Allowing you to eavesdrop….

I tried as a pastor to never have a routine standardised approach to people. However there were some routes I found myself using to help a person arrive at self awareness as to where a wound they carried might come from. Here is one of them:

Me: “On a scale if 1 to 10, where 1 means ‘no value’ and 10 means ‘of immeasurable worth’ what do you think a new born baby is worth?”

More than 9 times out of 10, the answer given without a moment’s hesitation was ’10.’

Me: “If the baby had this or that colour of skin, was born in or out of wedlock, was healthy or had a disability?”


Me: “What are you worth?”

The answer was rarely 10. Often the response was a person’s eyes would look anywhere but at me. Silence or tears would flow…

Me: “So, what happened? Where did things go wrong?”

Well, it is 4 am. Just woken up feeling bright and bushy tailed as I fell asleep earlier than usual last night! I asked the Lord for a word that would sustain the weary and felt led to share all of this.

Perhaps it will be useful to you. Perhaps it will be useful in helping someone you may meet this day. Don’t overuse it, there is no ‘one size fits all’ tool for pastoring.

By the way, occasionally a person here and there stumbled over knowing whether a new life was worth anything at all….

Anyway, feeling bushy tailed is passing. Job done. Back to sleep..I hope…zzzz…..or maybe not… the thought of a Caffeine explosion via a Colombian Coffee tasted and enjoyed in the company of God  in the quiet early hours is very appealing to all my senses of body, soul and spirit! Sheer indulgence. Luxury.

God bless



“What? You too?” C.S. Lewis says that is the beginning of truest  friendship and fellowship. I like that.


Sometimes there can be a loneliness even when we are part of the Body of Christ. As I was reading H Nouwen today I saw that there is a type of loneliness that can be the flip side of a sense of how God wants me as a unique individual to surrender my life, the particular mix of the God given call, gifts, hopes I carry. Even other believers may not quite get “what I am going on about” or understand my fire, nor I their particular Kingdom passion.


It is a thrilling moment when all of a sudden we realise within the large sphere of Christian fellowship there ARE those who “get it” or “get me” or “get what gets me!” Almost instantly a depth of fellowship forms that skips over the usual amassing of mutually disclosed personal details. I bless God for the whole body of Christ but know I could not have survived the whole body of Christ nor blessed that body, , nor they me, if along the way God had not blessed me with “What? You too?” moments and friendships.


In very unspiritual terms, I pray that God will help you find a few folk who will mutually say along with you, “I don’t know. We just somehow clicked.”

God bless


The painting begins to move…

I know God is everywhere, but “When I walked in here I felt His presence…” Special moments in ordinary, passed by, even despised places. In the privacy of my own heart there are several places and times I treasure, where I have stumbled unexpectedly upon “the gate of heaven,” the Living Lord, Jesus Christ. The wardrobe led to Narnia, the sea in the painting on the wall began to move…and I was there…and so was He.

God bless


Simple Church….

Church last night: a church where no one in ministry is paid, with a history of church planting:

A testimony: “I used to call myself a drug addict, now I call myself a child of God.”

A report about an outreach meeting in another town: A spiritualist saved. Another person newly converted bringing their friend to church; the friend loving it.

Report 2: A new venture for young folk on the periphery of the church spiritually. tailored for them. Some of them really touched by God.

A conversation over coffee: “I thought I could be a Christian on my own before I cam here. But see the first time I came here? The presence of God was just amazing! I never knew that the presence of God is so strong when everyone is together. It is amazing ( wide -eyed astonishment and amazed laughter).”

All that, plus beautiful worship and the most upbuilding, helpful and personally relevant short sermon, the laying on of hands and prayer…

So glad I was there….

God bless you this day, and God bless and renew  the Church in Scotland,  and in your land, wherever you may be reading this blog.


Walk on the Word over the waters….

Peter first and foremost walked on the word of Jesus, and only in a lesser sense did he walk on water. Is there a word that Jesus spoke to you today in church, or maybe at home, just in your own heart without any external influence

Did He speak about your discipleship, your trust, your service, saying to you, “Come this way”? Did He call you to come to Him over choppy waters you are not sure you want to cross, perhaps, for example to meet him in the place of forgiving someone from the heart, someone who wronged you severely, or even worse, harmed someone you love?

May God give us grace to step out on His Word, His commands, His promises in the days of this week. That is what living by faith is about.

God bless


SHOUTING? TOO RIGHT I AM! There’s a time for it…a time for whispering… a time for lightness of spirit…a time for earnest tones and grave…

Someone “unfriended” me on Facebook a few months back for SHOUTING: in other words for using capital letters! I have been “unfriended” a few times. I have no problems with that. At times I put so much out there I would “unfriend” myself if I was on the receiving end of it all!  However, that particualr reason was a first!

My prayer today is that “SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU” will be shouted from pulpits, whispered from pulpits, offered from pulpits, presented visually, protrayed dramatically, spoken through puppets, lego or talking vegetables, gossipped over coffee and biscuits, shared in testimony….whatever whatever…. that by all means some will be saved!

God bless


Prophesy! Come on …you can do it…your “L” plates were attached the day you were born again of the Spirit of God!

I am predominantly pastoral and only a tiny bit prophetic now and then, in terms of seeing something very specific that God wants me to see or hearing what God alone could know about a situation of a person. Moses wanted all God’s people to be prophets. Paul said it was something we could all learn. So ask God to help you learn! Put into practice the steps He shows you and you will get somewhere with this, I promise you. I can’t think of another “gift” that everyone is given more Scriptural encouragement to go after and to more earnestly desire, but that is just off the top of my head as I type. I may be wrong. Quite happy to be told that.

The reality with being a wee bit prophetic is sometimes you know what people are up to in their own houses, know what they are planning, before they have told you it on Facebook! I used to find when I was travelling more to minister that God would reveal the enemy’s plans against my family back home while I was away. Sometimes He would reveal ways in which He was helping them to victory – happenings would unfold before my eyes of things that had actually happened or would happen the next morning. Sometimes he let me see happy and funny things to assure me all was well. At other times He would show me not such nice things that folk were planning, like putting burned bibles through the letter box or coming to kick our gates down; things that my wife did not even want to tell me on my return, but about which I said, “I saw such and such happening…I saw you doing such and such…does that mean anything or was it just me?”

He knows. That is the great thing. He knows. He only shows a bit of what He knows where it will encourage us or help us to pray in the victory of faith. We know in part, we prophesy in part…but part is good, so long as in humility, you know it is ‘part.’ Don’t start insisting it is all, or that you have all the interpretation or application. a bit of humility goes a L—O—N—G way.

If you are a believer, you are already a bit prophetic, anyway, and might not know it. You might never be a “prophet’ as your main ministry, though who knows, you might be. However ask God to help you be” propheticy” when He wants you to be. If humility is there in the asking, learning and activation you will bless people, no doubts about it, you will bless people. Step out!

Maybe you are a pastor, reading this on Saturday night or Sunday Morning. You can step out in your service. In your prayer times in the service jsut secrety ask God if there is anything he wants you to see or hear…and turn it into a prayer. It is a good way to begin. You will find that people, sometimes you will have seen them in your mind’s eye, will come up to you afterwards and say, “See what you said in the prayer, that really helped me…it was strange….” That will encourage you to keep taking the same steps and maybe transfer them to the realm of your pastoral visits, evangelistic encounters etc.

God bless



Rescuing the rescuers…

The reason I  “blog” or “post” on Facebook is that by nature and by grace and by call I want to “Rescue.” The motivation is pastoral rather than anything else. With limited energy these days, I have found a simple way for the call to bless me rather than frustrate me: I can trust God to waken me with a word that will help someone and then share it on Facebook or in the form of a blog or both.

This morning my waking thoughts were with those of you whose make up by whatever mix of nature, external influence and grace are also “Rescuers.” The truth you have to realise is this: some people who could be rescued don’t want to be at a given moment of time and may sadly never want to be. It is the same with congregations and even denominations. Keep that in mind for your own health’s sake. Otherwise the sense of call will outlive your ability to answer it.

Learn to listen for the genuine cry for help: “Who will rescue me?” You have the answer: “God, in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

… and another thing. Rescuers are prone to guilt. For almost half of my ministry I felt guilty about visits I had not done. The second half of my ministry I never suffered from that. At some point I accepted I was not omniscient and told others the same. Many many pastoral visits did not happen because no one told me of the need: even family members and close friends of whoever was needing pastoral help did not let on!  At times there was a malicious game going on: “Let’s  discredit the minister.” You don’t need to play it. Be diligent, not omnisicent. Well, here ends the blog…at the point where it could become a rant!

God bless the rescuers!


Time for a clear out?

Remembering visiting a lady along with a deacon. The lady was invovled in the occult without knowing it and there was resulting disturbance in her and her home – it even affected the cat who had become terrified and traumatised by what had been happening. The dear woman was flung down at the moment of deliverance. However, it can be slow for the penny to drop. When she had rested from the experience, referring to the Tarot Cards which had been the inroad for unclean spirits to her and her home, she said in all innocence, “Maybe I could give them away to my sister,”!!
Friends if you have any occult object in your house, it will not be harmless. Get rid of it, even if there is a story of friendship or sentimental memories behind how it came to be in your home or in your jewellery box.
By the way the cat was quite happy to go in the room again, once the Tarot cards had been removed and their effect dealt with!
Praise God for the unassailable knowledge of the absolute supremacy of the Lordship of Christ over Satan and all his works.
God bless

Kick Yin Yang out of the house…

When Jesus cried “Finished!” from the cross, He used an end of all things word. He meant everything necesary to secure the Victory of the Kingdom of God and an ever open door to and from that Kingdom had been accomplished. That does not mean there are no more battles to be fought with darkness, but it does mean the war has been won. The Kingdom of God with all its freedoms and various liberations has been established and is on its way, unstoppably.

When I woke up this morning, I had the distinct impression that some of you who read my blogs need to get hold of a simple truth, though of course many more of you will have arleady got hold of this truth long ago without any input from me; after all it is there to be discovered in the pages of the bible itself. The simple truth some of you need to get hold of is this: the battle between light and darkness is not an evenly balanced battle. Light has won! The day of no more sickness, nor more death, where God shall wipe awy every tear from the eyes of His children is definitely coming and on its way. Nothing can stop it.  Heaven has secured its dawn among us. Getting hold of that is an important part of the victory of faith, and perhpas even faith’s victory in your life this very day in the face of something difficult to bear.

Someeimes to illustrate this truth people talk about the difference between D-Day and V day in the last world war. When the Allies secured their  immensely costly landing at Normandy, Deliverance day had come, the result of the war was assured. However some of the bloodiest battles were still to be fought.

It is important to let go of a sort of Yin Yang theology, the idea  of  a mystical balance between light and darkness, negative and positive forces. That is the defeated but furious enemy lying to you. Say with boldness over verything in your life this day, “Jesus is Lord! Christus Victor!” “Amen and Amen!”

Oh by the way if you have any piece of Yin Yang jewellery or symbolism around your house, kick it out. It will be affecting you and your loved ones more than you realise. Even if a loved one gave it to you, give it not one more day of  house room or heart room.

God bless




Walking and leaping…or dragging your heels….just do it!

What is on my mind in my waking moments? Images of celebration! Celebration is not always presented in the bible as a spontaneous happening though of course it is delightful when it happens that way. However, in the Old and New Testaments it is commanded and takes on the status and shape of a spiritual discipline. That is clearer perhaps in the Old Testament: there were feasts, festivals for which preparations had to be seen to, food prepared, journeys undertaken etc. It is however there in the New Testament too continuing on from the the Old Testament Scriptures, in passing references to existing commanded festivals, and in admonitions and encouragements which have a command element attached to them, such as “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, ‘Rejoice.'”

If, as I have done, I am trusting the Lord to waken me morning by morning with words that will sustain the weary, I am trusting there is something helpful in all of this not just for me but for you. Don’t give up hope for the spontaneous eruption of celebration within your soul this day. However, remember there are steps you can discipline yourself to take towards celebration too. Why not take a step forward today? The first step might simply be making space for a “Thank you” heavenward. “Thankful for what?” might be your ruffled feather esponse from a difficult place. Well, just make a start, whether with a sweet spirit or in reluctance, dragging your heels. You will soon get the hang of it….

Click here for help to get atarted…

God bless


Essential qualities/desireable qualities for those applying for the role of church member…

If you really want to be part of the building of a church community then offer your weakness and limitations freely and openly. A community based on the affirmation of strengths alone produces the falsity of a degraded type of Showbiz at best (the church dominated by gifted celebrities meeting for entertainment), or the evils of Nazi Germany at worst, but not the church of Jesus of Nazareth. Weakness is fundamental to the strength of the community and fellowship the Spirit of God plants and builds. Strengths are a bonus, a gift we can offer, but not as essential to life as the reciprocal gifting of our weakness to one another, a gift we honour with mutual and collective thankfulness.

So then, let your weaknessess shine before the church and the world. Don’t despise them or think your witness would be better if only God removed them. Calling the weak!

God bless


Grateful for simple, unspectacular, dutiful and kind church…

Have been very grateful to often find people from one church or another visiting my Mum in hospital when I have arrived at the door of her ward. Simple enough but really appreciated and real church. I guess according to the bible if a church is not taking care of widows, orphans the sick, those in prison, the hungry, the poor etc etc., it is not a Church that Jesus recognises as real or one His presence is in. It has no genuine mission in His Name. If it is doing these things, whatever its shape or formation, however lively or dull its reputation, whatever the make up of its membership in terms of age or any other measure, He is there in and through it all.

I noticed that others in the ward noticed what I was noticing too. The Church being genuinely pastoral is evangelistic toward others. Can think of a few over the years who came to faith in Jesus because I was visiting someone else in hospital…by the way I hated hospital visits as a pastor, because I thought I was useless at them, clumsy, fumbling for words, inept…God has a way of turning up right when we think we are making an ass of ourselves and feel embarrassed at our own uselessness and irrelevance…

… one more thing. I hate dog collars with a passion, sorry clerical collars. However, they can be quite useful in hospitals and can lead to interesting conversations, esepcially when you are younger and folk call you over and say, “Aw Son/Missus, can I speak to you?” So, you younger probationer ministers, humble yourself and your perverse pride in the rightness of what others regard as your strange peccadilloes, put on your dog collar and get visiting…and yes I know it doesn’t need to be “the Minister” who does the visiting… but don’t devalue what a visit from “The Minister’ can mean.

God bless


Read R.T’s Book, “Whatever Happened to the Gospel.”

Have just read some wonderful poetry by a celeb! it is brilliant. However all of a sudden I saw it: how Satan can beautify our lostness with noble thoughts and adorn the step before the endless abyss with sentiments that blind though they may draw acclamation from “The Times.”

The flames of hell became as real as the ground I was standing on in the days leading up to my conversion. Glad to be saved. My wife’s background a prior to conversion or knowing each other could not have been more different. However the same grace of God worked in us both by different routes to bring us to the same point : we both, individually, became awware that without Christ, should we die, hell was where we would spend eternity. It was not blood and thunder preaching that brought us to that awarness but the Spirit of God through the  black and white reading of the Word of God.

Not sure if it is out yet, but I was blessed to read a manuscript of a book by R T Kendall a few months back called, “Whatever Happened to the Gospel.” If you can, get hold of it, or preorder it if it is not yet out. It is a timely call to the Church in a day when it has perhaps lost more than its way in general. It has perhaps, in many of its manfiestations, lost the gospel itself. Nowadays the gospel seems to be more about being saved from my poor self image, from not being recognised, from the hurts of life rather than first and foremost from my own sins which have consequences in time and eternity that only the grace of God can alter. Oh yes, there are more buttons on the garments of salvation than the first one, but let’s get the first button in place first and all the others will fall into place too.


God bless


Oh that the people of God will be this day the cause of confusion…..

The love of God for lost human beings is something that angels ponder. It is a mystery that they cannot fully understand.

Well, today I woke with this truth living and bursting to be shared: some who read this have caused the devil great confusion. He has thrown everything at you to keep you settled in a place of gloom, and you have indeed been living in a dark place, precious child of God. This morning, like the manager of a hotel, the governor of the prison checked the register of rooms. There was full occupancy last night…but not this morning!

“Like a bird out of the fowler’s snare our souls have been set free.” Praying this will be that day for you, that despite every attempt to hold you under lock and key you will become what you are in Christ: Free! I see and rejoice in what has confused Satan: the tambourines, the walking sticks littering the hallway, the exit route of the people of God. The evil one, however, did not hear them go, and had not noticed the liberation emerging. For the way of escape for the people of God began so quietly: the emerging of a persistent, gentle word from the depths of their spirit: “Beloved!”

God bless you, “Beloved!”


When everything around you seems to be rushing at full pelt….

To those struggling with weakness you would not necessarily have chosen: I hope this helps to sustain you: As I said a few posts ago, I am trying to follow Jesus in knowing the Word that will sustain the weary, asking that I will have an instructed tongue that comes from having an open and instructed ear. I guess that some mornings I may hear nothing for whatever reason. However, this is what I believe the Spirit of God helped me hear and see this morning:

You may think that everyone, everything, even God’s Spirit is whizzing past you, like a train at speed as it goes full pelt through the station where you are standing… waiting. Not so: Wherever the train of life around you, wherever the train of your particular”church” circle is set on going, the Heavenly Father sees His waiting-on-the-platform children and their wondering. Today, you are fully part of His destination. He has no destination in mind that does not involve noticing and responding to your waiting, your longing and the preparation of your heart. The people involved in the rush need you. They need to see what God does for those who wait for Him.

After receiving this soon after waking, I decided to look up the origins of the phrase, “full pelt.” No one is completely sure where it comes from it would appear! However, the best bet is that the thought is of moving something by pelting it. It may have a military origin. Moving is good, but not all movement is good. It depends who or what  is doing the pelting that is causing the gathering speed. If you are “waiting” at the moment, if that seems to be the persisting tone of your days, one of the most useful things you can do is to pray for those who are doing the moving and the shaking, that they will be discerning as to who or what is driving things forward.  The movers need your prayers from a quieter place. They may even find themselves being drawn to you sensing in all their full pelt moving they have lost something they need to find again if the train despite its apparent speed is indeed going to get somewhere other than hitting the buffers.

God bless


Time to think…of me…of you…

12 noon Sunday. Having to take more rest than I would choose to at this moment in time. Had thoughts late last night  of going to a nearby chuch this morning. Has not worked out that way. Probably many of you who read this will be in the same boat: The fellowship of the involuntarily weakened, trying to prove the truth that when we are weak we are strong in Him.

However, it gives me time to think over some things I have said to encourage others over the years when they were facing things they would rather not be going through. Most of them still hold water, but some, the sort of sound bite ones that I heard from others and passed on,  that have a feel good ring to them, don’t really work as intended; like this one: “We are human beings not human doings.” Half true. Part of human happiness and well being is “doing.” I cannot do as much as I did and with difficulty accept that. That does not dent my worth as a securely loved child of God, delighted and danced over! However my well being, my happiness, even my joy is affected positively by “doing.”

Whatever your resources in terms of daily strength, may you find something to do in the Name of Christ and seek to do it faithfully. Oh yes, and don’t minimise the importance of what you are able to do. It is easy to do that when you know of people or read of people who have done or are doing the most amazing deeds in the Name of the Lord.

Here’s another thought that came to me lying here this morning. I think this may be more for others than for myself:

“Good Morning? Do you feel part of the explanation of your life is missing? Are there years or happenings that just don’t make sense? I think I heard a promise for you from God this morning: ‘Slowly, I am rebuilding, reconnecting the story line.’

Moments of understanding will come as God speaks. Where blanks remain faith will manage to make secure leaps from that solid ground.

God bless you. God has all the pieces of the broken record. A completeness of melody is not impossible. You shall hear it first, with fresh hope. Others around you will hear with quiet amazement that sound on the wind of the Spirit who is there within you still…always has been, always will be. It is a “Good” morning in Christ…

God bless us, every one!


…And the award goes to….

Dreamed just as I was waking up this morning that someone was delivering an acceptnace speech for an award, a life time achievement award. It was for their career in “Voiceover.” The image lingered. I felt that in it there was a word that would help to sustain the weay, which is part of why I write these blogs.

Voiceover is when someone unseen speaks over what is happening on screen in a film or an advert or speaks off-stage as a narrator in a play or whatever. Or it may be the voice over is the voice of an actual character in a film or play speaking into that role. Voiceover is important. When used properly, it gives sense, interprets, explains what needs to be known but might not be understood without help and guidance.

There is always a Voiceover being spoken into the unfolding events of our lives. The important thing is that we do not allow any old voiceover explanation of the story of our lives. God can help you begin a new voiceover career today, one in which the Holy Spirit in you or You through the Holy Spirit are speaking the interpretative narrative over your own life; a voiceover carrying the truth and tone of the Living God the God of goodness, of redeeming mercy, kind love and purposefulness.

Back to the dream: the acceptance speech. It was a bit like the Oscars, though less emotional and more sincere, with less acting if you know what I mean! Whoever the person was, they were saying a simple “thank you” for all those who had got them started in Voiceover.

Well, all of that gets me to what I beleive God wants me to share. it will not be for everyone but it will be for some of you. The verse/thought of Saint Paul came to mind, admittedly not strictly in context! “When I became a mature adult, I put aside the things of childhood.” There are some reading this who need to let go of your childhood voiceovers ohterwise they may lead to perpetual childishness where you pass on any responsibility for the unfolding shape of your adult life and settle to live as a victim, only remotely functioning when you say “poor me” over yourself or hear others saying, “Poor soul.”

Believe me, The Voiceovers are there in every one of us, but they are not necessarily the Voiceovers of the truth of God. Some of us are very fortunate in that the Voiceovers spoken into our lives from earliest days were from loving parents, from encouraging families who may even have deliberatley sought to echo the truth of God into your life. For some there were lots of postive voices like this, but other voices seemed to have a more powerful and detrimental influence. Voiceovers can be sinister. Was that the case for you? Was your dominating Voiceover the ancient career of one who lies and deceives with a forked tongue? That tongue can be terrifying or silky smooth but poison filled either way. The enemy gives false Voiceover narratives to the events of your life, the event of “you”, suggesting and reinforcing false outlook and a false understanding of our own identity. Of course, the Voiceover he offers can paradoxically be one of complete silence, that can put a sense of  hidden menace into the living of our lives resulting in fearfulness and anxiety.

At some point, whether the Voiceover action of others was good or bad, helpful or a hindrance, we have to begin our own Voiceover career with regard to our life. However, remember that essentially Voiceover does involve a script. What script are you reading and speaking forth this day? May it be true for you and for me that the script we are learning to submit to as Voiceover artists is the one written by the Author of our Salvation and no other.

God bless



Woke early, having slept well.  Immediate thought was of those  of you who are struggling with physical pain, severe physical pain. The mantra that, “Pain is a good thing, it tells you something is wrong; think of the leper etc.” does not work. That is more about others finding a cheap answer to the unease in their own faith about your pain.

Please forgive us, the church, for ever minimising your struggle with pain. Praise God for support groups. Often they are fuller of the presence of Christ than a church with impeccable doctrine. There are others near the isolating borders of your pain with nothing to offer but gentle and faithful presence from their own isolating pain.

The fellowship of those who struggle with physical pain is large, bound together by a gentle, “I know,” where no one makes condemning suggestions on how you should be thinking or reacting or what you ought to try. Praise God for friendships free of “oughts” and “shoulds.” Pain is not the time or place for Christians to “should” on one another. Don’t “should” on yourself or others this day. God bless you somehow.

God bless


In praise of Rescue Centres…

Believing and declaring God’s Word over ourselves must go hand in hand with honesty before God in the secret place about what is happening in our hearts, which at times will be in line with the Word we are believing and declaring and at times will be quite different. To hold these ingredients together is to worship in Spirit and in Truth.

Today as I woke I saw that some who will read this, are in fellowships that without meaning to do so, foster dishonesty, demanding a forced brightness and joy in the name of so called ‘faith’ which isn’t! To gain acceptance and approval you have had to mask the distresses of your heart, to mask even that some of you are on the Autism Spectrum, that you have Aspergers, or that you are on antidepressants or antipsychotic medication etc. It is making ‘going to church’ an increasing experience of what could truly be called terror, to the point of fearing a panic attack may well happen.

I knew this morning that God had seen your distress and has come down to rescue you. I honestly don’t know how that rescue will come, but come it will. It may be that God will touch and heal your distresses in what you will recognise as a miraculous way. It may be your fellowship is going to become a safer place for you and others like you as a spirit of control is uncovered, acknowledged and repented of. It may be that God will help you find a gathering you have not yet found that will be like a rescue centre for mistreated dogs; a place of healing where first steps of trust can be renewed in an atmosphere of consistent kindness; a place where the corporate expression of perfect love will cast out every fear of what would happen to you if what you struggle with were to come out and be discovered.

May the gentle touch of God be upon you. Be still, if that is possible for you and be aware His hand is upon you. Even if you cannot be still this day, may the Lord’s kind hand be upon you. Whatever you declare today, may you also cast all your anxieties upon the One who cares for you beyond all our combined faith.

God bless


Will see how this goes…

Every so often when I was preaching regularly, the Lord would challenge me to step into approaches to that calling that stretched me beyond my comfot zone and pushed me into a new dependence  uopon His Spirit. (When I can do what I do with my eyes shut, it probably means my ears are shut to the Lord. My confidence has come to rest in my gifting rather than in the Lord.)  I actually find that He does the same with my blogging. I will not bore you by going through the various stages of blogging ventures  thus far, but I will share where I think the Lord has me now in this regard.

My blogging started as a substitute for preaching when illness had made it impossible to continue as a parish minister. However as I blogged from that reality as it were, I soon became aware through responses sent to me that there is a vast underbelly in the Christian world full of people who  struggle with weakness beyond the norm in one form or another, for whom Church and what Church demands is often beyond the realms of possibility in terms of their phsycial, emotional or even spiritual resources.  God gives resources to do His will not other people’s will or even the Church’s will, where the Church’s  leadership and will has taken on an authority that has stopped listening to God and stopped being aware of people. It is easy to feel worthless when you are unable to measure up with what is being asked of you. The feeling can arise that you are not making a very good job of this Chrisitan thing.

Just a few days ago the Lord challenged me. He challenged me to believe that what was true of Jesus could be true of me in some measure at least, by the power of the Holy Spirit. In  Isaiah there are several passages where we hear prophetically the thoughts of Jesus centuries before He walked on earth to think them. In Chapter 50 verse 4  we read this:

“The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.”

So I trusted Him to do that for me  yesterday and this morning, as soon as I woke. Today, I saw someone arriving at the  door  of a house. Inside there seemed to be a bit of a party going on at which this shivering  wrtetch of a visitor was clearly not welcome. I asked what this meant. I believe this is what was given me:

“Who is that at the door? It is “you” at your most naked, wretched, bedraggled. It is “you” that you hope no one ever sees, whose existence you have told no one about. Will you open the door of love, welcome, acceptance tender compassion and grace to “you”? Will you bring “you” in from the cold or send “you” away into the cold dark territory of rejection once more clothed with shame and panic, unwashed, unkempt? Introduce “you” to your best friend Jesus.”

I hope that may be a thought, a word, that will sustain some of you in your weariness whenever you may happen to read this.

God Bless


Sprawling on the canvas?

That familiar thought that disturbed you this morning. You woke up feeling good! Then, like a heavyweight punch in the face it came: “Is  it my fault that things are like this?” That punch has come so often to a bleeding cut. It is the enemy seeking to stretch you out on the floor. It is  the cruel manipulation of your sorrow and grief about what has or has not happened.

At times you have turned your wondering  into a question to God, but He has never answered “Yes” or “No.” If He said “Yes” you could not live with the increased grief. If He said “No” the black boxing glove would still keep hitting you.  He is not into blaming anxious and sensitive  souls. He wants you simply to trust the process of His grace and the purposes of that grace for you and for “them.” You did what you could at that point in time. You did the very best you could. Jesus has always looked upon those who did what they could with tender favour and blessing and affirmation. What the malevolent boxer calls “fumbling inadequacy” Jesus calls “a beautiful thing.”

God bless


Encouragement for the North…

Due to technical illiteracy concerning blogging, coupled with general illiteracy about all things web or internet related, I keep forgetting that not all of you are on Facebook and not all of you are on Word Press. I am told  if I put something on Word Press first it will automatically appear on Facebook but not the other way round. So then, below I have copied something that has been with me all day and will not go away which has already been posted to Facebook. It will have a niche “market” probably, namely being of interest to those who live or minister in the North of Scotland or its islands. However, it may just interest some of you in other ways, hence its apperance here. Explanation over! I am not saying it is prophetic, but I hope it may do the work of a prophecy in the curch era: that it may strengthen, encourage and comfort the people of God.

While driving up and down the A9 when we lived in the North of Scotland, I was very aware at points in the journey I was crossing in and out of different spiritual territories. For want of a better phrase, I could feel that reality again and again. It was something unrelated to existing formal boundaries, secular or religious. At times I felt a joy in my spirit. At other times, crossing other unseen boundaries a sense of revulsion and darkness. Not so aware of that since moving to the Central belt in 2005. Maybe it is just I am not travelling the length and breadth of the country so often, but just maybe it is because there is something in the plan of God waiting to be released in the North that is very opposed by something not flesh and blood… felt all day I should share that.

Be blessed, you overlooked Northern places. Pray on in faith. Stand your ground. If possible swallow pride and come back into unity where it has been dented. The way back is not always easy. You may get met by suspicion. Humble yourself all the same and there will be blessing in the awkward journey. Some of you need to humbly become sheep again instead of shepherds.

Seek first The Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Pursue holiness in the reverential fear of God. Be submitted to one another in reverence for Christ, in obedience to Apostolic authority and writings in the bible. Listen to no other self-appointed apostolic ministry, in whatever shape or form it comes to you. It is not needed. There is more happening in Northern Places than can be observed with the eye, more than is happening in places further “South” that have the name of being alive. The death around you is real, but where there is death there can be resurrection. That is your hope, the God of Resurrection. Don’t think, “it is happening elsewhere, never here.” It is happening with you. May God give you open eyes to see the horses and chariots of the Lord around you. You have not much strength but you have not denied the Lord’s name and have kept His word. Some have turned away by deliberate choice. Hearts harden and cannot hear pleadings. For some, it may too late. But not for you. Some of you got off the wave and are observers from the shore. It is as though you have not heard there is a Holy Spirit… but you know it was real…you said it once, “It is real.” Get on to the wave again. Encourage others who have been discouraged by you. Encourage one another.

Oh yes, one more thing. Is it him, her, or the Lord. You must choose.

God bless


Mirror mirror on the wall….

Monday Mornings can be difficult for anyone invovled in up front church ministry. Mondays can be hard for anyone for that matter! Remember that Jesus Christ gives you the right to be called a child of God. So then, whatever people said or did not say yesterday, whatever all your yesterdays say, whatever condemning and mocking declarations seem to be finding a persistent voice, whatever looks and words may be waiting for you as you step out into this day and into  a new working/not working week……..look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Good Morning, child of God.”

You have been chosen in eternity, come for, sought for, died for. You have been bought with a price and are the object of the continuing delight of an eternal love. You are wanted, valued, appreciate by your Father. He proudly owns you as His, delights over you, dances over you to the confusion of angels and archangels who cannot quite see whatever it is He sees in you, but ponder it all the same.

The world won’t necessarily reocognise who you really are today, son or ddaughter of God, any more than it recognised The Son. You might meet no one today who will remind you who you really are. So before you leave the house, or before you settle for another day in the house because of disability or illness, or unemploymen,t or age related struggles, or weakness of mind or body of some sort or another, take one more look in that mirror and smile into your own eyes and receive your smile full of the sparkling ife of God looking back at you: “Good Morning, beloved.” Jesus Christ gives you the right to say that.


God bless



About your violent outburst….

Your outburst of violence…

Someone living a shame filled life needs to hear this: It is not a “thus says the Lord” wordy thing, but it came to me in prayer. It may be for you.

Violence happens even in the most intimate of relationships, even relationships between Christians who deeply love one another. Often it is the violence of words. Sometimes it can become physical. There is someone, deeply ashamed, who needs to hear this: “You are not the only one.”

It is good to ask the question, “Why did I lash out?”

I guess there can be all sorts of answers to that. The one that seemed to present itself to me as I pursued my thinking was “loneliness.” Each of us are unique. Somewhere in Henri Nouwen’s writings he says that the flip side of this uniqueness is aloneness. That aloneness can only find its covering, or allow itself to be naked in the presence of the God who calls each unique person “Beloved.” In that place we can treasure and accept our own uniqueness and belovedness and begin to see the uniqueness and belovedness of others. In other words our aloneness has become transformed into fruitful solitude which leads to healthy relationships, intimacy and communion with others. We accept ourselves and others as is. We are able to receive as a gift what others can give rather than get angry at what they have not given us.

However aloneness can become loneliness, which then has the potential to become violent when others do not seem to give me the affirmation I need in order to feel secure and valued.

Bottom line: no one person can give us the depth of affirmation that only God can give.

Don’t let shame about your violence stop you coming into the presence of God. It is where you need to be: to hear the word “Beloved.” Be at rest there, or sooner or later the violence will erupt again.

This may help someone who reads it. It may help others to understand someone whose behaviour mystifies us now and then.

God bless



Blocked in by snow?

As another snowy morning dawned today, these thoughts came to me. Well, I say “thoughts”. The thoughts seemed to change into truth which I meditated upon which seemed to then turn into something to be shared. Here it is then:

Siege: a favourite weapon of the enemy in our battle which is not against flesh and blood. A siege cannot work when within impenetrable walls there is water and bread. A “word thingy” for someone?

“You looked out of your window this morning. Yes, nothing has changed. The snow is still there. Remember that when “nothing is changing,” you have living water within: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.…’ “

“You have true bread, fresh each day. There are victories against the enemy that look stunning and spectacular, that make it on to the conference stage and into books. There are victories that are less stunning but more damaging to the enemy, namely surviving a siege to which he has devoted many resources over a significant humber of years focussing his attention on a particular gateway which he has calculated will open to him one day, but then just gives up, because you have not. You have seemingly unspectacular victories to share with those willing to learn from you. There are those who need the encouragement you can bring as you help them see they have been trusted with bringing honour to the cause of Christ in times of siege by keeping the flag of faith, hope and love flying high in the castle of their heart, for the King is in residence there!”

I hope this blesses those who need blessed by it! It might help and bless you to turn now to Psalm 46 and read it…or sing it!


In the spaces between the molecules of this present age…..

“The Kingdom of heaven is near.” Just thinking over difficult moments in my life with regard to that truth. So often at such times I have experienced that truth as the touch of divine gentleness and kindness, as gentle but as real as the brush of a butterfly’s wing upon my hair. It is so real as to be tangible. God comes into our sadnesses in this fallen world with kindness that says, “I know, I know….I am with you, with them, in the shadow lands of the coming brightness.” The touch of the butterfly wing of God often goes  unnoticed even by believers.  Should Almighty God not be more substantial than that? Well, He made the butterfly and the lion.

As a charismatic, I love manifestations of the Spirit when they are the real thing.  I regret sometimes that all that people seem to accept as being acceptable in such circles is when God steps in to overturn a situation with raw power, though of coruse it is wonderful when He does that and a cause of  high praise. There have been claimed manifestations of the roar of the Lion of Judah in recent years in charismatic meetings and occasionally that has been very genuine and changed the very atmosphere of a gathering releasing the roar of God Himself against the enemies of human wellbeing. There has been manfiestation of the Warrior roar crying “Freedom” and very occasionally that has been real as well and more than a sort nationalisitic fervour or  release of emotion. We have had macho preaching that has stung like a bee which is once in a blue moon genuinely the Word of the Lord. I have yet to see someone fluttering around manifesting the Maker of butterflies! No doubt that has happened or it will happen in some meeting somewhere  and on occasion  it will be genuine, but I have never seen that yet. I am not sure why.

An overemphasis of any truth becomes an error that stops people finding what God is actually doing, including the truth I am seeking to set forth here.  However, state the truth I must, in the hope that it might just be the particular truth from Jesus that some of you need to hear this very day, a truth that will set you free. Gentle kindness in the midst of an unaltered situation is a wonderful miracle, very precious indeed: indeed to me  it is one of the most treasured treasures of the Mystery of the presence of the coming Kingdom. In a world that is often aggressive and intolerant of weakness, a world that gets angry when things don’t go according to our wishes and sense of justice, gentle kindness can be very counter cultural, the sign of another Kingdom, another world making its presence known where the moleclues of this world’s thinking have become broken, stretched apart, creating many holes through which truth can shine. There are indeed parallel universes intertwined with one another. Faith sees that.

May you taste of the Kindness of the Lord, whoever you are and whatever you are going through: may you help others to taste of that kindness too.

Click here and it might just make you smile!

God Bless



Another “word” thingy…

Feel I always need to make this sort of intro as there are a wide variety of folk who seem to read either my Faecebook ramblings or my blog. ! From time to time when praying, I seem to be given a word from God which is to be shared as it is a specific word for a specific moment, probably for a specific person, but may be a word in season for several as often there seems to be seasons in God, and for that matter seasons of attack where many beleivers find themselves facing something similar to one another at the same moment. Occasionally, I am given names, but that is very occasional and very unusual for me, probably something to do with levels of faith at any given moment. Sometimes a face appears connected with the message. Sometimes I tell the person whose face I see as the word comes to me, but sometimes I fear that may be seen as being too manipulative and I just put it out there hoping in faith that the right person will see it, weigh it up and have faith this may be God speaking to them to encourage, strengthen and comfort them, the purpose of the new Testament gift of prophecy, which I only experience intermittently to a small degree compared with many.

Well, this is a long introduction to a simple word. There were several identifiaable faces that came to mind, but I have a feeling this is also a word in this season for more than the faces I saw. Whew! All that explanation! Here goes:

I think God wants to say this:

“You followed the recipe well, learned it humbly from others of good heart and intention who taught you foundational principles and sought to help you bake the new cake according to instructions. It fell flat. It did not rise. You gave it more time. It still did not rise. So painful to watch with you and to wait with you and to watch with you longer still. The problem was not with you. You need to know that. It was a hard year. Disappointment added to the pain of betrayal.

The problem was never with you or your heart, your intention, your motivation, your competence or your diligence. I say again, you really need to know that! So do many who have carried the secret stamp, “Failed,” who tried, who ventured forth beyond familiar horizons with bluepirnts and new tools cut for a new work. Don’t carry the mark “failed” into the New Year. Leave the flat cake inside 2017. Without your painful experience my eternal plan for the blessing of my people lost and found in Scotland would be further delayed. Flat cakes of 2010 to 2017 and several more flat cakes to come, are part of the preparation of a flat path for my feet, for the arrival of my glory. You shall see that and rejoice with many saying, ‘This is our God and we have waited for Him.’ ”

This is what I believe was given. Having typed it here, I felt the Lord awakening this memory of my own, so this is additional and to my mind does not carry the same sort of weight as what is written above, but it may be helpful.

I knew for quite some time that I would have to retire on health grounds before I did, and acknowledged that to God in prayer. “I know I need to stop Lord, this is killing me. I dont know how to do it,” were my words! However I could not take the step, until a wonderfully supportive GP, the wonderful Gabby Dench (Now Gabby Finch) from Ministries Council of the Church of Scotland and an Occupational Health Doctor said what they said to me. I somehow felt I had been given permission to step down. Why I needed that, I am not sure, other than that I have aways taken being under authority seriously. My own health, exhaustion, prayers before God and the pleadings of my concerned wife should have been enough, but I needed someone to give me permission to “lay it down.” Perhaps I am meant to say to someone, “You have permission to lay this down now.” I have no authority to say that to you, other than as your brother in Christ, speaking from what I beieve is the tender compassion of Christ for you.

Even if you have read to the end of this “word” and it has meant nothing to you, here is a closing thought to make your reading not a complete waste of your time! Is there anything you need to leave firmly in 2017 and not carry into the New Year?  A thought? An experience in 2017 or earlier? It may be you can simply relinquish it rather easily. It may be you need help to do so. I hope you are in a church where such help is available. It could be you yourself need to discipline yourself in how you handle your life story and have to learn skills of containing and processing events/ reactions etc  and learn new dsiciplines of thinking, speaking, sharing, or perhaps how to not speak, not think and not share. There is a time “to” and a time “to refrain fro ” for many things. Everything can be quite helpful within the bounds of its own proper time and season but disastrous when it is allowed out of its  proper time  to spread its shadows on future seasons, yeras or decades. There may well be time enough still, even on the 30th. or 31st. December,  to leave some bits of 2017 in 2017 where they happened and where they belong,  before the New Year bells sound.

God Bless


Who knows when?

Greater or lesser injustice replacing greater or lesser injustice seems to be the best the nations can manage as government follows government or regime follows regime or administration follows administration etc….even when the bible is held aloft by token or sincere gesture or by constitutional statement in some form or another. There are wonderful stories of forgiveness and reconciliation, but so often the oppressed become the oppressors when they are set free…it is, sadly, understandable.

“How long O Lord. Your Kingdom Come! For the sake of the oppressed now and in days ahead, ‘Come again, Lord Jesus. Bring everything to completion. I know You are not wiling that any should perish, that all should come to repentance, therefore you wait, you allow things to go on. I sort of get that and sort of don’t to be honest, for so many of my fellow human beings suffer so many terrible things that I have never faced. It is all so unfair. It is not my faith that is troubled by this, but rather my heart and mind. You do all things well. Even so, I cannot hide my truest prayer about it all: ‘Come quickly Lord Jesus, please come, that the promise of justice and peace kissing one another might be fulfilled.’  Meanwhile, as a second best stop-gap answer (in my limited vision but sincere opinion), help us to be a sure and certain sign of that hope. I will always feel though, that really is the second best answer to my prayer, the one I am willing to embrace more than the one I really want. Your will, not mine be done, Sovereign Lord. You don’t need my counsel, the very idea is laughable if it were not blasphemous, but thank you for access to you to be truly real with you.”

God bless you…and more than you

Ancient Hope for an approaching New Year…

OK, I know it is still the 12 days of Christmas, but my mind is going on to thinking about hopes for the New Year. My hope is that we will get hold of what the essence of the Kingdom “here but not yet” is about: Justice. In First World Charismatic Christianity the Kingdom has become sort of one dimensional sadly, in that there is a fixation about physical healing and how we can see more of it. That shows how pampered we have become and how out of touch and meaningless we can seem to be in a world that for billions is unsafe and unjust and where wrong often triumphs over many generations. I love the words of this old hymn, and make it my prayer for this and every New Year:

1 Thy kingdom come! On bended knee
the passing ages pray;
and faithful souls have yearned to see
on earth that kingdom’s day.

2 But the slow watches of the night
not less to God belong;
and for the everlasting right
the silent stars are strong.

3 And lo, already on the hills
the flags of dawn appear;
gird up your loins, ye prophet souls,
proclaim the day is near:

4 The day in whose clear-shining light
all wrong shall stand revealed,
when justice shall be throned in might,
and every hurt be healed;

5 When knowledge, hand in hand with peace,
shall walk the earth abroad:
the day of perfect righteousness,
the promised day of God.

(Click here for the tune to which this hymn is usually sung!)

God Bless you and God bless the world


”… so I send you…”

The battle “not against flesh and blood” had to be won in flesh and blood like our own and in flesh and blood circumstances. True then for Him, true still for us. May The Word be seen in flesh throughout the parishes of Scotland. May victories secured in heaven’s throne room by worship and prayer through our Saviour’s virtue and merits, be served on earth in acts of mercy, kindness, compassion, care, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to bring light into deep darkness. If it is not so, then our claimed victories in heavenly realms are simply an earthly vanity, an unprovable assertion amidst all the empty claims, promises, imaginings and loud mouthed shoutings of the passing centuries of pride and lostness. “As the Father sent me into the world, so I send you.”

God Bless