During your prayer time, do you always remember to prayer for all those people/situation you intended to pray for?
I found a while ago, that while I went about my daily life, I often thought of specific people or situations that needed my prayers, however when it came to my quiet time with God, I’d often unintentionally forget to pray for some people/situations. That I found quite frustrating and also annoying as how could I expect others to pray for me when I needed their payers if I couldn’t even remember to pray for them?!
My problem however was easily solved, as I now have a prayer notebook in OneNote that I use to jot down prayer topics/situations/people as they come to mind – An easy solution which has greatly enhanced my prayer life and hopefully also those I now remember to pray for!
So if you’re having difficultly remembering prayer topics during your quiet time, why not try using a prayer notebook. N.B. I use an electronic prayer notebook, but it would work equally well with a paper notebook too, so don’t be put off by my use of technology!
Somebody’s Prayin’, so please let it be me and you that’s praying today!
Your career makes a living but your calling makes your life.
So today’s question for you is twofold:
Is your career fulfilling your ambitions?
Have you accepted your calling?
As far as my first question is concerned, many find themselves falling into a particular job or career simply because of circumstances, i.e. It was the only job they could get, while others may have following a childhood dream, or through their academic achievements found certain opportunities opened for them.
Now my second question is for me the more interesting one, as in order to accept your calling, you have to first listen to God as He directs you , and then choose to accept the plan He has for your life.
It may be difficult to change your career, particularly given the current economic climate and lack of job opportunities at present. However it is never too late to say, “Yes”, to God’s calling. So whether you’ve been swithering for a short time, or ignoring God for years, it’s not too late to accept God’s calling now, today!
I hope you enjoy listening to the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Armysinging Christ Calls, as the message in this song, reinforces what I’ve written in this blog post:
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future ~ Oscar Wilde
It’s reassuring to know, isn’t it, that no matter what we have done in our past, that God can still use us to be great examples for Him in the future. Therefore, do not worry that your past means God cannot use you, because that could not be further from the truth. In fact, it’s often because of our past transgressions, that God can use us best, because other will be able to relate to our past.
Have you ever been robbed? I’m pleased to say that I personally have never been robbed in a monetary sense…however there have certainly been a few tennis matches that I’ve played in in the past where I’ve definitely felt robbed due to some dodgy line calls!
But in a spiritual sense, have you robbed yourself of God‘s faithfulness?
Don’t let the problems you perceive rob you from God’s promise that you hold. God is faithful!
Just the other week I got myself all worked up and annoyed about something I heard someone say because I thought their comments were directed at me. The following day, during a conversation with someone else about something completely different I discussed the comments I’d had thought were directed at me, were in fact a statement by the person about themself! How foolish I felt, but also thankful that I have kept my feelings and anger to myself instead of “going off on one”!
Just as I proved the other week that we can often “see” problems where there are none, so we can often to that when it come to doing God’s will. Don’t ever forget God will be with you and support you in all you do for Him.
Here’s the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Armysinging I Confess My Trust:
For those of us who attend the Salvation Army and particularly those who take part in the band or choir, I certainly wouldn’t say Sunday is a day of physical rest as we spend much time rushing about between meetings/Sunday school/practices that we barely get a chance to relax during the day.
However if we’re talking about spiritual rest, then yes, Sunday really should be a day of rest. It should be a day when we can spend time focusing on God and his message for us. Where we get food for though and strength to face the week ahead and all the challenges that will bring.
Having said that, that doesn’t mean that we cannot, or should not have times like these during the rest of our week. However due to the pressures and stresses of life these days, the weekends can often be the one time of the week when we can relax and have quality time with both our family and our God.
Let’s make sure we make Sunday our day of spiritual rest, so that we can receive food for thoughts and spiritual inspiration for the week ahead.
Please listen here to the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army singing Rest:
Dwell WithinChrist of Glory, Prince of PeaceLet thy life in mine increaseThough I live may it be shownTis thy life and not my ownDwell within that men may seeChrist in meChrist the living Christ in meAnswer now my soul’s desirePurge my heart with holy fireSoothe the hurt with gentle balmBreathe within my life thy charmFill me now so shall there beChrist in meChrist the holy Christ in meGracious Lord thy grace applyBoth to save and sanctifyAll my life wilt thou controlCalmly ordering the wholeThat the world my ever seeChrist in meChrist and only Christ in meDwell within
Did you noticed the words of the above song and audio are the same as those I used yesterday in Only Christ…however I make no apology for it!
Why have I now used these words 3 days in a row? Well in thinking about image and especially the image of Christ this week, I’ve found myself thinking about how different from Christ I am inwardly, and even found myself questioning whether I can actually say I am a Christian because of the number of failings I’ve seen in myself.
However the words of this song remind me that my life really isn’t my own, I just need to put my life completely in God‘s hands, and allow Him to order the whole of my life, and ultimately dwell within me.
God doesn’t care about all my failings, He is willing to accept me just as I am, faults and all, and for that I feel truly humbled.
I do have many faults and failings, however I know that with God’s help I can become more Christ-like.
Lord, I pray you will dwell within me, and that others may see Christ living in me. Amen
Christ In MeChrist of Glory, Prince of PeaceLet thy life in mine increaseThough I live may it be shownTis thy life and not my ownDwell within that men may seeChrist in meChrist the living Christ in meAnswer now my soul’s desirePurge my heart with holy fireSoothe the hurt with gentle balmBreathe within my life thy charmFill me now so shall there beChrist in meChrist the holy Christ in meGracious Lord thy grace applyBoth to save and sanctifyAll my life wilt thou controlCalmly ordering the wholeThat the world my ever seeChrist in meChrist and only ChristChrist and only ChristChrist and only Christ in meChrist and only Christ in me
I know I used the above song in yesterday’s blog post (Image – Part 4 of 4), however I make no apologies for using it again today. I think the words of this song are ones which maybe we all need to pray far more often than we actually do.
Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God‘s glory
As I listened to the above song when I was writing yesterday’s blog post a whole load of memories can flooding back to me – When I was songster leader at Rutherglen Salvation Army, this was one of the songs I used to lead them in, and it was one of my favourites. It was one of those songs, of which I’ve found only a few over the years, that when we sang it it made the hairs on the back on my neck stand up and send a shiver down my spine…I believe that was because Christ was with us, and speak to me through that song.
It is quite a challenge isn’t it, ensuring other see Christ in us?
Is Christ the only one that others can see in you?
My honest answer would have to be that many times it is not Christ people will see in me.
However I pray that as I continue to recognise my failings and weaknesses,and let God into more of my life, He will continue to strengthen me and calmly order my life so that the world my only see Christ in me.
I pray you too may continue to grow in Christ so that other will see Christ in you.
This is backed up by scripture in Romans 12:9-10 (The Message)
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
To be considered to be Christ-like, we must, as the above quote from G.K.Chesterton suggests, love every, including the unloveable. Now I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that it can be very very difficult sometime to love the unloveable, and sometimes because of situations that occur, it can even be very very difficult to love those we care deeply about.
So to love is Christ-like, but loving everyone is tough, that’s why we can’t expect to do succeed on our own, that’s why God has promised to be with us in every situation.
I’d like you to listen to a beautiful piece of music with inspirational lyrics which completely reinforces what I’ve said in the last few days about us being the image of Christ. I really hope you enjoy it, but more importantly, are blessed by it. Here are the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army singing Christ In Me:
God made us in his image, so surely that means we must try to continue to be like God in all we do.
That was the question I was asked on Saturday night. You’re probably wondering why I was asked this. Well on my way home from our Harvest festival at BellshillSalvation Army, I went to the drive-thru at McDonalds with my Salvation Army uniform on!
I placed my order and drove round to the first window to pay for my order, got some strange looks from the guy that served me. After paying I continued onto the next window to pick up my order.
The guy in serving me brought over our drinks, did a bit of a double take on me when he noticed my uniform, and then went off again to get our food. After a minute he returned, without any food, and asked me the question, “What are you, a prison officer?”.
When folk had seen me in my Army uniform, I’ve been asked many things, been mistaken for a policewoman but never before a prison officer!
I told the guy that I was wearing a Salvation Army uniform as I’d just been at a meeting in Bellshill. He seemed surprised and thought about this for a few seconds before telling he read somewhere that if you were in the Salvation Army you couldn’t drink, and he then asked me if this was true. I told him this was true for those who chose to be members of the Salvation Army, however if you weren’t a member/soldier this rule did not apply.
His next question took me aback as I wasn’t expect it…He thought it must be very difficult not to drink alcohol so did I really not drink at all. This conversation was getting serious and so I hoped God would help me provide answers to this chap that would help him understand why I, and many other would choose to become members of the Salvation Army.
Usually when I get questioned like this I find myself stumbling for answers and giving very weak answers that do nothing but make the listener think I’m daft, but I believe God really guided me this time, as I found myself explaining to this guy why members of the Salvation Army do not drink, smoke or take non prescribed drugs. I also told him why I had chosen to abide by those rules when I become a Salvationist when I was eighteen.
I’m not quite sure how long I was actually chatting to this chap for, but it must have been about 5 minutes, as he’s already told me I’d need to wait 5 minutes for my order to be made up! When my order was ready and I was ready to leave, the guy told me it had been good to talk to me and that I’d given him something to think about!
Wow! What an amazing 5 minutes! Have I made a difference?
It just shows you never know where and when we may be able to be a witness for God. I just hope I did God and the Salvation Army justice. I will probably never know, however I’ve prayed for this guy since then, and I’d ask that you do the same, as I feel he was searching for something/someone to make a difference in his life, and I hope and pray that person may be God.
Here’s The International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army singing And You Will Be My Witnesses, I hope you enjoy it:
Salvation Army soldiers (members) adopt a lifestyle free from alcohol and tobacco. They also abstain from addictive drugs except when medically prescribed.
Alcohol, like other addictive drugs, can be harmful to individuals, families and society. Salvationists are mindful that, while certain lifestyle choices may be legally and socially acceptable, some choices may be neither helpful to the person concerned, nor to those likely to be influenced by their actions.