Tag Archives: preaching



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August 8, 2018 · 10:06

For National Dogs Day (26 August)


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August 26, 2017 · 14:18


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August 7, 2017 · 20:18

Mind the Gap

Oh dear!

Even although I’ve preached here a few times, I got into a tangle at this morning’s service at which I was guest minister.

The Order of Service is a wee bit different:

A welcome song (usually a short hymn from Mission Praise) is first sung by a small choir.

Call to Worship (Minister )

Address (more adult orientated, as no kids present)

Prayer and Lord’s Prayer.



Doxology: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”


{note below what happened next*}
Doxology: “May the God of peace go with us”
Benediction and Threefold Sung Amen


After dedicating the Offering, I went straight into prayers of thanksgiving/intercession….

….then the hymn following.




So what to do next?  A space where the prayers should be…. then the last hymn etc?

I was tempted to do what a colleague in his Divinity studies days did one Sunday, during a preaching gig.

To his horror, his carefully prepared service was going to be far too short – was due to finish after 40 minutes, instead of an hour or thereabouts.

So….. he got the congregation to pray the Lord’s Prayer (again – they had already said it near the beginning of the Service.  This added a minute (if that), so he got them to repeat the Apostles Creed, which added a bit more, then, after the last hymn, desperately ad libbed a “Farewell” type prayer tagged onto the Benediction.

I did consider inserting the Nicene Creed “in the gap” – but, instead, went straight to the final Doxology and Benediction, missing out the last hymn altogether

at least, we got our post-service coffee earlier, and I got home in plenty time to watch Andy Murray’s tennis game on TV

and to a ripped apart large rubbish bag in the kitchen, where one of the culprits had also deposited something fecal beside the washing machine

Somehow it rather summed up this morning’s material for the Service: rubbish and c**p!



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“I didn’t have a watch” “No, but there was a calendar on the wall beside you”


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April 27, 2016 · 10:45



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October 5, 2015 · 21:14

Preacher Pooch


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August 26, 2015 · 19:16

Mysterious Ways

This Sunday, I’m taking the worship service at a church (about half an hour’s drive from me).  The regular Minister was at the same Ministry Selection School with me in 1970, and our paths never crossed over all these years since then. On the next two Sunday’s, I’m in the pulpit of a newly ordained and inducted Minister, who was the trainee assistant to a Minister, who, in years gone by, was a student attachment at the Church where I was the Minister (St. Michael’s, Inveresk.). It gets stranger – the Church where I’m preaching in a couple of weeks time has, as its Session Clerk, the widow of the Minister, in whose Kirk in Edinburgh, I was the (very young) Assistant (1973-74)

Oh, and the Church where I’m preaching THIS Sunday – the predecessor of the Minister in whose Kirk grouping that I’m conducting worship? My old “boss” from all these years ago in Edinburgh!

coincidence? synchronicity? or….. something more profound?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

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Character Reference

I was once asked to take three services, during a particular Minister’s summer holidays, when he would be absent from the Pulpit.

On my third Sunday, after parking the car, I noticed an elderly member of the Kirk struggling to negotiate the steep steps up to the building.  I caught up with her about a quarter up the “stairway to heaven”, and offered to take her arm to help her up to the church.

After a moment or so, she asked me, “And who is conducting morning worship today, young man?”

“It’s Mr Strachan”, I replied.

She then turned to me, and said, “I wonder, then, if you would be so kind as to help me back down the steps”

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Women – wheesht!



Pastor Steven L. Anderson Wants Women Silent In Church — Not Even An ‘Amen’
03/26/14  Huff Post
Pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona has drawn criticism for a sermon uploaded to YouTube on Sunday in which he makes the controversial statement: Women should remain silent in church.

Anderson refers to 1 Timothy 2:11 to establish his claim. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection,” he reads. “But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man.”

Anderson then flips to 1 Corinthians chapter 14, saying, “Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak.”

By these Biblical passages Anderson develops the argument that women may chat before the service and even sing hymns, but “when it’s learning time, it’s silence time.”

Women doing any sort of preaching, Anderson says, is out of the question. But even more, the pastor believes women should not ask questions, indicate their enthusiasm or even say ‘Amen.’

“First of all, it’s not for a woman to be doing the preaching. And second of all, it’s not for women to be speaking. Even if they were to have a question, they’re not to ask that question in the church, number one. And number two, even if they wanted to ask questions of their husband, they should wait until they get home.”
God-forbid a woman should ever disagree with Anderson (as one did at one point, the pastor mentions, causing him to “blow up.”)

The video has garnered over 14,000 views, with comments ranging from the appalled, to the dismissive, to the disconcertedly justifying.

Support generally followed this commenter’s sentiments:

“I can’t believe so many people find bible preaching so offensive. God bless you Pastor Anderson.”
Another commenter did her homework to contradict Anderson’s teaching:

“So what if a woman gets saved and her husband doesn’t? Should she not go to church then? Just confused. There seems to be some biblical contradictions to this statement and like you have instructed in the past I checked for other supporting biblical texts and found that there are women prophets in the new testament (Anna-Luke 2:36-38; and the daughters of Phillip-Acts 21:8-9) How can you prophesy and be silent??? What about Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28 in the Bible that says: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon ALL FLESH: and your sons and your DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
All in all, this commenter wasn’t too concerned:

“There’s no need to get upset over this. Just let this man have his own insular little group where he can rail against women….and Jews….and other Christians….and other Bibles….and, well, anyone who thinks differently than him. Must be fun in the kingdom of Me.”

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March 26, 2014 · 19:23