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From the co’s desk “WHAT IS FAITH ?”

INTRODUCTION. “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” Do you remember how you felt when you were younger and your birthday approached? You were excited and anxious. You knew you certainly would receive gifts and other special treats  or maybe there was the promise of a present that you had specifically asked for, and you anticipated the promise being kept. But whatever, there would be an element of surprise. Birthdays combined assurance and anticipation, and so does faith! Faith is the conviction based on past experience that God’s new and fresh surprises will surely be ours. Faith means resting in what Christ has done for us in the past, but it also means hoping for what He will do for us in the future. So what is faith?

1. FAITH, IS SIMPLY TRUSTING. In Romans 8: verses 24 - 25, we read the following:- Trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have  for a person who already has something, doesn’t need to hope and trust. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.”
It is natural for children to trust their parents, even though parents sometimes fail to keep their promises. Our Heavenly Father, however, never makes promises He won’t keep. Nevertheless, His plan may take more time than we expect. Rather than acting like impatient children as we wait for it to unfold, we should place our confidence, our faith, in God’s trustworthiness. Two words then describe our faith - CONFIDENCE and CERTAINTY.
Theses two qualities need a secure beginning and ending point.
a) The beginning point of faith is believing in God’s character - He is Who He says He is.
b) The end point is believing in God’s promises - He will do what He says.
We believe that God will fulfil His promise, even though we don’t see those promises materialising now THIS IS TRUE FAITH.
This was something that the disciple Thomas had to learn, as he went from.:-
2. DOUBT TO FAITH.
In John 20: verses 24 - 29, we read of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples including Thomas, after the resurrection. When the disciples told Thomas on a previous occasion that they had seen the Lord, Thomas immediately replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands - and put my fingers into them - and place my hand into His side.”
Eight days later Jesus appeared again. Looking at Thomas, He said, “Put your finger into the nail wounds of My hand - and put your hand into My side. Don’t be faithless any longer - BELIEVE! Jesus wasn’t hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his scepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and to Jesus Himself. Some need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions and questions lead to answers and the answers are accepted, the doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbomess that our faith is harmed. So when you doubt, which is inevitable at times - let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answer. If we go back to Hebrews 11, we do discover:-
3 GREAT HEROES OF FAITH
a) NOAH - 11: 7
b) ABRAHAM - 11: 8 - 10
c) JACOB 11: 21
d) MOSES 11: 24 - 28
Theses verses in Hebrews 11, summarise the lives of other great men and women of the faith. Some experienced outstanding victories. Some were severely mistreated, tortured and even killed.
Yes, the Old Testament records the lives of various people who experienced these great victories:-
DEBORAH won battles (Judges 4: 5)
JOSHUA overthrew kingdoms (Joshua)
NEHEMIAH ruled God’s people well (Nehemiah)
DANIEL was kept from harm in the den of lions (Daniel 6)
SHADRACH, NESHACH and ABEDNEGO were kept from harm in the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3)
HEZEKIAH became strong after sickness (2. Kings 20 )
We too, can experience victory through faith in Christ. Each of our victories will be directly related to our unique circumstances in life. Rather than asking “Why me?” It is more helpful to ask, “Why not me?” - and then take comfort in God’s words, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” We do not struggle alone and we are not the first to struggle with problems in our lives. Others have run the race - and won - and their witness stirs us to run and win also. What an inspiring heritage we Christians have!

 

 

 

Excerpt from the past. Corps History No 15

Wimbledon Corps, scribe of the day seems to have pre-empted Basil Fawlty by some 60 years; I find it quite incredible that our history book makes no mention whatever of World War I (The Great War as it was known until 1939) - it is as if it had never taken place. No names of corps members who served with His Majesty’s forces. ‘Don’t mention the war’ !
Entries of any kind are sparse for that period. One important event that does not appear in our history book but is recorded elsewhere is the formation of our Songsters in 1907 - so, Joy, get ready for the centenary celebrations in five years’ time!
From May to June 1911 the Mayor of Wimbledon’s committee planned local events for the coronation of King George V. Representing the Army in Wimbledon was Adjutant Charles William Feltwell, grandfather of our Olive and Muriel. Our Corps Band was asked by the Mayor and committee to participate on the great day (22 June 1911) and afterwards received the Mayor’s grateful thanks for ‘rendering a great service’.
But from here on (in what seems to be the handwriting of the Corps officer of that era) enthusiasm seems to wane as the following entries reveal:
‘26 December 1911: Boxing Day, social evening; had a refreshment bar - very tame affair.
10 February 1912: 8 pm, anti-drink meeting - poor crowd
11 February: drunkards’ raid - poor crowd. Good meetings no visible result.
16-20 March 1912: Lieutenant-Colonel Roberts with us for Self-Denial. Only fair attendance for Monday night lecture. Lectures don’t seem to go here. He also spoke at the annual Self-Denial meeting, kindly allowed us by the Rev McGregor at the Presbyterian Church - not a success’. Oh, dear! As Mona Lott used to say in ITMA, it’s being so cheerful as keeps me going’! One single line on 12 February 1912 heralds a most important event: ‘Home League launched by Mrs Brigadier Milner (wife of the then Divisional Commander), 24 present’. Praise the Lord - we’re still going strong 90 years later!
Next month: Some rather happier snippets!
Ron Foot

 

 

Last month’s Challenge

What mountain is mentioned over 160 times in the Bible?
Mount Zion in Jerusalem

Where in the world? What city in Revelation was seen as a place that would never again hear the voices of brides and grooms?
Babylon Revelations 18:23

 

 

 

Jumble Sale - 23 February

Many thanks to everyone who assisted with the preparation, running and clearing away of the Jumble Sale. A Grand total of £81-84 was raised for Corps Funds.

 

 

 

How can we cause bitterness in others?

We can cause bitterness in others when we are unjust or unfair in our dealings with others, particularly those who are poor and oppressed. This was just the type of situation in which Amos found himself. In Amos 5:7 we read “7You wicked people! You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the poor and oppressed. Righteousness and fair play are meaningless fictions to you.”

The courts should have been places of justice where the poor and oppressed could find relief. Instead, they had become places of greed and injustice. Amos goes on:
“10How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! 11You trample the poor and steal what little they have through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, you will never live in the beautiful stone houses you are building. You will never drink wine from the lush vineyards you are planting. 12For I know the vast number of your sins and rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.”

A society is in trouble when those who try to do right are hated for their commitment to justice. Any society that exploits the poor and defenceless or hates the truth is bent on destroying itself.
Why does God put so much emphasis on the way we treat the poor and needy? Because how we treat the poor reflects our true character. We know we can expect nothing in return. Do we, like Christ, give without thought of gain?

We should treat the poor as we would like God to treat us.

Here are eight common excuses for not helping the poor and needy:
  • They don’t deserve help.
  • They got themselves into poverty; let them get themselves out.
  • God’s call to help the poor applies to another time.
  • We don’t know any people like this.
  • I have my own needs.
  • Any money I give will be wasted, stolen, or spent. The poor will never see it.
  • I may become a victim myself.
  • I don’t know where to start, and I don’t have time.
  • My little bit won’t make any difference.
Instead of making lame excuses, ask what can be done to help. As one individual, you may not be able to accomplish much, but join with similarly motivated people and watch mountains begin to move.
Bitterness can also be caused by another’s failure to act. For example team or group activities could be rendered useless if one or more people refused to take part, or support those involved. Miss-interpretation can also lead to bitterness, just as with Amos twisting whatever is said or done to suite a particular set of values.

Next Month: What is a remedy for bitterness?

 

 

 

Corps Diary March 2002

Friday 1st Women’s World Day of Prayer -
10-30 am at St. John Fisher Church,
8pm at Holy Cross Church - Details from Muriel.

StoryKeepers Kid’s Club - 6/7-30pm. Details from Ailsa.
Saturday 2nd Standing Day to raise funds for Corps - Details from Betty or Major Rosemary.
Sunday 3rd Self Denial Missionary Appeal Altar Service.
Sunday 10th Mothers Day Service 10am.
Friday 15th StoryKeepers Kid’s Club - 6/7-30pm. Details from Ailsa.
Thursday 21st Bible Fellowship - Encouragement and Warning - Details from Ron.
Friday 29th StoryKeepers Easter Extravaganza - 3 to 6pm. Details from Ailsa.
Sunday 31st Easter Sunday.

 

 

 

Are we a live church or a dead church ?

A live church has parking problems: a dying church doesn’t.
A live church has lots of noisy children around; a dying church enjoys peace and quiet.
A live church changes the way things are done to do better; a dying church does not need to change a thing.
A live church dreams greater dreams for God’s Kingdom; a dying church has nightmares.
A live church invites people to risk involvement in new ideas; a dying church plays it safe and never risks anything.
A live church supports world mission, a dying church says, ‘charity begins at home’
A live church uses traditions and buildings to serve God and people; a dying church uses people to serve traditions and buildings.
A live church is full of tithers; a dying church is filled with tippers.
A live church forgives and is forgiven; a dying church never makes mistakes.
A live church looks for challenges and opportunities; a dying church looks for problems and dangers.
A live church evangelises; a dying church fossilises.

 

 

 

Preaching programme for February

  Morning Holiness meeting Evening Salvation Meeting
3rd Self Denial Missionary Appeal Altar Service Led by Major Randall. Prayer Meeting at 5-30pm Followed by the service led by Major Randall.
God Squad Tug on the Heart Strings -
Nehemiah 8:1-12
 
Junior Soldiers Class Remain in Holiness Meeting  
10th Mothering Sunday Led by Ailsa Flinders.. Led by Major Randall.
God Squad Sword in Hand Matthew 4:1-11  
Junior Soldiers Class Remain in Morning Meeting  
17th Passion Sunday and St. Patrick’s Day Led by Major Randall. Led by Major Randall.
God Squad All Fired Up 2 Timothy 1:1-7  
Junior Soldiers Class What an Officer does Luke 5:1-11  
24th Palm Sunday Led by Major Randall. Led by Major Randall.
God Squad King on a Donkey  
Junior Soldiers Class The Problem of Persecution
John 16:33
 
31st Easter Sunday Led by Major Randall. Led by Major Randall.
God Squad Risen King Matthew 28:1-15  
Junior Soldiers Class I’m Special, You’re special,
Psalm 139:1-6
 

 

 

 

Easter Extravaganza 29th March 3 to 6pm

Following last years successful afternoon on Good Friday (where the themes of Christ’s Passion and the Easter Story are explored in art, craft, games, fun and laughter) the planning for our second Extravaganza is well in hand. The afternoon is for all Kid’s aged 5 to 11 years old and the cost is £1 per child. They need to wear clothes suitable for mucky craft activities and run about games.

As with any event of this nature a good team of leaders and helpers is essential. We are blessed with a group of dedicated and able leaders, but there is a need for more helpers to assist and support the leaders. If you are free, willing to have a go, enjoy doing things with Kid’s and are known to the Corps leadership team please let Ailsa or Maj. Rosemary know as soon as possible if you’d like to get involved.

 

 

 

It has been passed on to me that Bill Browning passed away over Christmas. Although I did not know Bill that well I did know he trusted God. Trust that many may want to think about. His family, friends and wife did not approve of him becoming a Salvationist. They could not accept that he could no longer follow the beliefs that they held, and find happiness elsewhere. Yet he did find happiness in his ministry as a Salvationist. I had the pleasure of visiting him at home on one occasion, and he had great joy in showing me what he had done on his computer to further Gods kingdom. Even though his health was failing he struggled on. I am led to believe that his family had him laid to rest without telling people at the Corps. So as we remember Bill, remember also his widow, and family. They may not hold to our beliefs, but they still belong to God.

 

 

 

YP Memory Verse for March

“Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of if is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” 2 Timothy 3:16

 

 

 

24/7 SA Prayer

Please remember those in our fellowship who are unwell at the moment - Sue resting after a recent fall and Eddie home from hospital. Those unable to worship with us, either because of age or because they are caring for others - Philip, Olive and John. Joy and the family are experiencing a tough time at the moment and would value prayer that God will be close to them all - in particular prayer is requested for Baby Tyler (Bernie’s grandson) and Elsie, Tyler’s mum.

 

 

 

Silver Tree Collection

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this years collection which raised £220.

 

 

 

Corps website

Please note that the Corps Website has now been moved to:- http://www.pollytech.co.uk

 

 

 

IF GOD SHOULD GO ON STRIKE

How good it is that God above has never gone on strike, because he was not treated fair in things He didn’t like.
If only once He had sat down and said, “That’s it, I’m through, I’ve had enough of those on earth, and this is what I’ll do. I’ll give my orders to the Sun, ‘Cut off the heat supply’, then to the Moon, ‘Give no more light.’ I’ll run the oceans dry. Then just to make things really tough, and put the pressure on, turn off the vital oxygen till every breath is gone”. You know He would be justified if fairness was the game, for no one has been more abused or met with such disdain than God, and yet He carries on supplying you and me with all the favours of His grace and everything is free.
Men say they want a better deal and so on strike they go, but what a deal we’ve given God to whom all things we owe. We don’t care who we hurt or harm to gain the things we like, but what a mess we would be in, if GOD SHOULD GO ON STRIKE.

 

 

 

Going Banana’s

Going Bananas the Divisional Children’s Fun Day was just fun. The children enjoyed various activities, including making sun glasses, building the highest tower. But the best was the Human Banana Split. Yes two volunteers had their plated banana on their chests and decorated from on high. Lots of games, and finding out about not so well known Bible characters like Gideon.

 

 

 

The Circus is Coming to Town

From 5th to 9th August 2002. So “Roll up” and meet the Lion Tamer, the Fire eater and other circus characters at our Kid’s Holiday Club for children aged 5 to 11 years old. This year the Club is developing in that it will offer two programmes. For children aged 5 to 7 yr. the day will run from 10am until 12-30pm and will be a mixture of games, songs, Bible Stories, and art/craft activities. Children aged 8 to 11 yr. will also take part in the morning programme, but will then stay for pack lunch and have afternoon activities finishing at 4pm. The afternoon activities will include dance, physical theatre, fabric design / painting and swimming. There will be a B-B-Q and Social on the evening of 9th August when the children will sing, dance and share with their families, friends and everyone else who comes the fun they have had during the week.

The Leaders briefing meeting will be at 7pm on 15th July, followed by Safe from Harm Training at 8-30pm for those who have not completed the Salvation Army Course. Each year our Holiday Club has become bigger and bigger, which is wonderful to see. The average daily attendance last year was 30 children. To run this event safely we need a leadership and helper team of at least 15 adults. Owing to other commitments a number of leaders are not able to help this year as previously. If you fancy having a go, or know someone who would like to help aged 14 yr. plus (age is no barrier to helping) please get in touch with Ailsa or Maj. Rosemary. All potential leaders and helpers, under Safe from Harm Procedures will need to be interviewed, have a police check completed and references taken up. This process takes about 6 weeks to complete.