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  • Trusting the Chief for Sunshine

    This week is one of very mixed emotions as I have a wedding, an All Age service for Palm Sunday, a funeral, and a traditional Easter Service all whirling in my brain along with the last Lent Study, meetings with professional advisers, pastoral meetings and all the usual trappings of ministerial life.

    My first job today was to pick up the emailed music for Saturday's wedding which included the wonderful song 'Sunshine on Leith' which somehow blesses me in the midst of it all...

    Jesus said that God makes the sun to shine on the righteous and unrighteous alike - I'd like to extend that to claim a promise of sunshine for those who are glad and those who are sad, those who rest, those who are busy...


    Thanking the Chief for sunshine on Leith, and Glasgow and anyhwere it is needed.


    Anyway, enjoy:

  • 40 Acts - Day 31

    The 'persecuted church' is one of those phrases that trips quite lightly from the tongues of Christians, usually in contexts where the worst that will happen is someone laughs at our faith or assumes the media stereotypes are correct.  We kind of feel we ought to be concerned and ought to do something whilst mostly doing and thinking not a lot. 

    Or maybe it's just me - I 'did' my presecuted church stuff in the 1980s/90s, praying for walls to come down, borders to open and so on.  And it happened.  It's just not the area I feel especially called to support these days - I'd rather include anyone persecuted for their faith or worldview, not 'just' Christians.

    Anyway, here is the thirty-first challenge - we are now in the final countdown!!


    It takes incredible bravery to stand up for what you believe in. Millions of Christians throughout the world face extreme persecution simply for following Jesus. Just because you’re here and they’re over there, doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Your support and encouragement is vital. Today’s act is all about being generous in encouraging the persecuted church.



    If you’ve got five minutes, pray. It’s the most powerful weapon we’ve got in the middle of darkness. Pray for justice, peace and mercy for all those experiencing persecution because of their beliefs.



    Did you know you can write to a persecuted Christian? Here’s a great template to get you started. Alternatively, write to your local MP to make sure the issue is kept on the government’s agenda.



    Start a fundraising campaign for a charity that directly assists with persecuted Christians. Not sure who to choose? Take a look at this list.

  • 40 Acts - Day 30

    Three quarters of the way there!  It is fairly racing by, at least from where I stand!

    Today's challenge is about volunteering.  Most of my readers (if not all) will already do lots of volunteering, so I hope they won't feel obliged to pick up new things.  I love the volunteering I do outside of church life, it enriches my life, allows me to learn transferrable skills (hopefully my phone manner is better than it used to be!!) and makes a small difference, which for some people can, in that moment, be all the difference in the world.

    There are probably very few scenarios where we ought to push for ‘first’. One is the Olympics. The other is volunteering. The thing is, if you wait for someone else to put their hand up before you, you miss the opportunity to make a generous difference. It might be a tiny ripple or a mighty wave of change. Today, be willing to put the hard work in when nobody else wants to. Be first to raise your hand.


    Offer to do the tea/coffee run at work, or wash up everyone’s mugs at the end of the day. Offer to pray for someone – don’t wait for that ‘more spiritual person’ to step up. Say ‘yes’ to that difficult task announced at the PTA meeting. You get the idea … run with it!



    Got a local soup kitchen? Maybe a social action project attached to your church? Go ahead and phone up the organisers today and offer your time.


    CHANGE THE WORLD (probably):

    Make a quick list of the things you’ve volunteered for in the past. Is there a theme? In other words, what are your passions? Be inspired by today’s blog, and then spend an hour thinking about what you would do to make your world better if you knew you couldn’t fail. Pray over it. Then raise your hand and put that plan into action.

  • Gratitude

    Yesterday I received the very sad news that a dear friend had died after a decade-long journey with cancer, and still only 48 years old.  She was an amazing person, never bitter or angry, always positive and making the most of every moment.  She loved pink, I hate pink.  She loved prosecco, cava and champagne, I drink tea.  She danced on the tables, I hide in a corner.  But we clicked and she enriched my life greatly.  Despite my sadness, I am still smiling when I recall times we shared, and I am grateful to have had the privilege to know her, if only for around three years.

    And today I am feeling grateful in general:


    This morning I was woken up by a pussy cat walking up my body, miaowing and asking to be fed. The other one wasn't far behind!

    This morning I swallowed seven different drugs and three different supplements as well as smearing steroid cream all over my (finally calming down) bites.

    This morning I boiled a kettle and made tea, warmed a frozen croissant in the oven and ate it with lashings of strawberry jam (calorie coutning can wait!)

    This morning I looked out from my window to see patches of blue amidst the silvery low clouds, and sensed the sun shining on my world

    This morning I switched on my laptop and caught up with news from friends far and wide.


    This morning I woke up... grateful for feline company, the NHS, for clean water on tap and electricity at the flick of a switch, for food in the cupboard (freezer) and a safe home where I live, for digital communications... and above it all for LIFE.

    Way back in 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer I vowed to find a 'thing of beauty' every day - a positive amidst whatever life may show me. It's rare I record them, but they are always there. Today whatever life brings, there is beauty to behold, and life itself is a gift beyond price.

  • 40 Acts - Day 29

    Bless the boss... bit tricky when your boss is God rather than a person, or a whole church full of people rather than a line manager, or even two especially gorgeous kitties... maybe I just need to pause briefly to acknowledge all the poeple I serve and am served by.



    We often fire off an email or letter complaining, but how often do we send one that is full of praise? Bless your leader today with an email, letter or text that’s crammed with kindness.


    Chances are your leader’s schedule is hectic. How could you ease their burden today? Could you run an errand, make tea, offer a lift or walk their dog? Do something small and practical to lighten the load.


    Make a conscious decision to honour and support your leaders on a long-term basis, even if it’s difficult sometimes.