Sunday, 31 January 2010

Heart Cry

I have just returned from The Gathering, a prayer and retreat week-end run by 24-7SA Prayer Network. It's been good to spend time in personal and corporate prayer.

In one of the session we were asked to identify our heart cry prayer. In other words, if you could pray only one prayer what would it be?

For me at this time it is this: THAT THE SALVATION ARMY FINDS ITS VOICE.

I continually find myself stirred and desperate for Salvationists to be released from their often tongue-tied state. O for prayer to flow freely instead of embarrassed silence, for a rush to testify when the opportunity is given, the hallelujah's and amen's to resound through the rafters during worship, for the gossipping of the gospel and more and more of us to speak up about social justice and moral issues.

What about you?

What is the cry of your heart when you come to God in prayer?

God bless


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Taking care of relationships

I happened to be at our DHQ for prayers this week. Major Jean Bradbury commented on how she had met up with a friend whom she had not seen for many years. She went on to talk about the need to value and treasure our relationships.

Funny that, moments earlier I had been on the website of officer friends and had said in my head, "I should ring them. We haven't talked for ages." So when I got back I did and had a really long catch up with one of them. So now I know what to pray for her and her family, I was reminded of a prophecy we had shared a few years ago and that's given me an idea for where to go with prayer ministry. It's good to talk.

In our last appointment I ran a drop in for parents at a local school. Although the group continues (although it now has no Christian input) the people that were part of it when I was there have moved on now that their children are older. However I have been amazed that some of the women continue to email and send cards from time to time. In the light of the challenge to take care of our relationships I emailed one of them back this morning. I think for some of them I might be the only Christian that they know. I remember them often in my prayers.

And finally. I did a bit of family tracing this morning. This is of course our Katie's field of expertise as she works for that department at THQ but this did not really fit their remit. To cut a long story short I was able to be a link between family members who find it difficult to manage their relationship. At the same time it was one of those occasions when the Body of Christ worked together in the ministry of reconciliation. The local vicar I contacted was just lovely and obviously reaches out into her community with the love of Christ. We are going to liase as we seek to support this family in our two different areas.

If only we would take care of our relationships as much as we take care of our appearance, our gardens and our cars, life would be so much more whole.

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Cor 5:18)

God bless


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Drink Problem

In the UK Alcohol is in the headlines. On Monday I picked up the local Bristol paper which gave statistics of the effect alcohol abuse is having on the stretched resources of the NHS.( In Bristol alone it costs the NHS in the city up to £4 million a year and hospitals admit 9,000 people with alcohol related illnesses or injuries. The numbers of people admitted to accident and emergency departments in 2008/09 with drink related causes in the city have risen by 22 per cent on the previous year. The alcohol-related problems occur in all sections of society and all ages.

What needs to be done and what does the Salvation Army need to do?

At the moment there is a growing protest about the low price of supermarket alcohol that is causing the rise in drunkeness. I have to agree that there must be something wrong when it is possible to buy two litres of cider for £1.29, which is less than the price of the same amount of fresh fruit juice. When four cans of lager can be bought for £3, two bottles of white wine for £6, a litre of vodka for less than £8 and a 70cl of whisky for less than £10.00, it is much cheaper to get drunk than it once was.

In the 18th century it was gin that was causing the problem. Gin had become the poor man's drink and it was advertised 'Drunk for 1 penny, Dead drunk for tuppence, Straw for nothing'!!
It could be bought from pedlars, at the grocers and even sold on market stalls.
The government of the day became alarmed when it was found that the average Londoner drank 14 gallons of spirit each year! Several measures were taken including raising the tax on gin, forbidding its sale without a license, costing. Unfortunately this just created a black market but the Gin Act raised the duty on drink and forbade the distillers, grocers, chandlers, jails and workhouses from selling gin. Gin consumption fell dramatically through the rest of the eighteenth century. In 2010 forbidding the sale of alcohol in supermarkets might just have the same effect!

Read the newspapers, listen to the debates on TV or radio or eavesdrop to a conversation on the bus and a lot of people have an opinion about what should be done about binge drinking and drunken louts on a Saturday night. Our prevailing culture seems to have convinced succeeding generations that it is impossible to celebrate, socialise or be "cool" without the assistance of alcohol. Surely, as Salvationists there has to be a way of promoting tee-totalism as a positive lifestyle choice without being judgmental or apologetic for our views. Our stance might be unusual even among Christians but we have valid arguments and personal testimony about the merits of living without alcohol.

I have blogged this before so forgive me for repeating myself but I firmly believe that changes in legislation and the current publicity about alcohol won't be wholly effective because the UK's attitude to alcohol is a demonic stronghold over this nation. Connecting celebration, manhood, maturity and status with alcohol is common among many cultures but the UK seems to lead the world in making drunkeness a badge of honour! Maybe it has something to do with our British inhibitism and self-consciousness but we seem bound by it. And Satan uses it to ruin so many lives. Spiritual strongholds need spiritual weapons to bring them down. Let's pray now!

God bless


Wednesday, 13 January 2010

January Pray for a Day and Committment Sunday

Pill Corps Pray for a Day went ahead despite the terrible weather. The Prayer Room was used all day but some people who were not able to attend faithfully prayed at home or during meal breaks at work. The Prayer Room focussed on different covenants in the Bible.

God's Covenant with Noah

God's Covenant with Abraham and Moses

The New Covenant
Prayer requests poured in as usual and each one was brought before the Lord.
We hold a Pray for a Day event every two months and each time it has been strange that despite the requests coming in from all over the UK each time there seems to be a recurring theme. A few months back the majority of our requests were about the work of social services, another time it seemed to be Corps concerns. This time a great proportion of people were asking us to pray for people with cancer.

The Committment Sunday meeting was a blessed time, although our numbers were depleted because of the snow. Nevertheless there was a lovely spirit in the meeting and many of those who gathered signed their committment cards at the mercy seat.
It's a good way to start the year.
God bless

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


We don't often have snow in Bristol but we awoke this morning to a thick covering of the white stuff and more is forecast before the week-end.
Also coming thick and fast into Pill Corps are requests for prayer. My husband Alan, email's everyone on the UKT system during the week leading up to one of our regular Pray for a Day events. We always have a huge response and this Friday our intrepid team will once again bring every request to the Lord in prayer.
It occurs to me that there may be someone who reads this blog who isn't on the UKT system who would like prayer. If that is you please let me know via comments below.
God bless


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Here we go again!

I have had a complete break from blogging for the whole of December. Life was just too busy with all that being a Salvation Army officer at Christmas means. We were able to take a break with family after all the activity which was lovely.

And so it's 2010 and here we go again. Corps life is geared up again, with meetings, hospital visits, toddlers, school ministry, events to organise and a prayer room to prepare for Pray for a Day on Friday.

I also personally feel, it's here we go again with my personal Bible Study, which I have to admit had to go on a back burner whilst I immersed myself in preparation and study for Christmas messages. Now I am back to reading through the Bible chronologlically.

I am always amazed by the fact that after a life-time of reading the word of God I still manage to come across passages that have completely passed me by.

So come on all you Bible scholars! Here is your starter for ten. Who was Hobab?

Well Hobab was the brother-in-law of Moses and he was invited by him to accompany God's people as they journeyed towards Canaan. We find the incident in Numbers 10:29-33. As we get going again after a break after Christmas I think this little story has a lot to say to us would be evangelists. So here is advanced notice that this is the passage we are going to look at next Sunday night at Pill Corps. All I'll say for now is that an invitation was given, was eventually accepted and Hobab ended up in the Promised Land. Now that's a result.

It's good to be back

God bless