Author Archive

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 )

Always There

May 11, 2017

When I experience losing someone that I love, or if I'm having a difficult time, my natural response is to retreat and find somewhere quiet where I can reflect on what has happened. During those times, I tend to push people away, just …( read more )

Don't Be Afraid

May 3, 2017

There's a lot of fear and uncertainty in our world today. You can hardly pick up a newspaper or watch television news without hearing about terrorist bombs, gas attacks, and civilian deaths all over the globe. Those of us who were born in …( read more )

Remembering The Rainbow

April 22, 2017

We live on a beautiful and exceptional planet. As far as we can tell, it's the only one that can sustain life as we know it. There may be other Earth-like planets in the universe, but this is the only one that we can presently call …( read more )

Human Nature

April 11, 2017

Being human means that we're subject to all sorts of feelings, injuries, and troubles. When I'm in pain, physically or emotionally, I very quickly talk to God to release me from what is causing it and look to Him to heal or solve my …( read more )

Encouraging Words

March 29, 2017

Are you discouraged, or have you ever been? I like the way that Jesus encourages John the Baptist, who is languishing in a dungeon beneath King Herod's palace. He gives a message to John's disciples which will restore John's confidence …( read more )

Cheeky Sparrows

March 17, 2017

One of the simplest delights that I had during my childhood days in Scotland was the feeding of sparrows in my backyard. It didn't matter what time of year it was or what kind of stale bread I threw to the birds, flocks of cheeky little …( read more )

Take Heart

February 22, 2017

The more that I read this beautiful story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man, the more that I believe that real healing begins with forgiveness. As a pastor for over thirty years, I have been with and cared for many people in times of …( read more )

The Call

February 6, 2017

I firmly believe in the concept of the priesthood of all believers, that all Christians have direct access to God. This also means that all Christians are given a specific calling from Christ to do His work in their own community. His …( read more )

Great Faith

January 24, 2017

When I read gospel stories like this one about Jesus and the centurion, who believed that Jesus could heal his servant by just saying the word, it makes me wonder if the days of "great faith" are well and truly over. A lot of folks that I …( read more )

A New Day

July 21, 2016

I'm usually awake before each sunrise, so I get to watch the sun's red glow permeate slowly across the morning sky. It is a peaceful and sacred time which helps me get into the right frame of mind for my daily work. Soaking in a sunrise …( read more )

Gospel Readers

June 26, 2016

Sharing the gospel these days is very different from how it was done during the apostle Paul's time. Some people try to encapsulate the whole gospel into a couple of phrases like "love one another" or "do not judge", making it easy to …( read more )

Faith Under Fire

May 26, 2016

I have always admired the apostle Paul, not just because of his wonderful epistles, but because of the hardships and struggles that he underwent. Whenever I hear a fellow pastor or someone else disparaging Paul because of something he …( read more )

Perfect Peace

May 12, 2016

We're all looking for peace in our lives: peace and quiet in order to rest; peace in our households in order to get along; peace at our work, so we can be effective as teams; peace in our neighbourhood, so we can sleep at night; peace in …( read more )

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