Journal – 30th. November…

Slept really well! 5.00 am wake up. Feeling as fresh as a daisy, having felt extremely exhausted throughout yesterday, for reasons unknown. Was praying a bit, wondering a bit. I believe I heard this from God: “Kenny, others make the assumption that healing would be the best thing for you.”

Well, that released a stream of life and hope, which I may try and blog about soon….but for now, almost an hour of thinking later on, it is a useful thought for anyone of us to to carry in to today: the danger of assuming we know what is best for somebody; somebody whose story, “hopes and fears,” God given dream and sense of Kingdom purpose are perhaps unknown to us or assumed and misunderstood by us as we look on, even with good will in our hearts towards them.

11.00 am: OK then. The early dew of morning is passing away towards noon. 5 am burst of energy giving way to more familiar physical realities. Two thoughts:

1: The contrast is very real. The “condition” I carry becomes so routine to me that I forget the strain it must be putting upon my body and mind. I need to treat myself with a measure of care. That is not self indulgent but is necessary. “Pummeling” myself may have good biblical backing and suits that part of me that is Presbyterian and austere and reflects that part of God’s being that is austere (though not necessarily Presbyterian}. However, even as I am aware of wonkiness returning, strangely enough that very return helps me to remember I am also fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator God of delicacy, wonder, extravagant variety and unecessary detail and subtlety: an Artist. I need to treat myself as His workmanship, body as much as soul and spirit, with more tender appreciation, interest and attention.

2: The energy burst may be fading, but the truths realised at that moment are still shining bright and true! Glory all the way!

God bless


How you can help the church be the church of Jesus….

I find that I want to write about many matters to do with Christian truth and experience, so from time to time I try to refocus by asking,”What is my primary purpose behind my blog?” Well, looking back, I was first prompted to begin it when weakness, caused by a physical condition I still have despite much prayer by many faith filled people, made it impossible to continue to be a Parish Minister. However, it was not begun from a negative reaction to that experience, but rather as a desire to share what became very precious, namely the tender presence of God in the midst of frailty and fragility.

On one level that is hardly an earth shattering revelation, in that God coming into our weakness in love is the essence of the story of Christmas which we shall shortly be celebrating. There is of course huge comfort in the fact that God Himself in Christ has been touched with the very feelings of our infirmities. There is within God inside knowledge of what it means to experience human weakness within the limitations of human flesh. That truth wedded to a trust in the atoning power of Christ’s sacrifice and shed blood means we can have a confidence that when we are honest enough to bring our frailties before God we will be met with empathy. It was required of earthly priests under the Old Covenant that they were gentle in their dealings with people. There is a kindness in the merciful love of God that is very real.

However, the reality I have discovered through ill health is that there is a vast underbelly within the Christian Church whose experience is that weakness is not prized or honoured in present day church life and mission. There is a long history to that sad reality. In a faith that claimed to have found the one who was the World’s Messiah and Saviour, the Apostle Paul often seemed to find that with various congregations and individuals his constant moving from weakness to weakness as he was paradoxically being transformed from glory to glory, he was in fact a bit of an embarrassment. Imprisonment, beatings, starvations, shipwrecks, his times of experiencing lack, his being treated as the offscouring of the earth seemed to make a bit of a mockery of the idea that Jesus was Lord and God is Love. Paul had to actually say to someone he was very close to, namely Timothy, “Don’t be ashamed of me.”

Most of my readers will be within the Charismatic fold of the church. In such a fold, illness that seems to not respond to prayer can be a cause of unease, yes, even embarrassment. It can even become a cause of accusation of lack of faith or prayer, or persistence, or insufficiently robust a doctrine of healing. What is true of illness in this respect is true of other forms of weakness too; those whose marriages are failing; those whose children have gone astray; those who have no financial miracles to report in the decade long struggle to make ends meet; those who frequently do not have the confidence to come to a church service or become involved with church activities; those who struggle with depression etc.

You may not like to read this, but there are huge numbers of people, struggling with weakness of body, mind and spirit, who do not feel the Church of Jesus is as safe as Jesus is for them. Yet the truth is that without an honouring of weakness in others and an open owning of our own weaknesses before others, there can be no true fellowship, no true expression of church.

One of the basic teachings about the church of Christ in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is that the “weak” parts of the body of Christ are essential not only to its health but to its very life. This is a message that the most overtly charismatic church described in the New Testament had to learn. There was a thread of sickness running through its life which could be described thus: “I have no need of him or her.” Sometimes that manifested itself in despising the spiritual gifts of others as being of little, lesser or no importance compared with other gifts. Sometimes it became obvious in other ways. For example, at the gatherings to share food and the Lord’s supper the better off Christians went ahead without waiting for the poorer Christians, the slaves etc., to finish their day’s “work” and come and join them. They ate and celebrated the Lord’s Supper without them. In effect they were saying, “We don’t need the poor.” Some were beginning to feel no need for input into church life in Corinth from an Apostle with a thorn in his flesh, but preferred the theatrics of those who made a great show of their spiritual strength and authority and vitality  by even striking people in the face.

I will expand on this another time, but let me just state it for now:  the church cannot be the church without the honouring, the treasuring, the welcoming and acceptance of human fragility that seems to be an embarrassment to the message that the Father hears and answers prayer, that Jesus is Lord and His followers are more than conquerors, the most truly prosperous and fully alive human beings on the face of the earth.

Your weakness is the most precious gift you can offer to the church for it to become the Church of Jesus Christ. Believe that, whether you are able to get that weakness to  the gathering of the church or not and whether or not it is welcomed when you do.

God bless you


Don’t be hasty in the laying on of hands…

Having heard so many stories of the spiritual and church havoc that having an unconverted organist or choir leader can cause in more traditional churches seeking to be true to God’s  Living Word and His renewing Spirit, why is it that some of us in churches of more modern approach have unconverted people in our praise bands?

In my thinking, right or wrong, sung/instrument accompanied worship is just as important if not actually more so than preaching, though if one sees preaching and listening to God’s Word as part of our worship in more than the technical sense, then I guess it all rolls into one.

Would these same churches have unconverted preachers in their pulpits or unconverted people leading prayer ministry or leading their youth work or mission endeavours? Actually, come to think of it, I know of some churches which have the name of being evangelical or charismatic who do have unconverted people invovled in the leadership of these areas of work, or people who may be converted but as at a given moment are living non Christian lifestyles quite happily and even at times boastfully  rather than living humbly in obedience to God’s commanments in Scripture and in Christ  as saved sinners and born anew children of God.

By the way, having converted organists, choir leaders and praise band leaders can create problems too – but they are problems of a different sort with different spiritual fruit and consequences. People are people, even when redeemed.

God Bless


The Kindling and the Spark…

Behind much talking that gets the attention, there is so much wonderful kindling being put in place by humble believers all over Scotland from whatever denomination or no denomination, in and through traditional congregations and in and through new ventures that honour the Blood, the Word and the Spirit. Sometimes in some places, situations, parishes, there are only one or two setting the kindling in a sea of compromise and unbelief, battling with discouragement in the face of an unbelieving and bible defying leadership and a non praying congregation; but it doesn’t take too much to start a fire.


When the spark of heaven comes, what a fire will burn! Keep placing the kindling even if there is no one else in the fellowship God has called you to belong to doing so, keep calling for the spark which only God can give…Why is it being withheld? I have no idea, well actually I don’t know why I just typed that as I have lots of ideas from the bible as to the answers to that question, which people may sincerely agree with or disagree with, but none of my thoughts on that matter would make very popular Facebook posts in the prevailing spiritual winds in the charismatic and evangelical church. Whatever, keep setting and keep calling.

God Bless


Autumn clear up in the garden of your mind?

I have shared on my blog before that from time to time, especially when I am confused about what is happening in my life, there is a spiritual imaging picture that I step into in faith. The picture is that I imagine myself going down into a cellar away from surface noise and clamour. In that cellar Jesus awaits me. Having taken that first step of imagination by faith I then ask that by the Holy Spirit I may see what Jesus is waiting to do, waiting for me to connect with in terms of His purposes for good in my life.

Today, I had all sorts of thought flying around my mind that were not leading to anywhere in particular no matter how much time of day I gave them. There is such a thing as Rumination OCD: thinking a lot about thoughts that never get you anywhere, that reach no conclusion or destination. Well, I am not there thankfully, but I do think that lots of us get on the foothills of that affliction. I felt the Father asking me to gather these type of “round and round getting nowhere” thoughts, tie them up, fling them into the flames  of the God who is “everlasting burnings” and get into the cellar to hear from Christ. When I got there, I heard from Christ.

It is not what I heard from Christ that I want to share, but really just stress the preparation for hearing from Him: that gathering of the unhelpful thoughts and giving them over to the flames of God. Don’t worry about what He will do with them. Trust that if there are any of these thoughts you need to retain He will restore them to you to pick up again. The reality is that after meeting with Christ, usually there are very few of these thoughts, if any at all, that need to be thought again, or given a home in your mind any longer.

God Bless


God has a silencer in His weaponry…

The perversity of sin seems to have found its shout, sometimes even an aggressive and blasé form of its shout in our day. The danger is that those saved from iniquity, seeking to humbly honour  the Lord by walking in His righteous ways, will be intimidated into silence.

Here are the opening and closing words from Psalm 107. Worth thinking about and worth a living reponse, don’t you think?

“Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good.
His faithful love continues forever.
Let those who have been set free by the Lord tell their story.
He set them free from the power of the enemy…

…The godly will see these things and be glad,
and all iniquity (perversity) shall shut her mouth.
Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.”

The Messiah according to the Scriptures has several different types of “silencer” in His weaponry.  Here is one of them: your story and mine.


God Bless




It is important we be scientific….

We like to tie things up neatly, but the grace and wisdom of God are not open to our counsel. For example, I have heard it preached so many times that, “Just because we are forgiven does not mean there will not be consequences to work through.” True, but not universally so. The prodigal son could have been treated like a hired servant upon his return to help him meditate upon the error of his ways and learn wisdom, but he wasn’t. Sometimes the right fear of the Lord means I come to Him and say, “You know whether it is best to release me from the consequences of the sinfulness and stupidity of what I have done or help me to learn through them. I would like the former better than the latter, I really would, but I trust your righteous, wise and merciful grace either way, Father…but if it is alright, I just stress my preference….”
Or what about “God will never withdraw His love from His people,”? Well, He will and does. Look at Jeremiah 16 verse 5, where God says to those who by grace He has chosen as His people: “I will withdraw my unfailing love.” It does not mean He has stopped loving in his heart. His love is aways safely kept there as are our names. His love and our names are from eternity to eternity intertwined there. However there are times when God’s people on earth look and cannot see signs of that love resting upon them in blessing and favour. Oh by the way don’t write to tell me that it is different now as we live under the grace of God. The people of the Old Testament were redeemed by grace too, just as we are. They were set free from Egypt before the law was given. Their eternal salvation was based on the fact that the Christ who died for us in our past would come and die for them in what for them was their future. They just had the tedious business of living in the shadow lands until that moment came, having to repeat sacrifices and works of the law until Christ would fulfil the law and set every priest and person among the people of God free from that endless, non satisfying, non effective way of relating to God.
The danger of tying God down to a truth that has become very dear to us: It happens all the time, no matter how noble and true the truth may be; “The goodness of God,” “The Father Heart of God,” The Kingdom of God” are a few that people have tried to make the unifying principle in y experience of Church life since the 70’s onwards, but particularly the 90’s onwards. You might want to say. “God is love,” is surely unquestionably the unifying principle, however the Apostle who wrote that, John, also said, “God is Light.” When we build our lives and even our ministries around one particular truth rather than the whole counsel of the Word of God, something usually comes along to spoil it all: a circumstance, an inconvenient Scripture….good to be scientific and honest and accept our theory needs tweaking rather than tweaking the evidence to fit the theory.
God Bless

Ritual…the lost sign and wonder?

Well, I got up early deliberately, to see Jupiter pass in front of Venus, or was it the other way round? I can’t remember now, nor did I see it. It is not that the sky was not clear but it was that I got distracted by the wonderful teaching of Angus Buchan on TBN. At some point as I listened I realised that what I was hearing actually interested me, thrilled me more than the prospect of seeing a planetary happening, and so I stayed put and listened on.

There was so much about the sermon that I was listening to that was speaking powerfully to me. Hardly surprising, in that it was peppered with direct references to Scripture. The seed of God’s Word fits the soil of the human situation so perfectly – which of course is  not the same thing as saying it will always be received. This week has been a week of more than customary weakness for me physically. For reasons I don’t fully understand I have been struggling more than usual with the medical condition I live with at the moment, both its symptoms and the whole raft of medication is has led to, including medication for medication! Activity of any sort has been more limited than I would have liked and to be honest may be so again today. Angus Buchan’s style and personality and drive is not something I would have expected to come to my aid as he is so forthright and so “demanding” in many ways. If you know of him you will know what I mean. Yet, I was helped by what he was saying.

However, it is not what he was saying that I want to share on this occasion. Rather it is what he did at the end of his speaking that I want to share. He was standing on his own farm land as he preached, out in the open air. When he stopped teaching, he simply took off his hat and bared his bowed head, before he prayed. That is what got to me more than anything. That mark of respect for his  Heavenly Father. There is so much  talk of “Abba Father,” these days. Sometimes  much of that talk reduces the status of our  Father to the status of  being nothing more than our “chum.”  I found it refreshing to see in Angus, a child  of God secure in the joy of His Heavenly Father’s love showing the Father an outward sign of a deep inner respect. In fact it stunned me into a fresh awareness of the greatness of God.

“If I am a Father… where is the respect due to me?” (Malachi 1 verse 6.)

What I felt as I saw that simple taking off of a hat reminded me of another preacher not long ago, the epitome of up to date fashion in dress and presentation who said that he liked using the words “Thee and Thou’” when praying to His Heavenly Father in private. Now there is no linguistic rationalisation nowadays for claiming such words  are more respectful than using the word “You.” For that preacher however, “Thee” and “Thou” was one way of showing His Heavenly Father due honour and respect. I am not mentioning his name as I think his teaching is fundamentally not sound. Despite my opinion and belief on that score, I have no difficulty in believing in the humility of his heart before his heavenly Father.

As I write I remember a mistake I made in the culture of another country. I was speaking to a group of pastors there and thought nothing of putting my bible on the floor beneath my seat when I first came in to the gathering and say down. The gracious and kind but courageous bishop in charge of the gathering, picked it up and put it on my lap explaining that in his culture to put a bible on the floor was to show it huge disrespect. You live and learn. For myself, in the church culture I mix with most, i would still think nothing of putting my bible down on the floor in a meeting as it would not trouble anyone, but I love the idea of not putting the bible on the floor as a sign of respect as well.

Oh I know that obedience is a much more important way of honouring and respecting God our Father than any of these outer things and yet, I felt strangely drawn to ask you this question. In an age when a casual sort of approach to  God seems to be the essential mark of security with the Father, are there any outward signs of  humble respect and honour towards Him that are important to you? It might be a physical sign, a verbal sign, or some other sort of sign. They may not be a law you would impose on anyone else but for you they are meaningful. Don’t throw them away under the growing tyranny of demand that we be “cool” and “casual.”  Yes, we can pray and chew gum at the same time, but we don’t have to if we don’t want to, or if it does not sit comfortably with us.  Don’t  alter “ signs of respect” that are meaningful to you, unless it is to replace them with another outward sign of respect that seems to fulfil that purpose better for you.

On holiday in Fife not long ago, I found myself bowing my head and simply praying after the benediction. I felt a sudden pang of pain and joy as I did so, asI realised that was a habit I had lost somewhere along the way: perhaps in the rush for the “ministry time” or  the obligatory cup of tea or coffee that seems to be increasingly all pervasive at the end of every Christian meeting.

In the face of the increasing use of a not fully biblical soundbite, “Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship,” there is a place for meaningful ritual, whether personal or corporate, private or public. Appearing cool and casual may not always be a sign we are secure with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It may be a sign we have neither seen Him nor known Him, but are worshipping a projection of the spirit of the age.

Remember, it is not a law… but maybe today at the end of Morning or Evening worship with your church family you could bow your head and pray briefly before the rush for the coffee. That silent moment may be meaningful for you and indeed for others who might happen to notice.

God Bless


The New at best is The Old…

Was very blessed through reading Ezra 3 this morning. It was the Scripture reading for for today in David Strutt’s book, “Sanctuary.” Take time to reread that passage soon. As I read about the people of God rebuilding the altar of God, establishing the foundations for a new temple, observing in their own land an obedience to old commands, it gave rise to the folliwing thoughts which I share with you here, thoughts to do with the interconnection of “old” and “new.”

Thought 1:

Moving into something new with God is really going back to discover somewhere or other something in Him we were never meant to have lost or to have left behind just because it was old. It is, for example,  discovering in our now when confronted with  an impassable  desert, the God who of old once made a path through an uncrossable sea for others.

Thpught 2:

A  new beginning of obedience to timeless commandments breathes fresh emotions of joy mingled with weeping into the experience of salvation by grace. When we are excited to obey God’s laws we are living in the  flowing,  sparkling waters of the true grace of God rather than paddling in circles in  the stagnant pond of cheap grace.

Lost a sense of wonder? Rediscover the light footed happiness of the early days of your born again life:   experience the laughter of a 3 legged race of obedience with its spills and thrills, its bruises and triumphs,  bound at the leg  by an inseverable heaven tied knot to your enduring childhood friend called Grace.

God bless


To truly appreciate this jigsaw, refrain from using Scissors and glue…

My theology would be so beautifully systematic, were it not for those bible verses that don’t quite fit.
 Maybe  I should allow myself to do a Luther and dismiss them  as straw….Then again, I am remembering the humility of a liberal lecturer when I was at Uni whose lectures could occasionally be a deliberate red rag to the Evangelical bull: “I need the Bible.” His comment silenced me then. Stopped me in my arrogant tracks. The memory of his words have stayed with me.
So I guess I will just have to allow those pieces of the jigsaw to stare at me as I stare at them. I want to be the one who blinks first. My fear is that I will shut my eyes before the stare out has done its work….So for tonight Isaiah 45 verse 7 and I continue to stare at one another since reading it recently: “I create light and I make the darkness.  I send good times and bad times.”
But, wait a minute! I  know, I will check all the translations until I find one that sounds nicer!
“KJV”…bad idea, not helpful at all. Lets see then, what  else?​…”Young’s Literal Translation”…. should have known better…..The Amplified….the…
God bless

Breaking News! Announcing a New Christian Venture.

Maybe We should launch the following…
“K.I.T.T.E.N.S.  Keeping It True To Experience Network, Scotland:

A new gathering place for Christian  Lions to find their  deepest roar yet. Especially helpful to those promised much of “Kingdom Now” by many sincere people on many occasions, but who seem to be experiencing more frequently  “The Kingdom still to come,” though still walking with a limp  in faith, hope and love discovering what “More Lord” may yet mean for us here on earth.

No flowing mane or glistening fangs necessary. Only qualification for joining is scars, healed or non-healed  as at this present moment,  picked up while hunting for space  in which to live out the true grace of God,  as taught in His Word and found in His Son,  towards  friend and foe alike.

We recognise and honour wounds in one another but discourage wound comparison and  wound licking at our public meetings as highlighting the gore can be sickening.  We also note continuing in such practices publicly can become just a tad  repetitive, morbid, self indulgent and tend to cause reinfection rather than redirection. 

However, helping you find the  right time and place for helpful and purposeful wound tending practice  is something to which we are committed. It is a responsibility we have sometimes allowed ourselves to ignore in our youthful days, thus opening the way for quacks and the emergence of practices on which you will spend all you have going  hither and thither and be no better, but rather be worse. For this insensitivity toward those affected by it we unreservedly apologise.

Our aim is to  learn together to honour the Wounded Lamb who in His weakest moment  defeated and healed us all and dealt a death blow  beyond healing to that species of prowling lion dedicated to His and our extinction from the face of the earth and lands beyond. The wounds of the Lamb  are proving to be both our healing  and  the path of restoration for our tired and padded paws into our God granted right of grace to roam  in the territory of His inheritance.”

Just dreaming….

God bless