It hardly seems possible, after all the preparation, that Christmas 2007 is now history, New Year 2008 has come and gone and everything is back to the normal routine. Or is it?
Fireworks have again been a means of celebration in cities around the world but what happens when the show is over? How are you approaching the challenges of 2008? The American nation must choose a new President this year, on the first Tuesday in November. How important is that? What effect will it have on world peace and security or on the welfare of the poor and homeless? What about the ‘man in the street’? Will this year be a better one, generally speaking, for him? Who knows?
For our part we shall, no doubt, be revisiting the our corps ‘vision‘ for 2007 and asking ourselves what progress we have made. We invite you to click here to listen to Major Drew McCombe’s address given on the morning of Vision Sunday back in January. This website has covered many events and activities since then but have they made our corps more relevant to the town we represent? We would welcome any comments on this subject because regular assessment is important. If you are a regular reader let us know your impressions. If not, check us out. Or can you even tell? Soon we shall be renewing our vision for 2008 and we would value your comments.
For the first Sunday of the year our meetings were led by Majors Drew and Beverley.
Not surprisingly our themes for the day centered around subjects in keeping with the thought of renewal, ‘Fit for Life’ in the morning and ‘Behold I make all things new’ in the evening.
Our morning meeting contained songs 7, 525 and 274 from The Salvation Army song book together with 73 and 242 from Songs of Fellowship. The Singing Company contributed ‘Lord You are more Precious than Silver’ and the Songsters ‘One Life to Live’. The subject of physical fitness and ‘Brain Training’ was introduced for the children (Oh dear!). KAOS Leader Tracy Wood led the congregation in two songs often used in the Sunday School which needed a degree of physical dexterity and this was followed by Beverley testing the alertness of those present in interpreting pictures on the screen.
Moving on to the theme of spiritual fitness Major Beverley based the bible message on 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and spoke about some training techniques we might use to maintain and improve our spiritual fitness. ‘Train yourself in Godliness’ was her directive and she outlined a short training programme.
1 Study the manual- really read scripture. There are a number of methods we might use to help us with this and the Discipleship Purpose Group has aids for our use. Being involved with corps activities also helps.
2 Listen to the coach – listen to the Holy Spirit, receive the guidance and follow the leadings.
3 Improve your serve – find a way to be a servant to at least one person this week. See this as a challenge to grow in service.
4 Play under control – slow down and this will help you grow in God. Don’t try to do more. Do what you do better. Give youraelf a chance to hear God when He speaks to you.
5 Celebrate – God invites us to rejoice in every moment of life. Excercise your ability to see goodness in everything.
Check out Paul’s comments on training in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
In the evening the meeting began with scripture from Isaiah 43:16-21 and continued with songs 19, 44 and 283 from the SA song book also using 1607, 197 and 895 from Songs of Fellowship. Major Drew especially emphasised the 2nd verse of our opening song which said ‘Praise to the Lord who doth prosper thy work and defend thee’.
The contribution of the Band was ‘Bless Me’ and the Songsters ‘God and God Alone’. Using Luke 5:33-39 as the basis for his message Major Drew said many of the rebels of today will be the heroes of tomorrow. As a corps, are we open to the new things God wants to do with and through us? In his day Jesus did things differently and was challenged for it. There was something about being with Jesus that brought joy. His presence meant that his disciples didn’t need to fast. Jesus was bringing something radically new to the people of his time, not patching up old issues. Today we want the ‘new wine’ and the fulness of life that brings. Jesus wants to change everything, new wine and ‘new wineskins’. Old traditions must not squash our development. Are we ready to leave behind the things which prevent our future development? Are we ready to be open to his leading, as individuals and as a corps? Drew then introduced this familiar chorus which was used in a period of dedication.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me
Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Finally we wold like to remind local members that our regular schedule of activities restarts this week (although the Wednesday Bible Study and Mummy & Me have already recommenced). See our activity schedule for details. You may link from there to find more information about our various activity groups. We look forward to you visiting this site regularly during 2008 and would warmly welcome you to our fellowship if you are in our area and desire to pay us a visit.
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL