Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘That we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour.’ 1 Timothy 2:2


Oh that Christians everywhere would do this! How many problems it would prevent if we obeyed this instruction from Paul.


To live a peaceful life means to be at peace with God. The moment we step out of His will and take our own course of action our peace is affected. Sometimes we’re just set on a course that deep down we know is wrong. We know it’s setting us at odds against the rest of the church and yet we continue in it. We don’t listen to that inner peace. We become reckless in our choices and hardened in our conscience. Our inner quietness is affected and we begin to interfere in matters we shouldn’t.


Instead we should follow Paul’s instruction:


‘I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.’ 2:8


What would the church be like if we all behaved like this? How different life would be. How much more wonderful our services would be! What a sense of godliness and harmony we would feel. Instead of hardening our hearts in anger and disagreements, determined to follow our own ways, our hearts would be soft and our eyes Godward.


‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.’ 2:11


Only this weekend, I’ve been dealing with rumours spreading from one to another. One person (outside the church) made a comment to another in the church, who passed it on to another, who passed it on to another, who passed it on to another, who passed it on to me! On this occasion I could trace it to the source; sometimes it’s gone round so many people you don’t know where it’s come from. A rumour that could bring misunderstandings and hurt. Why don’t people close their mouths? Why don’t we take this instruction wholeheartedly? Learn in quietness and mind our own business!


Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

John 21:22


Before we pass on something someone else has said think to yourself, ‘What is that to you?’ Jesus was basically telling Peter here to deal with his own heart and what would happen to John was none of his business. It would be good if we made that a principle to live by.


Let’s get on with the business of following Christ. If we put all our efforts into doing that, we will be better people. We won’t be distracted by what he or she is doing or saying. The wrong course of another will not affect us and we will follow wholeheartedly.


Live quietly, avoiding disputes and gossip. Make it your aim to let your focus be Christ and live peaceful lives. Every day this week take account of how peaceful you’ve been, of the number of disputes and disagreements you’ve had, of how often you’ve been tempted to talk about another when it’s no business of yours. Keep a record each day and look for improvements in your walk with God.


It’s as we are obedient to his word that we find our way into a greater place of power with Him.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.’ 1 Corinth 4:2

There are certain requirements needed to be a true Christian and if we don’t fulfil them then we are no better than the salt that’s lost it’s taste or the man who has put his hand to the plough and changed his mind.

We have been given a trust, something that this world cannot give us, the gift of Salvation. Within that gift there is purity and peace. It is perfect. No one can rob us of it, we are the only ones who can lose it or throw it away. It’s a trust, something that’s given to us to carry, and no matter what life throws at us it’s our duty (requirement) to hold on to it. If we find ourselves losing that perfect peace then we need to stop what we are doing and find it. In Christian circles it’s called practicing the presence.

There is a very simple formula to help you keep this trust. If you find yourself doing something, thinking or saying something or going somewhere and that perfect peace is disturbed then stop doing it. If it’s a train of thought that is making you angry, for example, then unless you stop those thoughts you will lose your peace. We need to learn in our busy, pressurised society to become more sensitive to that spiritual part within us. We generally live desensitised lives!

Walk carefully today. Don’t rush on without giving a thought to guarding your spirit. Remember it’s your responsibility! You promised when you chose to follow Christ to live in light, to do what was right and turn away from all that is wrong. You don’t have a choice, it’s required of you , by the standard set in the New Testament, by the command of Christ.

Why? Because it will benefit you more than any other way. There is a reason why God set these requirements. He set them to help us! Peace brings an inner quietness, a trust in God, health and happiness, through all the difficulties of life. We lose our peace when we don’t understand something or we don’t want something to happen. Hand it all over to God and trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5,6

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘And God will provide rest for you.’ 2 Thessalonians 1:7

The UK has just suffered from terrible storms with a blanket of snow covering many parts of the country.

In Cumbernauld, we have been no exception to that, the snow measuring 16 inches on the level with many snow drifts of up to 3 feet round our front door and gardens. It all looks so beautiful from inside but very difficult to walk in and impossible to drive through.

In many ways it brought enforced rest. For the first time that I can remember, church was cancelled for the whole weekend! The snow was too deep to drive through, there was nowhere to park as cars were abandoned everywhere and folks were struggling to get out for even a pint of milk let alone church.

For one who has attended church faithfully for over 40 years it was enforced but very pleasant rest. There was less rush, less stress and those jobs that I was always trying to find time for got done, well at least some of them! But the biggest difference I noticed was the quietness in my spirit. At the end of the Lord’s day, I went to bed singing, something I never do by Sunday night because I am normally so tired. I noticed there was an ease in my spirit, I hadn’t been fighting to bring God’s message to the people or dealing with difficult people or problems. There was a quiet calm which was unusual. It was like the quiet after the storm. It made me realise that what I do brings its own cross. When I could choose to live quietly at home instead I choose to go out and help the people of God. In fact, I had never fully realised what a price is paid being involved in ministry, especially for those of us who have other jobs during the week!

If you read on in this verse you read:

And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels.’

I’m sure I am not the only person in Christendom that felt like this! When we set our hearts to follow Christ, we put our neck on the line. There is a sense in which we are persecuted for our stance. We are noticed in the spiritual world and as we attempt to help others we engage in a battle that is silent but extreme.

There are Christians all around the world who work tirelessly for the Kingdom. Week in week out they play their part, carry out their duties, doing what is asked and expected of them. We all choose to take up our cross, not only those who minister, but each one in turn. One day, we will enter into a complete rest. It won’t be the rest of a snowy weekend but eternal rest, where every battle will have been won and every soul who has decided for Christ will be safe. Until then, let us plod on tirelessly for the Kingdom of God knowing our God will give us seasons of rest until that day when we meet Him in the air or go to be with Him in Heaven.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

The glorious gospel of the blessed God which he entrusted to me. 1 Timothy 1:11

Just sometimes there’s a phrase that Paul uses that catches my attention. Here are three in one verse: ‘the glorious gospel’, ‘blessed God’ and ‘entrusted to me’.

First, ‘the glorious gospel’ is a wonderful thought. The way you and I have chosen to walk is glorious so let’s hold our heads high and be proud of the Christ we serve. We are not the outcasts of society, the ones who need the crutch of religion but ones who have chosen to walk in Light with nothing hidden or secretive in our lives.

Secondly, ‘blessed God’ is such a wonderful description of the one we choose to serve. He is blessed with light, with eternity, with love, with justice and mercy, the God of truth and clarity. He also chooses to bless us with the gifts of love, the ability to forgive a thousand wrongs, kindness and integrity. He watches over all our ways and pours out blessings liberally on those who follow Him.

‘You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.’

Deuteronomy 28:2-6

Thirdly, ‘entrusted to me.’ Paul was extremely privileged to be an apostle. He knew as he travelled from city to city he was holding something so precious that one day it would cost him his life. He wasted no time in spreading the word, persevering through every difficulty and opposition he faced. He carried the glorious gospel of the blessed God in the very centre of his being, fighting to bring the clarity and truth of it to the unsaved.

Can we make comparisons? We too have been entrusted with the glorious gospel of the blessed God. We have received abundantly of His blessings and found the glorious gospel has brought much happiness and truth into our own lives. We, like Paul, have been entrusted to carry it. Are you doing that? Do you carry it into your home and workplace or even when you go shopping? Do you carry it carefully wherever you are, this wonderful glorious gospel, like a diadem of light and beauty within you? Do people see its radiance and purity shining from your face in your sheer joy of the privilege of following Christ?

We may not be apostles but we are as saved as Paul, called as he was and chosen by our God. Let us choose to serve even as Paul served our very blessed God.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.’

2 Thessalonians 1:11


This verse caught my attention recently because my faith had prompted me to do something new that I prayed and hoped would be fruitful.


Last year, my husband and I had been visiting our church in South Wales. We had gone out for lunch at a restaurant along the coast in Swansea with the Pastor and his wife and afterwards decided to walk part way back. Our friends feeling less enthusiastic offered to pick us up when we texted to say we had walked far enough. As we were walking along enjoying the sights and sounds I felt prompted to hold an outreach meeting in Swansea. We have no contacts in that area and it seemed to come from nowhere. I did, what I always do in these circumstances, and handed the feeling back over to God. Again, I felt a wave of prompting to go ahead with this idea.


It took a while to persuade our Welsh friends who thought perhaps a point of contact first would be wise but eventually they began to get a grasp of what I felt. They booked a hall in the Swansea Bible College, printed and gave out leaflets and more importantly prayed for it. We saw the fulfilment of that prompting last Saturday.


We have just returned from a fabulous weekend! Our Saturday night meeting was held in Swansea and God honoured us by bringing a good number of visitors along. We met and formed links with some very fine Christian folks. Not only that, we saw someone come to the Cross in tears for the first time and give their life to Christ and another receive a beautiful baptism in the Holy Spirit whilst others sought help and found it. You can imagine I was thrilled and a bit relieved too!


Reflecting on this verse:

‘he gave you the power to accomplish all the good things’


All the good things consisted of:

1. Sharing the vision with friends

2. Encouraging them to come on board.

3. Book the right hall.

4. Advertise the meeting

5. Print and hand out leaflets.

6. Pray for the meeting and invite folks along.


All these practical things were acts of faith that our Neath church carried out. Without the church we couldn’t have acted on our promptings.


But most importantly was the action of God. Anyone anywhere can arrange an event, book halls, print leaflets and call people together but only God can perform the miraculous. Only God can change hearts and lives - bring some hardened ex-soldier to the Cross in tears, cause another who had never even heard of baptism in the Holy Spirit to speak in new tongues, to cause another who has been rejected over and over again to feel incredibly loved and valued not to mention others who found help.


It’s the response to that prompting of our faith that brings about the miraculous.


How many opportunities we miss because we don’t respond to these promptings. It may be on a smaller scale but that prompting to visit a neighbour, invite another along to church or even to just kneel and pray for someone must be acknowledged and obeyed. We miss so many of these small promptings in our lives because we are too busy or stressed or selfish or sinful or even just because we reason things out, a bit like our welsh friends who were looking for contacts first before they could begin something.


Listen to the inner prompting of the Spirit. He will lead you gently. He won’t ask you to do anything foolish or stupid or too difficult to begin with. As we listen to that still small voice and respond we will find  our little steps of obedience will lead to bigger ones where others are affected and the kingdom of heaven is extended through our lives.


‘If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.’

Luke 16:10

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘Then make me truly happy by agreeing  with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.’ Philippians 2:2


I don’t think there is anything that grieves a Pastor’s heart more than finding disagreements and a lack of forgiveness of one another in the church. All the sermons ever preached, every Thought for the Week written, seems a complete waste of time when we harbour grievances against one another. If we can’t get these basics right then we will never grow in the knowledge and love of God.


Satan twists our thinking so when there is a grievance against us, he blows it out of proportion. It becomes something that can never be sorted until the person who has wronged us comes to us with tears of repentance. This causes huge divisions in the church which is just what our enemy wants. He chuckles to himself when he sees the havoc that he causes.


There is only one way to overcome this and it is the way of Love. We will always be wronged by others. Someone will look at us the wrong way, offend a member of our family, say something critical or divisive. We can’t afford to sit on our throne waiting for an apology especially when sometimes the truth is, it was never meant, or even more than that, it never actually happened. There is only one way through these difficulties and that is to love despite all the wrongs or insinuations the enemy puts into our thoughts.


‘You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.’

Romans 2:1


Ask yourself these questions:


- do you feel right about your lack of forgiveness?

- is this train of thought and attitude God glorifying?

- is the church of Christ benefitting from your attitude?

- do you love those who have offended you?

- do you pray for them?

- could you go the extra mile for them?


You will know by your answers to these questions whether you are right to condemn another or not. See what the next  verse says regarding this subject.


‘Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.’ V3


Well this just about does it I can hear you say! Have I offended you too?


Friend, it’s not me that offends you but the Gospel of Christ!  There is only one way to follow Christ and it is the way of humility and obedience. Learn to let Love rule in your hearts. Bless those who offend you and YES, think of them more highly than you think of yourself. At the end of the day, they too have suffered pain and humiliation. They too have to forgive and humble themselves and the truth is, if each one of us follows this way of forgiveness, the church will become very secure and will be built upon the Rock.


Then shall the Pastor’s heart be happy and a happy Pastor means happy sermons and much blessing for the church!

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘Make it your ambition...’

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Almost everyone has ambitions. It creates a sense of hope and purpose in our lives. Sometimes these ambitions are really over the top and unobtainable and our dear friends know fine well we’ll never manage to reach these unrealistic goals whilst others we achieve and sometimes don’t even notice we’ve done it.

I was sitting one day in my living room marking a pile of school jotters when my 88 year old mother looked up and said you used to play at marking jotters when you were small. I hadn’t noticed how I had achieved one of my ambitions. Another was to be a missionary!

The bible sets us realistic goals and this verse gives us several very achievable ones if we follow Christ.

They are:

Lead a quiet life

Mind your own business

Work with your hands

There’s something very alluring and attractive about these simple yet beautiful ambitions. Sin brings noise and chaos. Christ brings quietness and order. Sin brings laziness and selfishness. Christ brings hard work and consideration for others.

Let’s make up our minds to live a quiet life, no matter the chaos around us, be quiet inside. Let nothing disturb the equilibrium within.

When you hear gossip about difficulties or troubles don’t think or talk to others about them. They’re probably not even true or accurate anyway! Mind your own business and still your soul in Him

Whatever you do, whether it’s housework, babysitting, running a busy office or working with your hands do it for Christ with the strength of His peace and calm within your heart.


‘So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.’

1 Thessalonians 4:12

Be a true witness for Christ this week, not only by what you say, but by who you are.

Have a blessed week. God bless, Diana.

Thought for the week

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘So when we could stand it no longer ...’

1 Thessalonians 3:1


Some of these little passing comments that Paul makes as he goes from one profound truth to another are really quite helpful and enlightening.


This one, tells me that Paul faced situations that he was very unhappy about for long periods of time, but there came a point when even he, who had suffered shipwreck and stoning, couldn’t stand it any longer. It’s actually quite a relief to know that he felt like that too because I certainly do at times and I’m sure you will be able to identify with this as well.


Are you facing a difficult situation or person? Is there something or someone that you find harrowing? God will give you the grace to cope and when that grace runs out, pray for more! If grace isn’t given then perhaps another tactic is required. Perhaps it’s time to address the situation or speak to the person concerned. It’s reassuring to think that when Paul could stand it no longer, he took action. When we can stand it no longer, when we’ve done our best, pray on, and when you can stand it no longer again, take action. Make sure you take action in Christ, carefully dealing with whatever it is that troubles, but you will know within yourself that He will be with you in dealing with it too.


What a relief when He gives us this liberty! How much better we feel when we have taken careful action in Christ! Paul says later in the same chapter:


‘So that no-one would be unsettled by these trials.’ V3


Surely this is all part of the refining process in our own lives. Our Lord doesn’t want anyone of us to become so unsettled by these trials that we react badly or take a wrong course of action.  Remember, He is not against us but with us even during our difficulties. He understands our frame, His loving kindness is turned towards those who try their best for Him. He will never allow things to become too grim, but with every problem will either give you strength to cope, or provide a way for you to deal with it.


He is with us. Let us take heart!

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.

Ecclesiastes 7:3


Perhaps an unusual verse to share as a thought for the week but a profound truth.


We would rather be happy than sad, and yet there are times when God allows a sadness to come into our lives. Sometimes that sadness comes and passes  and other times it remains grinding away at our hearts. It’s often something we can’t  share with other people because it’s either too painful or just because no one understands. But God knows, and so through time we learn to lean our weight upon Him and trust Him with the pain of it all.


It’s all part of the refining process in a Christian’s life. Christ experienced it. He was known as the ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’.  Why should life be all happy clappy and frivolous for those who truly follow Him?


The word says:

‘He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross ...  so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.’

Malachi 3:3


See beyond your sadness to the purposes of God. Look at the work He is doing in your heart. He is bringing you into a place where you shall lean on Him. Take your sadness to Him. Bury yourself deep into the heart of God and find the comfort of His presence with you. Let the wound, the reason for your pain, be uncovered when you are in His presence and remember these reassuring words:


‘But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.’Job 23:10


Job was also able to say:

‘For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.’

Job 23:11-12


Despite your sadness or difficulties let these words be true for you. Don’t allow the circumstances to alter the course of your life. Stay the path, let sheer determination set in. Our God is able! He sent forth an angel to strengthen the Christ in Gethsemane, He will send you help from His sanctuary just when you need it most. Trust Him.


‘He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me.  My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.’

Psalm 57:3

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

And I will give you the keys.’

Matt 16:19


These words spoken to Peter were words that held tremendous power. The privilege was given to him to open the floodgates of the church on the day of Pentecost; to preach the first sermon amongst the believers and to lead on that occasion over 3,000 souls into the kingdom. (Acts 2).


If the Lord Jesus Christ were to give you keys, I wonder what you would want them to open. The heart of a loved one, a new career change or the secret numbers for the lottery each week!


If you were to give a set of house keys to someone, for instance, you would make sure that they were a trustworthy and reliable person. You wouldn’t leave them with someone who would treat your possessions badly or leave your place insecure.


I do believe there is a place where God entrusts us with spiritual keys. He gives us the ability to unlock the secrets of the heart of God: to win a soul into the deeps;  bring one the beauty of Christ; to lead a soul to the place of cleansing and salvation or into the fire and power of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.


What a privilege it would be if He would whisper in our hearts ‘And I will give you the keys.’ What an honour it would be to receive them, to feel the weight of responsibility coming upon us. These spiritual keys are never given casually to anyone.  They require a deep commitment and trust in God.


So often in the work of God we try to open doors without keys. We want to speak to a soul, we don’t wait and receive the keys in prayer, we just barge straight in. Sometimes, we try a new venture for God, but unless we wait in prayer first, and are handed the keys, our work will be hard work and fruitless.


Let’s learn to wait on Him, to hear His command before we go forward with great gusto. Wait for that wonderful moment when you know He has handed you the mantle, the responsibility, the anointing and whispers ‘now is the time’. How effective the work of God would be! How the church would prosper and how we would be blessed.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it.

Revelation 4:1-2


Does this not appeal to you? An open door and a voice saying ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this’. It seemed to appeal to John for instantly he found himself looking at what was happening through the doorway.


It’s the beginning of a new year and in some ways we are standing at an open door. None of us really know what this year holds, but God. Perhaps that’s for the best. It might be a year of tremendous happiness or sadness, health or illness, pleasure or worry, who knows! But what we do know is that for the Christian our life is in the hands of One who knows all things, from the beginning even unto the end. Our life is perfectly mapped out for us and as long as we are willing to place ourselves in His hands and walk with Him we know that nothing we encounter will be too great for us. He knows each day of this year. He knows the grind, the wearisome times and all the pleasures we hope for too. Each day and each moment planned by His hand; perfected with His presence.


We can either waste this year or use it for His glory. We can either fritter away our time on meaningless pleasures or use our time for Him. Sometimes hours just go by and we wonder what on earth we’ve done with our time.


Let’s take time at the beginning of the year and hand over every moment into His hand and pray that He will make us useful and productive. As we look through that open door we might see days and hours of walking with God, of abiding in His presence, of making the most of each given moment like a precious jewel that will never be given to us again.


Abiding in His presence throughout the year will bring us the happiness, the calm and the presence of mind we need. As you look through the open door at 2018, hand the year over to Him, commit it all into His hands and pray that His will in your life shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

“I delight to see how orderly you are. “ Col 2:5


Yesterday, on the 1st of January, I had to go out in the car and on my short journey, I passed more people walking, jogging and cycling than I’ve seen all year. Folks were obviously trying to begin their new year the way they hoped to continue it!


It reminded me of this verse I read in Colossians. Paul delighted in the orderliness and peaceful, godly lives of these Christians. Satan brings chaos, fear and disorder whilst God’s Holy Spirit brings calm, strength, peace and self control.


I think most of us long for peace and orderliness in our lives with the odd bit of excitement thrown in.  Satan tries to create chaos all the time so everything we do or experience becomes chaos, a disaster waiting to happen.


Take time at the beginning of this New Year to rid yourself of the inward chaos and to fill yourself with the inner peace of Christ. As you declutter your homes after the Christmas season, declutter your minds and spirit too. Make room for the Spirit of God to bring order into your lives.


Spend some moments of quiet with Christ at the beginning of each day and commit your life into His hands. Pray for orderliness and quiet calm to face your day. Pray for strength that you will be able to accept all your circumstances.


Satan disturbs and upsets bringing worry and anxiety. Christ does the total opposite. He brings peace in every situation, an inner quiet calm and an ability to cope with any difficulty we face.


‘For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.’

1 Corinthians 14:33


Let’s start 2018 the way we mean to go on with this spiritual practice of orderliness and peace. No matter what age or stage we are at in our walk with God we can seek to bring peace into our chaotic world.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross.’ Col 2:15

No one likes to be made a public spectacle. No one that I know enjoys being humiliated in front of others and we would consider it unkind to laugh at someone else who was publicly humiliated. We would even stifle our smirks and laughter in such a situation!

Christ did something apparently unkind. He made a public spectacle of our enemy, Satan. He did it before the whole world, turning His Cross into a chariot that would lead us into eternal life.

He did it through His poverty stricken birth to a virgin, a stable for a home and a feeding trough for a cot. He did it when He healed the sick, raised the dead and confounded the arrogant with His phenomenonal teaching.

But most of all He did it on the Cross when He disarmed the powers of darkness. Whilst others shook their heads and railed Him as they passed by He was defeating and disarming all the power of the enemy.

He made a public spectacle of Satan who had done his worst, summoned all the powers at his command, rallied every darkness he could muster and was defeated by a single blow from the Son of God.

Christ came forth from the tomb pristine in strength, glorious and powerful.

At His birth:

The Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.‘

John 1:14

Now He is described as one who:

‘Held seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from His mouth. And His face was like the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if I were dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.‘

Revelation 1:16-18

The babe that entered the world to defeat the powers of darkness is now described as being ‘like the sun in all its brilliance.’ The babe that angels heralded, shepherds rushed to visit and astrologers from the east travelled  to worship, is now described as being incredibly powerful. Christ caused John, His beloved disciple, to fall at His feet as one dead. He is  awesome in His majesty.

The fragile babe whom the evil King Herod tried to destroy, whom men took and crucified is now described as  ‘alive forever and ever!’

He has made a public spectacle of Satan. Though our enemy has done his worst yet our Lord has overcome and is now triumphant in the heavens.

As we worship this Christmas let us remember not only the babe in the manger but the power He demonstrated against the devil.  He is now seated at the right hand of the Father on high. We have much to be grateful for!

Wishing all who read these thoughts a very happy and peace filled Christmas. God bless,


Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

'I want you to know how much I am struggling ...'  Col 2:1


Don't we all struggle from time to time? It's a huge comfort to know that even Paul the greatest apostle struggled. He says:


'When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.'

2 Corinthians 7:5-6


What a description: no rest, conflict in every direction, battles on the outside and fears within. It certainly doesn't describe the life of utter peace and contentment. Did it have something to do with the spiritual forces of Macedonia or perhaps the next breakthrough Paul would have in preaching the gospel? He didn't know and neither do we but what we do know is that 'God encourages the discouraged.'


Are you struggling and discouraged? God shall encourage you. He will send someone or something at just the right time to cheer your soul.


Don't drown in your struggles. Don't allow Satan to push you under. At just the right moment:


'Your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.'

Isaiah 58:8

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.' John 1:5


This is a lovely verse in connection with the Christ Child's birth. It explains how light shone from eternity into the darkness of the hearts of men bringing peace and joy. But Christ did so much more than bring us a nice feeling at Christmas time. We read:


'In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities.' Colossians 2:15


Christ disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities - Satan and his forces. To disarm means to render defenceless. Christ took away Satan's power, He rendered him defenceless or made him powerless. The light from this small infant caused the whole world to be turned round because light could never be extinguished by darkness.


No wonder Christmas is such a special time of year for Christians. We not only rejoice in the fact the Son has been given but in the fact He has changed the whole course in the spiritual and physical world. Now we too have the opportunity of allowing light to extinguish our darkness, our confusion, our mess and our sin.


'This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.'

Colossians 1:6


It is indeed Good News! He is changing lives and wonder of wonders we are included in this greatest story ever told. We are not reading about someone from the past but about someone who is affecting our lives and the choices we are making today. That small infant has brought light into the world that even time cannot extinguish. We cannot truly understand or explain why the birth of an infant born over 2000 years ago should have such a profound effect on our lives today unless there was something special about that little one. His Light has gone on shining and has touched ours!


With every Christmas card you write or carol you sing let's give Him praise that His Light can never ever be extinguished, no matter how small the light or how great the darkness.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

‘Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.'  Colossians 2:8

What a practical, down to earth word from Paul.

I sometimes think of the enormous task that faced Paul as he travelled around and presented Christian teachings to people for the first time. I mean, where do you start? And when do you decide they have learned enough and were established enough to carry on without you so you can move on and begin somewhere else. No wonder he wrote so many letters to try and help keep them on the right track.

I think our task today in the church is almost as great. We often speak to people who have grown up with the old old story and they're not interested because they know it all.  What is equally as bad is the empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense that is infiltrating our churches today.

I love the spiritual, mystical world but I also love the down to earth practical reality of the Christian life. Let's not allow ourselves to become fixed with empty philosophies. I used to have an old minister who would say 'If it doesn't work don't do it'. He was a practical man. If, in a small Christian group, singing sounded terrible he would say don't have it! But he was also a man who knew the power of God and saw thousands saved and baptised in the Holy Spirit. There were no empty philosophies! It worked. Lives were changed.

It needs to work for us too. To say we believe in something means we need to see the practical fulfilment of it. If it's just high sounding nonsense it won't have any impact on others’ spiritual lives.

There are two main trains of thought that I know work. These are not empty philosophies or high sounding nonsense.  If you apply them in your life they'll work for you too. They are practical yet spiritual and can lead you into a place of fruitful service to God.

The first: always stay near the Cross; make it central in your Christian experience. Come daily to the Cross for forgiveness and cleansing. Learn to live there committing everything into His hands.

The second: live a clean life, for purity and power go hand in hand. If we lead a pure, holy life at the Cross we will always see fruitfulness in our service to God. This brings us into a depth of satisfaction that is beyond anything earth can give.

Keep to the word of God. You read in this verse that high minded nonsense and empty philosophies come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world. These latter two combined are having a devastating effect on our Christian church.

Satan is out to destroy the Church of Christ. He is using spiritual powers in this world to get into the thinking of men. He is so changing the way we think that we are no longer shocked at sin. There is only one way to combat his influence and that is by holding fast to what we know is true.

Let's not be philosophers, with empty clever words about what we believe. Recognise high minded nonsense for what it is, live in the light of truth and stay true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:18

It's a lovely thought to be 'flooded with light'.

When a room is flooded with light everything in the room is clearly seen. All the nooks and crannies, all the dust and grime too!

When the Holy Spirit floods us with light then we can see clearly. We begin to understand the purposes of God, verses of the Bible are illumined and sermons are more clearly understood. Light also makes us feel brighter, happier and best of all purer. When light floods into the corners of our life we have no hidden agenda and no secret wrong feelings. Christ has come into every aspect of our lives.

All is clear and out in the open before God and men. This leads us into that 'confident hope' Paul speaks of in this verse.

We meet so many people who are afraid, anxious or worried. This is not God's way. He didn't create us to live under the shadow of fear. He wants to give us confident hope. This happens when we allow His light to flood every part of our being from our mind, emotions, spirit and body. It's a wonderful experience and one to be sought after until it becomes our way of life.

People who do this are described in this verse as being 'rich and glorious'. Does this in anyway describe your spiritual existence? Are you rich and glorious, even sometimes?

Well, it can be yours if you apply the first part of this verse to yourself. Light brings confidence which in turn brings richness. It's your choice! The opposite, darkness brings fear which brings spiritual poverty. I know which one I want!

God bless you in your search to find peace and contentment.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Phil 4:7

The peace of God is described in two different ways in this verse. Firstly, it is higher than our mind and thoughts, it transcends our thoughts. Secondly, it acts like a guard around our hearts and minds. So, let's look at what these mean in every day life.

To transcend our understanding means to go beyond the limit of our understanding. We are dependent on what we see and hear. Our understanding is limited  but God's is infinite. As Christians, we need to be open to a greater understanding than our human mind can give us; our spirit needs to be open and trust even when we have limited understanding. In other words, there may be a difficult situation, perhaps a job interview ahead of you, but somehow you're filled with an incredible peace. You know you should be anxious about it but somehow you just can't worry. A miracle has taken place and the peace of God has transcended your own thoughts. We need to learn to look for this regularly in our lives, keeping our spirit open to the touch of His spirit, teaching us how to react and respond correctly. When anxiety, fear and worry would normally eat you up and send your blood pressure through the roof, learn to rest in God and trust He will show you the way through. Pray about the difficulty and then leave it with Him. He is big enough to take care of you.

The second part of this verse is linked to the first. The temptation comes to all of us to be afraid and worry about someone. The peace of God acts as a guard around our mind (thoughts) to stop it running away like an out of control express train. It acts as a guard around the thoughts of our hearts by helping us to hand over our affections and our loved ones to God, trusting that He is able to look after them and help them.

When a person is peaceful then they are calm, relaxed and happy. It's what happened to Peter and John when they were in prison. Despite fearful circumstances they were able to sing and praise God. Peace had transcended their minds and hearts, and as a result they were kept in perfect peace.

We may not get thrown into jail this week, at least I hope not, but we have a wonderful opportunity of putting this fabulous verse into practice in our own lives. In the smallest of detail, let Him keep you in perfect peace. When you feel in despair or even slightly anxious about something or someone put God's peace up like a guard around you and feel the strength of Him who could sleep through a storm.

'Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.'

Matthew 8:24

Thought for the week by Pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

Do not be anxious about anything. Phil 4:6


What a command! Let's practise it this week.


Like the Jews, write this law on your forehead and on your doorposts and practise it throughout the day. Refuse to let anxiety touch your mind or spirit. Why? Not because we bury our head in the sand or ignore our problems and hope they go away but because we choose to face our difficulties with the calmness and strength of Christ knowing that He will provide a way out where there is no way.


We are not called into a fairy tale world of pretend glory and happiness but into the reality of the presence of God. It is our inheritance to get to know the One who cares and fully understands  the smallest details of our lives.


To ignore problems is only foolish, they won't go away on their own, although they may appear to do so for a while. Face up to the difficulties in life, but without anxiety, that gnawing worry that gets into your mind and prevents you from being relaxed and happy.


So today, do not be anxious about ANYTHING! It doesn't matter what it is, how great or small. Trust our great God who is able to undertake for each one of us and sort out every difficulty and problem we meet. Leave all in His hands, knowing that no matter the situation He is able.

Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 'I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.' Phil 4: 11

Herein lies the secret to happiness; learning to be content no matter the circumstances in life.

Content means peaceful happiness. It's good for our wellbeing, for our physical and mental health to be content.

Content because we have handed our lives over to God so whatever happens must be for a reason. Content because He can bring something good out of anything bad. Content because we trust Him with our whole lives but also with each minute of it too. Content because we are learning to rest in Christ our Saviour knowing that the changing power belongs to Him.

Learn to be content in the smallest of difficulties so that when big problems come along, you continue to rest in the knowledge that Christ is in control and you can maintain that peaceful happiness.

Content with our home, our family, even the crying baby, our job, our health, our finances, our church, our spiritual life and the list of jobs we have to do today. Content with the small things in life: the roadworks, the frosty mornings when you have to scrape your car, when you sleep in and have to rush to work.

Make choices today. When someone irritates you at work - be content. When someone cuts in front of you when you're driving - be content. By choosing peaceful happiness instead of annoyance, irritation or stress we will learn to abide in His presence. It will force our minds to turn back to Him again and again throughout the day and we will find ourself in a better place spiritually by the end of it.

We don't find this happens for us overnight. Paul said he had learned to be content.  We have to practice it. It's called practising the presence of God. Try it! You'll find a new level of strength in your spirit as you learn to rest content whatever the circumstances.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25