Posts Tagged ‘BSAB’

Have you ever had something planned, and when the time comes for that event, you’re all good to go, but then something happens that completely changes your plans?

Well I’ve just had one of those weekends! I was meant to be going to Coventry with Bellshill Salvation Army Band, where we were leading worship there on Saturday night and Sunday morning and afternoon. I had been uncertain for a while whether I’d be well enough to go to the Coventry with the band, but decided a few weeks ago I should be well enough.

So I had to get up early on Saturday to get myself ready to go with the band. When we got up my husband mentioned he wasn’t feeling great. However it wasn’t until I had put all my stuff into my car and was almost ready to leave that I realised how unwell he was.

To cut a long story short, I realised I couldn’t go with the band. So I had to make a phone call I really hadn’t expected to have to make, at least I’d thought if I’d had to make that call, it would have been because I wasn’t well.

So what was going to be a very long and tiring weekend for me away with the band, turned out quite different for me. It was a really emotional weekend for me between my husband being unwell, plus I’d got myself worked up about going with the band as I hadn’t been 100% sure how well I would feel by the end of the weekend. I was really upset about missing the weekend, particularly as it had taken me a while to realise I’d be well enough to go, and then at the last minute, not being able to go. I prayed and prayed some more, I was struggling to cope with what was happening. Thankfully by Sunday my husband was feeling a bit better; the band had a fantastic weekend in Coventry – If you’re interested you can read reports of the weekend, and watch the meetings from our band Facebook page.

When unexpected things happen, we all react differently, and even that depends what has actually happened. After all not all unexpected events are bad ones!

So whenever you have to deal with something unexpected, pray and God will provide all you need.

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:

If I were to ask you if in your family you have any Christmas traditions you uphold each year, what would your answers be?

  • Spending a day Christmas shopping with your friends or family
  • Putting up the Christmas tree
  • Decorating the house
  • Giving gifts to family and friends
  • Spending quality time with family on Christmas Day
  • Eating turkey and generally  over-eating!
  • Attending a carol service

In our house, we have a tradition of starting our Christmas season by sitting down and watching one of our favourite Christmas films. For the last few years it’s been the same film watched, as it has become my husband’s favourite, and that is the film Elf!

I’m sure if we went round the room we’d find we all consider a lot of different films to be our favourites and that shouldn’t surprise us as there are hundreds to choose from with new films being release each year. Never mind all the classic Christmas films which I’m sure we’ve all watched a few times.

When I was considering about what I’d share with you tonight, I got thinking about what Christmas would have been like if that very first Christmas never happened. And this turned my thoughts to my Mum’s favourite Christmas film, the classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.

James Stewart plays George Bailey who along with his uncle, has inherited the Bailey Brothers’ Building and Loan, saving it from takeover by the banker. He builds affordable housing for local residents, again annoying his local business rival. Then a few years later on Christmas Eve, George’s uncle misplaces the $8000 that was due to be paid to the bank for the building and loan, meaning George knows he will probably go to jail. So on that snowy night he heads out in desperation, uncertain what to do, and gets drunk and into a fight. Wishing he had never been born, he  comes to a bridge and considers committing suicide.

But then, instead of committing suicide he finds himself ‘rescuing’ Clarence Oddbody from the water. We discover Clarence is an angel, and so when George tells him he wishes he’d never been born, Clarence grants his wish to see what the world would have looked like if he never been born.

Through the rest of the film we discover that George’s life has had a significant impact on his family, friends and community, and had he never been born, other people’s lives would have been worse.

So what would life be like if Jesus had never been born? What if the first Christmas never happened? No baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger; No shepherds being told by an angel that Christ had been born; No wise men following a star to a stable to give their gifts to baby Jesus.

I found this quote from Frederick Buechner which describes the impact the birth of Jesus has had on this world:

It is impossible to conceive how different things would have turned out if that birth had not happened whenever, wherever, however it did … for millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. It is a truth that, for twenty centuries, there have been untold numbers of men and women who, in untold numbers of ways, have been so grasped by the child who was born, so caught up in the message he taught and the life he lived, that they have found themselves profoundly changed by their relationship with him.

Have you considered the impact Jesus has had on your life? Would your life have been different is Jesus had not been born?

John 1:1-2 (Living Bible)

Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.

At this time of year it can be so easy to get caught up in our Christmas traditions, and forget why we actually celebrate Christmas. But we need to remember who Christmas is about:

Who is he in yonder stall at whose feet the shepherds fall?

I pray that this year as you celebrate Christmas, you not only continue your Christmas traditions, but you remember the impact Jesus has had on your life, as you celebrate the birth of Jesus:

‘Tis the Lord, O wondrous story!

‘Tis the Lord, the King of glory;

at his feet, we humbly fall,

crown him, crown him Lord of all!

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!