Posts Tagged ‘BSAB’

Last night I was at Hamilton Salvation Army with Bellshill Band and I and after the ladies voices sang In This Very Room I shared the following thoughts before the band played one of my favourite pieces Procession to Covenant.

In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me.

In this very room there’s quite enough love for all the world.

Who or what do you think about when someone mentions the word love?

Do you think about romance, dating, marriage or those closest to you – your husband/wife, children, your parents or your siblings – Maybe you think about close friends or your church family or maybe past relationships which have broken down or family or friends who have passed away.

When you love someone you never want to let them go, or say a final farewell to them. God is no different to that as he never wants to let us go, even when we turn away from him. Even when we’re facing difficult events in our lives, God promises to hold us and love us forever.

O love that wilt 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.

The writer of these words George Matheson, born in 1842, wrote these words when he faced a very dark time in his life. Matheson began losing his eyesight from an early age, and by the time he was 17 was almost completely blind. Despite this he was ordained as a minister in the church of Scotland and hoped to become a writer of biblical theology, but because of his failing eye sight he was never able to fully achieve all he had hoped to. He suffered further when engaged to be married, as his fiancée suddenly broke off their engagement citing his illness (his blindness) as the reason for the breakup. Despite feeling abandoned by his fiancée, Matheson was able to go on and become a successful preacher thanks to the care and support provided by his sister.

Unfortunately, further heartbreak came his way later in his life when his carer and helper, his sister got married, leaving him feeling abandoned once again. It was then, on the night of his sister’s wedding, Matheson tells of being alone in his home and then feeling as if the words of the beautiful and intensely moving hymn, O Love that will not let me go being dictated to him by God.

The words of the song assure us right from the start that no matter what the circumstance of life we find ourselves coping with – we are held by a Love that will not let me go – a love in which our weary souls can rest.

God will not let us go, least of all when we are suffering because God knows what that means – and the Cross is there to prove it. In the search for healing or resolutions to life’s problems, we do not always find an immediate cure for an illness or an immediate sense of purpose which moves us out of despair. However in those times we must hold onto faith and hope because when we seek His strength we findreassurance that our lives will become richer and fuller, through his healing.

Jeremiah 31 (NIV)

God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again

O love that wilt not let me go…

Every year at this time of year we hear the word “belief” mentioned a lot, but sadly it’s more often than not in relation to Santa, than about Christ. I find it very sad that so many in this world have never known the true love of Christ for themselves. If ever I need a remind of what God needs and wants me to do in my life, to tell other about Him and His love for us, this is the reminder I need.

In the last few weeks when I’ve been out at various Christmas events with Bellshill Salvation Army Band, I’ve been challenged each time one of our band, Daniel McMillan, has song the beautiful song, I Believe. It challenges us to ask ourselves, “What do you believe?“. I’m glad to say, I believe in Christmas, and more than that, I believe in Christ, the Saviour of the world.

What do you believe?

In the last few weeks in our band practice we’ve been practicing Martin Cordner’s Fusion. The following description of this music is taken from CordnerMusic.com

Fusion is a follow-on work to Escape Velocity (2010) and seeks to capture the sense of the celebration that arises when a believer arrives in heaven and is finally joined in eternal fellowship with God. In depicting this event the work links General Albert Orsborn’s song I know thee who thou art (SASB 59) with Chris Rice’s contemporary hymn Come to Jesus.

It’s a great piece of music to listen to, and to play, and for me while playing it in these last few weeks, I’ve found the tune of the middle section Come to Jesus, going round and round in my head. I must admit I couldn’t remember the name or the words of the song, so had to go the Martin’s website to remind myself of the words of the beautiful song Come to Jesus:

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall…so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

I love the words of this song as it takes us through various life events, birth and death, as well as various emotions and situations we encounter during our time here on earth, such as when we seek and find Christ for the first time, when we’re urged to Come to Jesus and live, and when we are lonely and told to Cry to Jesus and live.

Here’s Chris Rice, the composer of Come to Jesus, performing this beautiful song:

wanderingHave you ever had one of those days when lots of different things go wrong?

Well I had one of those days yesterday! Firstly at work several things “broke”, then didn’t get home from work until about an hour later than I intended to which then meant I had no time for any food before heading out to a concert with Bellshill Salvation Army Band…even getting ready to out with the band ended in problems, as the heel of one of the shoes fell off! I’m just glad that happened before I left the house!

When I then got to the concert with the band, I must be honest and say my mind was not on the concert and why we were there, to spread God’s message through our music, but instead I was still thinking about all the things that had gone wrong during my day, and all the things I was going to have to do when I got home etc etc.

Strangely enough my mind was refocused on why I was there, when during the Songs of Praise part of the service, the song Since Jesus Came Into My Heart… the words of the second verse of this song are particularly apt:

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

What a day! Yes, my mind wandered from God and why I was playing in the band, but God soon  reminded that Since He came into my heart, floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll, Since Jesus came into my heart.

What is a sanctuary?

Here is the dictionary definition of a sanctuary:

  1. a sacred or holy place.
  2. an especially holy place in a temple or church.
  3. the part of a church around the altar; the chancel.
  4. a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.

Since we moved into our new hall (Bellshill Salvation Army) at the beginning of April, I’ve heard it described by several people as a sanctuary

Bellshill SA worship hall

Can you see why?

The illuminated cross at the front of our new worship hall grabs your attention as soon as you enter the hall for the first time. Having sat in the congregation, rather than in my seat in the band, recently, I found my attention constantly drawn to the cross.

Some my question why we have no Salvation Army crest at the front of our hall, however, I for one prefer it as it is. We know what the building is, we know it’s a Salvation Army hall. However I think we must be constantly reminded of the cross, and what as Christians it stands for…after all if there hadn’t been a cross, and there wouldn’t have been a Salvation Army, and their wouldn’t have been a Bellshill Salvation Army hall to worship in!

 

When you read the title of this blog post, what did you think of?

I guess for many of us we associate the word with the being reborn in Christ, changing our lives by giving our all, our life, our heart to God, and rejecting the things that are unchristian-like.

Why not be reborn in Christ this year, because it’s time be reborn in your faith today…

I hope you enjoy Bellshill Salvation Army Band playing the Salvation Army selection entitled Faith Reborn:

After a fantastic inspirational weekend at the Salvation Army UK Territory’s congress in Glasgow, what else could I blog about tonight!

I watched the Saturday night and Sunday morning meetings from the comfort of my house via the live webcast, but I have to say I still felt as thought I was part of the meetings even though I wasn’t actually there in person. So well done to all involved in broadcasting the webcast.

On Sunday afternoon our band, Bellshill Salvation Army Band were playing from 2.30 – 3pm on stage in the Clyde Auditorium, so I was there for that and then stayed for the BugleTweetafternoon meeting.

The afternoon meeting was a whole new experience for me, as I wasn’t just there to listen, I was also there to Tweet! Martin Cordner, a Salvation Army Officer & brass band composer, created BugleTweet, on Twitter and Facebook, to post updates from SA band and other concerts from around the world. So it was a privilege to be asked by Martin to Tweet for BugleTweet. I just hope that I was able to give those following the tweets, a good feel for what was happening in the Sunday afternoon meeting, even though I lost signal for about 20 minutes at one point!

Back to the meetings themselves..All those who took part in the main meetings of the weekend as well as pre meetings in the foyer and main auditorium were great – the staff songsters, staff band, various corps bands and songsters, youth band and youth chorus, puppets and kids club – all were fantastic and I know blessed many through their message.

And then there was our leaders for the weekend, Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams, what an inspiration! The recurring message throughout the weekend was transformation, challenging us to transform our world, our nation, our communities and ourselves! Quite a task, but as they said, if we let God start the transformation from within us, anything is possible! Thank you Commissioners Clive and Marianne you inspired so many of us to get out there and start the transformation.

Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams

The congress is now over, so let’s make sure we keep the momentum going by getting this transformation going – Are you up for the challenge? I am!

junior_soldiers_promiseI’ve spent a lot of time in these last few weeks and months thinking about my Dad and my Aunt Mae, both of whom passed away earlier this year. One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot in relation to both of them is promises – Promises made by both of them either publicly or privately.

Dad of course promised to always look after me and care for me particularly as I was growing up, however latterly our roles were reversed, as it was Dad who needed to be looked after.

As for Aunt Mae, it’s the public promise she made many years ago, to serve God for all her life, that I’m thinking about. In the last few years of Aunt Mae’s life, her illness meant she was unable to attend the Salvation Army meetings anymore, however whenever we visited her, she always talked about the Army…albeit the Army she was talking about and asking about, was the Army of a few decades ago rather than our 21st century Army.

As far as Dad’s promise to look after me is concerned, he certainly did that, and, as far as I’m concerned, did that very well. And Aunt Mae’s always did her best to serve God all her life, particularly in her younger, more active days when she held various local officer positions at our home corps of Rutherglen Salvation Army.

I just hope that as I live my life, the promises I’ve made already, and any I make in the future, that I can be as successful in keeping my promises as both Dad and Aunt Mae have done. I believe I will only be able to succeed with this, if I keep the promise I made when firstly when I was 7 and then again when I was 18 years old, the promise Aunt Mae also made…to serve God all my days.

Maybe that is why in these last few weeks, as our band (Bellshill Salvation Army Band) has played the piece Guardian of My Soul, I’ve been so emotional – the second song featured in this piece is O Jesus I Have Promised to the tune of Aurelia:

O Jesus I have promised
To serve thee to the end,
Be thou for ever 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.
 
O let me feel thee near me;
The world is ever near;
I see the lights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear.
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw thou nearer
And shield my soul from sin.
 
O let me hear thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will.
O speak to reassure me,
To chasten or control;
O speak to make me listen,
Thou guardian of my soul.
 
O Jesus thou hast promised
To all who follow thee,
That where thou art in Glory,
There shall thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my friend.
John Ernest Bode

 

As you may be aware, over the last few months, I’ve published a number of blog posts entitled “Managing Grief” and in them have given a number of practical suggestion on things which may help you following a bereavement. What you may not however be aware of, is that just over a week before I posted my first “Managing Grief” blog post, my Dad had just passed away, and that just 6 weeks after Dad’s passing, my aunt (my Mum’s one remaining sister) also passed away. I have therefore felt that shared my very real experiences of managing grief, may in some small way help someone else cope with their grief a little bit better.

Last week I was out for dinner with my Mum and, as is often the case, the conversation got onto Dad and Aunt Mae, and about how difficult Mum was finding it to cope on a daily basis. At one point Mum said to me, “You seem to be dealing with it ok”, and I just responded by saying that I had my moments!

cryingMoments! A little bit of an understatement by me, as while I may look as if I’m coping well with Dad and Aunt Mae’s dead, inwardly I’m a bit of a wreck! I’ve been putting on a “brave face” with Mum ever since we were originally told they could do no more for Dad, as I knew she needed me to be strong for her. That hasn’t meant I’m strong all the time, as I definitely have my moments, normally when in the privacy of my own home…

However I certainly wasn’t in any kind of private place yesterday when thinking of Dad and Aunt Mae, my emotions got the better of me. I was in fact sitting in the middle of our band (Bellshill Salvation Army Band), in the middle of our morning service, when events and the music conspired to get the better of me!

Before I’d left the house to go the morning service I’d been reading this week’s Salvationist (a SA weekly publication), and had discovered the tribute (including photo) of my Aunt Mae was in this week’s edition…well that got me emotional before I even left the house!

During our service we sang Lord I Come To You (The Power of Your Love), which has been a very special song to me for a number of years. As I tried to sing, I just thought about those I’d lost, and so I could sing no more because of my tears…My worst nightmare had happened, falling apart in public!

It didn’t get any better as the band piece was In The Love Of Jesus, which always reminds me of my Aunt Mae (and my Gran), so again I found my tears started…I think I only managed to play the first few bars of the music before I had to stop again.

Everyone who loses a loved one has particular things which remind them most about them. You may have guessed by now, that for me, that thing is music! As a family, music has always been a huge pat of our lives and thus so much music reminds me of those I’ve lost. I also find playing in the band very difficult too (not because I don’t want to play), as I play trombone…so did Dad, and he was always the one I turned to for advice on alternative slide positions etc. I remember from a very young age, climbing up on the huge piano stool beside my Dad, to “help” him with his music compositions; I also remember as a young junior soldier, in the days when I sang solos, gathering round the piano at Gran and Aunt Mae’s to be taught my latest solo.

So why am I telling you all this? It was the 21st of February Dad died and the 3rd April my Aunt Mae passed away, i.e. a few months ago, but I still miss them loads, particularly my Dad…and that ok! God knows we’re hurting, and knows it will take us time to grieve. Likewise our friends and other family members also don’t expect us to get over the loss of a loved one in week or two. Therefore, don’t be afraid to admit to yourself and to others that you are still finding it difficult coping with the death of your loved one, months or even years later!

Finally I’d just like to say a huge thanks to those at Bellshill Salvation Army who have been particularly supportive in these last few weeks and months (you know who you are), I have appreciated your support more than you can imagine, thank you.

The title of this blog post is the motto of the Salvation Army band I play in, Bellshill Salvation Army band.

Pro Causa Optima means For the Right Reason.

It’s funny how some things work, as in the last few weeks, I’ve had conversations with a number of people, in various situations and circumstances, where we ended up discussing the decisions and actions taken by other individuals, and whether in fact they were being taken for the right reasons, or simply to try to enhance their own reputation.

This in turn has got me thinking about me, and got me asking myself not for the first time, “Do I blog to get recognition for myself or to spread God‘s message?” and “Do I look after the band’s website for my own glory, or to promote the band, or to promote God’s message through the band and the website?“.

Some tough questions which, if I’m honest, I haven’t always done either of those things for the right reason. However, I do pray regularly that whatever and wherever God needs me, I will do it for His honour and glory, and not for my own selfish reasons.

How about you, is there anything in your life that you may not be doing for the right reason? If there is, take it to God, He can help you refocus your efforts on Him.