Readers of Salvationist will remember the recent call to prayer for justice made by General Shaw Clifton. Click here to visit a website, run by the Salvation Army Centre for Spiritual Life Development, which will help focus on prayer for the whole year.
Majors Drew and Beverley were again our leaders for the meetings yesterday. In the morning Major Beverley centred the meeting around ‘Worship as Living Sacrifices’ and chose songs 516 and 334 from the Salvation Army Song Book together with 894, 40 and 1404 from Songs of Fellowship. Choruses ‘Its no longer I that liveth’ and ‘All that I am’ also formed part of the sung worship. Scripture used was Psalm 100, 1 Corinthians 3:16 and Romans 12:1-8. The musical contributions from Singing Company and Songsters were ‘God is my refuge’ and ‘I will worship you’ respectively.
Junior Soldier awards were presented to Elsa, Chloe (Silver), Kayley, Fiona and Laura (Bronze)
Major Beverley congratulates the girls
Junior Soldier Sergeant Kate Boughton with (L to R) Laura, Kayley, Fiona, Elsa & Chloe
In her message Major Beverley said:
Over the next few weeks we are going to look again at our purposes. Today the subject is worship. Paul is, in chapter 12, beginning to apply what he has taught in the first 11 chapters of Romans. He begins with the phrase ‘I urge you’, which brings a sense of real importance and urgency. Worship is built on top of becoming Christ’s followers and is a reasonable response to becoming a Christian. God wants people’s lives to be dedicated to him and Paul says we need to give not only our hearts but our whole bodies. Real worship is the offering of every part of our lives to God. So, how do we approach life? Are we satisfied with Christ? Is he enough for us or does our own ego demand more? Are we living an un-worshipful way of life? Are our standards, goals, objectives, etc. born out of a response to God’s mercy or a desire for self worship? Everything that we do must be for the Lord, not for ourselves, and be an act of worship. True spirituality is not centered in one place but is part of what we are doing every day. This church is a place from which we send ourselves out to meet others but when we are here we focus and concentrate on God. We place our lives on the altar so that we may draw others to him. Yes, Jesus is enough!
In the evening Major Drew continued with the theme of Nehemiah begun last week. This week’s topic was ‘Preparation and Equipment’. Songs used were 679, 567, 771 and 892 from the Salvation Army Song Book and 935, 877 and 2034 from Songs of Fellowship. Drew began by considering what God has prepared for us (1 Corinthians 2;8-10 and a video presentation of Psalm 23). The following adapted version of Isaiah 43:1-4 was also included:
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;
4 You, yes You… are precious and honoured in my sight,
and I love you,
Prayers of blessing were offered and the musical input from Band and Songsters was ‘Saviour, like a shepherd’ and ‘If you would be strong’ respectively. Personal testimony was again a feature with a number talking about blessings they have received in their lives.
Using Nehemiah 2:1-10 as a basis for his message Drew said:
Do we prepare for the opportunities life affords us? If we want to make a difference in the world we must prepare because spectacular achievements come from un-spectacular preparation. Everyone needs quiet times in which to prepare for greater and more effective involvement. So, how do we need to prepare?
Firstly, get ready to wait. There is often a gap between realising a situation exists and being able to do anything about it. For example, William Booth could not get work in Nottingham following the completion of his apprenticeship but during that time he learned much to equip him for his later calling. When God gives you a dream he will give it time to grow in your mind.
Secondly, get ready for the open door of opportunity.This door will often open unexpectedly but we must be ready and prepared so that we can go forward with confidence at the right time.
Thirdly, get ready to spend time in prayer. Practise prayers for help, self-control, etc. in order to be able to act correctly. Then we can give credit to God for our accomplishments. Make everything a matter of prayer so that God can use you.
We heard yesterday of the Promotion to Glory of Doris Wilding on Saturday but have no details of arrangements at present.
We also welcomed to the corps Rex and Dorothy Boughton, parents of Chris, Andrew and Claire, who have come to live locally having moved from Canterbury. We trust that their time with us will be both enjoyable and fruitful.
And finally we have heard from Brisbane, Australia, that our former Corps Youth Secretary, Richard Proctor escaped the worst of the recent flooding in his residential area although the high water levels came as close as the end of his road. Richard himself has been busy helping neighbours to move furniture and other belongings to safe places. We know Richard would put his heart and soul into such a task and we ask God’s blessing on him and Bev as they seek to minister to those around them.