Archive for the ‘Salvation Army’ Category

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that the following song is quite special to me:

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

It’s a song that reminds me that no matter how I feel, or what I’m going through, God is with me. It makes me feel like God is surrounding me with his love, holding me close so no harm can come to me, protecting me, just like a mother or father would do with their child.

yesterday I shared a new setting for this song, but today I share with you one of my favourite Salvation Army band pieces, William Himes’ Procession To Covenant by Regent Hall Salvation Army band.

We all get tired sometimes, we all need to rest, but do we ever really take the time to have the kind of rest we need?

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

The only rest that can truly calm our hearts and minds, is the kind of rest we can get from God. To receive that we must first give him all our worries, all our problems – He will then give us true peace.

Come to me by The Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters:

These days, when we look at this world, it can cause us to feel sad, depressed, shocked, maybe even terrified, because let’s be honest, there is a lot of bad, or evilness around these days.

Psalm 27:13 (NLT)
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

We need to be positive, God is here with us in they world, and with his help I believe, we can change this world from one where evil is to the fore, to one where love overcomes evil.

Man seems to have been fascinated by the future for a long time, we just need to look back at the numerous movies that have been made over the years, all set in a world imagined to be ‘the future’.

  • 1984
  • 2001: A space odyssey
  • Alien
  • Avatar
  • Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure
  • I, Robot
  • Intersellar
  • Lost in space
  • Planet of the apes
  • Etc…

Some of those films were set in a time that is actually now in the past. E.g. 1984. I think it’s fair to say the film version of the future has never really turned out to be particularly accurate, has it!

I know a few people who visit psychics to find out a little of what their future holds for them. I don’t know about you, but I know I wouldn’t want to know what lies ahead for me.

At a member of the Salvation Army, a Salvationist, I made promises to God to serve him not just today and tomorrow, but in our future days. I always seem to end up with the words of a particular song going through my mind when I think about the promises I’ve made to God.

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.

This song doesn’t just remind me my promises, but as it was a special song to some of my family, it remind me that they made those same promises to God, and they did keep them in their future, right ‘to the end’.

Our future is not just about us keep our promises to God, but Him also keeping his promises to us, as that’s where we get our reassurance that no matter what we face God is with us:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Isaiah 41:10 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

As you’ve probably gathered I’ve been thinking a lot about the future, and have prayed  that I will stay true to God no matter what the future holds for me. There will be times of great joy ahead, but also some challenging times too, but I know I can face them with confidence if I remember these words:

There is a name I call in times of trouble
There is a song that comforts in the night
There is a voice that calms the storm that rages
He is Jesus, Jesus
—JESUS—

When you’re alone with someone, whether you know them or not, how does it feel if there are a few minutes of complete silence when neither of you say a word?

Time is one of those strange things that although every second passes the same for each of us, one person may feel time has stood still another may feel as if it’s going by extra quickly.

Here’s a quote a came across from Henry Van Dyke which illustrates this:

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we read:

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

I’m sure we’ve all heard people say things such as:

  • You’ll be my friend forever
  • I’ll be eternally grateful if you could…
  • I’ll remember what you’ve done forever
  • I’ll always be there for you

I’m sure when those words are said, the person saying them has meant them. In reality though we are all human, after a period of time we often do not remember those statements that we said we’d keep forever and therefore we break them.

I’m sure we’ve also all had someone say to us that they know exactly how we feel, when we’re going though a tough time. But is it really possible for another person to truly know exactly how we feel?! I don’t know what your circumstances are at present, but here’s some words someone once said to me when I was going through a difficult time – “If you’re going through a tough or difficult time, don’t stop, just keep going“.

Tough times are temporary so no matter how difficult we may be finding life, we must always keep going. Remember, God put us on this earth for a reason, he planned out our life before we were born. And he knows what or how we’re feeling or thinking even before we know ourselves.

Sometimes it takes a brush with eternity – a crash, an illness, some shock to the system – to get you really thinking about what you want to do with your limited time here, and why you’re living on this wobbling dirt cloud in the first place. ~ Hampton Sides

Our time on this earth may be limited, but we god has planned our life out for us, we just need to follow his direction and he will stay by our side both in this life and for eternity.

2 Timothy 1:9

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

While we can’t always rely on others keeping promises to be there for us, or remember us forever, however God will. God’s love for us will stand the test of time and His love will last for time and eternity, all we need to do is trust Him.

I hope you enjoy listening to Bellshill Salvation Army band featuring Alex Ramsay on cornet and Chris Shanks on euphonium, playing Time and Eternity:

How many times have you delayed doing something because there appears to be no urgency to do anything?

How many times having not done anything, have you then regretted taking no action?

We don’t know what the future holds for us or those around us, so don’t put of doing something today just because you think you’ll still be able to do it tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late, and then you’ll spend your life regretting your lack of action.

The same applies to our relationship with God, don’t delay in giving your life to Him, because when  you give him your life, you will get the reassurance that He will give you everlasting life. What greater reward could we ever want!

 

In a world where so many awful things happen all over the world on a daily basis, is it any wonder we don’t feel safe. But as Christians we have no need to fear:

We are in God’s presence always, so as long as we believe in Him we need not fear what lies ahead for us or our family and friends.

Walk by faith

Posted: April 11, 2018 in belief, depression, faith, life, music, quotes, Salvation Army, stress
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Imagine sitting in the dark, with no electricity or power of any kind…you hear a noise, but can’t see anything…you’re not sure who or what is there. Do you be brave and go and investigate or just stay put and wait until the power comes back on?

Life can be a bit like sitting in the dark, as sometimes when we’re going through a difficult period in our life, it can feel like we’re stumbling around in the dark, unsure of what lies ahead. But for those of us who trust in God, that’s when our faith should see us through.

God is with us always, we just have to trust Him even when we’re in the darkest of days and can see no positives in life.

Romans 6:7-11 (NLV)

When a man is dead, he is free from the power of sin. And if we have died with Christ, we believe we will live with Him also. We know that Christ was raised from the dead. He will never die again. Death has no more power over Him. He died once but now lives. He died to break the power of sin, and the life He now lives is for God. You must do the same thing! Think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But now you have new life because of Jesus Christ our Lord. You are living this new life for God.

Imagine hearing of the death of a loved one – you’d be devastated, upset, maybe even broken – but then for someone to come and tell you they had seen them alive and walking around again! I’m sure we would think they were mad!

But that’s exactly what happened when Jesus rose from the dead. Because Jesus did that we have been forgiven, and we have a future full of hope.

 

Today is Good Friday. The fact it’s called ‘Good‘ Friday suggests it is a happy and great day. However for God it was probably one of the worst days, the day His one and only son died. Can you imagine how that must have felt?

In Isaiah 53:1-5 (NLT) we read the following:

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm. My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

God always knew that the day would come, when to save the rest of us, Christ would have to die. It’s wonderful to know that God loves us this much isn’t it!