Are you holy or just odd?

How weird and unnatural we can be in church. You see it for example when a congregation looks like rabbits caught in the headlights as they panic about whether or not they should clap for people who have done something well. Should they, should they not. Is it OK, or is it sinful and worldly? Will it make folk proud? It is quite funny to watch, in a depressing sort of way!

Was thinking about that today as I remembered back to Lewis. TommyMacNeil, the minister, got folk to clap for me before I had ever spoken a word. He repeated that practice for others too. I could see some in the congregation who were uncomfortable with that happening. I can’t speak for others who were on the receiving end of such applause, but I can honestly say it was one of the most humbling experiences of my life and proved that Tommy is the God honouring and God glorying leader he is, free from religious nonsense and fake spirituality, one who seeks to honour God and God’s ways. Far from playing into the hands of sinful human pride, I was, as I say, humbled, I mean devastatingly humbled by the whole experience. It was used by God to produce a spiritual grace in me, not sin. The same happened when a huge crowd of several thousand clapped for me at the end of a week’s teaching at New Wine in England – in fact, they have done that several times over the years. Each time it has reduced me to tears at an unbearable sense of my own wretchedness coupled to an almost inexpressible sense of thanksgiving for the mercy and grace of God, that He has poured out on me, and each of His children, in abundance. It has never once made me proud or given me an inflated opinion of myself or my ministry, such as it is. All my ministry is, is sharing the freshest bread that God has most recently given to me in His Word. That is all. It is nothing special in my own estimation. It feels like sparse fare as I am offering it, but if it brought life to me hopefully it will bring life to others too, by the grace of God. When it is tested by fire, as it will be, will there be any gold, silver, or precious stones left? I honestly, gnuinely, don’t know. Judge nothing before the appointed time. 

Let me say this, there are times when to applaud a person would be entirely wrong, even when God has used them in a magnificent way. Let me also say this: believe me, I have known other treatment too because of my preaching of the gospel including physical violence on more than one occasion, attacks upon our property, threats against my wife and the severe physical and psychological abusing of my children. I have been spat upon in the street, been ridiculed in the press and on radio, been spoken against by fellow believers, ostracised by a so-called ministerial fraternal. That is part of faithfulness to a call from Christ. I do not believe we can be faithful to Christ without experiencing opposition from the world and from within the church. My preaching was even a cause of concern to a well know MP, who went on to become a “Lord”, who wrote to a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland to express concern that in his constituency there was a minister encouraging people to give their lives to Jesus Christ. Worse still, the person to whom he wrote, wrote back to say that he was concerned to hear this too. “It is a funny old world” and an even funnier old church at times.

Does your church have a culture of honour? How have you expressed honour to those who serve well, especially to those who teach well? Scripture tells us they are to receive double honour. That probably literally means double pay! However, in the unlikely event of us being willing or allowed to obey Scripture to that extent, how are you showing honour where honour is due? Not to express honour, is false piety, false holiness. It may be Scottish spirituality, but even Scottish spirituality has its faults, errors, and at times unswerving obedience to its own practices and dominant theologies even when they depart from Scripture. Holiness is true humanness, not oddity with a frowning face.

God bless



OK, some of you, dear friends, are not sure that God speaks through dreams any more. I am sure he does. So, if you don’t believe he does, stop reading this post now! If you do, then let me say that before God I have accepted that when He wants to speak to me about certain issues, there are certain symbols that appear in my dream. As with prophecy, dream interpretation is not my main thing, preaching the Word of God and especially within that the saving death of Christ as presented there in all its depth of grace and wonder is my main thing. However dreams are one of the ways God speaks to me now and then.

Last night I had a dream about a toilet! Toilets in my dreams are about cleansing, getting rid of impurities. I was asked to take a look at a toilet that was leaking. In fact it had been leaking for a while, so much so that the floor underneath was actually rotting away, which seemed to have not been noticed. A “voice” said to me as I investigated the leak, “Yes, I called to (A Church was named, but I will not reveal the name here, the Church to whom this toilet belonged) and they came and thought they had repaired the leak, but there is a leak in the leak that has not been dealt with. I gave them another call, but they have ignored it, and chosen to do nothing.”

What was meant to exist as a means of cleansing was actually now causing destruction in its own foundation because the main leak had been ignored and the repair though well thought out and undertaken had not addressed the main leak at all. It remained. Just the tiniest of nudges made the water flow out at a faster rate. The collapse of the foundation had been slowed down, but unless the main leak was addressed, the collapse, though slowed down, was inevitable.

I have no access to that Church to speak to its leadership. They are not open to the idea of God speaking through dreams, however I can pray, though I have to say the feeling in the dream was of almost a refusal to want to have to deal with the true problem.

So why share the dream with you? Well, its principle elements could apply to any congregation, any denomination, any life of an individual even, where major issues are ignored. Our lives individually and collectively as different fellowships and churches within the one Church of Christ are meant to be a purifying influence into this world because of our relationship with Jesus Christ, but when we are not allowing the living pure water of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word and the blood of Christ to cleanse us first, a rotting in the foundational purposes of God for His People is happening and a collapse is inevitable unless warning is heeded and the main “leaks” are attended to.

One of the foundational moments at the start of the 49 -52 revival in Lewis was when one elder amongst his fellow elders and his minister, with whom he had met to pray for Revival, read from Psalm 24: “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? Who shall stand in His holy presence? He whose hands are clean and whose heart is pure, who has not lifted up his soul to what is false nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing of the Lord” He then said, “Brothers, it seems to me so much humbug met as se are met, praying as we are praying, if we are not rightly related to God.” He then turned his attention to God in prayer and asked, “Lord are my hands clean, is my heart pure?” At that moment the power of God fell. Several of these elders were thrown into a spiritual trance.

Asking the question that elder asked, a question furnished to us by scripture itself, is a good question to ask on a regular blessing, to ask it with honesty, but praise God to ask it at the foot of the cross, the place of God’s cleansing and grace. Is this a day for me, for you, to ask that question with integrity and intention before the Father who seeks those who worship Him in spirit and in truth?

God bless


Scotland’s Prophetic Hetitage

“Prophecy” is one way by which God shows himself to be the One true God. He speaks of things before they happen. I have been reading Isaiah and that is a strong theme in that book of the Bible. As far as I can see from the bible Prophets either recall people in their own times to God’s unchanging ways, or speak of His action in either judgement or salvation that will break forth in the immediate future and or that will happen in a more distant time. What Isaiah stresses is that true prophecies about what God is about to do are confirmable as it were. They are not vague, but have specific details, for example names or specific events, by which they can be shown to have come to be. If you have a calling in the realm of prophecy, why not ask that God will give you some specifics so that the person(s) to whom you deliver a word from God may be able to see it is being fulfilled for them? Most of what we hear delivered as “Prophecy” is of a very general tone, sometimes frustratingly so, with no specific markers, but rather talk of “levels” or “seasons.” I am not saying these prophecies are false, they may well be true and serve a purpose, but I am wondering if some of you who move in this realm need to be encouraged to believe you can hear more specific detail, accepting that what you hear will always be in part. Even with the gifts of the Spirit, there is a certain level of clarity that will not be ours until the Kingdom of God fully comes at the end of earthly time as we know it.

“Prophecy” has never been my main thing and my faith comes and goes a bit when it comes to believing I can hear very specific detail, but there have been a few occasions when I have heard in detail, have been given names etc. One time was when I was sitting on a plane about to arrive in a certain city for a conference. All of a sudden the Lord spoke to me about “Adam.” He let me know I was to give a message to someone called Adam that I would meet and told me some details so that he would recognise it was God speaking to him. Well, the folk organising the conference met me at the airport and took me for a meal. I asked the waiter his name. His name was Adam. On the plane God had shown me that Adam was called to be a worship leader. I asked him if he was a Christian. He said he had been going to an Alpha course with his girlfriend but an aggressive Christian that was part of his group had put him off. I encouraged him t go back with his girlfriend and try the course again. I told hm the Lord had been speaking to me about him on the plane and because of that I wanted to ask him if he was musical. He said that he was and played a variety of musical instruments. I spoke to him some more and asked the organisers of the conference if they would get for him a CD of Tim Hughes and give it to him as I felt he ws to be a worship leader, or at least that is what the Lord wanted for him.

Another occasion was less happy, but brought comfort in an odd way. An elder phoned to tell me his son had been lost at sea in the Gulf of Thailand. Immediately the Lord gave me a word and a picture that enabled me to say in faith, “Your son will be found.” I obviously hoped that might mean he would be found alive, however that was not to be. However, out of all those who perished, over a hundred, his was the only body found. The rest had been eaten by sharks. I had seen a picture that showed me someone tied in ropes to a boat. That is how he was found. Somehow seeing all that helped my elder to believe his son had died in the Lord. It was a comfort.

Now, I am not saying this to boast. I hardly ever experience such detail and to be honest am terrified when He does give detail and usually end up wishing He had not! I am saying it though for two reasons. Number 1, to encourage those of you who are much more prophetic than me and who may be called to be Prophets to believe for more detail. The second reason I am writing this, is I really feel it is time for Scotland to rise up in Prophetic gifting and calling. It is very much part of our heritage. In the past it existed in our nation, in much simpler but in deeper and more profound form than we have settled for in much of the current Pentecostal and Charismatic movement on the whole. May God restore that to His people in this land. I believe it to be a key ingredient in Scottish Christian heritage, identity and in God’s still emerging purposes for us in these days and in days to come.

Let’s pray for Prophets and remember that to some extent at least it seems this is something God wants us all to earnestly desire. To be honest I have to make myself earnestly desire this, as it does not excite me as much as reading and preaching the Bible. I often can’t be bothered seeking a Prophetic word. It often seems tame to me in its present manifestation, compared with the Lion’s roar of the bible. It is not my main thing personally, but I see its vital play and its place in our heritage. I hope even in the writing of this my “ earnest desire” may increase in me as much as in any of you. Don’t despise prophecy or mock the Prophets. Some repenting necessary in that regard?

God bless



I am sorry to disappoint those who hoped for a Report on the Conference on Lewis to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the 49 – 52 Revival. I find myself not permitted by God to write anything beyond what I have written on Facebook and now copy to here. I believe the reason for that is that is was Holy Ground in a very tangible way. I have never been aware of the presence of God in such a powerful way at any conference I have spoken at, attended or even led, nor so aware of His sovereign working in people’s lives. God is still at work in the aftermath of the event. I am not comfortable about the idea of “reporting’ on such a happening. So all I offer is this:

We Charismatics have become addicted to prayer ministry time, in that we feel it must happen. What Lewis demonstrated for me afresh is the power of God released through anointed preaching of His Word. I am not boasting, just learning from an amazing weekend where I personally experienced more of God’s anointing than at any other conference I have ever been part of or attended. It was tangible. What an insult it would have been to interrupt what God was doing and how God was doing it. People were baptised in the Spirit, delivered from demonic trouble and 25 people stood to say they had asked Jesus into their lives in one of the services. I hear reports of blessing continuing to flow which is wonderful. The pendulum can always swing too far. We needed it to swing in the direction of gifts of the Spirit which now flow freely in so many settings. Maybe we now need it to swing in the direction of reverence for His Word and a confidence in its power. Maybe we will one day get the balance right. We can be so addicted to our ways that we can become unable to recognise when and how God is at work. I am glad the weekend was under the leadership of Tommy MacNeil. He knew when to allow God to minister through His Word and when the time for Prayer Ministry was right. I thank God for such God aware leaders.

By the way you can get either CD’s or download MP3 format recordings of the Conference sermons (7th and 8th June) on the website of Martin’s Memorial Church. The two Sunday Services (9th. June), R.T. Kendall in the Morning and myself in the evening, are also available on the Church Website in another section. They tangibly felt very much part of the Conference and I would encourage you if you want to get a fuller experience of the meetings, to listen to these sermons too, in that light.

God bless


Hold! Hold!

Part of the joy and challenge of Biblical Hebrew is that there are about 2000 words at root, compared with modern languages where there may be hundreds of thousands of different words. That means you have to look at context to work out the best of several possible meanings.

I was reading the Prophecy of Isaiah over the last few days – still am! I was thinking about these words in Isaiah 30 about a coming Golden Age or time of Divine rescue of God’s people, a common theme in Isaiah: “When the towers fall.” It is not clear what is being referred to, but I am pretty sure it is not 9/11 despite it being used in reference to that horrible day in teaching and in some well l known prophetic pronouncements before the event – which is not the same as saying they were not real prophetic words, by the way! I think these words about the towers probably refer to the siege towers of Senacherib the King of Assyria. The Assyrians and the Babylonians were the first empires to use siege and siege towers against their enemies. Siege was unsuccessful against Jerusalem. The Stele of Senacherib mentions Jerusalem among besieged cities but it is the only city that is not mentioned as being captured after the siege. You can read the story of Jerusalem’s deliverance threaded through the writings of Isaiah. Jerusalem of course was subsequently captured by the Babylonians.

“When the towers fall…” As I say there is no way that you can claim any authority for saying this refers to 9/11. Nor can I claim necessarily any more legitimacy for what I now want to say!

One of the weapons that Satan, the enemy of God’s people and his demonic army uses is simply siege. He tries to wear out God’s people, just by long term standing against them. It can be difficult to cope with a long term trial that may not be severe but is chronic and continual and simply goes on and on and on and on. It could be chronic illness, that is not acute but just exhausts the body, mind and spirit. It could be a long term situation of family stress, or an unhappiness or injustice in a work setting. It may be that you are under siege at the moment. Remember that in Zion, “A river is whose streams make glad the city of our God.” Remember in Christ there is Living Water and Bread. You can survive the siege. Hold on. By God’s grace the day will come when you will see the siege towers fall.

God bless


A seat for you!

Facebook is my main way of pastoring nowadays. Conferences are occasional. Anyway, that is really how I use Facebook: as a pastoral tool. God long ago challenged me to be open and vulnerable otherwise He could not do through me what He wanted to in order to bless others. He also made it clear I was never to hide the charismatic side of things for the same reason, so here is a bit of both!

Last night, a night after returning from a wonderfully blessed conference on Lewis, I had a dream. In it I was told it was time for a full examination. I was told to strip and put on a black robe and wait for whoever was going to do the examination. I took the robe but refused to strip and put it on, despite the surroundings being very clinical and professional. Many had put the robe on and seemed now to be living in that place permanently.

If you serve God in any way and want to serve him better always remember the devil will try and accuse you in a nitpicking way, especially in the aftermath of being blessed to be a blessing. It is easy for him to gain a hearing with us as none of us is a finished work of salvation yet, we are all works of grace in process.

Jesus refused to let the words of those who did not love Him or care for Him have any entrance into His thinking about Himself. In the dream I saw that many had never managed to shake off the dark covering of an accusing examiner.

Remember, when the Holy Spirit is doing the examining there is always hope for He highlights Jesus above all and in Him there is NO condemnation! Hallelujah! I got out of the examination centre and got on a bus (which in my dream language represents church). As we drove off, flags flying, singing about being joyful in Jesus, we left that scene of condemnation and accusation far behind. It was like being on a bus celebrating a victory, a vanquishing! Come on the bus with us, those of you wearing the black robes of the Accuser of God’s children and servants! The fare has been paid. There is still a seat for you! Run out that stronghold of condemnation! Jump on the bus with rejoicing!

God bless


Hard to imagine, but God did it…

(This is a long rambling post. Nothing new there!! Warning you of that so you can skip it if you are not in the mood for long rambling posts. It is about children and young people and revival, but is really just me chatting about these things. You have been warned! If you do read it may it bless you and even encourage you in your prayers.) 

I recall reading reports from the newspapers of the day of a Revival in Orkney in 1861. It affected both of the islands I was minister of for five years, Eday and Stronsay in the year 1860’s. On Eday there was a prayer meeting composed entirely of children. On Stronsay there were such scenes that I could scarcely believe when I read about them. I think none of us can possibly imagine what Revival would look like if it should come to our churches and communities. On Stronsay back in the 1860’s move of God, a young girl who saw Jesus asked an older man who was in tears because he could not and did not know how to come to Jesus, “Oh Sir, can’t you see Him? Let me help you to Jesus.” Imagine such a thing being reported in a Newspaper today! Orkney farmers are wonderful, and I loved my time there, but I think even the current Christian farmers on Stronsay would agree it is almost beyond the power of imagination to think of young Stronsay farm labourers running around the Church building shouting out praise to the Lord, unable to contain the joy of their salvation, the joy of the Holy Spirit within them. By culture, they are sincere, but quiet about things to do with faith, but that is what their forebearers did when the Spirit of God fell.

I remember reading about all of this and thinking how unimaginable it was, difficult to believe it could happen in Orcadian Culture. At that point there was a knock at the manse door. It was old JIim Stockan of oatcake fame. He had come out to the island for the day and dropped in to see me – a truly lovely believer as was his wife, May. I treasure the memories I have of them and indeed of their son, James and his wife Carrie. They were all incredibly kind to me and my family both then and since my years living there. I told Jim what I had been reading, saying I found it hard to believe it had actually happened. He said, “Oh my, it happened alright!” I wish you could hear that sentence in his accent! He then told me that his mother had been a bairn sitting on his granny’s knee in a meeting in the days of the Revival, when his granny slid off her seat to the floor under the power of the Spirit when God came down, and his mother somehow managed to stay sitting on her lap! Even toddlers can recall what it is like when the Holy Spirit comes in Revival power and pass on the story of the mighty acts of God.

When I was minister there from 1984 – 1989 there was one quite unusual spell of blessing on Stronsay, though nothing comparable on Eday. I remember the night the Holy Spirit fell on the School during a Christian Endeavour Camp. Many teenagers sought the Lord, it was quite remarkable and not expected on the first night of a camp. I did not get home until about 2 or 2.30 in the morning as I was praying with some of the young people. The first I knew anything was happening after the meeting was over, was when a boy knocked on the door of the school kitchen. His question to me? “What must I do to be saved.” Unusual things happened for two or three weeks, though not in great measure numerically, and with no particular spread, but unusual all the same.

I believe the source of that blessing in the human sense was a prayer meeting made up of a few of the young folk of Stronsay who met in the Church Hall to pray. One of the young folk affected by what God did in answer to their prayers is going to the Conference this weekend. He left one of the meetings to chat up one of the island girls. However, God had other intentions. The power of the Spirit fell upon him. I will never forget his words. He said to me it was as though someone had hit the top of his head off with a great heavy wooden bat. Instead of chat up lines, he found himself pouring out words of witness to Jesus Christ! He is still standing for the Lord and serving him. It will be lovely to see him after all these years.

With those stories involving children and young people in mind, if you have a mind so to do, let me encourage you to continue to pray for the ongoing fruit from the Youth Conference last weekend in Stornoway and for any other gathering of young people the Lord may lay on your heart. Who knows what could happen if even just one or two of these young folk came into a surrender to Jesus and a desire to live and serve Him to the glory of God at a deeper level than they have walked in so far. Who knows how far the impact of such lives could reach, not only into their own generation, but into the generations of their elders and into generations yet unborn, or just toddlers at the moment, that they would grow up to praise and magnify the Lord.

Well done, persevering to the end of this post!

God bless


The sound of knives dropping?

Read some hideous comments from one Christian minister against another on Facebook! Full of judgement and ridicule. The measure we use in judging other is the measure God will use to judge our works and service one day.. It is a fearful thought that one day many of our works may be thrown into the fire with the same dismissal we have shown towards our fellow believers and what they do for the Lord. Like Scrooge, we may well hear our own words being replayed to us at that awful moment when we see our life’s work going up in flames no matter any honour or praise we may have been given on earth by appreciative people. Oh we will be saved, but as though fire., our works and ministry unrewarded, unacknowledged., disregarded for eternity to come.

I often hear the Lord saying to me, as I begin to think negatively of another believer saved by the blood of Christ, or critically about their ministry by which they have genuinely sought to honour Him, “Could I just look into your life, your ministry, as you are doing to them, Kenny?” It makes me drop the knives very quickly. In case you think I am pleading innocence and am never guilty of what I saw on Facebook that I refer to above, through the night I found myself weeping at a bad attitude that arose towards a fellow servant of Christ. I so hate when such a horrible thing surfaces in me. I try and be quick to acknowledge it and find mercy, but will I ever reach the place of sanctification by the grace of God that such horrible thoughts will never arise again against a fellow believer and servant of God? I hope so. I still hope so, for with God nothing is impossible. I know that after almost 48 years of salvation, I still need mercy.

Maybe it is part of heart preparation for Lewis, though not just for that. Already people there are weeping before the Lord at prayer meetings in an awareness of God in the midst of their gatherings. People are praying at the meetings that have never prayed before; the work of God’s Spirit. Humble united prayer together with no sidelong swipes or darts being flung at anyone else under a cloak of false piety,; coming together before the God whose mercies are new every morning, whose faithfulness is great, who draws us to Himself with cords of compassion, seems to indeed be the place of God’s commanded blessing. My prayer is that when I go there at the weekend, God willing, I will do nothing to disturb what God is doing even at this moment as He moves among His people. I can genuinely say I would rather not go if there was any risk of that happening, though I would be sad at not being with people I love in a place I love. I have already prayed that if God would be more glorified by my not being there, that is fine by me. I think it is healthy to say on a fairly regular basis, “Use me or set me aside as you see fit, Lord, for your glory.”

God bless