Isaiah 43

But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze...

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed-- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?"...

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

The title for our Bible Week this year was "All things New." When I read this chapter of Isaiah his morning, some of these verses just leapt out at me! It was if I was reading a summary of what God has said to me at the Bible week. This is what the Spirit of God stirred within me:

I am doing a new thing with you. This is the beginning. It is a time for holiness - a time to deal with the small sins that you thought I overlooked; to be pure - like a refreshing stream of water without pollution or taint, that delights my heart and brings refreshing to others.

It is a time to see me afresh, to see me in my glory, to see me and to worship me - for this is why you were created, this is why you were chosen, and this is why you were redeemed. This is why I saved you, that you might be a people who proclaim my praise.

It is a time to step out and be my witnesses. Do not fear man. Do not be afraid. The giants you fear, are but bluff and bluster. I am with you and you will not come to harm. I am watching over my people and my word to bless and to fulfill.

It is a time for the streams to flow in the wasteland. Those areas in your life that are dry and hard will flow with a freshness of my Spirit - and you will go out into those areas in your region that people have said are dry and dead and I will overflow my Spirit from you out into the barren places and bring life, and bring fruit and produce a harvest for the honour of my name and for my glory, declares the Lord.


Hello Again!

I'm back from the Bible Week. It was a great time. The only disappointment was the weather - it rained... a lot! But even the worst of the British weather couldn't dampen the spirits of God's people.

There is so much I could say about the week it is hard to know where to begin. So here is a quick top 10 of my highlights from the week.
  1. Worshipping the Lord with hundreds of God's people gathered together (a taste of heaven here on earth).

  2. Rising to the challenge of growing in the purposes of God for my life.

  3. Seeing the lives of friends touched and transformed by the power of God.

  4. The report on how our giving last year has led to thousands of lives being touched, and thousands coming to know Jesus as Lord - all over the world.

  5. The opportunity to give generously to see even more happen this year.

  6. The privilege (and challenge) of serving the children in Globetrotters group 2... especially Sand-pit duty! ;-)

  7. My son saying he wanted to sing "Ba ba black-sheep" to Jesus.

  8. The view of the deer from the window of our warm and dry static caravan, 12 minutes drive off site

  9. Andrew Hughs throwing dried pasta shells over the crowd, pretending they were live cockroaches. As he said - we will never forget that illustration!

  10. Catching up with old friends from around the country

Needless to say, all the teaching was fantastic and inspiring. I have come back with a set of CDs of those messages that particularly stirred me, and those I missed through serving the children.

I'm glad to be back now. Not because I'm glad it's over. But now is the beginning of working out all that God has worked into me over the last week. I can't wait to get started!


Week Away

To all my friends in blog-land: see you in a week's time. Unless of course you are going to the Ministries Without Borders Bible Week too - in which case: see you there!

It's going to be a fantastic week. Great fellowship, hundreds of people worshiping, inspired and prophetic teaching, ministry in the Holy Spirit... but sadly no opportunities to blog. I'll tell you all about it when I get back.



Game on! Time for a bit of fun and some healthy competition. Here is a computer game I wrote. It is a clone of the arcade classic - Pacman. The HiScore table is global, so let's see who can get the highest score.

You may need to be patient the first time it loads. If you have problems, make sure that your Browser is Java enabled. You will need to click inside the game before it will respond to keystrokes.

Controls: Use the arrow keys to move around. [P] pauses and unpauses the game. [ESC] to kill yourself off quick.

Techie Details: I originally wrote this game in the mid '90s in AMOS for the Amiga home computer. A couple of years ago, I ported it to Java so it could run inside a web browser. The hardest bit was getting the HiScore table to be persistent and universal. The security restrictions imposed on Java Applets make this quite a challenge. I finally achieved it a few days ago - so enjoy!


Riddle me this...

Now I have published all my Kingdom of God notes, what next? Tomorrow I intend to share with you another one of my writings. This one is of a very different nature. Here is a riddle about it - can you guess what it is going to be?

I am written with care, yet not to be read.
I have keys, but open no lock.
Your time spent with me will vanish with glee,
So keep one eye on the clock.

Kingdom Promise

Here it is! The final part of my Kingdom of God notes. Well done to anyone who has read them all thus far. What better topic is there to end on than the ultimate fulfilment of God's Kingdom purpose on the earth and the return of King Jesus?

In this section we will look at how the Kingdom is yet to come – the ultimate coming of the Kingdom with the return of the conquering King. We will examine the scriptures that speak of the kingdom coming in its fullness on the earth, and the eternal rule of righteousness in the new heavens and the new earth. We will discover how a correct understanding of the ultimate fulfilment of the Kingdom should affect how we live today.

Kingdom Promise [pdf 85.3KB]

Curry Night

Had a great time last night with some of the guys from the Nuneaton cellgroup, and Lee. There was plenty of humour, and laughter and great food! We also spoke about the works of God - we reminisced about the great things he has done in the past (Lee shared his testimony again of how he turned from drugs and violence to give his life to Christ), and of the amazing things that are happening overseas (the accounts from India of people being raised from the dead, and new believers simply taking the Bible at its word, without any education in scepticism or doubt, and going out healing the sick through their prayers, and leading many others to know Jesus as Lord.) Yet we also spoke faith to each other that these things were not just for the past, and not just for other nations - but for us, here and now. I shared what I had discovered about the 1905 revival in Nuneaton, and how the whole atmosphere of the town was changed in just one week.

A lot can happen in one week; people, towns, nations can be changed forever. That's the expectation I have for the upcoming Bible Week that I am going to with the churches linked by Ministries without Borders. I'm going expecting to be changed, equipped and empowered, and to come back ready to make a difference for the Lord, in Nuneaton, in the UK... in his world!


Kingdom Progress

Here is the penultimate part of my Kingdom of God notes. It is on an exciting topic - Kingdom Advance. It is an awesome privilege to be able to play a part in the eternal advance of God's Kingdom.

In this section we will see that the kingdom is still coming. That it is not something that is just passively received but something that is actively advanced. Like Joshua we have met the King, but we still need to take the kingdom. We will examine the ways that we can actively advance God’s kingdom, and so hasten his coming.

Kingdom Progress [pdf 85.3KB]

Revival in Nuneaton!

A headline from the past, that is destined to be a headline in the future!

One hundred years ago the Welsh Revival was in full swing. During this time, there were similar localised revivals in England. One of these was in the Midlands, and the epicentre was Nuneaton. It started in 1905 after a week of united prayer in the town. Soon after, special trains had to be put on to transport the people coming into the town for the prayer meetings!

See these articles for more information:
THE WELSH REVIVAL OF 1904-05 - Oliver W. Price
WESTERN MAIL, Dec 9th 1974

Sometimes the folks in Nuneaton feel like they are on the edge of what is going on, or that they are overlooked in the strategies and plans for the region - but on God's map Nuneaton is not on the edge, it's right in the centre! The revivals of the past, are just foretastes of the ones yet to come.


Kingdom Present

This week I will give you the final 3 installments of my Kingdom of God notes. These three sections focus on the threefold nature of the Kingdom: The Kingdom Come, The Kingdom Coming, and the Kingdom Yet-to-Come. (Rather than switch alliteration, I have called these: Kingdom Present, Kingdom Progress, and Kingdom Promise). So here is part 7: Kingdom Present.

In this section we will look at how the Kingdom has already come. Jesus came and ushered in the Kingdom of God. He is the King of the kingdom, and the only way we enter the Kingdom is through him. We will see how the Kingdom was established by Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Kingdom Present [pdf 87.3KB]

Male and Female he created them...

I watched a very interesting documentary last night on BBC1: Secrets of the Sexes. It seems Science is now confirming what we knew all along - Men and women think differently! The sexes are different, not just physiologically, but psychologically too.

Although some stereotypes were debunked, many were confirmed. Women in general are better at empathy, and men at spacial awareness. There was a great part in the programme where a man and a woman had to answer questions while having a brain scan. They were shown pictures of people and asked what emotion they were displaying. The woman's brain scan showed lots of activity in the part of the brain responsible for emotion - she accessed her own emotions to empathise with the pictures she saw. The man's brain scan was equally telling - there was zero activity in that part of the brain! He answered the questions as a purely intellectual exercise.

Why does society have a problem with differences? Why is it politically incorrect to say that women are different from men or to say that people from one culture are different from another? The reason seems to be that most cannot distinguish between difference and inequality. If two people are different - one must be "better" and the other "inferior". So highlighting the difference between the sexes is seen as "Sexism" and highlighting the difference between cultures is seen as "Racism". Whilst such prejudices are to be condemned, the pendulum has swung too far the other way; political correctness is robbing us from rejoicing in the diversity of God's creation. Every human being is different, but all are loved equally by God who "shows no favouritism". What society should be striving for is not a sexual equality that tries to ignore the differences between men and women and pretends they don't exist, but a sexual equity, that recognises the differences but treats each with the same respect and value.


Kingdom Parables

Here is part 6 of my Kingdom of God notes.

In this section we will discover that Jesus’ teaching was full of instruction about the Kingdom. We will examine some of these teachings to see what they tell us about the Kingdom. In particular we will look at the parables of the Kingdom in Matthew 13. We will see how the message of the Kingdom is received, how the kingdom grows and expands, what the kingdom is worth to those who find it, and of the great separation at the end of the age.

Kingdom Parables [pdf 92.1KB]


More Free Software

A couple more great free software applications to draw to your attention.


Desktop blogging tool for Windows. Allows you to jot down your thoughts as and when they come to you in a Notepad like editor, and then automatically logon and publish them when you are ready with a single click. Essential tool for the busy blogger.


Convert almost any document to pdf accurately and for free. Works by creating a psudo-printer. When you select this printer from Word (or whatever other application you are using) instead of printing it creates the pdf document after prompting you for the filename.

See also:
Free Software


Kingdom Paradigm

Paradigm: (n) One that serves as a pattern or model. [dictionary.com]

Here is part 5 of my Kingdom of God notes.

In this section we will look at what is probably the greatest example of the Kingdom in the Old Testament: the Kingdom of David. There are so many parallels between David’s kingdom and the Kingdom of God, that it is no wonder the Messiah is predicted as one who will restore David’s throne. It is a time of peace and prosperity, justice and mercy, when all the enemies are conquered. It is a place where worship fills the streets and God is restored to his rightful place in the midst of his people.

Kingdom Paradigm [pdf 80.0KB]


Isaiah 6

Isa 6:6 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

I'm reading through the book of Isaiah at the moment. It's one of those books where certain chapters jump out at you. It's all God's word, but there are certain sections which are particularly stirring.

The first of these chapters (to me anyway) is chapter 6 where Isaiah gets his commissioning. What I love about this passage is Isaiah's faith. His trust and his confidence (not in his own abilities) but in God. When God asks who should go, he immediately volunteers, even though he does not yet know what he is volunteering for. It is only afterwards that the Lord tells him what he is to do and what he is to say. But the fact that the request comes from God is enough for him, he doesn't need to know any more.

He reminds me of that other hero of faith - Abraham. In Hebrews 11 we are told "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." Again the fact that the call came from God was enough, he didn't need to know the details.

That's the kind of faith and confidence in God that we should have. He never calls us to do anything that is beyond us, or too difficult for us to achieve. He never sets us up to fail. He only has the best possible plan for our lives. When he calls us to do something or go somewhere - that should be all we need to know. I want to be one who jumps to my feet, not one who checks the small print.


More on Faith and Science

I have just discovered an excellent Blog: Real Physics, written by a Christian with a doctorate in physics. He argues extremely lucidly (much better than me) against Darwinian evolution and for Intelligent design.

I wonder how many such individuals it will take before the Darwinists drop their assertion that evolution is a universally accepted theory amongst the scientific community, and that all who disagree are uninformed and naive??

See also:
Faith and Science
In the Beginning [on Roger's blog]
In the Beginning (2) [on Roger's blog]

[UPDATE: The author of Real Physics has pointed out that "Intelligent Design" is a movement with views that he does not completely endorse. I used this term in ignorance of this fact. See the comments to this post for more information - or better still visit MJ's site and see what he has to say for himself - it's good stuff!]

Kingdom Prophecies

Here is part 4 of my Kingdom of God notes.

In this section we will examine some of the passages in the prophetic writings of scripture that speak about the Kingdom of God. In particular the book of Daniel where the greatest kings of this world were shown in vision and demonstration that their mighty kingdoms were nothing compared with that of the King of Kings.

Kingdom Prophecies [pdf 82.3KB]


Guess the Bible Verse

Time for another fun weekend competition. Below is an illustration that didn't make it into the Good News Bible. Can you guess which verse it is for?

Breakfast Fellowship in the Sun

Had a great time of fellowship and food this morning with the Nuneaton cellgroup.

We met at ours this morning, and sat out on the decking in the morning sunshine drinking fresh filter coffee, and eating croissants and bacon buns. Now that's living! The children had fun too, running around in the garden.

It was a big success. Have to do it again soon.


Go with the flow

I had an expectation that we would have an encounter with the Holy Spirit last night, and I wasn't disappointed!

I met with the folks from Nuneaton, for the mid week meeting we call "Cell". Normally we follow a pattern known as the 4W's. Welcome, Worship, Word, and Witness. Which encapsulate the four most important things that should happen when we meet together. Fellowship, focussing on God, hearing his voice, and going out equipped to do it. Last night we had a plan along those lines, but God had a different plan - we never got past the worship.

God gave us a word through a prophecy, that he was going to open doors for us, and we should step out and push them. The Spirit was moving, and I felt that we shouldn't move on until we had received the word more specifically. In the end we ended up praying and laying on hands for all the members of the group in turn. It was a powerful time - everyone went away with an extra impartation from the Spirit, and a specific word from God, of which doors he wanted them to push.

I love meetings like that. I like coming together to meet with God's people, but I love it when we powerfully meet with God. That's what it's all about. Any structure or program only exists to serve the life it contains, and should always defer to that life. We should never love our pattern or way of doing things so much that we cannot defer to the Spirit's promptings. When he is moving, we shouldn't move on - but go with the flow. He leads the best meetings!!

Kingdom Power

Here is part 3 of my Kingdom of God notes. This is on a key subject - Authority.

In this section we will see that the Kingdom of God is all about delegated authority. All authority belongs to God, but he has chosen to delegate authority to man. Just as there is absolute equality between the members of the Godhead, yet a submission to the Father by the Son, and to the Father and Son by the Spirit, we will see that God has established the same structure of authority in creation, in the family and in the church. We will discover that to truly exercise authority in the Kingdom, one must first be under authority.

Kingdom Power [pdf 83.1KB]


Siblings Safe

You have probably heard by now about the dreadful terrorist attacks on London this morning.

One of my brothers and my sister currently live in London. I have just heard that they are both fine and unharmed - Praise God! My brother was at a tube station when the bombs went off, but he was able to get out and walk back home. My sister is currently stranded at Heathrow, with no public transport to get her home, but my mother has been able to book her a flight up to Edinburgh to stay with her.

Pray that they will know God's peace at this time (they are not believers). This is the second time they have been in proximity to a terrorist atrocity. They were in New York on holiday on September 11, 2001.

Kingdom Properties

Here is part 2 of my Kingdom of God notes.

In this section we will investigate what the Kingdom of God is like. We will see that it is an eternal Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. It is unshakeable, unstoppable, ever expanding – destined to fill the whole earth. It is a Kingdom with values that are totally contrary to those of the world.

Kingdom Properties [pdf 90.1KB]


Kingdom Purpose

I have decided to make some of my old teaching notes available to the readers of my blog on a relaxed licensing. Basically you are free to copy and redistribute them in any format (paper or electronic) without needing my permission, as long as you credit me as the author, do not use them for commercial purposes, and do not change them (apart from minor corrections) to say anything different.

First up are my Kingdom of God notes. This is part 1 of 9 (the rest to follow). Read the synopsis below to see if you want to download the file.

In this section we will explain what we mean by the Kingdom of God. We will discover that it is the essence of the eternal plan of God. It is the manifestation of his divine rule and authority on the earth, not confined to any geographic limits or even to the church. It is the heart of the gospel, the unifying thread throughout all of scripture, and it embodied Jesus’ ministry while he was on earth, and now he is in heaven. It is the ultimate triumph of this unshakable kingdom that will see the King return in glory.

Kingdom Purpose [pdf 82.4KB]

The Bible in a Year

Ever tried to read the Bible through in a year? I have many times, and even succeeded once or twice! Currently I am in my second year of reading the Bible through in 2 years. I am getting more out of this; it is far more manageable, easier to catch up when you fall behind, and gives you more time to meditate on what you are reading.

Whether you take 1 year or 2 years, I would recommend to every Christian to read through the whole Bible. It's all God's word, and it's all there to do us good. If you don't have a plan to read it all, you generally tend to stick to what you are familiar with. If you are unfamiliar with some of God's word then you are more likely to be led astray by fine sounding yet unbiblical doctrines (and yes, there are some out there!) The mature man of God who is familiar with the whole world of God will not be easily swayed by every wind of teaching, or the ideas of the latest band-wagon or best-selling paper-back.

If you do want to try this, you don't have to wait for 1 January! And with the wonders of modern technology you don't even need a specialised 1 Year/2 Year Bible, it's as easy as reading your favorite Blog. (btw. you can easily use a 1 Year Bible as a 2 Year Bible; just divide the readings in two, and ignore the dates at the top).

The One Year Bible Blog Is a daily blog that provides links to the scriptures, a basic outline and exegesis, and gives you the opportunity to leave your reflections in the comments.

Also if you have an RSS Aggregator, such as sharpreader or feedreader. Then you can subscribe to the Bible in a Year in either the popular "One Year® Bible" system, or the M'Cheyne system. There is a list of feeds available at http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/share/rss2.0/.


Tomorrow's Worship Yesterday

Yesterday was our "Church in the Park" day. It was a fantastic time. The weather was great. There was a great turn out. Simon preached a clear message, and Matthew and the worship team did an outstanding job of filling the park with the praises of God.

I love worshipping God outdoors! Is it just because I was born-again in a field in Royal Deeside? Is it just because growing up in the beauty of Scotland, I have always been inspired to worship when outdoors, surrounded by the wonder of God's creation? Is it because I am a mad extrovert who enjoys making a fool of himself in public? The last isn't true by the way, and none of these are the real reason.

I love worshipping God outdoors, because when I do, I am playing my part in fulfilling the kingdom mandate of God - to fill his earth with his praises. One day the whole earth will be filled with the worship of God. When we fill the earth, even when it is just our little part of it, with his praises, we are doing something very powerful and prophetic. We are bringing tomorrow's worship into our today. We are bringing the worship of heaven to the earth. As Matthew said in his post on Friday: this is not a light that his meant to be hidden away within the four walls of the church meeting, but put on a stand for the world to see.

My only disappointment with the day was that more of the adults in the church didn't take this great opportunity we had to fill the park with his praises. The youth and the children set the standard instead. When we sang "Here I am to worship... Here I am to say that you're my God," what we communicated with our actions (or inactions) was something very different. I'm not meaning to be critical, I just think it was an opportunity missed. The day was a great success in showing the world that we are normal people who are full of life, but our commission is not to fill the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the church...

enough said. It was still a fantastic day in every other respect. Many people worked very hard to make it so and deserve to be commended.


Have I got news for you? - Round 5

Time for a bit of Friday fun. Here's another caption competition. See what you make of this:

< Round 4

Did I read the manual?

Praise God for gadgets! I had fun playing with my new video camera last night. Was a bit frustrating though. I set it going to transfer from a previous tape I recorded onto my DVD-HDD recorder (another great gadget!) It takes about an hour to complete. Half way through it failed with a "copy protection" error. I'll have to dig out the manual to find what that's all about.

Maybe I should have read the manual before I started.... nah! But it did get me thinking. We often plough straight ahead into situations that seem familiar, without consulting God or his word, because we think we know what we are doing. This is how Joshua came unglued at Ai; after the victory at Jericho he thought he was a pro, he thought he knew what to do.

I have found out many times, yet still need to remind myself, that however familiar I am with the word - I still need it on a regular basis. Daily is best (though I'm not religious, or superstitious about this). When I read God's word regularly, even when it doesn't seem directly applicable to my current situation, I do better in life than when I just try to cruise on my reserves. Reading God's word keeps us on track.

Jos 1: 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

If you want some more on how important the word of God is to us, let me recommend Sue's Blog. Sue is a good woman of God, a member of Living Rock Church, and lives in Nuneaton (a great place to be!). She has just recently started Blogging, and is currently sharing on the importance of the word of God, based on her meditations on Psalm 119. Why don't you visit her site and give her some encouragement?