|Glancing through the diary this year reveals that February is a
mixture of festivals and traditions. The Chinese celebrate New Year, Americans
remember Washingtons Birthday, there are Carnivals in Luxembourg and
Portugal, Christians celebrate Pancake Day and start a period of self denial on
Ash Wednesday, while lovers all over the world will gaze lovingly into each
others eyes on St. Valentines Day.
So often February is a month where we can feel low in spirit. The celebrations of Christmas are behind us, the days, though lengthening, are still short and often wet and grey. As snow drops push their delicate heads through the soil, catkins float in the windy breezes and crocus burst forth in golds and purples we are reminded that Spring is on the way.
Yes February has its highlights and feasts - the laugher of tossing pancakes - onto the floor! Ceiling! - are memories for years to come. The chocolate creations enjoyed on Valentines day, the complimentary sour and sweet tastes of Chinese cuisine and Carnival foods enjoyed with friends, leaves us feeling good. But February also has its sombre side - Ash Wednesday, and the denial of things during Lent, so we can focus more on God, and the needs of our fellow humans beings.
Traditionally February is the month of Self Denial in the Salvation Army. It is a time when Salvationists, Adherents and friends give up something. The money saved by giving that object up is then given for Gods work in a special Alter Service. The money raised during Self Denial is always used for the Armys Mission in the World - this may be special projects or following various disasters. Over the next four weeks we will be able to think about different aspects of overseas missions that will benefit from money given this year. It will help us decide what to give up, and how much we should give as our gift to God.
The Salvation Armys work In Jesus name is still caring, still sharing, still loving, still growing. All thanks to your giving. Thank you for all that you will give this year.
|As our Founder came to the end of his marathon speech on his second (and last) visit to Wimbledon on 14 May 1911, Councillor Henson proposed a vote of thanks to the grand, old man - the General which brought forth loud applause. The Councillor added that there had been a time when the public had looked one-sidedly at The Salvation Army, but had outlived the prejudice. The Army had been tried in the fire and proved to be real gold. Among persecution and misunderstanding from people who ought to have known better, William Booth had pursued a great, glorious and everlasting work. Mr Henson felt honoured at having been introduced to the General that day and all present were proud of his visit to Wimbledon. They regarded William Booth as a national asset (more loud cheers!) Mr Percy Clarke JP seconded the vote: he too was honoured to share the same platform with a great man who belonged to humanity and proved, like John Wesley, that the world was his parish . Here the entire audience stood up and loudly cheered the General, who added his own thanks to the Mayor for presiding. Our Corps band then led the people in singing The Doxology, to end a memorable meeting. During his stay in Wimbledon General Booth lodged with Mr & Mrs T. Oates, and it was for these good people that one of our long time soldiers, Gertrude Sims, worked in service. She was a friend of Winnie Vick and at the time of our centenary in 1987 (since when she has been promoted to Glory) she presented to our Corps a photograph of William Booth (looking extremely old and tired!) which he had personally autographed and presented to his hosts on the morning of his departure. Now, what happened to that very personal photo? Like so many special items I sought to retain after our celebrations it seems to have disappeared into thin air. Fortunately, I copied the autograph, duly dated, for use in our centenary brochure and reproduce for you now.|
|Next month: Dont mention the war!|
|Heather and Andrew join me in thanking all our friends in the Corps for their thoughts and prayers during these last weeks and months. It has been such a help to know how many people have supported us while Paul has been ill. It was also so uplifting to see so many people at the Thanks Giving Service for Pauls life. Thank you all again.|
|Friday 1st||6/7-30pm Story Keepers Kids Club|
|Sunday 3rd||Launch of Self Denial Missionary Appeal and YP Tiddlers Race|
|Saturday 9th||Divisional Childrens Fun Day, (7-12yrs) - Tunbridge Wells Corps. Details from Ailsa|
|Sunday 10th||Commitment Sunday. 10am holiness meeting.|
|Friday 15th||6/7-30pm Story Keepers Kids Club|
|Monday 18th||Corps Council. 7.30pm with Lucy Langham (property).|
|Saturday 23rd||Youth CELL-ebration, (12 to 25yrs) - Croydon Corps. Details from Ailsa|
|Do you know A clever clogs, someone who can turn their hand to anything, whilst you cannot. Someone else always gets the attention, the best place, and praise. They get all the best jobs and interesting assignments. How do you think they feel ? Are they glad to be the centre of attention, overjoyed that their talents are noticed. Happy because they have lots of friends and liked by all because of their abilities. Or are they tired of being the centre of attention, feed up with being given more and more things to do. Wishing that they had more time to do what they wanted to do, more time for themselves. Are they feeling that they are being taken for granted, wishing that someone else would do something ? Well you may never know, but one thing is certain. Everybody needs to be noticed for their talents and appreciated. You will never know what you are capable of unless you try. The disciples were just ordinary people and yet Jesus gave them a job that needed more than their known abilities. I am sure that they had many failures, but we do not hear about them. There is an old saying attributed to Robert the Bruce, Try and try again until you succeed. Also the more you put into something the more you will get out of it. If you enjoy doing something you will do it again, and if you are not very good at it the practice will help you become better. You may never become an expert or the best at whatever it is. That does not matter. The important thing to remember is that your pleasure will be seen by others and may inspire others. Jesus told the parable of the talents, to show that if you do not use the talents you have you will loose them. But more over that you should use your talents for Gods kingdom.|
|Have you ever felt ill treated, held a grudge, hated someone
because they had something that you should have had ? These feelings cause
bitterness and ill feeling. This is the first of short series on Bitterness.
We become bitter by letting anger and hatred control us.
When Esau lost the valuable family blessing, his future suddenly changed. Reacting in anger, he decided to kill Jacob. When you lose something of great value, or if others conspire against you and succeed, anger is the first and most natural reaction. But you can control your feelings by (1) recognising your reaction for what it is, (2) praying for strength, and (3) asking God for help to see the opportunities that even your bad situation may provide.
Esau hated Jacob because he had stolen his blessing, and he said to himself, My father will soon be dead and gone. Then I will kill Jacob. (Genesis 27:41)
Esau was so angry at Jacob that he failed to see his own wrong. Jealous anger blinds us from seeing the benefits we have and makes us dwell on what we dont have.
What a happy man Haman was as he left the banquet! But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, he was furious. (Esther 5:9)
All the kings officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. (Esther 3:2)
Hatred and bitterness are like weeds with long roots that grow in the heart and corrupt all of life. Haman was so consumed with hatred toward Mordecai that he could not even enjoy the honour of being invited to Esthers party. Hebrews 12:15 warns us to watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. Dont let hatred and its resulting bitterness build in your heart. Like Haman, you will find it backfiring against you (see Esther 6:13; 7:9, 10). If the mere mention of someones name provokes you to anger, confess your bitterness as sin. Ignoring bitterness, hiding it from others, or making superficial changes in behaviour is not enough. If bitterness isnt completely removed, it will grow back, making matters worse.
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. So he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Since he had learned that Mordecai was a Jew, he decided to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes (Esther 3:5-6)
|Hamans family and friends, who were as arrogant as he,
suggested that the gallows be 75 feet high, probably built on the city wall or
some prominent building. They wanted to make sure that all the people of the
city saw Mordecais death and would be reminded of the consequences of
disobeying Haman. Ironically, these high gallows allowed everyone to see
Hamans death. (Esther 5:14)
Then Harbona, one of the kings eunuchs, said, Haman has set up a gallows that stands seventy-five feet tall in his own courtyard. He intended to use it to hang Mordecai, the man who saved the king from assassination. Then hang Haman on it! the king ordered. So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had set up for Mordecai, and the kings anger was pacified. (Esther 7:9-10)
We become bitter by forgetting Gods grace, which is showered upon us each day.
Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favour of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. (Hebrews 12:15)
We become bitter when we demand our way and stop forgiving and forgetting.
We would do well to remember that God has forgiven us despite our continual sinful tendencies.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Next month. How can we cause bitterness in others?
|At a recent College Evening Rebecca was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for her progress on the BTEC Performing Arts Course that she started in September.|
|To Ailsa for leading our worship on 20th January during the YP Annual Weekend and to Joy for leading our worship on 27th January while Major Rosemary was on furlough.|
|What mountain is mentioned over 160 times in the Bible?
Where in the world? What city in Revelation was seen as a place that would never again hear the voices of brides and grooms?
Preaching programme for February
|Morning Holiness meeting||Evening Salvation Meeting|
|3rd Family Service||Led by Major Randall.||Prayer Meeting at 5-30pm Followed by the service led by Major Randall.|
|God Squad||Powerless or Empowered
|Junior Soldiers Class||Remain in Holiness|
|10th Commitment Sunday||Led by Major Randall.||Led by Major Randall.|
|God Squad||Small but Valued Matthew 18:1-14|
|Junior Soldiers Class||Jesus in the Old Testament
|17th||Led by Major Randall.||Led by Major Randall.|
|God Squad||Letting go or getting even
|Junior Soldiers Class||No Smoking 1 Corinthians 6:19|
|24th||Led by Major Randall.||Led by Major Randall.|
|God Squad||Burning Words Jeremiah chapter 36|
|Junior Soldiers Class||Good or Bad? Your Choice -
Genesis 3 and John 3:11
|Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you. Matthew 18:20|
|Plans are well in hand for a fun filled weekend away for our
young folk and their families. As you can see on the notice board in the rear
hall. The Felbury Centre is set in picturesque country-side at Holmbury St.
Mary in Surrey. There is home made food, on-suite facilities in the bedrooms,
camp-fire, worship, night hike, pond dipping, S/A 24/7, low rope challenge and
much more already in hand. It will be a time to have fun, spend quality time as
families together and get to know each other better.
The cost is £65 per child/adult and will need to be paid in full by the time we go away. Ideas for fund raising to reduce these costs for families would be welcome - so far we have a sponsored something (not decided what the something is!), cake sale and a jumble sale. For a group of 20 we would need to raise £1300 to cover all the costs. What is needed by the 24th February 2002 is a deposit of £12 per child/adult coming. So fill out the forms, give them to Ailsa and join in the fun.
|This year as the Territorial Commitment Sunday comes around we were celebrating the welcome of 46 children onto our Cradle Roll. However a time to reflect on our commitment to God as Christians, and to consider the promises we have made as Senior Soldiers and Adherents is a valued time as it helps us grow in our faith, and continue in our pilgrim walk through life. So during the Holiness Meeting Major Rosemary will help us do just that. Do take time to think about your Christian life ahead of the meeting, and come prepared to meet with God as we renew our commitment to follow Him.|
|Many thanks to everyone who helped make this the fun weekend it was. It was great to see 28 children from our Cradle Roll, Sunday Groups, Holiday Club and StoryKeepers all gathered for the Hollywood Cartoon Party on the Saturday afternoon. The Fancy Dress competition was won by Tamsin Potter who came dressed as Harry Potter. The Prize Giving on Sunday Morning acknowledged all the hard work of the children over the last year. In addition to the individual prizes awarded, The Shield for Best Junior Soldier of the Year went to Letitia Rogers, the Shield for YP Musician of the Year went to Gillian Rogers and the Best God Squad class went to Williams class. The many adults who help the YP Corps in many ways received Certificates of Recognition and Thanks for all they have done. Finally two certificates were awarded. James Murfin for outstanding achievement in the last year and Toni Rogers for Courage in coping with difficult circumstances.|
|Major Rosemary is co-ordinating the Flower List for this year and is looking for those of you who would wish to enhance our worship by providing flowers for the Alter Table. Do see her to agree dates. If the Sunday you give flowers is a special anniversary or in memory of someone, please let Betty know if you would like this announced during the meetings.|
|Is this what your 7 to 12 year olds are driving you to? Then why not pack them off to the Divisional Childrens Fun Day where they can Go Bananas with Captain Denise (DYO) and her team. This years date is the 9th February. Cost is £5 per child. They need to bring a pack-lunch and drink and wear clothes that can get mucky. Transport is provided, leaving the Hall at 9-30am and arriving back at about 5pm. For more details or to book your place talk to Ailsa.|
|FRIDAY lst MARCH 2002 Service prepared by
Christian women of ROMANIA