Popular Posts

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Runaway Stagecoach!

I grew up on cowboy movies. Roy Rogers was my favourite cowboy. This morning I've been visualising a scene where a stage coach driver is struggling to control four or more horses who are running at full gallop. There is a sense that up ahead there is a cliff, but how far ahead is unknown. One horse sets its face in one direction and pulls with all his might, against another to which he is tethered, pulling in the other direction. The driver is exhausted, trying to calm the horses, get them to work together, avert any danger of going over the cliff.

Suddenly beside the driver is Another. Quietly he reaches out and takes the reins. The driver at first looks fierce and wild, shouting to Another, waving arms, barking instructions. His fears and remonstrations are quieted instantly, however, when The Other looks at him, a look of love. Trust me, that look says. Sit back and enjoy the exhilaration of the ride. I know where the cliff is and we shall not go over it. I understand the needs of each of these horses and I can meet their needs. I am the ultimate horse-whisperer. Enjoy the ride as you trust me, as you see what I can do.

I am that crazed driver. Are you? Today, as each horse pulls, I am going to be thankful that The Other, Jesus, is holding the reins, guiding the stagecoach, protecting the passengers.
Trust and gratitude. My words for the day.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018


I've been delving deep into files today, and have often felt like Alice, that I've slipped down a rabbit hole and nothing is quite as it seems. Trying to make sense of health insurance so that, if anything happens to my mom, I will know who provides what cover. There is more than one problem to resolve, but as I began phoning to check the status of a policy there was paperwork for, for catastrophic cover and custodial care, I realised it was all out of date. Way out of date. One call led to another and, six calls later, I was told the policy terminated a week after Dad died. Why? 'We didn't receive the monthly payment, so it terminated.' Just like that.

Did anyone warn us the policy was going to be terminated? I don't think so. There is no paperwork to say we were warned or asked if we wanted to continue it for my Mom. Maybe we lost something in the grief. I was stuck in a snowstorm in NYC trying to get here from Scotland. For four days. Did anyone phone to ask where the insurance premium was? Perhaps. We had other things on our minds. So it was terminated.

How grateful I am that God never terminates his love for me. I don't need to pay a monthly dues so he will love me. I'm not going to worry about the loss of that policy. The only catastrophe is to die without knowing and falling in love with Jesus. We don't need an insurance policy for that. Just a heart full of love, an open and compassionate mind, and a willing spirit.

How great is our God!


She slid past me into the window seat. I always get an aisle. I noticed her hiking boots and thick socks. Her utilitarian jumper with a lightweight turtle neck layer beneath. Her cargo pants. Everything told me this lady was off on a walking holiday, until I noticed her outsized red handbag.

I had stowed my roll aboard in the compartment above, and had my handbag with reading matter under the seat in front. Perhaps I, too, looked quite utilitarian until you notice my red fingernails.

Life is a journey. A pilgrimage. We all carry our baggage differently. Some of us look like we are travelling light when actually we are carrying huge weights inside us, dragging us down. Others may drag a heavy suitcase but inside, spiritually, be soaring light.

Today I am depending on my saviour to keep me travelling light. I'll let him bear the weight for me, as I stride along with my bright red fingernails (which may well be chipped by the time I arrive, but maybe that is another blog...)

Perhaps we all cling to one or two quirks that set us apart from the rest. A red handbag as she strides over the Alps.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

No Dress Code

Be alert. Be prepared.

So when we awoke this morning, the white stuff was back, blanketing fields and drive in icy cold snow. Going to Dundee after church for the Blue Water Tea Party to raise funds for Signpost, we took the smaller car, which is better in snow and ice. Instead of a blue party frock I wore trousers, two jumpers and a jacket, and knee-length, fur-lined boots.

After church, we drove into the sunshine, on cleared roads, beside brown fields, and arrived for the tea party where the other ladies were attired in pretty dresses. Oh well.

I was going to say that Jesus doesn’t have a dress code for heaven, when I remembered the rather uncomfortable story of the wedding guests who arrived improperly attired and were not allowed in. 

That story, though, refers to our spiritual attire – we are to be washed and clothed in the clean white clothes Jesus won for us at Calvary. We don’t have to earn the clothes – just believe that Jesus bought them for us.

There is no dress code for church, for heaven, nor for the Blue Water Tea Party. Signpost International is working hard to provide clean water for villages in Tanzania and Uganda, where polluted water sources serve all purposes – drinking, bathing, toileting, and spreading disease. There is no dress code for helping raise money for such a noble purpose.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Beast from the East

Just when we thought the #beastfromtheeast had blown itself out, it seems his cousin is beginning to huff and puff our way. Snow is a possibility for the weekend. And there I was yesterday writing about crocus and the sense of spring in the air. Sigh.

There’s another beast from the east commanding the attention of news media right now, too, a sinister beast whose huffs and puffs threaten indiscriminate mayhem and destruction. This morning I read Psalm 37, which includes some verses about beasts, referred to as ‘the wicked’. Despite their schemes and attacks, the psalmist declares that the Lord laughs at them. Generally, one only laughs at a bully when one is confident of one’s own power and might.

I find it reassuring, that as nightmarish as it is to know that the wicked lay in wait to target victims with lethal horrors, God is more powerful and he knows that their story will be short. We are to hope in him, trust in him, and pray. That’s where the real power lies.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

New life!

At some point last autumn, I abandoned the garden to its own devices. I let the fallen leaves lie wherever they fell and moulder away happily. Most seem to have landed in the flower beds. I left the dying flowers to cling on over winter, brown and shrivelled and ugly.

Occasionally, I noticed. And I thought, hmm, better get out there.

Today I took half an hour or so – positively balmy out there in the high 30’sC – and trimmed back a couple of the shrubs and voila! Beneath some of the fallen stalks and piles of slimy leaves, brave crocus opened purple and vibrant. New life, not just promised but already presented!

It’s easy to miss the signs of new life, of blossoms opening anew, in myself and in others close to me. It’s easy to become so accustomed to the detritus of past bad attitudes or unhelpful habits or harsh words that I can overlook the new life growing inside.

Coming into spring now – hurray! Time to spring clean soon – not just the house or garden but also the character. Time to uncover new life which God might just be nurturing in my heart and the hearts of others, new, positive outlooks, new hopes and dreams. Time to clear away the mouldering rubbish and let in the light, let in the air, let in the warmth.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Flash Drive

Flash drive. Memory stick. Whatever. I spent a few hours last night transferring data and photos from my old, to my new, laptop. All the data I wanted to transfer, all my writing, accounts, everything, fit on the flash drive in one go.

Then I got to the photos. Four trips between laptops later, and I still can’t fit some wedding pictures onto the flash drive to transfer. I’ll have another go later.

A picture is worth a thousand words. That was the expression, and it certainly seems true in terms of megabytes.

God is for us. When I sit in my prayer window, I ask him to plug his flash drive into my spirit and download his Spirit, reawaken my sensitivities and encourage me to walk into this day, hearing his voice, sensing his presence, trusting him in everything. Sometimes he speaks to me in pictures; sometimes in words; sometimes in sensation of his presence; sometimes through Scripture.

God doesn’t unplug his flash drive when I get up and move into my day. His flash drive is plugged into me 24/7, not just when I sit in my prayer window. The exciting challenge for me is to grow ever more sensitive to his communications throughout the busyness of every day. And be thankful in it all.