Author Archive

Deeply Rooted

May 19, 2018

A couple of years ago, we added a rockery to our church campus through a gracious donation from some church members. It was built on the side of a slope which had been perpetually covered in moss and weeds. The whole area, right next to …( read more )

Fruits Of The Spirit

May 8, 2018

When I read about the fruits of the Holy Spirit, I quickly realize how shallow I am, and that despite my best intentions, I can never display all of these blessings on any given day. I recognize my sinful shortcomings and become fully …( read more )

Anything And Everything

April 30, 2018

Like most churches, our congregation has a time of silence during the prayers of adoration and confession. It is a holy moment when we humbly approach God quietly to seek individually His pardon for the mistakes, faults, and sins that we …( read more )

An Old Song

April 22, 2018

One of the first songs that I ever learned in Sunday school was an old spiritual called "Who built the ark?" It tells the story of the animals going into the ark in different numbers, and the fun part of the song came in the motions that …( read more )

Time Machine

April 6, 2018

Sometimes, I wish that I had a time machine and could go back to the days when Jesus was teaching in the Jerusalem temple. His lessons and stories must have been captivating. His understanding of the mysteries of God and what life is all …( read more )

Deeply Distressed

March 29, 2018

Like most folks, I try not to let things distress or disturb me, but when they do, my prayers are peppered with worries and anxieties, which make it difficult to focus on my problem or really ask God for help. As a pastor, I should know …( read more )

Only A Youth

March 1, 2018

In the wake of the tragic Parkland massacre, high school students in the United States have been much in the daily news. Young people are gravely concerned about the violence and want to make changes. Their voice is raw with intense …( read more )

A Clear Conscience?

February 25, 2018

I find today's highlighted verse to be very insightful, especially when I try to justify things that I have done which are questionable. I convince myself that what I'm thinking or doing is right, so, therefore, God will understand, …( read more )

Spiritual Depression

February 9, 2018

I've suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, it gets so bad that I have to take medicine; at other times, I manage to get through on my own willpower and strength. It's not something that we who suffer from it …( read more )

Short Story

January 27, 2018

I've always been a short person, so I know how Zacchaeus must have felt when he couldn't see above the crowd to catch a glimpse of Jesus. I've been in more than a few places and situations where I have struggled to see what's happening — …( read more )

Never-Ending Story

January 15, 2018

I never knew my great-grandfather, Andrew Stuart, but I heard some stories about him from my dad. A hundred years ago, my great-grandfather was in the Royal Scots Guards who were fighting in the trenches of World War I. He was wounded a …( read more )

Resolving Conflict

January 2, 2018

Where I live, there's a lot of discontent and divisions currently taking place between families and friends. We have become so polarized about our opinions and ideas that it is very difficult to actually have a conversation without …( read more )

Perfect Peace

December 22, 2017

Sometimes, we get so busy at this time of year that we forget to listen to what God is saying to us. We get so wrapped up in meeting deadlines — personal and work-related — that we set God aside and promise within our hearts to get back …( read more )

Holy Ground

November 24, 2017

Sometimes, I wonder if, as Christians, we're losing our understanding of sacred space and holy ground. For some folks, the church has almost become a leisure activity in the same league as weekly sports, pastimes, or hobbies, instead of a …( read more )

A Touch Of Class

November 14, 2017

I wish that more church folks would go to Sunday school. In Scotland, Sunday school was meant only for school children, and I often felt that the adults lost out on the opportunity to deepen their faith each week. In North America, I was …( read more )

Someone Else

November 3, 2017

When I read about how reluctant Moses was to do God's bidding, it makes me smile. Getting people to volunteer in church for leadership or ministry roles can be just as hard, too. Some folks feel as if they're not good enough, others think …( read more )

Great Expectations

October 26, 2017

Of all the sayings of Jesus, I find this one to be among the hardest to put into practice. Whenever people upset me, whether it be family, friends, or acquaintances, I initially find it difficult to forgive them. I think unkind thoughts …( read more )

Pharaoh's Folly

October 16, 2017

There are some parts of the Bible that both intrigue and disturb me. Take, for instance, today's passage. Moses is being told by God what to do in order to free His people. It requires a face-to-face meeting with Pharaoh. Moses is scared …( read more )

Times Of Refreshing

October 4, 2017

Tragic events that have occurred over the past few weeks have had an emotional impact upon us. Hurricanes and floods, mass murder and terrorism, and even the deaths of music icons like Tom Petty, have severely dented the well-being and …( read more )

Preaching Everywhere

September 26, 2017

Preaching has always been at the heart of the Christian church ever since it was established. The good news of the gospel has been proclaimed in more and more nations in every generation since the time of Christ sending out His disciples. …( read more )

The Best Wine Ever

September 15, 2017

I think that this must have been the best wine ever produced in history. Why? Because the person who miraculously made it was Jesus, so He would make it the most perfect wine ever. It wouldn't be mediocre or some of the cheap stuff folks …( read more )

History's Mysteries

September 5, 2017

Like most people, I never really gave much thought to the ark of the covenant until I saw the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which starred Harrison Ford in the lead role of Indiana Jones. The excitement of that film captivated me …( read more )

What Lies Ahead

August 25, 2017

Sometimes, I wonder why God brought me from Scotland to become a pastor in the United States. The trans-Atlantic move initially disrupted our family and caused some painful separation from our friends, but I believe that God's hand was …( read more )

Spanish Lesson

August 15, 2017

Christ's teaching influences my whole life, but some parts of the gospels directly relate to what I do as a Presbyterian minister. Much of the criticism that Jesus had for the religious clerics of His time still applies today, and I …( read more )

Tell Them

August 5, 2017

When I first became a Christian, I wanted to tell the whole world about Jesus, but my biggest problem was how to communicate my faith to my family and friends. They knew everything about me — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so …( read more )

Listening To Jesus

July 28, 2017

As a child, I often got into trouble for doing the wrong things, despite having been warned by my parents. I can still hear them saying to me, "This would never have happened if you had listened in the first place." As a teenager, I …( read more )

Preaching The Word

July 21, 2017

I would love to have heard Jesus preaching in any of the synagogues that He visited during His lifetime. What we have in the gospels is only the tip of a whole mountain of messages that Christ must have preached to His people all over …( read more )

The Need To Forgive

July 11, 2017

I find forgiveness one of the hardest things to do, especially after someone has hurt or disappointed me. In my heart, I want to forgive them, but in my head, I keep re-enacting the words or the events which have wounded me. I hold on to …( read more )

Meaningful Multiplication

June 27, 2017

As a pastor, I have seen many people do wonderful things for God that are remarkable, as well as effective. Their faith is both enthusiastic and energetic, as well as considerate and compassionate. Some people think that churches are full …( read more )

Broken Bottles

June 17, 2017

"My head is full of broken bottles" is an old Glaswegian saying from Scotland that I sometimes experience and express. To me, it means that I can't really concentrate on what I need to do and that my focus is all out of whack. It usually …( read more )

How Many Times?

June 8, 2017

I grew up in a large family with three brothers and two sisters. Usually, we all got along very well, but sometimes, a fight would break out, and we would end up pitching fits against each other. My poor mother had to come in and stop the …( read more )

My Greatest Hero

May 30, 2017

My dad was a hard-working engineer for most of his life, and he provided for my mother and our large family as well as he could. Like most of his generation, he was a proud man and would rather do an honest day's work for an honest wage …( read more )

Dealing With Change

May 22, 2017

Like most people, I find changes very hard to accept. Sometimes, I push back against them, even if the changes are meant to make my life better. I guess I get comfortable in my own routine, so I resist any alterations. I admit that …( read more )

Switch to our mobile site