insecure2

“That’s it! I’m out of here!!!” screamed Doris stomping out of the coffee time after our service. People gaped, gobsmacked at this out-of-character behaviour.

A line manager spoils the chances of someone getting promotion, threatened by her underling excelling; a political leader votes against a decision for the better common good, worried about the opposition getting their own way; a parent forces an offspring into a career choice thinking they know what’s best for their (over 18) child; a neighbour flies off the handle for no apparent reason; a church leader spreads half-truths about someone to halt their growing popularity in the congregation. Countless scenarios of insecurity, which lead to dissension, division and the breakdown of relationships, families, communities, churches, work-places, even nations.

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Jesus said life is all about learning “to love God with your all and your neighbour as yourself” The Living that Jesus comes to gift and grow in and through us.

Yesterday, Callum Henderson of Comfort Rwanda shared on their excellent work with orphans and communities wrecked by the genocide of 1994, when over 800,000 people were murdered throughout Rwanda. The vast majority were Tribe Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, and others were also targeted. Within each of us lies both the potential for great evil and innate ability to understand, love, forgive and be reconciled. Tragically, tribal and individual insecurities can sink people to terrible depths of depravity in an attempt to protect supposed self-interest. Yet here is a widow embracing, in forgiveness, the man who murdered her husband!

rwandareconcile                       boams

David’s Kingdom of Israel was torn in two by kings Reheboam and Jereboam. Insecurities of identity and possessiveness of land (northern Israel and southern Judah) set them against each other and apart from God. Predecessor King Solomon’s lackadaisical, ‘hot tub’, comfort hugging complacency sowed the seeds of division, giving rise to brother pitted against brother and tribe against tribe. Such devastation cries out for Servant King Jesus Christ, coming centuries later to restore our human dignity and identity as ‘beloved daughters and sons of God Almighty’.

Jesus, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, something to cling to or be grasped, stepped down from his throne and took the nature of a servant!” (Philippians 2)
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Secure in who we are, as beloved children, we learn to love God with our all and our neighbour as self. Till then we can be so tied up by inner issues and crises that there isn’t time nor energy to consider others before self. Such Confidence in Christ can be torpedoed by bereavement, illness, work-loss, world events, rabid attacks, etc. Then it’s critical to have boundaries and disciplines to protect and boost soul security (e.g. prayer, weekly worship, fellowship, Bible input, etc.). For God’s Peace to prosper in our families, congregations, communities, nations and world we need leaders sure of who and whose they are, and free ‘to love as their loved’.

Fortunately, when Doris stomped out, we worked out it was a year since her husband died. We didn’t take offense, rather reached out to support. But without ‘Soul Security’ and ‘Soul Care’, misunderstandings and divisions will multiply. The Secure Servant King Jesus shows us the way of bridge-building forgiveness.

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 Glesga Bus

African Swahili for ‘empathy’ is ‘poli’, literally “I feel your toothache!” If ‘sympathy’ is to say, “That must hurt”, ‘empathy’ is trying to feel yourself into someone’s situation, shoes, gums, bones and soul. Observers of Western society say that empathy has much reduced in recent […]

2024-05-27T11:07:32+01:0027 May 2024|Comments Off on  Glesga Bus

ClerJOY!

Some of you are too young to remember Ricky Fulton’s hysterical clerical caricature ‘Rev I M Jolly’. Alas, I know a few Revs who are better I M Jollys than Ricky was, but Fr Willie Boyd certainly comes nowhere near such a sullen depressing reflection […]

2024-05-19T21:42:48+01:0019 May 2024|Comments Off on ClerJOY!

Hebridean Way

My scunneration with the disruption to Cal Mac’s Oban to Barra ferry was tempered by thoughts of St Columba & teams of Celtic saints rowing their tiny leather-lined coracles through tempest to reach the Outer Hebrides. Conditions were calm on the late combined ferry to […]

2024-05-06T12:04:48+01:006 May 2024|Comments Off on Hebridean Way

Weed Worry!

As our tall trumpeting daffodils give way to lions’ teeth (dandelions) the challenge for gardeners is to root out rising weeds to clear room for plants, flowers and foliage to beautify our gardens and parks. It’s a constant challenge to keep on top of worry […]

2024-04-15T12:33:24+01:0015 April 2024|Comments Off on Weed Worry!

Easter Transformers

A weary & wabbit truck driver pulled his rig into an all-night diner’s parking and sat-in, famished. The waitress had just served three tough looking, leather clad, Hell’s Angel’s type motorcyclists, who decided to give the truck driver a hard time. They verbally abused him, […]

2024-03-25T12:45:00+00:0025 March 2024|Comments Off on Easter Transformers

Upside Down World

“Gie us Peace!” & “Anything for some peace and quiet!” are understandable heartfelt cries in the face of bawling bairns dug-in to their stubborn trenches of resistance to parental direction, or anyone stressed and strung out in daily life, work and living. And yet, in […]

2024-02-05T11:57:41+00:005 February 2024|Comments Off on Upside Down World

Faithfuls

“If you’re a traitor I’ll never talk to you again!” says Mollie to Harry. Chosen Traitor, treacherous 23year old smiling baby-faced Harry assures sweet Mollie that she needn’t worry, because he’s ‘100% faithful’. His justification for such […]

2024-01-29T11:34:23+00:0029 January 2024|Comments Off on Faithfuls

David Soul

David Soul died, aged 80, on 4th January 2024. People may remember David best from playing Ken Hutch(inson) in the famous TV cop series ‘Starksy & Hutch’ (1975-79) and UK No.1 solo song hits ‘Don’t give up on us now’ & ‘Silver Lady’. For others […]

2024-01-08T11:55:17+00:008 January 2024|Comments Off on David Soul

Noah’s Lark

Solid rain was the forecast. Undaunted I peddled and paddled out, in pursuit of some soaked solace. It was a challenging week and I needed to get away from it all, so off I sped through Dalry, […]

2023-12-11T16:03:11+00:0011 December 2023|Comments Off on Noah’s Lark

True ID

On an Antarctic ice-flow, baby polar bear asks his dad, “Am I really a polar bear?”

“Of course you are son.”

“Am I REALLY a polar bear dad?”

“You certainly are son!”

“Are you really sure I’m a polar bear dad!?!”

[…]

2023-12-04T12:41:00+00:004 December 2023|Comments Off on True ID