Welcome to Spring
Rev. Robin McAlpine

Midweek Thought for the Day

Robin has written, compiled, read and presented some thoughts for various days of the week. This page presents his thoughts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can find links to his thoughts for Sundays by using the index on the right of the page.

The latest thoughts are at the top of the page or you can scroll down to read earlier entries.



Thought for Thursday 28th May

Readings for today

Psalm 139

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you are before me,
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
and with love everlasting you besiege me:
In ev'ry moment of life or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.

Reflection

These are the first three verses of a modern version of Psalm 139. It is one of my favourite hymns and I find great comfort in its picture of a loving God, with us at every stage of our lives.

We cannot be physically beside each other in worship just now, but we can be together still, in some way. Just as this new version of an ancient, 3000 year old prayer can connect us with generations of people worshipping God, our prayers can link us to others too.

Prayer

Father God, hear our prayers, for ourselves and others.

Jesus, Son of God, be with us as we pray.

Holy Spirit, be our comfort and inspiration. Amen

Nancy Gilmartin


Thought for Wednesday 27th May

Readings for today

Psalm 90

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home:

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guide while troubles last,
and our eternal home!

Reflection

These are the first and last verses of a very well known and loved hymn which is based on Psalm 90 and it is sung often at services of Remembrance. So its words are appropriate for this time when we are remembering VE day, seventy five years after the declaration of peace in Europe.

In 1945, according to Churchill, the country could be allowed “a brief period of rejoicing”. That’s a very appropriate perhaps description, of how it feels when we hear some good news just now. We cannot be complacent and think our troubles are at an end. But we can hope.

And the hymn is a timely reminder of God being in our lives now, as He has been in the lives of generations before, giving help and giving hope.

Prayer

Father God, help us to remember and be thankful for what has happened in the past.

Jesus, Son of God, help to be grateful for the present.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to hope and trust in the future. Amen

Nancy Gilmartin


Thought for Tuesday 26th May

Readings for today

Psalm 23

The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
even for his own Name's sake.

Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale,
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
yet will I fear no ill;
for thou art with me; and thy rod
and staff my comfort still.
My table thou hast furnished
in presence of my foes;
shall surely follow me;
and in God's house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.

Reflection

This is one of Scotland’s favourite hymns. It’s a song for all seasons, almost uniquely accepted as appropriate and sung at christenings, weddings and funerals. More and more it is being recognised that singing, out loud and together, is good for us, physically and mentally, and for many of us it may be the thing we miss most about our Church services.

But for the moment, we will have to take comfort, as people have for more than 3000 years, in the words only, which remind us that God is with us now, and always.

Prayer

Father God, still our fears

Jesus, Son of God, walk with us

Holy Spirit, be our comfort. Amen.

Nancy Gilmartin


Thought for Thursday 21st May

Readings for today

Numbers 6:24-26

24 The LORD bless you and keep you

25 The LORD make his face to shine upon you
    and be gracious unto you

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon you
    and give you peace.

Reflection

This short hymn is very often sung at a baptism, when the baby is carried round as part of a welcome to the Church family. It’s a moment, usually, that brings back good memories of other similar happy occasions, and we need such reminders now, more than ever.

The words are very reassuring for our troubled times. It’s a powerful, personal blessing we can ask, for others, as well as ourselves. And they are worth repeating:

24 The LORD bless you and keep you

25 The LORD make his face to shine upon you
    and be gracious unto you

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon you
    and give you peace.

Prayer

Father God, give us your blessing

Jesus, Son of God, be with us

Holy Spirit, give us peace. Amen

Nancy Gilmartin


Thought for Wednesday 20th May

Readings for today

1 Samuel 17 vv 48-51

48 Goliath started walking toward David again, and David ran quickly toward the Philistine battle line to fight him.

49 He reached into his bag and took out a stone, which he slung at Goliath. It hit him on the forehead and broke his skull, and Goliath fell face downward on the ground.

50 And so, without a sword, David defeated and killed Goliath with a sling and a stone!

51 He ran to him, stood over him, took Goliath's sword out of its sheath, and cut off his head and killed him.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran away.

Reflection

Sometimes, re-reading the Old Testament stories, familiar to generations of children, they seem bloodthirsty and cruel. This is not a bedtime story!

But they still connect with today, for we like the idea of the underdog triumphing: we like the little person overcoming against all the odds, the unexpected victor. Maybe we enjoy the low- tech child’s play method prevailing against the high- tech villain?

And today it might give us hope that the old fashioned methods of isolation and washing hands will defeat our invisible virus enemy?

Prayer

Father God, help us to be heroes for the good of others.

Jesus, Son of God, help us as never before, to love our neighbours.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to persevere in hope. Amen.


Thought for Tuesday 19th May

Readings for today

Hebrews 6:19 Living Bible

“19 This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven,”

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?

Reflection

Recently, I was reminded of the great Boys Brigade hymn, “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?” This was one of the hymns at our wedding. It was chosen, as we met through the Boys Brigade. It was also chosen to give us strength, for what we may encounter as a young, newly married couple.

All those years ago, we didn’t really know that God would test us through chronic and acute sickness, financial strain and being parted from family. Just like any other young couple venturing out in life, we thought we were invincible, especially with God on our side.

In the course of life, we all find ourselves from time to time in the midst of some difficult storms. Today, in the lengthy days of social isolation, many relationships (including spiritual) are being tested as we pass through the eye of storm Covid -19. The storms of doubt, discouragement, despair and defeat may be battering your ship, as you experience the consequences of the pandemic or witness scenes via the media.

We must hold onto prayer and promises of God providing for our needs, holding steadfast to the word of God in the storm. Having faith in God as our anchor. And remembering that the Word of God, will be what will sustain us and lead us to the shore.

Prayer

Lord, Father of mankind, in our confusion, during the storm, be our anchor.
In our insecurity, be our rock, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
In our storm, be our sunshine in the morning light. In Jesus Name, Amen

Louisa Turner


Thought for Thursday 14th May

Readings for today

1 Kings 3 vv 5-9

5 That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him, “What would you like me to give you?”

6 Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, your servant, and he was good, loyal, and honest in his relation with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son who today rules in his place.
7 O LORD God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule.
8 Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted.
9 So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”

Reflection

In lockdown, apparently, we are dreaming more, and dreaming vividly, perhaps in a bid to escape the boredom of restrictions! And many of us are dreaming of the freedom that surely must come.

What would be our answers if we were asked what we would like to be given, for ourselves, for others, for our world?

I suspect health and peace might be high on our list, but wisdom might also be a good choice, as it was then.

We need wisdom to stick to the short term restrictions for the long term good of not just ourselves, but others. Our governments need wisdom to put safety and justice before politics. Our world needs wisdom to learn from this experience.

We all need to know the difference between good and evil.

Prayer

Father God, give us wisdom.

Jesus, Son of God, help us to love others.

Holy Spirit, help us to keep dreaming of a world full of justice and peace. Amen.


Thought for Wednesday 13th May

Readings for today

1 John 2: 7-8 The Message (MSG)

“7-8 My dear friends, I’m not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you’ve known it from day one. It’s always been implicit in the Message you’ve heard. On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you—the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing!”

Reflection

‘Colours of Day Dawn into the mind’ is one of my favourite chorus’s and one which has been an earworm in my head for the last week. The excitement of the words, the feelings evoked are somewhat, what I imagine that we may all sense when we are all given the permission to be free of lockdown. Yet the message, and what we are commanded to do is not new. Just like the passing of seasons.

This year we have had the opportunity to witness God’s creation grow in front of our eyes. The positives of lockdown have been seeing the garden coming to life, buds turning into blossom then into leaves. Young birds gaining confidence, flying a wee bit further from the nest. Families you have never met, walk regularly past your window, giving a wave or a smile. Neighbours, who you only see in their cars; on their doorstep, clapping with enthusiasm and pride. And inspiringly, hearing about the encouraging growing numbers, tuning into social media and television worship sessions.

The beams of light are shining through the darkness of this world. We have the opportunity to burn our flame to demonstrate the love of God. By, gifting us Jesus, as the Light of the world, God has enabled us, to dispel some of the darkness, through our shining of the truth into lives of others, in word and deed.

Prayer

Thank you Lord, that the darkness of sin, is passing away and that the true Light of Life, is already shining in our hearts, and in the lives of all who are saved by grace through faith in Him. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Colours of Day (Light up the Fire)

Colours of day dawn into the mind,
The sun has come up, the night is behind.
Go down in the city, into the street,
And let's give the message to the people we meet.

So light up the fire and let the flame burn,
Open the door, let Jesus return.
Take seeds of His Spirit, let the fruit grow,
Tell the people of Jesus, let His love show.

Go through the park, on into the town;
The sun still shines on, it never goes down.
The light of the world is risen again;
The people of darkness are needing a friend.

So light up the fire and let the flame burn,
Open the door, let Jesus return.
Take seeds of His Spirit, let the fruit grow,
Tell the people of Jesus, let His love show.

Open your eyes, look into the sky,
The darkness has come, the Son came to die.
The evening draws on, the sun disappears,
But Jesus is living, His Spirit is near.

So light up the fire and let the flame burn,
Open the door, let Jesus return.
Take seeds of His Spirit, let the fruit grow,
Tell the people of Jesus, let His love show.

Songwriters: Sue Mcclellan / John Paculabo / Keith Rycroft

Louisa Turner


Thought for Tuesday 12th May

Readings for today

Philippians 4 v. 6-7 The Message (MSG)

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.”

Thessalonians 5:16-18 New International Version (NIV)

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Reflection

Recently, I was chatting with a friend, she was concerned about people ignoring the lockdown rules and using public transport (especially on the Tube in London) and potentially spreading the present virus. My response was that we should be thankful that we don’t live in London and that we don’t have to use the Tube! That doesn’t mean that we can’t pray for the safety for all the key workers in London; pray that the get sufficient rest between one emotional draining patient to another; pray that they don’t become desensitised to the horror of the present climate. Of course it isn’t just London that is in the grips of Covid – 19. The virus is very real and very close to home too.

Life has changed so much in this past week. However, in the midst of this friendships have been strengthened via technology. A call out for the world to be united in prayer. God is present in the small and in the big picture at all times.

What other things could we be thankful for in this present climate?

Prayer

Father, God, you are the one who leads us through times of trial; the one who supports us in sorrow and struggle; the one who is beside us when all is bleak. The one who is our friend when we are lonely; the one who gives us creativity when we are uninspired; and the one who guides us on our journey through life to our destination in heaven with you. Father, God we thank you, in Jesus name. Amen.

Louisa Turner


Thought for Thursday 7th May

Readings for today

Hosea 14: 1-8 The Message

Come Back! Return to Your God!

14 1-3 O Israel, come back! Return to your GOD!
You’re down but you’re not out.
Prepare your confession
and come back to GOD.
Pray to him, “Take away our sin,
accept our confession.
Receive as restitution
our repentant prayers.
Assyria won’t save us;
horses won’t get us where we want to go.
We’ll never again say ‘our god’
to something we’ve made or made up.
You’re our last hope. Is it not true
that in you the orphan finds mercy?”

4-8 “I will heal their waywardness.
I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.
I will make a fresh start with Israel.
He’ll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring.
He’ll put down deep oak tree roots,
he’ll become a forest of oaks!
He’ll become splendid—like a giant sequoia,
his fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Those who live near him will be blessed by him,
be blessed and prosper like golden grain.
Everyone will be talking about them,
spreading their fame as the vintage children of God.
Ephraim is finished with gods that are no-gods.
From now on I’m the one who answers and satisfies him.
I am like a luxuriant fruit tree.
Everything you need is to be found in me.”

Reflection

There is hope for the future of our church. Many people have found succour in different media resources on how to worship remotely and have found great joy and peace in the process. Real spiritual growth is occurring across the nation. There is certainly a buzz about God. What reassurance. Our church family will come back together to praise the Lord. God has said so. This time will pass. In the meantime, let us keep worshipping and praising the Lord, in our homes with family, friends and the stranger.

Prayer

Lord, we will enter your church together again, with thanksgiving and praise. We are like a branch connected to the tree, we pray for your restoration, strength & power.

Through your spirit you have bestowed many blessings in our time of lockdown. Father god, you have taken our burdens and shown us through grace that your love reigns.

God bless our family, including our church family, our minister and the many church volunteers, our friends and neighbours and all who need your strength. help us to grow together in the new way of church. Thank you Lord. Amen.

Louisa Turner


Thought for Wednesday 6th May

Readings for today

Ephesians 3:14 - 21 Living Bible

14-15 When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God—some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth—

16 that out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.

17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love;

18-19 and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.

20 Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.

21 May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ.

Reflection

There is so much which we can reflect on in Ephesians 3: 14 – 21. Spiritual strength is what takes place inside our hearts. The Holy Spirit lives in us, to do the good works God wants us to do, so others can see Jesus. What happens when others see Jesus working in and through your life?

Have there been people throughout your life that has reflected God being active in their life?

Prayer

Lord, God, help us to come closer to you and really shine so others see your Father’s glory. Amen


Thought for Tuesday 5th May

Readings for today

Matthew 16:18 Good News Translation

18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.

Reflection

Matthew 16:18 reflects such promise and commitment from God. God has already laid down the foundation of the church.

Just as we may be losing hope, with empty pews; in the midst of pandemic God reassures us that his church will be built. This is so encouraging.

Watching the television or scanning the internet, one cannot get away from images and statistics about the pandemic. We feel a great sadness and sorrow for the lives lost. We are beginning to know someone or a friend of a friend, who has been directly affected. There are stories to be heard and shared. However, in amongst the despair, there are accounts from survivors, who are openly thanking God, and celebrating that the Lord, was walking alongside them during their darkest hour.

When the time comes for us to return to our church buildings, let us, with open arms welcome the stranger, who the Lord has chosen to be welcomed by our loving embrace as part of His church.

Prayer

Father, thank you for continually walking alongside us, encouraging us and moulding us, into a rock for your church. What a privilege to be part of the church that you are building.

Father, infuse us with a passion for evangelism, so we can witness a growth in our numbers. We pray for direction and vision, to be a solid foundation with no cracks of division in our congregation.

God you have been behind us and our forefathers and God you go before us, in faith we will walk following your Word. Amen.

Louisa Turner




Read our Thoughts for April 2020 ...