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Monday, 31 July 2017


Two roses grown in the same bed. One is strong, towering over the others: Buxom Beauty. One is dainty and fragile, Ruby Anniversary. Both are beautiful. Both are intoxicatingly fragrant. 

Buxom Beauty is the doyenne of the rose bed, having put her roots down and established her presence about ten years ago. She stands regal and proud at one end, soaking up the admiring glances and the sunshine. Ruby Anniversary is two years old, squashed in and almost forgotten at the back, overshadowed by a prolific pink floribunda and dwarfed by a bush boasting a profusion of yellow blooms and another with white flowers with pink tinted edges. Ruby Anniversary doesn’t stand a chance where she is. This autumn I plan to transplant her to a more open space, perhaps beside Buxom Beauty but this time out of the shadows so that she, too, can soak up the sun and let the wind rustle her leaves more freely. Hopefully that will work. Watch this space, over the next year or two!

Buxom Beauties are all around, soaking in the adulation and responding to compliments by growing ever more stunning. Behind them, though, in the shadows, are equally-exquisite people, self-esteem bruised perhaps and spirits fragile or even broken, needing the food of encouragement and love. 

Jesus celebrated the bruised and the broken when he declared that the poor in spirit, the bereaved, the meek, and the hungry merit his special attention: he welcomes them into his embrace and blesses them all into the Kingdom – through us. 

Where are the wounded souls in my life today, needing that tender touch, that gentle attention and to be brought out into the wide open spaces of God’s sunshine and warmth? My 93-year-old mother always ends our phone calls saying, ‘Know that I love you’. 

Know today that Jesus loves you.

Friday, 28 July 2017

So grateful

I’ve heard it said that thankfulness is the Christian form of mindfulness. As I begin to count my blessings this morning, I feel myself slowing down. My perspective on life shifts. I muffle the shriek of the urgent as I contemplate the bounty of my life. 

I give thanks for my health. The blips I have are compassionately and skilfully handled by our amazing NHS, as I said in my last post. That blog gained a much bigger readership than normal which reveals the appreciation we share for the wonderful health service we enjoy here. 

I give thanks for my family. I am so grateful for a loving husband, always kind and caring, with a heart of compassion and a zeal to work against injustice of all kinds. I am grateful for four amazing ‘kids’ who live out their faith in various significant ways, each with his/her own stamp of personality on whatever they do. I rejoice in five beautiful grandchildren, one still on the way, one already with Jesus, and three lovely wee ones with joy bursting from each one of them. I am blessed to still have my dear Mother at the end of the phone, still knowing who I am and still up and healthy and living a full life. 

I give thanks for my church family. Amazing people of all ages and walks of life, coming together to do life together, passionate for Jesus and for being his hands and feet in our hurting community and world. So grateful.

I rejoice to see a bit of sun this morning, holding out the hope that tomorrow’s BBQ may not be under canvas or in the garage as we dodge bullets of rain from on high! But if we do dodge rain, we will laugh and enjoy each other just as much.

There is so much to be grateful for here in this beautiful country of Scotland, where peace reigns and we have plenty of food and water (!!). So grateful to live in the UK, even with all its growing pains and struggles. 

Praying that in all I do and say today I will be an ambassador for Jesus, bringing a bit of light into the dark places.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

In God I trust

This morning I just want to give thanks for the NHS and particularly the Banchory surgery. Three times in the last six weeks I have gone in for my regular blood check and shared another problem with the nurse – and all three times I have been fast-tracked to the duty nurse or the duty doctor, or both, and given expert advice and treatment immediately.

I’ve walked out without the anxiety of a bill which would follow in the post, or a claim I would need to make to an insurance company. 

I thank God for the people who work in the NHS in Scotland, and pray that they may be properly paid for their compassion and skill and hard work.

This morning I read Psalm 56, and the commentator chose these verses: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

What encouraging words on this dreich Scottish summer’s day. Anxiety can rise when I hear the news, when I think of certain situations or even when I plan fun events. This morning I choose to praise God and trust in him. He has all the details of my life in his loving hands; he’s never abandoned me yet and he’s not going to now.  

In God I trust.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Monday, Monday

Monday Monday. It’s been a day of housework and washing and ironing and all the rest that goes with changing over house guests. The blessing with ironing is listening to the Bible in One Year app, which I so often miss hearing. Today the lesson was on how much God loves each of us. I think maybe I needed to hear that. 

Then I had three renditions of Hillsong’s Still, and then the ironing was finished. I’ve sat down now with the chorus echoing through my mind, reminding me. I will be still and know You are God. The God who hides me beneath his wings, and gives me rest.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Who needs words?

Who needs words?

These much-loved faces say it all. It may be pouring rain out there; there may be a few things not quite as I’d like them to be, but when I open my computer and see these two beautiful faces, I smile every time. 

A wee boy who can’t yet speak in words but is eloquent in smiles (and tears!), and his nearly-93-year-old Great Gramma when they were blessed to spend time together in June. 

And a wee girl who first met Great Gramma Lyn when she was a baby.

I am so grateful to our dear Lord, who loves families. After all, they were his idea.