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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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The way I see it

Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Our family have been thinking about moving house for at least a year. This has involved pouring over estate agents’ websites, photographs, house plans and the usual range of materials associated with a process that my ancestors managed to avoid doing for best part of 300 years. That being said I feel that I’ve more than made up for their lack of adventure and moved lock, stock and barrel three times since we got married.

Recently, I have become intrigued by house layouts and trying to interpret what a 2 dimensional plan would look like in reality. Strategizing about which wall could be moved, what any extension or adaptation would look like or indeed cost. Most recently the strategy has been focused on a ‘new build bungalow’; talking with an architect, the potential builder and the estate agent about our needs and what the building will need to provide. I’d have to say that there has been a fair amount of emotional energy exhausted on every possible house purchase and every iteration of every plan and strategy. Isn’t it funny how the perfect house seems to land in your lap when you pray about and wait for God’s timing. All along we’ve been relying on God’s promise to us, from part of a verse in Isaiah 60:22 “when the time is right, I the LORD, will make it happen”.

All my efforts couldn’t make the vendor put the perfect bungalow up for sale, all my anxiety couldn’t make anyone else buy our current house. All my planning and emotional expenditure was actually of no use and probably causing me needless anxiety. I have been strongly reminded that unless Jesus is at the centre of my plans then they are fruitless and nothing more than vanity on my part. Unless the Lord builds the house then the people who build it work hard but, do so, in vain (Psalm 127:1).

This was something that the late Norman Lynas, founder of a youth outreach base called ‘EXODUS’ on the north coast of Northern Ireland, understood all too well. When the project was being developed he refused to open the night base until he had 100 prayer partners committed to the project. I was one of those original prayer partners; the prayer strategy came first, the outreach strategy came second and the business model came last.

The way I see it is that a prayer strategy is our first priority at Company, Battalion, District and National levels. Get our prayer life sorted and the effort we put into building the Brigade for the next generation will not be in vain.

James Todd
Captain, 1st Richhill Company

James is married to Alison and they have three children – Naomi, Joel and Ethan. James had been a member of the BB when he was a boy and re-joined the Brigade approximately ten years ago when he volunteered to help with his local Company (1st Richhill). Since then he has become Company Captain, a Brigade Training Officer and served on the Battalion executive. James works as a Social Work Training and Development Consultant for the local Health and Social Care Trust, with a special interest in Adult Safeguarding. Alison works as a Teacher of the Deaf with the Education Authority. James has also written a number of articles for his blog called “the little boy in the brown boots” reflecting on his faith development and how that has been influenced by his physical difficulties, foot amputation and other family experiences.

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  1. Tony Drury-Smith says:

    How I believe in his idea of prayer and indeed I put this forward in an email. Ask as many churches to pray for us and we could include social media etc as a nation wide prayer focus. Without Gods help we are losing a mighty power to bring about our mission and values.

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