Posts Tagged ‘international staff band’

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…

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.

Some things are easy to say, but difficult to put into practice. For me, the statement in this picture are some of those.

There is one part of this statement that I find far more difficult than the rest – can you guess which part that is?

I suspect you’ll not be surprised when I tell you, “A heart that forgives the worst” is what I find the most difficult. I’m human, have many flaws, and yes, when someone really hurts me or those I love, it can be very difficult to forgive them. However I believe forgiving them is what I must do, and so I do try to forgive, though if I’m honest, I do still struggle with this at times.

I pray that we may each be able to say the above prayer sincerely, knowing that God will help us to achieve the goals stated in this prayer.

In the last couple of days I’ve been talking about how we need to shine our light in this dark world. In order for a light to shine, it needs to get its power or energy from somewhere, so where do we get our energy from to shine our light?

The answer can be found in John 8:12:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

To make sure we have the power/energy to shine our light we must trust God. When we follow Him, he will give us the strength and guidance to shine our light.

Make sure you have the power to shine your light, so trust God and in return He will give you the light of life.

Here’s one of my favourite Salvation Army band pieces called The Light of the World (Dean Goffin). It features the hymn tune Aurelia which in this piece of music we associate with the following words:

O Jesus, Thou art standing, outside the fast closed door,
In lowly patience waiting to pass the threshold o’er:
Shame on us, Christian brothers, His Name and sign who bear,
O shame, thrice shame upon us, to keep Him standing there!

O Jesus, Thou art knocking; and lo, that hand is scarred,
And thorns Thy brow encircle, and tears Thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge, so patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal, so fast to bar the gate!

O Jesus, Thou art pleading in accents meek and low,
“I died for you, My children, and will you treat Me so?”
O Lord, with shame and sorrow we open now the door;
Dear Saviour, enter, enter, and leave us nevermore.

Images of celebrities and models on TV and social media, seem to be adding to the increasing number of youngsters who seem to think they have to look perfect to be accepted by their friends and family.

I find that so very sad and very worrying – We all look just as God made us, perfect in His eyes. If people can’t accept us for who we are and how we look, that is their lose.

Our imperfections make us who we are. Just as we are is how God loves us – Those we call friends will also accept us just as we are, imperfect.

I’ve never been a morning person, and I know I never will be. However I know that during the summer months, when it gets light outside long before I have to get up for work, I find it a little bit easier to get out of bed in the morning.

Funny isn’t it how when there’s light around us, it can make facing a new day, that little bit easier.

Just as seeing physical light can brighten our day, so can having the light of the world, Jesus, in our life. So don’t stay in the darkness, seek the light, the light of the world, Jesus!

Above all else, guard your heart for it affects everything else you do ~ Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

A guard is a person who protects someone or something from danger or harm, so ensure you keep your heart full of God’s love, because if you look after your heart, God will protect you.

I don’t know about you, but there is one thing that often stirs my emotions and brings my deepest feelings to the fore, and that is music.

No matter how I’m feeling, no matter what kind of day or week I’m having, I can start listening to a piece of music and find my emotions get the better of me. Why is that? Well it can be for a number of reasons for me, but here are a few reasons why specific music gets me emotional these days:

  • music that reminds me of special times in my Christian life
  • music that reminds me of special people
  • music that reminds me that no matter what life throws me, God is with me

One such song these days that gets to me is the lovely song You Know That We Love You. I’ve not been helped in my efforts to control my emotions with this song recently, as our band has been practicing Fire In The Blood which features the melody of this song in it.

Lord you know that we love you
You know our thoughts and intentions
Know the depth of devotion
Found in our lives today
If our love has weakened
If our fervour has waned,
Turn us Lord by your spirit
Let us loved with love unfeigned.

Lord you know that we love you
Help that love to be true
Fill our lives with your Spirit’s power
Lord of love make us strong
We who to Christ belong.

Lord you know that we fail you
Our sins how sorely they grieve you
Many times have we fallen
Lord life us up again
May we walk to be worthy
Of the call that is ours
May your will and your purpose
Claim our undivided powers.

Lord you know that we love you
Help that love to be true
Fill our lives with your Spirit’s power
Lord of love make us strong
We who to Christ belong.

Music is amazing, how it brings out different emotions in us depending on how we are feeling. I hope the following piece of music which features the melody of the above song in the middle part, touches your heart, just as it does mine, here is Fire In The Blood performed by the ISB:

20 days old baby sleeping in a christmas nativity cribWhat do you think of when you think of a new born baby? Peace and quiet, crying, sleepless nights, responsibilities, worry?

Probably all of those things apply don’t they. Mind you I guess Mary probably felt more scared and worried about her responsibilities as the mother of Jesus simply because he was God’s Son. That said, Mary accepted those responsibilities knowing that God would give her the strength and guidance she and Joseph needed to ensure the baby Jesus was looked after as God desired.

Will you accept all responsibilities God asks of you, no matter how unprepared you feel for the task?

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let God be your guide and support in all circumstances, happy or sad, because He loved you so much that He sent His Son to earth to save us, forever.

The following music is called The New-Born Babe and it’s performed here by the International Staff Band of the Salvation Army. It’s based around a 16th century chorale which J.S.Bach used in his Cantata No.122, ‘Das neugeborne Kinderlein’. In the notes for this arrangement, Bruce Broughton includes a translation by R. Rutledge of the words associated with this music:

There comes the true jubilee, what are we eternally lamenting? Look alive! It is a time for singing, for the Christ-child exorcises all sorrow.

 

 

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See that I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up! (Isaiah 43:18-19)

During our life, things happen which deeply affect us: achievements and attainments, hurts and disappointments, births, deaths or marriages. Whether it’s positive or negative experiences, it’s how we cope with these experiences that mould our lives and the make us who we ultimately become.

God tells us to move on from our past experiences and let Him show us the way forward, our future. That doesn’t mean we forget our past, because it will always be part of who we are, it just means we learn from those experiences and let God help us to use them to make us more like Him.

Here’s the International Staff Band of the Salvation Army with Just Like Him (Terry Camsey):