Monday, 8 December 2008

Thank you Maggi

"Regardless of theologies and postmodern theories and new ideas of church, and irrespective of our programmes, plans and energy levels, God will come and be born in our world...he will be born in our world whether we are ready or not, deserving or not, prepared or not. The incarnation of God will defy our plans, upset the organised and come with ease and rapturous joy to undeserving sinners and the poor in spirit."

Maggi Dawn (university chaplain in Cambridge)

Christmas Collecting Reflections

On Pricess Street today - street is thronging with people rushing here and there with bags loaded with presents. Amazed at those who stop when they see me in my uniform and am greeted with a warm smile and comments like "never pass the sally army", "you do good work", "you're my favourite charity".

But one lady said something to me that really made me think. Grabbing a crumpled £5 note from her purse, she pushed it in the box saying, "when I think what I spend on other things, this is a poor donation" Wow I thought - its a shame some of my corps folk don't think like you.... and then I thought hard about me. And what about you Iain, what have you given? Yes I could tott up the extra hours of carolling, toys and tin parcels, but what about my giving? I don't give anything extra at Christmas other than my time. And yet I'm happy to receive from people in the street who have no affiliation to the corps or Salvation Army. What can I give him poor as I am ... Is my heart totally given to God? Or am I being distracted like everyone else by the frivolities of this season.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Great Kidz Deal

Just catching up updating my blog and aware that I couldn't not make a comment on our recent Kidz Weekend with Justin Reeves. A self proclaimed disorganised person (with Paul they make some organising team!)he mentioned forgetting to bring his sermon on Sunday morning. A great weekend was had by the kidz and adults. Special moments in the Sunday morning with kidz posting prayers on a washing line, kneeling to pray and showing the adults how to be responsive to God - what a lovely picture!

"Deal or No Deal" was the theme for Sunday afternoon, bringing the message that as far as God is concerned, the deal has been done on the cross with Him offering us eternal life.

It's no big deal to have a children's Sunday a couple of times a year. We have a great bunch of kidz and their leaders who are so committed to teaching them about Jesus.

I don't want the occasion to be missed before I pay my own tribute to the work that Paul has done in leading the Sunday children's ministry over the past two years. Taking on the responsibility was him working outside his comfort zone and at considerable personal cost, Paul's wish is to hand over the responsibility as he prepares for a new chapter in his life with Fiona (to be married on 19th July). Kevin Avis has agreed to accept the overall responsibility for children's ministry at the corps ably assisted by Sheonagh who will step down from her leadership of the youth ministries at the end of the year, with Adam and Karen assuming that ministry.

Kindest Donation for Corps

An amazing generous cheque came my way from the ladies of a community group. After giving a talk on the work of the local corps community work, the 20 ladies, who have been meeting every Thursday evening for the past 22 years, donated the proceeds of their fundraising to the Edinburgh Gorgie Salvation Army Corps. The Salvation Army is the latest charity to benefit from their efforts which have included Children's Hospice for Scotland, Cancer Research and Marie Curie Cancer in previous years. Captain Hudson thanked them for their generous donation which will be used to improve the community work. Thank you ladies of Longstone. The corps accepts your gift with grateful thanks.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Perth Corps Anniversary Weekend.

Oh yes, what a time we had, visiting our former corps in Perth. Saturday night allowed us to reacquaint with many people we grew to love and respect in our nine years in the corps. It was also refreshing to see new faces that have come to the corps during the ministry of Carole and Gordon Tucker's ministry.

Got speaking to Lyn whose father Ian passed away early on in our stay in Perth. Ian came to know the Lord just shortly before dying due to the cancer he had. He was the first person who I had the privilege to lead to Christ as an officer. Well his daughter Lyn and her partner Andrew attend the corps now and I was interested to hear of her journey of faith thus far.

As I shared a rather longer than expected 'reflection' on Saturday night, I mentioned that our time there holds very special memories for us. It was the place of our children's birth, our first corps appointment and a people that accepted our mistakes as well as rejoicing with us when we actually got it right as leaders! But the abiding memory is of people we journeyed with, some now gone to be with the Lord, some who have moved on and others who have sadly lost touch.

I left my prayer for the corps on Sunday.

"You know, Father, next to salvation, the greatest gift you have ever given us is the opportunity to be a part of your family. Thank you that we don't have to go through life disconnected and isolated. Thank you for creating the Perth Corps family.
Help us to be a part of your family and help us learn to love this spiritual family just like you do. Forgive us for taking it casually. We want to grow in fellowship, so today we choose to belong. We want to learn to share and make time to develop real friendships. We want to do our part in this family. We want to learn to love other believers like brothers and sisters. Teach us the meaning of real love. In your name we pray, Amen.”

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Climbing Bidean

Saturday returned absolutely exhausted after 'bagging' my 3rd munro. Bidean is the 23rd highest of all the 284 munroes and the highest in the glencoe range. I joined two more experienced climbers in Grant and Matthew, and as always the descent was more painful than the ascent. But all in all a fastanstic experience and one my poor knees are still recovering from, 2 days later!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Walking for Charity

Friends, I'll be walking the West Highland Way at the end of May with a colleague officer Captain Tim Wills of Kirkcaldy Corps. We are walking 48 miles of the total 95 miles from Inverarnan to Fort William. I've decided to walk this year for Cancer Research UK, as like many of you, I've lost many good friends to this terrible disease and the sooner we can eradicate it from blighting our lives, the better.

The Hudsons