26 September 
Thought for the week: “On a wing and a prayer”.
The 15th of September is recognised at Battle of Britain Day and this year is the 80th Celebration.  
The ongoing battle last from 10 July – 31st October 1940.

It believed that it was from the time that the phrase “on a wing and a prayer” was first used.

The earliest reference that is found is in the 1942 film The Flying Tigers. The screenplay, which was written by Kenneth Gamet and Barry Trivers, has John Wayne’s character Captain Jim Gordon says this in a reference to the flight of replacement pilots:

Gordon: Any word on that flight yet?
Rangoon hotel clerk: Yes sir, it was attacked and fired on by Japanese aircraft. She’s coming in on one wing and a prayer.


The phrase was taken up by songwriters Harold Adamson and Jimmie McHugh and their WWII patriotic song Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer, 1943 tells of a damaged warplane, barely able to limp back to base:

One of our planes was missing
Two hours overdue
One of our planes was missing
With all its gallant crew
The radio sets were humming
We waited for a word
Then a noise broke
Through the humming and this is what we heard


Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

Though there’s one motor gone
We can still carry on
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

What a show, what a fight, boys
We really hit our target for tonight
How we sing as we limp through the air
Look below, there’s our field over there
With just one motor gone
We can still carry on
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer


If you do something on a wing and a prayer, you do it hoping that you will succeed, although you are not prepared enough for it.

It feels like we are finding our way through COVID19 “on a wing and a prayer”.

So as inexperienced as we are, and difficult the circumstances which continually change, may we come through the other end, albeit on a wing and a prayer.

Maybe this could be the prayer.

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.





Be blessed and keep safe




Yesterday, I felt very satisfied, I configured a Wi-Fi bridge. The box said to be installed by professionals, but you know how it is. So, I spent a few hours configuring these two aerials; one to be the broadcaster of the broadband signal and the other to be the receiver a few hundred meters away. The manse and the church are now linked, and you can access broadband in the church.

What I noticed was how very specific all the settings had to be so that the one aerial could connect to the other. Get that wrong and the one may be sending but the other is not receiving.

I was reminded of a time when visiting a friend and he offered to say grace. His prayer was a general broadcast of thankfulness, but he chose not to address the prayer to a name. I found myself saying, “AN ENVELOPE WITH NO ADDRESS GOES NOWHERE”.

And therein lies the gift Jesus has given us, “When you pray, say, Our Father…”

Or the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God …”

I invite you to consider saying a prayer this evening.

Maybe this one?


God oor Faither:

Oor licht amo the hills an throwe the warld.

That warld the day heaves an groans

wi the travails an the mistaken weys o

yer ain – fowk made i yer image, but

no aye o yer min.


The warld bleeds anew throwe strife an

famine, dule an wae;

wrocht by yer ain – fowk made i yer image, but

no aye o yer min.

An yet, i torn or raivaged community,

in hairt o city, riven wi fear;

Wha binds the broken heid?

Wha tends the broken hairt?

Wha disna juist pass by?


It is yer ain – ordinar fowk made i yer image,

wha, wittin or na, wirk yer

will an mirror yer min.

Maister, we gie gratefu thanks for aa


that wark for ithers, whither be profession

or callin, be natur or be instinct;

for men an wimmen,

saunts o street an city, lan an sea,

seein somehou in ithers yer image an yer peety

an compassion, maircy an grace.


Help us, yer ain – fowk made i yer image

an strugglin tae be o yer min, tae wirk yer

will for ithers, for yer lan an for yersel.


God, oor Faither,

oor licht amo’ the hills an throwe the warld;







In 1844 a young Irishman, Joseph Scriven, had completed his college education and returned home to marry his sweetheart.
As he was traveling to meet her on the day before the planned wedding, he came upon a horrible scene—his beautiful fiancée tragically lying under the water in a creek bed after falling off her horse.

Later, Scriven moved to Canada and eventually fell in love again, only to experience devastation once more when she became ill and died just weeks before their marriage. For the second time, this humble Christian felt the loss of the woman he loved.

The following year, he wrote a poem to his mother in Ireland that described the deep friendship with Jesus, he had cultivated in prayer through the hardships of his life.

The poem was published anonymously at first under the title, “Pray Without Ceasing.” Ten years later, he finally acknowledged this well-loved text had been written by him and his friend, Jesus. In 1868, attorney Charles Converse set the text to a tune and renamed it “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

Instead of thinking God was punishing him, Scriven cherished God’s friendship through all of this hardship—a friendship he discovered in prayer.

May we learn that our relationship with God will grow the same way—in prayer.


Aaron Earls – June 25, 2018

A beautiful and powerful version of this hymn is found at

Celtic Worship: Steph Macleod

What a friend we have in Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus

All our sins and griefs to bear

And what a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer


Oh, what peace we often forfeit

Oh, what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer


Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged

Take it to the Lord in prayer


Can we find a friend so faithful

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness

Take it to the Lord in prayer


Songwriters: Charles Crozat Converse / Joseph Scriven

What a Friend We Have in Jesus lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing, O/B/O Capasso, Bluewater Music Corp., Songtrust Ave

I recently watched a video about the Australian Lyrebird. It has the extraordinary ability to mimic sounds. From the calls of different birds, to the sound of a car alarm, a forester’s chain saw, and even the shutter sound of a camera. Close your eyes and you would not be able to tell the difference.

Paul writes to the church in Ephesus and says in very clear words, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1

The difference between mimicking and imitating is what happens on the inside. Mimicking is only about repeating the sound very accurately. To imitate, is an internal motivation to be like, or the same as, the person you are imitating. Not just sound the same, but rather to be the same.

Walk in the way of Love.

I guess the challenge this week is to resist imitating that which is “not love” and imitate everything that is.

The question could be, what in my recent days has been unloving, unkind, and unnecessary and what then in the days ahead could I do to imitate the Christ love?  So that, should the other person close their eyes, they would not be able to tell the difference between the love of Christ, and my actions.


Christ’s love?

Christ’s love refers to the love that he had for humanity.

Christ’s love is demonstrated in his willingness to act in our best interest.

His love is never earned, not even deserved, yet always given.   


May his love be known to you through the love of others, and may others know his love through you.

God bless and let us imitate Christ.