Posts Tagged ‘John Gowans’

As I lay in bed the other night a John Gowans and John Larsson chorus which I don’t think I have heard for a while, came into my mind:

We’re all seeking the same Saviour,
We’re all seeking the self-same Lord.
We’re all claiming the same cleansing,
We’re all finding our peace restored.

I’m sure we’ve all come across churches where it can seem as if everyone pulling in different directions with different aims and objectives. When that happens, those within the church are definitely not serving the same God. I will go further than that and say that if they are not seeking and serving the same God, are they even serving God at all?

We’re only human, so disagreements are natural, but when they happen in our church we really should know better shouldn’t we?

So I leave you with this, is everyone in your church seeking the same Saviour and serving the self-same Lord? If the answer to that is ‘No’, it’s time to put past disagreements and difference behind you, dismantle those cliques and let your church become an inclusive place where everyone and anyone can come and feel welcome and without fear of judgement or exclusion. Because if we’re all serving the self-same Lord, isn’t that what He would expect of us?

Following on from yesterday’s blog post where I talked about how I’m beginning to dislike lying in bed trying to sleep, I have been reminded of the following song:

Out of my darkness God called me,
Out of the death of my night,
Out of the shadows of sorrow,
Into the life of his light.
 
Out of my darkness he called me,
Out of my doubt, my despair,
Out of the wastes of my winter,
Into the spring of his care.
 
Out of my darkness he called me
Into his sunshining day,
Out of my gloom to his glory;
What could I do but obey?
 
Out of your darkness he calls you,
Out of your doubt, your despair,
Out of the wastes of your winter,
Into the spring of his care.
by John Gowans

I pray regularly that God will give me the strength to get through these days, and although I may still be finding it difficult to not get upset because my Dad has passed away, I believe I would be finding this even more difficult if God wasn’t supporting me.

Therefore, I urge you to talk to God about all that concerns, worries or upsets you, as He, and He alone can truly give you the strength and the encouragement to face each day.

out-of-darkness

 

lonelinessHave you ever had a day when you feel lonely?

Have you ever had a day when you feel sad?

Have you ever had a day when all your close friends don’t seem to want to know?

I’m sure we’ve all had days when we could answer YES to all the above questions. But have you stopped to remember that even in days like these, you are not on your own because God is there for you, and He cares for you.

One of my favourite song from our Salvation Army songbook is the song Someone Cares (John Gowans), so please take a few moments to listen to the cornet solo of the same name played here by Yvonne Ferguson (Bellshill) and follow the words:

Do you sometimes feel that no one truly knows you,
And that no one understands or really cares?
Through his people, God himself is close beside you,
And through them he plans to answer all your prayers.
 
Someone cares, someone cares,
Someone knows your deepest need, your burden shares;
Someone cares, someone cares,
God himself will hear the whisper of your prayers.
 
Ours is not a distant God, remote, unfeeling,
Who is careless of our loneliness and pain,
Through the ministry of men he gives his healing,
In their dedicated hands brings hope again.
 
Someone cares, someone cares,
Someone knows your deepest need, your burden shares;
Someone cares, someone cares,
God himself will hear the whisper of your prayers.

Beautiful words, meaningful words, and words I can completely relate to, as I know someone does care about me.

Do you believe someone cares about you?

Hold onto the words of the above song as God does care about you and me.

Today I want to continue looking at how, as Christians, we should live our lives, using words from the bible for guidance.

The text I want to use today is from 1 Thessalonians 5:13-15 (The Message):

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

In the same way as I talking about how we must be supportive and encouraging towards our leaders/managers in yesterday’s blog post (Support Them, Always!), the same applies to our relationships with one another. i.e. We must try to always be loving and supportive of others.

God doesn’t expect us all to become the best of friends, but He does expect us to respect one another and support each other. Just because we don’t necessarily agree with someone’s viewpoint or perspective, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them and respect them. After all none of us are perfect, we all have our faults, we all have our good points and our bad points, but God love each one of us in spite of them!

If God can love each of us despite our faults, surely we must try our hardest to encourage one another, despite our religious, economic, political, environmental or physical differences. So reach out and help those around you, they need you, they need God.

In summary The Way He Wants You To Live #2 – get on with everyone you meet, support and encourage them at all times.

 
They Need Christ (John Gowans)
 
There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
 
There are people living who would rather die…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
And their Christian neighbours simply pass them by…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
There are people sitting by a silent phone,
People cold and hungry, people left alone,
Suicides for reasons that remain unknown:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
 
There’s the prostitute and there’s the prisoner too…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There’s the ‘skid row’ fella who has lost a shoe…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
The compulsive gambler dreaming of his yacht,
And the lad that’s stealing just to get his ‘shot’,
And the kid that’s pregnant and pretends she’s not:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
 
There are runaways who want a place to go…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are alcoholics who don’t seem to know…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are God-less people who have lost their way,
And they need God’s love but they’re afraid to say.
If we close our eyes perhaps they’ll go away
Without you, without me, without Christ;
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

How many of you have been watching The Scheme on BBC1? It’s a documentary about the high and lows of life for a number of people who live in a large housing estate in Kilmarnock (near Glasgow).

I’d heard a number of people talking about this series…not always in the best light, so I thought I should check it out for myself. So on Monday night I watched the final episode in the series…and boy did it pull at my heartstrings. The reminder that there are so many people so close to home living below the poverty line, feeling as though they have no hope for tomorrow, really troubled me.

I’m sorry to say I’ve heard a number of people say this programme should not have been shown as “it’s a disgrace and shows Scotland in a bad light. All I have to say to that is Yes and Yes…It is a disgrace and it does show Scotland in a bad light, but unfortunately that’s how things really are. Surely that shouldn’t mean the programme should not be broadcast?

We should be embarrassed by this programme, not because of our nationality but because we are supposedly living in a developed nation, one that has enough money to look after its own people but yet we still have people living in atrocious  and chaotic circumstances. There really is something wrong with that!

Kilmarnock isn’t the only place in Britain where people find themselves living a life where they have no prospects of a job, and no hope for their future other than unemployment, drug abuse, alcoholism and prison. Funny how we don’t mind watching these programmes about people living in these circumstances when they live hundreds or thousands of miles away from us. However when it’s people in our own country, living just a few miles from us, it’s all just too close to home for many of us!

Maybe it’s just that we all live in our own wee comfortable world most of the time. One where it’s easy to forget that right on our own doorstep there are many needy people.

People who need us, people who need hope, people who need God!

When giving to charity, I’d ask that you consider donating some of your time and/or money to charities/organisations in your own area that give help to those in need.

They Need Christ (John Gowans)
There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

There are people living who would rather die…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
And their Christian neighbours simply pass them by…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
There are people sitting by a silent phone,
People cold and hungry, people left alone,
Suicides for reasons that remain unknown:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

There’s the prostitute and there’s the prisoner too…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There’s the ‘skid row’ fella who has lost a shoe…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
The compulsive gambler dreaming of his yacht,
And the lad that’s stealing just to get his ‘shot’,
And the kid that’s pregnant and pretends she’s not:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

There are runaways who want a place to go…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are alcoholics who don’t seem to know…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are God-less people who have lost their way,
And they need God’s love but they’re afraid to say.
If we close our eyes perhaps they’ll go away
Without you, without me, without Christ;

They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

Have you ever stopped to think just how much God loves you?

No, well maybe you should because…

Nothing on this earth or in the heavens above
Is as sure and certain as God’s love
 
But how can God’s love be “sure and certain”?
 
Because God’s love is…
 
…as high as the sky and it’s as deep as the sea,
And it’s as wide as the world,
God’s love for you and for me.
 
Is it possible to ever get away, or escape from God’s love?
 
No, it’s not because…
 
We can’t escape from his love or take ourselves out of his care,
So where could we hide from his love? His love is everywhere.

 

The answers I’ve given above to my questions are extracts from a song entitles As High As The Sky which was written by John Gowans. Why have I simply asked some questions and answered them using this song? Why not when the words of the song answer the questions far more succinctly than I ever could.

Here are the other two verses of this song:

Everything is changing in the world today,
There’s one thing reliable in every way,
Other things may alter but it’s clear and plain
That the love of God is just the same.
 
Wider than the human mind can realise,
His love is unlimited and never dies;
Though we don’t deserve it, every day it’s new;
That’s the love of God for me and you.
Kneeling in penitence I make my prayer,
Owning my weaknesses and my despair;
Failure I cannot hide,
Broken my selfish pride,
Pardon thou dost provide,
Pardon declare.
 
Nothing can I achieve, nothing attain;
He that without thee builds, labours in vain;
Shatter my own design,
Shaping a plan divine,
Come to this heart of mine,
Saviour, again.
 
Though few the gifts I have that thou canst use,
Make they demands on me; I’ll not refuse;
Take all there is of me,
Take what I hope to be;
Thy way at last I see,
Thy way I choose.
by John Gowans

When we admit to God that we need Him in our lives, we must come before Him in prayer, giving our life to Him.

He will forgive you of all your sins, and help you to be the kind of person He needs and wants you to be.

It can sometimes feel like we have nothing to give God in return for His love, but God knows what gifts each of us have – We may not all be called to be preachers, singers or great missionaries but God still has a need for us.

Give your life to God today and let Him use your gifts to spread His message of love to the world.

Matthew 11:28 (New International Version)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”