verses out the bible that Christians do not really beleive, what verses would you suggest should go on that list?

R.T. Kendall says that the most disbelieved verse in the bible is Luke 6 verse 37:

“Judge not, and you will not be judged:”

His reason for saying that: “We do it all the time.”

Ouch! I mean OUCH!

Well, that has sent me off to sleep, knowing I need a Saviour, grateful that I have one and His life is in me. There is hope.

God bless




Were you allowed to enjoy childhood?

The bible seems to speak of stages of growth in Christ. For example in 1st. John we read of Children, Young adults and Parents in the faith (to bring up to date “children, young men and fathers”).

I have found over the years that many Christians have been denied a spiritual childhood. Just as in the natural when people have been denied childhood simplicity and carefreeness from responsibility, all sort of problems can follow, well, it is the same when people have been denied the simple security and enjoyment of a spiritual childhood. They have been rushed on to be involved in service, or force grown in the Word, before they have even known the Father and reached a security in His love. Minds and service expand fast, but hearts are stunted.

…and so it can happen, that people are involved deeply in the Lord’s work but forever insecure in the Lord’s love. I think it would surprise many a leader how deeply insecure many people in the pews are in the Father’s delight in them, many who are indeed deeply involved in the church and have been for years. They are serving beyond their hearts. When grace breaks through a new longing is birthed. Even those regarded as Fathers and Mothers in the faith find a new song rising in their hearts:

“I want to be a child again
I want to see the world through five year old eyes
To walk with my God wherever He may lead
to put my trust in Him.”

God bless


Time to get rid of your Voodoo stuff…

Well, I guess you are used to me posting some off the wall stuff. I am a Charismatic, by biblical conviction and by personal experience. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit in 1st. Corinthians 12 as well as the gifts mentioned in other lists in the New Testament, none of which are exhaustive in outlining  the ways in which the Holy Spirit may make His presence and activity manifest. From time to time, through some of these spiritual gifts available to all God’s people, God has helped me “see” something for people which carries His power to free them from destructive influences when it is shared in love and faith and received by faith.
OK, this is one of the most off the wall “words” yet, but I have learned at cost, in fact at the cost of somebody’s life on one occasion, never to ignore the nudging and hunches the Holy Spirit gives. You get these nudges and hunches too, don’t you? Of course you do, and just need the courage to step out and do something with them. Do it! Do it humbly. Folk may mock you at times, but that gets easier to ignore the more it happens over the years.
Anyway… to the point:
There is someone reading this, whose life and ministry has come under the destructive influence of Voodoo. I get the impression that involvement was in a form that would have been easy to dismiss as “nothing harmful”: a piece of jewellery, a charm type thing, watching a T.V. programme or documentary, or even “just” a liking for music that springs from Voodoo. By something that you felt was harmless, a foothold, a landing pad was created, silently guarded over all the many years since. That opened gateway has been watched over and used by destructive spirits with designs upon your life, your relationships, your ministry, your finances and your physical and mental wellbeing. They have not acted in an obviously evil way, but bit by bit, a measure here a measure there, they have seen to it that you have gradually sunk beneath the waves.
The Christ who awoke on the sea of Galilee has just opened your eyes recently to wonder if there is something demonic going on in the waters around your life. There is, but there is no need to panic in the water, that will only make things worse. Have the humility simply to renounce the thing you have always – at times quite angrily – defended as harmless. You dismissed it as harmless because you maintained that obviously, as a born again Christian, you did not actually believe the spiritual content behind it for one moment!
Wrong! Sins of ignorance, of which there is a measure in this matter in regard to yourself and Voodoo, are still sins we are accountable for in the bible. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law of God. But praise God, Jesus has borne the penalty of the law of God, death, for our sins of ignorance as much as sins we are consciously aware we are guilty of. Jesus prayed and prays still for forgiveness for those who know not what they do. This is important. In prayer ask that God will sprinkle you with the blood of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Satan is a legalist. He knows he has no claim upon you with regard to any sin placed beneath the blood of Christ . He will pretend he still has, roar like a wounded lion, but don’t be afraid. “Be alert” but “be not afraid.” God disarmed him at the cross.
So then, confess your sin, put it beneath the blood of Jesus. Renounce the involvement and get rid of any object connected with the evil spirits behind Voodoo. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit to strengthen you to obey your Heavenly Father in all things whether you see the point in what he asks of you or not. That is called humble obedience, a key weapon God wants to help you use more and more in your living “the Jesus life.”
“Drowning” is the best word to sum up how you have been experiencing your life. I actually think that from some sort of event in your past you are familiar with almost drowning in the physical sense. As I say, God has opened your eyes to wonder if there is a demonic attack involved in all of this. There is. If anything this “word” is perhaps just to confirm that recent insight before you dismiss it as rubbish, just your own imagination.
So then, shelter in Jesus, confess and renounce your sin, rejoice in the blood of the cross. Jesus is Lord!
God bless

Worth watching…

Snowed in this morning. Just got word that the church we often try and go to in the evening is cancelled too,  for the first time ever! So was looking on line for a Word and Spirit church service…. here are my thoughts as I do that….

Difficult to find an online charismatic service today where:

a – there is not someone yelling at me through a microphone.
b – there is not some ridiculously long mini sermon going on before the offering. If it needs that then surely what comes in, money wise, is not really worth anything in the Kingdom of God sense of worth.
c – there is a congregation entering into whatever it is  the  worship team are apparently enjoying among themselves.
d – the congregation looks at all attentive to the preaching of the Word of God.

Wait a minute. All is not lost. Found Dr. R.T. Kendall about to preach. You can find him on right now, if you happen to be snowed in. If you miss it it will appear on their site in a few days.

Edited this to add a few comments just to say it was a brilliant sermon on the Sovereignty of God : God will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy: He did not heal one single leper among his covenant people in Naaman’s day even though He is the Lord our healer, but He did heal one man from Syria: Jesus reminded people of that and it is the first recorded instance where people wanted to kill Him…. well, let’s put that in our charismatic theories pipe and smoke it… will be difficult for some of us, I think…..

If only some international preachers who commend R.T.’s  books would imbibe such teaching and share it in the platforms God has given them to reach vast numbers of people in many nations, so many people in the charismatic world would be saved from the disillusionment current popular preachers can at times bring upon the waiting and the weary and instead be helped to  live in true faith believing for real signs of the Kingdom.

God bless


The Ancient battle…

In one conversation the battle of the ages is set:

“Has God said you shall not eat….” An attack on the truth of the goodness of God. It works: Eve extends the prohibition spoken by God to include not even being allowed to touch the tree. Job done. God’s loving goodness cast in doubt: He is harsh and kill-joy and will spoil our freedom to fully enjoy life, so cast His chains aside.

“You shall not die…” An attack on the truth that God actively judges sin, that its wages are death, spiritual and physical. Job done. God’s wrath against sin cast in doubt.

Today millions of people will gather together, in fellowships small and large, who have been set free from Satan’s lies by Jesus Christ to honour who God is, who He unchangingly was, is and always will be. They will rejoice together that Jesus has opened their blind eyes to the loving goodness of our Heavenly Father and borne and taken the judgement, the death that was ours on the cross. May millions more yet sing the Song of the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world, the Lord Himself, pierced not for his transgressions but for ours.

God bless


Near…but not in yet…..

Dear friends

I am aware that my blog is read by people that I would never have thought would read such a blog. Today, I am thinking of those of you, perhaps from the UK, perhaps from another land, who have lived near the borders of becoming a Christian, but perhaps are unsure how to move from being near Christ’s family to being in that family for all eternity.

Today  was the funeral of a world famous evangelist, called Billy Graham. You may not have heard of him and you may not know what an evangelist is. Bascially an evangelist is someone who has been specially gifted by God’s Holy Spirit  to share the good news of Jesus with those who do not yet know him. God uses them to  help people  believe and become followers of Jesus Christ. Having watched the funeral on television, I wrote something on Facebook that I want to post here as this goes to many more countries than my Facebook posts. I hope it may help some of you to move from being near Christ’s Kingdom to living within it now and for eternity,  by the grace of God.

“Just watched Billy Graham’s funeral. So thankful for the gloriously simple and true gospel he preached and his son preached today. It is still the power of God to save all who believe, still the rescue from eternal perishing. It may just be there are some people who come across this post who are wanting to become Christians, looking for an answer to the guilt you know is truly yours because of sin. Here are 4 simple steps.

A – something to ADMIT. Along with everyone bar Jesus Christ alone, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are cut off from the heavenly home he wants to share with us, cut off from living in close fellowship with him in this life and in the life to come.

B – there is something to BELIEVE. Any good deeds or religious service or works cannot save me from my sins. You may have discovered that by personal experience: trying to be good, to do good things, to do the things religious people do, but the awareness of a real gap is still there. Only Jesus can bring you into fellowship with Your Heavenly Father who is reaching out to you in love right now. God the Father so loved us and wanted us to be saved and have eternal life rather than perish eternally because of our sins. He gave His Son to bear our sins on the cross that sin’s just punishment should be borne by Jesus for us. Jesus willingly came to the earth in the love of his Father for us to do just that. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The bible teaches us this: the punishment that Jesus bore brings the offer of peace to you and to me.

C – There is something to CONSDER. The cost of asking Jesus into your life and becoming his follower. Are you willing to make Him your Lord in all things? Are you willing to let him help you turn from all that is not the will of God for your living and embrace His will for you in all things for the rest of your days on earth? You will not manage perfect obedience all in one go, but Jesus will live in you day by day to help you in this life of being continually changed.

D – There is something to DO. Ask Jesus to come into your life by the Holy Spirit. If you mean it, He will, no shadow of doubt about it. At that moment you will be freed from the consequences of your sin and become a child of God loved with a love that will remain with you through all things and from which not even death will be able to separate you. Find a church that will honour the step you have taken, where this gospel is believed and preached and share fellowship with Christ’s people. Keep looking until you find yourself in a church that feels like the right one to encourage you, where you feel at peace within. The people there will help you in your early steps in your new life, your new life as a born again Christian.”

God bless you,



To use a biblical phrase; “These things also I have observed….”

Those Christians I have met or known in any depth at all,  who struggle with mental illness have been the quickest to respond to the coming down of the Holy Spirit, more so  than any other people I know in the Charismatic world.

In two or three different settings I have found myself ministering in they have almost been like some sort of spiritual lightning detectors. When they raise thier hands, laugh or cry, I tune in more carefully and find they are right…God is there, He has come with a strong presence. Their hearts of worship, their delight in praising their Father in heaven has always challenged me. I pray for their blessing and healing, but I hope if healing comes they do not lose the treasure they carry.

Let’s not dumb down the God content in our ministry to those challenged intellectually or by mental illness. That is to show an ignorance of the difference between spirit and mind. We have much to learn from these precious people about meeting and knowing God and encountering Him in power.

God bless


Perfect Day!

As believers we live in the mystery of the “already here, still coming, but not yet Kingdom of God.” The only choice we have is to live in that mystery well or badly! We taste the first fruits of that coming day of no more suffering, no more pain, no more death, no more tears, we are longing for. When Kingdom signs present themselves to our experience, they point onwards, away from themselves to a place and a time still to be arrived at. These signs and wonders moments, remind us we are on the right road and that our hope is not in vain.

That is all fairly basic Christian teaching. I like the way Henri Nouwen expresses something of the way we carry the mystery of that in our own being, in our own experience of day to day living. I thought I would just share his words with you:

“We all have dreams about the perfect life: a life without pain, sadness, conflict or war.The spiritual challenge is to experience glimpses of this perfect life right in the middle of our many struggles. By embracing the reality of our mortal life we can get in touch with the eternal life that has been sown there.”

I liked that when I read it today. I want to be intentionally aware of eternal life here and now, aware of how and when the future is invading the now, looking intentionally for these glimpses of the perfect day whose dawn and ever rising sun we live in right here and now, in this very moment. Strikes me that to actively live like that more deeply still, would be a blessing worth finding.

Hope this blesses you as it blessed me


You never thought of that, did you?

The book I am using for my personal devotions at the moment is called, “Sanctuary, Moments in His Preaence” by David Strutt. I have been so blessed through reading and re-reading the story of the 4 lepers in 2 Kings 7, which David’s book has focussed on for the last few days as part of a mini series on Elisha. If you are in the habit of reading my blog thoughts, well, you will probably be the sort of person who knows that story without having to look it up. If you don’t know it, then read it before you read any more of my words….

The lepers only saw limited options as they looked at the situation facing them. They stumbled into a glorious answer to their predicament that was not on their radar at all – not that they would have understood that metaphor!

I am writing this on a Sunday. It is unlikely I will be in church this morning  as I had a glorious day preaching yesterday in Dunfermline. That means I am tired today, but happily so. However, I am thinking of those who will be gathering today in congregations of all types, sizes etc. As I do, I am wondering if there will be people who have come to worship carrying an options list about situations that vex them? Well, I am not really wondering if that may be the case. It will be so.

I love the story of every believer in Christ in Ephesians 2. Paul paints a pretty black picture of what we are before the grace of God is activated in our experience, so black that you would think the only otpion facing us was eternal exclusion from the presence of the Lord. Then we read a thought that could be summed up in two words: BUT GOD! All of a sudden, a reality which the flow of Paul’s argument would never have predicted, erupts on to the scene! Because of the rich mercy and love of God in Christ, all of a sudden those who were described as children of wrath, are pictured as sitting in fellowship with the Son of God in the love of the Father.

“But God!” I am praying that may happen as the Church gathers across the land this day. Of course I hope it most in terms of its orginal setting: Oh that people would be saved this day in Scotland and beyond our borders! However, I am also hoping, believing,  for the principle of “But God” to break through in other ways too for those who are carrying their list of limited options regarding  situations they or their loved ones are facing.

It may be that you, yourself, are one of these people I am thinking of and  praying for as I write. Before this day ends may you find yourself confining the limited options list to the bin. Oh yes, throw it our along with the calculator and the Abacus ( that is a message for someone I beleive). God has ways of working out figures that defy the laws of Arithmetic. Rest from your continual calculations that are wearing you out, day and night.

God Bless




Rekindling the fire..

Remembering as a teenager, not long converted, finding myself in a church singing the words below. I had never heard them before, but they honoured the Christ I had met, who had saved me and brought eternal life, the life of God, to birth within me. The words also reaffirmed the call of God to preach the gospel, which had come to me on the day of my conversion.

The controversy around Billy Graham and “his” gospel have reminded me “tis all my business here below…to preach in life and cry in death, “Behold the Lamb.” Does a fire need stirred up, rekindled in you?

A minister wrote to me thanking me that something I said drew them back to their roots and reawakened their evangelical faith. They had become merely a community figure, which of course has its merits, but they had forgotten to be a preacher of the gospel of the cross. Thankful they wrote to share that with me.

“And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me.
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis myst’ry all: th’ Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above—
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.”

God bless His fire within you.


The most penetrating question I have ever been asked….

The most powerful question the Father ever asked me:

“Kenny will you be content with a secret vindication?”

If God ever asks you that same question, He will be asking it not a minute too early. It is preparation before a storm. Say “Yes” and never take back your “Yes.” Make a decision to seek the honour that comes from God in priority over the favourable glances of other people. Of course there were spells in Jesus own life where He found favour and honour from God and man coming in His direction at one and the same moment, but ever the honour and favour that comes from God has to be what we treasure most. You may have to live with injustice never put right, your name never cleared. Those are the times when we can not only rejoice but learn to leap for joy with help from heaven.

God bless you with leaping when you need to leap,


Walk away….and win the victory.


The wisdom from above knows when to yield according to James. It knows when to walk away from situations and even from people. Jesus modelled it. He knew when to be silent and not be drawn into further conversation when onlookers might have thought He could have said another sentence or even a first sentence to win the day. He knew as well when to walk away from people, even lost or needy people, whom maybe others would have felt He should have run after or pursued or at least stayed with.

Wisdom in the bible is never simply an intellectual affair. It is to do with help from God to live with our humanity in its simplicity and complexity. It is about how we relate to ourselves, those around us and the world on the larger sphere. Clever people exist who are brilliant in terms of intellect but have no wisdom. Their cleverness does not  necessarily translate into knowing how to live life. In fact in the living of their lives they may be monumentally stupid, chaotic and destructive of themselves and others.

 So here is a question that limited energy and strength forces me personally to ask these days: am I fighting unnecessary battles? That thought has been playing around my head this morning, in fact playing around my spirit with regard to anyone who may read this blog, for in a sense all of us have limited resources and none of us can make a day last more than 24 hours, or halt the racing on of the years and the coming and going of opportunities from God that we may grasp hold of or miss. We can miss the battles of the Lord in the Land of Salvation because we have not learned to yield in the place of unnecessary battles which He never asked us to fight which may have turned  into a prolonged siege situation; exhausting with no forward movment. So I leave you to think of this:
 Are you wearing yourself out with an unnecessary battle? Be wise with the wisdom from above that knows when to walk away and allow others to do the same.”


God bless


An extra blog…courtesy of R.T. Kendall.

Was reminded of this verse while listening to an online sermon by R.T. Kendall:

“I have set the Lord always before me” (Psalm 16 verse 8 a)

Of course He is always there, but on those days when I am not particularly conscious of His presence, I can “set” Him there before me. I can do things that help me do just that, such as reading the bible, praying etc.

When we are conscious of His presence we can change the verse as Peter did on the day of Pentecost: “I saw the Lord always before me.” These times are precious and it is the Lord helping us to experience His love for us.

However, when we are not conscious of the Lord, but choose to always set Him before us is our way of expressing  our love for Him.

Anyway, I found that helpful and thought I would share it. Hope it helps you too.

With thanks to R.T.

God bless


Alone…in church?

(I posted what is written below on “Facebook” earlier this morning. However just before I send this blog with the same material, I heard the Lord say for somebody, You are more spectacular than you know: not boring, not slow, not plodding. You are my definition of ‘spectacular.’ I can only assume this addition is for someone who reads my blogs who might not have seen the posting on Facebook, so read what follows with that in mind.)

OK then, another “word thingy” for someone. I say someone, but it maybe is for more than “one”. I have discovered there are spiritual seasons, where what is being experienced by one is being experienced by many. Anyway, I will leave aside the mechanics by which this “word thingy” came to me, but here it is:

“You have seen many of your friends leave the church fellowship you love and speed off quite happily into what they believe will be their future in God. You have seen others stay in the church and jump from bandwagon to bandwagon with great excitement. You didn’t feel led to go on either of these types of journey with your friends. Rightly so. They are speeding into winter not into spring. You felt that was the case in your spiritual bones but their excitement already had a head of steam that could not hear your level headed expressions of concerned love. Jesus looking at the rich young ruler loved him even though he was about to make a wrong choice. You have shared in that love albeit within the context of the household of faith. However, the cost is this. You feel left alone; yes, that is so, but you carry life within you. Some of the speedsters will return to their senses and to closer fellowship with you than before, though at the moment the sense of distance is not only established but increasing, for they have ignored speed limits placed by God in His Word. You have the maturity to keep no score of wrongs when they do return. What a well of salvation is in you. Keep going, step by step. Keep moving forward into new discoveries new steps of obedience and service. The well within will deepen even more. Others will come to draw water. What a joyful day that will be.”

God bless


When you have read this, say “Therefore…”

Looking back to the days of my conversion, I think I was probably quite an angry  and somewhat arrogantly cerebral evangelical. If people, the lost,  could not see the relevance of Jesus as the answer it was, of course, because they were asking all the wrong questions.

Well, I have changed over the years. It may be there are indeed  a whole batch of questions that a lost person cannot begin to ask until the grace of God enables that asking to happen. As believers we can arrogantly wait for people around us to come on to what we consider the right wavelength or we can humble ourselves and care about the questions, the worries, the fears, the vulnerabilities with which  precious men and women made by God are struggling. That is where mission rooted in the love of Christ could find fresh beginnings.

Sometimes, from within a church scene in Scotland that is becoming more and more middle class as a whole, I wonder if we are really aware of where many of our fellow Scots are actually living their lives? I am thinking particularly of the number of people in Scotland who fight a daily battle with the long term causes and the diverse effects of poverty.

Here I am in the doctor’s surgery. There is a woman standing talking to the receptionist who is handing her forms of one type or another explaining, in a very kind manner, how to fill them in. (“Father, bless that receptionist!”)  The woman is just beyond her middle years and has two walking sticks. She has on leggings that are ripped. She is wearing slippers with holes on a day when it has been snowing. In sub zero temperatures she has no coat. I cannot help but overhear the conversation. She has just moved out of a house full of rot and damp. In her new rented house she has no cooker, no fridge. There has been a family fall out, so she has had to leave with no pots, no dishes, no bed. She simply says, “I have nothing.” She says it again, “I have nothing, I just have nothing…”

I am thinking of where we now live in West Lothian. Within a few minutes walking distance there will be houses wihout heating, children who are not clothed adequately, who will probably go to bed tonight hungry. In Edinburgh, our manse was in Colinton, one of the most upmarket areas of Edinburgh, but a few minutes walk away was Wester Hailes. There were many people in that community who tried hard and managed well, but the overall sense of struggle was never absent.

Perhaps you live in “a desireable area,” as Estate Agents would say. Don’t let this blog makeyou feel bad about that. It is something to thank God for, if, to use the words of the Psalmist, “the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”  Be thankful, if that is the case. It is true however that in the vicinity, not far way from where you may be reading this blog,  the realites that I have described above exist.

Sometimes, I find the inequalities, the injustices of life too hard to think about. I think about it more and more the older I get, and yet paradoxically  I can only bear to think about it for shorter units of time as the years pass. If you don’t experience  the same paradox in yourself  from time to time, wherever you happen to live, I wonder if you have ever lived  in the vicinity of God at all.

Don’t know where this blog goes from here…. for you or for me.

God bless


“…But they know that, Lord! I can’t just say, ‘I feel God wants you to know He loves you!’ “

“There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.”

When I woke, or more accurately woke for the second time this morning, there was a very clear image of a person, a leader, whose name is known across the Charismatic World, before my eyes. What I saw indicated that  they were sturuggling with something you would never expect a Christian leader to struggle with, namely fully living in the experience of this truth: “There is therfore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

I was distressed by the imagery by which this inner struggle was made known to me by the Spirit of God. I will not share all of it, but simply one detail: the fear on the face of this well known leader. Instantly I was reminded of the words quoted above from 1st. John 4 verse 18. I have often felt the full meaning of these words is  missed because the context is sometimes forgotten and the verse is taken, wrongly,  as a stand alone verse. The context gives this as the meaning: it is our job as the fellowship of believers to perfect one another in the love of God.  As part of the body of  Christ we are to assure one another by the way we love one another that there is no divine punishment awaiting us when our sins are under the blood of Christ. We are indeed forgiven. Our sins have been removed from us as far as the East is from the West. If a believer is walking in fear of punishment therefore, it means that somehow the fellowship around them  is not demonstrating with sufficient strength the saving love of God.

It may surprise you if God were to show you who needs to know that assurance through you this day. The first time I woke up this morning, I read the story in Luke Chapter 7 (verses 36 – 52)  of Jesus in Simon the Phraisee’s home. Simon is thinking in his heart that Jesus allowing himself to approached, touched and wetted by the tears of a woman known to be “a sinner” cannot after all be a Prophet, never mind The Porphet for whom all of Israel had been waiting.   Have you ever felt what it must have been like for that poor woman to find herself in a tangible atmosphere of disapproving male glances? Had she been wrong to believe she could be forgiven? Had she been wrong to hope that there was indeed a love that could see all and yet not withdraw? No, she had not been wrong, but Jesus knew she needed to  be sure. He gives her that assurance twice over: “Your sins are forgiven you….Go in peace.” The unwritten hope is that she left more conscious of the love in Jesus eyes than the judgement in Simon’s eyes.

Jesus was indeed a prophet. He spoke to Simon about what He saw  in his heart.  He spoke into the woman’s heart too. You maybe think that  simply speaking assurance of God’s  love into a trembling heart  is hardly being very prophetic. It is not very specific: no names, places timings revealed as when, for example, Jesus spoke with the woman at the well in John Chapter 4. He told her she had been married five times and was at that present moment living with someone to whom she was not married as if she was. However, Luke 7 shows us a Jesus who is spot on in Prophecy as much as the Jesus of John 4. Truth  that reveals and startles the heart is the “Wow” factor in Prophecy. That revelation of truth  does not always require the revelation of names, dates etc. to convince a person God is speaking to them.

Perhaps this day God will nudge you to tell someone something that seems so obvious to you that you will be almost embarrassed to say it and will struggle to do so, especially if they are a leader among God’s people. This day you may have to fight feelings of being foolish, simplistic, because you sense God is asking you to say , “God loves you. He wants you to know you are forigven and to set your heart at peace.” “But surely they know that?” What if they need to see it in the eyes, hear it in the tone of voice that they have longed to see and hear in a fellow believer in the fellowship of the body of Christ, but never have? You could even find yourself being a prophesying to a prophet today, leading a leader into the truth of God. Don’t hold back if God calls you to do just that…though remember to do so in love and humility, giving honour where honour is due.

God bless… and God bless others through you this day. May you help someone to be perfected in the love of God.


Look a little longer…what do you see?

Was at the GP today. Helpful visit, though not altogether good news. I seem to have myopathy, brought on by long term steroid use and the lessening of activity through my breathing difficulties. Anyway, there it is.

However, what interested me more was sitting in the waiting room. There were two young mums there. One was very actively involved with her children, speaking with them, reading to them, listening to them. They were quite animated and full of beans. The other young mum was hardly interacting with her child who seemed listless and very silent. She tried to get her mum’s attention a few times wihout much success.

I confess it was easy to slip into thinking about “inadequate parenting” and from there into judgementalism. Then I noticed something happening. As the more involved mum of the two livelier chldren started reading yet another story, the other mum started to listen to the story being read, became quite involved, laughing at the funny points of the narrative along with the children.

Truth suddenly unfolded: she was a child herself or at least there seemed to be a child there somehwere that had never been nurtured but was now expected to know how to be a parent . Approaching judgementalism seemed to scurry away in the light of truth; compassion was born. I know that does not necessarily help the wee withdrawn girl, her daughter, which is desperately sad. It is a story that no doubt is repeated throughout the land in all types of communities.

Just saying… look a little more deeply…see a little more deeply….only God knows the dividing place between personal responsibility and  an externally caused inability. Primarily we are called to love and leave the judgement calls to His kind and compassionate and understanding wisdom.

I was so glad that struggling mum and her wee girl saw the same GP as I did today. I saw from the way he looked at them, what I discovered when I followed them in to my appointment slot; he is  a person of genuine compassion and insight. Thankful to God for him.

God bless


“Mmm…I don’t think they believe me….”

Have read accounts from some of my wacky Charismatic brethren about visits to heaven and meeting Heaven’s Finance Minister. I like wacky. I like it a lot. However, I also have my bible, which along with the witness of the Spirit  is really the only authority I have by which I can try and check out what is real and what is probably, well, just a flight of fancy.

So then, sorry, but when I read the bible, I find that Heaven’s Finance Ministers are here on earth to be seen and heard every day. I don’t read of such fellows walking about the throne room or its environs somewhere. In fact they are flying over our heads, singing their songs. I read about them today in Luke 12 and heard them singing in the garden: the birds. They tell me the manifesto of the Kingdom of Heaven: “Your Father knows, so don’t worry.”

I guess some of you may have had some interesting spiritual experiences. I have had had a few myself, which I know happened, but equally well know I could never prove to everyone else as being real events and of God. It does not put me off sharing these happenings. Others are allowed not to believe them if the only authority is my say so with no authority beyond myself. Allow that freedom. Don’t get offended or all defensive if folk look doubtfully at you when you share all your stories… and don’t try and ram your mystical experiences down others’ throats because you are upset or angry at their cool response.

In the meantime, I am grateful for Heaven’s Finance Ministers in my garden this day… who are also telling me their food is a bit late…but they are waiting, trusting…. and come to think of it, some of their antics as they do so are a bit wacky, endearingly so.

God bless


“Yes, it happened just as you said.”

My waking thoughts today were of a time when I was spiritually abused by a Servant of God. It happens. My reading today was Luke Chapter 12, which in the midst of many other themes also highlights the possibility of spiritual abuse of God’s servants by God’s servants. It seemed to be a sort of confirmation of my waking thought as being one God was giving as a thought to sustain the weary this day.

I am not sure what to do with my thought, other than to acknowledge the pain of those of you who have been spiritually abused by those in spiritual authority over you, whether that was a collective authority carried by a group of people or an authority carried by an individual.

When I try from time to time to speak about the abuse I experienced on the occasion I am referring to above, one of several, there are always those who want to offer the experience back to me in other terms, which actually feels like a continuation or reawakening of the original abuse.

I am thinking as I write of  the powerful effect of a man I had never met going down on his knees to represent those he had never met and saying to me, “Kenny, will you forgive us?” That brought about a moment of release I will never forget, a moment I would describe as miraculous.

I hope you may find a church, a pastor, a friend, or even a spiritual stranger who truly knows the Lord, who will acknowledge your pain justly and help you into freedom.

I think I have to say to some of you in closing, “Yes, it happened, just as you have said it did.”

God Bless



I have played the fool….

“Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly.”

Perhaps you have suffered because of the folly of others and can testify to the truth of this startling imagery from the Book of Proverbs. However, today when I woke, having slept well, I found this thought presenting itself to me: “What if the folly and its consequences are our own?”

I have been asking God to give me an instructed ear and tongue that morning by morning I may know the word that will sustain the weary I may have contact with in some shape or form that day. After all that is the insight into Jesus’ inner self that Isaiah saw prophetically many centuries before His incarnation, and we are to be like Jesus.

It may be this morning that you are facing a new day aware of your folly in some matter or another, some decision or action which  you took that you now know was wrong: “I rue the day…I could kick myself….” Do you believe that the God who has had mercy upon you with regard to your sin can be trusted to deal with your folly and its results in mercy and kindness  when you confess it to Him?

I am not quite sure what this says of me, but sometimes I feel more ashamed to bring foolish decisions or actions or words to God than those that are sinful. This morning, I am merely bringing to you the challenge I have slowly learned to bring to my personal faith. “Do I believe God will look with mercy on folly humbly confessed and discussed with Him at His mercy seat?”

It may sound a bit of an odd concept, not only to admit but also to discuss our folly with God. However, sometimes there are things we need to learn from our folly otherwise it may well be repeated. It is a good thing to wonder and think and seek insight and listen at the Mercy Seat of “no condemnation” to which we have access through the blood of Christ. Surveying an event or decision with the help of the Spirit of Truth can help me understand why I did what I did as well as helping us watch out for landing pads for similar folly in the future. In Psalm 85 we read these words: “I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants– but let them not turn again to folly.” 

I hope there is something in all of this that will help someone who reads it.

God bless you as you uncover your folly in the presence of the Father who loves you and is for you, not against you.


To those who have never been addicts, homeless or in prison for crime…

Was speaking with someone not long ago who was embarrassed because their testimony was too tame! It could not reference being an addict, or homeless, or spending time in prison which seemed to be the case with many of the testimonies they were hearing or reading about.

Listen! It is wonderful that Jesus helps people in all these extreme situations and that there are people who can say to those in such situations, “I have been there and Jesus set me free and can do the same for you.” Nonetheless let’s be clear about this: Jesus came to save His people from their sins. That is our primary testimony and it is something that all of God’s redeemed people can bear witness to: “I have a Saviour, Jesus, and He has brought me into the eternal love of God, freeing me from sin’s guilt and power.”

I was saved when I was barely more than a child: saved in the context of having a wonderfully loving family, a secure home and being generally very happy every day of my life. Nonetheless the conviction sin came upon me. I knew I needed a Saviour and reached out to him. My experience of being saved from sin is as real as the testimony of any other person.

Whether dramatic or not, having a Saviour is life changing and eternal destiny changing, even if you cannot give time, date and place to some dramatic moment. Share your story. Remember despite the coverage the more dramatic stories get, most folk have not been in prison, are not homeless and have not been alcoholics or drug addicts. They still need to know there is a Saviour whom they need who loved them and died for them and rose for them and is knocking today at the door of their lives.

Come on! Share your story! It is unique. It can bring a glory to Jesus that other stories do not.

God bless



Just reading about David making preparations for the temple: a temple his son Solomon would build, not him himself.

It is a good thing to be always creating a legacy in God that someone else can build upon, rather than leaving behind only a monument of your completed work and ministry. Was very conscious in each parish I ministered in that I was building on the work of others and was conscious I was there to do my bit and then hand things on. I treasure a comment from one of my elders at Holy Trinity, “You have left a legacy that others can build upon.” May that be said of each of us. You may have the most wonderful ministry, but if it all dies with you, it was no more than a firework that went up, shone, and died. What are we passing on?

Oh by the way, we need to pass things on fully, not keep a controlling hand that speaks of fear rather than faith. Succession planning is one thing: Succession Control quite another. I wanted, prayed, hoped my successor in Holy Trinity would be as it has turned out, praise God. It hasn’t always worked out that way in other parishes or other aspects of ministry. Somehow though, God has a way of restoring things to their right course picking up a thread that has been lost or tangled. I can look and see that now as I look back. It brings me peace and hope for the wider scene here in Scotland. What is of God is never lost, yet it is a serious thing when someone destroys a building God has been building. Fortunately the foundation God sets in place the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross stands,  ready for a new person of peace to kneel upon with reverence and then rise to build upon, or build upon  again with living stones.

This was a good weekend for Scottish Rugby – sometimes they can be a long time in coming along! Receiving and passing on are necessary skills, whether in a game like rugby or in the Kingdom of God. How well we receive and how well we pass on what is placed into our hands  is part of the story of the  tiny seed planted by Jesus, the Seed of the Kingdom, that grows into a bush, a tree  whose branches are strong enough, leafy enough, fruitful enough to attract birds of the air seeking refuge.

God bless


Soup and a crusty roll!

“Simmering,” was the word and thought I woke with this morning. I think it is fair to say that more often than not, that word has negative connotations and implications. We talk, for example, about someone simmering with anger or with resentment. However, this morning the word and concept seemed to be offered to my thinking as a good thing; a pot of simmering  soup, full of good things, is ready to be enjoyed.

I think God was saying to me that He wants my life to be simmering with the good things of salvation, the born again life, this day:  a source of ready nourishment not only for me but for others who “happen” to come into my life. I believe that is good imagery not only for me but for us all.

When I was struggling to come to terms with all the changes that my current health condition brought with it, God greatly helped me all of a sudden. In the midst of an awareness of  physical limitations upon me, awareness of what I could not do, He helped me see a Kingdom of God image: I could be like a tree in which birds found shelter, refuge. There was no reason why my leaves ever needed to fail, nor fruit continue to emerge. The Living water of His Spirit and His word would ensure that. “Simmering” brought that back to mind. A simmering pot of good soup on a cold day, a lush evergreen tree: to me they are the same sort of imagery speaking of readiness and fullness; a welcome sight, a welcome find.

I offer these images to you. Whatever factors limit your activities today, it is within your capacity as you go out your front door, or as you are confined behind it, to be ready to be a blessing to God, yourself and others.

There are some things you can do to help make that a real experience rather than a pious goal, especially this;  open your bible, asking God to give you understanding. I have been so grateful for David Strutt’s Daily Devotional book, “Sanctuary.” Even though we are less than half way through February it has already helped my life to simmer at the right temperature so often. The bible reading for the day, given at the back of the book, has so often blessed me before I even got to David’s comments which blessed me further still. If you have not got a Daily Reading plan on the go at the moment I commend it to you. Whatever, however you do it, find some way of allowing the Word of God to  be the continuing gentle heat that helps you simmer in a good way,  helps you be “aye ready.”

There is something better than home made soup after all: God made soup served up at just the right temperature. It somehow augments the taste of even the crustiest of rolls!

God bless


P.S. To help you simmer, why not read Psalm 1 as soon as you get your hands on a bible or switch on your bible App.


Baby steps are good!

OK then, an unusually short post. It is about 3 in the afternoon. Not been the best of days, health wise., but feel I can get up now.

Was just sort of lying here, thinking, praying as I looked out the window, thinking about how useful Facebook/Blogging is for sharing good news, even The Good News. I love the vareity of people I come into contact with, the variety of journeys I get to know about. I particularly love it when I know that people are taking baby steps towards God.

I feel there are maybe a few folk our there who need to hear something very simple today: it is one of those things that is so general that on one level it needs no inspiration from God to say it, however I do think this is from God for someone, for now, so I offer it in that simple faith.  Perhaps this is for someone unsure about God but trying to take baby steps? Well done, if that is you! Keep going! Don’t be embarrassed that you don’t know more than you do, or even if you stumble. God encourages baby steps towards Him. Anyway, here is what I believe God wants you to hear:

“You have been running empty for some time, somehow taking on tiny bits of fuel and keeping on going. You have time before this day is out, time you could take, just to sit and be still. In the stillness, ask your Father in Heaven, the Father of Jesus Christ,  to fill you with His Holy Spirit. That is something you have not asked before, or even thought of asking. He is there and He is for you. Nothing bad or eerie will happen to you if you ask Him to do this for you in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ. He only gives good gifts to His children. So go ahead, ask.”


God bless


Suffering Silenced by a lie?

I remember someone who was suffering from self-pity, screaming at me in a pastoral setting, ” I mean, you tell me, who in this congregation has suffered more than me.” Well, I told them…they were not pleased.

Was I right or wrong to tell them? Was it wise or was it exasperation? Mmmm… not sure looking back. We all experience suffering differently is something I have come to understand. It is wrong to compare. It is right to want our suffering acknowledged but not to make suffering a matter of competition to establish our significance or worth, or even our greater worth over others. I have met people who seem to make their suffering their worth. It is not uncommon, perverted reasoning though it may be based upon. What they have suffered almost become their stubborn addiction, so that no happy thought, no relief, no positive experience is allowed to speak its voice. In fact happiness can be treated as an enemy of the story of their suffering, an enemy to be resisted, even fought against. Quite deliberately they can even spoil the happy moments of others, celebrations, even their friends “big days” by bringing attention back to their suffering.

Today/tonight/through the night/ early morning was a time when I realised I have an illness and from time to time the reality is I suffer from that illness. I feel so reluctant to use that word because of the wrongful intrusion of comparison. You simply would not believe some of the stories people have shared with me as a pastor, about what they have had to endure or endure still.

However in the small hours of the morning, I am aware of two things I want to share. Firstly, leaving aside the stupidity of competition it is simply true that there is always someone whose suffering is greater than ours. Secondly, that does not mean that our struggle does not matter or does not deserve to be mentioned or acknowledged. It really does matter….. don’t let the greater suffering of others make you hesitate in coming to The Father and saying, “I am struggling. I need your help.”

The condition I have, can have acute and chronic forms. Acute forms can look more dramatic in terms of symptoms, but passes. However there is something so tiring about lower grade on going effects of the chronic form of any condition or illness that just get tiring, in fact at times exhausting, as it persists over months and years.

Do you carry chronic long term low grade pain of one sort or another, of body, soul or spirit? Allow it to matter. You may have stifled its voice. It may need help from God to speak and be met with tender love. I believe Jesus is close to you right now as you are reading this. Tell him all about it, tell it like it is. That is part of worshipping in spirit and in truth. As you wait for, hope for, pray for the arrival of your healing, allow yourself to speak honestly with the One from whom nothing can be hidden.

God bless


Fisher or hooked?

These are the sorts of thoughts that go through my head these days:

Humour based on observation of humanness in all its absurdity seems to have taken over from ‘gags” in Stand up Comedy. Has observational preaching based on a good moving communicator unfolding our humanness before our startled or moist eyes taken over from “doctrine” based on God in Christ in pulpits?

“Meology replacing Theology ? “: Remember wondering that about the first time I heard Rob Bell doing a sort of meditation on a theme type talk, when he was still the darling of the Evangelical world. It is not I felt he was not a Christian, but just a feeling that maybe, as happens, the pendulum was about to swing too far in his case away from being a preacher about Christ to almost becoming a secualr preacher of hope or motivation more appropriaate to a column in a Women’s magazine page or in a talk show setting than a preaching pulpit or  even a touchy feely smoke filled preaching platform,  or  a conference or event stage. 

It is as though nowadays  salvation  is achieved through understanding ourselves from a psychological point of view and offering settings for emotional release, sometimes indeed very public and large settings, even national settings for outpouring of locked up thoughts, feelings, responses to events in the News. Humanity discovering its shared pain for a moment is a good thing. However, Christ as the Healer? Officially barred from entrance, not to be mentioned.

The devil tsays to those who do not beleive in his voice, “Come and I will make you fishers of men.” Christians hooked mouths are being reeled in, with the bait of words like “missional opportunity.”

Anyway, just sharing my wondering,: well, not quite that innocently. My thinking is already leaning one way and I am sharing it. Don’t get me wrong. Discovery of true God leads to discovery of true me. However I don’t think that is what is happening at the moment in church scenes, conference scenes that I was and to an extent still am most aware of. 

If you are preaching this weekend, be more than a commentator on the human condition, helpful though that may be. Bring the truth of Christ to bear upon that condition. To undestand myself is one thing, to save my eternal truest self and eternal soul  through that understanding is quite another. It cannot be done. If you have the opportunity to speak publicly to any sort of group this Lord’s Day, I  hope you have the beautiful feet of thosewho proclaim good news, so that people may call, “Save Me” to the One of whom they will have heard through you.

God Bless


Mocker? Time to eat Humble Pie?

Just read of an incredibly complex operation that someone is going through. There has been believing prayer for instant divine healing, declarations, proclamations etc. however the operation needs to go ahead. Sometimes you learn to appreciate old prayers that got mocked: “Guide the surgeon’s hands, Lord.” I cannot think of a more appropriate prayer in this situation. It does not represent lack of faith. It is not quaint. I thank God for humble prayers of old.

I thought it might be an interesting to pose this question for each of us to think about:

“What have I mocked that God may have been in after all.”

Well, I will leave that with you.

God bless