Our Morning meeting this Sunday was led by Major Ian and it was titled
‘Who are you following and where are you going?
Following the Announcements by Paul Scoulding Major Ian shared some slides , The first one showing a puzzle , which we were asked to navigate A-B , the second picture was a map of the town , and we were asked how to get from the Hall to a Restaurant on the other side of Chatham , obviously you can go many different ways , next the idea of following a Satnav was introduced ( do you always follow the instructions ?) . Major Ian made the point that we make choices of who or what we follow, and we know some people make wrong choices in their lives . In Chatham you can see people following a path of drug taking/ dealing. It is known that people trafficking happens in our town , where choices have been made of who to follow .
Jesus said “Follow Me ”
This morning we were a bit thin on the ground, with folk away on Half term Holidays etc , all the musical sections were reduced in number and the Band supported Our first song of the morning which was was
Song 393 Tell out my soul
Tune 469 Woodlands
followed by a very prayerful singing of
Song 345 To Be in your presence
Tune 764 My desire supported by Emma Davis on the Piano
The Singing Company message of the morning was ” Change & Grow ” , and the small group sang very well ( Well done Harrod & Wilkinson families )
The Bible Reading was from Luke 5:1-11
(Major Ian told us that at Capernaum their is a Church dedicated to the Ladies of the Bible , its main wind overlooks the sea of Galilee . The Alter is in the shape of a boat , so when someone is preaching the view is that of a boat on the sea . )
The Songsters message this morning was the powerful song ” It Must be Love ”
Message from the Word – Major Ian F Payne
‘Who are you following & where are you going?
Major Ian’s Message was that we have choices as to who we follow, and at the Officers Councils last week it was a question TC Anthony Cotterill posed ” Do you work for God or are you with God ”
Jesus said come follow me ( Matthew 4:18-22 ) . he gave no job description to the disciples other than follow. As Humans we might begin to follow our own path , get distracted perhaps & make mistakes . The disciple’s followed Jesus and saw the healings and the preaching and today God still asks the same of us ” Follow him” Major Ian quoted John 14:12 . 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. We can play our part in creating ” Greater things ”
The Salvation Army was raised up to do and be in our community, and we have a raft of ongoing community activities that supports this work
The meeting closed with the singing of our final two songs
Song 378 Lord I come before your throne of grace
Tune 923 What a faithful God
Song 682 Thou hast called me from the byway
Tune 373 Meet me at the Fountain
Thank you to all who made worship possible this morning – special mention to Emma Davis who played Piano & led the Singing Company & Songsters ( two her own previously recorded backing tracks) .
Report by Jean Jones
‘On the Sofa’ yesterday was Billie-Jo O’Leary from the charity ‘Home for Good’. She was interviewed by Major Ian and she chose the songs we sang in-between the conversations starting with ‘In Christ Alone’. Billie-Jo said she chose this because it reminded us of how Christ gave His all for many.
Billie-Jo was born in Chatham and lived in the Dock Road area going to Upbury Manor Secondary School. She had a difficult childhood in that she was coerced into taking drugs, initially just being asked to deliver an envelope to a house for 50p when she was 8 years old. This was how life was at the time. Sadly, this type of behaviour is still going on to-day with young people being exploited in so many ways without choosing to be.
We listened to ‘The Alabaster Jar’ sung on video which Billie-Jo said was a reminder of the woman who washed Jesus feet with her hair when it was all she had. Billie-Jo had nothing left when she became a Christian – only tears.
In prison she felt that trouble would be a part of her life for ever until she changed and so she took advantage of the help given by the prison service in Colchester where she was away from local gangs. She came off drugs and was clean for the first time. It was with dismay that she found that the Young Offenders probation scheme at the time meant she had to go to her nearest relative for 12 hours lock down which was at her mother’s house – back in the area she had left. It was amazing that at this time her father who had been absent all through her life searched her out and welcomed her to the Isle of Wight to finish her probation.
We sang the Matt Redman song ’10,000 reasons’ before Billie-Jo’s story continued.
She met her husband, Dominic, and they fell in love without him knowing all her story. As a family they moved back to Dominic’s family home in Welling. Gradually her story came out and is still ongoing. Her 5 yr old daughter Charlotte attended church each week, as did Dominic. Billie-Jo became angry when she realised that Charlotte trusted Jesus and was determined to prove her wrong. She joined an Alpha course where she was able to ask questions. She was washed with the Holy Spirit on the Holy Spirit day. She studied theology for 4 years as she felt she had missed out for 28 years. In 2009 she nearly died after a tooth extraction when she developed serious infection, sepsis, and landed in the ICU. During this time, five days when she was so seriously ill the Holy Spirit ministered to her and changed her life completely. Contrary to the doctors belief, she came through and was discharged after ten days.
We sang ‘Amazing Grace’. Billie-Jo said ‘God knows us so well’. She felt called into ministry and spent 18 months searching. Not an easy thing to do to wait for Jesus to lead but after fruitless job applications she applied and was interviewed for ‘Home for Good’ as a last resort. It turned out to be the one. The charity is one which searches for ‘Homes for Good’ for children to be fostered and adopted. Her special mission is to encourage churches to be family and look after people who are fostering children or have adopted children.
Billie-Jo said that the special verse she had for us was to ‘Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin and the devil’.
After prayers for Billie-Jo and her family we sang ‘Befriended’.
Here are a few of the photographs