Thursday, 31 January 2008

And finally.........

And finally from A Paget Wilkes:

What I give God takes.
What he takes he cleanses
What he cleanses he fills
What he fills he seals.
What he seals he uses

God bless


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Suffering with Christ.

I'm still reading A Paget Wilkes on Sanctification. I found his perspective on sharing the suffering of Christ really helpful and identify with it at present.

"You remember that Paul prayed that he might know the fellowship of Christ's suffering. I do not think that this refers to the past sufferings of Christ; it certainly does not mean emotional sentiment about the suffering of Christ on the Cross; he is certainly thinking of his present sufferings, his bitter disappointment as he looks on a poor, lukewarm, languishing church. O what disappointment and sorrow and suffering the Lord Jesus has over his people! O may we know something of that too in fellowship with him, that is the suffering I desire to enter into."

God bless


Monday, 21 January 2008

Make me usuable

My aunt is moving house and kindly allowed me to take whatever books from her shelf as she no longer has any room for so many. I picked a little book by A, Paget Wilkes on Sanctification.

Here is a little snippet.

He quotes Brengle, "As Brengle says, "Don't pray Lord use, but make me usable." and goes on to say, " Oh how we have longed for that inward purity that absence of jealousy, pride and every evil work. Till we are free we are not meet for his use. That is the reason why we need a clean heart. God can then take us up as he pleases. He can put us down as he pleases for he knows we shan't grumble or murmur but will still praise him because we are satisfied with the Lord Jesus himself rather than with our service for him."

God bless


Thursday, 17 January 2008

Daily Bread

I am continuing with reading the Bible in One Year. Yesterdays reading from Proverbs was the passage that jumped out.

It's great advice, particularly for leaders.

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding and if you look for silver and search for it as hidden treasure then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:1-5

The phrase, "if you call out for insight" is an instruction for me today as I seek to support and counsel people in my pastoral care. I owe it to them not to rely on my own experience but to get God's take on stuff. And "cry aloud for understanding" is helpful as I am trying to make sense of something that is happening to friends of mine.

v 10 and 11 give a conditional promise that I am claiming for today
"For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discrection will protect you and understanding will guard you."

God bless


Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Committment Sunday

We had a good day on Sunday with many of our congregation coming forward to the mercy seat to sign their committment cards. It felt like the presence of the Lord was hovering over us all day. Thank you Lord.

We liked the theme of joyful in hope that the Army suggested as sometime ago we really felt that the Lord was saying that just as he gave Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, whose name means Laughter, so he wanted to give the gift of laughter to Pill Corps. This was so that our joy might be infectious in our community and to help us to"spread out to the right and to the left"(Is 54:3)
as he has instructed us.

This is not to deny that there are those among us who are having a tough time because at the same time the Lord is teaching us to be real and not to pretend with one another. Somehow with God's help we are finding, as Alan preached on Sunday to share Paul's testimony, "We are sorrowful yet always rejoicing, poor yet making many rich, having nothing and yet possessing everything. "
(2 Cor 1o:10)

God bless


Tuesday, 8 January 2008

In pursuit

Genesis 14:14 stood out for me yesterday in my daily Bible reading. "When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men in his household and went in pursuit."

It seems to me that there could be a little more of this going in pursuit when Christian brothers and sisters are taken captive by the enemy. We too easily let people go thinking that there is nothing we can do.

James 5:19 "My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented and epidemic of wandering away from God." (The Message.)

God bless


Monday, 7 January 2008


In my daily readings I am using a Bible plan which aims to help you read the whole Bible in one year. So for the past few days the readings have included, Noah getting drunk and lying naked outside his tent and long lists of hard to pronounce names. I am tempted to skip bits but have to take note of my own teaching on Sunday, that all Scripture is inspired by God. However at the moment I haven't been that inspired by Genesis 11:10-26 Oh well.

Yet I did think of this. After each bit of information in these verses about this or that descendent of Noah it says, "and had other sons and daughters" I wonder who these people were who didn't merit getting their name on the list. I suppose they are the same kind of nameless people whom we hear about on the news, "30 people were killed by a suicide bomber, or thousands have been displaced in Kenya following violent clashes...........................................Other sons and daughters, who we cannot know but who are thankfully known to God.

Or perhaps they are those "other sons and daughters" who just live their lives quietly who don't have the reward of great success or great renown. Perhaps the faithful saints whose names don't make the history books but one day we will see them mentioned in the Lambs book of life.
There are also those "other sons and daughters" who sadly are not mentioned or talked about because there is a family rift. There are those other sons and daughters who are missing from the church role now because they are prodigals.

So there was something to think about and to use as a launch for prayer after all.
Thank you Lord.

God bless


Thursday, 3 January 2008

What a year!
2007 was quite a year for us.
We began it by having to tell our lovely Corps plant in Northallerton that we would be moving on and that they would not be getting replacement officers. With the future of a work we had put our heart and soul into on the line we prayed like we had never prayed before. A local leadership was put in place and they have faithfully carried on the work, even managing to provide a meal for 36 people on Christmas Day! Thank you Lord.

In February I went on an unforgettable trip to Ethiopia, whilst Alan waited with great anticipation for our marching orders. I have already blogged on some highlights of the trip but here is one more photo. These two children live in the prison with their mother. Conditions have improved through Prison Fellowship but they have no education facilities and only a small yard to play in. When they are 12 they will have to leave and fend for themselves unless relatives can take them in, which is unlikely. Pray for them. God spoke to me clearly whilst in Addis Adaba about ministry among women in slavery to addictions, prostitution or trafficking.
In June we celebrated 25 years as officers with a trip back to our first appointment in Alderney in the Channel Islands. It was as wonderful as we remembered and the little corps has soldiered on despite not having had officer leadership for 7 years. Praise the Lord an officer was appointed in July.
For us we have proved God's faithfulness over and over again and made some wonderful discoveries about his grace in every appointment It has been and continues to be a most fulfilling, exciting and challenging life to lead. Bring on the next 25 years!

And so July came. We were not only leaving the beautiful county of Yorkshire after 23 years but also the division we had been in for the majority of our service. We had been involved in planting new corps for the past 13 years and going back to corps leadership, which is very different. I was leaving behind prison ministry which I loved and we had become "childless" in that our youngest daughter was away for the whole summer and then gong to Uni. Yet God gave us a peace about the changes and it has been a joy to have been at Pill Corps for the last 6 months. This picture is taken outside our hall after being marched from the quarters to the meeting by our Colour Sergeant.
We ended 2007 with a real sense that God has placed us here, to build on what has been achieved and move outwards. The verse God has given us for Pill is Isaiah 54:2-3
"Enlarge the place of your tent stretch your tent curtains wide do no hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left. Your descendents will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities."
Happy 2008 everyone
God bless