A strength can make you a liability…

An unguarded strength can be a danger. That is not a new thought to me. It is not particularly profound, but it came with fresh force as I read Meistersinger Elkhart today. He was a mystic. At times his developed skill in that area leads him to some very fanciful interpretations of Scripture that by any stretch of the imagination are not valid. I still find him worth reading but with caution. I find I need to do the same even with some of my favourite writers that I turn to more regularly like Henri Nouwen or Brennan Manning. Their understanding of humanness is profound but at times they lean more to that than to Christ and the Bible. I remember noticing the same In Reformed teachers in the early days of my. Christian life. Their mastery of the doctrines of grace sometimes led them to twist Scripture and cleverly avoid its clear meaning. In the past I have met experts in Revival who could not acknowledge or recognise the Spirit of God at work in their own day.

Needless to say Charismatics like me can without care become guilty of the same thing. A strong conviction to do with “Kingdom now, as in heaven so on earth” can lead to strange fire, and the abuse of the vulnerable and to behaving in an unseemly way, the exact opposite of what love looks like. Just listen to some of the most current teachers on that theme and look at some of the ministry styles and bizarre corporate behaviour it wrongly baptises as a new level of “Faith” and its self congratulation for non results rather than humble admission that declaration can be arrogant presumption, taking God’s people into the territory of the dancing and chanting prophets of Baal.

Just in case you are wondering, I see the same in me.

I guess I am asking if you are guilty of the same? God given strength of ability, gifting, calling can make us single eyed in the wrong sense, one track minded in favour of that rather than following Jesus and faithfulness to the Scriptures. The two do not necessarily coincide. We can actually become a mystic, a Bible teacher, a prophet, a church leader, someone used in a healing ministry, who is skilled to a high level, who could even give talks on our area of acknowledged skill and expertise, but we have “lost connection with the Head.” Our expertise, sadly, can become our life. When it does its ability to bring the true life of Christ to people starts to wane, though we may well continue to be applauded by a Christian community that on the whole seems to not understand the presence or the absence of true anointing and its attendant true wisdom and love that comes from God.

Again, as often, a useful question can often be, “Is it I Lord.”

God bless

Kenny

Daily…

Picking up our cross, daily. It is what Jesus said His followers have to do.

I have to speak on that theme on Saturday at “The Commission,” a Day Conference for men taking place in Woodhill Evangelical Church, Bishopbtiggs. Where is it obvious I have picked up my cross today to follow Jesus?

The “talk” on Saturday is the easy part…

God bless

Kenny

A New Thing, which is really an Old Thing

BRILLIANT CAFE CHURCH AT SHOTTS PRISON TODAY. Ricky McAddock who along with his wife Julie started and run “Street Connect” was the speaker today. He shared something of his background which would really have connected with a lot of the inmates.

God is definitely doing a new thing, which of course is really an old thing, through His people to bring the life changing hoe of the gospel of Jesus to marginalised people.

I copied a bit of the story here. I hope you are encouraged as you read it, and perhaps even encouraged to pray for such works.

 

About us

OUR STORY

The charity developed from the outreach work at Glasgow City Church (formerly known as The Christian Centre). In May 2013 Ricky and Julie McAddock (pictured) started working with marginalised and vulnerable people in Glasgow City Centre. Ricky and Julie had direct experience of not only the life controlling effects of addiction but also the life transforming power of putting their faith in Jesus Christ. This personal experience continues to inspire them to help those on the fringes of society to find freedom from all life controlling issues.

THE VISION THAT STARTED STREET CONNECT

Reaching out to the marginalised has also been a long standing ambition of Glasgow City Church in line with their mission statement of: “Bringing the healing love of God to a hurting world”. The Church was keen to reach out to those in the surrounding area and to see vulnerable individuals making positive changes in their lives. As the work of the Church’s outreach cafe continued to grow it was clear that there was both a significant need and tremendous potential for these activities. The decision was taken to establish the project as an independent charity. Street Connect was officially born and given registered charity status on 23rd May 2014. Since that time Street Connect has made a difference in many hundreds of lives and it continues to grow and develop new services, projects and activities.

In 2016 we had a vision to expand the work outside of Glasgow City Centre, and within the next year had hubs in partnership with local churches in 2 of Glasgow’s most deprived areas, and real areas of need (Possilpark and Govan). As part of our vision we sought to empower the local church to reach the lost, and in 2018 expanded outwith Glasgow to the surroundings areas in Paisley and Clydebank, and our first project in England opened in Deal in Kent.

As part of our vision we sought to empower the local church to reach the lost

WHERE WE ARE NOW

We currently have 4 full time and 15 part time staff members in a variety of roles, both front line and head office based. You can read more about our staff team and their role in our work here. We also have over 50 active volunteers who are involved in a variety of our services and projects both in our Saturday evening outreach cafes and throughout the week. We have built up a fantastic team, and we are especially thankful to our volunteers, as without them, we would not be able to give the level of support we do.

We work in partnership with a range of local and national organisations and our current services include street outreach, drop in cafes, One-To-One consultations, group work including our community recovery programme, befriending, community detoxification services and referrals to residential rehabilitation. We’ve recently purchased our second two-bedroom move-on flat to provide accommodation for those who have successfully completed a period in residential rehabilitation. In the future we hope to be able to offer further accommodation geared to the varying needs of those we work with, including a small supported accommodation unit for those more at the beginning of their journey.

You can read more about our ever growing number of services and projects.

Hope this blesses you

Kenny

Peace and Prophecy

Had a long dream last night. Lessons in it for me that I want to share with you especially if you are in a period of spiritual “waiting ” for something of the promises God has made to you to be birthed.

1: Spend time with those who carry the sweetness of the Lord’s peace and have learned it through physical suffering. Those who suffer from chronic long term physical affliction and still manage to have faces bathed in the beauty of God’s peace have a sweetness you can eat and share. They will probably have to be sought out and are probably passed over as having much place in churches that are the flavour of the month. They may even have been lost from a congregation’s awareness and be no longer able to attend. They may well be in their seventies or older. They will care little about current theories that excite movers and shakers. They would not be considered cool or trendy. They have had to get to know Jesus to survive and even flourish. They are almost a bygone race: those in Scotland who knew Christianity is about Jesus: full stop. Spending time with them will be like tasting the best ice cream you have ever eaten. You will savour it and wonder why you have tasted something so wonderful before. Stay and savour.

2: A prophetic man I trusted more than any other, John Paul Jackson, now in glory, came into my dream. He was very seriously looking into a promise box and drawing out old prophetic words nd reading them again to those to whom he had given them while alive. He had a very serious look on his face. The sense was of the danger of people giving up old prophetic words as false because they have not yet been fulfilled. There was also a sense of mercy and forgiveness and hope that those who had side stepped the pronounced will of God could find their way back into Plan A, but it was not guaranteed they would take the necessary steps. There also came across the sense that some of us would be surprised who would prosper in God for we look upon them as suspect in commitment and not doctrinal enough for our liking. God has found in them an ingredient often missing but as important as commitment to truth, as important as faith: TENDER COMPASSION AND LOVE FOR PEOPLE. KINDNESS AS A BEDROCK FOUNDATION IN WHAT THEY DO DESPITE WHAT FOLK MAY THINK AND HOW PEOPLE MAY JUDGE

Anyway, there it is. It was for me, but it would be unlike me to hold on to a good gift from God and not share it!!

You may not understand all this about dreams and how God speaks through them. That’s alright. Look for truth in what I share and consider it.

God bless

Kenny

A smile bristling with nails…

Further to my last post to this one, have just witnessed a mega church pastor in a den of Reformed Theology lions , some of them household names here and some household names both sides of the Atlantic. He behaved in a Christ like way. They on the other hand…well, we can have a commitment to doctrine and grieve the Spirit speaking truth with the voice of the devil. Knowing the doctrines of grace does not mean we are necessarily Christlike or even saved. It is a prospect almost unbearable to me that Christ should say to any “I never knew you.” He will. It may prove to be the case that some who have an impeccable knowledge of Christ’s words and the doctrines derived from them and His appointed Apostles may be found to have built on sand, through hearing but without living and doing. Hearing without doing and living does not survive the storm of Judgement according to Jesus in Matthew 7. Some of the lost may have much more biblical theology than the saved.

I felt I was witnessing a Sanhedrin with a fake smile “bristling with a bunch of nails.” (I seem to remember a line like that from a poem.) God help them and God help me not to be like them and recognise when I am. And God help that humble mega church pastor to continue in the blessing of God and to be a blessing to many, even though I would feel uncomfortable in the style of church life and worship that exists there and wish he would say things a bit differently than he does! Even writing that sounds patronising! I have embarrassed myself but will let it stand as a reminder of my stupidity and self important pride…

And to any of you dear folk who ask me to have the courage to name names… don’t force me to add to my stupidity by taking the bait you dangle. If I did it would turn a warning to be thought about and if necessary to be received with humility and repentance, into an argument which allows an evasion of examining  our hearts asking with trembling, “Is it I Lord?”

A shocked and disturbed Kenny

Do they have scars?

“The Heart is deceitful above all things” So says the God breathed Scriptures. For some reason I was thinking about that verse. It could be because of what has come to light about Jean Vanier, namely his sexual abuse of several women over many years. I was sad to read that allegations have proved to be true.

However, the verse went off like a light in my spirit not when I read that news but when I read a heresy hunting website. There are many of them around. Sadly I have sometimes found it to be true, not always but sometimes, that those who trumpet most about the errors and sins of others are often found down the line to have been living a double life. It is not unusual for preachers for example who go purple in the face as they rage against carnal sin in the church to be discovered with prostitutes or to be deeply into pornography.

If you find wrong in others a delicious morsel that sets you salivating and looking for an opportunity to share it, take care. God will treat you in the way you treat others. The measure in which you have delighted to find fault and expose others is the way He is deciding to deal with you right now. It may be too late to stop your sins being exposed. It may not be. Fear God. The exposure could happen today, or in two years time. This moment be the last one God gives you to repent. Do it. In mercy God may never ask you to make it public. He is kind as well as severe. What we hide He exposes sometimes. What He hides is hidden.

“The Bible says,” can make you into a winner of souls like Billy Graham a teacher like the late great Jim Graham or into a false prophet who speaks from the heart of the enemy of God and His people. Give some people a Bible and a soapbox and a dictator is released. Some people follow dictators and get hooked by their eloquence without any check on their behaviour. Make sure you are not one of them.

I have found many Christians love in the angry sermons pointing out wrong. Love does not rejoice in the discovery of wrong, the practice of wrong. Oh for sure it needs to be done, but only from a Christlike heart that loves enough to have a track record of suffering for the church. Heresy hunters and fixers of the church rarely have such a record.

What losses and scars do you bear for the flock of God whom you claim to be warning, heresy discoverer, troll of video excerpts and quotes out of context, bull who sees red at the mention of certain names? If, as a pastor I ever spoke about errors creeping in at the edges of the flock, I had earned the right to do so. I had the scars, the sleepless nights, the being treated at times as the offscouring of the earth. My wife and family have scars too. Pointing out error needs more than a Bible, a degree in theology, the ability to find a quote from a revered author and access to social media.

God bless

Kenny

Bob.

Today I found myself thinking of Bob Chalmers. He was one of the elders in St. Peter’s and St. Andrew’s Church in Thurso where I served from 1989 until 2005.

Bob is now in glory. I have so many positive memories of him. He taught me so many things to do with being sensitive to the presence and touch of God’s Spirit. He prayed in a move of God during our time in Thurso: he had prayed for it for over 30 years. He was a faithful visitor of the flock of God. He was a friend and encourager of many ministers. He was generous: he paid for my first mobile phone for two years when I could not afford one, and paid for me to go to Toronto on two occasions, where I was refreshed in the move of God’s Holy Spirit that began there in the mid 90’s. That ushered in my most fruitful years of ministry and influences all I do in ministry to this day. I owe Bob’s kind and thoughtful generosity a lot as do you if you are blessed by these blogs or have ever been blessed by my ministry in other ways. Into his latter years He remained open to fresh experiences of renewal. I remember him being slain in the Spirit. I remember Him praying for others, including a Pentecostal minister, and they were slain in the Spirit too. He loved the Word of God. He was the Church officer and whenever I came into the Church I would find him ready to share something from an open bible lying before him on the table he loved to sit at and pray. Often he cried as he shared truth that had touched him deeply. On occasions he prayed for folk and they were healed.

But none of that is what came most to mind today. Rather it was a memory of him looking downcast as he shut the huge heavy ancient doors of the church one Sunday morning . He turned to me and said, “You know Kenny, I just long for one Sunday Morning when I could come and worship the Lord and go home without someone complaining to me or being critical to me about something or other.” I felt so sad for him, more sad for him than he felt for himself. He was used to unkind things being said to him even in circles within church life beyond the local congregation. Sometimes Church authorities have am angry attitude towards those who follow Jesus and His Word as faithfully as Bob did.

I think what made that sad memory come alive was being at Storehouse Church in Kilsyth whet I had been invited to preach. I met some elders who had been part of the congregation when it first formed and only recently had been asked to serve as elders again. They struck me as lovely humble people. They somehow reminded me of Bob. I found myself wondering if, like Bob, in the course of many years service they had ever longed for a criticism free Sunday.

I guess the question that arises from this at the close of a Sunday is this: did you criticise or appreciate today? As simple a challenge to think about as that…

In God’s Word the Apostle Paul encourages us all to desire that we should be prophets to those who know, love and follow Jesus, however imperfectly, as part of the body of Christ. What does that mean? Well Paul tells us. It means that we should desire to learn how to listen to God and then speak something from God into the life of the body of Christ, to strengthen, encourage and comfort our fellow believers. Look at these three words again: strengthen, encourage, comfort. Survey your day, survey your words today in church in the light of them.

Keep these 3 words in mind when you next gather with God’s people.

God bless

Kenny

A strange hope… many churches in Scotland will disappear…

I have been reading Jeremiah and Ezekiel lately.  Not the lightest of experiences! However, they contain a message of hope. It is however a strange hope. It is the hope of the wrath of God being poured out on His people in a way that satisfies Him, calms Him and causes Him to turn His wrath away and begin a process of restoration. Speaking of His people as an unfaithful bride and the devastation of what the nations will do to her, God says, “So I will satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no longer be angry.” (Ezekiel 16:42.)  God’s wrath against His people must be satisfied for His anger to be turned away before a sure and certain restoration. Remember, all of this is being said to a nation that had its birth in grace and promise that were there before the Law was given and broken.

When God judges the people He calls His own possession to the extent their survival is impossible save for His action, there is hope, hope based not in God’s people, their reforms or efforts (Josiah’s well intentioned reforms failed), but based on God’s faithfulness to Himself. This is both our fear and our confidence: “He cannot deny Himself.”

I have this strange hope for the Church in Scotland. Judgement is present and deepening.  That is why there is hope. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. We have not reached the bottom of the curve as it were, not reached the turning point…but we will…I don’t know when. Some people are confident that the turning point, the Revival, is coming soon. I hope they are right, but I have seen many godly people, closer to God than I am, who have prayed with much more passion than I have consistently done,  who have spoken with such conviction and it has not happened. It will happen. Will it happen in my life time? I have no promise from God on that for myself. Will I see it? God knows… but He has birthed this strange hope that the message of Jeremiah and Ezekiel though it was first given to ancient Israel is relevant to the Church in Scotland in our own day. It may be more frighteningly relevant to some congregations, groupings and denominations than others. Some may disappear completely and not be part of the future restoration I know is coming. They will not disappear simply because of being out of touch and irrelevant to their communities, nor because they have not found out the right pattern for their life, nor because of a lack  openness to the ministries of Apostles, Prophets and Evangelists to complement the ministries of pastors and teachers, but because of the fixed and unavoidable judgement of God.

On thing is for sure. There will come a day when in a manifest way, God will presence himself among those who are humble, of a contrite spirit  and tremble at His Word.  To borrow from another prophet, Malachi, there is a day coming after the judgement and through the judgement that will make it obvious that God makes a distinction between those who serve God and those who do not,  between the righteous and the wicked. Those that even now in these days fear the Lord and His Word and find themselves talking together about such things will have their names written in a Book of Remembrance before the Lord.  “These will be mine in the day when I make up my treasured possession.” That makes me tremble, especially when I hear what is said by some who are regarded as leaders in their church circles who have boldly and with silver tongued eloquence led God’s people to certain departures from the word of God, albeit limited and not total.  Before you say it, I am aware of the fingers pointing back at me type of thing. Whenever I write in a tone like this, I ask, “Is it I Lord?”

I believe what I am saying cannot be avoided by prayer. It is fixed. It will happen…

God bless

Kenny

 

Another warning… for you? Finance…

Get rid of currying the favour of the kings. Follow your calling not the offer of finance. If there are strings attached to the offer from a king or kings and queens, turn down the offer. They are neither for you or for God. It is time to let go of the “partnership with kings” mantra. If it happens as you pursue your truest calling it will be God and no sorrow will come your way along with the gift. If there are schemes and strings, all you will do is raise a folly to your name or theirs that will be but a monument quicker than you or others might imagine. It may be admirable, large, imposing but will contribute nothing of substance to the Kingdom of God in our day.

This may save you from distress…

God bless

Kenny

PS to the “Warning….”

 

A “P.S.” to my most recent post. This may at first not seem to be connected but it came to me as I pondered for myself what I said under the heading, “Warning,” based on the confusing story of 2 prophets in 1st. Kings Chapter 13.

The need to belong can take us into circles of acceptance in which your deepest self and calling becomes adulterated… it will take immense trust in God to obey His “Don’t go there.” If you have, then extricate yourself as quickly as possible, from those you thought held the key for you to prosper and have greater influence in the Kingdom of God than you have at the moment. Trust God to open the right doors. Often,  just before the right one opens, Satan ,who is not omniscient but has limited knowledge and great cunning, picks up something of that, and draws your attention with excitement to other doors of welcome….

I have met several people who say they got involved in a homosexual lifestyle though they were not homosexual because of a door of acceptance and welcome. I have heard testimonies of those no longer living in that lifestyle lately making precisely this point.

However this post is more about calling. Did yours get sidetracked through a door of encouragement and welcome? If so, I know these two posts may be uncomfortable reading. They come with an apology too, for the fact that the body of Christ in Scotland is lamentably discouraging and plays into the devil’s hands and tactics of opening wrongful doors of welcome to gifted and called people. My apology if it is if any use, is sincere, but two wrongs do not make a right.

God bless

Kenny

 

 

Warning!

Today, I found myself reading the curious story of a young prophet and an old prophet recorded for us in 1st. Kings Chapter 13. I  had not the slightest intentions of reading there but was drawn there, I believe by the Spirit of God.

The story raises many uncomfortable questions, but the lesson is clear no matter how fearful and uncomfortable. One of those propheticky things that happen to me from time to time formed within me as I thought about the story. Hence this post. It is for someone who listened and acted upon the voice of someone else, perhaps a prophet who seemed to tell them to go against what God had already clearly said. The consequences can be and perhaps have already been severe…especially if you are a leader among the people of God.

Please listen! Nothing that anyone ever says to us in the Name of the Lord, no matter their credentials, their gifting, their anointing, their history of service for the Lord, no matter the relationship they seem to have with God should ever be given head space or heart space, or our obedience if it takes us away from what God Himself has clearly said to us as we have read His Word in the Bible and listened to the voice of His Spirit. Take the warning of this passage.

This propheticky thing works, I believe, for churches, congregations, fellowships, denominations. We need to get rid of the worldly idea that a prophet calls us into new ventures that challenge the norms. There is a grain of truth in that, but the danger is what can be done with that grain of truth. A prophet in the bible calls us back to God, who is always faithful to what He has always said and calls the people of His Name to be so too. If there are new ventures a prophet calls us to, it will be new ventures of faith and faithfulness to Who God is and Who He has always been. A prophet will never call us to take off the belt of truth which Scripture tells us to put on.

Any denomination or congregation that follows a so called prophetic call which takes a direction away from what God has said will find itself in a place of death from which there may be no recovery.

I write this in the fear of the Lord. If I had not then your blood might one day before the Lord might be upon my head.

God bless

Kenny

The Fire of God!

Friends, posted below is a testimony of someone who was at the “Revival Conference” in Lewis last June. It was posted on Facebook. It was originally written in French. This is “Facebook’s” offered translation. In some places it does not make complete sense, but it makes enough sense for you to make sense of it!!

I repost it here, not because I am mentioned in it, but for many more important reasons.

First of all it is a good reminder that there is always more of God’s Spirit for us to experience.

Secondly, although there is always more for us to experience of God’s Spirit, and although there is no one experience that is the answer to every problem, God’s Spirit  really can bring breakthrough to God’s people in areas where they have experienced bondage.

Thirdly, I meet so many Cristians who speak to me of their struggle with pornography, one of the issues raised in this testimony. A good proportion of those of you who read this will be caught in its vice like grip. Some  believers who struggle in this area have been given bad counsel, even by Counsellors purporting to be Christian: “It is not all that important. Don’t worry about it!” In their hearts they know right away this is the devil’s voice.  If you are feeling despair because you are caught in the prison of pornography and cannot imagine yourself ever being free, read this awkward translation of a wonderful testimony.

The God who answers with fire, He is God.

🔥 On fire 🔥

I’m watching the fireplace fire as the rain is increasing tonight.
Another storm. Again.
So good to be by the fire while the storm raging outside.
Went for a run this afternoon in the middle of a storm. I was soaked to the bones. Hail and gusts of wind were trying to deter me along the way. It was a failure! I was smiling, laughing, rented my God for this “little” refreshment.
I try to see something as the rain blind me by covering my glasses, I see a funny show on my right.
We’re in the middle of a storm and a guy makes a fire to burn various things.
My first thought: what a madness to make a fire when it’s storm level 27!
Thinking as I try to avoid puddles and cars on this one-lane road.
I was rather stopped by my last reading, all bringing me back to the Holy Spirit, the fire that Jesus had promised to send to his followers before his rise.

It’s true that I had an experience of the Holy Spirit in Stornoway in June 2019. I was really transported during preaching then even more as the preacher Kenny Borthwick had prayed for me. I cried and felt cleaned out of the sin that was eating me. FIRE WAS IN ME all night, impossible to sleep. An indescribable peace and joy. That night I was delivered from porn and this quest for unhealthy relationships that made me dirty and sad. This guilt kept me from having a sincere relationship with God and growing up as a man. Many people do not understand the impact of sex and porn in our sick society. All of this is just a facade of an evil that is eating our beings. They say they sell us pleasure but they only buy our souls.
Anyway. That night I tasted something that words can’t describe. “What a foot” would say Thierry Roland! Better than a of roulette or strawberry pie.
As by “magic” in the week that followed began the beginning of something big with the Texas of my heart. A pure and sincere relationship with an extraordinary human being.

Let’s get back to my crazy run in the storm this afternoon.
I see this fire and I think this is what I miss in the storms of my life right now.
The fire of the Holy Spirit.
It is the only fire that remains more burning and effective even in the biggest storms. He will help me face the hardships of life. He is the connection that I miss. I need it!

Christian friends this is a call to prayer. Please. Take a time to accompany me in this prayer. I want to be baptized of the Holy Spirit in the next few hours!
Let’s get to work!

May God get his glory from this testimony. May it give hope to others.

God bless

Kenny

Tonight…live!!

Morag and I are going to be on live Sunday Evening Worship tonight  with Angela Courte Mackenzie. It will be a great thrill for us to spend some time with her and her husband Kenneth in their beautiful home around the piano.

Angela loves the old hymns though new songs are in favour as well. If you are looking for a blessed way to end this Sunday why not tune in? It is a weekly broadcast on Sunday evenings at 10p.m.

I know that if you type Angela Courte Mackenzie into the Facebook search bar you will be taken to her page and find a link to the live broadcast. You may find another route, via Youtube or through Google, if you have an aversion to Facebook – an aversion I understand!

Anyway, click here and take a look at what to expect!

God bless

Kenny

A thought to ponder…

You will know if you have been reading my blogs that I have been reading  Meister Eckhart’s writings. Here is some of what I read today in a piece of writing designed to help us to find consolation when we are going through times of suffering. He actually gives seven or eight truths at least to hold on to, but in the midst of all of what he says (which I think needs to be read with care and only makes any sense at all to a person who wants to fully embrace the will of God regardless of cost), he says the following:

“He who was Son of God by nature willed to be man by grace, so that He might suffer for your sake; and you want to become the son (child)  of God and not man in order that you may not and need not suffer either for God’s sake or for your own?”

“Saint Paul (or whoever wrote Hebrews!) says that God chastises all those whom He takes and receives as sons. It belongs to being a son that one should also suffer. Because the Son of God could not suffer in His Godhead and in eternity, the heavenly Father sent Him into time so that He should be able to suffer.  If, then, you would be like God’s Son and yet not suffer, you are very wrong…   It is a sign that the king or a prince trusts a knight well if he sends him into combat.”

Mmm… I think we ned to remember teaching like this in the face of popular and charismatic mantras and jingles  such as “God is always good and only does good things,”  lest they end up causing people to lose faith rather than grow in faith and to live in fantasy rather than reality. By definition, everything that God does in working our His will in His children is always good. That does not always mean “pleasant.” God uses many things for our good (even the devil, always evil and never good) that can only be called good in relation to the furtherance of a desirable and God glorifying and God honouring  purpose. His purpose  for us as His children, those He has called and chosen, is very  clear in Romans Chapter 8. It is the same for every believer and was unalterably fixed for us before the world was made: we are each predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. As Amy Carmichael asks, “Can they have travelled far who have no wound, no scar?”

If you are saying right now, “But I have never suffered, never suffered for God,” you will. You may have already but are so given over to loving God that you are too humble to recognise your scars.  Indeed, for some of you reading this I think I have a word.  I know the difference when God is giving me teaching and when he wants me to deliver a specific word for a specific moment. Well, here is a word of that category for some of you:

God wants to help you recognise scars concerning which you have said, “They don’t matter!” The do matter. They are honoured in the sight of God as are you. Notice them with Him and experience His “Well Done’ coming to smile you. and applaud you. What will that feel like experientially by the ministry of the Hoy Spirit within you? Most probably you will experience the tenderest of compassion being poured upon hurts and wounds that start to “feel,” as you start to heal in places where  you never fully acknowledged your pain and need of God’s help and delivering touch.

God bless

Kenny

When something or someone tries to grab you…

… then remember if you are in Christ,  whatever  or whoever will first come into contact with Him. He is our clothing and our armour as believers,  whom we are encouraged to wear and put on.

That is probably no new thought to anyone reading this who is a born from above and knows anything of the Bible. You will probably know already that one of the commonest ways that you are described in the New Testament is that you are “in Christ.” However sometimes familiar truths dawn upon us with freshness. I found that this morning as I read some words from Meister Eckhart’s “Table Talk.” He was a 13th/14th Century Dominican  mystic and though his thought is not always easy to grasp, or at least that is my experience, sometimes it is.

Eckhart says this of those who are genuinely seeking to live their ives in oneness with God and His will having given up living by their own will:

“One who has quite done like this with everything of his is so safe in God that in order to get to him we must reckon with God first, for he is right in God with God all around him as my cowl is around my head, and any person laying hands on me will first come in contact with my habit…Anything must go by way of God to reach him, and in doing so it gets flavour of Him…”

Keep Christ closer to your “skin” than anything else. Let everyone you meet today come to you only through Him and you will find the touch or words of friend or foe can both bring to you something of Jesus. Treat events and happenings the same way. Whether they seem beneficial or not objectively or subjectively, let them meet Christ first and they will have the flavour of Christ by the time they reach and touch you in your inner being and personhood.

The fact that we are in Christ does not stop the Bible telling believers that we must put him on. Do that today and you will find that whatever people and happenings you meet this day, whatever experiences you go through, will touch you with a fresh awareness of Christ. You may even find yourself able to do what seems impossible by human reckoning or wisdom: come to the end of this day thanking him for everything, absolutely everything. You may even be able to look back over your life and do the same. Nothing has happened or may happen that cannot make you more aware of the love of God in Christ and the grace in which you stand. Bad experiences, even horrendous experiences, unjust experiences you have face can be transformed while remaining bad and unjust in themselves when you allow them to grab hold of Christ first and only touch you through Him. Perhaps, clothed in Him, you may even be able to walk with Him, clothed in Him  into the most uncomfortable and devastating experiences of your past and find that in Him they are touching you in a different way than they have affected you up until now.

By the way, remember this too: forget to put Him on and even good and blessed experiences can do you harm and lead you astray.

God bless

Kenny

Answer to previous ?

(You will need to read the prior post to this one in order to know what on earth this is about.)

There are many…

Here is one sign of judgement upon the “Household of God,” God’sown people, that emerges from the `Book of the Prophet Jeremiah:

Well intentioned reforms are initiated but come to nothing. God tells Jeremiah that despite all the good reforms of Josiah,  a line had been crossed with regard to rebellion, in the days of Manasseh, that could not be undone by sincere reform (even though Manasseh himself had repented and had been forgiven). What seemed like an upturn was at most a delay of a divine sentence being executed. It could not even be averted by prayer by the mightiest intercessors, such as Moses or Samuel. Jeremiah is told not even to pray.  Judgement was fixed.

Denominations, individual congregations, take note.  Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom not only for individuals but for congregations, fellowships, Movements, Denominations, National Churches, Independent Evangelical Congregations, Reformed Churches, Calvinist Churches, Arminian Churches, Cessationist Churches, Charismatic Gatherings,  and whatever other expression of Church or sincere venture you may want to add to the list.

God bless

Kenny

 

? for you…

Question:

What does it look like when judgement begins in the household of God?

Would we recognise it happening or carry on oblivious to it all?

If you respond or comment I will not respond to you and will not publish publicly what you write. This is no light matter to banter about as though we are talking hypothetically or showing our theological prowess. It is intended to cause us to ponder.

What prompted this post? A happening. I am too aware of the fear of the Lord to say more…

God bless

Kenny

God bless

Kenny

“To the angel of the church in ?, write…”

Today, I find myself thinking of discouraged pastors. I have met a few of them recently and spoken with them one to one. These are never easy conversations, but Jesus somehow comes to be part of them most times.

If you are a pastor of a congregation let me just remind you that though it is good to talk and good to listen and learn from others, no one is precisely your shape in your shape of congregation. Taking well meaning advice from someone and trying to put it into practice in your shape and your shape of congregation may be like trying to hammer a very perfectly and beautifully formed square peg into a round hole.

I found myself thinking of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 today.  I do no not believe the interpretation of these chapters, which as you will know contain letters from Jesus to the angels  of seven churches that existed in the days of the Apostle John, to be a coded looking at the progress of church history leading to the idea that we are now in the “Laodicean age.” Christianity must not be turned into a gnostic religion or a mystery religion which only initiates who have been give  a secret knowledge or code hidden from the rest of us  can understand. There is nothing whatsoever in the text to suggest such an interpretation is even remotely possible. Rather this is Jesus speaking unique messages to unique churches. There are lessons in each of the letters that we can and must learn for our own situations, lessons that have been relevant down through all the centuries and will continue to be so no matter how many centuries or millennia of earthly history remain before Jesus comes to the earth again.

If you are a pastor, nobody knows your situation as well as you and as well as Jesus. By all means listen and learn from others, but they are not you and not in your situation. Applying a package of advice, even though it seems to be Scriptural advice may not bring the results it brought for another, indeed it may bring damage and destruction and an eve  deeper distress and despair that you may be in at this moment.

Take time to listen to Jesus. Listen to His encouragement. Listening  to what He says requires attention. Give that attention and take a much needed rest from comparing yourself unfavourably with others in other situations.

God bless

Kenny

Is it OK if I look at your life and ministry in the same spirit with which you look at others?”

If you follow my blag writings you will know that I made a decision to come away from using Facebook to post my thoughts. I have already , in recent blogs, given some reasons for that. Here is another:

Facebook seems full of those who see error in other believers. Are you someone who is always able to see where other Christians have got it wrong? Well you may be right in what you see, but let me ask you this: how would you feel if God were to examine your life, your ministry in the same spirit with which you operate when you see fault in others? Actually He does that. He is doing it right now. It is one of His promises to us and He always keeps His promises – all of them not just the nice ones.

You may be an expert at identifying what is counterfeit but remember if there is a counterfeit there is a true that looks very similar, in fact at times almost identical in word and form. Are you seeking and pursuing what is true? Are you demonstrating the true version rather than the counterfeit of whatever you have written or spoken against?

I admire R.T. Kendall, a bible teacher of international reputation,  because on occasion he has admitted publicly that he was wrong, admitted that he dismissed what was genuinely a work of the Spirit of God as counterfeit. I have had to do the same.

In Jesus teaching it is a very serious thing indeed when we  call the work of the Spirit the work of the devil. It seems clear to me in Jesus teaching to do that is certainly on the road of blaspheming the Holy Spirt which is the most dangerous thing any of us could ever do.

Occasionally I perhaps will speak of errors I see that I think are a danger to the purposes of God in our lives or in the Church, but never in a spirit of judgement against any people involved. The fact that someone may be in clear error does not necessarily make them a false teacher or a false prophet. Even those who love Jesus with all their heart and seek to be true to the Bible get it wrong. We see as in a mirror dimly and will do until heaven. Until that day thank God  for Jesus, whom Mary Magdalene on Resurrection Day called, “Teacher.” Ultimately,  He is the Only Theologian. He Himself said so. We are only as true in our teaching and prophesying in accordance to how we have learned from Him. A Teacher knows a pupil makes errors and does not give up on them.

The title of this blog is,” Is it OK if I look at your life and ministry in the same spirit with which you look at others?” I address it to myself as well. Maybe that question will help us drop some knives and stones.

God bless

Kenny

Woo Hoo!!

I hope you are living with the expectation that you could find yourself in Narnia at any moment, either for another visit or for the first time.

Some of us have become all grown up in the wrong way. I have met so many believers over the years who seem to have all sense of adventure in God “matured” out of them.

Through a wardrobe or a picture, in times of distress or joy, in a church full of life or utterly dead you might suddenly be taken there. Be open to  the “suddenly” of God. It is not all about “Black shoes, flat shoes, wipe them on the mat shoes” in Christian living and ministry, always winter but never Christmas. Lent is not the only season of the soul. Don’t let people get to you too much to draw you into their lack of expectation. There are surprises in God that His people can scarcely believe for. He does abundantly above all we ask or think possible. If at the moment you are in a season of putting one foot in front of another and mot much more, God bless you for your obedience and faithfulness -sometimes survival is a significant achievement in the face of all odds, a proof of miraculous sustaining grace toward a yielded life – but remember to be open for the picture changing.

There are seasons of “Wooo  Hoo! Here we go!”  At any moment you could be lifted up off your feet by the wind of the Spirit. Hold on to your hat!

God bless

Kenny

A new Venture…

I think when I was a younger Christian and then when I became a young rookie minister,  I somehow picked up the idea that faithfulness in a calling meant doing the same thing forever.

That was not the case for Ezekiel. The whole of his life as a child, a teenager and a young adult was dominated by the call to be a priest, serving in the temple in Jerusalem. However in the year of his 30th birthday, the appointed time for him to begin his priestly duties, he found himself in exile in Babylon. There, the man living for so long under a call to be a priest had fresh visions of God and was called to be a Prophet. His ministry as a Prophet still continues today in the form of his rather wonderful but definitely weird book.

Continuing faithfulness in the one direction is a good thing, but the experience of Ezekiel reminds us that God may call us to make a switch in direction and accept a new commission, a new call from Him. Are you open to being surprised by God? Open to doing something radically different? Perhaps He is beckoning to you right now, but you are refusing his invitation mistaking it as a temptation into unfaithfulness or disobedience?

Let me earth this in less lofty terms as to what that can look like. In Shotts Prison at the Church service this week I was talking to one of the remarkable volunteer church visitors. She is retired and simply made this comment: “I never intended to do this when I retired. I just somehow found myself doing it and giving more and more time to it,  and don’t quite know how, but I love it.” Her eyes were full of light, love, emotion and excitement as she spoke. It was a bit like Ezekiel is very humble guise. At a time of her life, in her case Retirement, which she had maybe pondered and imagined in the years leading up to it, all of a sudden things were other than she had imagined.

Has something come to an end for you? Has a door shut that you had hoped would open. That may be where a fresh adventure in God awaits you!

God bless

Kenny

 

Welcome to new readers… and “Hello again,” to the rest of you!

Can I welcome those of you who have signed up to this page since I announced on “Facebook” that I would not be posting there until further notice.

You will see that there are many posts here for you to take a look at. I hope God will lead you to the ones that He means you to read.

Just one word of caution: do not let these posts become your staple diet. Look at them from time to time. It is much more important that you read the Word of God and learn to discern His voice speaking with you. Indeed, that is my “Welcome” word for those of you new to this blog. Never let anything take the prime place of the Bible as the main nourishing ingredient in your spiritual diet. Read it with the asked for rather than presumed help of the Spirit.

To introduce myself to new readers of this blog page, I am a bible believing Charismatic. To put it more accurately, I became a Charismatic because of the Bible. I grew up in a non Charismatic Church to which I owe an enormous debt. It honoured the Word of God and taught me to do the same. As I sought to do that, I was filled with the Spirit and experienced those gifts which seem to bring to those who experience them and use them the label “Charismatic.” These gifts have been a vital part of my ministry and affect the way I pastor, preach and lead… and blog!

However, as at this moment in time I am a Charismatic who is concerned about what is happening under that label. I am concerned at some of the teaching and practices that are being accepted without question from powerful voices that never seem to admit error in teaching or practice. When I say that, I am not labelling those I am thinking of as false teachers or prophets. The people I am concerned about are good people with good hearts, but in their desire to help people experience more of the reality of the Spirit of God, they often go beyond what Scripture teaches, which is always dangerous.  Facebook seems filled with postings encouraging us to read and receive this type of wrong teaching, backed up by exaggerated claimed “results.” One of the most famous current centres of Renewal was once asked by the organisers of a conference I spoke at to alter their reports on their web page as to what was supposed to have happened at the meeting they contributed to in terms of miraculous healing, as they were exaggerated to the point of not only being exaggeration but false.  No healings happened at the meeting. The ministry involved refused to alter their claims and the exaggerations and false reports were allowed to stand.

I have a similar distress when it comes to the realm of Prophecy as it appears currently in postings on Facebook. I hear “words” that the Spirit within me bears no witness to and it distresses me. Again, I know that many of the people involved in so prophesying are good people with genuine gifting. This sort of thing disturbs my spirit and mind to an extent that I find it difficult to find the peace of Christ, hence the need to come off Facebook. I need to clarify and purify my mind  and spirit with the water of the Word of God and the Spirit of Truth.

Perhaps you need a similar restoration of peace and a similar cleansing for your mind and spirit. Pick up the bible. Give it renewed space. Your spirit within will breathe a sigh of relief, I promise you that. Open the Word of God; let the waters flow. The only word of advice I would give, that I believe is coming from the Lord  prophetically, for some of you at least, is very simple: “Read from where you left off and make that your pattern.” This is the way some of you will regain a confidence that the Bible is the Word of God and experience the life of God it carries. Without any manipulation you will find what you read each day as you take off from where you finished the day before will speak to you with uncanny power, regularity and relevance. Discover that or rediscover that with joy, as soon as you have finished reading this blog.

God bless

Kenny

A 60+ child…

I guess I don’t “think” my age, if you know what I mean. You don’t know what I mean” Well then, let me explain:

I have been Christian for 48 years. I was called to ministry on the day I was converted. I am in my 60’s and have been a minister or assistant in some capacity for 40 years plus. I am called to speak at gatherings in Scotland and beyond from time to time even still despite getting on a bit. I am even asked to speak to other leaders on a semi regular basis. Fellow ministers seem to want to know what I think about situations they are facing: I love that especially; it fits well with my limited capacity health wise these days. However, personally I still feel like Jeremiah felt and have his type of conversation with the Lord:

“Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ But the LORD said to me,

‘Do not say, ‘” am only a youth”;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the LORD.’ ”

I so deeply feel I am but a youth, a child, a boy. After all these years of relationship with the Lord, all the thousands of sermons and thousands of hours pastoring, I can’t seem to think of myself as all grown up, though sometimes I pretend I am. My preaching never goes well when I act all grown up in the pulpit or the conference stage, or as I pastor folk. Thankfully, I don’t do the all grown up act, the expert act, very often. It seems very unnatural to me. When I slip into those clothes, well, I am in a very bad place indeed with myself and the Lord.

There is a deep rest actually in knowing God is the Father and I am the child who just needs to listen and pass something on. When I do that, I feel I am living in a pre-womb-formed purpose. One day I will grow up and know as I am fully known, but it is not yet…

By the way, my sermons go in the bin after they are preached. Some I preach for a season for I know they are the Word of the Lord for more than one setting, but even they get discarded as what I am hearing seems to move on, ever the same and ever new, that strange mix of the Word and the Spirit dancing together to a score on which they agree, but which they alone know fully. That is why thus far I have never written a book because what is important to me now, tends to give way to something else that seems more life filled, which in turn gives way etc. etc..

Maybe it is time to get rid of your barrel of “best talks” and start listening again? Be a child with an instructed ear and an instructed tongue? That is how Jesus seemed to go about things. According to Isaiah 50 morning by morning He was wakened to listen for the word that would sustain the weary which He would then speak, sometimes going out of His way geographically to find the individual the word He had heard was for. It seems He felt and knew He could do nothing, say nothing on His own: Jesus the child; the Son… in time and on earth what He is always in eternity; the Son. Always, eternally, The Son.

God bless

Kenny

Miracles in New Zealand…

I met two people in New Zealand who have been living in permanent agonising pain: one of them for months – the Lord seemed to speak a couple of words to me about them on the plane on the way over – and the other, for years. If you want to know what a “More than a Conqueror looks like” it looks like people like these people wanting to pray for people like me with love, concern and faith.

At times in the gospels, Jesus expressed amazement at what He found in people and for that matter at what He didn’t find in other people! Well, some of the people I met in New Zealand amazed me in a profound way, particularly the two I am remembering in this post. Somehow when no one would say a word of rebuke if they just curled up and never managed to reach out to a single person, they continue to love, serve, pray and hope. They shed tears as they told me about their struggles to cope with pain and to still function as human beings with family commitments and church leadership commitments, for they are not superheroes in the Hollywood sense. Added to permanent physical pain, both had stories from their childhood years which were as cold and brutal as any I have heard in 40 years of pastoring. I felt was in the presence of miraculous and fearful grace.

It is not easy sometimes to live in the already here and still to come Kingdom of God, when no explanation is given for what seems like a silent heaven in the face of a reasonable request for relief. Let’s make sure we don’t dishonour such heroes with hollow formulas on how to experience breakthrough. Let’s be silent and sit at their feet and learn the lessons that few would choose to have to learn

I will always remember seeing radiant faith shining through tears, and through horizon scanning, pain filled eyes. “Maybe even today? But if not…”

Of course such heroes are here in Scotland too, or wherever is home for you at this moment in time. You may bump into one as you go through this day. They will be unlikely to share their story in these days when often in some sectors of the Christian Church we seem to clamour for drama, and even take some perverse delight in the race for the title of “Greatest Sufferer.” But at times, limited times, even these superheroes of the faith need to talk, simply, without the pressure to reveal all the details. They look for an environment where truth is honoured and exaggeration is not. Perhaps God will call you, allow you, to be that place today or in the not too distant future. Remember to take your shoes off and tread carefully, for you will be standing on Holy ground.

God bless…and God bless you if you are one of these Superheroes, in the terms of this post,  who seldom share your story. May you find the right place, the right space to do so, as and when you feel you need to.

Kenny

Thank you Mr. Rogers

One of the unexpected blessings in New Zealand was going to the Cinema and watching “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood” starring Tom Hanks. I would not have chosen to see the film were it not for the encouragement of David, my Son, without whom I would not have managed the whole trip. When looking at the films on offer he said, “Trust me, this is the one you should watch.”

It is based on a TV legend from America, Mr. Rogers, who presented a children’s programme for decades helping children to value themselves and face life. I found myself profoundly moved. I never give sermons a title as I never know until I actually preach them what they were most truly about, but I know in my mental filing cabinet there will be a few sermons under the heading”The Mr. Rogers Series.” If you like action movie noise and effects, give this film a miss. In fact I take that back. If you like action movie noise and effects all the more reason to go and see it! If you want to touch profound truths about yourself, God and how to do life, find time, if you have the money, to watch this. It seems to be true that here was someone of whom it could be said, “What you see is what you get.”

Here is a starter of the sort of thing he encouraged people to do: he even did this when accepting a TV. lifetime achievement award. “Would you take a moment just to be silent with me and think of those who have helped you in life? Some of them may be here. Some of them may be far away. Some of them may be in heaven.” After the silence? “How happy they would be to know you were thinking of them.”

I tried that, and was surprised that my eyes were moist…

God bless

Kenny

God, The Encourager…

Thinking back over the last few days. Two occasions when I was aware in a very tangible way of God’s presence. the first time was just before I was about to play “O come all ye faithful” on the organ at the Christmas Eve service at Brucefield Church in Whitburn. Sadly, their very brilliant organist passed away not long ago, and I thought it might be nice if they had live organ instead of recorded music on Christmas Eve. Though I am no organist at all, I thought I should help. Anyway, I was nervous. Hence the repeated requests for your prayers! At the said moment, when there was only one carol left to play, I felt the presence of God resting upon my in a very physical and tangible way for quite a few minutes. It felt like God was saying, “You are almost there. Come on you can do this. You are doing well. Thank you!”

The second time I was aware of the same presence, to a degree that surpassed, humbled and delighted me, was when I was about to take the Christmas Day Service in Shotts Prison. As it happened there were no other volunteers there that day so it meant not only preaching and playing the piano, but organising the distribution of doughnuts and Selection boxes etc. (By the way I learned a new maths in prison! Each inmate was meant to take 2 Krispy Kreme doughnuts each. There were, I think, 20 prisoners at the service. There were 48 doughnuts sent in by the Chaplain, Dorothy Russel. Well, apparently, 20 X2 = 48, as there were none left!!) Just waiting for the service to begin, again as the night before in Whitburn, I was aware of the presence of God as I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some wonderful home baking brought in by the Catholic Chaplaincy. Once more it was as though God was saying, “Come on! Don’t be afraid! I am with you. All will be well. You can do this! Well done! Thanks for helping out.”

In both these settings I was simply helping out, nothing more grand than that. I was not taking over a leadership role, but simply there helping out, because help was needed.

So at the end of the year and looking forward to next year, here is my suggestion for encountering the sense of God’s delight. Look for opportunities to help out. I am not talking about His love depending on us doing anything or any sort of conditional love, but just trying to pass on what I have learned over the last few days, sharing my joyful discovery. For some reason, God really seems to like it when we “help out” even if what we are doing is not really something we feel particularly skilled in, and rewards us when we step up – however nervously – with His presence, His “Thank you” and His “Well done.” He is so very kind, so very encouraging. You would almost think He must share our frame, He seems to understand us, what we need to hear and know so well, so well. But wait a minute…

God bless

Kenny

Memories awakened…

Loved hearing Kenny Gillies, the recently arrived new pastor of Livingston Elim Church share a wee bit of his testimony when I was preaching in his church last Sunday morning. In a Church of Scotland in Applecross he found himself stumbling to the front of the church to receive communion. He commented that it was a bare whitewashed church building.No music being played. No texts on the wall. Nothing. But the minister there, Kenny Macdonald (Kenny Bahn) had been converted in the Lewis Revival. The presence of God was there. That day in Applecross, Kenny Gillies felt a hand on his head and was electrified with the presence of God from head to toe. He had a vision of angels dancing as they shouted “Kenny is saved!”

When will we realise all that is necessary is the manifest effectual presence of God and mourn its loss and seek His presence alone?

Leonard Ravenhill once asked why we do not have revival. His reply? “Because we are prepared to live without it.”

I met Kenny Bahn in a few occasions. He somehow managed to carry a full to overflowing cup of impact of the Lord’s heart rending, beautiful presence right into his latter years. Meeting him left me with no option or desire than to seek the face of God for myself. Others born from above in the fire of the same Revival have had the same effect on me…when in their presence I have found myself several times in bits even though they never spoke a word or spoke in Gaelic which I cannot make head nor tail of….

God bless

Kenny

Safe Places

Thinking back to gloriously happy days of ministry in Wester Hailes. It was a consistent pattern that in an atmosphere of grace and healing those Christians who thought they were strong soon realised they were not. Having become part of us to give they realised there were areas of their story still needing touched by the healing of Jesus. The only people who didn’t stay around us very long were those who thought they had no need of a physician because they were saved and strong. True not just of members but of staff too. Having come to serve they realised their need of healing and help. They found out they were there by the grace of God for fuller purposes of grace than they were aware of when they first arrived, gifted and with a sense of call.

You may be ministering to others this weekend. Remember as you do that you too are in need of a physician…and always will be until the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…

You need to remember that most especially when you are involved in itinerant ministry. It is the most dangerous form of ministry I know. I have seen people who fell with a great fall because they believed the introductions they received away from “home” before they got up to speak…God save me from that, as in this season of admittedly partial recovery (felt, though not backed up by tests, which show continuing slow decline!) I tend to preach from place to place or event to event , conference to conference in Scotland and occasionally further afield, as health permits and wisdom dictates. May I never believe the fliers! Oh for safe spiritual homes, local congregations of accountability and grace. If we are without such a home, may God lead us to one.

God bless

Kenny

Dr. Jack Deere…

Awake early. Just letting my mind wander back and forward in time to good memories and future hopes. Looking forward to being with Dr. Jack Deere for the Conference in Lewis in June 2020, health permitting and God willing. Why not consider planning to come over to Lewis to hear him? I first heard him preach in Toronto in 1994? 1995? His talk led me to re-evaluate just about everything to do with “Church” and helped me into a more fruitful ministry in the Holy Spirit than had been the case up until then. I will be forever grateful for that sermon: biblical clarity, wisdom (not just cleverness), honesty. I was cut to the heart. I knew I could never minister in the same way again, nor stick to the way in which I led a congregation if I was going to be truly obedient to the Bible and open to the Holy Spirit, willing for Him to be Himself in me and through me. Everything I brought to parish ministry from that point on, anything I brought to CLAN Gathering, to conferences and retreats for leaders in the UK and beyond came from what God spoke to my mind and to my heart from the Bible through that one talk. By the way, I listened to it lying down, having been slain in the Spirit just before Jack got up to speak! That talk still influences just about everything in my ministry to this day.

One of my favourite memories of Jack is when he was speaking at CLAN Gathering on one of his visits to us, about meeting a young man back home in America who claimed to have the New Testament gift of prophecy (as distinct from Prophecy in the Old Testament). However it seemed to function in a way that was completely different from the way Paul teaches it is meant to function in the church. It enabled him to see what was wrong with everybody else! Jack’s response to that as he shared the story with us was this: “Always and only seeing what is wrong with people is not a spiritual gift, it is a psychological condition requiring medication!”

…I try and keep that story in mind..

…I also keep this in mind too from that talk in Toronto. Jack has a background in theological teaching. He is a bright guy intellectually. He said “There is a big difference between the anointing of cleverness and the anointing of wisdom.” 

…I keep this in mind too. When Jack first spoke at CLAN Gathering, it was one of his earliest ventures into public ministry again after his son’s suicide. Over the years since his ministry and writing has been marked by almost unbearable honesty. That unrelenting honesty about his own struggles in the story of his life opens him up to rejection by the religious who like things nice and neat. However, it is powerfully helpful to those who seek to truly embrace the Gospel Jesus preached. in its glory and in its pain. We carry the mystery of “The Already Here but not yet Kingdom” in our very being until That Day.

I hope many of you manage to come to Lewis in June. Don’t get me wrong. Jack is full of humour and a wonderful communicator. You will “enjoy” hims as a speaker if you come to Lewis in June 2020. But I know that something much deeper will happen for many. Perhaps you will hear something that will change the way you live, the way you minister, the way you lead, the way you want to “do church” for the rest of your life.

God bless

Kenny

(The dates of the Conference are the 5th and 6th of June and then, of course, folk can stay for the Sunday as well. I am glad that the amazing Tommy MacNeil will be speaking this year along with Jack and myself. Can’t wait… I feel like a kid before Christmas as I have written this post!)