Archive for the ‘church’ Category

On Monday I asked you a few questions about whether you go to church, and if you became a member of your church for the right reasons.

I hope by now you’ve had time to consider your answer to those questions.

As I said yesterday, it’s ok if you became a member of your church for the wrong reasons, but now realise you did it for the wrong reasons.

Having realised you joined for the wrong reasons, what have you done about it? Are you still attending and still taking your place as a member? Is there a chance you’re still a member because part of you still believes it’s what you should do?

Maybe deep down you believe in God. If so, why not give church another chance, but go with your mind and heart open and receptive to what God has to say to you, you never know what might happen – God has reached out to, and been accepted into the hearts of people you’d never expect, so He would love you to do the same.

Let God speak to you so you truly get to know him, for the right reasons.

Yesterday I asked you a few questions about whether you go to church, and if you became a member of your church for the right reasons.

I hope you’ve had time to consider your answer to my questions yesterday.

It’s ok if you become a member of your church for the wrong reasons, the main thing is that you know you did it for the wrong reasons. e.g. pressure from your friends or family, expectations of others in your church.

Maybe you joined for the wrong reasons a long time ago, but maybe now you do attend for the right reasons. You now attend church and believe in God, so you are doing it for the right reasons now. Maybe you could consider seeing if you could re-commit to your church again, knowing that this time you’ll be doing it for the right reason?

Firstly today I want to ask you a couple of questions:

  • Do you go to church?
  • If you do, why do you go?

I’m sorry for all the questions, but I just wanted to get you thinking before you read my thoughts for today.

For those who do go to church or who used to go to church, I want to focus on why. There are lots of reasons why people attend church: faith, friendship, habit, your parent make you, or maybe you’re not entirely sure why you go.

While we may go to church for different reasons, if we become active members of that church, we must do that for the right reasons. i.e. we believe in God, we want to learn more about God, to be challenged to help/inspire others to follow God.

If you’re a member of your church – for example in the Salvation Army, we are called soldiers when we become members – when did you become a member, and why?

Sadly I’ve found over the years are many younger folk will become members of their church just because that’s what is expected of them by their family or friends. Rather than because they truly believe and understand the promises they are ‘signing-up’ to when they become members, and willingly want to take on those responsibilities. That’s why I believe many of these youngsters within 5/10 years of becoming members of their church, have stopped attending.

So today, take yourself back to the day you became a member of your church and committed your life to God – Did you do it for the right reason?

That’s quite a hard-hitting question isn’t? I suspect for some of you it will be a question may need to spend some time considering before you answer.

Do you regularly attend a church?

Are you inspired by the services when you attend?

If you don’t feel inspired by the worship at your church, have you wondered why?

  • Do you go out of habit not expecting to be challenged or inspired?
  • Do you go feeling there’s no way anything anyone says or does can possibly challenge you?
  • Do you go ready to be challenged, but find nothing in the service relates to you?
  • Are others in at the service challenged and inspired by the worship?

Depending on your answers to those questions, it sounds like there may be two possible solutions to why you get nothing from attending church:

  1. Maybe you need to be open and receptive to God’s message when you go to church.
  2. Maybe you should try attending a different church to see if you are more receptive to their way of worship.
  3. Suggest changes to the format of worship at your church, so that you and others can find the inspiration and challenge you are all looking for.
  4. Pray for your church; Pray for your church leadership team; Pray!

However and wherever you worship, the main thing must always be that you focus on God and make Him the centre of worship. So do what you need to do to make sure He remains at the centre of your worship.

I was recently given a CD which had been created from a old tape recording of Rutherglen Citadel Songsters when they visited Southend Citadel on Sunday 2 June 1991, having been part of the massed songsters at the Royal Albert Hall the previous evening.

The first thing to say is it maybe wasn’t the best quality recording having been transferred from an old tape to a CD, however it was great to sit back, close my eyes and think back to the memories I have of that wonderful weekend, as well as remember those family and friends who were with us that weekend, who sadly are no longer with us.

I was songster pianist at that time, so it was quite interesting to hear the songsters, and me accompanying them, as I’m not sure I’ve heard myself accompanying the songsters before. As I listened to the recording I was reminded when the songsters started to sing one particular song, that as well as songster pianist I was also deputy songster leader at that time too. Here’s the Ladies voices singing Wonderful under my leadership:

As well as bringing back lovely memories of a great weekend, I was also reminded that there were a number of family and friends who were with us that weekend, who sadly are no longer with us. I was also reminded just how busy a life I had in the Army then too with three meetings on a Sunday plus open airs and helping in the Sunday School, as well as all the mid-week practices and many events that the various sections took part in locally as well as further afield. Being songster pianist and deputy songster leader, I also had additional practice and preparation to do for practices/meetings. So much so I now wonder where I got all the time to do all this, as I was working full-time!

Life most definitely was much busier for me in terms of my time/involvement at the Army in those days, but that doesn’t mean that these days my love of God is any less these days just because I’m maybe less involved and spend less time at the Army these days.

A lot has happened in my life in the 27 years since Rutherglen songsters visited Southend Citadel, and I’m the sure will be the case for you too. But is your love of God stronger today than it was 27 years ago, or have you turned away from God in that time?

Maybe today is the day to remember all God has done, and continues to do for you, and rekindle that love of God by reminding His power –  I Seek The Power which we sang during our visit to Southend Citadel in 1991, is one of my favourite song, and it’s message then is just as relevant today as it was then:

After seeing the photo I shared in yesterday’s blog post (Faith of a child), I have found myself looking at the bible for instances where the ‘faith of a child’ is mentioned or inferred. So I want to share a few of these with you over the next few days.

Matthew 19:14 (TPT)

Jesus overheard them and said, “I want little children to come to me, so never interfere with them when they want to come, for heaven’s kingdom realm is composed of beloved ones like these! Listen to this truth: No one will enter the kingdom realm of heaven unless he becomes like one of these!”

This is a bible verse I’m sure we’ve all heard a number of times, so I hope you still realise how important it is. The disciples scolded the people who tried to bring children to Christ, claiming Jesus didn’t want to be bothered. It seems the disciples never actually asked Jesus if he was ok to see the children, before scolding those who brought them. I wonder what made them think Jesus wouldn’t want to welcome the children?

Jesus was always willing to welcome anyone who wanted to come to him. We must we welcoming to those who want to seek God, so let’s make sure our church is open and welcoming to all who come through the door, regardless of their need, their background or indeed their past.

The most meaningful presents we receive might not come wrapped in shiny paper or frilly ribbons. They are often the ones that lift your spirit, brighten your day or trigger your imagination.

I’ve been curious what others consider to be their ‘best gift’ so have been looking at other people’s stories about their ‘best gifts’, so here’s one I want to share with you.

Sometimes a gift may be a just what we always wanted.

Sometimes that always wanted gift will be the only always wanted gift you’ll ever receive, so cherish it and keep that memory special.

As I lay in bed the other night a John Gowans and John Larsson chorus which I don’t think I have heard for a while, came into my mind:

We’re all seeking the same Saviour,
We’re all seeking the self-same Lord.
We’re all claiming the same cleansing,
We’re all finding our peace restored.

I’m sure we’ve all come across churches where it can seem as if everyone pulling in different directions with different aims and objectives. When that happens, those within the church are definitely not serving the same God. I will go further than that and say that if they are not seeking and serving the same God, are they even serving God at all?

We’re only human, so disagreements are natural, but when they happen in our church we really should know better shouldn’t we?

So I leave you with this, is everyone in your church seeking the same Saviour and serving the self-same Lord? If the answer to that is ‘No’, it’s time to put past disagreements and difference behind you, dismantle those cliques and let your church become an inclusive place where everyone and anyone can come and feel welcome and without fear of judgement or exclusion. Because if we’re all serving the self-same Lord, isn’t that what He would expect of us?

I saw this shared by a friend on Facebook, and as well as making me laugh, it got me thinking – I come back to my thoughts, but first here’s the picture that was shared:

So after having a bit of a laugh at this photo, it struck me that these days we all tend to be permanently attached to our mobile devices – phones, tablets, laptops etc – so do we ever turn them off so that we can actually give God our full attention?

We must take a time-out from our mobile phones/tablets etc just to have quality time with God, otherwise we will never truly hear what he has to say to us. Likewise we can only ever give God our all, if we actually give Him our full attention, without any distractions from notifications or messages on our mobile devices.

O love

Posted: July 31, 2018 in belief, church, life, love, music, religion, words
Tags: , ,

This video was shared at our morning worship last week. The words of ‘O love that will not let me go’  to the tune of St Margaret have been special for me for some time. However I found that those same words in this new setting also really moved me.

So here’s O Love by Elaine Hagenberg, I how it touches you and reminds you that God’s love is with us always, no matter what we do. I have given my life to God, have you?