Never left School?

“Although you are in your 60’s or 70’s your school tie is still a noose round your neck.”

I think the Lord wanted me to post that “word.” I can see many diverse ways to interpret that, but prophecy is not meant to be a matter of the messenger’s own personal understanding or interpretation, so I simply pass on what I think I saw and heard from the Lord and leave it with you. It is all He gave, and I don’t want to begin in the Spirit and end up continuing in the flesh, to take a verse of Scripture out of context!

If it is for you, if the tie fits as it were, I pray in advance and with simple child like faith that you will find yourself reading this. May you receive it as the Lord’s care and compassion for you, and an indicator it is not too late to receive His help and freeing touch. Ask Him if there is anything you should do with this word. There may be, there may not be. Even the reading of it and receiving it as it stands, may release freedom from what binds you from your school years.

By the way, I should add one more detail. The very definite sense I had was that this was a Secondary School tie, rather than a Primary School tie. Thought I should just mention that.

God bless


Disregarded words from God?

A community of grace is compatible with the exercise of proper discipline. Over the years I have seen the words I quote here from 1st. Timothy Chapter 5 disregarded when it comes to confronting sin, especially sin in the eldership/ leadership of he church. I have lived long enough to see some of these individuals who should have been corrected in truth and grace experience humiliation, suffer tremendous and tragic sorrow beyond the norm in a way that makes me fear God, so much so that I could not share the details or even speak them out. I often wonder if they would have been spared such suffering if they had been properly called to account by fellow leaders who truly loved them, rather than being allowed to continue in sin. Of course, if confronted, they may well not have listened.

Anyway, take a look at the words from Paul to Timothy, quoted below. As I read them tonight I thought of the incidents I mentioned above whichI know about from personal experience, but I could not help but think also of the too often repeated scene in the current charismatic world which is the part of the church I have been involved with most of my life: influential leaders appearing in public on a stage to stand with fellow influential leaders who have had powerful ministries of signs and wonders who fell into sin, affirming them and their ministry without any confession or evidence of genuine repentance, beyond an explanation of how the sin happened. Their endorsement is met by cheering crowds persuaded wrongly they are applauding grace and mercy. Whatever this pantomime is, it is not the true grace of God as defined in the bible and in Christ. It is rather a mockery of the God who has told us that what we sow we reap, and what is more, it causes confusion and the possibility of loss of a future loss of trust among the people of God when truth eventually comes filtering though into the light. It happens in the Catholic church, the Reformed churches as well as in the Charismatic churches. Sometimes it makes the secular news, sometimes it does not. No church is immune… and yes, there but for the grace of God, go I. No individual is immune from the possibility of betraying the trust placed in them as leaders.

“Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.”

God bless you with the true grace of God and the true fear of the Lord.


Paul Cain: The Fear of the Lord…

What follows this introductory paragraph is honest and sobering. It is written by Dr. R.T. Kendall about Paul Cain who died recently. I for one was very confused when Paul Cain spoke at Kensington Temple last year and seemed to say then and round about that time period that he had lived a celibate life. When I prayed after listening, I felt it inevitable that he would not live long, and would probably pass away within months, as his comments would indeed cause confusion and could harm the integrity of genuine works of God of a charismatic type. I was blessed incredibly by Paul Cain’s ministry in the 1990’s. It was astounding. I think whatever he was responsible for in terms of his immorality, a world wide charismatic church community that was perhaps more in love with his ministry than caring to love him, was partly to blame. He was valued by most more for his gifting than himself even as a child, which can in turn cause a spiritual blindness to the obvious. It is a common sin of the church that hungers after experience, no questions asked. I believe God has taken his child home, where he will be loved for himself not abused for his ministry. That is my sincere hope, though I cannot prove it to be fact. However, it would be foolish not to learn lessons from Paul’s life and fall and his restoration, whether that was true or not; supremely the danger when someone operates a ministry with no accountability which seemed to be largely the case for many years. I have known other well known ministries which failed because of the same mistake, some deliberately cutting accountability ties that were once in place, just before their fall happened. Isolation and lack of accountability are hugely dangerous, especially for unusually sensitive and fragile people, with enduring damage from childhood years. Anyway, what follows is written by R.T. Kendall. You can find it on his blog page but for some reason I could not post the link here. I asked R.T.’s permission to share it. There is also a very sobering if somewhat rambling video comment by Rick Joyner if you care to search for it, which seems to be based on very recent experience. I for one remain supremely grateful for Paul’s ministry. I saw his vulnerability. I regret the way he was used, especially in his earliest years. I thank God I do not have to judge where the dividing line is between personal responsibility and that for which others may share a part blame. What I have seen in prayer over the years for Paul has left me astounded at the compassion of God. It has also awakened the fear of the Lord. Anyway, this is where my words stop and R.T’s words begin.
“Paul Cain was the most unusual prophetic person I ever met. His gift was extraordinary. I was honored to meet him and to know him. John Wimber wanted us to meet. Paul said that when he heard my name he was anxious to meet me more than anybody he ever knew. He even said I would be the brother he never had.

We got off to a good start. It began with lunch with Paul, Lyndon Bowring and me (see photo above). Paul gave me a prophetic word that was so relevant that I knew I should affirm him. I immediately invited him to speak at Westminster Chapel. He was well received from the beginning. In those early days he and his assistant Reed Grafke had become like family. We laughed and laughed a lot together. We spent hours and hours together in London and in Florida where they would visit our family on our fishing holidays. We spent days bonefishing over two summers in the Florida Keys. He was present when I first spoke at the Toronto Airport Fellowship – the night I was literally unable to string two sentences together intelligibly in front of two thousand people; that is, until I changed my text to Hebrews 13:13. I have written about this embarrassing experience elsewhere.

He later asked to become a member of the Chapel, saying that he wanted this “more than anything I have wanted in my life”. We broke the rules and made him a member. If I could turn the clock back, I would not have allowed this. After he was made a member he stopped returning my phone calls. His attitude toward me changed. I could not understand what was going on. This gave me as much pain as the pleasure he previously gave me by his prophecies.

Hearing Paul Cain stories was like reading accounts from both Elijah and Elisha. The extraordinary words of knowledge and prophetic utterances – often in puns – that he gave to people defy a natural explanation. No doubt other people who knew him will recount the amazing stories. It is only a matter of time that a book about him will come out.

There is no way to verify the story that his mother had cancer throughout her body when she was pregnant with Paul – that she was visited by an angel and was miraculously healed by the time Paul was born. What is undoubted is that from an early age Paul was given a supernatural gift of healing and words of knowledge. In the early 1950s he was a “boy wonder” – a healing evangelist that paralleled the early era of Oral Roberts. He said that the “healing anointing” that was present in several people in those days lifted but his prophetic gift continued on. He also became a recluse after that for many years.

I refer to him in the opening statement of my book The Anointing – that I had been influenced largely by him and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, strange as that may seem. But it is true. A conversation with him in a restaurant in Victoria Street, London, began the Word and Spirit ministry that I have sought to carry on. I said to him, “Paul, you need my theology; I need your power”. He said, “You have a deal”. Our first Word and Spirit Conference was held at Wembley Conference Centre in October 1992. But what many people remember was not anything Paul said but my address about Ishmael and Isaac. It was largely rejected, but Colin Dye, pastor of Kensington Temple, accepted it.

Paul was however a blessing to Westminster Chapel. He gave us timely words that were greatly needed. Nearly all he prophesied came true; almost all his words of knowledge were astonishingly accurate. You can read more about this in The Anointing and In Pursuit of His Glory – an autobiographical account of my twenty-five years in Westminster Chapel which includes a whole chapter on Paul Cain.

“Thank God for the least thing”, he would say when you were praying for someone’s healing. By that he meant we should not be ashamed to pray for a common cold as well as cancer when many cynics are critical. “The more God uses me the less I am able to enjoy it”, he used to say. I know what he means by that, having just finished preaching in Korea during a fifteen hour jet lag with little sleep. Arthur Blessitt used to say the same thing: “the tireder I am the more God uses me”. I could write a lot about Paul’s ministry to the Chapel, to my family and friends. One thing I will share is, when Rodney Howard-Browne preached for me Paul said I would lose some people (twenty members resigned in twenty-one days as it turned out), “but they will be replaced by pure gold”. He was right.

Paul Cain was not an intellectual but he was very intelligent. Dr. Lloyd-Jones used to make a distinction between being intellectual and being intelligent. “A cockney taxi driver will often be intelligent whereas an Oxford professor will be intellectual but often not be intelligent” (e.g. lacking in common sense). Paul was conscious of having little or no education. He was sensitive to any criticism, would worry more about one person in the audience against him than a thousand that were for him.

I wrote a book Is God for the Homosexual?It was widely accepted by the gay community in London for my sympathy toward one’s sexual proclivity but not for the fact I said the Bible teaches total abstinence from sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage. In researching this book I learned a lot. One thing was that a person often becomes gay by the absence of a father and the smother-love of the mother. Paul Cain’s background was precisely that. And yet I had no idea he was gay. Knowing how he related to his father should have made me see the obvious, but I simply did not see any evidence of it.

This was almost certainly why he avoided me in those years he would not return my calls. When I finally caught up with him years later – with my friend Jack Taylor – I said to him, “Paul, you are supposed to be accountable to me. But I have no idea who you are accountable to. I would lovingly warn you, if you do not listen, you are going to be yesterday’s man”. He wept. He seemed grateful. But I knew the next day he was staying aloof from me. Two years later Jack Taylor said to me, “Have you heard the news about Paul?” “No, what do you mean?” Jack then told me of his moral failure. It was the worst news I think I ever received in my lifetime.

The gifts of God are without repentance, that is, irrevocable (Rom.11:29). Paul’s gift pretty much continued on in his old age, although the last time I heard him he mostly reminisced and had minimal fresh prophetic words.

I am not Paul’s judge. God will bring to light what is absolutely true (1 Cor.4:5). But if I am totally honest, it seems to me that Paul was an example of one who blew away his inheritance. He will be saved but by fire (1 Cor.3:15).

I loved him, liked him, admired him, do not regret knowing him. I kept praying for him daily. Louise and I prayed for years that he would finish well and achieve more at the end of his life – like Samson – than in the whole of his life. Our prayers were not answered. He went to heaven under a dark, dark cloud.”

Me again now! Nothing in me wanted to post this. However, fear of the Lord prevailed. I am retired but remain a pastor. The flock needs warned and guarded. We need to remember that all our idols have feet of clay. We need a commitment to integrity. We need to make sure that hunger for signs and wonders do not make us so open minded that our brains fall out, which is something that Paul Cain himself once warned against.  We may be grateful for those who have had a Father like role in our spiritual lives and yet at the same time remember that to call a man “Father” or even Papa against the clear instruction of Jesus may well lead to a blind trust and ultimately to disillusionment and even loss of faith.

God bless



OK then, this is a bit early, but it is in my thoughts, which is what Facebook asked me. I cannot find any biblical backing for the season called Lent in terms of a sort of 40 day time of spiritual preparation for Easter. I think the first reference to such a 40 day season is found in the 4th. Century which of course may imply it existed before then: I may be wrong about that: correction willingly and humbly accepted. I will not contest it you if you tell me other, as I am simply saying what I believe to be the case historically. So for me it is one of these things than can claim no biblical authority, along with other matters such as special robes for the clergy etc. As such, such things are not part of my articles of faith and practice as it were, nor are they reason for entering into argument with those for whom they matter a lot. I can take such things or leave them without fight! However that does not mean that times of spiritual searching and preparation are not helpful and advisable. I know we can and should prepare ourselves all the time, but nonetheless, everyday preparation can be injected with fresh life by a special focussed season devoted to that purpose.

Spring sort of fits in with us psychologically as a time of reaching out with and for new life. Lent comes from a word for Spring.I am not sure where Lent descended into matters such as giving up chocolate, though no doubt such things help with personal discipline. However, let me suggest that if you want to follow a slightly deeper pursuit than the mastery of chocolate consumption, but are not the type of person with whom a formal Lenten course sits well, you could think of this: Jesus 40 days in the wilderness seemed to centre on this battle; an infiltration by evil to misinterpret, misapply and lie about what Christ’s belovedness meant, in order to to contest it or to distort its implications for His relationship with the Father and doing the Father’s will in the Father’s way. Jesus won through and returned from the wilderness in the obvious and manifest power of the Spirit.

Why not say over yourself each day of Lent when it comes, what God says over you in Christ? “You are my Son, my Daughter, whom I love. You bring me great joy.” Having said that each day in the Name of the Father to yourself, listen for where something within you, or from without contests that, argues with it, accepts it or rejoices in it. What do you think is going on within you and why? What are the implications of your belovedness for how you face your circumstances, for your relating to others, for prayer, for faith, for service? What strongholds within your relationship with yourself and with God raise themselves up against the truth of your belovedness? What reacts by calling your belovedness a lie? How did that get there?

So there is my suggestion for you if you are like me and find a formal embracing of Lent does not sit easy with you for biblical reasons. Take it or leave it, free of charge!

God bless


“To an unknown God…”

Read this today. It helped me to see where my best thoughts are birthed for myself, thoughts for others, for life, for a sermon, for poems (seldom to be shared).

Where is the simplest place you know? For me it is in being called, “Beloved.” In that place, Life calls from eternity into time, and from within time cries out towards eternity. It is the place where reality is faced with the faith to mourn and hope.

Personally, and I mean that, I rarely find truth in typical Christian books that is not obvious, though I am grateful for them and need them, especially when truth is expressed in new ways or illustrated from honest personal experience. I find poets speak true truth of a more primal level, even when they are not Christian believers. Paul saw that and did not share present day evangelical or charismatic uneasy qualms about that fact. Nor should he share our qualms. The fact it is so, is part of the truth that Christ lightens every person born into the world. We should always be thankful for that true light wherever we see its glimmer.

By the way, poets also often show “lostness” with clarity as well. I read a couple of poems today by Norman MacCaig. He is one of my two favourite poets but was defiantly, proudly, sardonically and angrily godless as far as I can read him from his work. I have never read a poet that can speak more beautifully about facing the sorrow of bereavement, but at the same time the bleak beauty shows a man who has no answer or hope to share. Tangent ended! Here are the lines that touched me today:

“May things stay the way they are
in the simplest place you know….
May nothing be disturbed
in the simplest place you know
for it is here in the foetal hush
that blueprints dissolve
and poems begin,
and faith spreads like the hum of crickets,
faith in a time
when maps shall fade,
nostalgia cease
and the vigil end.”

(Arundathi Subramaniam “Prayer.”)

God bless


Just in case you get the wrong impression of me…

It is the danger of a being a blogger who means to be encouraging that the impression is given of being a “know it all.” Actually, I have always felt I am but a child in the things of God, but a child who wants to learn. Most of my sermons come fresh off the page that I am learning myself.

Just in case you think I never have any battles … here is a poem I wrote once. It may help you now or in a future moment. We all have battles. They may differ for each one of us, or may differ within  us at various times, but the answer is the same; the Love of God: the God who is with us, for us, who takes delight in us, and who does not turn against us when we struggle, even when we have brought our struggles upon ourselves through deliberate wilfulness or unintended carelessness.

Why to night?

Tonight, I sweat in your presence,
Overdosed on worry
Injected with anxiety
Seeing weird and distorted portends,
Confusion my only clarity
Non-happening, most obvious reality…

Tonight, regimes changed so quickly,
A day of restfulness
Marinading in joyfulness
A soundtrack of songs of simplicity,
But dark now the score
Threatening, the waterfall’s roar…

“What happened?” asks Light,
“What turned today to night?”

Tonight, arrows pierced my helmet,
My unguarded eyes
Struck, by imagination’s lies!
A voice spoke with sharpened torment
“Failure” …“Useless”…
Words  from an out of date Thesaurus.

Tonight, in my presence, my  Father sweated,
… to hold my infant hands,
… to wrap me in Love’s swaddling bands.
… He spoke gently as though I was  to Him His only Beloved
… dear as  an infant Christ,
… His utmost delight.

Kenny Borthwick.


Know the Victor and know the enemy….

Another dream last night which showed me this:

The devil meticulously plans his tactics, while modern Christians can often be careless and casual with spiritual things, presuming that to be roughly in the ballpark, without too much regard for the application of the clear teaching and details of God’s word on all matters, is good enough for living and moving in the blessing of God.

The dream was in the context of the present plans of the Church of Scotland for renewal of its structures and organisation, but I thought it worthwhile sharing its truth as it has wider application.

For example, one aspect of the dream was about a casual approach to filthy language, which in many sectors of the Christian world is now seen as acceptable.

Never think you will know the power of Christ’s victory over the devil, if you are not prepared to let Him help you live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord and echo those words with your lips and within your heart.

I will leave it up to you and the Holy Spirit to search together for where there may be details needing attended to that you may have dismissed as not mattering too much.

God bless



Is there a hole in your pocket?

The angel said to Peter, “Quick!”  (Take time to read Acts 12 if you are not sure what this refers to!)

God’s sovereignty and my responsibility are often wrapped together as two sides of the one coin. I may not fully understand the process of how such a coin could ever be minted and long ago accepted that my willingness not to understand or adequately explain the mix may be sneered at and mocked as an intellectual cop-out. No matter: “The LORD protects those of childlike faith…” (Psalm 116). After 47 years of being a Christian and thinking like a Christian,  I am not sure that I have  gained much wisdom to shed more light on the subject or  to make myself sound more mature.

Whatever, I have found this coin to be good currency for purchasing spiritual health and victory in territories that seem like home to my soul, and in strange lands of unusual glories or daunting terrain reached by uncharted seas.

Treasure this coin. Guard it well. Has it slipped through a hole in your pocket? Think at what point you lost it, search for it and rejoice when you find it again.

God bless


Is this warning for you?

Had a dream last night in which there was a battle against a spirit of mockery. Watch out today you do not mock Holy things, or scoff at what is beyond your spiritual understanding or experience as yet…there may be life waiting for you in the very place, ministry or truth you have so quickly and confidently dismissed.

God bless.


A couple of thoughts…about our surprising and annoying God…

Two thoughts, similar, but from a different starting point, that I shred on “Facebook” today: shared here, for those who for many good reasons I  can think of would not touch “Facebook” with a barge pole!

Thought 1

In unexpected moments the Holy Spirit starts to dance with joy within us hand in hand with our spirit. It can happen in the midst of trial or ease, amidst a crowd or in aloneness, in our waking hours or when we are asleep. We hear the distant but distinct strains of a celebration and realise that part of our being has slipped out trough the window, escaping the brooding captivity of all that saps life away: it has already taken to the floor and its joyful whirling sends forth an invitation that the rest of our being may follow.

Thought 2

It is intensely annoying when the Holy Spirit in your your spirit is rejoicing in something  that your mind , armed with good solid biblical reasoning, is furious at. Been there so many times and have got the T-shirts in every colour under the sun…but would rather face that annoyance and its good fruit than be what I would be without it: a wee gnarled up angry Scottish Presbyterian Charismatic Pentecostal semi-retired older brother.

May my thoughts awaken and bless your own thinking.



Child and Conqueror!

It is always dangerous to separate what God puts together in His written Word and in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.  It is especially dangerous for those of us called to preach and teach to make that mistake as servants of God in the spoken Word.

In recent years there has thankfully been an emphasis in Renewal circles on the Father heart of God. This was much needed in countries like my own, Scotland, where people have often been brought up in the remnants of a spiritual culture that seemed to major on God as judge, and a harsh judge at that; a God who wears a frown rather than a smile of welcome and mercy.

However though we can never overstate the love of God in its scope or depth,  we can misrepresent its implications. In the bible, in the life of Jesus, the declaration of the Father’s love was followed by choices made for the Father’s will in the wilderness.

When we truly receive the love of God, a desire to do His will is birthed within us along with the power so to choose. In the presentation of the gospel, the Good News that in Jesus we not only find the delight of God resting upon us  but are  also given a new nature that delights in doing God’s will,  is sometimes obscured:  one reality is presented at the expense of the other. So for example,  the hyper-grace movement leaves out the requirement and joy of repentance and obedience, while Holiness movements and churches  have often resulted in a legalism that like all Pharisaism hides the smile of God’s saving love and kind mercy behind a disapproving, judging frown of unapproachability.

The joy of Christ’s Baptism and His obedience in the wilderness go together. This is the true grace of God that comes to us through relationship with Him, through  abiding in Him. It is also the way to true joy. Nothing can interrupt the joy of those who know they are loved  by the Father and who live to do the Father’s will. This was the delight of Christ and He invites us into Him: “Come to me.” In Him we find a love that cannot be interrupted and a joy that nothing can keep from us. What is to stop any of us this day, whoever and whatever is part of our situation, from obeying the Father’s will, and finding therein our delight? Only our choice.

I have been thinking back today over those moments when I have met people who have moved me to tears with the sight of the beauty of Christ in their lives. One such person was the missionary, Dr. Helen Roseveare. I heard her speak at Kilcreggan House when I was 15 or 16. I cannot really remember what she said, but it was the beauty of the Lord Jesus shining from her face, that made me want to find a private spot in the grounds, simply to weep. Truest beauty has that effect. It was overwhelming to me. The way to that beauty somehow became crystal clear without anyone telling me; saying “Yes” to the Father’s will, whatever that meant. It was something to do with not negotiating a contract with Christ under out own terms, but surrendering everything to the will of God without a terms and conditions clause. I have never forgotten that moment.

I hope whoever you are, you are living  in the full joy of Christ.  Perhaps to do so you might need to restore a balance to what it means to be in Christ. You may need to stand with Him under the joyful proclamation at His baptism and hear these words being spoken over you: “You are my Son, my Daughter whom I love. You bring me great delight!” Alternatively, you may need to stand with Him in the lonely  and costly choices of obedience in the desert, allowing Him to help you say His “Yes” to the Father’s will.

I believe this post is offering you the pathway to joy and freedom. For some it will be the joy of standing on the mountain top of spiritual experience  lifting your eyes to the Father in clear uninterrupted skies. For others, it will be the joy of standing in the valley in the midst or in the aftermath of great battle, with your weapons held aloft, bruised and bloodied but with a warrior cry of “Freedom” emerging from the unassailable depths of your being.

May the unfettered joy of Christ, the Son and the Victor be yours this day and always.

God bless you, Child of God and More than a Conqueror