Posts Tagged ‘choir’

Lord, thou art questioning: Lovest thou me?
Yea, Lord, thou knowest, my answer must be;
But since love’s value is proved by love’s test,
Jesus, I’ll give thee the dearest and best.

How couldst thou smile on me if, in my heart,
I were unwilling from treasures to part?
Since my redemption cost thee such a price,
Utmost surrender alone will suffice.

Down at thy feet all my fears I let go,
Back on my strength all my weakness I throw;
Lord, in my life thou shalt have thine own way,
Speak but the word, and thy child will obey.

All in my heart, Lord, thou canst read;
Master, thou knowest I love thee indeed.
Ask what thou wilt my devotion to test,
I will surrender the dearest and best.

These words have been going through my head a lot in the last few days. This song, and the music is very special to me as it was sung by our singing company (junior choir), on my request, the morning I was enrolled as a senior soldier in the Salvation Army, a number of years ago.

Since that day, I’ve had many ups and downs in life, and I’ve had times when I was ready to turn away from God because I thought He had turned away from me. God of course proved He was still there and that it was simply me who had turned from Him in my hour of need instead of turning to Him.

I’ve given my all to God, by kneeling before Him and giving my all, have you?

Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

reason for the seasonIf I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of LOVE will endure.

Author Unknown

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!

I came across a piece of paper in the shape of a number one, in my Salvation Army songbook earlier today. On that piece of paper were the following words:

I am only one,
But I am one:
I cannot do everything,
But I can do something.
What I can do,
I ought to do;
And what I ought to do,
By the grace of God, I will.

I have no recollection of who gave me that or even when I was given it, but those words struck a chord with me. Many times in our lives we can feel like everyone needs or wants a piece of us, and we have no time for ourselves, but would God really want us to do everything ourselves!?

God only ever wants and needs us to do His will. He will always ensure He does not give us more to do than we can cope with – it may not seem like that to us at the time, but God has assured us He will not let this happen.

So if you feel like life is getting on top of you and everyone needs you or wants you to do things doe them and you’ve no time for yourself, remember  God is with you and will not give you more to cope with than you can handle.

One Life To Live, a song I used to sing in our Singing Company (junior choir) at Rutherglen Salvation Army. A song which I used to thoroughly enjoy singing, not just because I loved the melody and the accompaniment but because the words truly meant something to me…and still do. Please listen to and enjoy this song, performed here by the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army:

One live to live
Oh may I live for thee
Give me your spirit
And I shall be free
Free from desire
My own way to pursue
Free to obey your will
My whole life through
I live within a whole full of confusion
Where happiness is nothing but illusion
Attractions that deceive
In what can I believe
I’m tossed about by every wind that blows
One live to live
Oh may I live for thee
Give me your spirit
And I shall be free
Free from desire
My own way to pursue
Free to obey your will
My whole life through
I live when I receive your holy spirit
A promise that you said I would inherit
You’ve planned it from the start
I give to you my heart
And now my spirit really can be free
One live to to live
Oh may I live for thee
Give me your spirit
And I shall be free
Free from desire
My own way to pursue
Free to obey your will
My whole life through

I think my love of music started at a very early age as both my Mum and Dad were always very musically minded.

My Dad is a big fan of jazz/big band music and as a keen musician has played in many bands over the years. He also spends a lot of time arranging/composing music for some of the bands/soloists he knows.

On the other hand, my Mum’s side of the family grew up attending the Salvation Army and as such were heavily involved in both the singing groups and the bands – My grandfather having been the leader of the first singing group (Songsters) at Rutherglen corps!

I remember when I was very young, climbing up on the piano stool beside my Dad while he “tried out” some of his arrangements/compositions – Apparently I was a “great help”!

As soon as I turned seven I started piano lessons and continued this for a number of years, going through the exams up to Grade 8. It wasn’t always easy but thankfully I stuck at it.

Although having been taken along to the Salvation Army at Rutherglen from a very early age, and giving my heart to Jesus at age seven, I never joined the junior band (Young People’s Band) until I was about 11 or 12 as my piano lessons were the same night as the learners class! Even when I did initially join it was to play percussion!!!

After a short while I was given a trombone, a short lesson on how to hold it, blow into it and the various slide positions for the notes and the rest is history as they say! That was my one and only trombone lesson (and yes I know that explains a lot!) – My Dad and one of my cousins both being trombone players, then became the source of the rest of my trombone training.

Between learning the piano and trombone, I also learned to play clarinet, although I did continue to play my clarinet for a number of years, I’m afraid it’s now been a while since I last played it.

After all this while I was still at Rutherglen Salvation Army, age 18, I became a uniform wearing Salvationist – during this time still in the Singing Company (junior choir) and  YP Band (junior band), but also joined the Songsters (senior choir) and Senior Band. Not long after becoming a Salvationist I became pianist for the Singing Company (junior choir), and then also for the Songsters (senior choir). A little later I took on the roll of Deputy Songster Leader and a little later again followed in my grandfather’s footsteps by taking on the roll of Songster Leader for about two and a half years. After a short break from the Songsters I took on roll of Songster pianist for the second time. I also following in my Dad’s footsteps, by composing several songs for the songsters and arranging music for several soloist.

In 2002 I transferred to Bellshill Salvation Army where I’m a member of the Senior Band.

So there you go, that’s my musical background! Having had a grounding in music from an early age, I’ve also found music to be a very important part of my life and especially my Christian life. I’ve found over the years in so many situations that a piece of music or a song can say more to me than anything another person can say. Music seems to be able to touch my heart and emotions to a greater extent than anything else, so I do treasure the times when I get to just sit and listen to music.

So what’s my favourite music?

That’s very hard to say, because I often find it depends greatly on how I feel at the time I’m asked! I love a very wide variety of music and style, however it may not surprise you when I list several Christian or Salvation Army songs/pieces of music as my favourites:

Lord I Come To You (The Power of Your Love)
The Light of the World
Just As I Am


I’ve used it before but here’s an video of Lord I come To You which I find inspiring and emotional from the start of the video:

…and for me that means band practice night. No I’m not in a rock band, I am in fact a member of the Bellshill Salvation Army Band, where I play trombone. So today I thought I’d tell you a wee bit more about me and the Salvation Army.

My Mum’s side of the family has always been in the Salvation Army so I was taken along to the services at Rutherglen, from a very early age. When I was 7 I gave my heart to Jesus. I joined the Singing Company (which is the junior choir), and about 5/6 years later I joined the Young People’s Band (the junior band) playing percussion for a few months before moving onto trombone.

When I was 18, after a number of years of doubt and soul searching, I decided that I wanted to continue serving God through the Salvation Army, so became what we call “soldier” – I wear Salvation Army uniform. From then I sang in our Songster Brigade (senior choir) and played in the Band.

I continued to attend the Salvation Army in Rutherglen until 2002. Since then I have been attending Salvation Army in Bellshill where I play in the band and also look after the band’s website (

I have been very priviliged to travel with the band to a number of place in Scotland, England and further afield. Our Easter Tour in 2003 to the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium was a particular high for all of us in the band. You can read more about all the places we’ve visited in the band’s website.

The band has recorded 4 CDs, the last of which we just recorded a few weeks ago and has not yet been released. It was really hard work recording the CDs but I’m sure those who have listened to them will tell you our hard work has been well worth it! Again if you want more details please visit the band’s website.

So there you go, that’s a very brief history of my time in the Salvation Army. If you want to know more, I have two testimonies listed on the band’s website, plus if you keep reading the blog I may tell you more about me in the coming weeks. 🙂

Today I’ve been thanking God for the allowing me the opportunity to play in the band again – for several years I was unable to play much due to some health issues. Music has always been a big part of my life and so I find it a great way of expressing my faith and praising God’s name.

I’d ask that today you say thank you to God for the wonderful music that He has inspired many to write, and for those use their musical talents to share God’s message by singing/playing the music.