Presence


For some strange reason, I put a CD of gaelic psalm singing in the player this evening. My gaelic is progressing, but its almost impossible to work out what they are singing on the CD due to the style. So I stopped listing to the words and started listening to the worship.

My mind went straight back to the church in Barbhas in Lewis where I visited a couple of years ago where God started to speak to me about Scotland and which ultimately led to our return. As I listened, I recalled how in that church, some 50 years after a powerful revival, the presence of God was so very tangible in the church where there was nothing much modern, trendy or multi-media about the worship.

I’d say there are very few times in these last two years that I’ve sense God’s presence so intensely in a worship session, not like that, anyway. It does cause me to think how much I am desperate for the presence of God, though. Have I not felt God in the same way because its a ‘geographical’ thing, or is it an ‘expectation’ thing? I don’t know.

I think back to earlier this year when I attended a conference about healing where the Holy Spirit actively did something with the disconnected muscles in my face. Holy Spirit tingling for several hours in the affected area bolstering my faith that God indeed IS a God who heals!

I’m sure you, like me can think back to the times when we’ve felt close. Thing is, yesterday’s presence isn’t much good to us. Seek him now, just where you are. Accept his love. Accept his holiness now. Let him touch you afresh, fill you to over flowing, and then go out and infect the world.

Flash Back

I was looking at some reports the other day on child poverty in Scotland and came across this picture. Immediately, I recognised myself. No, its not actually me, but all at once a whole flash flood of my childhood came rushing back at me.

You know, it was only as I grew up I realised how much of my childhood was not only less than normal, but harmful. There are some scars that are slow to heal even with the most Gentle Father administering the ointment. And you know what? I don’t think my mum knows what she has done because she herself is still so damaged by the life and lifestyle she has had.

I’ve gone through a whole period of years of forgiving my mum, and I truly have. Its probably why I can love her now where before I never could. Every time I speak to her on the phone all I hear is her pain. She’s still living the hell that I’ve been rescued from. And what’s more, without repentance, faith and trust in Jesus, her hell will continue in ways unthinkable.

I come back to my question of a few weeks ago. Who is reaching the likes of my mum? How many of our corps could welcome her with open arms, just as she is and believe in the gospel enough to believe she can change by the grace of God? What will we do (or not do) to reach a person like my mother.

There were, sadly, Salvationists in my early life who pronounced their benediction on my salvation before it even began. To some, I was too troubled, too far gone, a risk, a threat. I thank God, however, for the Jesus-hearted folks who invested their time, love and heart in the likes of me.

The thing that troubles me with some evangelism today is again from the church growth school which says that a church should go for the people they are most like. The place where that falls down is that God has done a good job on generations of us in the church and we’re often middle class, educated and comfortably well off. Who is there then to reach the poor?

Will the real Salvation Army please stand up.

Storming Forts of Darkness


Major Carol Young is calling the Army to arms against some of the prevailing strongholds in the United Kingdom, alcohol and prostitution (see link on the right). These are area’s we’ve traditionally fought well on but where we, as The Army, are sadly losing ground to. Mainly because we try programmes lacking the power to save.

Have a read and consider your response on your front. Are the issues the same where you are? Is there anything you can do other than pray? Go do it.

I don’t know what its like in England, but in Scotland prostitution has recently been criminalised in that where there were red light districts that were tolerated, they are no longer. That might sound good, but the upshot of this is that prostitution will most likely have gone underground making girls much more difficult to rescue and support. Scotland are good at tackling symptoms without dealing with issues, as many governments are.

Our world is full of broken people that need the healing and restoration that the presence of God brings. Lets be carriers.

Revival Prophecy for Scotland

Friends, please forgive a lengthy blog, but I discovered this prophecy last night by a woman called Jean Darnall. This is simply a short extract. I’ve never heard of this women, but seems like most of the Christians “in the know” do. I am just struck by the things that she says in that the Lord has been saying the same to me. I’ve posted a few things I feel the Lord has been saying to me in the last month or so a few blogs down. Meanwhile, have a read, praise the Lord, and pray that God will honour his word and that his people will heed his call. More Lord! Oh I wish you could feel the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through my body right now! Read this and let the spirit within you be quickened by the Spirit.

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And what I saw was the British Isles, as in a bird’s eye view. A kind of haze was over the whole, like a green fog. And then little pinpricks of light began to appear from the top of Scotland to Land’s End. Then the Lord seemed to draw me closer to these lights, and I saw that they were fires that were burning. They were multiplying from the top of Scotland to Land’s End. Then I saw lightening come and strike those fires, the brightest spots particularly, and there was a kind of explosion, and rivers of fire flowed down. Again, the sense of direction was from the top of Scotland to Land’s End. But some of those rivers of fire didn’t stop there. They went right across the Channel and didn’t stop there. They went right across the Channel and spread out into the Continent.

Scotland. I knew what it meant. I knew that He wanted me to come up here, and I knew that he wanted me to come up with a special message. That message is to say to as many people as I can, in as many places as I can, that the second part of that vision is right at hand. It’s here, folks, that spiritual awakening: it’s starting; the very first signs of it are already upon us. Your generation are going to see a harvest of souls in this land such as you have never seen before. And it’s going to have a tremendous effect not only upon this nation and the British Isles, but upon many other nations.

The first sign: Men at Prayer

There are three things that the Lord has asked me to share about this vision everywhere I go: three signs of this awakening. The first is that the Lord is sending a strong call to prayer among men. Early Morning Prayer meetings will start all over the land as men desire to pray, and they will start asking their pastors and leaders, ‘Can we meet together before work and pray?’ In those prayer meetings there will come strong intercession and an increased faith and vision in these men’s souls for the nation. They will not only pray in their own churches, but soon they will start combining together in other churches, with other church groups. And in some places these prayer meetings will grow too big for the building, and they will come out in the open and pray in the parks or in front of town halls.

Wouldn’t that be nice, to have a prayer meeting right out here, of hundreds and hundreds of men lifting their voices in prayer for the nation? And it will be a sign in itself: these prayer meetings will be a witness to the nation, and many people will come to the Lord just by witnessing these prayer meetings, and hearing the prayers of these men.

The Second Sign: Christ Revealed to the Young.

The second thing is that the Lord is going to send a tremendous revelation of Himself to boys and girls in this country. Between the ages of nine and fifteen particularly, children will begin to have a revelation of Jesus. They will see Him, they will know Him, they will hear Him, He will speak to them. He will come to them in visions and dreams, He will reveal His word to them. They will be converted and filled with the Holy Spirit and gifted by Him. And they will start praying. They will be healed themselves, and they will start praying for each other; and there will be wonderful healings through these boys and girls.

They will not only be the children of Christian parents. The Lord is going to manifest Himself to those who are in non-Christian homes where there is no love nor real family unity, where there is no knowledge of the Lord at all: perhaps not only for one generation but for many generations no Christian person has been in that family. But Jesus is going to meet them and reveal His power and His presence to them and His love for them. When they start coming to our children and to our teachers and telling what they are seeing and hearing from the Lord, our duty will be to receive them and love them as they are- because they will be rough diamonds, and they will have rather unusual, un-churchy language. But their experiences will be real. Some of their experiences will be so unusual you may doubt them. At that point receive their testimonies at face value, give them the word of God, and teach them how to love: because these children will have ministries not only as children, but as leaders in their adult life, and they will bless your country and other countries. So receive these children, teach them. Those of you who teach Sunday school, those of you who have children in your home and neighbourhood whom you are concerned about, begin to ask the Lord to raise your level of expectation of what they can receive, because they are going to start hearing. And just like the adults, they will start hearing the word and receiving the Lord and being able to receive deep spiritual experiences in the Lord.

The Third Sign: Anointed Preachers

The third thing the Lord said He would do relates to the raising up of preachers. Although this awakening will not be characterised by great evangelists at the beginning, it will produce great preachers. You are going to hear evangelists with such fire, such powers of persuasion that they will touch thousands of people and win them to the Lord Jesus. God is giving these preachers not only to Scotland; He will send them to other parts of Britain, and many to other parts of the world, with an ever increasing ministry of winning many people to the Lord.

Grace and love like mighty rivers…..

I really don’t know where to start with last week. I was up in Scotland marrying my sister! (to someone else!)

The wedding went really well. My wee sister looked gorgeous and she seemed really happy with her big day. Everyone was appreciative of the ceremony and there were plenty of good conversations afterwards about the gospel…everything from explaining the symbolism of the crest to discussions about broken marriages. I mentioned in the message that marriage was ‘always’ – which provoked a lot of reaction in a community and culture where marriage is only for a season.

I managed to get all my family into their taxis at the end of the evening reception without killing each other, so that was an achievement although I did have to find out where they all lived first because they’ve all got themselves divorced and live ‘in sin’ with new partners….including partners of the same sex! To see them all in the same room was, um, interesting! But I managed to keep the peace and make my sisters day special!

Anyway, a couple of days before the wedding, we went to visit a good friend, my son’s godmother, Kirsten. I had asked her in an email to fill me in on the spiritual temperature of Scotland in view of our impending return. What she told me was pretty amazing.

Firstly, she told me that there were several prophecies around about revival/renewal spreading from the north. Much of the prophetic voices are hearing this and praying it in. So, you can imagine how amazed I was to hear this when last November after our visit to Lewis, God gave me the exact same word! To find that this is the same word that is going round Scotland was amazing because I’d never heard of such a thing! Should we be amazed that God is saying the same thing?!? No, of course not. More especially, my appointment to one of the most northerly corps in the territory is not coincidental!

I recently discovered that the Army in Wick was heavily involved in the 1921 revival in North Scotland and that one of the converts of the Army in Wick went on to stablish one of the most sucessful evangelistic mission in Glasgow during the 20th century, the Tent Mission Hall.

Secondly, even more amazingly, there seems to be many prophecies floating around about….rivers. Revival is prophesied to flow like a river from the north to the south.


As Kirsten is telling me this, I’m sitting amazed and shocked at the similarities between what she is saying and all that God has been planting in my heart in these days. I’m amazed when I remember my new corps building, symbolically placed on a very northern river! Lord, let your River flow!

Again, I was reminded of how much Scotland needs the gospel. I was reminded how much the church in Scotland (and the Army) needs renewal and I was reminded again of the privilege of being called ‘For such a time as this.’

Bring it on Lord! Meanwhile, the battle continues on the Pill front…as well as the packing!!

Its started already!

….saying goodbye! I’ve started to attend the last of several things I attend: meetings, groups, people etc.

Last night I said bye to some friends from my ceilidh friends. Ceilidh is the gaelic word for ‘gathering’ (a ceilidh isn’t just a dance…in fact, its not really got anything to do with dancing… ceilidh is a noun AND a verb), and there are a few of us who meet and speak Gaelic together every three months and have a good time!

I was really touched with a parting gift, a very thoughtful gift from people of little faith….they had managed to track down a copy of the Jesus video in…wait for it…Scottish Gaelic! A very valid reminder that every tongue and nation will be represented round the throne of God in Glory! Hallelujah! Suas leis a’ Ghaidhlig! (Up with Gaelic!)

As well as saying goodbye, I’m sorta starting to say ‘hello’ to Scotland and I have to say that I am returning to a very different Scotland! I didn’t believe the day would come when Alex Salmond would be First Minister of Scotland. I believe Scotland should be an independant nation again…not for nationalistic reasons (contrary to what some people may believe in Pill!), but because I believe the devolution has shown that independence can greatly increase the standard of life for the average Scot. If the average Scots life is being improved in so many ways, then it means that some of the poverty I have witnessed in a wealthy land like Scotland should becoming more rare. Please Lord.

If there is another way to do that than independance, I’d like to see it, but if that’s what it takes…

Rivers Prophecy and Study

Dream

I had a dream in which I could see a map of a land with several rivers and waterways. The rivers were covered with a sort of green thick liquid which was polluting the streams. I was scraping the green substance off of the rivers of this map. Someone came up and asked what I was doing, and I said ‘just cleaning up these rivers…do you want to help?’ The person said yes.

The Lord has instructed me to do two things. 1) study rivers in the bible. 2) invite people to offer to pray into this vision and work and live to see it happen.

Rivers in the Bible

As I’ve studied the passages concerning rivers in the scripture the Lord has reveal a few things.

a) Judgement
The Lord has, in the past, polluted rivers as a sign of judgement against the oppression of God’s people like he did with the Egyptians. The result of this is that the citizens are unable to drink, the livestock will die and be satisfied from their streams (Exodus 4:9; 7:18; Psalm 74:15).

The Lord has also dried up rivers and this is the more symbolic representation of spiritual drought. God brings judgement upon a spiritually dry church and they don’t enjoy the refreshing of the Lord or understand the hidden depths of God’s word to them. (Job 14:11; 20:17

God dries up rivers for forsaking covenant and selling our birth right and for doubt his power to rescue and deliver, and for failing to be God’s people (Isaiah 50:2) If we had followed in his ways and his commands, if we had kept our covenant, our peace would have been like a river and our righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:18).

b) Repentance
We are invited to stand in the Jordan. The Jordan River is symbolic of death and moving through Jordan is a necessary spiritual process. In the New Testament, it was the place of John’s baptism of repentance.

It’s a symbol of sin becoming righteousness, it’s a symbol of death to life, captivity to freedom. The Israelites saw the Jordan separate when the Ark of the Covenant was placed with in it. We are invited again to repent of our sin, waywardness and by the strength of covenant to see the water part so that we can move to rivers of plenty. (Joshua 3:8; 4:18; Matthew 3:6)

The hearts of people should cry out to the Lord. O wall of Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night, give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. (Lamentations 2:18)

c) Promise
The Lord desires that we would move from polluted streams to rivers of plenty. The Scripture talks of a river of abundance. Its spiritual foundation is from the very throne of God (Revelation 22:1) and in the Old Testament, Ezekiel sees it as coming from the threshold of the temple, the place where God dwelled. This is a river from the Lord that is promised.

The Lord desires that this river should flow freely through the towns and cities of our nation, refreshing everything that comes in its path. By its sides will be an abundance of life and health, much fruit because this river flows from the very presence of God himself and this fruit will become the healing for the nations. The river is a river of justice which will never fail. (Ezekiel 47; Amos 5:24; Revelation 22:1-2).

d) invitation

We are invited, as in the days of Ezekiel, to wade into the river. These prophetic utterances have end-time connotations as well as past and current.

“3As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” “

Some are only content to get into God’s river ankle-deep…just touching the things of God, staying at the edges of all he is doing.

Some are only content to get in knee-deep, willing to get in further, bit not at the forsaking of their dignity and comfort of getting completely soaked

But the Lord’s invitation is to get in and swim about in this river, to be come immersed in it…not simply pass through it like we do if we are content with a shallow understanding of God and his word. He wants us to plunge beneath the waters and be drenched. Late your feet of the bottom at float.
This river flows from the right (the east) Who is sitting on the right side of the Altar? Who is sitting on the right side of God and who had His side opened with a spear releasing blood (still fresh) and water (still flowing) Revelation 22:1-2? Jesus.
For those who desire it, there are waters to swim in. When you swim in a river, the river has control of you. But if your feet are on the bottom of the river, you have control and not the river.

Make it your determination today to be working for the lifting of the pollution in our nation by being immersed in the water of the Spirit. Live in the awareness of the Jordan, the waters that remind you of repentance and restored covenant. Bring an end to the parched land of the church by becoming a stream in the desert. Around you and the people of God will flow abundant fruit which will bring healing to the nations.

End Note:
I close again with words of the ‘Scottish Prophecy’ that the Lord gave me several months ago:

The Lord desires to move through you like a north wind, quickening, awakening, helping the church to realise that its time to reap a harvest before the winter. Put your boots on, grab your ploughs and head to the fields for the harvest will be plentiful.

The wind will bring floods flowing down from the mountains of the highlands into the lowlands. There will be streams of running water that will make even the cities polluted streams taste sweet. The streets of cities and villages will be blocked with streams.

Some will set barriers around the streams and mark danger, but clansmen will know no fear and follow the flow to the deep water where the invitation is to get in above the waist.