Posts Tagged ‘band’

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, and today it’s time for another one – This time with a theme, Music!

So as usual I’m going to throw some words at you, and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. Vase
  2. Grave
  3. Hospital
  4. Head
  5. Mask
  6. Bed
  7. Heart
  8. Moustache
  9. Balloon
  10. Bus

wordsSo how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Flowers
  2. Grief
  3. Appointment
  4. Sore
  5. Disguise
  6. Sleep
  7. Surgery
  8. Beard
  9. Bang!
  10. Band

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

By the way, if you want me to explain any of my answers, just ask!


Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord most High
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord most High

The name of the Lord is a strong tower
The righteous run into it and they are saved
The name of the Lord is a strong tower
The righteous run into it and they are saved

As the title of this post suggests, it’s been another difficult few days for me.

It all started on Thursday with my Mum going into hospital for an exploratory procedure. But I’m pleased to say, all turned out to be fine, with no problems found.

Then on Thursday night I went to my first band practice for a while, at Bellshill Salvation Army. I was quite stressed about going back to the band, not because I thought the folks there wouldn’t welcome me back or be supportive, but simply because I am still struggling emotionally following the death of my Dad and my Aunt Mae earlier this year.

Dad at our weddingMusic has always been a huge part of my life, with music always been played in the house from as early as I can remember. Dad was always composing and arranging music (or “decomposing” music as he used to say!), and sitting at the piano trying out various bits and pieces of his compositions. I remember even when I was very young, I always climbed up onto my Dad’s knee at the piano to “help” him. So much so that when I was 6 I started piano lessons, despite the piano teacher not normally taking pupils until they were at least 7, but as I was extra keen an exception was made.

Then a few years later I was given a trombone by our YP band leader (at Rutherglen Salvation Army), and after being shown how to hold it and blow into and the 7 slide positions, I was off and running with my trombone. Needless to say I had a lot of questions, and Dad was there to help from that day on until his dementia meant he was unable to, as he was a trombone player of well renown in the jazz and big band scene in the west of Scotland.

So taking all that into account, band practices, and trombone playing as such a huge reminder of me of my Dad, as he was always there to help when I was looking to some alternative slide positions for some bit of music, or helping choosing a new mouthpiece etc…

I coped not to badly at the band practice until we went to practice Guardian of My Soul, and the words of the last section of this were read out…

O Jesus I have promised
To serve thee to the end…

Aunt MaeThese words, although not necessarily favourite words of my Aunt Mae, they were words which reminded me so much of her, as she was a lifelong Salvationist, and even in her final days when her dementia meant she wasn’t the person we knew and loved, she still always talked about the Army and how she’d held various positions for many years – even the nurses and carers at her nursing home talked about how she was always telling them about the Salvation Army!. She truly did serve God, her Saviour, all her days.

So when we started to play that piece of music, my emotions got the better of me and my tears streamed down my face…I was just glad everyone was playing as I really didn’t want anyone to notice how upset I was. Crying in public is one of my worst nightmares, and it was no different that night!

So onto today, Sunday, my first meeting at Bellshill for a while, and again I was stressed, as I knew the band were playing Guardian of My Soul and I knew how that had affected me on Thursday, and there would be even more folk there to witness me getting upset, if it were to happen again…

musicYes, the music got to me again, as Guardian of My Soul got my tears flowing again, however this time I just tried to play through it (not sure how successful that decision was though!).

But even before we got to the band piece, my tears had started, as the YP Band played I’m In His Hands, and the words associated with this song, touched me just as they do every time I hear them, but they were the reminder I needed that whatever the future holds, I am in His hands.

Even one of the congregational songs from this morning got me, as it reminded me of the band’s Easter Tour of 2003, as just after we returned from this tour I took unwell, and although I’m much improved now, my health continues to cause me some problems. Before we left for our tour we joined in singing, Lord If Your Presence , and again this morning as we sang these words in the knowledge that for the next 9 months, Bellshill Salvation Army will be without a home of their own, as we will be worshipping in the Bellshill Cultural Centre while our halls are refurbished and a new worship hall built.

Even as we played the final march in our hall, Celebration, I was reminded of Dad again as I remember asking him about one of the parts in this piece when I was playing a different part than I was today.

Many thanks to all who offered words of support to me both on Thursday night at band practice and also this morning either before or after our morning service, I really have appreciated the love and support shown to me (and my family) during what has been a particularly difficult time for us.

In conclusion, I’d just like to share with you the words of the song I mentioned earlier

I’m in his hands, I’m in His hands;
Whate’er the future holds
I’m in His hands.
The days I cannot see
Have all been planned for me;
His way is best, you see;
I’m in His hands


When you hear the word harmony, what do you think of? Music, agreements, relationships…something else?

As far as I’m concerned all those potential harmonious things I just mentioned are important to me. Here’s why:

As I’ve mentioned before in my blog, music has always been a huge part of my life, particularly my Christian life, therefore unsurprisingly it’s harmonious/tuneful music I like to listen to and play.

When it comes to agreements, isn’t always better when we disagree with someone’s opinion to discuss our thoughts openly and logically so that we can come to some agreement which is satisfactory to both, whether that be an agreement to disagree or we persuade the other person that our point of view is correct or vice versa.

Finally, and probably most importantly, there’s relationships. We all hate when our relationship with someone takes a turn for the worse, but are happy and content when our relationships with other are going well. As a Christian, I’m reminded that the most important relationship in my life must always be relationship with God, as when that relationship is solid, my life is truly in God’s hands.

Are you living in harmony with God? The deepest and most harmonious relationship in your life must always be with God. If your relationship with God is not as it should be, I urge you to pray that God will guide you in the steps you need to take in your life to find that deep harmonious relationship with Him today.

I’m sure you will have heard this phrase many times:

Home is where the heart is

But what does that actually mean? Well here’s a great definition I came across a few days ago:

When I walk into my home I feel peace. I feel I am in the most safe environment that I could be in. There are no worries or problems within the walls of my home. It is the one place that I can truly be me. My family is here and love and comfort surrounds me. I am in my world where everything around is me. To know that this is the place where my family and myself have established together and that we all have our special space within our home and spaces where we can come together is why our home is where our hearts are.

How does that definition sound to you?

For me I still think of myself as having three homes…no we’re not really really rich and got two secret hideaways!

My current home is definitely here with my hubby of seventeen years. Just as the above definition says, my home is where my family (hubby) is and love and comfort surrounds me. What more could I ask for?!

So I have my current home with hubby, but a very close run second home to me is still my Mum and Dad’s house where I lived from aged 10 until I got married. Mum and Dad still live in that house and so again, just like the above definition says, it’s a place where my family are and we love and comfort one another. Once again, what more could I ask for?!

Finally, my third “home”…This one’s a bit different because it’s not a place I’ve every lived and is unlikely to ever be one where I would live, however it is still “home” to me. Confused? Let me explain…

I’m sure you’ve probably heard the expression “spiritual home”, well that’s what my third home is, it’s my spiritual home!

So where is my spiritual home? It’s not as you might think, my current church and place of worship. No, it’s Rutherglen Salvation Army, the corps I grew up in, and worshipped there until 2002 when I transferred to Bellshill Salvation Army. Does that surprise you? In some ways it still surprises me, however when I think about how much I learned as a Christian and all I participated in at Rutherglen, it shouldn’t really surprise me…I became a junior soldier, later a senior soldier of the Salvation Army there; I was a member of both the junior and senior bands and choirs; I was a member of the Corps Cadets; I was the YP Record Sargeant for many years; I was singing company and then songster accompanist; I was deputy songster leader and then songster leader; but most importantly I learned and grew as a Christian and Salvationist.

My Mum’s side of the family were some of the founding members of Rutherglen Salvation Army, I have a heritage at Rutherglen, my past, present and future were moulded there…Rutherglen Salvation Army is most definitely my spiritual home.

Take a few minutes out to consider the place or places you consider to be home, and why. These places have moulded you and made you the person you are today.

I thank God for allowing me to lucky enough to have three places I can call home.

Home by Nichole Nordeman

Bright are the stars that shine in somebody else’s sky
Green is the grass that grows some place different
More possibilities, more than You offered me
More than I care to see from a distance

I was certain that the truth would be
In a place that kept eluding me
But every stone turned and unturned again
Would only serve to prove
That I never had to move to find You

And You will always be
The only love I’ll ever know, home
And You have made for me
The only place I’ll ever go, home

God, for the shameless pride
The times when I rolled my eyes
To laugh at simplicity, show me mercy
Knowing what I know now it’s hard to imagine how
I could feel anything but unworthy

And the mystery of Your love for me
Is not as hidden as it seemed to be
Should have known then when You said to me
‘Seek and you will find’
It was right here all the time

And You will always be
The only love I’ll ever know, home
And You have made for me
The only place I’ll ever go, home

I believe in the quest and the journey
I believe that the answers come in time
And where we begin is where we arrive

And You will always be
The only love I’ll ever know, home
And You have made for me
The only place I’ll ever go, home

It’s funny how things happen sometimes isn’t it?

In the last few weeks, you may be aware if you’re on Twitter, that there has been people, one in particular who has been doing all they can to turn people from the Salvation Army in the UK. While they are free to express their own opinions, many very broad generalisation and rash assumptions have been made by these folk, simply because they have had a bad experience in the Salvation Army.

My main reason for mentioning this is that one of their main gripes about the Salvation Army is that it focuses too much on music, the musical sections (both young peoples and senior sections), and the musical ability of its members. I agree that in the Salvation Army we do encourage music as a means of worship and praise, however I certainly do not agree that the Army focus is more on its music than on God.

In thinking about and praying about some of the things that have been said on Twitter, I’ve found myself drawn to the song When The Music Fades. Then in our devotions during the band practice last Thursday, our officer (minister) reminds us again of that same song…When the Music Fades.

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

I bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath

This song really sums up what I think the Salvation Army is all about…yes we love our music, I love the music it’s how I express my love for God, however it is just a small part of what it’s all about for the majority of us. For us, you could take away the musical sections, the music, the uniforms etc, but Jesus would still be there at the centre of all we do.

Yes, I will admit that sometimes we can all get caught up in the emotions of some of the music, but if we are real Christians and not just going through the motions of the Salvation Army and all that entails, we remind ourselves of the words related to the music, remind ourselves of Jesus and remind ourselves of the cross…that should be more than enough to remind us of the reason for being a part of the Salvation Army.

Everything we have is God’s, because all He had, He gave for us at Calvary.

We are weak but God can be our strength.

This week I’ve been the recipient of several compliments…and no, none of them were from my hubby!

First at work earlier this week, I attended a meeting (which I do quite frequently!). At this particular meeting was someone I’ve known for a while because they have worked with some of my colleagues, however I personally have never worked with them. The compliment itself, wasn’t said until the day after the meeting, when I received an email from this person which I’m quoting said

And I thought you were magnificent yesterday

Wow! I responded by thanking them and telling them they were very kind. I was then informed by them that and I’m definitely quoting them now…

Actually, I’m not very kind – but I am very honest!

Then on Thursday night I attended my first band practice at Bellshill Salvation Army, for the first time in quite a while. Despite having originally expected to be sitting bottom of the trombone section playing 2nd trombone, I was instructed to take my “normal” position on 1st trombone.

Well it was an interesting practice having to sightread a number of pieces including sightreading the Bass Trombone part for I Will Follow Him so we had all the parts covered! Being my first practice back I didn’t think I played very well, fluffing nd mis-pitching a number of notes. Oh and BTW it took till the third time through I Will Follow Him before I got the Bass Trombone solo right!

After getting home from the practice, tired and beginning to get quite sore, I received an email which amongst other things said

great effort! Fantastic reading of the bass trombone part in I will follow

I was very surprised, but then I do rate and value this person’s opinion and their support. I’m sure you’ll not be surprised (especially if you’ve read some of my other blog posts where I’ve told how much of a perfectionist I am!), that I replied to that email by telling the person they were very generous with their praise and pointed out just what I said earlier about all my mistakes.

I got the following response to my comments

You did really well – be positive!

…and that folks probably sums me up! Being a perfectionist I expect and want everything I do to be perfect, and so when people compliment me I find it difficult to accept their comments because, I guess, I don’t appreciate how well I’ve done just because it wasn’t up to my own very high standards.

Do you accept compliments well? Are you embarrassed when people compliment you?

Don’t be! Accept them graciously. Compliments should lift our spirits and make us feel good about ourselves and how many things can we say that about?!

…sadly, this is often how it can feel when you have no children and all those you spend time with, have kids.

Before I go any further with this blog post I just want to clarify a couple of things following my blog post Childless = Alone from Friday night:

  • I really do love children, I’m just sorry we’ve not gt any of our own.
  • I do not dislike others talking about their kids, however if all you want to talk about in my presence is your kids and how much you want another child, and that you can’t wait to have another child, please don’t be surprised if I’m just a tad upset!

I don’t know about you but have you noticed how many leisure activities/events are geared towards families? I have!

I’ve found that no matter where we go or what we’re involved in, many of the events or activities that are organised, are focused on families and/or the children in particular. Again I must stress that children are important and we must ensure we do all we can to make them feel wanted and part of the group, however what are those of us without kids supposed to do, or feel?

If we turn up to family events, there’s little for us, as much is aimed around the children or the parents and their children. If we don’t turn up at all, no-one notices…and then we feel excluded.

Can I tell you the one place when I find I feel excluded most, because we have no children? Sadly I have to tell you that it’s at my church. What makes it even more difficult for me at my church is that I’m the only person in my family who attends that particular church, and therefore whenever there are family events on I really am excluded as I have no family there.

The worst occasions for me are always the meetings when we are told it’s a family service so instead of sitting in our usual place in the band/songsters/congregation, we’re asked to sit with our family – These are the times when I seriously wonder if anyone considers how those of us with no family there, feel. I can honestly say I always avoid attending these meetings, and as far as I’m aware no-one has ever noticed – at least I’ve never been asked why I wasn’t there.

I know no-one will even intentionally have meant to make anyone feel excluded or uncomfortable, because I can assure you it is hard on those of us with no children, and doubly hard on those of us who have no other family at the event.

Please remember we are all God‘s children, and as such we must love everyone equally. Don’t discriminate, either on purpose or by accident, against those of us who have no children or have no other family members around them, as we can feel alone and excluded during family events.

I hope you enjoy this video of Child of God by Kathryn Scott:

Do take your church/spiritual leaders for granted?

Do you ever tell your leaders that they do a great job?

Yes, it’s their job to lead your church ministry, however they are human, just like you and me, and because they are human, they are just like us…imperfect! Just because they’re our church leaders doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes!

Yes, our church leaders are imperfect just like us, but they have committed their life to serving God, and through the guidance and strength God gives them, they do the best job they can for God , and for us. Therefore we must offer our church leaders support in every way we can – even if we can’t offer them any practical help, we can still pray for them.

What about those that look after the young people in your church, the community activities/programme, music groups/sections, do you tell them what a great job they are doing? Do you pray for them?

They, just like our church leaders, need our support, as they too do difficult jobs and often receive little thanks or praise.

So take a few moments today, tomorrow, the next day and the next again, and pray for your church leaders, and remember to give them a few words of encouragement when you speak to them too!

Yesterday (Sunday) I went to our Morning service at Bellshill Salvation Army, for the first time in about 10 months! Then after that I headed to Callander with our band to take part on two Song of Praise events there.

During our morning service we had one youngster enrolled as a Junior Soldier and another commissioned as a Senior Soldier, so it was a privilege to be present and share with them both on their special day. But why am I mentioning this, well because it got me thinking back to when I was enrolled as a Senior Soldier at age 18 at Rutherglen Salvation Army, and all that’s happened in my life since that day.

Yes there’s been some highs, but there has also been some very low times too; There’s been times when I’ve praised God and thanked Him for all He’s done for me, and there’s been times when I questioned whether God really existed, and whether He actually cared about me; There’s been times of joy and laughter and there’s also been times when my tears seemed never ending.

So there’s a brief overview of the years that have passed since I became a Senior Soldier, but where am I in my faith journey now? Well times are still tough for a number of reasons, but my faith is strong. I think all the tough times I’ve faced over the last number of years has resulted in my belief and my faith in God growing ever strong, because I know it is God who has brought me through those times, and whatever lies ahead for me He will lead me through it.

After our service this morning, the band headed to Callander to lead a Songs of Praise in the square at 3.30pm and then another in Callander Kirk at 5.30pm. It was a long and tiring day so it was no great surprise to me that I didn’t make it all the way through – I had to stop playing part way through the evening service as I got too sore, but even so I was glad I made the decision to go – Even today although I’m really suffering after the exertions of yesterday. I’m still happy to have made the effort to go with the band to Callander.

Thanks to all in the band for welcoming me back into the fellowship again after my absence from the corps, I do appreciate it, as we do have a special fellowship within our band. Thank you.

Thank you also to the newest junior and senior soldiers at Bellshill Salvation Army, for letting me share with you on your special day, and in turn reminding me of my journey through life to this current point.

I love the song Through It All which really sums up my Christian experience over these last few years in particular, so I hope you enjoy this version of the song performed here by The Three Sopranos

Through It All
Though the future seems uncertain
Though the fear erodes my peace
Though the circumstance seems hopeless
And the doubting will not cease
I will claim what He has promised
For my heart must recognise
Mine is not to question
But keep focused on the prize.
Through it all I choose to serve the saviour
Through it all I claim Christ as my friend
Through it all my faith will never waver
Till He calls me home or comes again
This path now set before me
Is not my route of choice
Yet I must keep moving forward
Listening to His still small voice
This step along this journey
He reminds me I’m His own
And through the cold dark loneliness
I’m aware I’m not alone
Through it all I choose to serve the saviour
Through it all I claim Christ as my friend
Through it all my faith will never waver
Till He calls me home or comes again


FYI – If you’re wondering how you can become a Senior Soldier (a member) of the Salvation Army, you can get information on this from your local Salvation Army, or from the Salvation Army website.