Candlemas; the feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary, is held on February 2nd. In the cold of....
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Salvation Sound - February 2009

Posted on February 7, 2009

This article was published in February 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyCandlemas; the feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary, is held on February 2nd. In the cold of the winter days Psalm 24 is sung, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.”

Who is the King of Glory ? Why Mary's child, Jesus! He was presented, as was every month old child, to the priest, when his mother went to church to be declared “clean” after giving birth.

For centuries in this country it was called the Purification; to give thanks to God for having given birth safely at a time when to have a child could be a near death experience for many women.

The New Year, like Jesus, is already a month old - we are growing older, we carry within us all kinds of experiences, so ideally, we should be mature. Our characters have been formed by what we have thought and done in the past.

The year 2009 will grow up and grow old in just twelve months, Spring flowers will bloom, harvests will be gathered before another winter comes, and the year dies.

Probably nothing very outstanding will happen to us, the horrors of the world's problems will be restricted to our television screens; as each day dawns our turbulence will be as confined as our activity allows.

Growing older can mean growing in grace and fruitfulness, becoming more mellow, less critical of others, less impatient; and as our physical strength abates, and health deteriorates, and our memory is not as sharp as it once was, we must not despair but make sure that every day can be a new beginning.

Advice from Patience Strong -
“Have something to show for the winter.
Don't sit between supper and bedcontented
with mere entertainment.
Do something constructive instead.
Create something useful or lovely,
employing your hands and your brain -
or study and set yourself lessons,
new regions of knowledge to gain -
Those hours of long winter evenings
much pleasure and profit can bring.
Do something to prove you've not wasted
the months between Christmas and spring...

What will this year bring ? Hardship, trials and tribulation ? yes for some no doubt.

Adversity is a way that God uses to produce good results. Trouble, if it turns us to the Lord, could be good for us. We have become complacent, and too, used to the good life. Romans 5 : 3-4.

Tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character hope. Jesus' life on earth was short but He lived it to the maximum. Do you likewise. Walk by faith, then each day will be a challenge, live your life fully, our time is fleeting too.

Who knows, no-one but God, what 2009 will bring.

Forgive us Lord, for failures past,
Then help us start anew
With strength and courage to obey
And closely follow You.

Source: Focus, February 2009

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