Archive for the ‘church’ Category

Today I’m following up on from Saturday’s blog post (Volunteers) where I asked you to support and encourage those who volunteer in our communities and churches.

Everyone in a leadership role in our communities or churches, whether volunteering or employed, have to make decisions about the group or community they are responsible for. That in itself can be difficult, as just like in any walk of life, not everyone will agree with decisions they make. However that doesn’t give us the right to challenge or confront the leader, as just as I said on Saturday, they are the one that has been approved to have the leadership role, and therefore their decisions should be respected.

For example when it comes to leadership of a music group, the leader may want the group to sing/play a piece of music at a faster or slower speed than the music indicates, or maybe they want it played quieter or louder than the music states – Does that make the leader wrong?

Of course it doesn’t! The leader hasn’t simply decided to lead the piece of music in a particular way for no reason, they feel their interpretation of the music will add to the performance, and therefore their the group should accept their leader’s guidance.

Respect your leaders, regardless of whether they are paid or volunteers, because they do a difficult job, and therefore need your support and encouragement.

In so many areas of life we find people who freely give up their own personal time and talents to help others, expecting nothing in return except the knowledge that they’ve helped others.

Whether it running a kids’ football team, working in a charity shop, taking on a position within your church, helping those with disabilities, helping to educate others by leading evening classes, or some other voluntary act, people do these things voluntarily, and that is what others need to remember.

We can all be quick to make derogatory comments about the ability of the person who has volunteered. Many will think they can do better than the person who is in charge, but can they?

From experience, probably not! Even if we were capable of doing a job better than the person who has volunteered, we should be supportive and helpful towards the person, after all they have given of their time and talents freely, while we haven’t! They may not be perfect at the job they have undertaken, but they are doing their best – They wouldn’t have been given the job if those in charge didn’t think they were capable of doing a good job.

Volunteers aren’t in it for their own glorification, but are there to help others, so if you find yourself putting your trust in volunteers to lead, help, train or educate you or your family, don’t put them down or tell others you could do better.  Instead, always give them your support and encouragement.

There’s a song I’ve used several times in the last few weeks that talks about our beliefs as Christians. The song is called We Believe and it was written and performed by the Newsboys.

I make no apology for using the song again today, as ever since I came across it again a couple of weeks ago, I’ve found the words and the melody of this song going through my mind almost constantly.

On days when I’ve felt down, just listening to the words/melody again have brightened the day. On days when I felt there was no point in doing specific things, listening to the words/melody have given me more energy. On days when I’ve felt alone and missing my Mum and Dad, even then this song has helped as it’s reminded me that Mum believed – and because they brought me up in the Salvation Army, I too believe, and therefore I know I will see them both again someday.

I believe, do you?

What is a disciple?

A disciple is a follower or pupil of a teacher, leader, or philosopher, so from a Christian perspective, a disciple is a follower of God.

To become a disciple of God we must first give our all to Him. When we give our all to God, we are doing more than just attending church – we are dedicating ourselves to living our life in the way God expects us to.

A couple of verses from scripture that really teach us how to be a disciple can be found in Romans 14:7-8:

For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honour the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honour the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Do you belong to the Lord?

In this last week, what have you been doing at 9am each morning?

Well like (hopefully) many others from Bellshill Salvation Army, I have spent a few minutes in prayer at 9am each morning, asking God to give both myself and my corps family, guidance in the coming days.

The last few weeks in our church, we’ve really experienced God’s presence in our meetings. God is alive and working in our lives of everyone who is part of our worship. During last Sunday’s meeting were asked to pray at 9am each morning for God’s guidance, as God told us in Exodus 6:1 “Now go and see what I will do”.

Please pray for Bellshill Salvation Army in these coming days, as we’ve been deeply challenged by God in these last weeks, and are ready to respond to God’s guidance.

Do you go to church each week?

If so, do you go because you want to go, or do you go out of habit?

Do you go to church to worship or to receive from God?

Church is not a one day a week thing. It also is not for one reason in isolation. I read the following description of church somewhere recently, which seems to sum up what church should be about:

Church is not just about the weekly gathering to worship and hear the Word. Church is 7 days a week because the people are the true Church. The Sunday thing is to gather, empower and send out. Then we need to go and ‘be’ Church in our community.

Are you ‘being’ church in your community, or are you lives just as a Sunday christian?

Be the church for God.

When we are physically injured or ill, we go and see our GP or go to the hospital to be healed.

When we are injured, hurt or spiritually broken, where should we go, and who should we seek?

God is the one who an heal the broken and give the lost direction. While we can seek God anywhere, we must tell the people in our communities that

Churches are not museums that display perfect people. They are hospitals where the wounded, hurt, injured and broken find healing. ~ Nicky Gumbel

None of us are perfect, and therefore we are all in need of a place, a church, where we can find healing.

Have you found your church?

Last week as I was driving along some of my local streets and was aware that there were a number of unwanted items piled up outside quite a few of the houses. At first I was wondering what was going on, but soon remembered that it in my area it was ‘uplift day’. i.e. the day that our local council collect items we no longer want, and take them to the tip for us.

My main thought was why are people “throwing out” items that appeared to be in pretty good condition, when they could be reused by someone else – Items included several sofas, a couple of tables and chairs, and a wardrobe.

One thing we’ve always done when replacing/renewing items in our home is to recycle items which are in reasonable condition – There is a local community church which helps rehouse refugees, so we know all items we give them will get put to good use. Places like our local church, are always delighted to take items that are in reasonable condition as they are inundated with requests for help, so are always in need of items.

I wonder why these people near me hadn’t considered giving their items away to help people in need, but instead were happy to pay the local council to take away their items to dump in a landfill site.

Just think how many more people could be rehoused and given items for their home if we all gave our unwanted items to organisations who help refugees and homeless people!

Did you know that the bible tells us to recycle?

And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” (John 6:12)

So next time you have unwanted items in your home, please consider contacting a local organisation who can make sure your items are given to people who need them.

 

 

Open arms

Posted: February 21, 2017 in blogging, church, life, love, music, Relationships, religion
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Even though in yesterday’s post Returning it probably seemed a very negative post, there is at least one thing we can take a s positive when we return to church after an absence…and that is God!

God will always welcome us with open arms when we approach Him, regardless of whether it has been a week, a month, or even years since you last talked with God, or went to church.

Let’s make sure we are as welcoming to others when they come to worship God as God is, because ultimately we are the first people other will see/talk to when they enter your church, so make them welcome.

Today’s post follows on from last Monday’s post, Absent, about being absent from work or church.

When you’ve been off work for a period of time, either a few days, weeks or even months, what happens when you return to work? Do you just turn up and get back to work as if nothing has happened, or do you do a phased return (i.e. return to work on a part-time basis building up gradually to full-time again), or do you have to attend a return to work interview with your boss/manager?

Many places these days allow for phased returns to work and hold return to work interviews with their employees to to discuss you’re well-being and ensure you get the support/help you need to be back at work. The usefulness of these return to work interviews I guess is very dependent on your boss and your relationship with them.

What about if you’ve been absent from church, what happens, or what should happen when you return?

I guess it depends how missed you are – In other words, if many people contacted you while who were missing, many will check on your well-being when you return to church again; Similarly, if few contacted you when you missed church, that probably show you weren’t particularly missed, and so you are probably just greeted by others as if you’ve never been missing from church.

 

As I said last week, if we call ourselves Christians, we should be supporting and caring for those around us – and that includes our family, friends, work colleagues, fellow church members – and must do so for everyone, not just those we consider our close friends or family.

When someone returns to church after an absent of even just one week, their fellow Christian brothers and sisters should reach out to them to check how they are, and encourage them by telling them that they have been missed, otherwise they’ll think no-one has even noticed they were missing!