Insight

Welcome to the blog of Commissioner Clive Adams. Leader of The Salvation Army United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
 
 

On a personal note…

7 August 2013 - 2:23pm
| by Clive Adams
|

The past fortnight has been rather an intense period for me, with varying emotions and thoughts vying for my attention. Along with the other 116 members, I had arrived at the venue for the 18th High Council of our history to elect the 20th General of The Salvation Army. I arrived deeply saddened by the loss which had brought us together – the loss of an anointed leader, General Linda Bond, to retirement. I left in gratitude to God for his leading of such a diverse group into electing General André Cox to be her successor.

In between, I had had moments of deep soul-searching about my own nomination and about whom I would support when I was led to decline nomination. The High Council was a time of intimate worship and fellowship, immense responsibility and intense periods of communication – with God and with each other - and I felt blessed to have been a part of it.

The blessing of being able to return with Marianne to our roles as leaders of this territory was multiplied by the warmth with which we were received – it is good to be as affirmed as we were that we are in the right place, among the right people! Annual leave beckoned and we anticipated, with some relish, meeting family and friends in Norway as we spent time in relaxation and refreshment.

And then, earlier today, I was told that my older brother had passed away in the early hours of this morning after what was thought to have been a successful bypass operation performed yesterday. My own grief is mixed with my feelings for his wife and children and for my younger brother. I pray that God would comfort and strengthen each according to their needs.

My Scripture-reading for today included Psalm 73. The reflections I had as I read through the Psalm in the context of my brother’s death I shared on social media earlier today. If you have not seen them, I repeat them here if you are interested:

The psalmist starts so well:
“No doubt about it! God is good – good to good people, good to the good-hearted.”

This is the ‘default’ of the believer - God is good! We say it often, frequently like a mantra that is uttered without much thought and requiring no conviction.

But, as strong as the psalmist’s assertion is about God’s goodness, so sharp is the slide from his faith to his faltering:

“But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way…”

His focus was diverted - he looked “the other way”. Inexplicable circumstances loomed large and his faith gave way to frustration, which quickly degenerated into despair and disbelief. It took a shift of focus - a conscious turning back towards God to bring eternal perspective to the temporal situation:
“Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture...”

My brother’s death causes me to pause - to examine my faith in the context of questions which have no answer. I am consciously willing myself to look the right way, to focus on God who not only has the answers I will not hear, but is the answer. Today, for me, it is a faith despite, rather than because.

The psalmist concludes:
“I’m still in your presence - you’ve taken my hand.
“You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.”

The inexplicable circumstances which so troubled and disturbed him were still there. It’s just that he was looking “the other way” - the right way, into the heart of God: his loving, gracious, good heart. I pray that as my family, friends and I work through this loss, we will look in the right direction, to where it matters, and see God is good!

Rest in Peace, Boet!

Comments

Submitted by Teresa Tuck on

Our thoughts are with you at this time and we again are moved by your closeness to the Lord in what you have written.

Submitted by John Ager on

Thanks for sharing. Love, thoughts and prayers for you and yours. John.

Submitted by Roy Stirrup on

I thank God for all Salvation Army officers and the fantastic job that they do.I look forward to the next part of GOD's plan.

Submitted by Marjory Burditt on

God works in mysterious ways indeed, but He is definitely there for you and your family. Will keep you in my prayers.

Submitted by Margaret house on

God bless you commissioner for sharing and the whole of your family.

Submitted by Judith Schultz on

Love, thoughts and prayers are with and surround you and your family xx

Submitted by Lynn Oliver on

Thank you for your thoughts and insight. All the more meaningful when faith is lived in the reality of loss. God bless you and your family. Thanking God that you are still our leaders.

Submitted by Stephen Oliver on

Commissioner, no words but, simply, "Thank you."

May the Lord who is gracious comfort your brother's immediate family, your wider family, and you and Commissioner Marianne in these days.

Submitted by Captain Liz Hancock on

Praying God's blessing upon you and your family at this time especially, with much love and gratitude for the exemplary leader that you are, but also praying that you find peace in your bereavement and as you comfort and support your sister in law and her children in these days.

Submitted by Glad Ljungholm on

Thanking God for your sensitive heart and for sharing words of encouragement for all of us. God bless and comfort the bereaved. God help us to be faithful unto death.

Submitted by Megan on

The Lord bless & comfort you Clive. Thinking of you, Tim, Carol and the children and the entire family at this time.

Submitted by Bernie Westwood on

Thinking and praying for you and your family at this sad time! Thank you for sharing this.

Submitted by Margaret Anderson on

So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Prayers for you and all the family at this sad time. May our Lord be their strength and support. God bless you all.

Submitted by Major Roy Tippi... on

My Thoughts and Prayer are with you at This Time, while I was an only Child I lossed my Mother within 3 months of entering the ITC, neither of my parents were Christians, and my Father thought I was mad commit my life to this way of life, Yet after the Funeral and asked me To go back to Training and his words to me was Go back Gods called you. God has a purpose for each Life.

Submitted by Alison on

Thank you for these beautiful thoughts. I will be remembering you and your family in my personal prayers. xx

Submitted by Graham Brooke-Smith on

Our sincere love and good wishes to you, Commissioner Clive, and to your family. The salvationists and friends here in Cape Town will miss Alan deeply.

Submitted by Norma Hudson on

May God bless you and yours at this sad time. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Submitted by Goff Payne (Nigeria) on

Your sensitive comments of your own inner emotions are most helpful - as is the sharing of the Psalm. Thank you for providing reality through your own grief and family concerns. May you know the strength the Lord gives (v26)!

Submitted by marta ager on

Thank you so much for sharing those thoughts, inspiring. So many of us sighed a sigh of relief when we realized you were coming back to us! Praying for you and your family just now!

Submitted by Ruth Downey on

Gordon and I hold you and all your family in our prayers. May God's peace and presence and power be yours in measure to your need.
He is a good and gracious Eternal Father.

Submitted by Alison Walter on

So sorry to hear of your loss at such a time in your life, but thank you for your example of finding strength and guidance through turning to God's word. God be with you and your family, always, but especially at this time.

Submitted by Ian F payne on

Clve, thank you for being open, obedient and fully in touch with the Spirit, for coming back as our 'anionted leaders' our love and prayers are with you at the your time of loss also - huge hugs and even bigger prayers for you all x

Submitted by John Riley on

So sorry to hear this news, you and yours are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

Submitted by Colonel Lyndon ... on

You Sir, are a man of courage and integrity. You and your family are in our prayers.

Submitted by Major Jean McCrossan on

Thank you for sharing your experience of God at the High Council. To be led to decline nomination and therefore continue in leadership of our territory reveals your commitment to God's service and we thank God for you. We pray God's continued annointing on you and your wife . We also, pray for comfort for you in your sadness in the loss of your brother. May you and all your family be aware of the sustaining arms of your heavenly Father's love holding and supporting you.

Submitted by Major Jean McCrossan on

Thank you for sharing your experience of God at the High Council. To be led to decline nomination and therefore continue in leadership of our territory reveals your commitment to God's service and we thank God for you. We pray God's continued annointing on you and your wife . We also, pray for comfort for you in your sadness in the loss of your brother. May you and all your family be aware of the sustaining arms of your heavenly Father's love holding and supporting you.

Submitted by Pat Harvey on

Please be assured of my thoughts and prayers at this time

Submitted by Margaret Hardy on

Bless you and Marianne during these days, may you rest in His presence as you support your family at this time of sad loss, as you minister through your support and love may you ve assured of being surround by liove and our prayerful support

Submitted by Donna/Adrian Coupe. on

Oh Commissioner,
Our hearts, thoughts and prayers reach out to you and yours.
Faith despite,is the testimony,the experience that in many ways speaks the loudest.As your word will bless many, we ask Our wonderfull redeemer to be all your sister in law and family need Him to be, you have many holding you up. Blessings and a hug x

Submitted by Brian Birkin on

Be assured of our prayers at this time for you and your family. You are in God's hands and he will sustain you all through this difficult time. God bless you.

Submitted by Rena catherine ... on

Dear commissioners, i am deeply sorry to hear of the very sad loss of your brother. No words i can say right now may make much difference to the pain and sadness you are feeling right now, but i just want to say that i care and although i have no miracle cure, i want u to know that i have taken u both, and ur dear brother's wife and family and the wider family to the throne of God in prayer.. May the lord draw close to u in ur sorrow and wrap his loving arms around u and hold u close and fill you with his peace..GOD BLESS.

Submitted by Sandra Lesar on

We are all saddened by his passing but rejoice that Alan did not 'look the other way' and although absent from the body he is present with His Lord.
My love to you all

Submitted by Maureen Paulse on

Thank you for sharing, so profound, May God bless you abundantly as you continue to touch and bless the lives of others.

Submitted by Anthony Colclough on

You are all being held in the Father's hands in these days.
God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Submitted by Major Maureen M... on

How good to know God's way is best - you are in His hands. May God's love enfold you and your family during these days.

Submitted by Major Norman Ar... on

God bless you in your continued leadership of the territory. We need your strong commitment and God anointed ministry at this time. May you and your loved ones know His peace and blessing in your sad bereavement.

Submitted by Nanella Weir on

We are so thankful that you felt led to continue leading us in the UKT and pray for you and your family just now that the presence of the Good Shepherd will guard and guide each of you. Thank you for sharing with us.

Submitted by Colin Machan on

My family's thoughts and prayers go with you at this time, Commissioner.

Submitted by Joy Paxton on

My thoughts and prayers are with and for you at this time. May you be aware of our Father God's everlasting arms of love surrounding you, holding you, loving you, sustaining you both.

Submitted by sandra baker(cl... on

Praying your family will know Gods peace and sustaining grace in your bereavement. Thank you too for your commitment to continue leadership of our territory .

Submitted by sandra baker(cl... on

Praying for you and your family in your bereavement. May you know Gods peace and sustaining grace in abundance at this time. Thank you too for your thoughts from the High Council and your decision to continue to lead our territory.

Submitted by Lynda Levis on

In your own hour of sorrow you have brought strength and encouragement to others. May you feel the arms of God around you, bringing His own peace, comfort and assurance to you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with all your family. God bless you.

Submitted by Paula Sandford-Marsh on

Thank you for your continued ministry during a sad time. God's blessing is upon you.

Submitted by Gloria and Ian ... on

Saddened by the news of your brother Allan's promotion to Glory. God IS INDEED Good, promoting Allan to the place He has prepared for him. Our heavenly Father is amazing in every way so our prayer is that he will comfort all who mourn, and especially his wife. Thank you for your wonderful sharing of Psalm 73. May God continue to inspire and bless you and your dear wife as you serve Him where you are. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Love and prayers from both of us xx

Submitted by Irene on

When someone as close to you as a beloved brother dies, it is a very painful experience, especially when you have been given to understand that all is progressing satisfactorily, and we send you our heartfelt sympathy. As you say, though, God is good He knows the pain of your sadness, and because of your faithfulness and His love for you, He will support you all through this time. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts on Psalm 73 it will be of encouragement to many. God bless you.

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