Archive for the ‘Salvation Army’ Category

When we trust someone, we believe in them. We believe they won’t let us down, and will always be there for us.

Sadly, when we put our trust in others, they often let us down. They turn out not to be the reliable, faithful friend we thought they were.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Passion Translation)

Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.

As we’re told in Proverbs, God is the one we should be putting our trust in. He can always rely on Him, because He’s always by our side.

Trust in Him, always.

Let’s be honest, it can be really difficult at times to believe God is still listening to your prayers. And even more difficult to believe he will answer them when he doesn’t answer them when or how you want.

When we go through difficult times in our life, that’s when we trust God more than ever. However because we are human, we do doubt him, and doubt his plans for us.

I love the song Don’t Doubt Him Now, not just the beautiful melody, but also because I can really relate the words. The message is clear, don’t doubt him now, instead trust in God’s love and turn your care to gladness.

Don’t doubt Him now
Don’t lift your heart to sorrow
Though all around seems in such disarray
God’s love is sure, sustaining through tomorrow
Dispelling doubt that only brings despair
Don’t doubt Him now, don’t doubt Him now.

Trust in God’s love to turn your care to gladness
Prove for yourself the merits of His grace
Find in His strength the will to shake off sadness
Discover too the warmth of His embrace
Trust in God’s love, don’t doubt Him now.

Your faith in Him will gladden every morning
The days ahead will more His goodness show
Your heart with trust fulfils the Father’s longings
And in return His love He will bestow
Have faith in Him, don’t doubt Him now.

Time to do what?

Do you feel like time flies past of does every second seem to tick by so very slowly?

I guess the answer to both these questions depends on many factors, here’s some examples

  • whether you’re at school, or college, working or retired
  • whether you have lots to keep you busy all day, maybe even too many things
  • if you’re looking forward to something in the near future, the time always seems to go very slowly
  • if you’re facing something you’re not looking forward to, that time comes so very quickly

Time is strong isn’t it, as you can be sitting beside the same person for a whole day doing the same job, but they might think the day has flown by, but you feel it has dragged.

Whether your day and week have flown by or dragged, I hope you made time for God each day.

Here’s the International Staff Band of the Salvation Army playing Take Time…

In yesterday’s blog post (New world), I spoke about how God has our future under control, because He’s already planned our future.

But how to reach that new world, that future place? If we trust God, he will direct and guide us along the path he has planned for us. As we follow God’s plan for our lives, we need to share God’s message of love and hope for tomorrow, with those we come into contact with. If we each do that, more people will hear and see God’s message in action, and hopefully feel God’s presence in their lives. The more who accept God as Lord, the better place this world will become.

So help God make this world a new and better world to live in, by sharing your story, and sharing your faith with others.

I’ve found myself using the phrase, ‘In the new world’, quite frequently in the last few weeks. There’s a lot of change going on in life just now so trying to accept and prepare for how things may be in the future, hence my ‘in the new world’ phrase, can be difficult.

That’s why I’m very grateful for God’s presence in my life in these days. As although life ‘In the new world’ and what that may mean for me, is still very uncertain, I do feel reassured that God has my future under control, because I know he has already planned my future.

If we trust in God, whatever our ‘new world’ or future holds, we can be assured that we are in His hands.

More than ever this world needs to know God.

Men and women, boys and girls, never knowing unconditional love, never feeling their future is secure.

Messages of turmoil, disasters, hatred fill our news and social media streams.

More than ever this world needs to know God.

Millions have turned from God thinking He doesn’t exist or doesn’t care for them.

Millions are wrong, God is always there for them, they just need to have faith to believe in God.

My prayer is that those of us who believe in God, do all we can to show those we come into contact with, that we are different, and live our lives differently, because we believe in God.

May we then be examples of Christ’s love to others, showing love and compassion to everyone.

It’s my turn to provide the devotions at our band practice tonight, so I thought I’d share will you what I will be sharing with the band tonight…

How are you at remembering significant dates in your life?

We all have significant dates in our lives that we mark each year because they were times of great happiness or celebration or because when they happened, they caused us great sadness.

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about significant dates that have changed my life, probably because in the last few weeks I’ve had a few of those dates, and there are others in the coming weeks also

  • Early August was my birthday..
  • Then just a couple of weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
  • The end of last week marked 4 years since my Mum died.
  • And amazingly, in a few weeks time, that will be one year since I had life saving heart surgery to fix one of the issues I’ve lived with all my life.

Yes, I’ve marked, or will mark each of those significant dates I’ve just mentioned, in some way. But do I pay as much attention to those significant dates in my Christian journey?

I have to be honest and say, the only exact date I can remember in my Christian journey, is the day I made my decision to become senior soldier as it was on my 18th birthday! I was really disappointed that I couldn’t remember the date I first knelt at the mercy seat or the date I was enrolled as a senior soldier, both at Rutherglen Salvation Army. So much so that I found myself last week looking for the Articles of War I signed on the day I was made a senior soldier, and I found it, and that anniversary is in just a few weeks!

We each celebrate or mark the important dates in our life and many of us shared those anniversaries with our friends on social media. So my question to each of you tonight is, do you put the same importance into celebrating or marking the significant dates in your Christian life as you do, other life events?

Do you remember the date on which you first gave my heart to Jesus?

Or the exact date you were enrolled as a senior soldier?

Romans 1:1 (The Passion Translation)

Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvellous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

God has promised to love us always and that in itself is a reason to celebrate isn’t it. I believe I’m one of the fortunate ones as I’ve had that significant moment in my lives I accepted God into my life, and promised to serve Him until the end. So I will mark those important dates in my life, but I will also celebrate God’s love for me each day. After all I hadn’t accepted God into my heart, who knows where I would be today! And where else would I want to be on a Wednesday night, than at band practice! 🙂

 

Here’s a favourite piece of mine which features the tune associated with there words which for me, sum up one of the most significant moments in my Christian life

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.

One God.

One Son.

One sacrifice.

One cross.

One life. Oh may I live for Thee.

I was listening again to the the song We Believe by Newsboys, and one phrase in the song really stuck with me this time

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing

It got me thinking about my faith, and the reason I attend church. In the Salvation Army we can at times put a lot of our focus on our musical sections (both our junior and adult bands and choirs). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as our musical sections can most definitely make a huge contribution to our worship through their music.

I personally find the music provided by our musical sections, as well as the congregational songs used in  worship often bring me closer to God, and being able to be part of that music making is a great privilege for me, as I believe this how God wants me to contribute to worship.

What the words of this Newsboys song reminded me was that I must never let the music or music making be the reason I worship. Worship must be first and foremost about praising God and learning more about Him. Yes, we can praise God through our music making, but that should not be the main reason we go to church. Our faith must definitely be more than anthems, more than the music.

Matthew 6:25 (The Passion Translation)

This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing—everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing?

What do you focus on in your life? Is your life centred around possessions and goods, or is there more to your life than that?

There is definitely more to life than our possessions – possessions may provide short term happiness, but they don’t provide the peace and contentment that I’m sure we all desire.

The peace and contentment we all desire can only be found in God. God is more than everything we need. He offers us really peace, contentment and happiness, if we simply trust Him.