First time

A particular divinity student was once asked to preach the sermon in the church where he was attached for his first theology year at University.

This was the first time he’d ever spoken in public. The Congregation was large, he was so nervous that perspiration was running down his back, his hands were shaking – he climbed the steps to the pulpit.

There he found that there was a metal nut just below the ledge below the reading-desk.

He found that twiddling it as he preached helped calm his nerves. All seemed to go well.

Over a cuppa, after the service,  he said to a member of the congregation “Well, at least I seemed to hold your attention!”

To which the member replied “I think it had something to do with the odd way the metal cross on the front of the pulpit was going round and round like a propeller…”

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All shall be well

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Exam questions


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April 21, 2017 · 11:17

Resurrection – 21st Century style

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April 18, 2017 · 16:38

Must take up skateboarding


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April 17, 2017 · 18:53


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April 16, 2017 · 19:19

Jesus Saves


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April 16, 2017 · 19:05

It’s a Wonderful Life

I was asked to contribute a short piece for the April edition of the Church of Scotland’s magazine, Life and Work, as part of the publication’s “The Big Question”

This being the Easter edition, the “question” was “What is the best depiction of the Easter story that you have seen?”

This is what I wrote:

I’m going to be a little controversial here, and plump for a film that we would not normally consider to be an obvious Easter depiction.

Almost every Christmas, many of us, gathered round the TV set, tune in to a beloved old family film: “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

It’s an all time favourite , essential viewing at that Holy Season.

Yet, it’s one of the darkest movies ever (it was a failure when first released in the cinema).

We all know the story; how Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailley, thinking that his life has amounted to nothing and that he is a complete failure, is on the verge of suicide, but is ‘saved’ by the ‘angel’ Clarence.

He is shown – in flashback – what life in his small town would have been like had he not intervened, even in a small way.

It’s a picture of awfulness and hopelessness and more.

As a result, horrified and contrite at what his society (the world in microcosm) could have become without his positive interactions, he is saved…….. if you like, resurrected to a new and positive outlook and mission.

This is not just a film for Christmas nor Easter, but for all times and seasons – when we realise that our post-resurrection acts and deeds can indeed make for a better world.

Because of Christ, we live.  May we make our life more than just existence- and give life to those around us.

This is, because of the Risen Christ, a “Wonderful Life”!










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Cars and Hair

A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal with his son: ‘You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.’

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, ‘Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.

The boy said, ‘You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair ~ ~ ~ and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.’

You’re going to love the Dad’s reply:
‘Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?’

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Home Alone

A minister, visiting his Parishioners, knocks on a particular door.

It’s is opened by a boy about 8 or 9, glass of brandy in one hand, cigar in the other, betting slip poking out from his pocket, and “girlie” magazine tucked under his arm.

The minister says, “are your mum and dad in?”

Kid says “Does it look like it?”

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