Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Heaven and Hell

We have been doing a series called "This we believe." on Sunday evenings at the Corps. On Sunday night we got to doctrine 11 which states:

"We believe in the immortality of the soul, in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgement at the edn of the world; in the eternal happiness of the wicked and in the endless punishment of the wicked."

My hopes for this evening were that we would rejoice in the hope of eternal life that Jesus has won for us, that in these uncertain times we hold on to the truth that "evil shall perish and righteouness will reign, that those who had recently lost loved ones in Christ would be reassured again that their loved ones were at rest and that the wind of the Spirit might continue to stir up our passion to reach the lost.

I don't know how far those aims were achieved but I had an interesting follow up to it yesterday.

Alan's father is 83 and has been in hospital since early July. The family are in the process of sorting out what his future care needs are and where he will lived following his discharge from hospital. He is not a Christian and leans more toward astrology than to any faith in a living God and it has not always been easy to cope with his viewpoint and attitudes to life.

Yesterday, whilst Alan was talking to the staff about his progress he asked me if there was any hope of him going to heaven!

What followed was a rare opportunity for me to tell him that God loved him, that he was special and that the best way to be sure about heaven was to have a relationship with God. He has always struggled with God loving him because of so much tragedy in his early life but I shared with him the verse from Scripture, "All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

I only had a few moments to share all this because his mind now wanders and soon we were off on a ramble about something else but I can only pray that I spoke to his spirit and that somehow he will discover God is real and cares.

God bless


Friday, 19 September 2008

Words in season

I continue to be thankful for the daily reading of the word of God which is so relevant to life today. I am in Isaiah and Galatians at the moment.

In the light of the uncertainties of ecomonic crisis around the world the word of God says

"He will be a sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge." (Isaiah 33:6)

To the people in our care who are going through difficult and hard times the word of God says,
"I have heard your prayer and seen your tears." (Isaiah 38:5)

When there are issues to be resolved that humanly speaking it is hard to find a solution to when we ask the Lord to help, he says,
"I have not said to Jacob's descendents "Seek me in vain."

In the midst of the busyness of Corps programme and Annual Appeal the word of God says,
"It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good."

But when we start congratulating ourselves for all our good works the word of God says,
"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

And finally from the Psalm 107 :43 "Whoever is wise let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord."

God bless


Thursday, 4 September 2008

Getting into gear and putting the armour on.

We have been back from holiday for about a week and half now and we have been getting into gear for the Autumn battle offensive to build the kingdom in Pill. We are going to be busy.

The preaching plan is in place, the cell groups are ready for a new season and the youth progamme is kicking off next week with the addition of a new cell group called Quest,which will include music making, mission training as well as interactive Bible study. Toddler group starts again on Monday and relaunches a cradle roll type initiative. The Jam Club team are all keen to get going following the brilliant holiday club in the holidays. And of course in the midst of it all there is Annual Appeal, which the human part of me sees as getting in the way of all that I have mentioned above. However past experience has proved to me that if I see it as part of the mission then it makes all the difference to how we manage the busyness.

I don't know if you agree but I think that the period between September and December is probably the period in the year that has the most opportunity for outreach and is our busiest time of year. So as well as gearing up for it with Corps Council meetings, planning meetings and preparing facilities and programmes we also need to be aware of the need to put on our spiritual armour and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

God bless