Thursday, 15 June 2017

Jesus Flips The Tables

Jesus flips the tables.

A poor man spends day and night praying in front of a golden statue. He begs that his family be freed of poverty. The priest says to him to pay his tithe on the way out.

Jesus flips the tables.

A poor man goes to a place he calls home. He invites his neighbours, friends and family. He opens the good book and prays direct to God.

Jesus flips the tables.

- DTH 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Pray for our Nation from 12noon - 1pm

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

I have been sent a call to prayer from our friends at Ascension Trust. They are calling Prayer Pastors to pray for our nation at this time. I would like to extend this invitation to the wider Christian community. We woke this morning to grave news of the awful fire in London. (Response Pastors are on standby). We have also had a share of other sorrows as a nation with other major incidents across the land. Along with political turmoil and division. So let us be watchful and pray.

Heavenly Father,
Calm our Nation, 
Heal our Nation,
Save our Nation.
We do not say this for patriotic pride.
We say it for the people.
Be with those who suffer,
those in mourning,
those who are lost.
Strengthen those who serve.
Heal our land.
We ask this in the name of Jesus
and for thy glory.
Amen

- DTH 

2 Chronicles 7:14King James Version (KJV)

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Worthy Cause Wednesday!

Post a worthy cause and a prayer in the comments section below.
Praying in Jesus name, the name above all names!

Counting Blessings

Lord your blessings are numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. As multiple as the stars in the universe. To count all your deeds is impossible for man. You O God are the blessed blesser who blesses. You are kind and gracious. Blessed be your name.

- DTH 

Stuck in a Moment

Sometimes we are fixed on an image of Christ in a stable born, but he is not there anymore. Sometimes we are fixed on an image of Christ on a cross dying, but he is not there anymore. Sometimes we are fixed on an image of Christ at an empty tomb, but he is not there anymore. He has ascended and is seated at the right hand of God and is coming again! All parts of the story are important, but this final part is often over looked. Let's not get stuck in a spiritual moment, but make progress instead. Look to Him as He is.

- DTH 

Monday, 12 June 2017

Behold I Make All Things New


He perishes that we may not...

The Son of God perishes that we may not perish.

He rises that we may rise.

That is how much he loves us.

He calls us to lay down our burdens at his cross.

To rise up and follow him into the beautiful horizon of his new creation.

Behold he makes all things new.

- DTH 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Death where is thy sting?

"Precious to the Lord are the death of His saints."

DEATH IS NOT FINAL.
God has set eternity in the hearts of men. Why would you want there to be nothing at the end of life?

DEATH IS A MYSTERY.
Death is not a secret but a mystery. Solomon asked so long ago if animals will be in heaven. And how do people get there.

NO ONE KNOWS WHEN THEY WILL DIE. We should then live everyday to God's glory. So make haste to be right with God.

DEATH IS THE ULTIMATE LEVELER. Mourning makes people think about mortality. It helps reveal what is important in life more than a party ever could. The king and the pawn go back in the same box. Rich or poor - are we ready to meet God? Do we have faith in Him and His son whose very name is love? Without Him, without love what else matters? We need to love others and love God. The importance of this can become clear in mourning. Are you ready?

WE TAKE NOTHING WITH US.
Except that done in love for the glory of Jesus. Though these things won't save us, it is His merit alone that can do that, these things give an abundant entry into eternity. Solomon in the end hated what he couldn't take with him. He was the richest man on earth leading a vast empire, surrounded by wives and servants. Jesus asks what good would it do to gain the whole world and lose ones own soul? Therefore store up treasures in heaven.

AFTER DEATH COMES JUDGEMENT.
It is uncomfortable to think on, but needed. Will we be with Christ on that day or lost in sin? Even if you are a follower of Jesus consider that if we do the things Jesus told us in secret and it comes out it will be nice, but the bad stuff we shouldn't do that we did anyway coming out would be unpleasant. Therefore walk in the light as He is in the light. Shine like the stars in the heavens. Love Him who first loved us.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJV

(Refs: Eccl 2:18, Eccl 12:13, Ps 115, Eccl. 3:11, Eccl 3:21, Eccl 8:7,8, Eccl 7:2).

- DTH  (based on a sermon I heard once).

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Lord Bless and Keep Thee

Numbers 6:24-26

King James Version (KJV)

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Pray

Ephesians 6:18

King James Version (KJV)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

Pray, Seek, Turn

2 Chronicles 7:14King James Version (KJV)

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thankful Thursday

Please post something you are thankful for in the comments section below...

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Light

Holy feasts, sacraments, anointing oil, clouds, temples, the ark and trumpets are a few symbols for the church. Jesus himself is seen as the star, the fountain of Israel, the Passover Lamb, the door to salvation, the healing balm, the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, our rock and foundation. He is the bread of life, the light of the world. That is but a few symbols.

There are many more. The one that speaks to me is:

The Light
He is described in prophetic terms as Israel's living star (Num 24:17). In the New Testament a cloud of light appeared over Him and a voice declared " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (Matt 17:5) He is called light of the world for good reasons (John 9:5) for in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5). In a world where the darkness of evil thrives it gives such hope that the light still shines in the dark. Such a reality inspires and calls us to be the light also. To not hide our light under a bowl, but rather to be a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. As the hymn says "live in the light, as he is in the light, shine like the stars in the heavens." So let the light shine!

- DTH 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Revolution of the Heart

The heart of man's problem is the problem of man's heart. Scripture says that the heart of man is wicked and God requires a broken and contrite heart. King David though a man with a bad past, who journeyed to repentance, was called 'a man after God's own heart.' On the road to Emmaus two fellows unwittingly entered fellowship with God himself. When they realised it was Jesus they exclaimed 'Did not our hearts burn within us as we talked with him along the way.' It was these and others of the upper room who went on to turn the world upside down. The early followers of Jesus were the start of a revolution of the heart.

O that we would live with vision that revolution of the heart. In the words of the hymn - Be Thou My Vision: 'Christ of my own heart, whatever befall.
Still be my vision, O ruler of all'.

- DTH 

Exodus & Exile

The Bible reads like a collection of books about people caught up in exodus and exile. It is a book that shows the destruction of imperialism and war. It shows how innocents suffer. The climax of the book is the suffering innocent saviour crucified on a tree. But, God is not done there, it is also a story of resurrection, redemption, and hope. It is the story of people with good news to share by words and action. It is counter-culture and more relevant now than some may realise. In an age of wars and rumours of war, an age of refugees in exile and mass exodus, it speaks of the need for love and compassion. The early followers of Jesus were famous for love and not hate. So while the extremists, the religiously ignorant, the politically cold, the divisive nationalists and the greedy arms dealers fuel the world's problems, and beat the war drums, let us the people of new birth be lights in the darkness and voices in the wilderness. Let us live and sing the song of love, for truly His banner over us is love. It is to that beat we march and in His name, not the gods of hate and war, but the God of love, the Prince of Shalom (peace). Soli Deo Gloria. Amen

- DTH 


If Ye Love Me



A sermon given as part of the mentoring program provided by Scottish Baptist Lay Preachers Association.

Questions: A song by D Holdsworth and C Campbell

Vocals: C Campbell and D Holdsworth 
Lyrics: D Holdsworth 
Music: C Campbell 

How can churches reach out to the community?

A practice run of a presentation I had to give to a Church of Scotland panel.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Ares or Christós?

It is a sad reality that so many, even those of the faith, seem to effectively kneel before Ares*. This idolatry of violence and war is in such contrast to worshiping at the feet of the Prince of Peace. Sometimes it feels as if the entire world is marching toward destruction and chaos. Worst of all is that we know the mistakes made in our histories, but we seem to learn nothing from history (other than that we learn nothing). We do it all again and again. Sin after sin.
When posterity comes to judge us will they look upon the arms trade unchecked, the governments unhindered in iniquity and the vast lands of earth bursting into flame? Or will they look and see a people who voiced against the arms trade, the war mongers and the hell fire worshippers?
Either way, it is hard to not get depressed. But, take heart peaceful brothers and sisters. Though this dark night of evil brings such bitter sorrow, joy comes in the morning. That morning will come and swords will be of no use, for the learning of war will be no more.
Will it happen before or after the King arrives? God knows, but heed the encouragement given by Adin Ballou:
"The earth, so long a slaughter field, Shall yet an Eden bloom. The tiger to the lamb shall yield, And war descend the tomb."
Amen
Choose this day who you will serve!
O Lord, let it be Christós!
- DTH
* Ares was meant to be a god of the ancient greeks - the god of war.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Happy Weekend!

Have a blessed weekend.
May the light of God's love shine upon you!

Monday, 29 May 2017

What is in a name? - God of Wonders

Names in the bible are significant. e.g. David means, beloved by God and man. And so king David was. Jesus asks who do you say I am? A question to his disciples, but also all of us? He says the father's name is to be hallowed (see the Lord's prayer) and that he and the Father are one. So we should  meditate on the holiness of his names. There are hundreds of names for God. They each provide a rich blessing of description.

One such name is: God of Wonders
The hymn says "God of wonders, beyond our galaxy, You are holy." It is worth thinking on any wonders, however seemingly small, that we are blessed with in life. God operates in both the magnificent out of the ordinary (e.g. Acts 2:19) and in the   everyday. This God of resurrection wonder (Eph 1:20) not only raised Christ, but daily raises up those in need. His blessings are new every morning. He not only is a creative life giver at the beginning (Is 44:24), but continues to be now. He promises that all things can be made new (Is 42:9) and all creation is groaning like a woman in birth pains for it. He and His kingdom are coming little by little, wonder, by wonder for he is the God of wonders and is truly wonderful.
- DTH

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Fight for Peace?

Peope say 'We must fight for peace.' But, to fight is to end peace. Peace is not a fight, it is a state of being. 'Peace on earth' and 'the war to end all wars' they say. But, tell the Mothers and Fathers with Daughters and Sons in the ground 'peace on earth.' Tell them that the latest war will some how 'end all wars' rather than create perpetual war like all other wars. After all wars first casualty is the truth. 

- DTH 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Still Small Voice

In my travels I have encountered worship styles that are so varied. Lately I have been thinking of the loud nature of much worship in contemporary churches (both preaching and song). Whilst not being opposed to this style I have found that at times it has been draining. It may be my inner introvert or it may simply just be that the season of loud is over for me at this time. Either way it seems that my heart yearns for the calm, the gentle, the peaceful. It reminds me of verses in Kings that speak of Elijah seeking God.

In summary:
The winds came.
God was not in that wind.
The earth shook.
God was not in that shaking.
The fire came.
God was not in that fire.
God was in the still small voice.

- DTH 

A Stand

The lone figure emerges from the mist, his long white beard blows in the wind.
A peculiar sight for guard and prisoners alike. Soon more emerge as the old man advances. 7,14,21...soon a hundred unarmed saints. "What do they want?" "Who are they?" "Are these the followers of Jesus?" "Surely not, or they like others would sing louder as screams echo from death train." "No, no my brother it is them." "Why have they come?" The lone figure pushes gunmen aside. "Can't go in there!" Guards cry. Heeding them not he stands in the midst of the prisoners. Eyes of surprised prisoners, Eyes of dumb struck guards, Eyes of bold congregation standing at the gate."What will he do?" "What can he do?" "Tomorrow to death camp we go." But then...
Lifting up holy book he roars prophetically the words of Ruth 1:16,17. A thunder of applause within and outwith  the gates. Gates that will not prevail.
Guards disband for the Word of the Lord has been spoken. Never again do they return, All because a few made A STAND to save children of the promised land.

- DTH 

Where is He?

The good that happens in our world is the light of God. Those little things we fail to notice. The terrible things are more often than not the powers of darkness waging war with that light. He is in the eyes of those who suffer under the darks tyranny and in every beautiful triumph over that darkness. God manifests himself in our world. We need only open our eyes. Open our eyes and see the light of His radiant grace.

- DTH 

Joy in the morning

"No weapon formed against me shall prosper." This verse is often used in a triumphant way. As if to say "nothing can ever go wrong or hurt us in life, God is with us." However, Hebrews 11 speaks of people literally cut to pieces for the faith. What if the verse actually means come what may in this life, Christ conquered death, we followers are immortal and blessed with eternity. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
- DTH

Not in thy name

Cruelty and punishment.
They say in thy name.
Do they know what manner of spirit they are of?
Killing and wholesale slaughter.
They say in thy name.
Do they know what manner of spirit they are of?
Not in thy name.
Not in my name.
In theirs.
Not in thy name.
- DTH

Legions of Hope

We are the legions of hope.
We are his hands and feet.
We are the chosen.
Gifted by Grace,
Gifted to serve.
Called out of darkness,
Called to the light.
Voices in the wilderness,
His voice for the oppressed.
By His grace alone
We are the legions of hope.
- DTH

Time

Time goes marching on.
Many an empire has come and gone.
Yet we remain.
Watching the ticking clock and the sifting sands of time.
Time goes marching on.
Many a friend has been and gone.
Yet we remain.
Watching the ticking clock and the sifting sands of time.
Time goes marching on.
Many a soul has been lost and won. 
Yet we remain.
Watching the ticking clock and the sifting sands of time.
Time goes marching on.
When our time comes, if we are remembered or not, will the love sown remain as time goes marching on?
- DTH

Abolition of the War Trade

The Messiah

Free

The Lamb of God

Your Grace

That Miracle

We Shall Overcome!

God So Loved

Jesus Washes Our Feet

The Peace Testimony

Judas, Peter or Jesus?

Alone

A prayer that we would love our neighbours

God's Justice


The Sunrise of His Grace

The Pig of No Compassion

The Sunrise is Coming

Let Your Light Shine

Resurrection

What if following Jesus is about resurrection in a bigger way than people realize. Not just about rising again to new life in the future, though that is part of it. But also about the clash of two kingdoms. The kingdoms of this world bring death, His kingdom brings life. The way of man is death but the way of Christ is life. In a world consumed by violence, from physical to emotional, Jesus teaches against all violence. He goes as far as to say that to hate someone is to commit murder in your heart. He says to love even your enemies. This is in strong contrast to even our modern kingdoms and empires whose leaders threaten one another with nuclear carnage. In effect, these leaders, these blind guides, are saying they are happy to kill millions if they feel like it if it serves the agenda they follow. Happy to plunge the world into more world wars. Sadly many people support them. The heart of man can be truly wicked, but can also be truly redeemed by the Prince of Peace. He can raise hearts from violence and death to peace and new life. His resurrection power is at work turning hate to love, violence to peace, despair to hope. All his followers have a part to play in repenting of all violent thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and encouraging other to do the same. This is a counter culture not the poisonous alliance of church and state. This can only be done with the power of Ressurection, the power of a different kingdom, the power of a different kind of king, the power of Christ in us. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." - DTH

Rise

There is a song with the lyric "I get knocked down, but I get up again..."
In turn I like the image of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. It makes me think how we Christian's should never accept defeat.
Indeed our Lord has conquered that evil trinity of the world, the flesh and the devil. He made a spectacle of death. His enemies had him marked down as defeated, crushed forever, but he rose again in victory and still rises.
He too encourages us, though storms may rage, to rise from the rubble. To run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint, to mount up on wings like eagles!
So rise up church, roar like a mighty lion! In Christ we have the victory! - DTH

Update

Update: Yes, plain prayers is back! Since my SBLPA preacher profile (attached) was last updated so much has happened. My wife gave birth to baby Ezra. Our beautiful blessing from God. Our friendship with Bristro Craigmillar Parish, Community Church and Central Baptist has grown. They have all blessed us so much. Links community is on an extended break just now so we are less involved there. Due to work and family life the food bank and prayer Pastors for Street Pastors have been put on the back burner for now. But I continue to explore God's calling on my life. One of which is clearly to seek to be a good Father and Husband. Please pray God would help me in this. Work with Redwoods continues as do thoughts about further into the future. Pray that God will continue to use me in Redwoods and show me His way for the future also. Thanks and God bless.
- DTH

Be Still

Once there was an old man who took his grandson a walk in the countryside. The old man's face was creased with wrinkles. Like the rings inside an ancient log tree, each signified age and wisdom. The man, to the boys surprise stopped suddenly. He was calm, so calm the boy didn't feel it right to interrupt this moment of solititude. "Listen", the old man said. The boy listened. At first he could hear nothing but his own racing thoughts. "Truly listen", the man said sensing the boys difficulty. So he tried again. He closed his eyes, took a breath and opened them again. "I hear it", he whispered. They both fell silent again and listened  to the gentle winds and the birds in the trees, and further a field the beautiful sound of a babbling brook. Then they listened to silence itself. "This my child is real worship." "To Jesus?" "To Jesus." - DTH