Jesus shows us that true leadership partly means clearing space, allowing lesser matters to be dealt with by others so that you can deal with the really important stuff…the stuff that really matters, like clamouring people coming to you for the wrong reasons when you are tired, or mothers wanting their children blessed. Come on you leaders! Follow Jesus, not the World. Non accessibility and extra days on the golf course and exclusive dinners with the wealthy or powerful or influential are the world’s badges pinned to importance.

How come you found a space to arrange to meet that person who could be of strategic importance in opening doors of opportunity but have not found time for that distraught person who could do with 10 minutes of your time…oh of course, they are just your spouse…or that draining person…or the inconvenient Jesus wrapping Himself once more in ordinary unimportant guise that you can choose to ignore in favour of the important person, meeting, conference or opportunity. Where do you think He will choose to be?

The end of the year? An opportunity to think…

God bless


Event and Process

I think “walking in victory” as a believer is a mixture of event and process. As a Charismatic/Pentecostal believer by conviction and experience, I love the “event” moments, those times where the breakthrough of God comes in an experience you can mark in the diary as it were: God did something: He stepped in: He showed Himself as the God of Breakthrough on my behalf. I love hearing of those moments in the lives others. However…daily process matters too. It actually saddens me to meet believers whose spirituality is all “event” or happening, but no “process.” Indeed they may despise “process” and dismiss it was being legalism or “religion.” The current dismissal of spiritual discipline as “the spirit of religion” is destroying the health of many Charismatic Christians and may well destroy the Charismatic movement.

If you are basically Charismatic/Pentecostal and at home in the language of breakthrough, deliverance, miracle, “overwhelming,” don’t forget “process”. Here are some things that could be helpful to do. It is not an exhaustive list, nor is it meant to be legalistic. There are just some things that are good and helpful to do if we want to grow in Christ, rather than just have a few marvellous stories to tell from a stunted soul and non-Christlike character.

Bring yourself before God daily.

Take time to praise Him and offer Him thanksgiving. Take even the last 24 hours and survey it for signs of God’s goodness. It will surprise you as you begin that thankful survey how many things you have to thank God for. ”Count your blessings, name then one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Read the bible asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you do: remember as you do so that people felt the same amazement at the words of Jesus as they felt in the face of His mighty works. If you are more excited about a Prophetic Word than Scripture something has gone seriously wrong. Fix it!

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you search your heart and review your day as it were. Where did you act, react, speak or think in sinful, fearful, anxious, unloving, unrighteous ways. Pause where you sense the Holy Spirit pausing. Where do you need God’s forgiveness? Is He pointing out how you could have done differently than you did?

Take a look onwards into the day: what would meeting that situation, or person “in Christ” look like? “Imagine” meeting that person, that situation as the Beloved of God. As you do, you may find God lays on your heart something to say or do that was not in your mind to do at all. How could you bring “God” to light in that person or situation?

Thank God He is with you, in you, for you, and can come through you in grace and truth this very day. Go into the day “in the Name of Jesus.” That is more than a phrase. It means you are going to live every moment in Jesus as your home and dwelling place. You will look through the windows of His eyes, seeing what He sees. You will go out through the door of His purpose, come in to rest through the door of His invitation and welcome. You will be in the world but not of it. He is the home of your soul.

I hope this helps.

God bless


To help you…

If you struggle with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for everything and everyone, like I do, you will at times be weighed down with false guilt. I find it helpful to ask these questions that keep me in the reality for which I am responsible, asking for the help of the Spirit of Truth/Reality as I do so ( I found them in “Advent and Christmas with Thomas Merton.”).”

“How have I been unkind in thoughts, words and actions? Am I refusing to forgive anyone? Do I despise any group or person?Am I a prisoner to fear, anxiety, worry, guilt, inferiority, or hatred of myself?”

(Hope this helps my fellow believers with neurotic tendencies – and by the way, there are many of us. If, on the other hand, you are a believer with psychopathic tendencies, and I have met many of you, I am not sure I live within your skin enough to be able to say anything helpful to help you embrace true responsibility towards others… then again, that may not be worrying you! But, come to think about it, the same questions asked in the strength of the same Holy Spirit, could perhaps hep you after all.)

God bless



What really matters?

Funny how what interests us changes over the years. Speaking personally, I could not care less now about what the star was or how old was Jesus when the Wise Men visited him, or was it a cave/stable etc etc., though such things drew my attention in the past. Sermons on such things bore me more than I could tastefully express. Now that frailty has truly dispelled any thoughts of being able to manage, all I care about is that in Jesus I don’t need to be afraid for God has come to be with me in grace… on this I can meditate day and night; in this I rejoice; this I experience with the wonder of a child who has stumbled though the wardrobe of my own world into another world, where how things really are in all worlds becomes clear to me.

God bless


God bless us, everyone!

To all family and friends, long-standing and new, “Happy Christmas!”

“Immanuel,” God with us! It is more than a name…

“Jesus!”: more than a name too, even more than Name above all names…

He is “I Am!” That means He is present, active reality. He lives His Name in you and in me: wherever meek souls will receive Him still the dear Christ enters in.

God bless. Much love to you.

Kenny and Morag xx

And is it true? For if it is…

Was at the shops today. Liked watching dads obviously finished working and out shopping with their young children…liked seeing awkward lone teenagers looking a bit dazed having to shop for others but persevering all the same, out of secretly harboured but difficult-to express -love for their parents. Was blessed by little ones in nappies and tights, staggering with their new and still to be honed walking skills, with their sturdy “plonk plonk” legs and shining eyes and fine spindly hair. It all reminded me of this wonderful Christmas poem, from an era when poets and entertainers felt less need to be cynical or make political comment and could rejoice in lovely things without getting lost in an agenda. I hope it makes you feel warm… warm and cosy is good…so are thoughts of mystery and God…so is wondering worship with no other end in mind than worship.

Christmas by John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Hope this blesses you as it does me,


“To You is born this day, a Saviour…You will find a baby, lying in a manger…”

Thanking God for people and places where I have found rest for my soul. Without exception they have been broken places and people who have struggled with their own wounds, devastation, and unanswered “why?” questions. I have found grace, compassion, healing, acceptance and love there. I have found Christ there, the Christ who understands without much needing to be said, in whose presence it is safe to feel.

Christmas reminds us that the mighty deliverance of God lives and breathes in places and people we would never discover save by grace ordering our steps. I had the most secure and trouble free childhood imaginable, full of love and encouragement, laughter and applause…but amongst the broken, in lives no one would envy, in despised places, the life giving dew of God falls upon me most heavily and most lightly…

The Shepherds’ steps to finding Jesus were ordered by The Lord. May it be so for you and for me.

God bless


Christmas: God on both sides of the equation…

If you have read more than a handful of my blogs, you will have realised how indebted I am to the writings and thoughts of Henri Nouwen. His book “Wounded Healer” was on the list of recommended reading when I first became a Candidate for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament with the Church of Scotland back in the 1970’s. It is still a book worth reading. Though some of the  cultural analysis of the times in which it was written shows that nothing stays static for long, basically – at the risk of sounding patronising –   it passes the test of time pretty well. I would encourage you to read it to find out what it means to think of  Jesus, the Messiah, as the Wounded Healer, and what it means to be involved in His ministry in the world. However I have been thinking in the last few days of a phrase that came to my own mind a few months ago: Jesus as “Wounded Traveller.” That thought came back to me with renewed force today as I was talking with my friend, Rich Johnston. I will say  more about it a bit later on in this blog.

Earlier Christian centuries than our own  were full of discussion and argument as to the best way linguistically to express the mystery of the Incarnation: how do you express that Jesus was God and Man, accurately, without diminishing the reality of His deity or the reality of  His humanity?  I have always liked the way St. Anselm expressed the mystery. He talked of “The God-Man.” With Christmas approaching, I was thinking of that ancient attempt to describe the mystery of the Incarnation, and as I did so,  I found my thoughts going beyond Jesus birth to His ministry as recorded in the gospels,  and also to consider  the way I experience Jesus personally. Because Jesus is “the God-Man,” I can find him on both sides of any human predicament or experience I may be facing. That might seem like theological gobbledygook, so let me clarify and illustrate what I mean. Take the story of “The Good Samaritan.” Although we must never forget the whole point of that parable  is “Go and do thou likewise” in terms of being a neighbour to those in need, indulge me here for a moment and let me speak of the parable in relation to my experience of Jesus. I can see Him on both sides of the main action of the parable  I could sum up my thinking like this:

At times Jesus draws near to me as the “Wounded or Stigmatised Healer” whose divine help I may accept or push away (despite my need). At times I meet Him in the “Wounded Traveller.” I can choose to stoop towards Him in compassion and care, or pass Him by.

All of this has put  a new tool in my hands in terms of spiritual discernment. Christ is fact. His presence is fact in any life or situation. Part of being a Christian is asking, “Where is the fact of Christ?” in  any given moment. Because of what I have outlined above, I can ask that in more defined terms: “Is Christ revealing Himself to me in this moment and happening as “Wounded and Stigmatised Healer” or as “Wounded Traveller?”  “The God-Man” can be either because He is  both.  In Himself, He brings the help of God to our human frailty and cries out  for God’s help from within it. He offers me the gift of  His merciful, divine love and  help for my own life,  and also calls me  to hear His cry of need from the lives  of others. He gives heavenly help, and lies on the roadside beaten and bruised. He is the Mighty God come to save, and the fragile baby who cries from a manger needing nurtured, soothed, cared for, provided for and loved.

May you and I discern the presence of  “The God-Man” this Christmas and always.

God bless




One of the most frightening things I have ever seen was watching teenage boys rushing up to a double murderer to shake his hand in the streets of Wester Hailes.

Last night, I had one dream after another about the spiritual equivalent, church murderers, being congratulated as heroes. Sometimes it was a minister that had been murdered by strong angry proud voices within their congregations. Sometimes the dreams were of a story of life in a congregation that had been killed off. Whatever the scenario, there were always people there to rush up and congratulate the murderers for killing off life. It reminded me of a time in one congregation I ministered in when God was manifestly at work and I had a dream. In it an elder rushed into the Kirk Session and said, “Quick! There’s a fire in the Church! We must put it out!” The elder was living a double life at the time.

The Christmas story carries within it the darker tone of murder. The stepping in of God is not always wanted.

Why am I saying all of this? Well, we all have the potential to be spiritual murderers, especially when something new and young emerges in the purposes of the God who loves His Church and loves a lost world. Be an encourager of fresh life, not its killer. Encourage those the hand of the Lord is upon as they emerge like a shoot out of dry ground. God forbid that you should become their killer or their torturer.

Today, I am also praying for any of you who are hearing murderous voices being raised against you as you humbly serve the will of God with all the love for Him and for people He has worked into your heart. God is telling me you will survive this, but the scars inflicted by your torturers will be and are real. When the glory falls you will see them in a fresh way… I have learned in the course of ministry it is so, as have many besides me.

God bless


“Let it be to me…”

Mary saying “yes” to the will of God meant her saying yes to the pain of labour and other pains to come. If you want to say “Yes” to making space for God in and through you, it will mean saying yes to pain in one shape or form. Is it always so? I have come to believe, “Yes: always,” in answer to that question. That is not meant to be morbid, nor is it intended to push into the background the overwhelming joy that Mary expressed in the Magnificat, or the uncontainable joy that we may experience and express in almost violent, warrior like terms when we see God fulfilling His purposes, making His name known.

I have ministered in times of ease and in times of suffering, and all I know is that pain and joy were both part of the story of God being made manifest. They belong together. Perhaps if you are suffering at the moment, you feel out of sync with the message of joy that prevails at this time of the year, but you may be in a very vital place in the story of the continuing incarnation of God in the world.

Henri Nouwen puts it like this in a pastoral letter: “…the cutting away of rocks might hurt very much and you might not be aware of the space He is creating for Himself.” (“Love, Henri:Letters on the Spiritual Life,” page33.)

May this thought help some of you into rest of soul.


Count down to blast off!


Before looking for ministry from someone it is sometimes good to be honest about the choices we have made or are making right now….then ministry can begin on the basis of reality. It is hard to accept responsibility, where it is ours to accept, but do it without being defensive, explanatory, or shame faced.

I sense for someone reading this, you are getting close to this honesty. I get a good feeling in my spirit for someone who is coming out of fearfully hiding reality below a lot of charismatic and ministry gobbledygook, for which there is no real basis in the ministry of Jesus as recorded in the gospels. I hear a divine, “10,9,8,7,6….” there is a count down happening. The take off moment from the base of reality into the skies of healing is nearer to you, than ever before. Well done. Let the countdown continue to blast off, up and away you will go, into fresh discoveries in God. Don’t stop the launch as you have done before because of fear or shame or anger at others. Be confident that the God who deals in reality is with you and for you big time! Don’t take cold feet and hide away again, looking for more ministry to cover unreality. Lose the fear….

God bless


A short thought for life time victory…

There is nothing happening to me today that can thwart the purpose of God for my life…namely that I should be transformed into the image of God’s Son. Any other plans or goals we may have for ourselves can be interrupted. Base your life on any other purpose and destiny than being transformed to being like Christ, and peace and joy will go up an down like a yo yo. Stick with the plan of God and this day and ever day there will be as much onward progress towards the goal as you choose to live in.

God bless


A short thought…

Feeling confined? Great things can come from such times. See Luke 1… Elizabeth…Mary…

Are there circumstances and realities that seem to be restricting your life at the moment? See God’s hand cupped around you,  active in the confining, and such times  will produce life, a greater revelation of Himself in you and from you to bless the world.

Psalm 139.5: “You hem me in behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

God bless



“The Spirit of God can breathe through through what is predicted at a human level, with a sunshine of surprises.”

I have always loved these words of Cardinal Seunens since I heard David Watson quote them in relation to the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. The reference is to surprising signs of life appearing when the church seems in a dire state, but I often think of the words in relation to personal experience of God as well.

I was reminded of the quote today because of an unexpected blessing. It made me want to hope and pray for you, especially if the word “dire” is a word that you have actually said out loud to someone today to sum up how you feel things are for you. I pray that God may breathe into your life with a sunshine of surprises.

God bless


Hemmed in to grace…

When I think of those who have taught me most about spiritual life, near the very top of that list, if not in the very top spot would be Henri Nouwen. I never met him, but his writings have become increasingly important to me since  my health deteriorated a few years ago now. He seems to have a remarkable ability to weave an understanding of Jesus into an understanding of the frailties and vulnerabilities we all face in our own existence, in our own experience of being human. For that I am deeply grateful.

At this time of the year, I use a small book of Advent Readings based on his writings. The following quote was in the reading for today. It originally appeared in a wonderful book by Nouwen called “Out of Solitude.” Read it and think about it slowly…

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”

This had the breath of God, the sense of bubbling living water in it for me today. I hope it may bless you.

At times the silence, the distancing that illness or any form of vulnerability and frailty  can almost force upon one can seem so frustrating. At my best moments though, I genuinely experience that silence, that sense of distance from the buzz of the Christian or Church  scene as a gift, a gift so generous that I feel totally unworthy of its riches, feel even guilty I have been given it. It is as though limitations become the hands of God cupping around me, that He might then in a place of stillness place His reassuring hand upon me. The  place of frustration becomes a place of unrivalled beauty that I am loathe to leave…

God bless