Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Up front and behind the scenes

One thing you cannot say about a Corps officers life is that it is boring. If blogs have been a bit thin on the ground lately its not that nothing is happening in my life to reflect upon but that there is so much.

Up front, these days have been full of activity. As well as the usual stuff, last week was the last week of the school term so it was the Annual Toddler Party, the Jam Club party and the Youth Drop in Pizza Night. I just about managed to avoid being buried under a mountain of sausage rolls!
Saturday was Lucy (our youth worker) and Dave's wedding conducted by Captain Andrew Clark, which was a lovely day. Everything went really well and it was great to meet up again with Dave's family, most of whom we have known since YP Band days in Bath. In between all this we have been going over to Bath as much as possible to visit Alan's Dad who is in hospital and causing concern at the moment.

But there is always a lot more going on than what can be seen up front. Also during last week there have been those moments when people have faced a crisis and come to me to pray with them. There has been news that lifts your spirits and news that stabs you in the heart. And of course there have been those things that irritate and annoy, an issue or two to sort out. I have also been exploring a new area of ministry and continuing to try to listen to what God is saying about the next season of ministry the Corps is moving into. And there have been those secret kindnesses that people do for you that are a real blessing.

Anyway this is a bit of a ramble but I am just so grateful that God has a handle on it all even if I only have a little glimpse of what is really going on in the world, in the people around me and even within myself.

One thing that is a constant for me is the word of God. These are just some of the verses that have reached my heart in these busy days.

Psalm 87:6 "The Lord will write in the register of the peoples,"this one was born in Zion."

Romans 6:14 "For you are not under law but under grace."

Psalm 88:13 "But I cry to you for help, O Lord. In the mornign my prayer comes before you."

Romans 22:35 "Who has ever given to God that God should repay him."

Psalm 89:35 "Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness."

God bless


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

In and Out

Moving from planting back to traditional Corps has not been as difficult as I imagined as there is a flexibility and openess here. We love our Corps and although it has taken us time to adjust to moving to a village from a town we do love Pill.

Even so I still rebel a bit about the fact that most of the mission stuff I do at the moment involves people coming to a programme in our building. We have a great building so we should use it and we do. It is an asset not only to us but to the village.

I just miss the extra opporutnity that doing outreach in a secular environment had. The difference is this. If we hold an activity for 5-11 years olds in our hall, that is who comes, athough there is also a limited number of parents and carers with whom we can engage when they pick up their kids. However I am used to going to the local infant school three times a week, sometimes to do our own programmes and sometimes just to support a school project. Even if only a small number of parents and kids turned up to our actual programme, there was always an opportunity to talk to the children who did not come as they wandered through the hall, opportunity to chat with parents as they waited at the school gate or those moments to listen to a member of staff off load. I also spent as much time doing pastoral care and home visits with people who never "went to Church" as I did with the people who came to our meetings on Sunday.

If I went to do Chaplaincy duties at the Prison I met the lads who needed me that day but also worked alongside the staff. This continued outside of the prison as a lot of staff lived locally and we would meet them in shops and cafes around town.

Now of course the ideal is to be able to do both. Use our hall wisely and well but also get out and get into secular establishments. To do that we have to have a holy and mobilised congregation, well functioning pastoral care for the saints, a good discipleship programme and most of all the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

We are not there yet but thank you Lord you are on the move.

God bless


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Holiness Famine

I called into Wesley Owen, (chain of Christian bookstores in UK).

Hundreds of books.

How many on holiness?


Enough said

God bless


Wednesday, 2 July 2008


I visit a women's refuge from time to time. Yesterday it was great to meet up with a girl whom had joined in really enthusiastically at the Carol Service we held there. She is expecting a baby in a couple of months and I had been given a cot and other stuff for her. She is a lovely kid, full of fun and grateful for the help. It was great to see her and to be greeted so warmly. I just pray that she gets all the help she needs once she leaves the refuge and has to cope with a baby. She looks far too young and vulnerable.

However the visit was also a sad one as I learned that another lady, an alcoholic who had been off the drink for 6 months had started drinking agains and tragically had committed suicide. If only she had found a refuge in a real faith in Christ. Things could have been so different.

Yesterday was just another confirmation of the need to be more urgent witht he gospel and that I must follow up my decision to reach out to women trapped in addictive lifestyles and the sex trade.

God bless