Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

How can anyone still question whether God loves them, once they know what happened that first Easter?

I’m not naïve enough to think that by writing this blog post, everyone will suddenly understand what Easter is all about and suddenly believe in God. However I hope that through my blog posts over this Easter period, I have at least got some of you reconsidering God’s existence, and His love for us.

As if the way the solders mocked his name
Was something I deserved
As if the crown of thorns upon his head
Was what my life was worth
As if he needed one more way to show
His mercy and his love
He said I am forgiven
As if the cross was not enough.

The cross was ore than enough to convince me of God’s love for me. I hope the cross is more than enough to help you decide to follow God too.

As If the Cross Was Not Enough

If you could see me as I am
My flaws and imperfections
All the lessons I have learned
Through lifes unanswered questions
And in spite of all of this
Jesus knows the way I feel
And he gave his life to say
He loves me still.

As if the way the solders mocked his name
Was something I deserved
As if the crown of thorns upon his head
Was what my life was worth
As if he needed one more way to show
His mercy and his love
He said I am forgiven
As if the cross was not enough.

There’s no way I could have earned
The grace that he has shown me
Then with every step I take
His miracles surround me
When just measure of his love
Would have covered every need
Even when he chose to go
To Calvary.

As if the way the solders mocked his name
Was something I deserved
As if the crown of thorns upon his head
Was what my life was worth
As if he needed one more way to show
His mercy and his love
He said I am forgiven
As if the cross was not enough.

I don’t have to see the empty grave
To know that I am free
For the blood that stained Golgotha’s hill
Has covered me.

I Am a Soldier
Author unknown
 
I am a soldier in the army of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, Prayer, and the Word are my weapons of Warfare.
I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity, and tested by fire.
 
I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.
 
I will either retire in this Army or die in this Army;
but, I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out.
I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable.
If my God needs me, I am there.
 
I am a soldier. I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up,
pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.
I am a soldier. No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.
 
I am a soldier. I am not a wimp.
I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders,
praising His name, and building His kingdom!
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me hand-outs.
I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.
I am committed. I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.
 
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.
When Jesus called me into this Army, I had nothing.
If I end up with nothing, I will still come out even. I will win.
My God will supply all my needs. I am more than a conqueror.
I will always triumph. I can do all things through Christ.
Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot disillusion me.
Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me.
Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot buy me.
Governments cannot silence me, and hell cannot handle me!
 
I am a soldier.
Even death cannot destroy me.
For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield,
He will promote me to a captain.
I am a soldier, in the Army, I’m marching, claiming victory.
I will not give up. I will not turn around. I am a soldier, marching Heaven bound.

There are four kinds of soldiers in God’s army:

  1. Active Duty: Serving the Lord faithfully, daily, and on duty 24-7-365.
  2. Reserve Status: Serving only when called upon, or twice a year: Christmas and Easter.
  3. Guard Status: Backing up the Active Duty group.
  4. AWOL – Absent With Out the Lord.

Which kind of soldier are you?

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On Friday (12 July 2013) the military funeral took place of 25-year-old Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was killed in Woolwich, south-east London, in May. I saw a little of they funeral on the tv as it was on the television in the hospital when I was sitting waiting to be taken for my appointment.

The events surrounding Lee Rigby’s murder I think touched many of us, as it seems he was murdered simply because he was a British soldier, serving his country in our armed forces.

After I finished at the hospital, as it was lunchtime I decided to go for a walk in a park I often walk through. In the centre of this park is a cenotaph commemorating our fallen soldiers from all the various wars. Having walked passé this cenotaph several times in the last week I was aware that at the foot of it were a number of poppy wreaths which had obviously been laid there last year on Remembrance Sunday.

On Friday however as I was walking round the park and neared the cenotaph I realised there was something different, there was a union flag and a small bouquet of flowers place at the foot of the cenotaph. A walk closer to the cenotaph I realised the flag and flowers with a lovely message had been placed there today in memory and support of Lee Rigby and his family, on this most difficult of days for them.

I must admit a wee tear came to my eye as I read the card that was attached to the flowers, it was such a lovely thing for someone who lives hundreds of miles away from where Lee lived and died, to do.

After a few moments of contemplation and prayer I continued on my walk round the park. My journey however was to take me back past the cenotaph and the memorial again a little later…

As I approached the cenotaph the second time a young boy of about 13 or 14 whizzed passed me on a scooter, he slowed as he passed the union flag and the flowers and then turned and stopped right in front of the flag and the flowers. By this time I was just a few metres away from the boy, and realised he was reading the card on the flowers and nodding. He took two or three stepped backwards away from the cenotaph, and as he turned towards in my direction to carry on his way he did a thumbs up in the direction of the cenotaph. He nodded again and smiled at me as he then whizzed off down the path on his journey.

I was very touched by this, as having already read the message that went with the flag and the flowers I realised he had obviously been as touched by them as I was. How many young lads of that age would be interested enough to stop and read something like this and show approval in the way this young lad had done.

I will probably never know who this young boy was, but what a credit to his parents. We say so much wrong in this world these days, that it was good to see some good on Friday, both from the person who left the tribute to Lee Rigby but also the boy who showed his support and approval to this memorial too.

RIP Lee Rigby

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Philippians 3:13 (New Living Translation):

I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past & looking forward to what lies ahead.

I know the above verse from Philippians go against everything I said in Wednesday’s blog post in Looking Forward or Back? as I said:

Looking forward isn’t just about the future, it’s also about the past!

However, not that I’m now trying to get out of it, but when I said the future was also about the past, I wasn’t meaning that we should continue to look backwards, I simply meant that in order to look forward we must use what has happened in the past to help us in the future.

The above bible verse, does back this up as it tells us to forget the past. i.e. don’t live in the past, resting on past successes or despairing over failures, move on with your life and live for what is to come.

No matter what lies ahead for us, God will be there with us, and will give us the energy and the guidance to continue to move forward.

The songs Onward Christian Soldiers and I’ll Go In The Strength of The King both feature in the following music Marching Onward 07 by Brass of Praise at The Royal Albert Hall:

When we take about wounds, I personally tend to think of soldiers and their battle scars. However soldiers are far from being the only people who have “battle-scars” – Yes, it’s true the majority of us have never fought in a war or conflict, however I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of battle-scars, maybe just a few of us with physical scars, but I’m sure we’ve all got loads of emotional scars.

Think about some of your own scars, I’m sure regardless of whether you are thinking about a physical or an emotional scar, they were very painful at the time you received them…and I’m sure some of them are still very raw and painful even now.

Imagine you had never received any of those scars, would your life still be the same today?

I’m sure that if I hadn’t experienced the physical and emotional scars I carry today, my life would be very different – I think if your honest, you’d agree with me on this one.

Every experience we go through, physical and emotional, makes us the person we are today. Every experience we go through builds or breaks our faith in God. I pray that your life experiences have brought you closer to God. If they haven’t, give God another chance, as He can make your every experience a God-filled one.

saved – rescued; especially from the power and consequences of sin; “a saved soul”

Do you believe God has saved you?

I do! I believe Jesus died on the cross all those years ago, so that my sins were forgiven.

As a Christian and a soldier in the Salvation Army, I believe I have been saved by God so that I can help spread His message to those who have not yet accepted Christ as their Saviour. Not only to I believe I can help spread God’s message through my soldiership in the Salvation Army, but I believe God can help me to witness for Him in all situations and circumstances I find myself in.

You do not need to be a soldier or member of the Salvation Army to be saved. And you definitely do not need to a soldier or member of the Salvation Army to save others. At the end of the day, where or how we worship God is not the important thing, what is important is that we are saved and as such we do our best to save others too.

God, you have saved us!

Yesterday (Sunday) I went to our Morning service at Bellshill Salvation Army, for the first time in about 10 months! Then after that I headed to Callander with our band to take part on two Song of Praise events there.

During our morning service we had one youngster enrolled as a Junior Soldier and another commissioned as a Senior Soldier, so it was a privilege to be present and share with them both on their special day. But why am I mentioning this, well because it got me thinking back to when I was enrolled as a Senior Soldier at age 18 at Rutherglen Salvation Army, and all that’s happened in my life since that day.

Yes there’s been some highs, but there has also been some very low times too; There’s been times when I’ve praised God and thanked Him for all He’s done for me, and there’s been times when I questioned whether God really existed, and whether He actually cared about me; There’s been times of joy and laughter and there’s also been times when my tears seemed never ending.

So there’s a brief overview of the years that have passed since I became a Senior Soldier, but where am I in my faith journey now? Well times are still tough for a number of reasons, but my faith is strong. I think all the tough times I’ve faced over the last number of years has resulted in my belief and my faith in God growing ever strong, because I know it is God who has brought me through those times, and whatever lies ahead for me He will lead me through it.

After our service this morning, the band headed to Callander to lead a Songs of Praise in the square at 3.30pm and then another in Callander Kirk at 5.30pm. It was a long and tiring day so it was no great surprise to me that I didn’t make it all the way through – I had to stop playing part way through the evening service as I got too sore, but even so I was glad I made the decision to go – Even today although I’m really suffering after the exertions of yesterday. I’m still happy to have made the effort to go with the band to Callander.

Thanks to all in the band for welcoming me back into the fellowship again after my absence from the corps, I do appreciate it, as we do have a special fellowship within our band. Thank you.

Thank you also to the newest junior and senior soldiers at Bellshill Salvation Army, for letting me share with you on your special day, and in turn reminding me of my journey through life to this current point.

I love the song Through It All which really sums up my Christian experience over these last few years in particular, so I hope you enjoy this version of the song performed here by The Three Sopranos

Through It All
Though the future seems uncertain
Though the fear erodes my peace
Though the circumstance seems hopeless
And the doubting will not cease
I will claim what He has promised
For my heart must recognise
Mine is not to question
But keep focused on the prize.
 
Through it all I choose to serve the saviour
Through it all I claim Christ as my friend
Through it all my faith will never waver
Till He calls me home or comes again
 
This path now set before me
Is not my route of choice
Yet I must keep moving forward
Listening to His still small voice
This step along this journey
He reminds me I’m His own
And through the cold dark loneliness
I’m aware I’m not alone
 
Through it all I choose to serve the saviour
Through it all I claim Christ as my friend
Through it all my faith will never waver
Till He calls me home or comes again

 

FYI – If you’re wondering how you can become a Senior Soldier (a member) of the Salvation Army, you can get information on this from your local Salvation Army, or from the Salvation Army website.

I was sent the following story in an email recently – I just had to share it with you:

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.
It was  going to be a long flight from Gatwick.
‘I’m glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short sleep,’ I thought.
 
Just before take-off, a line of British Army Youngsters 
 came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  
I decided to start a conversation.
‘Where are you blokes headed?’ I asked the young man seated nearest to me.
Cyprus . We’ll be there for two weeks
 for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan .  
 
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that lunches were available for five pounds.
It would be several hours before we reached Cyprus , and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time..
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his mate if he planned to buy lunch.
‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just an airline lunch. Probably  wouldn’t be worth five Quid. I’ll wait till we get to Cyprus .    
His mate agreed.
 
I looked around at the other soldiers.
None were buying lunch.
I walked to the back of the plane
 and handed the flight attendant a
fifty Pound note.
‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers..’
She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.
Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.
‘My young bloke was a soldier in Iraq, it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’
 
Picking up ten lunch boxes, she headed up the aisle to where the boys were seated.  
She stopped at my seat and asked, ‘Which do you like best – beef or chicken?’
‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked..
She turned and went to the front  of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.  
 This is your thanks.
 
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading  for the rest room.  
 An old bloke stopped me.  ‘I saw what you did. I want to be part of it.  Here, take this.’  
He handed me twenty-five pounds..
 
Soon after I returned to my  seat, I saw the Captain coming down the aisle, looking  at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he wasn’t looking  for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane.
When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, ‘I want to shake your hand.’
Quickly unfastening my seat-belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.
With a booming voice he said,  ‘I was an army pilot a long time back. Once someone bought me lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’ 
 
I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.
A kid who looked about 18 was sitting about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  
He left another twenty-five pounds in my palm.
 
When we landed I gathered my  belongings and started to depart.
Waiting just inside the aeroplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.
Another twenty-five Pounds!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip  up to their training area..  
 I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five pounds.
‘It will take you some time to reach your training area. It will be about time for a sandwich.  God Bless You Blokes.’
 
Ten young blokes left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow Brits.
As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their  safe return.
These soldiers were giving their all for our country.
I could only give them a couple of meals.
It seemed so little…
A British Serviceman is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank cheque made payable to ‘ United Kingdom ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’
That is Honour, and there are way too many people in this country who don’t understand it.’

Each year, The Royal British Legion establishes a Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, London and Cathays Park, Cardiff.

The Fields become a sea of Remembrance Crosses with scarlet poppies – a touching symbol of Remembrance and tribute to the memory of ex-Service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their country.

There have been many wars and conflicts over the years, some close to home, like the conflict in Northern Ireland, others thousands of miles away, like the current conflict in Afghanistan. Wherever the conflict and no matter whether it’s still going on or whether like the first and second world wars, it finished many years ago, we must never forget those who were killed fighting for our freedom.

Today, on the 11th day of the 11th month, I hope like me, you took the time at 11 minutes past the 11th hour, you stopped what you were doing and observed a 2 minute silence in memory of those who have lost their lives.


Please pray for these men and women today and for all they sacrificed.

Now I’d ask you to think of those still involved in conflicts…


Hero is a word that is bandied about too readily these days, devaluing and diminishing the actions of real heroes.

The brave young men and women in our Armed Forces, especially those who are serving on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, wake up every morning knowing that it could be their last. These are the people who are true heroes. When serving thousands of miles away from their home, it’s tough on our troops’ loved ones too.


Remember to pray for those still serving abroad, and the family and friends they’ve left at home. Please pray that God will keep them and their families safe…and let them come home soon!

Remembrance

Posted: November 8, 2009 in life
Tags: , , , ,

Today all around the world, many joined together to remember those you have been killed fighting for their country. I’d like to mark this day by sharing with you the contents of an email I received a few days ago, as I was so moved by it.

I’d ask you to read the following and pass it onto others…

The poppy Appeal commenced on 24th October. Please read this.

They are doing their bit…..please do yours by reading this and getting others to read it too:
The average British soldier is 19 years old…..he is a short haired, well built lad who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears and just old enough to buy a round of drinks but old enough to die for his country – and for you. He’s not particularly keen on hard work but he’d rather be grafting in Afghanistan than unemployed in the UK . He recently left comprehensive school where he was probably an average student, played some form of sport, drove a ten year old rust bucket, and knew a girl that either broke up with him when he left, or swore to be waiting when he returns home. He moves easily to rock and roll or hip-hop or to the rattle of a 7.62mm machine gun.
He is about a stone lighter than when he left home because he is working or fighting from dawn to dusk and well beyond. He has trouble spelling, so letter writing is a pain for him, but he can strip a rifle in 25 seconds and reassemble it in the dark. He can recite every detail of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either effectively if he has to. He digs trenches and latrines without the aid of machines and can apply first aid like a professional paramedic. He can march until he is told to stop, or stay dead still until he is told to move.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation but he is not without a rebellious spirit or a sense of personal dignity. He is confidently self-sufficient. He has two sets of uniform with him: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never forgets to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes and fix his own hurts. If you are thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food is your food. He’ll even share his life-saving ammunition with you in the heat of a firefight if you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and regards his weapon as an extension of his own hands. He can save your life or he can take it, because that is his job – it’s what a soldier does. He often works twice as long and hard as a civilian, draw half the pay and have nowhere to spend it, and can still find black ironic humour in it all. There’s an old saying in the British Army: ‘If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined!’

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and he is unashamed to show it or admit it. He feels every bugle note of the ‘Last Post’ or ‘Sunset’ vibrate through his body while standing rigidly to attention. He’s not afraid to ‘Bollock’ anyone who shows disrespect when the Regimental Colours are on display or the National Anthem is played; yet in an odd twist, he would defend anyone’s right to be an individual. Just as with generations of young people before him, he is paying the price for our freedom. Clean shaven and baby faced he may be, but be prepared to defend yourself if you treat him like a kid.

He is the latest in a long thin line of British Fighting Men that have kept this country free for hundreds of years. He asks for nothing from us except our respect, friendship and understanding. We may not like what he does, but sometimes he doesn’t like it either – he just has it to do.. Remember him always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have brave young women putting themselves in harm’s way, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation’s politicians call on us to do so.
Now you’ve read this, please stop for a moment and if you are so inclined, feel free to say a prayer for our troops in the trouble spots of the world.

Our troops need our prayers. Please pray for them.