Rather than my normal monthly message I thought I would use this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness after my mother passed away suddenly in mid-November. I have received many cards and messages, and have been helped by colleagues who have stepped in to relieve me of several duties while I have been working things out.
It is a very sad thing, and one many of us have experienced, but it is also a time to reflect on God’s care for us.
Death is never an end, for all it can be frightening and disorientating. Our loved ones are now safe in the hands of our heavenly Father, and we can be happy with that knowledge, even though it remains hard to miss them.
As I grieve, I also take joy from the knowledge that I am the minister of such a warm and supporting congregation.
Thank you, and God bless you all.
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
St. John 16: 22
A letter from Rev Kenneth MacLeod at Anderson
I have been invited to introduce myself; here goes. I was born and grew up on the island of Lewis; the eldest of four, and given the name Kenneth Donald.
Following schooling, I worked for the family grocery business. However, after ten years, and following a conversion experience and call to serve the Lord Jesus within His church, I returned to full time education eventually graduating in 1987.
It was during my time in Glasgow that Kathleen and I were married. She was a student studying in the Glasgow Bible College and we have been blessed with a family of three: David, Mairi and Ruth; Ruth who is married to Luc and we were doubly blessed when wee Samuel, our grandson, was born.
In 1989 I was inducted to 'Lochs-in-Bernera' a small parish on the west side of Lewis, and in 2000 moved to Easter Ross, having received a call from the vacant charge of Invergordon . . . Ross County FC territory!
With retirement in November 2019 came a move to the central belt, initially Torrance, then Cumbernauld in November 2020. My plan was to take a six month sabbatical before thinking about Sunday supply or doing locum work.
However, Covid soon put a stop to that idea. The old saying 'If you want to make God smile, tell Him your plans' is so true. We never know what's around the next corner, but we know that God is sovereign in all things, and eternally faithful.
God, speaking to His people through the prophet Jeremiah, said "For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart". Jeremiah 29: 11-13.
God's plans may be different to our plans, but we have to acknowledge that 'His ways are above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts'. Isaiah 55: 8-9.
Jeremiah has to remind the people that God's ways are always best, for He knows what He is doing. God's plans offer safety, security, a hope filled and blessed and prosperous future; Trust Him.
That's easy to 'Trust and Obey' when the road is smooth, the weather is favourable and our strength is assured, less so when the road seems rugged and endless, the weather threatening, the challenges many and when our physical and spiritual strength is almost depleted . . . . But that is precisely what we are asked to do; Trust Him.
Your brother in Christ
Kenneth D MacLeod