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“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!

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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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Fringe Faith

“So, if humility is a top value and characteristic of Christian Faith, and God is so humble, why must we worship God?” A brilliant question, ‘shot from the hip’, to Albert Bogle in his raw, real, punchy, gentle, humble & inspiring (Sanctuary First) podcast interview […]

2022-08-15T13:50:46+01:0015 August 2022|Comments Off on Fringe Faith

‘Serendipity’

Serendipity: A ‘Happy Accident or Coincidence’. There I stood in the Foyer of Edinburgh’s Playhouse when, low and behold, my future wife stood 30 feet away. Two years previously we’d only met briefly. Was is it my sometime effusive friendliness, spurred on by the striking […]

2022-08-08T11:07:53+01:008 August 2022|Comments Off on ‘Serendipity’

Missing Link

It’s been a glorious annual circuit cycle and pedal-pilgrimage for the last 8 years and, till Friday, passing trouble free. Conditions were almost perfect for the day-spin, which includes […]

2022-08-01T12:23:30+01:001 August 2022|Comments Off on Missing Link

Just Sit Doon!

Beware wanting to do something good for God! King David had a magnificent idea to build God a glorious Temple for his presence and praise. David was grateful to God for so much. David had achieved much in becoming king of the southern and northern […]

2022-07-24T18:05:20+01:0024 July 2022|Comments Off on Just Sit Doon!

Skinny Dip

So, I’ve been wild swimming Mon’, Wed’ & Fri’ at 6am alongside Sandy & his mates, Johnny & Ben. It’s some job shoehorning my thick torso into a wetsuit (should’ve got a couple sizes bigger)! It’s even […]

2022-07-18T12:30:24+01:0018 July 2022|Comments Off on Skinny Dip

Whispering God

Is my life too busy and noisy to notice and hear God’s whispers?

I’ve just finished Pete Greig’s wonderfully absorbing and practical book ‘how to hear God – a simple guide for normal people’. And will re-read to practise its wisdom and […]

2022-07-11T11:09:38+01:0011 July 2022|Comments Off on Whispering God

Costly Grace

Robert Burns adeptly exposed human hypocrisy with sharp humour. Like you and me, he was far from perfect, but skilled at pointing out the worst & best in humanity and great aspiration to make the world a better place: “Man to Man the world o’er […]

2022-06-30T16:44:48+01:0030 June 2022|Comments Off on Costly Grace

Servant Queen

Whatever your views of royalty, 70 years serving the UK & British Commonwealth is remarkable! Yearly at Christmas the Queen shares what’s important to her. Her personal Faith, Hope & Love come shining through as she reflects on each year and offers empathy, sympathy, and encouragement […]

2022-06-08T13:57:55+01:006 June 2022|Comments Off on Servant Queen

Dear Anne

Dear Anne, You are sorely missed, fondly remembered and, 2 years since leaving these Scotia shores for heavenly, what joy to celebrate your life together with neighbours, church, and family!

Due to pandemic restrictions, […]

2022-05-16T12:15:12+01:0016 May 2022|Comments Off on Dear Anne

“Ya Beauty!”

Is beauty simply ‘in the eye of the beholder’? Surely, it’s so much more!? Beauty can be enjoyed, experienced, and explored through taste, touch, smell, hearing and the 6th sense of spiritual ‘soul-sight’? Yet, is beauty always subjective, dependent upon the person engaged by beauty? […]

2022-05-09T10:12:04+01:009 May 2022|Comments Off on “Ya Beauty!”