“If heaven were by merit, it would never be heaven to me, for if I were in it I should say, ‘I am sure I am here by mistake; I am sure this is not my place; I have no claim to it.’ But if it be of grace and not of works, then we may walk into heaven with boldness.”

Charles Spurgeon

“he drove me to King’s Cross, and said ‘get out’, and gave me a 5 pound note and drove away, and that was the beginning of a life of walking with God”

I don’t have much to say but I wanted to write down something to remember Ps Ross-Watson by. He passed away just two days ago after a protracted battle with bone cancer. It was his third or fourth battle with cancer, and to the end he remained just as joyful and jovial as he had been through every bout of cancer, always enquiring about others and asking how he could pray for them and support them in their need.

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These are some of the things that I will remember about him:

How he always spoke of his adopted children in the middle of his sermons to us, and how I came away each time thinking that there is no evil that love cannot overcome

How he was so warm and so open, managing to find some pocket of time to reply to each person who sent him a well-wish, and when he met you he would ask how you had been with such sincerity and wrap you up in the warmest of hugs and pray with you and it all came so naturally to him

He spoke to God with much tenderness, and to us with the same gentleness

He was one of the first persons to impress upon me the urgency of the call to missions, and the assuredness of God’s provision – how he left home at a young age to love people who did not know the Gospel, and how God provided just enough for him to get married, and adopt children, and put them through university

It is very easy and often somewhat polite to say “I will think of you”, or “I will keep you in prayer”, but if there was a man who truly thought of others and prayed for them with a child-like earnestness, then leapt up and got to the hard task of spending time and energy to love those same people, it was Ps Ross-Watson.

His face beamed every time he looked at his wife, and there was once where he paused a sharing in front of a thousand-strong congregation to invite his wife on stage and affirm her for how she had lived out the Gospel that he was preaching on. The way they looked at each other and smiled and laughed..

May there be more believers like him – fathers to the fatherless, who will not count it loss to leave behind home and comfort to love others and serve them without reserve.

*Was reading through tributes that people had posted on his wall, and this phrase stood out to me – “You had a way of loving those in the gutter so extravagantly…”

Just watched this sermon that he preached back in 2015:

So many people will tell you that God loves them, but whenever Ps Ross-Watson said that God loved him I thought of how he, a giant of a man, would bend down so gently to speak with and listen to people tell him their worries and troubles, and his patience seemed almost infinite, but I see now that it was not his boundless patience or love that led him to love these people, but God’s boundless patience and love with Ps Ross-Watson that kept him loving and loving and loving

Watching the crowd sing along was massive even with Liam looking like Kenny from Southpark. I remember watching him perform at Familiar to Millions and singing in church with my hands clasped behind my back for months after.

To have quality tunes in my childhood that I can now revisit as if they were old friends dropping in for tea.. :’)

I last read the Chronicles of Narnia (all seven tiny tomes) when I was a young boy mustering just ten years of age. It happened at a sleepover, after I had had my fill of warm miso soup with Ken-chan and Yuu-chan, and when they had gone to bed I spied all seven books sitting on a shelf and proceeded to cross my legs and savour each story till the sun rose.

I could not have known then half the things that I know now, but I will say that the series struck a strange and deep chord of wonder within me (and was probably the start of my foray into Redwall, and LOTR, and Drizzt Do’Urden and His Dark Materials and all sorts of high fantasy resplendent with snowy lands and dwarves with pick axes and knotted beards and polar bears in chainmail armor and mighty mice whose slight builds belied great courage and bravery, but I digress), and to unfold the same stories some sixteen (!!) years later and see their flaws laid plain, yet find them all the truer and sweeter, has been an immense comfort to my soul.

What a wonderful yet grave reminder – that this world is not my lasting home, but also that while I am resident here, there is much work that is yet to be done.